I’m closing in on the final sections of the outline for As Morning Shows the Day, and, so, haven’t been able to think of anything earthshattering to blog about today. Therefore, in lieu of something more… one of my favourite Ray Lamontagne songs…
All text © 2009 Gary William Murning
I realised today, whilst out in the country, that I have complete creative freedom. I don’t have to be tied to any particular kind of novel — as long as it’s fairly “literary” (I’m not good at genre fiction, and publishers like Legend wouldn’t be interested, anyway.) I can play with ideas, with form, with character and really let myself go, if I wish. Just the kind of thing that plays to my strengths. I don’t necessarily have to write another Carl Grantham novel (potentially a waste of time if Children doesn’t sell) but I can nevertheless build on what Children has — from my point of view, as the author — achieved.
Such moments of uncertainty, such enforced period of waiting, are an opportunity to explore new avenues and, quite possibly, new ways of working. I don’t know what they are, yet, and I’m determined not to think about it too rigorously. I’ll just let it happen and have fun finding out.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
© 2008 Gary William Murning
Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, talking about some of the things that fascinate me. (Lottie — this is especially for “John”. I think he might find it interesting )
© 2008 Gary William Murning
“Now and Forever comprises two novellas, one new, the other a reworking of old material. Somewhere a Band is Playing, is the first, a fantasy of classic Bradbury hue that begins with a young man arriving by train at a small town. There, beneath the old-fashioned, cosy exterior, something very strange is going on. The tale becomes a meditation on writing, inspiration, ageing and change, all deep themes lightly handled, both elegiac and suspenseful. “Some stories … are written as a result of a single, immediate, clear impulse. Others ricochet off various events over a lifetime and come together much later to make a whole,” Bradbury says in his introduction, and lists his sources: the year he spent as a child in Tucson, Arizona; his admiration for Katharine Hepburn; Jerry Goldsmith’s music for The Wind and the Lion. Interesting, yes, but it does not explain how Bradbury has worked his magic to produce such a strange and lovely story.”
Now and Forever by Ray Bradbury – Times Online.
Definitely one that will be going on my list. Bradbury is one of those authors who manages to make prose sound like poetry. Wonderful.
Carrying on from here, few more of my favourite blogs…
- Rambling On. Lottie and her very precise Virtual Bitchslaps (and more!).
- Hayley’s Online Soapbox. A very refreshingly sceptical and investigative approach to the “paranormal.
- Andrew’s Tech Blog. Newly discovered. A wealth of techie info from a very nice guy whose brains I want to pick
- Richard Dawkins’s “In the News” Section. News stories with on science, atheism and religion.
- Wired Science. Science blog network from Wired.
- On the Road Again. My stand-up mate, John.
[Please be aware that not being included in the list does not necessarily mean your blog falls into the "badly written blogs that claim to speak with authority on subjects they quite clearly know nothing about" category.]
I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but what with my “creative endeavours” and whatnot, I just haven’t got round to it.
The blogoshere is growing on a minute by minute basis. It’s estimated, in fact, to be growing so fast that by 2020 it will have broken free of its technological confines and turned the world and everything in it to a fish-paste-like mush… or was that nanobots? Either way, it’s a force to be reckoned with — and as our blogging skills increase I’m sure the trend for so-called “real journalists” to start sweating a bit and worrying about their job security will also continue to grow. Exponentially.
But, let’s face it, there’s a whole heap of dross out there. Silly, personal websites I have no objection to. They serve a purpose for the individual concerned and more power to them. What I don’t like, however, are the badly written blogs that claim to speak with authority on subjects they quite clearly know nothing about.
With this in mind, I thought I’d take a few moments to introduce you to some of my fellow bloggers who don’t fit into this category. These are the blogs I read on a daily basis. And they are a bit good.
See what you think.
- The Odd Blog. Mike’s mix of Internutter de-masking and commentary.
- PD Smith. Science writer par exellence.
- The Will Rhodes Portmanteau. Will’s political blog.
- Nectarville. Bekki’s blog. Slow down, girl!
- Pharyngula. ”Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.”
- KurzweilAI.net. Science and futurism.
… that’s all for now, but more will follow soon.
[Edit: Please be aware that not being included in the list does not necessarily mean your blog falls into the "badly written blogs that claim to speak with authority on subjects they quite clearly know nothing about" category.]
There’s nothing I like more after a highly productive week (can we say 5,000 words?) than letting my
one remaining hair down. This evening will therefore be spent watching I’d Do Anything and wondering if Ray Kurzweil could have possibly got any more logorithmic graphs in The Singularity is Near.
And I’ve just eaten a Cornish pasty.
(Who said writers don’t know how to live?)
It’s official. I’m writing again. After a rather prolonged fluey-type thing (not quite the flu, but more than a lily-livered cold), I’ve finally managed to get back into my much-needed work routine. I’ve resigned myself to the knowledge that I probably won’t hit 60,000 words by the end of the month, as I’d planned, and took a great deal of pleasure from the realisation that in spite of the enforced break I had today broken the 50,000 word mark. It would be crazy of me not to be chuffed with that — especially when I’m so happy with the whole tone and feel of the novel.
The last few days have been rather blog-less, as you may have noticed. There’s been plenty in the news to get all indignant about (I daren’t even think the word “embryo”, for fear of venting my spleen in the idiotic Cardinal O’Brien’s direction and suffering a self-induced, post-illness apoplexy!), but my energy levels aren’t quite where they need to be, just yet, so I’m behaving myself.
What does such an alien concept entail? Well, largely finishing Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity and beginning Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near. The former is my first real attempt at reading “proper” science fiction in a long while, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Asimov’s understanding of the moral/ethical questions behind his “science” was astounding. Plus it’s a bloody good love story.
As for The Singularity Is Near… I’ve just started it, but it promises to be every bit as thought-provoking as the lectures of Kurzweil’s that I’ve so enjoyed.
If I’m quiet, you know why.
Whilst wandering around the BBC News site this morning, I stumbled upon this fascinating article on Ray Kurzweil and was immediately captivated by the scope of this gentleman’s ideas. I read it and read it again, wondering just how reputable Kurzweil really was and finally realising that I didn’t much care. His ideas are brave and spine-tinglingly insightful — and whether he turns out to be right or wrong on the whole subject of the Singularity etc., it’s entertaining, at the very least.
A web search on his name led me here, and I felt like a kid again, watching The Six Million Dollar Man for the first time and thinking, Yeah, I’ll have some of that.
In the coming decades, a radical upgrading of our body’s physical and mental systems, already underway, will use nanobots to augment and ultimately replace our organs. We already know how to prevent most degenerative disease through nutrition and supplementation; this will be a bridge to the emerging biotechnology revolution, which in turn will be a bridge to the nanotechnology revolution. By 2030, reverse-engineering of the human brain will have been completed and nonbiological intelligence will merge with our biological brains.
Where do I sign up?