After today, I think it will be very important to focus on kindness to our fellow man. The world is changing. People are nervous. There is so much uncertainty. (The exact amount is uncertain.) But consider this: 3.5 million people work in the transportation industry. Right now, in every city of the world, people are testing vehicles to fully automate those 3.5 million jobs. Can you imagine how the election season will feel then? The anger? The outrage? So whether you are a Trump supporter or a Clinton supporter, or if you think the whole game is rigged and no one ever gets a voice, remember the words of the poet:
I had it in mind to write this immense post about my visit to the Future of Storytelling Festival . Housed in the Africa Center on 110th street in NYC, it was a pretty inspiring event. In fact, it was so big, I almost didn’t write about it. But then I decided to forget fancy blogging and get right to the pics….
Yes, it was filled with VR headsets and Kinect xbox 360 games. One expected that. But there were so many fun and stimulating attempts to get stories told in new ways that I’d have to say VR is just one of many wonderful avenues now open to the storyteller or story-consumer. VR is in that way something of a synecdoche, not the whole.
Of the many installations, at the top of my list was “Notes on Blindness” presented by Ex Nihilio, Archer’s Mark & Audiogaming. It was a documentary using a mix of audio files and gameplay software. From the site:
So…I hate when people suggest that I read a Self-Help book. But this is a good one. I mean it. Gordon Livingston is a fine writer with measured opinions and a great deal of life experience Read my book notes on Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart and think about giving it a read.
I am super psyched that my screenplay, When We Fall, has been selected as one of nine projects to be developed by the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund at Johns Hopkins.
This was actually the second time I submitted the script. The first time I sent it over, I knew that it was not quite ready to make the rounds. It was clocking in at about 90 pages, but the scope of the story really required more development and, consequently, more pages. Also there was a ton of melodrama, something that happens when I sense the emotional note that is supposed to be played, but I haven’t picked the right “instrument.”
Yesterday, a good friend of mine, filmmaker Niels Dachler, turned me on to an organization called Dragon Dreaming International. Started by community organizers, John Croft and Vivienne Elantra, the project–or rather the process— considers methods for solving some pretty complex 21st century problems.
From their website:
There is an African proverb; “if you want to go fast you go alone. If you want to go far you go together”. But given the interlocking problem described above, we need to go fast and we need to go far. How do we go alone and together at the same time. Dragon Dreaming shows us how.
We humans collectively create our reality, both by our actions and our inaction. That is the reason why we can only find the way out of our environmental, economical and identity crises toward a better world if we go together.
These photos are from a web series I am working on called “Short Tales from the Life of Norma.” It is based on a sub-reddit called the Life of Norman that I’ve written about before on this site.
I started the project in winter, but it stalled in spring and for a brief moment seemed like it might not be.
“Norma” retreated back to that dark cavern where ideas are both born and still-born.
Ideas like bats at dusk, fluttering
shadows against cavernous pings
I have known the dark end of ideas.
What good is there in speaking?
But just because an idea returns to its dim source doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. Patience is key. A good set of binoculars. A scientist’s eye. But also an appreciation of the natural rhythm that all creatures are subject to, the ebb and the flow.
Allow me to procrastinate for a moment. I’ve got a problem. I’m a hundred pages into a revision and I need to motivate my character to take important steps that will completely alter the outcome of her life.
How can it be that my favorite poem resides in a language I dimly understand? Was it context? I discovered it in the footnotes of a collection of non-fiction by Borges while in Buenos Aires at perhaps my darkest hour. For a Spanish language learner, it is the ideal poem. Simple. Deceptively simple. It’s an observation…a realization…when something profound appears right before your very eyes and you struggle to express it. The last time I read it was with another Uruguayan, a poet (of mathematics), Martín. The memory of this poem is a star that always falls. Here it is:
Most people will agree that it is good to be hungry for success. “Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look/ He thinks too much: such men are dangerous” says Caesar.
But there is the other side of hunger: famine. Rarely do people make good decisions in the midst of famine. Famine is the opposite of freedom. Famine is the slavery of need. If you choose to make things out of desperation, it will stink of desperation.
Better to be as Epictetus says:
Life is busy and we don’t catch up often enough. But I’m really interested in what you’re doing. You should set up a “now” page on your website. In fact if you go over to NowNowNow you can see there are lots of people doing the exact same thing. Here’s mine.
- The Courage to Follow
- How to Study Physics
- Something there is that doesn’t love a wall
- Waiting for the money
- Angel Kristi Williams
- Respect The Ripple
- A Reading Challenge
- When Old Poems Feel New Again
- Wrestling with the Angel
- Who gets to tell the story?
- Regarding Election Day
- The Future of Storytelling Festival (Part I)
- Worth Reading: Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart
- Saul Zaentz Incubator Here I Come
- If “Celebrate” Isn’t Part of the Plan, then the Project has Failed.
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