Here is a short comic I wrote awhile back. It’s based on a weird experience Philip K. Dick, (a minor obsession of mine) talked about in various interviews. The art is by Ryan Thompson. Originally this was written for Arthur, but Arthur closed shop before the art was finished. I never did find a good home for this piece, so here it is now.
Hey guys & gals! I wanted to let readers of this blog know: Goodreads is giving away five free copies of my book D.I.Y. Magic right now! You don’t have to do anything to enter. The contest runs for the next two weeks. It’s such a good deal I almost entered it myself. The book release date is April 7th, so excited! Here is the link: Do it!
Again, this isn’t really a blog post this is me working out ideas for a workshop I am doing for The Projects this weekend.
You see, I think that stories happen ( I mean the way they occur to us) in a non-chronological order. At least they do for me. That is what I want to explore with this workshop, and so I’m working out some notes here.
A lot of writers talk about stories that way. (I mentioned Nabakov in the previous post.) That an image or foggy picture comes to you, and you know that you want to use that in the story but you might not know if it is the beginning, the middle, or the end.
For example, I was riding my bike over a year ago and an image came to me: A girl with a short sword, and wearing a robe that looked like she was Greek or possibly Roman and she was fighting a gigantic robotic lion. The image just flashed into my head like that, fully formed. I immediately pulled over on the rode and began taking notes because I knew that this would be an incredible image for a story . . . I didn’t know what story, and I didn’t know if it should go in the beginning, middle, or end. And that didn’t matter. We don’t need to know the chronology of the story when we start. Since then that image has grown into a 100,000 word YA novel that I have finished the rough draft for!
So here is the exercise I am working on. Take 4-5 images ( you can draw them, or cut out pictures from somewhere) shuffle them face down. Deal out three in a sequence, and for practice see what story you can come up with. Here is an example: I’m just going to use pictures of myself because that’s what I have on hand, and it’s faster than drawing.
OK, here is how it works. We humans LOVE stories. It is like we are hard wired for narrative.
The idea here would be to shuffle these pics up and deal out three in any order, and then try to make up a story from the result. Let’s say I shuffled these pics (on cards) and then dealt out:
A: Anthony hangs with Ursula K. Le Guin
B: Anthony has Cat Computer
C: Anthony knows Kung Fu!
So, the story might be Anthony meets Ursula and she says “Hey buddy, you know you got to try writing Sci Fi with a cat on your computer! It’s fantastic!” And so he does and ends up writing a prequel to The Matrix.
OKAY . . . that story isn’t going to win an O. Henry award anytime soon. But it’s just an example, and you get the point!
Play around with it. Make it your own. Make up your own cards, images, pictures . . . the results are infinite.
Hey folks, lot’s of stuff coming up here in the next few weeks so keep an eye on this site. I recently finished and sent in my manuscript to Perigee books, so I am going to have more time now to devote to this blog, and some other cool projects coming up. I am especially excited about developing a podcast to share with you guys. (Step one, I gotta buy a bunch of microphones, cables etc.) So stay tuned! In the meantime, this little WordPress blog recently passed the 10,000 visits benchmark! Which is pretty cool. (95% of those visits are from this past year) 10 thousand, hey that’s the population of a small town! A town you would probably want to leave as soon as you turned 18, but a town nonetheless.
In celebration of reaching the size of Big Rapids, Michigan, here are my top ten blog posts. Here are the all time posts that have been most searched for, read, and some of my personal favourites. Check out the ones you may have missed.
This is basically just a list I made for my own notebooks on the things that succesful creative people tend to do.
So this one is kind of long, woolly, and weird. The funny thing is that it’s got a lot of pics of cave man art. I get emailed about the cave art quite a bit, people want to know where and when it is from. But it is an essay on magic. So I suspect kids are researching cave art for some school project, and then if they are cribbing from my blog they are handing in some pretty weird essays to their English teachers on Magic!
Reads, like it says. Gets a lot of traffic in the Winter.
I am a little bit surprised this one is as popular as it is! It is a meditation on death. But I think people are curious about these ideas, exactly because our culture tries to ignore the subject
People frigging love Van Gogh. And for good reason!
An oldie but a goodie. I interviewed Zerzan who is the grandfather of Green Anarchism. Highly intelligent man, thinking along paths that few other people are willing to tread.
This post is kind of insanely popular. Especially considering that I just threw it together, for my own amusement in like 30 minutes. But hey,when it comes to artists Picasso is King Kong, Muhammed Ali, T-rex. The archetypal artist.
I’m happy this one is so popular. I think it shows that people are tired of a modern life that feels rootless and lacking in traditions. And that we are beginning to search for something new. I am all about that!
Self-hypnosis is cool. And it is easy. It’s time has come, and I bet you in the next 5 years there is going to be an explosion of people trying this technique out.
No big surprise the most popular search that brings people to this blog is for my book DIY Magic. The small press edition is all sold out, sadly. The good news is a new edition is coming out next year from Perigee books. I couldn’t be more excited! I just saw the new cover design and it is FUCKING GORGEOUS! (Sorry for the language there, I will put a dollar in the Swear Jar now, but it was worth it.)
Also, there are actually a whole lot of posts on this site about DIY Magic. I don’t know if I could pick a favorite, so this is simply a link to dozens of the artists who contributed illustrations. They are all amazing, check em out!