Another excellent year of creative work, I feel. On the personal front, the wife and I are both healthy and well and that’s the most important thing. Work work keeps chugging along for both of us. Our house is cozy and warm, but needs some remodeling/repair work, which hopefully will come sometime this year, perhaps in the late spring or early summer. But that’s relatively minor compared to the positive health report. My quite ancient mother is very limited in what she can do but still lives at home, with aid from a home health care company. I have to go down to help her about every 2nd to 3rd weekend (less in the winter, when the snow and ice limits my travel). My wife similarly has to help take care of her aging father. Our 2 adorable sibling cats are gracefully entering their middle age together, still as buddy-buddy as ever.
So that’s the personal stuff out of the way. To creativity…
This was the big change from years past. Starting in Dec of last year, I have created not one but two larger works of fiction, published only to the Sunklands site here, but both still legitimate books of sorts, I feel. I call these, simply, “Collagesity 2015-2016 Winter” and “Collagesity 2016 Later”. In the last several weeks I’ve been able to create web pages showing these blog originating texts in the correct and much more readable past-to-present orientation instead of the
the present-to-past direction of blog posts. Here they are:
“Collagesity 2015-2016 Winter”
“Collagesity 2016 Later”
As you can see, “Collagesity 2015-2016 Winter” is divided into 16 chapters, many titled for a specific character in the work. The plot evolution is peculiar — I guess peculiar is normal for me, however (smiley emoticon). It involves not a standard beginning-middle-end, carrying all characters forward from an introduction to a resolution. Basically speaking the last two chapters, “Moon of Moon 01” and “Moon of Moon 02”, make up almost an entirely separate section from the rest of the book. I would classify the plot-line through the book linear but not particularly developmental. And characters can change into other characters, like the Ancient called The Master appears to change into Lockfry/ Devil Dave who in turn changes into Bogota/ David Bowie (“Ancients”, “Lockfry”, and “Bogota” are successful chapter titles in the work, you’ll notice). I suppose a good rubric for it would be post-modern literature.
Going a little further in the analysis, “Collagesity 2015-2016 Winter” can also be divided into 2 halves of 8 chapters apiece which can be further halved into 2 more parts of 4 chapters each. The 1st 4 chapters kind of act as a long and sometimes admittedly convoluted introduction, where, for example, we have brief forays into the Real Life woodland area I call Whitehead Crossing, featured strongly in other parts of the blogs. Sidenote type analyses of my collages and and other surreal things/events are common in this part as well. But when we reach Chapter 5, “Ancients”, everything starts kicking into high gear. We begin to have that shape shifting ability of particular characters mentioned before, which drives the narrative forward in an unusual way.
Then in the exact middle of the book, at the end of Chapter 8 (“Woods”), we have a bond forming between long time Collagesity and Second Life characters Karoz Blogger and Baker Blinker. Although they’ve “known” each other for years and years now, as chronicled in the both the Baker Blinker and Sunklands blogs, it is only in “Collagesity 2015-2016 Winter” that they fall for each other emotionally. Then in the follow-up “Collagesity 2015 Later” book we find them getting married. In a way, both books are built around their relationship and fusion as seeming soulmates. But the bond is not without its troubles, especially illuminated through the character of (Wilson-)Wheeler, who only appears in the “Collagesity 2016 Later” work.
But I don’t want to become mired in heavy duty analysis here. This is a review of the entire year of creativity, not just fiction. So I’ll briefly touch upon the structure of the follow-up work and let it be for now. “Collagesity 2016 Later” is put together a little differently from the earlier “Collagesity 2015-2016 Winter”. First off, there’s a kind of bridge or prelude, as I put it, that links one to the other chronologically. These are found on the “Collagesity 2016 Later” front page and feature Sunklands posts from the 5 months starting in March and ending in July. Then in August “Collagesity 2016 Later” starts properly, and continues on in constant form (through 4 “parts”, each representing a month’s time) until at least the end of November and perhaps beyond a bit. And like its predecessor “Collagesity 2015-2016 Winter,” this later book terminates in an extraterrestrial environment, Mars this time instead of the Moon location for the earlier one.
So that’s a kind of introduction to these two “books”. I’ve written quite a bit of fiction in the past, but I believe these linked works represent my best effort to date. They depend heavily on the many Second Life snapshots accompanying the text. I feel like this fills in my weakness for narrative description.
For the first time since 2011, I didn’t complete a collage series in a calendar year. Yet Boos came toward the end of 2015, and I *have* appeared to start another series (Bogata — displayed in Castle Jack), albeit of slower development than the rest and a bit different in other ways as well. We’ll see how it goes.
Audiovisual Synchronicities (Synchs or Syncs)
It’s been a long *long* time since I haven’t created a synch for a particular year, going back to 1999 I suppose. It finally came about in 2016, but, again, I’m not too worried. Only 1 synch had been produced in the 2 years before 2016 (“Carrcass-11” in 2014 and “Carrcass-12” in 2015), so the slow down has been going on for a while after a type of landmark year in 2013 which produced 3 full synchs. I’m trying to generate energy for new audiovisual synchronicities through, for example, the Wheeler-as-Bowie character of “Collagesity 2016 Later”, and listening to a lot of David Bowie’s music after his untimely death in Jan of 2016. If you haven’t heard it, his final album “Blackstar” is an amazing work. Combined with the excellent “The Next Day” coming before it, Bowie went out on a high note for certain.
Audiovisual synching, like collaging, will continue into the future. It’s just that 2016 was focused on Second Life and the 2 books outlined above. Along with…