Happy New Year! It’s been another good year for me personally. I got a lot of writing and art done. Work work is chugging along (only a little over 2 years until retirement! (projected)), and health is fine overall, for both me and the wife. So much to be done but a lot is being accomplished for my situation. Second Life still plays a big, big part in creativity.
Goals for 2020:
Well, I think the Collagesity photo-novels will keep popping out every 2 months or so with the generative system I’m using. 5 1/2 done this year alone (!). My plan is to keep doing these until I retire, then reassess the situation. I *did* have a rich creative life before they came along the winter of 2015-2016, a little over 4 years back, so I’m sure something interesting and rewarding will replace it. I don’t see hatching, you know, 70-75 of these things by the time I’m, say, 70-75, ha. Second Life appears to be dying, true. It seems to be withering. But, really, it still stands as a unique world in terms of player creativity and leverage. I can’t leave that behind yet. I have no plans for another virtual reality to replace it (unless it’s Google Earth!). As stated, I’m pretty happy with where I am and what’s happening creatively right now. I just have to keep working on establishing a proper balance between the several balls I’m juggling. And realizing the present situation won’t last forever.
Behind the scenes I’m writing as many or perhaps more notes on my photo-novels as I’m creating words for the photo-novels themselves. A good chunk of this is focused on what I call The Oracle, which involves maps — primarily of the US but extending a bit to foreign lands now. These are *not* to be seen by the general public, and contain a lot of typos, etc. That said, I would like some day soon to collect my vast notes on The Oracle, dating back over 30 years now, and create a type of book out of them — solidify, somehow, my flow within it. I don’t see my involvement with The Oracle ever ending in this life. It is my bedrock in many ways. Just so you, the loyal or casual reader, know. I’m hoping that will happen in the next 5 years. I don’t see it as a fixed endpoint, though. Further versions could and probably should emerge, granted that I live long enough.
I’d also like to return to audio-visual synching from a somewhat different angle — technologically and philosophically — soon enough. The structure of “modern” a/v synchs is not dissimilar to that of the photo-novels. Just another fyi.
And also, I assume, *collages* will continue. Series of collages. That might pick up again when the photo-novels are over.
I accomplished a lot of outdoor (real life) stuff this year as well, mainly: local hiking. For instance, these past 2 weeks in the mountains where we live I’ve been trekking various places, trails and off-trails, almost every clear day, which have been abundant. I always seem to be finding something new. We’ve had a good number of days off from work over the holidays. I *love* this balance of writing notes and doing research in the morning, hiking in the afternoon, relaxing in the evening (tv, reading, etc.) and then working on the photo-novels in the middle of the night. And fitting sleep in there somewhere!
I find the relationship and interaction between Second Life photos and generated fiction to be fascinating — one informs the other. I’m not sure I can ever return to pure prose in the sense of it being unattached from art (photos in this case). It’s a bit like theater for me as well. I, however, do not see the photo-novel photos as art in and of themselves. That is the province of others.
But, again with that said, I want to, sometime in the future, shift the focus back from virtual photography to real photography, as I have done in the past. I’d say my involvement with real life photos and attached *toy happenings* peaked around 2012-2013, as recorded in my blogs. I have firm plans to return to these linked activities.
What else? I lost my father-in-law this year. He was a good egg, and I have no doubt that he is succeeding on and adjusting well to the next plane. Our remaining living parent between the two of us, my mom, is almost *99* and is now living in a facility. She’s toughing it out; she’s a trooper!
We now have 3 cats with the addition of baby Philip in May, a strange guy indeed, so cute and so sweet and intelligent but also with a definite wild streak involved, much more so that the other two cats. But they both love him now. And of course we adore them all. I still have yet to meet a cat I didn’t get along with.
That’s it! Hope your new year brings you much happiness and joy.