Saturday, May 24, 2014

Authors talking about writing and great free art!

A real mixed bag today.  In addition to the usual authors talking about writing I am sharing links to locations where historic artwork is available, and probably some less famous work, too.  Authors first:

Writer's block might be ...
Problem: You don’t believe in yourself or your ability to do this work well. Your vision of the work in your head fails to match the execution on the page. I used to watch my aunt paint watercolor and think, “YEAH SHIT BRO I CAN DO THAT,” then I’d try and it would look like I splashed gray garbage water on a once-nice piece of paper. And so I gave up because of the unrealistic expectation that I held for myself. We are frequently holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations and that fucks us up. The pressure builds a wall between us and the work.
Solution: Care less. Calm down. You’re not curing cancer. Enjoy your ability to suck. Realize we all suck when we begin (and often throughout). Recognize that sucking during a first draft means that later you can come up behind your own shitty manuscript like a motherfucking editorial ninja and snap its neck and then use its blood to redline the work to make it better. Very few people are awesome the first time they try something, anything, and yet we’re trained to believe that writing is easy. “Just write,” people offer as their reductive writing advice, which makes this sound as easy as taking your first steps as an infant — and maybe it is, but also remember the infant only managed six first steps before taking a header into the dog’s waterbowl. The way through this block is to write. Write through your lack of confidence and write through your limited ability. Writing through the suck is how you get better at it.
Via this tweet:
Goodreads has started an Ask your favorite author section to their site.
Five things Paul Acampora learned while writing a novel.

Zen and the art of fantasy writing.
Author's Alliance and fair use.

The Authors Alliance has both inward facing and outward facing roles. The inward facing role is to provide authors with information about copyrights, licensing agreements, alternative contract terms, the pros and cons of open access, the reversion of rights, and the termination of transfer. A lot of people who have works from 10 or 15 years ago that they want to make more widely available don’t necessarily know that much about copyright and licensing. In other words, “What are the options, how do you talk to your publisher about them, and what can you try to negotiate for?” We also seek to take advantage of the opportunities of networked digital environments that were not in place 10, 15, or 20 years ago when a lot of the works that authors want to make available were originally published.
An outward facing role is representing the interests of authors who want to make their works more widely available in public policy debates. 

All of Bach online.
The Book of Kells.
400, 000 works of art in high res from the MET.
North Korean science fiction - I probably am not allowed to read this stuff here.
NASA and how to communicate with aliens.
Interstitial art.
The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal's latest issue, the third in the past twelve months of the trailblazing journal of the weird, the interstitial, and the uncategorizable. 
Imaginary games.

from Dream Park - Larry Niven and Steven Barnes (1981)
What It Is:
In the year 2051, grownups go on multi-day live-action role-playing adventures staged at site-based installations at super-high-end amusement parks. The adventures have hugely elaborate implementations - they build a massive illusory world out of actors, sets, sealed domes with artificial skies and practical weather effects, and tons of animated holograms(!) (only in the 1981 book - in later sequels these are retconned into augmented-reality goggles).
The world building is top-notch. They pay a great deal of attention to the limits of 2051 technology, how all the illusions are managed and where exactly they break down. The authors put in their time with the LARPing community and paid close attention, and it shows - they have a sharp eye for the mechanics and the social conventions, the fun and the awkwardness. How players challenge the rules and narrative expectations and mechanics, and the game masters scramble to keep up.
The plot involves a murder, I think? I barely remember because I truly don't care how many people have to die for this to become a real thing.
What I Learned:
Grownups want to play too. And they show up to play for different reasons. To meet other people, or to beat the opponent, or try to lose themselves in the fantasy, or a hundred other reasons. Just like in online games people mix and match their play experience, role-play when they want to or step of character.
Also that when you play in the world, implementation is complicated. Illusions aren't complete, even with 2051 technology, virtual reality gaming requires a little suspension of disbelief. Site-based augmented reality extravaganzas are big business and big money.
Monster Skies.  Outre music.  Oops, there is a problem with the link.  Boingboing (at the link on the left) has a sample but their link goes nowhere.

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