Thursday, February 23, 2012

Emotional attachment to your art?

This was the question posed by Emily Rose.

That is a strange question for me because most of my art is digital.  It doesn't exist as an object, so the idea that I would be protecting it from harm or holding onto it for dear life doesn't make sense.  However, I find myself treating my art (whether it is a poem, a composition, or even a blog post) like a summer fling.  I become obsessed with it for a short time - reading it or listening to it over and over again and making small edits.  Then I leave it alone - pretty tired of it, really - and move on to someone/something else.  By the time I'm done with it, it is wasted on me.  However, with the really good ones, I'll go back and visit and have a cup of coffee with it months or years later.  I'll remember why I liked it in the first place, or wonder what on gods green earth I was thinking.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Writing as a character

So, I made a character for a role-playing game the other day and decided to make a poet.  So, I wrote a poem as that character.

I know quite a few artists of various kinds have done this (not necessarily in the context of a role-playing game, but you know what I mean).

It is very freeing.  No stress at all.  No worry about how it will be perceived. 

I recommend it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Physical creativity and my mood

So, we're getting over winter.  I live pretty North for a reasonable human being - not anything extreme - but winters are actually winters here.  I've been having pretty intense moodiness that I have decided is partially due to stress and partially due to long nights and cold weather.

These are times that I want to do something expressive, something physical, something interesting - but I'm just too busy to do it.  Also, some of the ideas I have are just not practical.

I mean - I have time right after the kids go to bed, but I also can't be too loud, and half the time I have stuff to write-up or grade.

I am looking forward to acting in a movie this summer, however - a psychological thriller - that is being written and produced by old friends of mine.

So, I have an essay in a book coming out in September and an acting gig in late May.  I suppose I should release an album at some point! - but some of my ideas right now can only be performed.  I need to find the art community here - the one that doesn't have $125 dinners.  It's weird to me that I know more people in this town literally governing and bank-rolling the mainstream traditional "music community" than I do who do what I do.  The closest to that would be some dup-step DJ's in a town an hour drive from here!  The local composer is literally on vacation this year.

My oh my.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My name

So, the name is now M. A. Melby.  It works.  I did a search for it and it didn't bring up anyone - which is important I suppose.  I was a bit obsessive about it, but it will do fine.

I am still using "sinmantyx" for many other projects.  I have a YouTube channel that I haven't really done anything with.  I'll have to think about what I might do.

In the mean time, the final draft of the short story is off to the presses.  It will be coming out in September 2012.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Publishing a short story

I just got news that a short story of mine is going to be published in a compilation of short stories and essays.  Now, I have to decide what name to use when I publish this.  With all my creative work available on-line, I have used a username-pseudonym and now I don't really know what to do.  I suppose whatever name I decide will also be the name I use for other physically published literary work associated with atheism.  I realize this might actually be a big decision.  I do care about my writing and even though I don't have the idea that some day I will be some sort of author-celebrity in the mainstream, some of my work has been enjoyed by small niche audiences and that might grow into "something" where being recognizable (or not recognizable) is a bonus. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Children's book project

So, a friend of mine had the idea of creating a series of childrens' books based on logical fallacies.  I was hoping to finally revisit my all-but-abandoned Atheist Gospel project sometime this decade as well, but this sounds like loads of fun and worth putting some effort into.  I'm also hoping to get my nephew on board.

The idea so far is that, in every book, the main character comes across people involved in some sort of dispute and helps the dispute resolve with, essentially, Socratic questioning.

Noisey Children

Children and noise go together like peanut butter and bananas.  Children like making noise, and as a very young child my oldest loved to play with the toys whose batteries were going dead because they sounded silly.

My youngest is really motivated by Bebot and NodeBeat.  My oldest even delves into Fourier Synthesizer and sampletoy, when he isn't transfixed with Angry Birds, of course.  They do these things naturally, and in addition to simply making noise with "stuff".

Unfortunately, even though children and noise are complimentary, the noise scene is about as non-child friendly as poker-games at 2 a.m. with the middle management of your local underground substance trade, or drunken impromptu mixed martial arts in the nearest alley.  You might think that since the noise scene is full of screaming, loud incoherent yelling, and tantrums so intense that at some point someone gives hirself a bloody nose by throwing hirself to the ground - that children would fit right in - but they don't.

The main reason is obvious.  Sometimes when someone is "exploring" the darker aspects of the human condition (as noise artists are prone to), zie might actually be as dangerous and unhinged as the persona zie is projecting; and even if that person is not violent or dangerous in any way, the subject matter of those explorations are not good for kids nor are kids good for it (at least not in person and in specific - when you are compelled to treat children as real, and not just depicted objects there to illicit an emotional response).

The secondary reason is that the noise scene is just as full of sanctimonious childcare fascists as anywhere else - you know, those that generally don't have children of their own yet feel the need to criticize and judge every parenting action they become aware of; freaking out the moment you mention you have children because mentioning their existence is just as risky and dangerous as selling them into white slavery, and becoming incensed by you imposing your desires on the children by, I don't know, actually interacting with your children in any way whatsoever that happens to involve a hobby or avocation of yours.

Do I sound bitter?  I am, a bit.

I discovered that the best way to navigate the self-described "extreme" scene was to take it and dish it out with as much emotional armor and wit as I could muster.  I also made the assumption that (at least online) people were simply allowing themselves fewer filters than they would in other forums and amongst other company.  It's very enjoyable to feel, essentially, completely free to express yourself however much normal socialization has taught you to measure your words, suppress your feelings, and avoid acting on your impulses.

However, communities with that much freedom of expression do not allow a delusion of safety.  Whether that lack of safety is real or perceived - whether it is less or more than going to the park or the farmers' market or to school - is irrelevant, really.  If it appears unsafe, the compulsion is to give into the fear of harm, and allow anxiety to dictate your actions.  If the risk is only yours to take-on, the option of fighting through that anxiety, asserting the will to live with enhanced autonomy, and enjoying the experience, is an option.  When the risk is not only yours to take-on that option begins to dry up - and you're compelled to either hide (in whole or in part) or disengage.

It's sort of ridiculous really - and exhausting.  Regardless of reality, of the real risks that nearly everyone takes with their children without blinking - that I am deemed "fretful" for taking seriously (such as riding in a car, playing near water, being close to other people's dogs or wild geese with babies, or climbing on tall playground equipment) - I constantly have to deal with the perception that other human beings, especially men, are all potential predators that have nothing better to do than engage in predation.

Maybe that's an aspect of the issue here.

A theme within noise, well PE at least, is male power and dominance.  Perhaps the blatant audacity of simply not being sufficiently afraid, places doubt on that painfully transparent posturing.  It's a reminder that zie is as vulnerable as anyone else; that zie, like everyone else, was once a helpless little baby pushed out of a woman's vagina or cut out of her abdomen, who, without the intervention of hir guardians, would simply die of starvation or exposure.

Who knows.  Who cares, I suppose.  The solution is simple.