How can we catalyze each other as writers & artists?

keyquestions

(Marco V Morelli) #1

Be true to yourself that you may be true to your work.
Be true to your work that you may be true to yourself.
~ Samuel R. Delany

In the spirit of asking worthy questions—I thought I’d approach the suggestion (via @ZacharyFeder, touching an idea that had been floating around, just waiting to be activated) that Cosmos/Metapsychosis start a writing group with a (hopefully) good question, rather than my concrete proposals, though I definitely have some thoughts.

However, my initial assumptions are more structurally oriented, and not as purpose or process inclined. The desire to write—whatever that means (I confess, I sometimes forget)—has always been at the heart of this whole endeavor for me. I started Cosmos+Infinite Conversations+A Theory of Everybody+Metapsychosis(+Untimely Books) because I needed a UNIVERSE in which my own writing could develop, evolve, and propagate. I was tired of working in a void, sick of the cultural wasteland. (For this reason, this project has also represented the greatest avoidance of writing, on my part. But I have other reasons, which I believe are sound, for the detour…even if it’s nigh time to get back on the path.)

Although the ultimate conception of Cosmos (as a platform co-op) may transcend “writers & artists” as identity categories to include “creative” people generally, which is to say all human beings (not to mention scientists and activists, et al.), for me this project grows out of the need to self-realize as a writer—and to survive. Of course, I hope as well (though it’s not up to me) to be read—but only if I’m really worth reading. This means I’m also eager to improve—to work on my work (and myself), to ask the hard questions (of consciousness), to practice the (trans)discipline of art.

How can we catalyze each other as writers & artists? In some ways, I believe we’re already answering this question through our interactions on the forum and publications in the journal, etc. Our dialogues are highly creatively stimulating and we do a lot of ‘writing’ here, after all. But I would like to ask how we can begin bringing forth works—the best works! Works of ‘very stable genius’! I mean: our novels, tomes, epic poems, alternate universes. Or simply: what’s deepest and truest within us, artfully expressed. What are your thoughts?


(Douglas Duff) #2

As an individual with no writing ambitions (edit: no known writing ambitions…childhood dreams can still see the light), no projects in the works, I am here to support the lot of you; to read and re-read; to infuse and diffuse essences; to love and be born again through your efforts. Bring it forward sooner than later, warts and all.


(Zachary Feder) #3

Thanks @madrush for this clarion call. I second all that you’ve said. I’m personally ready to dive into this, am old enough, by which I mean tired enough, broken-hearted enough, tattered and made ragged enough by the ever present call to bring forth the within, if only it would shut up for a moment, but so thankful that it doesn’t, because god knows that it has at moments both disassociated and divine, perhaps only so that depths can be dug but further for its return. So let this be another return as the doomsday clock strikes a couple minutes to.

A few thoughts that I am entirely open to having amended, rejected, pimped out, souped up, smacked down or pooh poohed. …

  1. Who has a project and a fire in their belly to forge it? Let’s get the list.

  2. Who would like to support such an endeavor, whether as a writer, developmental editor or glorious lit-geek community member? (@Douggins I hope we can all prove worthy of such heart warming faith and kindness. Thank you …)

  3. Establishing our raw materials we band together in diads, triads or tetrads and then begin producing and sharing chapters, perhaps every 2 weeks (or each month) with feedback until said project has come to its rough and ready, down and filthy, first draft completion.

Then perhaps like musical chairs we rotate, finding ourselves in one of the other groups and repeat the process but this time with a shorter turn around to a second draft completion.

As projects take shape we can then offer them to the wider Meta-Coop community for even more open source feedback (while providing content to the site) thereby attempting to leverage the big-mind-group think of the wider community.

That’s my opening brush stroke. Please burn it to the ground or chuck on another brick …

xyz


(john davis) #4

And a very nice opening brush stroke it is, Zachary, and thanks to you and Marco for the invitation. I would like to re-direct my attention to a project that I have in mind but have yet to commit to paper. Since I write fiction in the first person, I find myself curious about who I am writing for? I dont have a fire in the belly, really, not anymore. Nor do I have an axe to grind. That worries me sometimes.

And then I let go of that worry and try to imagine what it would be like to be writing at my best. It is like being invisible. I am the Invisible Man. I can float to the ceiling and watch others while being undetected. I can read minds. So it feels kind of weird to show weird feelings in public spaces about para-normal experiences, sex, violence, and vertigo but I can write it as fictional. Of course none of it is fiction, it all really happened but I find myself inhibited if I try to write about the truth. I get very intimidated by truth.

I want to write about trauma without re-traumatizing myself. A writer I admire said dont write about what you know, write about obsessions.I’m obsessed by madness, fornication and death. I feel liberated from suffering when I write about something ugly with clarity and calm. I cant make it happen but I can co-create the conditions so that it might happen.


(Zachary Feder) #5

You bring up a good point @johnnydavis54. My own work will also touch upon traumatic subjects, which as a result will, if not require, at least benefit from a sensitive reading, and perhaps even experience within the theme.

Another thing that your thoughts bring up is the idea that one would not want to ‘sign up’ so to speak only to find oneself in a slog that doesn’t quite capture let alone sustain attention. Perhaps then it might be helpful to share some pieces in private, to whomever might be interested to browse potential projects in advance. Window shopping by appointment only. Self organization might take place more elegantly.

So perhaps I’ll post something of my own in a private thread so that you and anyone else who asks can check out. This also will save me the psychic uncomfortableness of giving work to the void and then simply waiting.

No promises, no guarantees, no assurances, no problem.

Such is life … in any case.


(john davis) #6

I like a public space, to re-enact, private experiences,that’s what good writing does for us. I suppose the dilemma for me, is about the nature of the post-capitalist, post-individualist society that will emerge if we are lucky. I already feel the individualistic drives that motivated so much effort my youth and middle years is starting to fade. I sense many of us here are in the transition zone, which is when visionary episodes, which are often difficult to make sense of, are also valuable. We are fast forwarding and then having to return to the current norms, and have to sort out the message from the noise. To return to my original question, I suppose these post-individuals, are the ones I am writing for.

Thanks, Zachary, for your inquiry and I imagine that we can sponsor one another, and enhance our writing skills, by opening up to the rich possibilities that arise as we commit ourselves to channeling the angels and demons all around and within us.


(Heather Fester) #7

Has @Geoffrey_Edwards seen this yet?

I love the idea of a writing workshop. For me, the emphasis of such a space is writing to carry myself forward to meet the projects that want me to create them, rather than writing toward a project as object. A space that is at least open for some of the participants to be working on auto-poeisis and playing at the edge of being with language and symbols would be ideal for me. Plus, there is a sense of extrinsic motivation to have met a deadline and be accountable to others for doing your work (whatever that might be) to assist the writer to write (since it can be difficult in the midst of life as @madrush says above.

Sometimes to write is to survive. That’s what I’ve discovered–a need to write that may not demand I attend to it at all times, but when I don’t, it can behave disruptively in my interior, psyche, life, and disrupt other work. It is almost like a via negativa demand–I have to listen with imagination to hear its call as also a positive invitation to be more alive.

If there are ideas for other ways we can be supportive or start to catalyze one another, I’m also open to hearing those!


(Geoffrey Edwards) #8

I hadn’t, and I am thrilled. Not precisely because here is a possible “public space” as @johnnydavis54 says to write (there are others out there), but actually because I can see this space as potentially a venu for (almost) all of my writing. Because the thing is, I write fiction, poetry, drama, humour, eroticism, science fiction, historical and contemporary fiction, science articles, fashion pieces, essais, some philosophy, current affairs, and I could keep going. Some of this is published, much is not. So far, stuff that is published (or web published) is “all over the map”, because there is no venue to act as a bridge. This might be that venue. And that excites me. Just the idea that I could post serious fiction, back to back with a philosophy text written under different circumstances, and then draw out the linkages between them, would be extraordinary. Especially in a collective endeavour.

Like Johhny says,

I am too, although I would add a few other subjects in. Survival is important, too, although at 61 I’m not sure that financial survival as a writer is what I need. Survival within a shared culture, yes. And survival in the writing process - more than once I’ve had to toss out more than 100 pages of my own writing because I find it boring, or unsustainable, or just plain bad. So that is another kind of survival, my survival on the written page. Writing something I can live with. Writing to live, and living to write!

So, bring it on! Workshop, journal, blog, published documents, experiments in writing, I’m in.


(john davis) #9

Madness, Fornication and Death.

Last night I had an OBE/Vision. Here is the report. It may prove to be catalytic.

A brilliant wave of lucid/0BEs. I practiced a bit of meditation, tuning into the breathing body and the center of the head and then the buzzing happened. The buzzing in the inner ear, moving from left and right and with awareness the centering of the buzzing and then the lift off. I am floating out of the Body! What a relief!

I feel the most intoxicating feeling of euphoria followed by a fear state as a black figure was present and with tremendous sexual energy. I rejected this figure even as my lower chakras were fully activated. It was erotically charged encounter but an ecstatic fear. The figure disappears as I resisted.

In the middle of the shimmering Void, I asked," What is death?"

I went through many labyrinths, areas of splendid beauty, sparkling cities, and dark corridors, murky muddy swamps and end up in a room with a man who is very loving. He pressed his cheek, tenderly, against my own cheek. I recognized him as the Intruder that I feared the most.

I responded to his tender touch with a question that was also an answer." So when I treat you with acceptance you respond with love, when I react with fear, you become hostile?"

" That’s right," He replied. We were bonded in perfect union. The Shadow and I are One. I am now half in love with Mr. Death.
~ ~ ~
There were other experiences too bizarre to report upon but I am curious about what happens in the liminal zones, and that is where my research takes me. I am most interested in promoting a poly-phasic culture so that persons can learn to move between zones without friction. This fluidity is not endorsed by the mono-phasic daylight culture.

Those who practice at the edge have a special responsibility to report what happens faithfully. And so I trust that this message will be received by those who can see with the third eye, hear with the third ear. I wonder what would happen if humanity lost it’s fear based response to the Angel of Death?

We are the Night.


(Marco V Morelli) #10

I resonate with this emphasis and description of space…

…and with the abundance of forms, genres, and expressions such writing may take. I also confess to loving sex, death, and terror in literary space (if not always, all of it, in real life—at least not all at the same time). I also love simple, humble storytelling, and hardnosed journalism, and science writing…and lately I feel strongly drawn to discovering the truth and beauty in mathematics.

To me, the whole point of being a “writer”—rather than an expert who happens to write about subject X—is that there are not hard limits to our love affair with language. The more imagination, the better. The more reality, the better. But such writing is not a neutral act. It directly alters consciousness when sincerely engaged, and thus, I believe, is of ultimate ethical concern.

Would anyone like to get together on Zoom this Thursday evening at 6 pm MT to talk about what we’d like to see happen in a ‘writers underground’ type space?


(Geoffrey Edwards) #11

Count me in, @hfester


(Douglas Duff) #12

I am available and will attend. Very interested in seeing this umbilical cord “ribbon cutting” ceremony and the nourished lifeforms that we delicately bring forth into this mad world.

Am I a writer? Or am I written?

One of my projects that went the wayside was called Projection, the nomiker I gave to the first unknown life-child forming in the womb. The idea was that I wished to remove any “projection” I may impose upon the child (giving my boy “boy things” or affecting him with my psychological immaturity, etc.) by writing it “out” of myself, thus becoming a clean slate for my child.

We have another lifeform forming, formulating, replicating cells and post-blastulatic formations within my wife’s body, hence the unique interest in Sloterdijk’s multiple levels of the womb metaphor. I may wish to revisit this Projection project for child #2. Interestingly, this second projection is a reflection of what I now perceive as God. Aren’t we all…

As @johnnydavis54 may be away from the CC for the next few days, do you have a direct way to contact him @madrush? I will send a message on Facebook as a search light, as he mentioned potentially rekindling old flames there for a bit.


(Marco V Morelli) #13

@Douggins: I would try Facebook :scream: I guess, for Johnny. But :pray: he’ll join us…

Is there any objection to recording the meeting? I would like for it to be available to review for future writers who enter our orb. However, I would only post it in a private channel in the forum, accessible to the people in this group.

(That said, as a matter of habit, I try to assume that nothing I do online (or anywhere) is ever truly “private.”)

On the platform: I would like to make it possible for any participant to set up their own meetings and recordings, with custom privacy levels, but some encouragement to share. I imagine a P2P archive of writing workshops, case studies, and experiments, becoming a rich library of learning material for writers to come, as we will be able to trace HOW through social praxis an idea or inspiration is transformed into a moving work.

Does that sound good?


(Geoffrey Edwards) #14

Works for me.

If you can do this, it would be great. I use Zoom, but I had to fork out money for it because I use it more than the free minimum. Not sure how you would work things without requiring people to pay. But that may be just my ignorance.


(Douglas Duff) #15

Wondering too if @patanswer has locate this discussion. @johnnydavis54 states elsewhere that TJ has a project in the works.


(Marco V Morelli) #16

I’ve invited him to the topic using the “Invite” button. Can we establish some form of direct mind beacon?

I’ll create an event-specific topic in a new dedicated channel and re-invite everyone who’s replied here, with the specific details.

On that: @ZacharyFeder said can join us at 6:30 pm MT. Does anyone have a problem starting a tad later?