I have been reading a fair amount of non-fiction of late, and I kind of have Warren Ellis to thank for a lot of it. I know he jokes about sky-rocketing Matt Fraction’s book-buying budget, but I am kind of in the same boat. I have followed Ellis for a long time, and I have been on-board with a lot of the ideas that he has floated out there for how to structure fiction, project ideas he has suggested that people should take part in: two of these, Loom and Weaponizer, that I was a part of, were fucking phenomenal.
It’s funny – in some ways I am having a one way conversation with him, and throwing out responses to communications he issues to his fans. I communicated with him once after my dad had passed, and I was upset and eating a bowl of cornbread (yeah, tis true) and he offered condolences and suggested my food choice might mean I was pregnant. None of this is the point.
Most of us who are writing are having a conversation with those that inspired us. Ortoematic was my tribute in some weird skewed sense to Brandon Graham’s King City, and the style he encapsulated there, which I took and reparsed into prose. Some of my poetry, and in some cases my prose, is a riff on the idea of harmalodics, put out there by Ornette Coleman. Fiction Designate was me trying to launchpad off the notion of design fiction, discussed by Ellis and codified by Bruce Sterling.
It’s been going on with me for a while – Visions In Heat (an unpublished poetry book) was my attempt to sing in poetry like Kristin Hersh in vintage Throwing Muses mode. I subsisted on a diet of The Beats, Aldous Huxley, and Ray Bradbury for a long time. Well, and also Heaney and the path and development of Celtic Mythology as followed through the entries in the entire Encyclopedia Brtittanica, which I became an expert on.
What before that? I studied philosophy and before that psychology, so to learn the terms I’d write poetry around them.
Before that I was writing Space Opera based around weird cheese dreams I had as a kid. And the first book I remember writing? Something riffing (or maybe straight up copying) from a Doctor Who book on dinosaurs. I used to draw things from all of those books.
So what am I doing now? Well, sort of in the same vein, I am bouncing off, and having a conversation with my girlfriend through our art and writing blog called “The Whole World Goldfish Bowled” which I talked about in the previous post.
It’s getting late – I may lay down soon and sleep.