Monthly Archives: April 2004

Big Bang Love Cycle

The Knack - A weekly series at deviantART

The Knack - A weekly series at deviantART

Dunno what it’s supposed to mean, but here’s an air-headed journal entry for the heck of it:

If I seem a bit distant (well, more so than usual) lately, it’s because I’ve been spending more time in front of the computer—as if I don’t already waste too many sunny afternoons doing what writers do when they write. ;)

Indeed, with Colossal Theatre out to pasture, I’m doing more writing in my free time than never before. It’s mainly shopping lists and fan mail to Edgar Froese, but I’m also working on “Joshua’s Story,” which will most likely become TK #27 (The Knack) when it’s finished. While the majority of the story (up until this point) has built up Kyna’s intense hatred towards Joshua, this installment aims to delve a bit into the past, to explain the hows and whys of a love affair gone horribly wrong.

Hmm. “Love affair” seems a little too romantic to describe what really happened between the two. After all, when you’re a kid, what is love? A hormonal response? A classification for biological urges that inevitably lead to commitment, a family, a house in the suburbs—yet another combination of male/female DNA templates ultimately satisfying the human program to replenish itself indefinitely? Or is it something deeper, something that drives us all beneath the subtle machinery of our brains—without our conscious consent, most of the time—to figure out a way to become one somehow? Like all the atomically-charged particles buzzing about the universe, when left to our own device, we will eventually baseline.

The result? Harmony—or perhaps The End, an entropy gradually falling back in on itself and resulting in another Big Bang which will give birth to the next universe some twenty billion years from now (the number keeps changing)?

Sorry if I’m getting a little too philosophical here, but it’s been in the high nineties all day, and I’ve been writing about a group of teenagers who can’t seem to figure out why the hell they need each other. Don’t get me wrong: I always tend to write very personal stories, and enjoy doing so, but this is the first scenario in which I’m really taking the time to sit down with a bunch of characters and really getting to know them. Sure, my own experiences went into the pot, but you know the drill: give ’em to a bunch of make-believes (my fancy term for “imaginary folk,” or “fictitious characters”) and all bets are off.

I just shake my head and wonder why it seems to hold true in my story-writing (as it does in real life), that a painful experience lived through once is a painful experience repeated multiple times throughout one’s lifetime—albeit utilizing slightly different situations and people each time around. Big Bang one week, slow ride the next (and that’s not just a quip at the local dating scene), and Second Big Bang thereafter.

It’s what holds the tales together, I suppose. Were it not for such conflicts, such cyclic patterns displayed by my characters, well, I’d have written one story way back when, solved the mysteries behind opposite attraction, and been done with it. Which isn’t to say I aim to continue spewing out the same stereotypical personality flaws every time I stick a protagonist into some hackneyed plot; there’s always the risk of throwing together a group of characters for no apparent reason, but I nevertheless have to do it in the hopes I’m doing it right, lest I grow stagnant and cold with inactivity. And I guess that’s why Bryson, Kyna, and Joshua do the things they do: so as not to become dormant, dusty relics of their creator’s desk drawer.

In any case, I hope you have an interesting, somewhat formulaic (but ultimately satisfying) weekend.

The Gilded Flame

First, a little self-deprecating, soul-scorching self-promotion:

I received a little surprise in my inbox yesterday when Fraser Ronald over at Sword’s Edge informed me that issue #18 had been unleashed unto the Internet. I’m absolutely thrilled that “The Gilded Flame” has been included in the lineup, this time around, and I think it’s the first time one of my monikers has appeared alongside Steven L. Shrewsbury’s (now, who let that happen?). ^__^

“The Gilded Flame,” for me, represents a sidestep into epic fantasy. Writing epic fantasy (or, at the very least, fantasy involving magic, elves and fantastical made-up worlds) requires an extensive amount of dedication and attention to detail—neither of which I was born with. As such, for “The Gilded Flame,” I simply did what I felt most comfortable with: I stuck my foot in the murky waters and shook it around a bit. Not the most eloquent way to write a story, but I lucked out nonetheless in that I got it finished.

So, where did “The Gilded Flame” come from? While I’ve read some fantasy in my time, I usually stick to the more contemporary stuff. Phthor was an exception (the inception, I should say, as it initially sparked my interest in writing), as were the handful of ElfQuest comics I acquired a while back. I suppose it was the comics that had the most influence here. Richard and Wendy Pini’s work was bold, daring and had a certain frankness to it that I found refreshing. A few years back, I wrote a handful of stories that took place in the “socially-liberated” (LOL) realm of Kyrth, though for one reason or another, they’ve never seen the light of day. I did want to get something about Kyrth out there, eventually; happenstance seems to have finally taken care of that with this particular story.

The basis for Alexander’s tale was Touchwood Inn itself. I thought, “what would it be like to have this sort of winter borderland, a place where it’s perpetually frigid, where weary travelers are subject to the unforgiving elements—what sort of oasis could there be in such a place?” Much like in real life, when I’ve perhaps been driving for hours along a stretch of deserted highway, a gas station or a hotel with food, cold drinks—shade (in the case of summer), a warm bed (in the case of winter) can be the most welcome of discoveries.

Touchwood was an oasis, though inn and of itself (yes, I’m smirking just a bit) it was not enough to float an entire storyline. Background atmosphere was needed, and so I wrote the pre-history involving Alexander and Min as young athletes at the Eternal Champion.

At the moment, it seems to work well enough, and I’m satisfied with the result…but if I ever write another story based in Kyrth, it’s going to be a Sticky Note Nightmare. ;)