Class reunions are what time travel paradoxes are made of. I don't recognize anyone but nothing ever changes. Weird and familiar all at once. It is a right of passage that no one wants to do it but most of us do it anyway. Do they do these in France or India? You'll hate every moment leading up to it, then you'll talk to someone you haven't seen since graduation and you think, yeah, this is pretty cool. And having a drink in your hand doesn't hurt either.
I went into Borders (no more) looking for a book on swarm intelligence. The book jockey I talked to lead me to The Singularity Is Near. The book has nearly nothing about swarm intelligence but it is a science-fiction writer’s gold mine.
There is a chapter dedicated to genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics. In it he addresses the idea of self-replicating robots and the fear that is a favorite of science fiction, the nanobot hoard. We are assured that precautions would be put in place to keep the human race from being overwhelmed by clouds of nanabots (fogglet) by programming the little suckers to replicate a finite number of times. If the thought has crossed your mind that you could be disassembled by a horde they would be programmed to break down only specific molecules and not just whatever they came across. He concludes with “…this approach should be reasonably effective against inadvertent dangers, although it could be circumvented by a determined and knowledgeable adversary. Page 229”
Damn you determined and knowledgeable adversaries of the world. Twisting the good ideas of mankind to your own evil ends. A determined and knowledgeable adversary. I thought it was the funniest idea. You never have to worry about the stupid and unmotivated getting in your way. I think determination is a primary requirement if you plan on being a part of the council of evil or the Legion of Doom.
Anyways, this book is a science fiction writer’s gold mine, lots of great leaping off points. Pick one and see what happens, I bet it will be pretty cool. Mr. Kurzweil seems to have a belief in mankind’s inherent goodness (something I’m not so sure about.) The future is certainly bright with The Singularity on the horizon.
Lately, I get asked, “Hey how’s your book going?” Or, “Written anything lately?” On one level I appreciate it because it’s really nice of them to ask. They are showing an interest in something that I care about and that is really generous of them. On the other hand, having to answer that question over and over is getting really tiring.
The other thing is that it is often the same people asking me each week. So I feel a pressure to give them a different answer than the last one despite the fact that usually all a writer does is write. It’s the same activity over and over. I feel like that if I can’t give an answer that shows progress I will disappoint them and/or I feel like a failure. That is a separate issue. Progress and failure. What everybody wants and avoids respectively. Some things just can’t be measured in a linear way and that is especially true of writing and living. We age linearly, but we not mature linearly. Growing as person, character, integrity, and all of that stuff is a choice that is followed by action and not everyone goes for it.
I am making progress, lots of it, just not in a way that is easily explained to a non-writer. So when I give them the same answer this week I will just have to know for myself that I am not a failure. Actually I am on the verge of great change and break through. The more I write the more I improve, I can’t mess this up. If I can convey my excitement then maybe I will distract from the stock phrase, “It’s going great!”
Editing and rewriting is a very slow process. I love rewriting because it allows me to be very intentional about my choices now that I know the story in full. However, for any writer that likes to get a sense of achievement from their increasing word count, rewriting will be a huge hurdle. This week I haven’t actually written anything. I have two scenes printed out that I carry around and contemplate in those in between moments like while riding the train and trying to go to sleep. Mulling is a vital part of my writing process, but it does not involve any writing. In four to six weeks it will hit me and the re-writing will begin again.
For now, in case anyone asks: I am working on my sixth draft and I hope to have it ready for submission soon. Thank you for asking.
If something comes up, I'll put it here, otherwise find me on FB and Twitter.