Sarasota Jungle Days: You Can(‘t) Go Back

The memories of Sarasota Jungle Gardens are vivid in my head, a macaw on a little bike, another one on my arm, alligators basking, flamingos silhouetted against the bright water in the sun, marvelous things all around.

None of that time and space. I don’t remember how I got there. I don’t know who I was with, although my family would be a safe bet. I don’t remember any of the who’s and what’s. It was just the magic of being there.

I had to get back to that and did, back to the bird show, listening to the ponytailed guy’s well worn bits about his cranky colorful birds, and watched the children watching him, wowed by the birds meows and cackles.

The show went 15 minutes, me and the other kids getting restless before it was over, and walked around, glancing at the snakes and owls and lemurs before getting back to my car. The magic was no more. I had to call my lawyer and start the lawsuit against them for using my image without permission.

Thoughts and Prayers: Fantasy Football Over All

I once had great faith in the American system. I mean, they talk such a great game, from FDR through MLK to OC. But in the end, I came to realize that rhetoric is no more than hot air. The rich get richer, the poor dumber and the country more fucked-up every day. And that’s how people want to keep it.

America is founded on a dishonest claim. Jefferson, a slave holder, wrote that “all men were created equal”. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. The same duplicity plays out today in a constant depressing spew, from gerrymandering and Super Pacs to a politicized Supreme Court and gun rights over lives, all of it designed to keep the status quo.

The recent collapse of NFL football player Damar Hamlin speaks to this issue. Pundits and journalists spoke only of their thoughts and prayers for Hamlin while the fans were honestly more focused on their personal stake in the game. Given America’s pretense of faith, they will take time to finally getting around to talking about what they care about, and Hamlin will just be a footnote to an odd year in fantasy football.

The Worst/Best Piece I Have Ever Written

Having completed the 9th (or 11th?) draft of Anori, I have no clue what I have written. Some of it flowed just as I remembered. Others parts had to be reworked…to what effect I have no clue. Dee was consistent. I think. As was the tone. On the verge of death or already dead. Something like that. Anyway, I shouldn’t be blogging about this. I am a cotton-headed ninny muggins at present.

Instead I will offer this quote from Ken McGoogan’s book Dead Reckoning on the taste of polar bear cub meat: Apart from its tenderness, the cub’s meat had a particularly piquant taste, and we greatly regretted that the old bear had not had twins.

Writing Process: Editing Asshole

All editors are assholes because they think they know better than everyone else. I’m editing Anori for the nth time, and I know that I am an asshole. More than usual anyway. (Meant as a joke? Needed? Find a better means.)

Editing is about honing the narrative, dumping the meaningless characters, trite dialogue and extraneous description. It’s about writing something that has truth to it. (Truth? As in? Clarity needed here.)

Editing also ruins the simple pleasure of enjoying a film. (Why simple? And why film? Have you mentioned this previously?) Before going to bed, I went through the channels and watched bits of Coppola’s The Godfather Part II and Kubrick’s Paths of Glory. I have seen both numerous times, but they now came off as dull, dominated by weak dialogue and predictable archetypes, nothing more than melodrama.

Michael Corleone in between saying melodramatic things

The 2005 version of King Kong was more engaging with its sentimental ape and girl in a nightgown. Even the reboot of Hawaii Five O, with its B actors and trite Chat GPT script, had more entertainment value. It wasn’t pretending to be something it wasn’t. (What? You’ve lost me here.)

Detectives Steve and Danny look for truth in Hawaii Five O

Less is more. That’s the mantra of the editor. Which would leads me to believe that none is the ultimate aim. And so why write at all? (Indeed. Consider deleting this post.)

Chat GPT Pitches “My Bad Side”

I instructed Chat GPT to write a pitch for my novel My Bad Side based on this tagline: Three days Dee could not remember and now would never forget

My Bad Side is a psychological thriller that follows the story of Dee, a young woman who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the past three days. As she struggles to piece together what happened during that time, she begins to uncover dark secrets and a web of deceit that threatens to destroy her life.

As Dee delves deeper into the mystery, she is faced with unimaginable horrors and must fight for her survival against powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden. With the help of a few trusted friends, Dee must use all of her strength and cunning to uncover the truth and protect herself from those who seek to do her harm. Filled with twists and turns, My Bad Side is a gripping and suspenseful novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Well, no. This is wide right. Very wide right.

Nyx & Nox Enter the Marvel Universe

I have come to realize that Chat GPT is the Marvel Universe of writing – meaning that it is middle of the road and predictable. To prove this, I prompted Chat GPT to write a Marvel Universe pitch with Nyx (Greek Goddess of night) and Nox (Roman Goddess of night) as new super heroines

Welcome to the Marvel Universe, where new heroes are constantly emerging to save the day. In this exciting new series, we introduce Nyx and Nox – twin sisters with extraordinary powers. Nyx, the younger sister, has the ability to manipulate light and use it as a weapon. She is impulsive and headstrong, often rushing into situations without fully thinking them through. Nox, on the other hand, has the power to control darkness and shadows. She is more calculated and strategic, serving as the voice of reason for her sister.

Nyx and Nox make a formidable team

Together, Nyx and Nox make a formidable team as they fight to protect their city from all sorts of threats, both terrestrial and extraterrestrial. But as they learn to harness their powers and work together, they must also confront their own personal demons and the complicated dynamic of their sisterhood. As they face off against super villains and confront personal challenges, Nyx and Nox will prove that they are more than just powerful heroines – they are complex and fully realized characters with their own flaws and strengths. Join us on this thrilling journey as Nyx and Nox become the latest additions to the Marvel Universe.

Chat GPT Writes Me a Pitch for “The Cx Trilogy”

Hey Chat GPT, write me a pitch for a speculative story about an intergenerational starship and incorporates themes of greed and sexuality.

In the far future, a massive intergenerational starship, the USS Hope, is built to take a small group of humans on a centuries-long journey to a distant planet. As the ship sets off, the human passengers are faced with the challenges of living in close quarters for an extended period of time. Personal relationships, both romantic and familial, are tested and strained as the years pass by.

Greed and power struggles threaten to tear the group apart as they navigate the challenges of living in an enclosed space for so long. As they near their destination, the ship’s leaders discover that the planet they were headed to has already been colonized by another alien species. In the end, the group is forced to confront their own humanity and the flaws that have accompanied them on their journey. They must decide whether the pursuit of their own desires is worth the cost of potentially destroying an entire alien civilization.

Sounds more like Avatar than The Cx Trilogy. I guess I’ll have to try a few more thousand regenerations (drafts).

Italo Calvino’s “Literature Machine” Put Through The Chat GPT Process

In light of the growing mania of Chat GPT, Italo Calvino’s question in The Literature Machine seems most appropriate: How does one arrive at the written page? Just as we already have machines that can read, machines that can perform linguistic analysis of literary texts, machine that make translations and summaries, will we also have machines capable of poems and novels? The true literature machine will be one that itself feels the need to produce disorder, as a reaction against its preceding production of order: a machine that will produce avant-garde work to free its circuits when they are choked by too long a production of classicism.

And so I gave the Chat GPT the following prompt: Write a blog on the importance of Italo Calvino’s The Literature Machine in light of the rise of Chat GPT

Italo Calvino’s “The Literature Machine” is a collection of essays that explore the intersection of literature and technology, and it’s more relevant today than ever before in the age of chat GPT and other AI language models.

In “The Literature Machine,” Calvino argues that literature has always been intertwined with technology, from the invention of the printing press to the rise of the internet. He suggests that literature is a tool for exploring and understanding the world, and that new technologies can open up new possibilities for telling stories and expressing ideas.

The rise of chat GPT and other AI language models has brought this idea into sharp focus. These models are able to generate human-like text based on a given prompt, and they are increasingly being used to create everything from news articles to social media posts. While these models are not yet capable of creating truly original literature, they do raise important questions about the role of technology in the creation of written works.

At the same time, the rise of chat GPT and other AI language models also highlights the importance of human creativity and the unique perspectives that humans bring to the literary world. While these models can generate text that is coherent and sometimes even compelling, they are not capable of the depth of emotion and insight that is characteristic of great literature.

In light of the rise of chat GPT and other AI language models, it’s important to remember the value of human creativity and the unique perspective that humans bring to the literary world. As Calvino suggests in “The Literature Machine,” literature is a tool for exploring and understanding the world, and the unique perspectives and experiences of humans will always be an essential part of that process.

Guest Blogger: Chat GPT

Chat GPT is a program that utilizes artificial intelligence to write responses to any prompt. I entered the following: “Write a 200-word blog on the writing process” and got this:

The writing process is the series of steps that writers go through to create a written work. It is an iterative process that involves planning, drafting, revising, and editing. The first step in the writing process is planning. This involves deciding on the topic, purpose, and audience for the written work. It also involves gathering and organizing ideas, creating an outline, and determining the structure and flow of the piece.

The second step is drafting. This involves using the outline and ideas gathered during the planning phase to begin writing the piece. The goal of the drafting phase is to get as many ideas down on paper as possible, without worrying too much about grammar or structure. The third step is revising. During the revising phase, writers review and assess their work, looking for areas that need improvement or clarification. This may involve adding or deleting material, rearranging paragraphs, or changing the tone or style of the piece.

The final step is editing. This involves reviewing the piece for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors and making any necessary corrections. It is important to have a fresh set of eyes review the work during the editing phase, as it can be easy to overlook mistakes when reviewing one’s own work. The writing process is an essential part of creating a well-written and effective piece of work. By following these steps and being mindful of the planning, drafting, revising, and editing stages, writers can produce clear and concise written works that effectively convey their ideas and messages.

It’s a dull machine but more on point than I’ve ever been. Time to board Aqaara!