Monday, February 25, 2013

Lucid Slap

I've been wayward from posting, but I've been stricken with the common cold. It started in my throat, as though a switch had been flicked and boom: sore throat. The virus then toured around my nasal passageway, chest, sinuses, in that order. You know the story.

We launched our Pungent Parlour reading series on the 19th of February, and had a solid turnout, people are excited to come back to it, Gapers Block did a fine mention of our fireside ambiance, and we are booked for 3rd Tuesdays of the month going forward at Black Rock Pub and Kitchen. We're jacked to have a regular thing, so we can get off on oral lit. We had a wide variety of pieces; some humorous personal essays, some violent-esque, intense short stories, a fantasy story. I'm excited to see the range each future month to come.

On another note, I had a lucid dream last night:

I was elected senior class president. The sky was light purple, there was ice on the streets and hills, but we gathered in some stone tiled square where the weather was warm, like a pocket. From there we got on a bus, a nice bus with tinted windows and seats lining the walls facing in. I saw between two girls, J####### and A######. J####### was talking about some aspect of credit card processing. It excited me and I said "I can talk all about this, in the future I work in the credit card processing industry!" And I sort of realized, I wasn't back in high school from the future, I was dreaming. I decided to test reality. I reached out suddenly and slapped both girls on the cheek. They didn't react, and this was some how proof to me that this was a subconscious rendering. Whoa, shit, a dream. I looked out the bus windows at the ornate marble architecture of the town square were riding through and felt a weird rush, like I've stumbled on something big. And I realized the Godlike fabric of the dream was aware that I was aware, and it was tugging me out...

I drifted back to drowsy wakefulness.

I want back in to this lucid dream thing, it has been awhile since I had one. Might be time to pull out my "Lucid Dreaming in 30 Days" book be like a dude who's suddenly into camping who reads how to survive in the wilderness books, but with dreamland.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Holo-bard

As I recently put in motion plans for a new monthly reading series, I've had a little more pep in my step. When doing The Liquid Burning series I enjoyed the feel of a regular community of writers, a place to try out new work aloud. I've been thinking about the oral tradition, Homer, mythologies, campfire stories. Some of my own writing, I think, benefits from the live experience. One of my short stories in particular lends itself better to a performative reading, a piece called Nagasaki Lagoon has done quite well piquing rapt crowds and rousing laughter at various readings but has had trouble finding a home in the lit journals.

I've been a bit of a homebody over the past year, and I do enjoy being a homebody, because I like my home and pitter pattering around like a fogey doing my own thing, minimizing occurrences of feeling rushed out the door to something, but I do feel the urge to get out a little more, and enjoy the thriving literary community in Chicago. 

I recently read Dave Eggers' A Hologram for the King. I actually skipped out on hitting up a meet and greet with him at Book Cellar in Lincoln Square this morning, so much for me getting out more! But this was because I did get out quite a bit last night, attending my photographer friend Zach's studio launch party (the free wine, beer and some African wine of sorts that was beyond strong did me in) and another little party downtown right after at the Hard Rock Hotel where my friends Chris and Candace were using a Groupon stay and celebrating their recent engagement; hotel room stocked with hard liquor. And I was supposed to go to another housewarming party after that but I was in no shape. So in all fairness, I decided not to breathe fumes on Dave Eggers. 

In his book, an IT company bids to do such services for King Abdullah's Economic City in Saudi Arabia. Their premier product; a holographic teleconference system. I've been fascinated with where holographic technology may develop, and how that, combined with motion sensor video game technology can make way for some radical virtual reality systems. True, we're ever usurping real life experience with digital varieties, and I do regret this sometimes. However, I am interested in how a virtual reality system could foster risk taking to be practiced later in the outside, real arena. Dreams are thought to serve a similar purpose; a hypnogogic playground where actions don't have consequences.

I'd be curious in how the development of holographic technology could expand the literary experience and preserve an author's live readings for a long, long time. This could never replace the in face experience of an actual reading at a bar, cafe, or bookstore. No, what excites me is instead of YouTubing your favorite writers and their taped readings, let's pull up a holograph of George Saunders in your living room! As live lit is booming in different cities, there's a resurfacing of the oral tradition, and as technology continues to expand capabilities, it'd be rad to see such technology complement the storytelling experience, exploring new varieties within mediums,  though not replacing them. Let us conjure the likes of modern Homers to haunt digital pathways.