The Glass Marionette

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will have seen the hashtag #theglassmarionette pop up now and again over the past few months. Quite possibly to accompany some pretty weird-arse hand-drawn diagrams or screen shots.

Today the mystery of #theglassmarionette is unveiled.

The Glass Marionette is my latest online collaborative writing project, partnering this  time ’round with my old friend and writing compatriot, Rus Vanwestervelt. We worked together on the Write Anything website back in the day, and Rus has written for Literary Mix Tapes. We’ve also been working with Adam on another collaborative venture, but The Glass Marionette is our literary baby.

When strangers, Will and Wainwright, meet face-to-face in a gas station at dawn, they realise their shared nightmare is something more insidious than a bad trip. Wainwright is trying to find his missing friend. Will is in hiding from his dead girlfriend and their angry lover. Meeting in reality might be their first step at making peace with the past. Or their last.

~ The Glass Marionette, blurb

We have been brainstorming, writing and project hashing since mid-June and this week we share a two part Q&A session, as a prelude to releasing the first weekly installment next week. The first part of the Q&A goes live today with the second part live on Friday.

The weekly installments will be approximately 1500 words, very raw and mostly uncut. It is unlike anything I’ve written. It puts the capital W in weird. It also knocks out the ballpark any of the big concept ideas I’ve experimented with in the past. A big shout out and thank you to Dave Versace who rose to the challenge of being our puppetmaster and master prompt creator.

The Glass Marionette is a metaphysical, time travel serial that pushes the boundaries of collaborative writing and the expectations of narrative and structure. It is the literary equivalent of a trust fall.

Based on the premise of ‘the unreliable narrative’ and built on ten randomly deployed writing prompts that effectively disable the authors’ abilities to direct the narrative, the serial is an experiment in writing blind and on the edge, and how to do both when fundamental control is handed over to a third party beyond the writing partnership.

The journey of Will and Wainwright seeks to answer the question: with every means at your disposal, is it possible to fix the past and dissolve one’s regrets?

~ The Glass Marionette, project description

I’ve always found my resurrection in writing through collaboration and this time is no different. While I don’t want to make a habit of getting up at 2am to write because the story is so far  under skin  I can’t sleep, it feels good to be writing again. It’s actually a relief to find I am still capable of writing after so much time away from the page, between  physical and mental health issues, family and personal upheavals over the past few years. I’m excited to be able to publicly share my fiction again.

Rus is absolutely writing at the top of his game at the moment. It was always going to be a joy to collaborate with him, but he’s pushed me to excel and to embrace writing dangerously again.

I hope you’ll join us, as we share with you the most unconventional of web serials over the next few months.

 

Postcardia-cum-Poetica #43

The cardboard envelope I keep my postcards in is almost rupturing since my friends started collecting postcards to give me. This one, advertising a photographic initiative from National Archive, was in a bundle given to me by Nicole. 

The black and white has been rendered into sepia by the night lighting of my kitchen table, but I don’t mind it. Words are from the Time Traveler’s Wife baggie. 

Micro Hours of Momentum

I’m a big fan of writing lists. Colourful lists! In eMergent’s hay day, my diary was a well organised list that I would compile on a Monday morning and use to guide me through my work week. I got really excited the weeks when I crossed everything off (they were always ambitious undertakings!!)

I never stopped writing lists, but they become less and less a regular feature of my week during my haphazard navigational years of chronic depression and in the last year, chronic health problems and sleep deprivation.

This year, my focus has been two-fold: getting well and developing several new ideas. While my health has been continually on the improve, the ideas have grown in fits and starts – sometimes because of things beyond my control. Other times with no good reason.

This month, has been the most frustrating. Erratic sleep. Madly fluctuating energy. Zero focus. Absent motivation. A cornucopia of odd and unrelated physical issues. Abandoned lists. Things started and not finished.

Today, I woke up and decided I’d had enough of being caught on the ropes. Reading Janette’s recent thoughts on Facebook triggered some out of the box thinking about how to get UnStuck.

We all know, momentum begets momentum. I might not be able to do a whole day, or half a day, but there is no excuse for not finding an hour. Even at my worst, I have the capacity to commit to an hour of work. And thus, the ‘Micro Hours of Momentum Sandpit’ came into being.

It’s a list and a bingo sheet and homage to my love of colour all rolled into one. It’s forced me to think ahead. This means on days when I can’t think ahead, it doesn’t matter, Past Me has Present Me’s back.

This morning, I did the first box on the #postcardia line, honouring the one hour commitment before I started my book design work for the day. Further into the week, perhaps I’ll have the reserves to do two hours, or three. Or maybe it will just be that single hour.

Regardless, when the sun sets Friday afternoon, I will be further down the road than I was at the same time last week.

How do you create momentum?

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You can download the .doc file or the pdf if it looks like something that might help you progress with something you’ve been stuck with.

Postcardia-cum-Poetica #41

Earlier this month, we went to the GoMA Winter Design Fair and I was ecstatic to find a box of postcards that were something like 10 for a dollar. This is the first of them to become postcardia.

Words from the Elyora fragment bag.

Reflection #1


From yesterday’s blue to today’s red, the colour shift is enough for me to know there is shift happening, though ironically the shift is actually a settle. It’s been a bumpy seven days!

This combo gave me pause to think on what I do to ground myself to align with my creativity. Here, CBR talks about the King’s confidence becoming a rigidness that prevents new ideas. 
I get that confidence has the capacity to create a false sense of security that can compel you to continue to do the same thing, with the same result, over and over (some will tell you that’s success!) but for me confidence has always inspired me to try new things. When I am confident I take major leaps and major risks. I also tend to sparkle enough with those new ideas to co-opt others into jumping with me.
I stay grounded with the mundane – washing, dishes, cooking to name three. They are great places to gestate new ideas. 

And walking.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I was forced to walk to retrieve my car from the mechanic. And guess what – I’m far from being as unfit as I think I am. I really enjoyed it. My routine , within my body, has settled enough now that I can think about an afternoon walk again without keeling over from exhaustion.

What do you do to stay grounded and available for the incoming flow of ideas? Is confidence restrictive or liberating?