Sunday, May 29, 2011

Of Mindwalking

I spend too much time on the internet. I guess my mind realized I should go out more often, and then it started doing it on its own.

You see, I do that quite unconsciously, visiting places in my head. I have no control over the place my mind visits, nor the way I wander through these places. The thing is, it happens while I'm focused on something else, like typing with someone or reading a website.

The interesting part comes now: I can relate those things and recall memories that way. I can recall with almost accurate precision certain moments of my life, just by thinking of these places. There this parking lot near the main church in my city that, when I think of it, I remember Nirvana. Yeah, I was reading stuff about the band, interviews with Kurt Cobain. Damn, this was years ago. There's this bus stop near my house that allows me to recall certain bits of conversations. See, there was this time we were talking about punk vs metal with a friend of mine. God this was more than five years ago. And now I can see, there I can recall several bits of conversations with the same person, like my mind would visit the same place everytime I'd talk with her.

I guess the places are related to places I visited recently. When I was having some history classes last year, I was often mindwalking there. As this is a much more recent memory, I can recall with astounding precision some of the memories. There was this podcast I was listening about evolution in gaming, graphically and aesthetically. They were talking about Heavy Rain and how characters still look stiff and how there's a lame kiss in that game. Also I happened to listen to the same podcast talking about game soundtracks, and when my mind started wandering in the very room I was taking classes, someone was talking about a rpg inspired by Chopin. Eternal Sonata was it? This actually happened to be when I realized the mindwalking. It seems action and mindwalking seem to be more fused together in these moments of realization.

Holy shit, there are stains of memories everywhere I'm thinking. I mean, of course there are stains of actual memories of being myself in actual places, but I mean when recalling mindwalked places. It's tricky to distinguish thinking of real places from recognizing mindwalked places. As they usually are empty and usually cloudy and somewhat darker and grayish, probably all I need to do is add this filter.

Yet what I miss is recalling the course of these walkings, or being able to do them in a less random way, so recalling their course could be easier, thus allowing me to recall the whole course of the actual conversations, or the whole of memories instead of scattered, handicapped pieces. God this has an overwhelming potential, I should work harder to make this thing work fully (sweet, Sparkles have flown in :]).

Maybe I should try something I call Ungapping. I'll focus more on it in a future entry, but here it means simply doing things the opposite way, so to fill in gaps. I can't guarantee it will work, but I could make an effort to think of conversations (preferably fresh and intact ones) or relistening to podcasts while trying mainly to recall mindwalked places, specially their courses. You see, making the journeys parallel so I can filling the gaps in  the least developed one. Hm, a process quite like analogy.

And if could trace any pattern of mindwalkings, I can improve the retrieval of memories.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Treasure Hunting (Roman Army)

Unit types

  • Accensus - either a public officer who attended on several of the Roman magistrates; or a kind of supernumerary soldier who served to fill the places of those who were killed or disabled by their wounds in the Roman Republic
  • Adscripticius - a supernumerary soldier of the Roman Republic who served to fill the places of those who were killed or disabled by their wounds.
  • Antesignani - Vanguard troops. Antesignani means "those before the standard" (Signus, Signum)
  • auxilia - troops in the Roman army of the late Republican and Imperial periods who originally stayed in their home province but were formalised and later took on the role of providing specialist support to the legions. An example would be the Syrian archer.
  • Balearic slingers - Expert slingers from the Balearic Islands off the Mediterranean coast of modern Spain.
  • bucelarii - a unit of soldiers in the late Roman and Byzantine empire, that were not supported by the state but rather by some individual such as a general or governor.
  • cataphractarii - heavily armed and armoured cavalrymen, adopted from the Parthians and first deployed by the Romans in the 2nd Century AD during the reign of emperor Hadrian.
  • Classiarii - naval infantry
  • Celeres - a force of 300-500 probably cavalry that served as a bodyguard to the early Roman kings. Their name Celer is Latin for "swift".
  • Clibanarii - a military unit of heavy armoured horsemen similar to the Cataphracti
  • Cohortes urbanae - a police unit of urban Rome and sometime counterbalance to the power of the praetorian guard.
  • Comitatenses - the standard legionary soldier after the reforms of Constantine
  • Comitatenses Palatini or Auxilia Palatini- a central field army of the late Roman Empire that was unique in that it was always under the direct command of the Roman Emperor
  • Contarií - cavalry equipped with the contos (kontos), a very long lance
  • dromedarii - camel riding auxiliary forces recruited in the desert provinces of the east Roman republic
  • Duplicarius - officer in the army
  • Equites - Roman citizen horse troops drawn from the Roman equestrian class.
  • Foederati - soldiers provided by barbarian tribes in return for subsidies
  • frumentarii - the secret service of the Roman Empire.
  • Hastati - the first line of battle in the Roman Republican Army.
  • herculiani - the imperial guard of the Emperors of the Roman Empire from 284 until 988
  • Ioviani (also called Jovians) - the imperial guard of the Emperors of the Roman Empire from 284 until 988
  • Lancearii - Spear armed mail clad field troopers that supported the comitatenses
  • Latini - allied troops of the Republic provided by non-citizens living in allied Latin towns
  • Limitanei- Lighter late legionaries similar to the auxilia of Caesar's day normally use in garrison.
  • Menapian spearmen - More few and at best auxiliary mercenaries.
  • Nabataean archers - Auxiliary bowmen recruited from Nabataea, in what is now southern Jordan.
  • Numerii - A loose term for any soldier
  • pedites - the infantry of the early army of the Roman kingdom. The majority of the army in this period.
  • Peditatus - a term referring to any infantryman in the Roman Empire
  • praetorians - a special force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors
  • Principes - the second line of battle in the Roman Republican Army. They were also chieftains in Briton like Dumnorix of the Regneses (he got killed by Gaius Salvius Liberalis' soldiers)
  • Rorarii - the final line, or reserve, in the ancient pre-Marius Roman army. These were removed even before the reforms as the Triarii provided a very sturdy anchor
  • Sagittarii - archers, including horse-riding auxiliary archers recruited mainly in the Eastern Empire and Africa
  • Scholae Palatinae - an elite troop of soldiers in the Roman army created by the Emperor Constantine the Great to provide personal protection of the Emperor and his immediate family
  • Socii - Conscripts
  • speculatores - the scouts and reconnaissance element of the Roman army
  • supernumerarii - a kind of supernumerary soldier who served to fill the places of those who were killed or disabled by their wounds
  • Triarii - the third standard line of infantry of the Roman Republic's army
  • Velites - a class of light infantry in the army of the Roman Republic
  • Vigiles - the firefighters and police of Ancient Rome

Military ranks

  • Accensus - a reservist or light legionary infantry soldier.
  • Acceptarius - a discharged soldier.
  • Actarius - a military or camp clerk.
  • Adiutor- a camp or headquarters adjutant or assistant.
  • Aenator - military musician such as a bugler.
  • Agrimensor - a surveyor (a type of immunes).
  • Aquilifer - carried the legionary eagle.
  • Alaris - a cavalryman serving in an ala.
  • Architecti - an engineer or artillery constructor.
  • Armicustos - a soldier tasked with the administration and supply of weapons and equipment. A quartermaster.
  • Ballistarius - an artillery operator.
  • Beneficiarius - a soldier performing an extraordinary task such as military policing or a special assignment.
  • Bucinator - a trumpeteer or bugler.
  • Cacula - an un-enlisted camp servant
  • Capsarior - a medical orderly.
  • Causarius - a soldier discharged for wounds or other medical reasons.
  • Centurion - officer rank, generally one per century, in charge of century.
  • Clinicus - a medic.
  • Cornicen - bugler
  • Doctor - a trainer, subdivisions for everything from weapons to hornblowing
  • Draconarius - Roman cavalry standard bearer
  • Decurion - leads a troop of cavalry (14-30 men). Often confused with decanus.
  • Decanus - leads a contubernium (a legionary tent group of 8 men)
  • Discens - Miles in training for an immunis position.
  • Dux - a general in charge of two or more legions
  • Evocatus - soldiers in the Roman army, who had served out their time and obtained their discharge (missio), but had voluntarily enlisted again at the invitation of the consul or other commander
  • Hastatus Prior - a centurion commanding a manipulus of hastati. A high ranking officer within a manipuli
  • Hastatus Posterior - a deputy to the hastatus prior
  • Hastiliarius - a weapons instructor.
  • Imaginifer - A standard-bearer carrying the imago - the standard which bore a likeness of the emperor, and, at later dates, his family.
  • Immunes - those soldiers of the military of ancient Rome who were "immune" from combat duty and fatigues through having a more specialist role within the army
  • Legatus - general in the Roman army; literally the "deputy" of the emperor, who was the titular commander-in-chief
  • Legionary - the heavy infantry that was the basic military unit of the ancient Roman army in the period of the late Roman Republic and the Roman Empire
  • Medicus - physician or combat medic. Specializations included surgery (medicus vulnerarius), ophthalmology (medicus ocularius) and even veterinary (medicus veterinarius). At least some held rank equivalent to a centurion.
  • miles or Miles Gregarius - The basic private level foot soldier
  • Optio - One per century as second-in-command to the centurion. Could also fill several other specialized roles on an ad hoc basis.
  • Pilus Prior - The commander of the first century of each cohort.
  • Pilus Posterior - Deputy to the pilus prior
  • Praefectus Castrorum - camp prefect, third-in-command of the legion, also responsible for maintaining the camp, equipment and supplies. Usually a former primus pilus.
  • Primus Pilus - (literally 'first file', not spear) the commanding centurion of the first cohort and the senior centurion of the entire Legion
  • Princeps Prior - a centurion commanding a manipulus of principes
  • Princeps Posterior - a deputy to the princeps prior
  • Principales - a group of ranks, including aquilifer, signifer, optio and tesserarius. Similar to modern NCOs.
  • Protectores Augusti Nostri (aka Protectores Divini Lateris) honorific title for senior officers singled out for their loyalty to the Emperor and soldierly qualities. Constitute an Order of Honour rather than a military unit. First appears in mid-Third Century AD
  • Quaestionarius - an interrogator or torturer.
  • Retentus - a soldier kept in service after serving required term
  • Salararius - a soldier enjoying special service conditions or hired as a mercenary.
  • Scorpionarius - an artilleryman operating a scorpio (dart-thrower) artillery piece
  • Signifer- Standard bearer of the Roman Legion
  • Tablifer - A guard cavalry standard-bearer
  • Tesserarius - guard commander, one per century
  • Tribuni militum angusticlavii or military tribune -
  • Tribunus militum laticlavius - military tribune of senatorial rank. Second in command of a legion. Appointments to this rank seem to have ceased during the sole reign of Gallienus as part of a policy of excluding senators from military commands.
  • Venator - a hunter (a type of immunes)
  • Vexillarius - a standard-bearer (carried the Vexillum)
The three main ranks are the Hastati, The Principes, and The Cohorts (Legionary and Praetorian).


Of movies and visuals

I won't deny it, get your movie decent visuals and you pretty much bought me already. 
I enjoyed watching Tron Legacy for one reason mostly, its color scheme (the soundtrack felt like fresh air, too). That contrast of white/blue and orange/red was something I don't remember experiencing in a long time. Man, that spice alone skyrocketed the experience for me in a way the average story didn't came to bother me at all.

Maybe it wouldn't impress me this much if I wasn't getting extremely sick of digital color correction, which is making movies look bland and insipid (I really mean it, that even downgraded Inception a little for me). That brownish or blueish or greenish overall tone in movies is making me feel a little like when I smell that sickening burning brake when I'm on the road.

I've heard "movies shouldn't look like videogames" talk, which I call bullshit. They're both visual arts, and there's nothing shameful to giving your movie some interesting graphical treatment, and one shouldn't avoid making a movie look gorgeous just so it won't be compared to a game like it's the worst critic you can get. It's not like if you work the visual wisely you're bound to have childish and/or hiperactive visuals or whatever people think games visuals are (and look at how parallel the industries are: digital color correction is bringing insipidity to gaming industry too). Plus you can lose a whole lot with that limitation.

Anyway, my point here is just that I miss more movies trying "bold" color schemes (weird how the boldness would be mostly for trying) and vibrant contrasts. I fail to see how trying iconic and strong images is "a cheap trick to get dumb people to watch your movie".

I see nothing cheap and dumb about this.

Of The Personal Element

If there's anything that keeps me find the world fascinating, it's the ammount of diversity around us.

See, everybody is different, everybody has got a unique spice inside them. Everybody's got their own lifestory due to their particular background. So be it the way that city you were raised in affected your tastes or the way relationships affected your maturity, all those previous things will make you stand unique. Everybody has got something new to bring to the table. It's the thing about the bands. Let's consider the instruments are played averagely, but the singer's voice is always a unique instrument (although that's something not necessarily positive!).

As a brazilian person, I can bring elements characteristic to my referencial universe (Brazilian culture) that other referencial universes probably won't feature this clearly (remember some things being easier to realize in drawing than it's in playing music?). You can see that happening everywhere, basically in anything culture-related.

I think that's one of the ways to improve over the standard formulas mentioned previously, so art can always show us new and interesting things.

Of Formulation

We get all sorts of trends and easy formulas for everything we see. There's the standard way to write a metal song, the standard way to make an oil painting or to write a story. There's nothing really wrong with this, really, formulas are important. That's it, Formulation. I find it always important to know the rule first. There's nothing wrong with trying to use Monomyth/Hero's Journey elements in your first stories, that'll just set the ground for you to feel comfortable with the proportions.

No, the problem is limiting yourself to the formulas. But first get to master the rule and then you'll know how to break it. This is something I consider cheating, thinking you can break the rules before learning them. It's like the kid who plays a song different from the original and says it's his version when he actually simply doesn't know how to play the original.

That's some highly analogizable concept there.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Of religion and science (truth and comfort)

First of all, I do know the problems inherent to religion, we all know it too well. But I think it's mostly religious institutions that we have to blame, and too often I see people forgetting to put them apart. Religiosity is something really powerful, and that's why we look at it suspiciously, because we know people can use their appeal to manipulate us like a gorgeous woman can charm a man with no effort. But see, it's the misuse of religion we hate, not religion itself.

"But religion is a lie!". Thanks, Sherlock. But we don't keep going back to millenium-old mythologies for their scientific validation. In this age we judge stories by their logical explanations and bitch when that shooting that oxygen tank blowed the shit out of that shark when in reality it totally wouldn't.
I've once heard someone saying science's literality is killing the poetry in the world. I guess I have to agree with that. Why do we need truth so desperately, even in art?
We are not being amazingly enlightened people by dismissing Bible for its lies. That's ironically idiotic, actually. Sure, we do have people believing in the Bible literally. Does that make us any superior to them, both of us taking it wrong?

Now, it's incredibly easy to climb on our arrogance and say religion is bullshit and the very cancer of the world. We live our lives ruled by science, which has been able to give us amazing answers. Science can grant us power and cure. As Aldous Huxley said in Brave New World, we don't need religion when we are feeling invincible and forever young (and that's the goal of science, isn't it?). So we have to thank science for everything, religion being just a bastard laying around uselessly, right?

I think this is an arrogant and individualistic thought. We're not thinking in the name of the old and the sick, for these are the ones who made religion present since the dawn of mankind. During our history, people have experienced suffering in the form of war, plagues, starvation, unhealable diseases and so, so much injustice. We'd better realize we're just a bunch of pussies comfortably sit in our chairs judging them for what was quite much their only option to help them find reason and hope in the midst of so much cruelty.

And the world is still stained by this much suffering. Here, I know this woman whose husband has a muscle disease and he can barely move his body. Science didn't find the cure for this disease yet. And now she learned her two older daughters have the very same disease. Science isn't helping her and she's going back to religion because, really, what else could possibly give her strenght to carry this burden?

That's the whole point of religion, in my opinion: looking for order into our own chaos (it sure is weird how these recurring subjects fit together this simply). I'm pretty sure it wasn't like someone one day just thought "hey, I'll try manipulating people by telling them lies". It could work indeed, people are fooled easily. But it wouldn't be a worldwide success for this long if people, the old and the sick, didn't really have the huge need to believe in something to give them peace and comfort and hope to keep living. And they won't give a shit if it's true or not, you don't care about that when there's no hope left.

I am not religious myself (I am young and healthy, ha), but whenever I go inside a church, I can feel the difference in the air. It's quiet and ominously peaceful. You can almost feel comfortable in there if you were feeling troubled before stepping in. And science can't really give us that kind of comfort. It won't bring order to our chaos, it can't do that out of friendliness, it'd be against its own principles. It's okay, really. But in a world ruled by science, we strive for truth instead of hope. That's why "realist" pessism prevails over naive optimism, I guess?
But so what if heaven is a lie, George Carlin? Why does the dead need science and its glorious, logical truth? So what if one believes something just so their pain and fear won't hurt this lot? I think this is no longer a matter of binary judging, of believing in a truth or a lie. And I actually believe we should reflect more on why the fear of being called dumb is worst than suffering.

But I don't think we should keep thinking like we have to have either science or religion.
I mean, are they really the opposite of each other? Are they really sworn enemies? Can't they really co-exist properly? Maybe we saw science taking some roles of religion, like giving us answers, and... I think science shouldn't take the whole role of religion and become our own religion of truth, for that kills the purpose.

Of happiness

You see, life is incredibly hard. It's us against just everything. The cold, the heat, the high, the heavy, the wild. It's all about facing nature. If we go live in a cave there'll certainly be a cave disease. If we go to a forest there'll be a forest disease. If we go to the moon, well, the moondust will be there to prey on us too (look it up). It's like nature keeps always telling us we're so insignificant when everywhere we go we learn our fragility once again.
Damn, not even our own bodies can be trusted. Our bones, our blood, our skin, our organs, them all are wearing out by the day and in the future there'll be a disease that will handicap us (that's a possibility even if you live healthly, nature just doesn't care). And then we've got all extremely complicated human interactions wearing out our minds. Sometimes we feel like it's us against everybody. We experience loneliness, exclusion, loss, injustice, betrayal. Life is so full of hardships it's amazing we find ourselves able to be alive, or healthy. Being sane enough to be happy then, it's pratically a miracle, and yet we barely acknowledge that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Of Fire Extinguisher

I was once watching this episode of Extra Credits about achievements in gaming, and it was quite interesting this sort of metalinguistical joke they made, using "achievement unlocked" signs to make fun of the subject. For instance, 1 minute down the video a sign popped up saying "Achievement Unlocked: Watched One Minute of the Episode".

The interesting part though was when they started saying "Now, we are not saying you shouldn't enjoy achievements" or whatever. A sign appeared saying "Achievement Unlocked: Fire Extinguisher". Cool stuff there. I've noticed we always have to explains ourselves like that, and you can usually spot a Fire Extinguisher when people go like "I'm not saying we should bring back nazism" or "I understand the other side but I still think it sucks". Boy it gets annoying having to make yourself this clear all the time. Having to protect yourself from petty realizations all the bloody time. I hate how Fire Extinguishers are basically used to say "I'm not fucking stupid, ok?".

Now, I'm not saying I think fire extinguishers are a bad thing (achievement unlocked: metatrap, kind of). I guess they're vital for writing and thinking, they sure help you doublethinking. And you can never know for sure what people are going to interpret from your writings, and sometimes neither the writer nor the reader are to blame (though I believe most of the time it's the first). And I think one of the Milestones needed to achieve a satisfying text is dedicating one small part of the text towards making things clear with the audience.

Also, I guess Fire Extinguishers can be analogized into other systems...

Treasure Hunting (literary techniques)

Name Type Notes
Alliteration Poetic Repeating the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words
Anthropomorphism Personification Form of personification that applies human-like characteristics to animals or objects
Concise statement that contains a cleverly stated subjective truth or observation—aphorisms typically use alliteration, anaphora, and rhyme. The aphorism is considered a compressed poetic genre in itself.
Author surrogate Character Character who speaks for the author—sometimes an intentionally or unintentionally idealized version of the author. A well known variation is the Mary Sue or Gary Stu (self-insertion).
Back-story Background exposure Story that precedes events in the story being told—past events or background that add meaning to current circumstances
Mood that overstates its own pathos or drama.
A type of novel concerned with education, development, and maturation of a young protagonist. Essentially, a bildungsroman traces the formation of a protagonist's maturity (the passage from childhood to adulthood) by following the development of his/her mind and character.
Breaking the fourth wall
An author or character addresses the audience directly (also known as direct address). This may acknowledge to the reader or audience that what is being presented is fiction, or may seek to extend the world of the story to provide the illusion that they are included in it.
Chekhov's gun Plot Insertion of an apparently irrelevant object early in a narrative for a purpose only revealed later. See foreshadowing and repetitive designation.
Cliffhanger Plot The narrative ends unresolved, to draw the audience back to a future episode for the resolution.
An extended metaphor associated with metaphysical poetry that pushes the imagination's limits to portray something indescribable.
Cut-up technique
The cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. Most commonly, cut-ups are used to offer a non-linear alternative to traditional reading and writing.
Forcing the reader to recognize common things in an unfamiliar or strange way, to enhance perception of the familiar
Deleted affair
A romantic relationship not referred to in the current story.
Deus ex machina (a machination, or act of god) Plot Resolving the primary conflict by a means unrelated to the story (e.g., a god appears and solves everything). This device dates back to ancient Greek theater, but can be a clumsy method that frustrates the audience.
Dionysian imitatio
The literary method of copying and improving other writers. In Ancient Greece was first formulated by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and the subsequent Latin rhetoricians adopted this literary method instead of Aristotle's mere imitation of nature.
Dramatic visualization Descriptive Representing an object or character with abundant descriptive detail, or mimetically rendering gestures and dialogue to make a scene more visual or imaginatively present to an audience. This technique appears at least as far back as the Arabian Nights.[1]
A sudden revelation or insight—usually with a symbolic role in the narrative—in a literary work.
Epistolary novel Literary genre Novel in the form of a series of documents (letters, e-mails, etc.) exchanged between characters. Classic examples include Pamela by Samuel Richardson (1740), The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett (1771), Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (1782) and Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897).
Coined by J. R. R. Tolkien, it refers to the sudden turn of events at the end of a story which result in the protagonist's well-being.
Named from Euphues (1579) the prose romance by John Lyly. A deliberately excessive use of balanced antitheses emphasised by alliteration.
False documents Literary genre Fiction in the form of, or about, apparently real, but actually fake documents. Examples include Robert Graves's I, Claudius, a fictional autobiography of the Roman emperor, H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon, and the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser. The short stories of Jorge Luis Borges are often written as summaries or criticisms of imaginary books.
First Person Narration
A text presented from the point of view of a character (esp. the protagonist) and written in the first person.
Flashback (or analeptic reference)
General term for altering time sequences, taking characters back to the beginning of the tale, for instance
Also called prolepsis, an interjected scene that temporarily jumps the narrative forward in time. Flashforwards often represent events expected, projected, or imagined to occur in the future. They may also reveal significant parts of the story that have not yet occurred, but soon will in greater detail. This has been highly popularized by the television series Lost.
Foreshadowing Plot Hinting at events to occur later. See also formal patterning, repetitive designation, and Chekhov's gun.
Formal patterning
Rigorously organizing events, actions, and gestures that constitute a narrative and shape a story. When done well, formal patterning helps the audience discern and anticipate the plot structure as it unfolds. This technique dates back at least to Arabian Nights,[1] and is also used in Romeo and Juliet. See also foreshadowing.
Frame story, or a story within a story Framing A main story that organizes a series of shorter stories. Early examples include Panchatantra, Arabian Nights and The Decameron. A more modern example is Brian Jacques The Legend of Luke.
Framing device Framing A single action, scene, event, setting, or any element of significance at the beginning and end of a work.
The character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall.
Exaggeration used to evoke strong feelings or create an impression which is not meant to be taken literally.
Forming mental images of a scene using descriptive words, especially making use of the human senses.
Incluing Setting::Background exposure Gradually exposing the reader to background information about the story's world—to subtly clue the readers into the world the author is building—such in as Brave New World. It's the opposite of Infodumping.
Infodumping (also, plot dump) Setting::Background exposure The author puts a concentrated amount of background material, all at once, into the story, often in the form of a conversation between two characters, both of whom should already know the material under discussion. (The so-called "As you know, Bob" conversation) This is the opposite of Incluing.
In medias res Narrative hook Beginning the story in the middle of a sequence of events. The Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer are prime examples. The latter work begins with the return of Odysseus to his home of Ithaka and then in flashbacks tells of his ten years of wandering following the Trojan War.
Irony Contextual This discrepancy between expectation and reality occurs in three forms: situational irony, where a situation features a discrepancy between what is expected and what is actualized; dramatic irony, where a character is unaware of pivotal information already revealed to the audience (the discrepancy here lies in the two levels of awareness between the character and the audience); and verbal irony, where one states one thing while meaning another. The difference between verbal irony and sarcasm is exquisitely subtle and often contested. The concept of irony is too often misunderstood in popular usage. Unfortunate circumstances and coincidences do not constitute irony (nor do they qualify as being tragic). See the Usage controversy section under irony, and the term tragedy.
Juxtaposition Contextual Using two themes, characters, phrases, words, or situations together for comparison, contrast, or rhetoric
Leitwortstil Poetic Purposefully repeating words that usually express a motif or theme important to the story. This dates back at least to the Arabian Nights.[1]
Magical realism Literary genre Describing events realistically, but in a magical haze of strange local customs and beliefs—particularly popular with Latin American authors like Gabriel García Márquez. Elsewhere, Salman Rushdie's work provides good examples.
Word or phrase in a figure of speech in which an attribute of something stands for the thing itself not be be confused with synecdoche in which a part of the whole stands for the thing itself ( metonomy: The boxer threw in the towel. synecdoche: She gave her hand in marriage.)
Mooreeffoc (also written Moor Eeffoc)
Coined by Charles Dickens and, as used by G. K. Chesterton, meaning "the queerness of things that have become trite, when they are seen suddenly from a new angle."
Narrative hook Narrative hook Story opening that "hooks" readers' attention so they will keep reading
Exaggerating something, often for emphasis (also known as hyperbole)
Onomatopoeia Poetic Word that sounds the same as, or similar to what the word means, e.g., "boom" or "squish"
Oxymoron Contextual A term made of two words that deliberately or coincidentally imply each other's opposite, e.g. "terrible beauty"
Paradox Contextual A phrase that describes an idea composed of concepts that conflict, e.g., "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." (A Tale of Two Cities)
Parody Genre, Contextual Ridicule by overstated imitation, usually humorous, as in MAD Magazine
Pastiche Genre Using forms and styles from another author, generally as an affectionate tribute, such as the many stories featuring Sherlock Holmes not written by Arthur Conan Doyle, or much of the Cthulhu Mythos.
Pathetic fallacy
Reflecting a character's (usually the protagonist) mood in the atmosphere or inanimate objects—for example, the storm in William Shakespeare's King Lear, which mirrors Lear's mental deterioration.
Emotional appeal, one of the three modes of persuasion in rhetoric that the author uses to inspire pity or sorrow towards a character—typically does not counterbalance the target character's suffering with a positive outcome, as in Tragedy.
Personification Personification Using comparative metaphors and similes to give living characteristics to non-living objects.
Plot device Plot Object or character whose sole purpose is to advance the plot—often a sign of poor writing.
Plot twist Plot Unexpected change ("twist") in the direction or expected outcome of the plot. See also twist ending.
Poetic justice Plot Virtue ultimately rewarded, or vice punished, by an ironic twist of fate related to the character's own conduct
Predestination paradox Plot Time travel paradox where a time traveler is caught in a loop of events that "predestines" them to travel back in time
Polysyndeton is the use of several conjunctions in close succession, this provides a sense of exaggeration designed to wear down the audience. An example of this is in the first chapter of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: "A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin".
Quibble Plot device Plot device based on an argument that an agreement's intended meaning holds no legal value, and that only the exact, literal words agreed on apply. For example, William Shakespeare used a quibble in The Merchant of Venice: Portia saves Antonio in a court of law by pointing out that the agreement called for a pound of flesh, but no blood, so Shylock can collect only if he sheds no blood.
Red herring Plot device A rhetorical tactic of diverting attention away from an item of significance. For example, in mystery fiction, an innocent party may be purposefully cast as highly suspicious through emphasis or descriptive techniques to divert attention from the true guilty party.
Repetitive designation Plot device Repeated references to a character or object that appears insignificant at first, but later suddenly intrudes in the narrative, a technique that dates back, at least, to Arabian Nights.[2] See also foreshadowing and Chekhov's gun.
Self-fulfilling prophecy
Prediction that, by being made, makes itself come true. Early examples include the legend of Oedipus, and the story of Krishna in the Mahabharata. There is also an example of this in Harry Potter.
Sensory detail Descriptive Imagery, sight, sound, taste, touch, smell
Side story
Background narrative that explains the world of the main story. Examples include Mahabharata, Ramayana, Gundam, Doctor Who and The Matrix
Story within a story (Hypodiegesis) Framing A story told within another story. See also frame story.
Stream of consciousness Literary genre Technique where the author writes down their thoughts as fast as they come, typically to create an interior monologue characterized by leaps in syntax and punctuation that trace a character's fragmentary thoughts and sensory feelings.
Applied use of symbols: iconic representations that carry particular conventional meanings.
Thematic patterning
Distributing recurrent thematic concepts and moralistic motifs among various incidents and frames of a story. In a skillfully crafted tale, thematic patterning may emphasize the unifying argument or salient idea disparate events and disparate frames have in common.
Ticking clock scenario
Threat of impending disaster—often used in thrillers where salvation and escape are essential elements
Overall attitude an author appears to hold toward key elements of the work—the novel Candide makes fun of its characters' suffering, while The Sorrows of Young Werther takes its protagonist's suffering very seriously. Strictly speaking, tone is generally an effect of literary techniques, on the level of a work's overall meaning or effect. The tone of a whole work is not itself a literary technique. However, the tone of a work, especially in a discrete section, may help create the overall tone, effect, or meaning of the work.
Understatement Contextual A diminishing or softening of a theme or effect. Examples include The Informers and Norweigan Wood.
Unreliable narrator Plot device The narrator of the story is not sincere, or introduces a bias in his narration and possibly misleads the reader, hiding or minimizing events, characters, or motivations.
Verfremdungseffekt Literary technique Alienating or distancing the audience from a play's emotional content—popularized by 20th century playwright Bertolt Brecht.
Word play
Sounds of words used as an aspect of the work.
Writer's voice
Combination of the various structural aspects of an author's writing style.

 Source: wikipedia

Monday, May 23, 2011

Of Wholeness

When I'm drawing human figures, I started to realize they always get too unproportional when I don't have the Whole of them in my head. If draw the chest, then the waist, the legs, head, them all separately, when I look at the result, damn, legs too long, head too small.

If I'm drawing trees, I can easily make their twodimensional branches, like a simple silhouette. But they don't turn out to be truly believable. I have to figure out how to make branches grow out towards all directions, and have it in my head like a 3d model, otherwise I'll lose track of those 2d lines on the paper. I've realized that when I achieve that, I'll have made a huge step towards mastering it.

Same goes for the writing, when I don't have control over the whole of the subject, the very same thing will happen, things will get unproportional. I'll get awkwardly clumsy texts. Texts without that proper, flowing development. Things are going to be said randomly, without proper Milestones needed to make the journey solid.

Those Milestones, they're stand for the structure, the foundations. They're the little dots in my drawings telling me how long the arm is going to be or how far wide the shoulders are. That seems to the first step towards achieving a holistic view, getting the overall structure solid.

Of Sparkles

I always wanted to write stories, and yet I always had extreme difficulty to elaborate them.
Now I still think my skills fail to meet the requirements but at least now ideas are starting to grow on their own. They are suddenly born, develop wings, find strenght to flap them twice and then wither away. I like how lately they've been finding strength to remain alive for longer. I like watching them come and go, these ephemeral moments of pure creativity. And I do let them go with no worries. I like how they refresh the place, like some summer wind bringing that scent of jasmine throughout the room.

I wouldn't like to keep storing every idea I have. I even think that's important, letting the ideas flow, unrestrained, unplanned. I that's a good exercise, as they will help the ideas to find space to develop themselves stronger every time. Also, if there's anything worthwhile, they'll have developed full-fledged wings to fly back to my window sill.


"Mort arched his back and screamed a curse so ancient and virulent that in the strong magical field it actually took on a form, flapped its leathery wings and slunk away. A private thunderstorm crashed around the sand dunes. Mort screamed another curse, which flopped out of the air and tried to bury itself in the sand." Mort (Discworld series)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Of Ill-planned Defense

You know when you're too careful revising your writings and yet there's always mistakes you overlooked?

I hate when things like this happen. I hate thinking I've raised enough defense against something, thinking I've planned out all the possibilities, and then noticing the flaws still leaked in exactly through that place I thought I had taken care of. Mostly, I hate how often this still happens.

Of Gamification and analogies

I am afraid I'm not as much of a gamer as I used to be, but damn I don't regret the insame ammount of time I've spent playing video games. There would be a time where I would, as I always listen how games can't make a difference in your life, it's all but entertainment and etc, but I tried thinking of it entirely by myself and I realized that maybe my life wouldn't be the same without them. They were helpful and influential to me. Maybe as much as reading books. I'm sure to lose credibility after saying that, but whatever, this is fucking freedom for me. See, games motivated me to think by myself.

So there's this web show I've been watching lately called Extra Credits, where they talk about the game industry. I really like their informal yet really mature approach to the subjects (unnecessarily annoying voice, though). I feel like I'm influenced by their how they like naming things for the sake of easy-handling, just like I do. Anyway, one of their episodes was about Gamification. It means, simply put, using what make games interesting to make our daily tasks more engaging and rewarding. It's not a groundbreaking concept when you think about it, and even I had already thought about it before, but this episode helped me having it clearer in my head. Seriously, watch it, it's probably more worth the next minutes of your life than reading the rest of this post.

I'm sure most people, as kids, would think of spaceships and horseriding (ok, us boys) when helping with the house chores. That sure made the tasks more engaging, and I don't know why we had to take the fun factor out of it as we grew older. Sure a 30-year-old riding a broom like Harry Potter is totally facepalm, but that's not the point. I mean, some imagination can only do us good.
See, I wash the dishes (I'll be honest here, I don't do it much too often) by thinking of them like hordes of enemies. I fight the easiers ones first - silverware and glasses (these are like those colorful bubbles that are always the first enemies that show up). Then dishes, which vary in difficulty. Pans are definitely like bosses! There are some greasy ones that are really tough! Sometimes I take a deep breath first before facing them (try using soundtracks, it's amazing).
Ok, I don't actually think of it like real fights (not always). It's more like trying to get the same feeling I would have if I was defeating enemies with a controller. The same feeling of engagement and excitement, that's the point (I wouldn't like the feeling of fighting enemies in real life). And then, instead of being tired of doing some boring shit, I actually feel like doing more boring shit! Isn't that totally awesome?

I had already been feeling like using gaming-related ideas to help me visualize better my thoughts. It's mainly RPG elements like equipping armors and weapons, indexing spells, leveling up skills, or upgrading items. Maybe that's the reason Zelda, Metroid and Castlevania are my top favorite series.

Gamification is extremely useful for analogies, bringing a new system from where I can bring new ideas and use them in other systems. In these three series I've mentioned, you can always explore the whole world, and when you find a new item, you can go back to the previous areas and explore them better, finding new items and treasures. Not exactly accurate, but Backtrack will its temporary name. Can't you see how this can be used in other systems? If I learn a trick with pick strokes to make a different sound come out, I can try it in all songs I know. If I learn a new trick with the pencil strokes, I can backtrack and see how I can improve all things I used to draw. If I learn a new idea, it'll work on my mind like, hm, it's an example I've mentioned in a previous entry, it'll be like these workers from Civilization who'll improve the terrain if you got a new technology available, like highways. See where it's going?

And that's the thing about analogies, sometimes some things are clearer in a system than it's in others. Sometimes, by focusing entirely on one area only, some things will take a huge ammount of time for you to realize, while it would happen pretty quickly in another area. And by using analogies I can use what I've learned in one area in others, so I can pretty much learn several things when I've actually learned it only once. Take an example, Firm Grip, which I'll explore in a future entry, is something I've learned with drawing, but I have already applied it to music, driving, talking, decision-making, and I can try to apply it to any skill I am still starting to develop.

I also like how thinking with gamification on can spice up my thinking, making it much more interesting, much more fun and satisfying - even fucking easier! Maybe that's the reason I've being playing less games. Thinking actually became my favorite game. Treasure Hunting in my mind is not as frustrating as as doing them in Alundra or Diablo II or the Reverse Castle in Symphony of the Night. I truly hated fighting through a forest to find a single herb (which I'm unable to carry!), or always finding useless empty chests laying around, or finding lame items like Roast Beef in that altar room surrounded by dozens of Chtuhlu-like demons.
Oh god, it feels good to open my heart.

Of Testing

If one's is going to try some heuristic learning, one can't be too careful about what thoughts are about to get in. Mindtraps are always lurking around.

So whenever I find a new idea, I try looking for things that prove it to be right. Before finding examples that give it support, it's way too weak to stand on its own. Some of my strongest ideas are the ones that I can constantly find examples to prove them right (or at least acceptable), and after several layers of confirmation, they become Solid. Before that they're too... Yeah, Flacid. That name sounds amusingly fit.

There's this place where thoughts are left to be tested. As I can't trust them yet, I can't let them have any influence over me. So it's like, um, an academy. And when they get their degree, they are free to roam my mind and do their job (it reminds of those workers in Civilization that always set out to improve your grounds after an upgrade, like discovering how to make bridges or how to mine gold).

Of course, things like this always work much better in theory. I could only wish I had this much control over my thoughts. But some effort and discipline can make them work good enough.

I think I could start thinking of effort like some kind of currency...

Of stars

Today the lights went out, so I went out to check the night sky.

I find it incredibly cute the way you stars shy away from our lights. And then, when you display all of your glory when we fade out, making us shrink humbly in amazement, I can only respect you.

I think there's no experience that can drive my thoughts away into the wildest wonderings like watching a starry sky, realizing all the fucking vastness of space. In nights like this we can even see the milky way crossing the sky... and to realize it's made by stars - the same way water molecules form a cloud - wow...

Anyway, there I was watching that magnificent view. It was quite an experience, this whole pitch-black valley with a few patterned golden lights, then low clouds swirling around the mountains, reddened by distant city lights, and slowly above that, as if the line putting earth and sky apart couldn't be defined, a deep blue hugeness filled with all these delicate and magical shiny dots...

Cold thing, the starry sky. Maybe it's the dark and uncaring vastness filled with infinite, white diamond dust. I usually feel that if could reach up and touch the sky, the stars, as sharp as they look, would cut the the point of my fingers. But there they are, looking so tempting, making us yearn towards them, and yet being so irrevocably distant and untouchable.

And there I was tasting the sounds of my guitar when my father came by, and we started a conversation about stars. It was when he was telling me a silly yet funny joke about a king who asked a thief about the number of the stars in the sky while I was trying to scratch a melody out of the guitar that I felt that moment was remarkable. It made me think, hey, fuck technology. I could spend the whole night there, playing music, listening to old stories and watching the stars. Um, I think a modest fire with pulsating embers and crackling sounds could spice up the experience.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Of admiration

I talked with my mother earlier today, and I told her some of the least worrisome things that have been nailing me to my bed. At the same time she implicitly allowed me to feel comfortable with crying (in front of someone), she could make me smile just as easily. Even when talking about all the depressions she's been through herself, she was capable of showing a remarkable sense of humor and making me laugh in midst of tears.

I have no words to express how much I love this woman, but I feel glad I had a chance to hug her and tell I love her.

Of cozy places

It's cold in here, but I can feel comfort in the warmth inside my jacket, feeling my chest folded in heat. My hands are freezing, though. I could try landing them on my warm face and exchange temperatures with it, but soon my hands will freeze again.

I wish I had a friend who could show up at the door right now and hug me. I wish I had someone willing to exchange temperatures with me, someone who could lend me a little more warmth. Just a shoulder where I could find some rest.

I miss my cozy bed. I've been in love with it in the last few days. They're great lovers, beds. They are always there, they're always glad to make me feel comfortable. I like how they my maintain my heat, specially how it allows me to curl up and focus on the heat my body is producing. Amazing thing, life and heat.

I dream of comfortable places. I constantly feel like longing to be alone in a dark, silent room fully warmed by a wood-fired oven. Embers and flames lighting the room eerily. And distract myself with the taste of the bittersweet smell of burned wood and stinking smoke. I like thinking that whatever is going on outside, a savage windstorm or a freezing rain, it's bound to stay outside.

But sometimes I feel cheating by seeking warmth. Maybe I should try wearing off my jacket and taste the cold hurting my skin acutely. This physical pain might distract myself a little from this abstract pain I can't get rid of.

Maybe there's somebody out there in the cold who could enjoy the warmth of my place. I could go out and look for them, and we could drink some hot, spicy soup, and talk all night long...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Of help

I've been having this feeling that if I were to scream how much pain I feel and how much love I need, all I would hear is someone, after rising the head melancholically, saying calmly "well, get in the line".

Of hobbies

When I listen to a voice for a long time, it seems my mind stores all its possible pronounciations and tones and idiossyncrasies and whatnot. It's weird then that the voice starts wandering around my mind and I can play with it in my head, thinking of things that voice can say. Sometimes I like thinking of things its owner would never say. So I can imagine that cute girl delivering a "oh i like you too, handsome" in a much more believable way, despite being utterly pathetic.

So one of these days Hitler speeching showed up in my mind. Mind you, I know as much German as the average eskimo. That didn't prevent me from manipulating the sounds somehow I know are unique to the german language. I don't know if in-between the nein, nein, nein's I was making him say "Squash that rebel scum" or "I'm selling these fine leather jackets", but it was still entertaining. Hey, um, I guess it's pretty much how I play with music in my head, which I mentioned in a previous entry.

Of Flesh-deep

I've noticed my beard seems to grow better and healthier if I press the razor blade real hard against the skin, as if I wanted to peel it off. I like the how the skin aches thanks to the rudeness of the act.

That reminds me of when when I spray some medication over a wound and it hurts bitterly. My mother used to tell me that's a good sign. It means something is happening there. If the wound feels threatened by the antiseptic, then you can trust it's doing its job.

Maybe that's why I see beauty in conflict and pain. Some things can only be born from conflict or pain.That's a fit metaphor, after all it's with pain our mothers gave us birth. I like to remember that when I'm facing problems when conflict and pain is unavoidable. I guess it's comforting to think there must be pain before the healing (yeah, I know that sounds like religious comfort, but let's not hurry into petty realizations, please).

Of Contrasting

I've been talking a lot about them Hymns, but sometimes a bond between me and the song sometimes are unclear to me until a moment of great realization.

One of these days I was in the line at the market, and there were some random songs playing in my music player. I was just distracting myself with all these colorful candies tempting us in the line when a song from the Silent Hill 2 soundtrack started playing. Suddenly I felt kinda... naked and exposed, like I was doing something extremely private and intimate in public (no, I wasn't feeling like jerking off).

That feeling was just too weird, and I felt extremely compelled to analyse it. It wasn't hard to find the answer: I usually listen to that soundtrack in moments of deep introspection, when I'm all alone in my room, all lights out. Sometimes watching the world outside, or staring at the roof. And that connection, it seems to happen naturally. Maybe the songs make me feel like introspecting, or maybe I feel in a mood to listen to them when I'm already being introspective. I don't know for certain, but that's of least importance.

Anyway, now i've been thinking... if this contrast allowed me to recognize this hymn, then shouldn't I be able to optimize this process, to optimitze realization through contrasting?

Of Stains

Everything I see, hear or smell seems to be ridden with bitter memories.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Of Petty Realizations

One of these days I was thinking about my thoughts, and I realized I've been doing all sorts of symbolizations, and instantly I've realized it was something bad. Then I thought "why?". Why is that realizing something makes it automatically wrong? Sure, maybe I'm not aware of the drawback of using symbols (I actually am, I know sometimes they can simplify things way too much), but I was too quick to judge.
And then I realized that this instant polarization is wrong. Is that a metatrap there? No, I was careful with that, and this one is wrong. A lot of things started making sense. I've noticed I do that a lot (mainly to myself), and I see some behaviors out there that match the symptoms.

This go beyond just quick assumptions and conclusionings. Here the realizations are special because of this whole subversiveness, this immediate polarization against things we realize, without really pondering if the rejection is actually needed. These are realizations we have to be careful with. I see a lot of this kind of shallow realizations when I see people analyzing other people's behaviors, the way they react to other's mistakes.

And then I came to think, this has something to do with respect. Or the lack of it, more specifically. When I try thinking of something or someone I respect, I notice that they're free from my petty realizations. It's simple: we criticize things we don't trust. We don't respect things we don't trust. Try watching how people react to things they don't trust, like the government, or the mass media, or even other people. But I'll dedicate a proper entry to this whole distrustfulness going on.

Of Metatraps

Metatraps are a special kind of hypocrisy. It's when you are against people being all subversive nowadays, being that this attitude is very subversive itself. It's when you complain that people complain too much. It's when you complain that people are blind followers of trends, being that you could very be a blind follower of this trend that doesn't follow trends. Be careful not be doing the very same thing you're against.

It amazes me how metatraps can show up everywhere. I think this has something to do with some of these paradoxes I've been stumbling into. It explains the ones we have to be careful with, while others like the tasty untastefulness may need a different category. I don't know, I'll have to ponder a little more on that. I should prepare the whole series properly before releasing them, but I'll have to launch the concept of metatraps earlier. It's a handy tool that'll  help me deal with some of them traps lurking around menacefully (does that word even exist? I don't see a reason why it shouldn't).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Of Spices

Spices are what make things tasty. They help making something stand out as much as it can be add more value to the thing itself, making it look attractive, unique and original.
A good example of spices is when you see a rock band with middle-eastern influences in their sound. That seems to be a nice formula to start with, bringing an element of different genres.

Different countries and cultures and languages can be considered different genres, just like in music. You may have an american story with an italian background, like in Godfather, for example. This is probably the most common use of spicing. Give you character a german or or polish or chinese name, and there you have some little spice already.

I keep thinking that spicing in my theory goes beyond just adding ingredients. It's beyond that. In stories the way the narrative is delivered can be spicy, not only the elements of the story. An unusual song structure can be spicy, not only different musical scales. A strong and expressive pencil or inkwork in a drawing can also make it look more tasty, instead of only colors.

Through analogies, spices can be used in all the different systems. One can use spices in writing, in naming, in drawing, in... well, cooking, obviously. Why couldn't it also be used in simple things as walking? The pace can spice up the experience of walking. And, hell, why shouldn't sex also deserve some spices?

See, again with seeing art as all forms of human expression. It's starting to seem that to me art has only met advantages in bringing spices in. After all, there are no limits to spicing. Again with metalogic, the very lack of taste can also be tasty, if one's to use it wisely. The possibilities are simply endless, and there's the whole fun of it

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Of derailing thoughts (part 2)

"While I'm thinking about my problems, the images started sneaking in by themselves. All in second plan or something, like a slideshow on a wall while you're in a reunion."

I think this is somehow related to my derailed thoughts, but I can't quite put my finger on it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Of creative process

It's when I'm in bed trying to sleep but helplessly thinking about life that I have my most fascinating ideas, and it's not because of the thinking. As the rational part of my brain is busy with its rational thoughts trying to figure out the world, once in a while the other side of the brain starts distracting itself with random stuff, like when you start doodling when you're too bored.

It's been some time now, I've noticed my mind sometimes creates music. I never payed attention to it since it's obviously a song that already exists. But then I started to realize that sometimes what I'm feeling is a somewhat original music, because I can usually recognize the obvious influence behind it (I guess it happens when the song I've been listening to touches me in a different way than just being so-awesome). I think I've fed my mind with so much music that it can make a living with the stored music. I guess that if I spend a lot of time listening to jazz, for example, I'll try to learn the characteristics that make the sound and style unique like it's second nature
And it's all kind of music. I don't really have any control over what it's going to be. Sometimes it's a folky tune, or an orchestral piece, or an annoying pop song, or some d'n'b jam or some drone ambient. I usually think only of sounds and rhythms, so it's not like I'm aware of all instruments and even theory. But I've once thought of a violin creaking a melody out, note by note. And one of these days the song was a cool guitar riff someone was humming (someone who sounded like, huh, Mike Rourke).

My mind also plays with visual things. One of these days my mind was being bombarded with visions of all kind of machinery. It was not a thing I was entirely conscious of. I didn't come and think "ok, I'll think of machines now". While I'm thinking about my problems, the images started sneaking in by themselves. All in second plan or something, like a slideshow on a wall while you're in a reunion.

As I start noticing it's going on and that it's much more interesting than whatever I'm doing at the moment, like when you're studying and you listen to your neighbour playing music (decently) and you head your mind towards the song, I usually abandon whatever I am thinking so I can taste the imagery or the music. And then I noticed that, despite some images being just things I've seen in during my life recurring to my mind, I can actually work on them. I can "study" the machinery logistics and hidraulic mechanisms and test their functionality (nice skills for being a concept artist, I guess). Of course, I barely know how most of things really work, but I can visualize them or a part of them. I also have a small ammount of control over the songs playing in my head. Again, I'm no real musician, I still barely know by heart the sound each note makes and I hardly know most musical terminology, but it just happens, the songs comes to my mind... intuitively, and I can change the rhythm, or "ask" the song to build up or something like that.

When there's real music going on, the creative process increases a thousandfold. I can't recall all the mental images that already came to my mind when I'm listening to a song. I was once listening to this mindblowing guitar solo, and my mind just designed this amazing guitar, which looked very agressive, but by now I have forgotten how it really looks like in details. I remember one of these days I was listening to a heavy song, and colors started dancing on my mind. A violent black blackground, with harsh strokes of red and orange. It could be an awesome oil painting. Sometimes I am listening to a delicate song and I get visions of watercolor.

I have my guess the black-and-red vision was inspired by this. But you see, no oil painting (and that was no Mostly Autumn-related song).
I think this all just consequential stuff. You see, there's too much information around us on a daily basis for us to absorb properly. I think this is just a moment where my mind starts digesting things. Then there's this moment where all the things start coming in. It's when they start making sense and they blend together, enabling me to form something I can call my own.
And then that's why I keep practicing my artistic skills. Sometimes I have an urge to make these things real and it's frustrating not to able to translate my vision in drawings.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Of autumn

I'm not that kind of person who's got a set choice to define things I like, but I can't help it:
out of the available seasons, Autumn is by far my favorite one.

It's something in the air. The way it teases my skin with its slightly cold breeze. or maybe it's something about the air itself. The way it does something to all the colors displayed around, making them match everything else so perfectly, and I could go on describing these combinations for hours.
It's like the world just decided to go poetic.

There's something about this season that makes me feel and see the world in a different way. I feel much more sensitive, much more inspired. It's the season I feel most connected to nature. I can't think of autumn without thinking of the trees and the sky. Greens and blues, whites and browns, all shades of sky colors.
Come to think of it, most of my favorite memories are related to autumn. They've probably grown on me because of the city I grew up in which used to be a quite cold city for the country's standards. Autumn reminds me of a magic childhood, of the seas of pine trees, endless blue, melancholic skies and chilly winds.
Mornings and evenings feel different to me in autumn time. I like the smell of oven smoke in a post-sunset purple-like sky. Or the coldness early in the morning, when the lawn is starting to dawn freezed and when you start noticing that steam of vapor flowing from your mouth. Yeah, ok, that's quite winter. I actually like autumn pretty much for it being some sort of a softer winter. And a more sober spring.

It's autumn here, right now. I can feel it.
I keep listening to Mostly Autumn continuously for no end for no other reason. The thing is, I do that pretty much unconsciously. I barely listen to them outside this season, but when it comes over, it's not like a tradition, it just happens naturally. There's a true bond in there. I can't tell of a song by them to become a hymn, because it seems some songs reminds me of a different aspect of autumn. Carpe Diem reminds me of melancholic post-sunset settings. Bitterness Burnt reminds me of hotter autumn days, around midday. The Night Sky reminds of, well, an autumn-ish night sky. No, the band itself is my hymn to autumn.