Thursday, March 12, 2015

INKBLOTS--Exploding with new ideas for 'Blots!

This our first time back together for some time--too long! Great to be back with these fine gentlemen--seven of us tonight (Pastor Carl gets the prize for the most dedicated--he drove 90 miles one way to get here just for 'Blots. We are honored). We discussed at length, with what appeared to me to be mounting enthusiasm, prospects for Inkblots in the future. More to come on that score. Over Storyteller Pinot Noir (thanks to John Schrupp's exquisite literary taste in wine) and a Cline Zinfandel, we rehearsed some of the writing projects we have been or are working on (I shared a bit about my latest mania, World War I novel, set in France in the Western Front, my protagonist a lens to teen atheist CS Lewis. If you think I'm being a bit over-hyperbolic employing the word "mania" just ask my gloriously patient beloved wife).

Patrick is writing a collection of short stories, highly symbolic, weird, intriguing, first-person zombie narratives. Post-apocalyptic yarns designed to be stealth means of exposing the fallacy of irreligious secularism, and adorning a biblical redemptive view of the nature of reality in a horrifically broken world. Patrick did his first 'Blots reading probably two years ago or more, a vast tome of philosophy, the size of multiple volumes, in all likelihood, accessible to but a handful of terminally degree-ed academics. Now he has hit on a genre that has become the vehicle to convey much of the same complex content but with intrigue, humor, imagination, and skill. None of the rest of us are writing anything so accessible to the postmodern 14-24 year-old, that comes in the side door (or is it through a hole in the roof?) with biblical truth, as far as I can tell.

Young Atheist CS Lewis after WW I
Carl commented on the awesome vocabulary Patrick uses, but wonders if he has overdone it in places. Protagonist is human but pretending to be a zombie for his own self preservation. John pushed back on why the protagonist would be walking about in the forest, where he was susceptible to zombie attack. Patrick took it well and said he had not actually considered needing a reason; we talked about all fiction being contrivance, but it is contrivance that appears so real it doesn't seem to be contrived to the reader. Dougie Mac commented that Patrick didn't seem to have the witticism that his other writing has been so full of; I had to agree. It is always hard to tell when we just get a ten minute snippet, but I think it didn't have the refinement (Patrick seemed to feel the same way given his comment when he finished reading, something about it being a bit rough still, and hadn't looked at it for a while). John mentioned Voyage to Alpha Centore, intriguing book he is reading that reminded him of what Patrick is writing, a critique and expose on modern secularism.

Adam has been reading lots of PG Wodehouse lately. Previous material Adam has shared with us was a delight and reminded us of Agatha Christie. This feels like a macabre Victorian-esque yarn, steam punk-ish feel, though I admit that I am not a reader of the genre and know only little about it. Adam reads like an actor, which he is, so a delight to get the nuance of inflection as he reads. This is a witty fun piece. Adam is spare on attribution, because, in my opinion, he is used to reading from a stage script. I suggested attributing more early in the story, and as characters are well developed and their voice known to the reader, scale back then on attribution. It is Wodehouse-ian with banter and turns of phrase, Patrick felt it sounded like cliches in places.

We returned to our opening discussion and parted with some assignments for research and planning for the future of Inkblots. Stay tuned.

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