Zephyr 98 Archive

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Right now there’s just a blog with a free WordPress template applied. The front door opens right into the house, not much of an entryway, but the roof’s relatively leak free and the utility costs are low.

Nothing more to see here folks, move along.

And thanks for being a reader.

-kk

I just finished registering zephyr98.com as a domain (via namecheap) and contracting (monthly right now) with Webfaction as the ISP. Otherwise, I’m spending most of my writing time writing off this blog (young novel, children’s book mentioned in previous posts), and looking forward to attending my first Portland Wordstock (where they are offering a workshop for writers with full time jobs and families on how to get the writing done without abandoning everything else and/or losing your mind–at least, that’s the intent. The site is also a chance for me to practice some new skills–although, leaving time for writing, it’s likely to proceed slowly, the first task being to install WordPress and then migrate this blog into a free WordPress template.

I’ll post here when I’m moved into the new digs.

It’s always fun to google oneself. Especially in mid-afternoon, when I need a poke to stay awake. Good to trade a few minutes of productivity for hours of excellent results.

Googling “Zephyr98” I get my own blog as #1, followed by entries for a highly successful online poker player; a deviant sketch artist of horse heads; a registered player at the online (and I bet totally killer) gaming site, !Soul-Arena!; a 60 year old guy at TrueNudists.com; and, my second favorite, a stats-stealing site called http://www.isthisyour.name, where I learn that while my real name (Kurt Kremer) in binary is

01001011 01110101 01110010 01110100 00100000 01001011 01110010 01100101 01101101 01100101 01110010

…I am only modestly envoweled; but that my personal power animal is the mighty sphynx cat! (I sense a feline army waiting for my commands–you will all pay for laughing at my modest voweledge!) And that there are likely only 6 other people in the US with my name. (Since there can be only one, and I’m not a brawler, I hope we’re spread far and wide. Still, I better brush up on my fencing skills.)

And their final tidbit (and this is just plain creepy), my magic number:

“Your ‘Numerology’ number is 5. If it wasn’t bulls**t, it would mean that you are adventurous, mercurial, and sensual. You seek growth through adventure and different life experiences. Although you are a critical thinker, you can sometimes over-ponder an issue.”

Get out of my head, you freaks!

Here, though, is my favorite Google result. Do I really need to say why?

ZEPHYR 550 ’91-‘98 – Tasty Nuts the home of Pro-Bolt Ltd

Ah, I feel energized. Now to get back to Tweetdeck.

Good lord, I just remembered a snippet of a dream from last night that popped to the front of my skull while reading Nancy Angier in the NYT on New Creatures in an Age of Extinctions, the memory triggered by this sentence: “Yet even our most beloved mascots — the pandas, the snow leopards, the gibbons and the whales — remain a mystery to us, their wild lives unplumbed.”

In my dream, I wandered down a coastline to a very small inlet just wide and deep enough to contain an adult humpback whale and a Cretaceous-sized leopard seal (or pick a time period where everything was big box store Texas-sized) that I knew, in my dream, was the whale’s predator.

The whale pressed its knobbly head against the shore (the water was deep at the edges) and sang in hollow, mournful whistles while the leopard seal rolled menacingly in the background. The setting felt more like a massive indoor movie set, no real sense of the outdoors or the wild, other than the aggregate rock flow I scooted down to reach the whale, while it watched me from one its glistening, globe-sized eyes. I really only remember, as much as we “remember” anything, the rock, the song, the size of the whale’s head–as wide and long as a California king-sized bed–and the rich mottled flipper and sleak back of the predator seal.

I remember that the whale didn’t seem threatened by the seal but wasn’t at ease, either. It didn’t seem to want me to do anything about the seal–just to pay attention.

Someday, viewmaster reels will contain snippets of animation or live action instead of 3D slides, just like dreams. I’m disappointed that my ADHD subconcious ran out of patience after only a few seconds with the whale and seal and flipped to a new scene (which I don’t remember). I don’t like to make too much of dreams, because it’s just me talking to me, looking at my own shadow cast by firelight, but I like the way they typically don’t rebroadcast mundane reality, and remind me that, even in waking life, we barely know our world and often make damn strange intepretations on what we do see.

Like who should and shouldn’t have health care. (Hey, where’d that come from? Goddamn subconcious, sharp as a knife sometimes, slices through its pillowcase and takes control of my fingers at the keyboard.)

Synchonicity update: My horoscope from today’s Onion. Make your own interpretations. Statistically, coincidence is no big deal. Knowing that, it can still make us feel a little freaky….

Taurus Apr 20 – May 20
The lion shall lay down with the lamb this week, before looking around, realizing no savior has in fact returned, and ripping out the poor, unsuspecting animal’s throat.

Man On The Street Moments

Statistics would show that, like a long string of heads or tails-only coin flips, there’s nothing special about encountering a series of off kilter or even seemingly sinister moments after a dry spell of mundane normality. Closer observation would probably show that we swim in all manner of circumstances constantly and swap our observational and perceptual filters like flips of the coin.

These events took place during a recent sunny day along a 5 block span of Portland’s Pearl district. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only common thread. I jotted them here in first person because it worked for me during the writing.

* * *

Outside Powell’s NW entrance, a 40ish man in worn jeans, t-shirt, sneakers, and puffy leather cap stands gripping the handle of his shopping cart and staring at a young tree growing from a hole in the pavement. As I pass, he plucks off his cap and glares at me.

“Do you think it’s funny? Because there’s a breeze? Because it feels good on your skin?”

He shouts, “It’s not, and it NEVER WAS!”

“There are millions of leaves,” he mutters.

He replaces his cap and returns to the tree.

Three blocks down I follow a trail of dried blood for half a block to a brick wall where the trail ends or begins. There’s about a 8 foot overhang here where homeless sometimes shelter from the sun or rain. The space is empty today.

Outside the door to the office, two girls stand at the parking meter, one fishing for coins and narrating in rough language while the other is texting and nodding like she’s taking dictation. “I told that girl, bitch, I said, bitch, don’t tell me that *you* *don’t* *know* what I mean, you going to fucking die, bitch. Haha, she don’t fucking believe me.”

Inside the office, there’s a human-sized wooden crate open and standing on end, with the name “Natalie” taped to the front. I don’t think that Natalie knows the girl outside, but I head upstairs just to make sure.

Notes:

An alternate explanation is that Natalie, a prodigious and often brilliant worker, simply wore out and was sent to the factory for maintenance and upgrades.

Above, I intentionally did not describe the physical appearance of the two girls at the parking meter, but will say that neither was African-American.

There’s a good exercise here for me to review these minimalist scenes and figure out descriptive bits that would help readers visualize them better. Then I wouldn’t need notes like “BTW, they weren’t African American girls, just in case that’s where your biases led you, and if they did, well shame on you.”

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and if that’s poor grammar, well, I’m on a short leash today.  But the posts referenced below are worth reading by anyone who writes (fiction, at least):

Earlier this summer a science/speculative fiction writing workshop was held in India that sounds exciting and a wonderful model for something similar in the US (though as an even more multi-cultural melange than the sessions held in Kanpur).

Two of the sessions founding feathers (Vandana Singh and Anil Menon) describe their experiences starting here and here. Read Vandana’s first–there’s more background; then jump on Mr Menon’s wild ride.

Read em and pluck your eyes out with envy, or, better, your heartstrings with desire to participate in something as rich here in the states (that doesn’t cost a fortune, that is as much about writing as a state of awareness as craft, etc.).

Maybe there are workshops like this in the US–I haven’t seen or heard of them, though. Maybe that’s the problem–they are here but there’s not enough publicity.

As I thought, “translating” the original story of the blue bear to text was hard, but not completely in the way I anticipated. I found myself adding details in text that I could overlook when telling out loud–when theatrics are at least as important as details, and logic isn’t always necessary (or even desired, depending on the age of the audience). But text is something else. I finished a solid draft and am reviewing it to see what makes sense as illustration notes or what can be implied with nudges for the illustrator, and what works fine alongside an illustration, even if it’s redundant. Good progress, though–I’m happy with the results so far, especially since (intentionally) I wrote it on notebook paper during a car drive to and from a day hike at Silver Falls.


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