Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sea serpents haunt my daydreams


I recently made an "about me" video where I talk about how I put the pieces together and came to story and some of the things that get me really excited. In it, I make an analogy to American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.

In American Gods, incarnations of gods travel from their lands of origin to the US with immigrant believers. Once here, they struggle to maintain belief in this new land of opportunity, variety, and distraction and - in more recent years, in a time of emerging technology gods, like the Internet, TV, and Media.

Stories face a similar issue. I don't think that there's a risk that humans will ever stop telling stories - it's too much a part of how we function, of how our brains work, for that. Rather, the playing field has shifted from small local communities to an increasingly connected world across geographies, languages, and cultures. From oral retelling or the printed word to an ever increasing array of near instantaneous connectivity and multimedia wealth.

Story will have to adapt. The question isn't "if" so much as "how".

I have a print above my desk of a sea serpent by Daria. Its tangled and twirling length is made up of sections of scales in varying patterns and colors. Each of these, as I stare at it, is a story.

They're growing like catfish in Chernobyl's holding pond. (Catfish continue to grow until they die, which when undisturbed can be past the century mark. Chernobyl's catfish are now about 8 feet long.) Layer by layer, story by story, the serpent grows. I want to put a webcam near his lair (or his hunting ground) so that we can share and spread the wonder of his stories without disturbing his normal existence.

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