Much has been going on lately and this will be a post that covers some of my latest updates and thoughts.
Contents: Releasing B.W. Powe’s novella on Wattpad, Espresso Love Themes and Layer deconstruction, Secondhand Memories Acknowledgments and publication, Visionary Lit reflection, Literary Fiction Network
First of all, the school year has officially started. Now I’m not originally a fan of the education system but I realize how exciting this year is. Not only has Espresso Love been finished with so much encouragement and is on the querying process, with Secondhand Memories nearing the end of the publication process available in hardcopy soon, and a lot of great events coming up like The Word On The Street, Windup Bird Cafe events, Wattpad Toronto Meet Ups and onwards, but the courses this year are right up my alley. They are absolutely my passions. It’s like knowing you are finally in the right place. Japanese Literature with one of Murakami’s translators and of course a Murakami novel involved, two Creative Writing workshops, and a Visionary Literature course full of world-changing landmark thinkers, prophets and writers through history such as Hildegard, Dante, William Blake, Rimbaud, Whitman, Yeats, Eliot, Kafka, Kerouac, Plath, Bob Dylan, that followed the same traditions I practice (i.e. the greater universal, prophetic instinct, mystic circuit, collective, axis mundi, absolute mind, the great imagination and the ancient wisdoms etc) taught by none other than my good friend and most inspiring professor, B.W. Powe.
I did talk about Windup Bird Cafe before and mentioned a little about the Japanese Literature side, but aside from the Visionary Lit course, seeing Bruce again was no doubt wonderful. In particular, he gave me a copy of “These Shadows Remain”, a book of his that I have been hoping to read for a long time. I am absolutely mind-blown by this novella. And if you’re a reader of my work, when I say I’m mind-blown you know this is serious. It is an epic fantastical allegory of immense mythic proportions and symbolism, coming from a prophetic and transcendental voice. Yet at the same time, it remains so hauntingly close to home in its vision and accurate criticisms of contemporary technological culture of our generation. However, despite its easily-accessible layers of adventure and its literary brilliance and genius, it hasn’t been a widely-popular project in the years it has been published – and so, I will actually be launching it on behalf of Bruce on Wattpad for free. I believe it is a life-changer and a must read for everyone and anyone, but especially those interested in fantasy, contemporary literary fiction and deep multi-layered philosophies. Stay tuned for that, follow my professor on Wattpad here. This will be totally exciting.
Here’s a sneak peek of it, of its premise, aside from the swords and magic:
“The toons, that’s where it began. All the creatures we’d dreamed. We’d watched them on screens since we were babies, we’d heard the stories.”
“They came from the screens onto our level of existence and they mocked our weapons and strategies. They’d obviously come to know a lot through careful observation over the years. Who’d have known images could learn? Who’d have guessed the images had a life separate from us? It looked like a power had taken hold of them. They had a power we never knew existed. We’d come to believe that all there was in the universe was our perception of things. We were wrong.”
“All humanity would be on screens, and the living shadows would be their audience.”
B.W. Powe is a published author of over 14 books and has been called “one of our finest cultural commentators” by the Toronto Star, a poet who can write “fully formed from the cosmos” (The Globe and Mail) and “a visionary–a modern day Magellan” by The Montreal Gazette; “an intellectual terrorist” by Barbara Amiel in MacLean’s. “Powe has created something remarkable…a hybrid of genres and media that transcends the ordinary and offers a new vision in a new way of a society dancing to electronically generated signals…” (The Calgary Herald). Pico Iyer said his writings represented “a soaring alchemical vision.”
In any case, returning to school this year has surprised me personally. After finishing my 160,000 word monster of a novel, I realized that I have grown so much in intellectual capacity and in discipline and determination. I feel like I am brimming with creative energy and determination and am productive every minute of the day. In fact, it’s as if I live and breathe literature, constantly seeking material to learn from, to absorb, to inspire myself with and seeking the next literary calling, the next piece to write, the next long project to devote myself to. I’ve learned too much from my experiences in the past year. I grew as a writer, as an artist, as a networker, as a person as well.
At this point, I feel practically invincible in terms of my academic career. As a student who used to slack off, be severely distracted, procrastinate and so on, I wasn’t sure how I would handle school this year. But the discipline I’ve put forth with Espresso Love, has trained in me what is necessary for my academics. I am on top of my readings and have no problem setting aside time to get things done right away. I don’t need to take “breaks” or distract myself. It isn’t the desperate determination to finish schooling once and for all, but I am actually passionate about being a writer, fully and thoroughly. And every course in my program as an English Literature and Creative Writing double major is exactly who I am in my entirety. I don’t need to have second thoughts about reading anything or writing anything. I can simply do it right away. It’s just so much a part of me and will benefit my soul.
Coming back to school after my writing career has taken off sort of full throttle, I also sense that I am entirely on a different wavelength. I’m in school to truly and fully absorb all that I can. I also feel like I’m much closer to my professors because unlike most students, I have a lot of experience, have almost fully developed my writing style and creative confidence, as well as a powerful way of thinking, my own philosophies and worldviews, a pool of influences and sources to draw from, a thirst for furthering my ability and knowledge and my career. Learning from my professors has become a revitalizing passion of mine, and as they are experienced writers with much deep insight, I feel fully rooted and in connection with their thoughts and ideas. My education experience has suddenly blossomed, as if I am staring across a vast field of possibilities, especially with my eyes set on pursuing this lifestyle and career, every part of my school experience now seems to make so much sense. These are all things that will benefit me and those who will come in contact with my work. Every assignment I write, for example, is something that I can actually post online or publish for my readers to enjoy, to once again continue to inspire and provoke thought.
Once again, the things happening thus far and whatever is to happen this year, is as though the universe is converging and all the dots are connecting. Life had been waiting for me to reach a certain point of maturity and take particular steps before it all begins to make sense. All along, it had been set up without me knowing.
Sometimes that’s how life works. We won’t understand until we get to that point. We won’t understand until we look with hindsight.
Such themes also prevail in Espresso Love and work in general. This morning I received one of the most encouraging and inspiring comments I’ve ever read: “Wow, all I can say is wow this novel has moved me in ways that’s almost beyond expression. And the last chapter…a heart wrenching, but beautiful conclusion to a thrilling journey. This novel and it’s characters perpetually have a place in my heart. I know every word and every sentence was never without meticulous thought. I can tell you put forth great effort. This novel has definitely taught me alot about myself, and the world around me. That we are apart of something much greater than ourselves, that the possibilities in life are infinite and life is so much more than we think it is. By this work of art I am encouraged to ponder the journey of life much more, and truly discover what it all truly means. I’m looking at life from a new perspective, a brighter one. Thank you,Takatsu for this journey and I’m looking forward to more. Never stop writing.”
At the end of the novel, or metaphorically, at a certain point in life in hindsight, this is what we see. Recently I had posted up a theme and layer deconstruction of the novel, gathered from various reader’s responses and from the top of my head. Though these are are not absolutes or the law, here are some important points throughout the novel:
– Freud’s Super-Ego, Ego and Id. Naoki is split into Super-Ego and Shirayuki’s Id. Shizuka acts as the compromising and catalyst layer of Ego.
– the idea of that most individuals are lost or unsure of their own identity and are in perpetual constant soul-searches and by looking outward, people find themselves in the external world – Naoki’s answers and self came from interactions and manifestations in other characters. Did he project himself onto the world and form characters or is he constructing himself according to external influence?
– There is no reality, the world is made up of subjective perceptions and shifting unrealities. Any part of the novel could very well be a figment of imagination or someone else’s belief or idea. Simulacrum, representations, imitations, reinterpretations, mass reproduced duplicated images, or by extension, realities, without knowing the origin or recognition of any actual true reality.
– Naoki sees Shizuka visually, whereas she first perceives Naoki by literally reading his mind
– Mass phenomena of sex and desensitization parallel with capitalism, and Naoki x Shizuka contrast of a deep metaphysical connection and soul-searching through sex
– Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious or Plato’s abstract universals or Absolute Mind of Hegel or Spiritus Mundi etc. the greater pool of all humanity, civilization, history, wisdom, thought and imagination, as an universal connection and knowledge
– I think therefore I am
– Rock to jazz to classical (Nirvana, Mi Hyun’s OOR, flumpool magazines, Clark Terry alarm, ambient Jazz, classical etc)
– Urban environment into Nature for refinement and enlightenment, back into the urban with the enlightenment
– Yin Yang polarity shifts between Shizuka and Naoki. Shizuka being the Yang, active agent in the beginning, and Naoki being passive, until it begins to reverse. At the end, Naoki must be the Yang.
– Capitalist society creates a natural hegemony that converts proletariat into flat soulless images who service the system. The bombardment of images, while humans become images themselves
– Love in the novel is a deep complementary metaphysical unconditional connection between two people, who have completely exposed the totality of their true selves to one another
– The intellect, the philosophical mind of Naoki, is the core of the being – but he isn’t human until he gains emotion and memories. Intellect manages and controls emotions. The Super-ego and Ego controls the Id. Consciousness prevails through trials and suffering
– Simultaneity, while something happens, something else in parallel is happening. Duality and parallel realities or worlds i.e. The Cause vs personal journey. Dreamscape vs reality. Jackson Pollock while World War II
– Greater forces beyond the characters, the flow of the universe, many things out of human control. Circumstance, fate, action and reaction, unforeseen
– Despite these greater forces, it’s worth it to try and fight on, seek answers, til the end
Other than this theme deconstruction, there are more thoughtful and nostalgic little flash fiction pieces or short stories posted up on the bonus content collection Espresso Love: Fragments.
Aside from Espresso Love, my old novel, the pioneer English cell phone novel, Secondhand Memories, is also finally nearing the end of its publication process, currently being interior formatted in a really neat way. t will be in print book form in a few months that you can order internationally. This will be a ground-breaking step for the cell phone novel movement and history in general. And its timing can’t be better. Once again, it’s as if the universe had prepared everything ahead of me, and only now when so many loose seams are connected, that the publication of Secondhand Memories can have much more meaning. Anyway, stay tuned for news. Here is a sneak peek at the Acknowledgment notes.
There are many people who have been a part of Secondhand Memories’ ground-breaking history, who have supported and believed in the project and the cell phone novel movement since the beginning, and those who have been a part of my personal life as a friend.
First I must thank God for bringing me through thick and thin, opening doors, and gifting me with various intuitive talents and passions in the arts, and the compassion to reach out to people in the world. All of these truly are by no coincidence in my blood. Thank you to my parents, who have built up in me firm values and fundamental beliefs that prevail through the messages in my work, and have given the room to make mistakes, explore and excel through my journey in life.
Thank you to Stan Soper, the founder of Textnovel.com and literary agent, whom without, we would never have had a sanctuary that recognized and encouraged cell phone novels and its culture. Thank you to Derek Vasconi for eMobo, Sakura, and having always been passionate about Secondhand Memories, Japanese culture and cell phone novels. To my editor Quentin and other staff that had spent some time on this experimental manuscript. As well, to Collateral Damage Studios, creator of Internet Explorer anime mascot, Inori, for book cover illustrations. Joeseph Simon has also always been in correspondence and believed in me and the cell phone novel culture, being constantly passionate and innovative with publication ideas or multimedia. Thank you to B.W. Powe, my professor, who has always been of great inspiration and encouragement, as well as his help in 2013 in my growth and maturity beyond my secretive cell phone novelist life, giving me the creative enlightenment and a new opportunity as a full-fledged writer of prose literary fiction. Thank you to “hectibus” the translator of Japanese cell phone novels in 2008, who inspired me to write the first original English cell phone novel. I’d like to recognize Jack and Mary who had written their Master’s thesis on cell phone novels and interviewed me, as well for all the interviewers or events organizers, past and recent, who believed in this innovative movement and gave me an opportunity to share. Also would like to mention Wattpad and its staff, who had more recently given me the next platform to grow as a writer of literary fiction, and confirm my ability, dedication and leadership, beyond my cell phone novel accomplishments.
Thank you to Amanda (hengbok), from Brazil, who hopped on board and became the second cell phone novelist on Textnovel, and Charlotte (Lady Charlotte), the third, after Secondhand Memories. Thank you to Gummy (Forever Midnight), who has been a wonderful friend, supporter and an equally talented cell phone novelist. Thank you to Jolene, a reader from a long time ago. Thank you to all newer friends, fellow writers, long term fans, and my beloved “kids” that I am responsible for inspiring: Kagurez, Opum, Ayane Nanami, Akirei, Shizame, CCshoelaces, HigurashiAi, Wasabi, Lumina Astri, Clover, Hime-chan, nashipo, EllieCue, Crystalfur, Natasha, Kuukai, writerings, fabrication, Wren, Nora Wright, Makage, Ergelina, Rivere, nagareboshi, Sakuna, Amu, Niko, Arata, and many more. You are all dear to me and have shown me the full potential of what I had started and what our tech-saavy culture truly means – friendship and creativity without discrimination or physical limitations.
There are countless others who have been part of the journey, both in my life and my writing. I wish you many inspirations and blessings, as you have blessed me.”
Needless to say, I’m quite excited about its release, even though it is not reflective of my current literary stance or writing style and ability, it will be quite a feat and there are many who have been in anticipation of its publication. It will be an interesting experience to finally have a book in my hands that will be my own.
Of course, I am still most enthusiastic and hopeful for Espresso Love, which is my greatest accomplishment thus far, with a mature worldview, saturated with layers of my visionary thought and philosophies. I have my fingers crossed and hope that whoever reads it will believe in its potential as well. Truly looking forward to the day Espresso Love will be a published book.
Along that note, my Wattpad author friend, Lilian Carmine sent me her supernatural YA novel, The Lost Boys all the way from Brazil with a wonderful note. She is a wonderful super friendly personality and exceptionally popular and talented. Here is a picture with her book. It is really something to have a physical book in your hands of something you read online, a journey you had followed for a while. Grassroot writers and dreamers are inspiring and deserve success in every way. I also now owe her my future publications! Aren’t friends such a great thing?
Back to the Visionary Lit course, these are some of the images we were given to portray major themes we will delve into throughout the year. Our perceptions will likely change, but for the record, the first response I have is the concept that I have been writing about. Our connection from the inner core of the individual – the human being – the torso, the chest and the heart within towards the outer world, through extended arms and legs, reaching into the cosmos around, a mystic circuit and the Collective, the greater imagination and the axis mundi, Plato’s abstract universals, the Absolute Mind, whatever it could be called, the ancient wisdom throughout the ages of all of human civilization, history, thought and behaviour, the higher realm that we are all unconsciously connected to, draw from and in turn affect as well. This is manifested and represented equally in the hydro towers and its cables, the idea that electricity, wireless waves, internet, radio signals, all these things that connect us now. Our own inner worlds, our thoughts, our minds, our feelings through our electronic devices and screens, through electricity, transmitted into the world, and vice versa, information that feed into us. We are part of a perpetual greater current and the World Wide Web, not only partaking in the immense metaphysical pool of internet data, but as a part of the entire cosmos as a whole.
To wrap off, The Literary Fiction Network on Wattpad has launched officially with a swath of great thoughtful, deep, quality litfic by talented writers organized in reading lists, Featured Reads recommendations, and the beginning of a short story anthology. Follow and spread the word.