Tag: maccarroll

Preptober 6 / 31 – Synopsis

Preptober 6 / 31 – Synopsis

I’m a planster, but more on the side of a pastser than a planner, for NaNoWriMo. That said, this year’s novel has a little more of a synopsis than usual because I’ve been having fun with NaNo to write an ongoing series of short novels. This one picks up where last year’s one leaves off. However, this is as much of a synopsis as it’s going to get. A big part of NaNo’s value to me is that the radical format–high speed, low quality, social writing, little planning–helps break me out of creative ruts and explore writing and story in new, fresh ways.

Preptober 5 / 31 – POV

Preptober 5 / 31 – POV

I really like writing in first person POVs. I like having access to the characters’ full sensorium; I like being able to embody my MCs in my imagination. But I also need a justification for why this person is self-narrating, or why they would be narrating to the reader. Who are they telling their story too? Mac’s character concept was in part an excuse for a specific POV when I first started with him, though he’s a lot more than just that.

Preptober 3 / 31 – Plot Formula

Preptober 3 / 31 – Plot Formula

Todays prompt was “choose a plot formula.” I had to look up what that meant, but it turned out to be the term for things like Aristotle’s Incline (note: this is just a nice write up; I have no connection to the author of the blog), which I’ve used for most things I’ve written for the past decade at least. I found this Lester Dent plot formula and reading it made me laugh. My hand written summary is just a summary–read the whole entertaining thing.

Preptober! 1 / 31 – Word Goal

Preptober! 1 / 31 – Word Goal

NaNoWriMo Season is almost upon us, and I’m always so excited I want to start RIGHT AWAY. Thankfully, there is Preptober, the month in which we prepare for NaNoWriMo in order to assist with impulse control. Because according to Traditional NaNoWriMo Rules, November 1st at midnight is when hundreds of thousands of people all over the world put down the first words on a new novel in the ridiculousness that is National Novel Writing Month.

I love this event. I’ve done it every year since 2008, except the year I was completing my dissertation. I’ve never shared the details much outside of my regular writing group though. This year we won’t be able to do the usual in-person write-ins and everything sucks, so I’m going to blog process and progress and share more with my fellow WriMos and Storytellers, even though it’s always a hot mess LOL

Here’s the list of Preptober prompts I’m using this year if anyone wants to follow along.

And here’s my first prompt, announce your word goal! You can connect with me / be my NaNo buddy at https://nanowrimo.org/participants/intralimina.

Mac Carroll Multiverse Novel Notebook

This is a brief flip-through of the traveler’s notebook I keep for stories in the Mac Carroll multiverse.

Tools I use:

Inserts are for:

  1. Working things out which gets set aside when filled;
  2. Each novel as it develops that gives a longer-term reference for that particular book’s details;
  3. A world bible intended for permanent reference for things like maps, timelines, character details, technology, world-rules, etc.
  4. (Sometimes, but not pictured here, an insert for administrative and marketing type tasks related to stories or books in the world.)

You can read a story in this universe in the anthology Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime from Autonomous Press.

Hearts & Tails: Spacetime and Mathematics

FIRST LAW OF THE REACHABLE NOWS: No alternate versions of a person may be in eye-line of each other within the same now, or both will suffer immediate death by fire.

My novella “Hearts and Tails” in Spoon Knife 4: Spacetime is set in a soft-SF multiverse where WWI never ended, it just kind of petered out into a devastated landscape and a chemical-weapons cold war. There are 90’s tropes galore: magic, bio-engineered mutant powers, impossible psi-ops, and neon-glow cyberspace–depending which of four reachable nows one falls into. And maths. There are maths!!!

Okay, so I really love mathematics. I know this is mostly an unpopular opinion–Or not! Maybe you may share my love!

Macintosh Carroll, the central character of these stories shares my love. He is a maths savant with color-number synaesthesia.

Red-orange-blue-and-black
a place where four four-dimensional world-lines line up creating a single now, a point shared by four spaces, four-D space-time four four four four times four sixteen blue blue blue blue like the bluest blue that ever was–

Mac stops writing and closes his eyes, the numbers washing him like seas. They are beautiful to him, beautiful and terrifying.

Mathematics–loosely, softly anyway–is how I keep the multiverse of the stories self-consistent and believable.

A formal system in mathematics is an engine for creating truths. It consists of axioms (accepted truths), rules (specified behaviors), and theorems (less obvious truths). New truths can be created by applying rules to axioms and/or theorems, so from a little bit of logic whole universes are made. Logical consistency is what builds a formal system, no matter how outlandish its axioms.

In the case of the Mac Carroll Multiverse, there’s a space-time phenomenon that lines up four realities at a single point. Some individuals can slip between the realities at that point. The axioms include the dynamics of the slip, many of the facts of our world circa 1991, plus unique world-facts such the Ottoman Empire dropping a chemical bomb on Germany because, after 40 years, they want out of the Axis. The rules are called The Laws of the Reachable Nows, and are recorded in a book shared by multiverse travelers. From those axioms and rules, the rest of the mulitverse follows.

But because I love disrupting stereotypes as much as I love maths, Mac’s also a shifty low-life punk with a belligerent attitude who is embarrassed by just how deeply he loves maths, and hides it behind a lot of attitude. Cuz nerdiness is punk rock too <3

In Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime. Autonomous Press, Amazon, or ask your local bookstore.

Hearts & Tails: Source and Memory

My twenties were belligerent. A few decades of living in fear will result in belligerency, apparently. They were also creative, beautiful, and engaged in the 1990’s post-punk industrial world of queered-up vampires, feminist philosophies, anarchist role models, cyberpunk promises, and aggro-rage mixed-media music, poetry, performance, fuck-this-shit manifestos. This photo of me says, “Fuck you buster, I’ve got a bad-ass custom-built dream-computer, boom box, no gender, and a bad attitude, and I’m not afraid to Rage-Art, so don’t even think about stopping me.”

slightly scowling white person in their 20's with shoulder-length frizzy hair and a white shirt and black vest playing solitaire on a chunky CRT monitor with a boom box, printer, and beige computer tower in the background

My twenties were about danger and anger, but also about community, and the protective factors that come of sharing cultural space. As we got older, we spread into a diaspora. We calmed down enough to get Real Jobs(TM)–which then ate our lives. Shit happened, and not much can be done about that, but I think we’re the poorer for it.

The Mac Carroll multiverse, where my Spoon Knife 4 novella “Hearts and Tails” is set, is my call-back to my twenties. Everyone’s angry and hungry, but they’re also a tight creative community.

There’s “the epic industrial act Recyclr…They’ve got a killer chemical synth, more vacuum amps than can fit on The Parlor’s stage, and Mikal can do more with a fiddle bow and the literal trash people throw at him for a challenge than should be possible outside of actual magic.”

There’s Mac’s best friend Florence…”He and Anais are working up a new performance piece called ‘Nerves.’ Anais calls it ‘a post-modern tribute to nihilism in the age of mutually assured chemical annihilation,’ but Florence describes it as, ‘a multi-media bit on fuck the system, plus we get the audience drunk!'”

There’s Mac’s fierce love of his friends, that he has a hard time expressing in any way that doesn’t come across as just belligerent. “Maybe Flo will want to go out, burn off some of his rage with me on the dance floor. Maybe then he’ll tell me what happened to his eye so I can make the motherfuckers pay.”

Outsiders drawn inside to build our own community, fearing the vulnerability it creates even as we desperately craved it.

The Mac Carroll Multiverse is smaller and more personal than the Liminal Universe where Hoshi is set. Being an alternate 1991, it’s got a lot more of our world to it, and, for reasons associated with the space-time phenomena that creates a multiverse at its heart, all of its stories take place within the confines of a single city. It’s SF/F, sure, cuz I’m not a memoirist, but it’s my 1991 too. My twenties. My community that I wouldn’t be alive today without <3

“Hearts and Tails” is available in Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime. Autonomous Press, Amazon, or ask your local bookstore.

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Portland, Oregon