Writing Heart Drunk

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A friend of mine has this quote oft attributed to Hemingway framed on her wall: “Write drunk. Edit sober.” While I’m not much use writing drunk and do most of my writing and editing sober (though the occasional glass of wine, can, of course, spark sheer brilliance at times), there is something to be said about the parts of our brain, our hearts, our spirits, everything that makes us, that get kicked into high gear during these seemingly contrasting components of the writing process: writing and editing.

When my writing is at its best, I am writing from the heart. I am expressing something universal that I’ve always known is there, and I am not thinking about it too hard. A meditation teacher in a group I attend was recently discussing the idea that the heart has a brain—how the heart, in essence, has thousands more neurons than the brain, and these neurons can sense, feel, and learn. As I am a science fiction writer and not a scientist, I often share pseudo-scientific information I find fascinating, so feel free to research this on your own and try to debunk it if you must—but the idea that the heart knows things, and even more, knows things innately that the brain would have to think hard about to understand, is something we’re all familiar with.

My writing is most enjoyable—and I believe most successful—when I’m not really thinking about it, when I’m writing from my heart and spirit.

In contrast, editing is an experience of the inferior head-brain, a left-brain exercise that can feel more like math than art. It is a labor of love, but make no mistake, it is labor. It may be different for you—I know some writers who love editing. For me, yes, there are moments of clarification, even wow moments within the editing process, but for the most part, it is Work. It is spending ten minutes wondering whether to leave in or remove a comma. It is moving a paragraph or chapter to a different spot, connecting the pieces, then moving it back again. It is realizing a character’s dialogue isn’t realistic, or that the character lacks the catalyst to perform the action they are doing.  It is reading through your entire manuscript for the fifteenth time as the words on the page began to blur, it is tossing and turning in bed, it is solving plot problems in the shower, it is self-doubt, it is asking ‘why am I doing this?’

Is it, perhaps, because of love?

Yes, it is.

I love writing.

But I do not love editing. I edit because I love writing.

Writing gets me drunk on love, gets me into a heart space. It keeps me sober, keeps me wide-eyed, keeps me on my toes, keeps me learning.

So I put in the work. I put in the time.

It’s what we do for the things we love.

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Matter – Atoms – Molecules

IMG_1140Today’s blog-only flash fic. Part of a collection called The Art of Physics, for the sort of discerning individual who might take an entomology course to avoid taking physics.

Enjoy,
Corin

Matter – Atoms – Molecules

Kenso stands on the bank of the sea where the water has no color. He has stood on the bank of every sea on earth, and here is the only spot where all colors are absent. On the Southern tip of Africa the seas were a summer green. Off the coasts of the Mediterranean isles, a teal mirror. In the biting lands of the Arctic the waters were grey.

He has travelled many years to find this exact spot. He crouches down, cups his hands in the water, lifts. As always, the water comes out clear. Wherever the water is green, where it is blue, where it is red—it never matters, for whenever he touches it, the color leaves.

But here, here the water does not lie, does not pretend to be something it is not. Here not only does the water have no color, but the drape of the sky and the distant bodies pinned against it do not appear, do not hint at something he can see but never reach. The expanse above where the sky might hang is not even black, it is not any other non-color—it is simply not there.

Kenso wonders if there is oxygen on the bank of this shore. The absence of sky must mean the absence of atmosphere. He does not feel the ebb and flow of his own breath, but he does not suffocate.

For a moment he tries to remember the faces of ones once important to him. He sees the faces, can pull out distinct features—a plump lip, thick eyebrow, all painted in colors like the sea and sky. He lets the images float through his mind as though watching a passing sailboat.

The water in the sea changes shape. A sphere, a star, now a bird—a phoenix, symbol of fire and rebirth. The water phoenix spins in a circular motion, then dissolves back into the sea.

The sea is clear, his hands before his eyes are clear. Hands as formless as the water. His body is bright light. Light with no color.

The sea dances into a river, takes him along with it. Past many wavering shorelines, through thick forests, above the highest mountains. Color, color everywhere. Bright bright light and blackest dark. His lungs expand as he drinks it all in waves.

Before his eyes now, a colorless fire. He breathes.

And the fire catches the water.

 

Berlin Ben’s Big Night Out on SubverCity Transmit

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The latest episode of SubverCity Transmit, the podcasting brainchild of myself and co-conspirator Erin B. Lillis, features a short story of mine called Berlin Ben’s Big Night Out, previously published by The Subtopian. This episode is hopefully timely as we welcome individuals of all colors, genders, etc., to join us down in the SubverCity Station.

Whoever you are, whatever you are, and wherever you are in space-time, come on down and enjoy this tale of a gender-bending mad scientist getting his night in the moon. A one-off short story set in the cold, neon-lit world of Subterran.

SUBTERRAN in Top 25 for JukePop’s 2016 Summer Writing Project

subterran_cover_art2UPDATE: JukePop appears to be no more, so any links here to Subterran are darker than its clubs on a lo-power cold-day shutdown. My plan for this bad boy is to most likely republish it via Wattpad. Stay tuned.

The aforementioned SUBTERRAN has been included in the Top 25 for JukePop’s Summer Writing Project this year. JukePop is partnering with cultural arts promoters and publishers 1888 to select one of these 25 novellas based on July’s reader analytics (retention + reading time) for publication. Head on over to JukePop to get your hallucinatory, bio-enhanced fix and show some support. Votes, comments, and time spent reading will increase the odds of getting published and are greatly appreciated.

1888 is also conducting a series of podcast interviews from those involved in the Summer Writing Project. You can check out mine here, where I talk with 1888’s Dean Moses about the writing process and why I love science fiction in an episode of their podcast The How The Why.

best,
Corin

Subterran on JukePop

Subterran by Corin ReyburnMy experimental first novel, Subterran, is now available chapters at a time over at JukePop—a community publishing platform where one must have the first chapter approved by editorial staff prior to publishing subsequent chapters on your own. I’ve published the first five short little chapters, and will be updating weekly every Thursday with at least two new chapters. We’ll see how this experiment goes. Votes and comments are appreciated.

Subterran is a biopunk absurdist acid trip and was largely a learning process, but I’m happy to make it available online for whoever happens upon it to enjoy.

“Back Cover” copy:
In a subterranean colony called Generik beneath Antarctic ice, Jonah, a bioenhanced technosexual—hip, stunning, and upgraded to his max allocated pleasure capacity—has his pick of the bubble gum girls and boys out on the dancefloor. Fantasy and reality are a whirlwind trip of saturated screen images and nights spent in a dark and decadent club called Hypocrite Wedding.

But ignorance breeds an unwitting victim. When summoned to take place in Generik’s procreation project, he uncharacteristically falls in love with his assigned partner, Mari. When she gets involved in Generik’s sinister venture “EternaLife”—where the ultimate genetic experiment is the goal—Jonah must leave behind his capricious lifestyle, and find a way to infiltrate a system which knows his every move.

Dive in here: jukepop.com/home/read/9364?chapter=0

A Piece of Polyglass Plastic Perfection in The Gateway Review

product_thumbnailHello out there through vast lands and cities. Another story of mine, “A Piece of Polyglass Plastic Perfection”, is featured in Volume 2 of The Gateway Review: A Journal of Magical Realism. It’s always great to have something in print and I’m proud to be a part of this new publication. The issue is available for purchase here at lulu.com.

The Gateway Review is also currently seeking entries for a writing competition, more details here: gatewayreview.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/volume-2-issue-2-open-submissions-and-writing-competition/

Thanks,
Corin

Inventory of the World in Jersey Devil Press

Inventory of the World - Jersey Devil Press A flash fiction piece of mine, “Inventory of the World”, was published in this month’s issue of Jersey Devil Press, an all-poetry-and-flash issue that’s short and sweet. Have a gander at Issue 73 – Jersey Devil Press, and read about what happens when your job is to catalog everything from silk scarves to rocket launchers.

best,
Corin