I’ve been taking a quick, running look at the Digital Writers Festival. I’ve added something about my writing space at Mapping the Words, (I’m all jammed in with the other Sydney writers) and I’ve tried to spot truly human poems in a literary Turing Test at Bot or Not. For example:
the Romantic search:
Now I watch you.
is computer generated.
And so is this:
The moon rises like a small shore.
Cold, lively lads swiftly desire a sunny, misty ship.
Gulls travel like rough girls.
Only themselves understand themselves, and the like of themselves,
As Souls only understand Souls.
was written by Walt Whitman (and according to the site, 70% of people thought this was a bot)
Maybe it’s all the editing I’ve done this week, but I feel a little bit bot or not myself.
So finally, for something restorative, the perfect meld of tech and human, how about this:
I read a very enjoyable short story over the weekend which, as a side note, suggested that arty/creative people were more emotionally complex than, well, their everyday counterparts. I’ve been mentally protesting this idea ever since and so listened with interest to Dr. Nancy Andreasen on Radio National. I’m very drawn to her research which posits a cognitive style for the creative thinker with a highly developed capacity to form original associative links. Creative thinkers in both the arts and the sciences. She gave some wonderful descriptions of physicists lost in thought and reaching, intuitively, for solutions. Have to admit that one of her studies showed a link between mood disorders (manic depression and depression) and creativity. Although the subjects of this study were exclusively writers. Not quite sure what to make of that!
And now, because it’s hard to be depressed when The Doctor is around, a bit of fan fiction, or perhaps fan puppetry:
The Doctor Puppet
This week my first novel, What the Dead Said, has made it out into the world. Not only that, but a short story of mine, The Beginning of Human Flight: The True Story, has been accepted for issue 10 of SWAMP. But, perhaps more impressively, my sister has created a ray gun out of things she found lying around at home. Now, which one of us would Dr Who find more useful? She lets you know how to make one too over at her blog.
As always, I’m sad about the end of the current Dr Who series, even though, for me, there was something missing. Simon, from the Incoherent Blog, said it well: it seems more about the head than the heart. Somehow the story seems more about exploring who the Doctor is, rather than letting us just figure that out for ourselves as he goes about his adventures. I’m not sure that I would step into the Tardis with this incarnation of the Doctor. Who am I kidding? Of course I would.
I’ve finally downloaded A Dance with Dragons and am happily devouring it. For a reader, it is a great pleasure to realise that you still have the better part of 1,000 pages to go. I read recently that despite our alleged growing incapacity to pay attention to anything for too long, we still prefer the novel over the short story. Perhaps, it was suggested, because you have to really focus on a short story. I’m all for short stories too, but to immerse yourself in a book is a wonderful thing.
Having been trying out GoodReads. I’m not sure about all of their recommendations, but we’ll see how it goes …