The Imago Machine (11/13/2019) - Open Thread (Ask Me Anything, Oracular Advice, Microfictional Cities)

I have, perhaps, fallen down a bit on newslettering just lately. (It’s been a complicated month. My new job is amazing, and takes up a great deal of mental runtime; I’m organizing moving the other half of our household to New Mexico; I’m finishing the edits on A Desolation Called Peace; and I keep getting on planes. None of this is good for newslettering.)

As an apology and a promise — I have some very fun things to show and share with you all, quite soon, and I’m planning on getting back to an every-week-for-subscribers, biweekly-for-non-subscribers schedule — I think it’s time for an open thread, where I answer any questions you might have.

Since my lack of newslettering is all about logistics, time management, structure, and large life (or story-structure) changes, I think I’ll focus the open thread as follows:

  1. Any question you like on said topics (logistics, time management, story-structure, regular structure, career/life changes, editing);

  2. Oracular advice (specify that you would like oracular advice in response to your question);

  3. Microfictional cities, with a focus on deserts. If you’d like a microfictional city, provide me with a color, an adjective, and a type of weather.

The microfictional cities come from a Twitter game from months and months ago, where I did some tiny-cities-in-200-characters. I loved writing them, and I got a lot of positive feedback and appreciation for them — and they were also a way of approaching a problem I have as a writer, and as a person who works a lot of complicated jobs, all of which I care about and all of which make me feel like I need to work every second of the day. On the one hand I want to have a space to lean into writing tiny jewels which don’t have to have Plot, Capitalized, i.e. to let myself not have to be useful all the time, to undo some of my own bad programming about ‘if it’s beautiful no one needs it’. And on the other hand, I do feel like I need to work all the time…

So the microfiction cities are for you, o friends of the newsletter. And for me. And for joy.

I’ll answer questions for the next week.