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Photos. John McLaughlin. Distraction.

The other day, I posted a lot of photos on my Flickr, I put the best shots of the last ten months or so into a collection, “2010 March-Nov”. In a sharing or deluded mood, I uploaded most of them at rather high resolutions—and I don’t feel like going back and changing this, so feel free to sample and print from there for private use, although I am still maintaining copyright over the pictures. If you want to buy a ready-made print, I have a lot of my photos on Imagekind as well.

I’m going to try and keep my Flickr photostream and my Imagekind gallery a little more closely in synch with the photos I put on the blog, so in general, you might find larger forms of the images there. Adobe Lightroom is making my photo-juggling a lot easier—with the downside that I’m spending more and more time doing it, even running outside and takiing more photos just so I have more raw material to work with. “Like a picture of a water fountain? You kidding me?”

I’ve been frittering away increasing amounts of time on delusional web activities like Twitter, Flickr, Imagekind, my blog, my email, Wikipedia research, my paintings website, free ebook releases, my book websites—it’s a little alarming, really. At some point I’ll cut back. “Only not today.”

Really, I get much more pleasure out of actually writing, but by now there are so many ways to avoid writing when I have my computer on.

When I remember to be an author, these days, I’m into writing my second chapter of fake William Burroughs letters. It’s an odd mind-set, to be using such a particular and quirky format to create text that advances the plot of a science-fiction novel. Like making a portrait out of collage snippets.

But certainly Burroughs himself did often think in terms of having his novel Naked Lunch or Interzone (as he called it) be SF. The juxtaposition seems odd in 2010, because, over the years, SF has ossified into a somewhat rigid genre, and the more literary or experimental kinds of work get classified as something else. Speculative fiction. But I generally still see publishing my novels as SF in a positive light. It gives access to a certain level of distribution and readership.

[Some cellular automata “Nested Scrolls” made my Capow software.]

We went and saw John McLaughlin and his group The Fourth Dimension at the Rio Theater is Santa Cruz last night. It was lovely music, sweet, rocking, and somehow spiritual. Sylvia noted a large number of men with gray ponytails in the audience. We first saw McLaughlin with a double-neck guitar and the Mahavishnu Orchestra about 40 years ago, in Princeton, here’s a video from that time.

Speaking of earlier times, here’s a photo from 1992, right before the appearance of The Mondo User’s Guide edited by me, R. U. Sirius, and Queen Mu, and designed by Bart Nagel, who’s wearing the flashy “sperm jacket”. The photo was taken either by Bart using a timer or, I think more likely, by Mondo staffer Heidi Foley during a photo shoot by Time magazine. Thanks to Bart for sending me this photo.

Coming back to my concerns about wasting time on the web, a good benchmark of where I’m at is the kinds of things that I think about while I’m at a concert. It’s an ideal chance to space out and the mind roam. Sometimes, more commonly with rock, I manage to get so deeply inside the music that there’s nothing else. With McLaughlin, there’s some chance of a meditative state—for me, he often evokes the mental image of being in outer space free-falling into a giant star. But I noticed that last night, I was spending more time than I wanted in thinking about how to promote my writing and images on the web.

Once again it’s time for a walk in the woods.

3 Responses to “Photos. John McLaughlin. Distraction.”

  1. COOP Says:

    I didn’t know you were on flickr – I just added you as a friend!

  2. Gaak99 Says:

    Love the CA pic. Just made it my wallpaper on my new android handset.

  3. Brendan Says:

    Dig what you say about distraction. It might seem obvious that distractions are, y’know, distractions, but most of what’s out there on Twitter and blog-nation or whatever you want to call it, are people engaging in conversation, constantly telling writers that they too must engage in conversation if they want to be considered relevant. Of course the joke of it is that, mostly, the way authors conversate (to steal a verb from my youth) is through writing novels and not bits and pieces. But it’s still necessary to poke your head out of the cave every once in a while. Confusing, especially when the juices aren’t flowing. A walk in the woods is certainly a good idea.

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