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Mostly because it reminded me to catch up with a few things. Right, time to download some Tiger Lillies, look out Smiling in Slow Motion and come up with another autobiographical experiment.
  1. autobiography: In addition to the obvious I am interested in to what extent a person can use the tools of fiction (plot, characterisation, re-iteration, motif, symbolism, subtext, etc.) in order to partially or completely re-write their lives, alter present experience, and edit, delete or re-mix aspects of their past; how far this is unconscious common practice, and whether it can can be a conscious and/or positive act.
  2. childrens books:
    nessie horror!
  3. derek jarman: I annoy him by keeping him filed next to Peter Greenaway on my video shelf. Not really! Film-maker, artist, writer, iconoclast, dead. Wikipedia Entry. A dead and proud Derek Jarman appears in the weekly strip. Smiling in slow motion, his journal of living and dying.
  4. fortean phenomena: Fort was a man obsessed by reports of anomalous events, e.g. rains of fish, miraculous births, out of place animals, etc. He also had many fine theories about the world. Hatstand, but fine. I am most interested in the things which cross the line; when the Fortean becomes real, or accepted reality is disproved.
  5. holga: It's a cheapish medium-format camera, you can buy luxury models but mine is pretty ordinary, and so un-modded it still has the plastic insert in. (I have this thing about not adapting my cameras -- they're not craft projects). Good for portraits and double exposures.
  6. lurid stories: Not poetic, pretty stories? No. I may produce soft stories, but my raw material is cruelty, murder, torture, violence, brutality, inconsideration and the commonplace nature of despair, anger, and loss of self-control. I usually start with my local news.
  7. pens:
    shiny green plastic buddha on a spring
  8. scomata: One of my unique interests. More strictly, "scintillating scomata" though that seems unnecessarily dramatic. Derived from the more common "scotoma", it refers to moving flecks of brightness in your vision, although I also use it to refer to moving flecks of darkness. Though primarily a migraine symptom, mild scomata are commonplace for me. Under certain circmstances my scomata will self-organise, and appear to form patterns. I'm crazy, but you knew that.
  9. tiger lillies: Writer/Illustrator Edward Gorey enjoyed 'Banging in the Nails' so much he sent us a large box of his unpublished stories, some of which we adapted and turned into songs. He did? Wow!
  10. zines: Just received one this morning, from jinxremoving. It's great! Do you do a zine? Would you like to swop with me?
Enter your LJ user name, and 10 interests will be selected from your interest list.


( 13 worms — Feed the birds )
(Deleted comment)
20th Sep, 2005 11:01 (UTC)
the consistency suggests not
-- migraine is associated with a worsening of symptoms, until the vision is pretty thoroughly obscured/changed. Here's your standard flashes and floaters advice: I think doctors and opticians are chary of sharing it because it makes people panic irrelevantly about detached retinas.

However, the occasional study/investigation has revealed that many, many completely sane and otherwise normal people see things -- from flashes to fully-formed hallucinations of dancing elves -- that aren't there (although they're often unwilling to talk about it) This short paper gives a good overview (PDF, three pages), and includes a swift look at Charles Bonnet syndrome -- psuedohallucination in the partially sighted.
20th Sep, 2005 07:55 (UTC)
I have flecks of darkness, of course. Actually, when I was a kid, I used to see real amoebas and *things* with flagellae and feet swimming around in my eyes now and then. My mother took me to the doctor about it! (Diagnosis: Just Plain Nuts)
20th Sep, 2005 10:20 (UTC)
probably just good vision
... as one of the main causes of all this is your brain interpreting dust particles caught in the tear layer. They move as they're being flushed away. Though strictly speaking they're too close to see, many people can and do see them. And where there's dust there will be mites, so ...
20th Sep, 2005 12:05 (UTC)
Re: probably just good vision
I get those amoeba things all the time, I chase them round quite a lot. Sometimes they get on my nerves. I get the migrain "wiggly line" thing every now and then - starts in the corner of my eye and spreads across whole of one side of vision. And, when I was a kid, I used to see funny cartoon-ish objects floating by whenever the lights were low!

Two other vision things, that no one seems to have mentioned, and which REALLY intrigue me, are these:

1) when I'm tired, or drunk, and it's late, I see trails after everything. I'm told this is like a "flashback", but I never did any weird drugs. It's brilliant when it happens! but no idea what causes it.

2) when I go from a lighted room into a dark room, a thin line (a bit like you sometimes get in an old black and white film) drops down from a couple of inches inside the frame. This freaks me out a bit sometimes and makes me think I might be inside the Matrix and this is where I find out it's all an old film... or something..

lots of interesting facts in your interests - thanks!
20th Sep, 2005 08:13 (UTC)
i relate to scomata too. oh, and so glad you got (and liked) the zine!
20th Sep, 2005 12:46 (UTC)
and thanks for the stickers, too
I'm so envious of your lettering ... I'd read that coffee crushes zine, too (it's fun) but I'm more of a bar-person crusher myself ...
20th Sep, 2005 11:00 (UTC)
You'll have read Christopher Priest's The Affirmation? It's a bloody brilliant book, with an extreme exploration of how you can shape reality through the autobiographical process. And if you really want to do your head in there's this book, where essayists using the process of authorship create their own version of the reality of Priest's books, looking at the way he creates the reality of his characters through his process of authorship, who in turn write complex narratives (contradictory or mirrored or shadows) which affect their reality in the eyes of themselves and other characters...

(notice of commercial interest: I did the index for the book, and have 800 copies in the garage which I would like to flog)

But read The Affirmation, it's great.
20th Sep, 2005 11:09 (UTC)
the only Chris Priest I've read
is Indoctrinaire, and that was quite a while ago. I should give him another go: thanks for the recommendation.
20th Sep, 2005 11:26 (UTC)
Re: the only Chris Priest I've read
Indoctrinaire was his first novel, while interesting at the time he has surpassed it with his subsequent books.

Of his more recent work, I'd recommend
The Separation - twin brothers in WWII, conflicting narratives compounded by amnesia and faulty memories, alternate history
The Prestige - Two 19th century stage magicians diarising their rivalry over the development of an illusion of instantaneous transportation
The Affirmation - contemporary London and fantastical mediterranean, fiction as autobiography as fiction as ... continue until thoroughly confused.
20th Sep, 2005 12:22 (UTC)
One of my lecturers at uni was one of Derek Jarman's exes; when DJ came to Brighton to preview a film (which one I can't recall) dropping his name earned me a big grin and a warmth that flooded through me. I've never felt so immediately comfortable with someone, let alone a 'celeb' in such forced circumstances.
20th Sep, 2005 13:50 (UTC)
What's the Puffin book ? Doesn't look familiar...
20th Sep, 2005 16:27 (UTC)
Geoffrey Household, The Spanish Cave
24th Sep, 2005 22:08 (UTC)
Often when I cough or sneeze, I see mercury. As if it were in a box. I'm quite sure I've never put holes in a persons skin.
( 13 worms — Feed the birds )