Salutation not Valedictions!

Look at that little button on the side labelled “Subscribe.”  You know you totally want to smash that… thing.  You’ll get updates of all my work when the work gets posted.  Don’t miss out. [You don’t need to be subscribed to be a member.  You don’t need to be a member to be subscribed.  But you do need to be a member to post.]

Welcome to the Works of Robert Madsen, the home and online heart of the various writings of the author Robert Madsen and the occasional artist of his association.  I, the administrator, am the completely unpaid exponent of the writer in question, chained now for nearly two years upon this work-station and to be occasionally savaged with the lash when the wages of my continuous exhaustion and near-starvation causes me to roll my face across the keyboard. Read More …

Time Enough for an Update

Past few months have been interesting–the slow realization of both the nature of my craft and the industry in much greater detail whilst countless minute but meaninglessly menacing dangers throttle their talons about my door.  I do have a knocker.  Good lord.  Anyways, what I mean to say is that my expanding knowledge of my discipline has forced me to constrict or cease certain projects and alter other projects altogether.  I am not convinced that a good living can be made by an author of common quality working altogether or predominantly upon novels.  Traditional serials were also functionally a dead end.  As for the latter, there’s simply no large established method of dissemination.  For the former–novels–the competition is vicious, and they can easily outspend you.

A lot of work intended for another Goliath Thunder collection is being transformed into a Goliath Thunder novel.  I don’t know when it’s going to be released.  I don’t know when it’s going to be finished.  Even once I get that figured out, I’d have to work out the marketing, and while I do have something in mind, that’s not exactly going to be a picnic to plan out.  In all honesty, expect any future novels to be few and far between.  There’s only so much of this I have in me.

On the bright side, I was extended a sort of olive branch from an unmentioned compatriot–a visual artist–who wants to do a comic series–possibly more if this pans out.  This certain someone indicated I’d be doing the writing, which will be much more more laborious than a comic would traditionally entail.  So I’ll be earning what I eat.  Will be a collaborative effort.  Artist prefers not to be identified, so I won’t.

I can talk a bit about the upcoming novel.  I began thinking about the concept of superposition, the possibility of a probabilistic universe and conflated that with an ambiguity with the relationship between soul and self.  This led into a metaphysical investigation that would put my high school philosophy teacher to shame.  Perception allows awareness of the universe, apparently, but just as easily you could argue that the very act of perception creates the universe–almost like quantum superposition at a macroscopic level.  Does the soul actually exist?  People often ask that question.  But the soul could very well wonder if the body actually exists.  And then there’s the problem of relative perspective.  A pair of observers may be looking at different states, and when they remark, they each perceive only according to their own instantiation.  Anyways, there’s also large thinking military walkers, a military force trapped by its opponent within a surrealistic solar system, and madness.  I wonder what would happen if you collided a grand spaceship, perhaps a kilometer long, going some large fraction of the speed of light, smack into a planet.

An Ant Can Have a Hill

I think on some level that this is obvious.  I would begin at once to condemn the idea that was so uniform when I was a kid, that we were all unique and special.  Frankly, in all my years of schooling, I’ve probably met two genuinely brilliant people.  But back then, “self-esteem” was the sort of buzzword that was considered so important to the fostering of a functioning adulthood ethos.  Of course, the damage that attitude has done is obvious even today, but I think that most people still esteem themselves worthy of greatness, just waiting for that special moment when their real life will finally begin.  Of course, do they consider that their current middling, miserable lives could be their real lives, that these are the things that they must either accept or correct to be happy or are they entirely oblivious?  I will genuinely err that people do wonder, people do know, deep down at least in the moments before sleep robs us of our awareness; I have that much faith at least.

Perhaps a year ago I presented this picture with a short caption on Twitter.  Now, I’m not important enough to find offensive, but the response I received was far greater than my minimal importance should have allowed.  None of it was pleasant either.  I have to assume that people still want to believe this.  People want to believe that their real lives just haven’t started yet.

One of the things I learned as I hit adulthood and all my preconceived notions derived from a moronic childhood unraveled, one by one, was my own inconsequence.  In truth, I wasn’t that different from my peers in my outrageously hubristic outlook, but reality struck me harder than most.  It could not be ignored.

To be great is to miss the point.  Even an ant can dominate the hill.  To be great is to miss the point.  To do great is divine.  We ought to be defined not by what we are but what we do and what we have done, and that doesn’t have to pertain altogether or at all to occupation.  I would venture further that who we genuinely are is constructed entirely on the backs of our deeds.  Therefore, if you want to be the star of the boardroom, you have to put in the hours–everything in life is a competition–and you have to make yourself harder and stronger by the things you do than do your peers.

The Days He Lived and Loved and Laughed

Moths frequently appear to circle artificial lights, although the reason for this behavior remains unknown. One hypothesis to explain this behavior is that moths use a technique of celestial navigation called transverse orientation. By maintaining a constant angular relationship to a bright celestial light, such as the moon, they can fly in a straight line. Celestial objects are so far away that, even after travelling great distances, the change in angle between the moth and the light source is negligible; further, the moon will always be in the upper part of the visual field, or on the horizon. When a moth encounters a much closer artificial light and uses it for navigation, the angle changes noticeably after only a short distance, in addition to being often below the horizon. The moth instinctively attempts to correct by turning toward the light, thereby causing airborne moths to come plummeting downward, and resulting in a spiral flight path that gets closer and closer to the light source.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moth#Attraction_to_light

The Afternoon Jules Regretted his Dashcam

It’s difficult to get women.  You have to make some sort of performance; you have to impress them, certainly if you’re trying to impress more than one.  And there are many different types of women in the world, nearly as many varieties as there are means and strategies for seeking their bountiful affections, but those women impressed by material things are the simplest and most straightforward to impress assuming material things you have the material to afford.  Devil knows.  Jules wasn’t much of a mariner; his boat wasn’t even his own.  His father, a retiring stockbroker for a large financial firm had purchased the vehicle a few years previous but admitted in private he never had the time to take the girl out for a ride, much in the way you would maintain a riding horse.

But Jules wanted to take the girls out for a ride.  He frankly didn’t know them, only the initials of one carved with iron ink into the crack above her oblivious ass, and the first name of another–at least so he thought; “Sally” she seemed but in reality her name was Florence, though she preferred to go by “Krystal.”  Of a high quality is a woman that likes to identify as an overpriced liquor.

Jules had a driver’s license.  He didn’t even consider whether or not he needed a license to drive a boat.  The keys were easy enough to come across, and the harbormaster was passed out in his office.  That’s what life is like in Kennebunkport.

A few girls and his wingman, an old friend he picked up from a party three weeks ago when he was inebriated enough to compare pieces–and a little more–they tore out into the night–or afternoon–to give the girls a rise as the combustion engine of the old girl sent her high above the crest of the waves; how fleet her feet.

But turn and turn and twist and dive and drive and drive, she whirled about against the waves, spinning like a top, till thankfully she redressed herself and resettled her bangs above the spray of salt.  But Jules would never forget that day when he lost control, launched the women wide, and recorded himself for his father’s later entertainment having lost himself and his senses hurling face forward into the floor like a man struck hard unguligrade upon the jaw.

Belated Update, Unfortunate Morning of August 19, 2017

I’m reworking the first two books I wrote in the Goliath Thunder series.  Further work in the series just seemed to make it a necessity as the universe became more and more fleshed out both before my eyes and within my imagination.  You should see the reams of notes clogging up the arteries of my workspace.

But I haven’t been sitting on my hands, either.  There’s loads of new content on the way.  In fact, I’m sitting on so much of it that my ass hurts and I’m suffering from a lack of oxygen while I watch in realtime the imaginary flights of SR-71 Blackbirds.  Some of that new content will be completely new content in the upcoming books.  Some of its shit that’s a secret held between only myself and whatever perverted voyeur deities deign to see me emerge in my Neanderthal glory from the steaming shower.

Don’t think too much about it.

The Dark Knight Sizes

Little man lives big for a moment, for some moments, for a few minutes, perhaps an hour, too big to suffer being a joke between the ears of others even as he can glimpse the guffaw of laughter over the rumbling engine’s din.

But he’s stronger than you are.  He knows he’s being laughed at, but it doesn’t bother him; he doesn’t care.  Just look at the determination in his eye even a mere millisecond before the moment of impact.

He’s stronger than you are.  He knows it and he doesn’t care, and you don’t know a damn thing at all.

Not fundamentally different, but fundamentally enough, he suffers under a presupposed curse that cannot be remedied by diet or surgery.  Assuming you could climb in the car, could you endure what you would consider public humiliation?

Or would you own it?

Creative People and Creative Habits

Creative people have creative habits, by which I mean that creative people have bad habits–not so much in the application and prosecution of their craft inasmuch as their own personal habits.  You could argue that creative people don’t reserve much of their consideration for themselves after they’ve spent it all in their work.  This is to avoid altogether the discussion of what constitutes a creative person, which I would tend to mean as anyone who creates, specifically as a sort of sole proprietor in a personal obsession with a certain craft.

It’s apparently a sort of personality trait.  There are some kind gentle souls who put others and the world before themselves.  And then there are other people who can’t be bothered to take care of themselves because they’re too busy writing or painting or whathaveyou.  In truth, I wouldn’t ascribe to it anything glorious or romantic; I see it rather differently.  There have been many bright minds and shining stars struck down amidst the height of their profession because they didn’t care for the consequences.  All different names of scientists, writers, some painters, and certain even very professional performers.  This condition seems to strike men far more than it does women.

And when I talk about taking care of oneself, I’m not really talking about daily bathing and the occasional clipping of nails, though these are also good habits.  In general what I’m talking about are issues of substance abuse, which strike amongst the creative like the dart of Apollo.  Writers tend to be drunks.  Others are chainsmokers.  Some of them also have terrible drug habits.  Many of them have even produced their best work while so driven.  I think that’s precisely why they opt not to consider the consequences; by and large, it has become a portion of their creative process, whether good or ill, and to disrupt this allegiance would the height of inimical.

I frankly have to wonder, does the creative endeavor attract substance abusers or is it almost a necessity to be a substance abuser to be creative?  “No smack, no soul?”

A lot of people say that life is suffering.  I would counter with the assertion that “life is desire, and desire hurts just as much as it helps.

I Am a Monument to All Your Sins

This is something I started writing some months ago, but I never finished it.  I’m just going to leave this here as is.

I had a dream where I was trying desperately and unsuccessfully to get Milo Yiannopoulos to keep his clothes on.

You know, I’ve never really had what I’d called a “Writer’s Block” problem before.  Sometimes I was at a loss for ideas, but I was always able to get things on a page.  But recently, just looking at my own writing evokes a preternatural terror I can neither relate nor understand.  To be honest, I don’t think this is something that others haven’t experienced before, and I don’t think it’s a phenomenon specific to writing; anything you do as your primary vocation might be able to elicit this reaction.  The really interesting question is “Why?”

I am so fucking far ahead of my work schedule, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.  I’m pushing two year’s of content completed that is completely unreleased.  There can be no anxiety about the deadline; I’m not even willing to consider that possibility.

I have been knocked down a few pegs.  A good part of my job is marketing my own work, and several of the platforms I had historically used to that end have shifted me off, leaving me high and dry and keeping my money anyways.  I still am unsure about how to deal with the marketing side of things.  Thing is, I don’t have any difficulty doing marketing research; so why would that effect my writing only?

I don’t know.  I feel like I am an unwilling explorer in the vast depths of human emotion, places most people in their lives will never go, long lost caverns littered with the scribblings of strange tongues.  I already knew that writers were unpleasant people, but I still refuse to believe it is a result of the vocation, rather that writing invites certain types into its fold.  I wonder how many such letters go forever unreported.

I was watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas again recently.  It’s a film I’ve watched many times–perhaps over a dozen.  I never got it, as a kid.  I wonder if I really should have been watching it, as a kid.  The loss of meaning is so tangible in characters that eke out a miserable existence in narcotics and alcohol and all the fury that entails.  It was a difficult watch recently, never was before.

 

Update: Week of July 24, 2017

I’ll keep it short and sweet.  Looks like additional content for the upcoming 2 books will be finished on time.  As regards how long the editing, I cannot here comment faithfully, but things are looking nice.

I’ve been thinking about what are the essential themes of the various things I’ve written.  Goliath Thunder is about many things, but among them are the conception of family and the distinction between self and universe.  Something else I’ve written but haven’t published is fundamentally about sexual politics and competition.

The Consequence of Connected

Something I’ve heard from the mouths of people that typically espouse Green Party beliefs, people that typically indulge in the abusive use of recreational drugs in spite of the harm it’s done to nations like Mexico and Colombia, is that we are all connected, we are all part of a gigantic whole, not merely us and the rest of mankind, but with us and all things that live, all part of an interconnected web where anything we do and suffer is shared in some form universally.

Truth is, you can make a good argument that much of what’s being said is self-evident–pure cause and effect; the question is more specifically a matter of extent, what’s termed in the legal world as “proximate cause.”

Now, I don’t think most people that espouse this viewpoint do so out of malice; most of them are just helpless stoners, but I do think that they haven’t taken this attitude to its natural end.  Specifically, if we are not atomized and are rather a natural collective, I’m just as responsible for you as I am for me, and we both have a vested interest in each other.  This means I have some right to control your behavior beyond merely what I’d term the “proximate cause.”  If, for example, I can show conclusively that a reproduction deficit is a social ill, I could very well take away your right to not only abortion but perhaps even contraception.  I could even compel you to procreate against your will.

What I mean to show is “what sounds good,” may very well be monstrous, often without that intention, often without even malice