Writing Our Way to the Stars

Quis hic locus? Quae regio? Quae mundi plaga?

[What place is this? What kingdom? What shores of what world?]

- Seneca's Hercules Furens
Act 5, line 1138

Schuyler On Writing.

I was born a storyteller. My mother often recounts how, when we lived in the city and I was quite small, she would go to tuck my brothers and I in at night and would often hear my bug brother asking me to tell him goodnight stories. It was so long ago, I have no memory of it, now, but storytelling has always been with me. In very real way, more than writing itself, it’s always been the stories, spoken to those I love, that has been with me, that have driven me. When I get an inspiration, I don’t want to write it down, but speak it.

I remember when my littlest brother nearly died when his appendix ruptured, I whispered fantasy stories late into the night to keep his mind off the pain. When he came home, we would walk down my mile-long dirt road, and I would make up a story which stretched on and on, so that we’d have to break it up into episodes, and at bedtime my youngest siblings would ask me to finish it. Some of those stories are still going, have yet to reach an end.

I write to keep my own mind off the pain, I told stories to survive. Not just to survive, but to live. Stories are liquid hope. 

And now that I know how to live, I want to share that with people. I want to share the fires that warm my heart, to spread them amongst friends in the cold of winter. Writing is my love, realized, and shared. That is why I write. 

I write to live. I write to love.

Lisa On Writing.

Why do I write?

Many reasons.

Because I hear voices in my head. (I’m not crazy.)

Because sometimes I feel like my characters are the only people who will listen to me.

Because sometimes I can’t contain my happiness and I need an outlet.

Because sometimes I want to explore a different world.

Because sometimes I want to hide.

Because sometimes I want my voice to be heard.

Because I like the feeling of a keyboard.

Because I want to leave behind something tangible when I die.

Because, as Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Because I need to.

Because I want to.

Because I have to.

- Lisa Lueddecke. 

because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars…

—Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Soviet Influences.

As a visual artist, imagery is very important to me in a story, and I can’t just say, “Oh, it’s a village.” or, “It’s a sci-fi future city.” You have to define it more, tell me what kind of city, what kind of world, what kind of place. If there’s one things I can’t stand, it’s sloppy, lazy world-building. Every movement in art or literate, every idea ever conceived, has roots, whether or not we choose to recognize it, there is nothing new under the sun, and we ought to recognize that. Too many people worry for too long about originality. You just have to take what you’re given and do the best you can - you will better be able to create something clean and organic if you know where your roots are.

When Lisa and I began talking about New Earth, immediately I thought “Soviet”. There’s something about Soviet Brutalistic Architecture which just sucks the life out of you. It’s a cold world, a world where everyone must play a part in progress. And of course, “progress” is always spoken of so highly, but in my experience, nations which elevate progress above all else destroy the individual and have no regard for the value of life, in all forms and expressions, unless it fits their bill. It’s a mad rush forward, forward, to a brighter tomorrow! And yet in this mad rush to the future, the weak, the small, the different are trampled, crushed, tossed aside. 

Into this world, our hero is born.

Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (via bookmania)