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more meditating on that first chapter

fyi, i’m just working all this stuff out, while i’m writing, based on some thoughts i had earlier while trying to sleep.

learning how to fly is going to be hard to write.  at first it’s very hard to do.  you have to run and then jump, and it’s hard to get up the speed.  it helps if you run downhill, or cast yourself off of something that’s not too high, just in case.  at first it’s all arms and legs, swimming thru the air, constantly fighting to overcome gravity and weight.  as you get the hang of it, the process changes, takes less effort.  it gets to where you can give a little half skip and you’re off, climbing into the air with your arms and legs.  and then, when you get good at it, you just think of where you want to go, desire it, will it, and then go there.  just leap up into the sky and go whizzing off as fast as you like.  the power comes from your chest, your solar plexus, your gut.  you don’t have to use your arms and legs any more, you can feel the physical will of your desire to fly.

they get this on their own, the boy and girl, in the vision that the first chapter tells about.  the angel sprinkles them with fairy dust and sends them off, and they figure out how to fly.  and it’s a real learning curve.  but by the time they get to the cloud where they meet up with the angel, they’re good beginning fliers.  yay.

the angel shows them, gives them, awakens them to other powers.  he shows them how to create things.  how to do magic.  i’m having to repeat myself a lot because i’m finding that the words i’m trying to use to describe these various things (flying, the locus of willpower, being god) don’t nearly encompass what i’m trying to describe.  each one of the words i pick only shows part of the meaning of what i’m trying to describe, and only from a limited point of view.  so i have to use several attempts to make myself clear to myself.  there are no words.  i’m going to have so much trouble with this.

so the angel teaches them their powers.  it starts by focusing on an invisible ball of energy between your hands.  there’s that pull in your stomach.  there’s a thrumming.  there’s heat coming out of your feet and that weird sensation at the top of your head, and tension in the back of your neck and shoulders.  and a loosening in your gut.  then a sort of internal click, conscious but completely inaudible.

the angel ‘tunes’ the land below – it has already gone from being a distant star to being a planet, then a moon, then an ocean, then a continent, then a lake, then an island, then a pond, then a plate, then a bubble, then an atom.  they were standing around on a cloud above the continent, but the angel tunes it so they’re floating above a valley, and drops the boy and girl off there, telling them to go do things with their powers.

when the angel returns, who knows from where, it’s instantly apparent that everything’s wrong.  all the animals of the valley are cowering in a corner and being threatened by dinosaurs with ugly teeth.  the other end of the valley is blackened and smoldering.  the angel finds the boy and girl in a clearing they’d materialized, sitting on a couch they’d conjured, focused on a plasma tv they created, and playing videogames they dreamed up using their godlike powers.

the angel throws a fit.  look what you’ve, i turn my back for, i can’t believe you’d.  do you know what you’ve done? do you realize what you’re doing?  do you know why i brought you here?  do you know what all this is for?  the two of them just look at the angel.  dude, you brought us here, the boy says.  we’re kind of waiting for you to tell us, the girl explains.

the angel throws them out, uses the fiery sword to throw up a wall and a gate, and escorts them out of it.  then the angel stows the sword and collapses on the couch, head in hand.  the boy and girl return for the sword and a feather that dropped from the angel’s wings, then turn and hike off into the distance.

here it’s still hazy, and goes very fast.  i’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but it’s what i’m working on at the moment.  if i concentrate on it during my next meditation, it will expand in detail.  i’m learning that this is how it works.  whatever you concentrate on expands.

they wander thruout the land, creating things, purring things into order.  wherever the girl sweeps the feather, people spring up, families and tribes and civilizations spreading out.  wherever the boy touches his sword, castles spring up, fortresses, walled cities, and vast armies spreading out.  all this takes a very long time, and is very tiring.  the boy and girl lie down to rest.

while they are resting, their bodies spread out, the edges become less defined.  they feel themselves becoming the land underneath them, feel themselves growing immense, endless, their bodies stretching to the horizon and beyond.  the people, the civilizations are part of them, as if they are bits of fingers and arms, hairs, muscles.  the whole world becomes an expression of the boy and girl, waving, wandering, breathing; carrying out even their unspoken dreams.

and then what?  there’s a final bit here right before they come back to consciousness, and i forget what it is.  some final takeaway lesson.  and do i need to have the angel come back and make them answer the questions – what’s it all for?  but their quest was all about answering the questions.  otherwise, what’s the point of hte wandering and the becoming the world?

and how is this like a fairy tale?   i wonder, is there a formula for fairy tales?  why of course there is.

here are some of the problems i can identify right now:

Structure: How will the story begin? What will be the problem? How is theproblem going to be resolved?
Theme: What is the theme / message the writer is attempting to communicate?
Decide what lesson your fairytale is going to teach before you write it. At their core fairy tales are morality tales from the horror of stepmothers to not talking to strangers. They are generally teaching something and yours should do the same.
The typical hero/heroine is young; in the beginning often poor, all alone, unhappy, humble, simple, naïve, untainted (can recognize wonder signs), believes in the miraculous & reveres nature. (S)he wants to keep the process of natural change flowing & reach happiness. At the end: respected, powerful, has found happiness
Devise one or more enemies: evil characters, like witches or dragons. A fairytale must have an evil character that works as an antagonist to the good character. The evil characters usually have special powers of some sort and they must use those powers in a way to cause the good character pain.
Design a magical character or object to write into the fairy tale. The magical character can be theevil character but many fairy tales have both good and evil magical characters that work to off-set the other’s influence.

The true essence of a fairy tale comes in the pixie dust and magic wands. Clever songs about magical words are optional, but some sort of magic should be present. The magic can be good or bad, or maybe even both. The main character can have magical abilities or perhaps be the victim of some sort of bad spell. It’s up to you.

Don’t forget your numbers: Use the special numbers Three or Seven : Like magic, fairy tales wouldn’t be the same without special numbers. There were seven dwarves, three fairy godmothers, seven mermaid sisters and three little pigs. Three wishes or tests are very common, too. Find a way to work in three or seven of something and you’ll be set.
hah!  i’ve got that down already.

Identify what obstacles your good character is going to have to face. Whatever the obstacle it should seem insurmountable and genuinely require a bit of creativity by your good character and a little magical assistance.

The basic structure of a fairy tale:A hero or heroine performs one or more tasks and is rewarded as a result.

Which tasks? adventures, the overcoming of dangers, “impossible” tasks, battle against the baddy/against powerful creatures; rescue, release of a spellbound character

means to overcome obstacles: own qualities: courage, cunning, goodness timely intervention of an accomplice with magical powers, a magic object which helps.
– clear contrast between good and evil
– often good and bad behaviour immediately after each other
– often repitition: twice wrongly, once differently dealt with
– so often groups of two or three: good and evil sisters – first, second, third son
– also set phrases / sayings are often repeated

The more recognizable and vivid the situations you describe, the more vague te feelings you suggest, the more he will then complete the vague images that you are offering with content that is meaningful to him and which he will agree with. This will deepen the rapport and make him more receptive to what you are saying.

How to be vague?
Adapt your use of language:
1.Pronouns    it, he, … instead of concrete noun
2.Nominalizations Independent verbs (“the going”)
3.Metaphors    (“the black gold” instead of “petrol”)
4.Paradoxes    (“the sound of silence”)
5.Alliteration    (successive words starting with same sound)
6.Ellipses    (leave out unnecessary words)
7.Repetitions    (With me, …)
8.Personifications (“the rain is telling us …”)
9.Stories, Fairy Tales and Myths
Using gathered information for “mind reading” or making correct assumptions is very useful to build a sensation of rapport and will make the reader more receptive to your propositions.
Right now you may ask yourself
You probably feel something
By now you will see, understand, agree …
I see that you start to understand, …
I am so glad that you feel the same way …
You will soon start feeling, you will see, you will enjoy,
We will first … and then you will know, see, feel, …
Once you have fully understood this, you will be able to …
Be careful to use vague or ambiguous phrases :
By this time, you might start to become aware of this special sensation
That (what ??) can feel so good, can’t it?
A good and safe way is to tell things by implication :
I wonder if youalready realize that themain advantage …
I don’t know if youalready noticed that …
By now, you may feel how the desire keeps growing
And then this sensation of … will increase more and more
You cankeep feelingmore …
You will feelcompletely satisfied
Again, we …
Once you have fully understood this, you will be able to …
Everybody knows , We all feel that …
You will feelso secure,so relaxed,so happy …
Telling the reader what he knows, feels and thinks, is not enough however: you should
link it to what he must do, think or feel next :
straight links    and, also, but, …
Implicit links    while, during, after, before … you feel, are, will see…
Links which reveal necessity since you have experienced for yourself … you know A causes B; this requires, Because X …follows Y    Since we agreed that A = B, therefore …
Avoid giving direct orders : use superpositions instead
NOT: “imagine”, or “try to imagine” – BUT: “While you imagine this, you will realize that …”
NOT: “look at this”- BUT: “we can see that …”
… Or build silent acceptation (which will make it more difficult for the other to disagree later)
You see?
Got it?
It’s important therefore to mention the desired result or feeling over and over again.
Use chains of always stronger, connected feelings: A leads to B, B to C …
Link descriptions of actions and situations to feelings: Description of action or situation + and this made him feel like … / gives you the feeling of …
Insert embedded commands:By inserting embedded commands, you may talk about anything but simultaneously you will be programming the reader,
A handy way to make your reader think about or imagine something, is to tell them
* not to think about it
* that there’s no such thing as …
* It is impossible to imagine …
you can “anchor” strong emotions, that is: mark them and in this way link them to a touch, to a specific motion, to a painting, to the starlit sky … in fact, to anything at all.

 The stronger the emotion felt when the anchor is set, the stronger the response will be when the anchor is “fired” later.
 The more special and specific the anchor, the longer it will retain its function.

1. Protagonist confronted with interdiction/prohibition she violates
2. departure or banishment
3. protagonist takes or is given task related to interdiction/prohibition
4. TASK is a sign mark or stereotype of character (names are rare, insig)

5. Characters function according to social class/profession & transform selves or cross boundaries

6. Significant or signifying encounter
7. Protagonist will meet enemies or friends
8. Antagonist is often a witch, ogre, monster, or evil fairy

9. “Friend” is usually a mysterious creature or character who gives the protagonist gifts (often x 3; often magical agents)

10. Miraculous or marvelous change / transformation
11. Protagonist is endowed with gifts
12. Protagonist is tested & overcomes inimical forces

13. Usually peripeteia (sudden fall) in fortunes = temporary set back
14. Miraculous / marvelous intervention needed to reverse wheel of fortune
15. Often protagonist here uses endowed gifts (including magical agens & cunning)
16. Success usually = marriage, acquisition of money, survival, wisdom or combination of first 3

17. As a whole these functions form TRANSFORMATION (overall focus of the tale)


thinking how it works that the game descends into the kind of game nobody wanted, and how they help, and how it gets worse and worse from alpha to beta tester and what it looks like in the final candidate.

when kurt makes the new version of the antarctica level and then dies, the level is locked away where they can’t get to it, and so they revise teh gema’s scope downward.  it is no longer an epic tale of self-mastery and saving the world.  it’s an amusement park where, if left to their own devices, players would soon find a way to rob and kill other players.  so the boy and girl set out to make the carnival levels into a game that appeals to the masses, and plan to release the antarctic level in a future upgrade.  this means they add elements of first person shooters, melees, strategy games and races, and remove the safety elements of the previously well-balanced physics rides.  and the testers do their part by perverting gameplay and organizing gangs and wars.

and i have the end of the first act to do this.

ch 10 – they finish creating teh gema without kurt
ch 11 – the boy and girl test the cloud level and meet ex-kurt
ch 12 – testers on level 2 midway
ch 13 – testers on level 3 carneytown
ch 14 – they notice in the realworld
ch 15 – testers on cloud level
ch 16 – dragoncon 3 boy and girl open antarctica

this is kind of clunky.  and right after this the real players go thru these same levels for real, so why am i doing it twice?  and to tell the truth there is a realworld THEY notice part in each chapter now, while the overall structure dates from over a month ago and shit has happened since then.

so i need to rethink the chapters.  perhaps if i visualize it, then the chapter structure can be seen and not forced.

the game is finally rebuilt without the antarctica level and is ready for testing.  it’s got a lot of new features, expanded architecture, new threads and choices.  they’ve been testing it bit by bit as they’ve installed pieces, but when it’s assembled they open it for testing.

11. the boy and girl stand around inside the game while the testers go thru.  the alpha testers find bugs and there are art adjustments and several actual geometry adjustments as they suggest new activities and the kernel accommodates them.  the girl and boy direct the kernel to do this.  they facilitate it somehow.  so the alpha testers distort the teachings of the game, change the parameters to make the games violent, find ways to cheat.

12. when the beta testers get there the alpha testers take advantage of them. but the beta testers themselves interact with the kernel, which turns the games even more warlike and unfair.

13. at go-live the boy and girl open antarctica and are alone in it for the moment.

14. when the real players get to the carnival levels, the alphas have taken over and made rules, the betas are an underclass, and the real players are slaves following rules that were never thought up by the boy and girl.  when the real players get thru to the cloud level it’s a madhouse and things are leaking thru to the realworld all the time.

15. and then they’re all in antarctica.

so i think i need one fewer chapter.


Syrian Oppression: How the Elite Are Hanging Tough Together

By Tony Figeh / Damascus Friday, June 10, 2011

Nowadays, Damascus is full of posters saying “I’m with the Law” — admonitions to the citizens of the Syrian capital to behave and be loyal to President Bashar Assad. But walking along a busy street on a recent morning, a woman in her early 60s tugged at my sleeve as she passed. We stopped; she looked around, pointed her thumb to the ground and said, “Down, down, down, Assad,” then carried on her way.

Such open dissent in the capital is still rare, and it is surprising given the powerful interlocking power interests that make up the regime — interests bigger than the President himself.

The interlocking of regime interests is particulary evident in the media. In addition to the state television channels and newspapers, private companies such as United Group and Addounia TV, owned by men close to Assad, have apparently joined hands with the government to provide media tools crucial to spreading the official line and messages of fear in a crisis that, in its third month, seems to grow only more and more tenacious.

Government messages denouncing al-Jazeera, BBC and CNN and asking Syrians to watch only state and private Syrian channels cover advertising boards owned by United Group. Proregime demonstrations held outside the Qatari embassy (funders of al-Jazeera) and the French embassy (the most vocal European country criticizing the regime) were reportedly organized and attended by staff from United Group.

The regime is now in full overdrive, with government sources appearing on state and private channels like Addounia TV to spread messages of fear. They warn Syrians of the need for stability to prevent internal sectarian conflict and to fight foreign interference intent on “weakening national spirit.” Only dead army or security men receive the accolade “martyr,” while dead civilians are referred to as members of “armed gangs” or “conspirators.” While a few protesters have recently taken up arms, many Syrians tend to believe that the “conspirators” they see in the government footage were unarmed and gunned down without warning. Few, however, are willing to say so aloud.

Recent government propaganda is just the tip of an iceberg of fear that affects and cripples every part of Syrian society. Even in government, workers are often too afraid to make decisions, lest they receive a visit from the notorious scrutiny committees. If someone makes a decision that goes against a regime man, he or she may face demotion, withdrawal of pension or, if the accuser happens to be of ministerial status, the loss of a standard-issue black Lexus.

Just as fear stops many Syrians from taking to the streets in protest, fear stops government workers from speaking out against poor policies or making decisions on key development projects. This stops the country from moving forward and prevents public institutions from growing strong enough to challenge regime influence and act in the interests of the majority of Syrians. Ten years of economic reforms have benefited only the middle and upper classes, who make up a small ratio of the populace.

The structure of the regime makes it impossible for one person — even the most powerful of all — to effect reform. The interlocking interests of security services, government elites and businesses that have prospered under the political economy keep change from taking root. At the heart of the regime’s complex and opaque structure are the security services, headed by a tight group of relatives and friends of the Assads. They appoint the government, which serves as legislator and legitimizes the regime’s executive power. The government also acts as gatekeeper to the economy, implementing laws and licensing businesses. Businessmen close to the regime capitalize on economic liberalization programs and control key monopolies, providing wealth generation for the elite and support tools for the regime, including influential media companies. If reforms threaten these pockets of regime supporters, they resist, and nothing is changed.

In this current crisis, in which demonstrators are demanding an end to the abuse of power and immunity of security services, the regime and government have closed ranks in support. It would be difficult for Assad alone to stop the policy of killing, even if he wanted to. Indeed, Assad has tried — and failed — to challenge interests within the regime. He backed attempts to cut corruption in the customs directorate, in which systematic bribery adds to the price of imported goods. A new director was appointed with an anticorruption mandate, and surveillance cameras were installed. Customs officials who stood to lose considerable income waged a campaign of defiance, sabotaging equipment, threatening the director and forcing him to resign. Customs continues to enrich a network of regime supporters — at the expense of consumers across the country and apparently against Assad’s will.

Perhaps some regime figures, including Assad, genuinely believe they are serving the country’s interests. However, just as the government needed to accelerate reforms to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, it has implemented a program of unaffordable subsidies and job-creation schemes in the public sector. Economists believe this is madness, saying emphasis should be on empowering future generations of Syrians with investments in education, infrastructure, agricultural development and public-sector reform.

Ultimately, the regime is not built to deliver change. But judging by the thousands who took to the streets Friday, June 3, the Syrian people are. As demonstrators in Dara’a have been chanting for weeks, “We may die, but we will not be humiliated.” The cost to come is most likely to be more lives — leading to outrage that will persuade more and more people to break their silence. Bloodshed may be the only thing that changes the will of all Syrians to take to the streets, point their thumbs to the ground and say, “Down, down, down, Assad.”