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Thread for Kicking Around Fiction/Poetry/Essay Ideas for the New Middle Review
  • This will be the thread where we bounce ideas for our pieces off each other and see what sort of response we get.

    I’ll start: I have two ideas, one is a sort of meditative piece on machine technology and technological change, and this weird confluence of declining and rising technology that has led us to a point where the enterprising young industrialist can set hirself up to mass produce virtually anything (within a reasonable certain work envelope) for about the cost of a new Chevy’s worth of tooling.

    Second idea is this sci-fi absurdist/experimental thing involving a group of Sufi crust punks from New Orleans making a sort of anti-pilgrimage to Western Iran / Afghanistan.

    I wonder about the interest in / accessibility of either of these two ideas, though.

    What are y’all going to write?

  • I’d like to read both of those, Dick.

    I’ve always wanted to write something about the end of the world. It’s sort of a difficult subject, though. I mean, writing characters who are dealing with the end of the world without getting all melodramatic.

    I also thought up the title “Broccoli in American Politics,” though I’m not sure what kind of story would go with that. I’ll keep it around.

  • I’ve got a Lil B piece that’s been in a holding pattern for awhile. It feels like it would fit a lot better at TNM than the Berkeley Patch, which is where I’d assumed it would run. Would love to get comments on a draft, particularly from the #based members. Guessing about 1500 words.

  • “Broccoli in American Politics” - the presidential candidate’s recently-announced running mate declares to the campaign’s inner circle that he will derail their election plans unless they incorporate his nationwide ban on meat and meat products, as he believes that it’s the only way to stop - you’ll like this bit - the approaching end of the world.

    Meanwhile, a bunch of people waste their time worrying about politics and the news cycle while what’s left of their lives steadily disappears - just like usual.

  • As for poems, I was thinking I’d wait and see what sort of pieces we get queued up, then pick a few from me olde archives that seem appropriate & the group chooses.

  • Clayton_Peacock said: I’ve got a Lil B piece that’s been in a holding pattern for awhile. It feels like it would fit a lot better at TNM than the Berkeley Patch, which is where I’d assumed it would run. Would love to get comments on a draft, particularly from the #based members. Guessing about 1500 words.

    Would love to read it, though I have no pretense at having attained to the same degree of #based as your Anteros and your Thermofusions and what have you.

    I’ve often noticed some of the striking parallels I’ve noticed between Lil B and #based philosophy and the philosophy of Sufism and sainthood in late Medieval Islam but then I’m like give it a rest Dick, you one-goddamn-trick pony.

  • Nah, we like trick ponies. If Sufism is yours, Walt Whitman is mine. And I’ll be riding him again in the Lil B piece. Yeehaw. I’ll get a draft up by Tue 10/9.

    Both your ideas sound aces. The 1st one re: ease of desktop manufacturing could have a broad audience, though I’d probably read the 2nd one first.

    Meanwhile, here’s a poem you might appreciate. Wrote it back in 2001 but only added the graphics etc. a few months ago.

    http://www.birdwatchr.com/abomination/songs/dome.jpg

  • “Fracking? Stop messing with the earth, man!” - Lil B

  • Jim, a really, really stoned but excited kid outside the Lil’ B concert in Madison compared B to Walt Whitman.

  • I have an idea for a sort of neo-noir detective thriller/murder mystery thing set in an alternate-timeline near-collapse NYC wherein structure fires are the foremost threat to public safety & infrastructure. Likely also to include some cyberpunk & dark fantasy elements. I have a loose plot in mind and I’m trying to envision it as a short story. I’d like to write some heavy genre shit, basically.

    Also want to write an essay on conspicuous cultural consumption and craft beer, and how the burgeoning craft beer market (along with the now-aging whole/artisanal foods movement) has put into flux a lot of social class markers having to do with taste, distinction, refinement, etc. Would require digging out the Bourdieu, I think.

  • Clayton_Peacock said: Nah, we like trick ponies. If Sufism is yours, Walt Whitman is mine. And I’ll be riding him again in the Lil B piece. Yeehaw. I’ll get a draft up by Tue 10/9.

    Both your ideas sound aces. The 1st one re: ease of desktop manufacturing could have a broad audience, though I’d probably read the 2nd one first. Meanwhile, here’s a poem you might appreciate. Wrote it back in 2001 but only added the graphics etc. a few months ago.

    http://www.birdwatchr.com/abomination/songs/dome.jpg

    I’ve read that poem before! You must have posted it at some point on lptj. I do like it a great deal though.

  • I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be able to participate in this any time soon, unless it’s okay for me to submit already finished work

  • Finished work’s fine by me. Good stuff is good stuff.

  • Yesterday I started working on a story for this that’s kind of grown out of this idea I had for a novel which is split between two dream worlds, and the protagonist confusing the real world with the night-time fantasy, using as a starting point this horrific dream I had where my sister got mugged and I tried to help but couldn’t help. I want to just write it because I already have two novel ideas knocking around that I like better, and I haven’t written anything long in about five years so it feels like holding on to a third would be foolish.

    I also have a couple of other ideas that are less dream-y which I might try, given that the other thing I’m writing right now is very plain and matter-of-fact, so something similar in tone might be easier to fall into.

  • Would read pollo’s heavy genre shit.

    I’d kinda like to do a “This Week/Month in the Conservative Blogosphere”-type thing, but I definitely do not have the stomach to do that until after the election.

    I did also really like the idea someone kicked around of a semi-regular group post/discussion where people write a couple paragraphs each about an album or song they are listening to.

  • Bluke, I was hoping you would be interested in such a column! I was going to suggest it, actually.

  • Reading The Passage has been making me idly think about writing a sci-fi story about HUBRIS and WHAT HAVE WE CREATED, which would hopefully be funny also?

  • Blucas said: Would read pollo’s heavy genre shit.

    I’d kinda like to do a “This Week/Month in the Conservative Blogosphere”-type thing, but I definitely do not have the stomach to do that until after the election.

    I did also really like the idea someone kicked around of a semi-regular group post/discussion where people write a couple paragraphs each about an album or song they are listening to.

    Both awesome ideas.

  • Blucas said: I did also really like the idea someone kicked around of a semi-regular group post/discussion where people write a couple paragraphs each about an album or song they are listening to.

    would do