Saturday, March 18, 2017

The $12 Name

In its way, the subject of fiction snakes its way into conversations you are having either with yourself , friends, or students on a daily basis. The wriggle into the conversation can be something minor, such as a reminder to the students in your memoir-writing class, that they are committed to write what actually happened as opposed to what they invented.

There is more than a little irony here, because of your frequent need to remind your students in fiction-writing classes that an event that "really happened that way," is of no value in fiction. The key in fiction is dramatic verisimilitude, a weasel way of saying invention. Of course the invention must fit the verisimilitude of the invented character.

By most standards, the applications of what really happened and your opinions and, indeed, renditions of them, are the pole star. Except for the fact of the actual date of these vagrant paragraphs being April 13, 2018, even though they will appear as though conceived and posted on March 18, 2017.

The attending reasons for this discrepancy in dates seem to you to remind you of and encourage your belief in an observation you've made to your fiction classes for some time, and to yourself even longer. Chronology in fiction is not necessary, nor even useful. Looked at in perspective, chronology can even be seen as a provocateur of that dread element in fiction, the quality of being episodic. They did this, then this, which caused that, and then they went home.

Fiction should have within it--your version of fiction, that is--a greater thread of theme and/or causality. You prefer things to happen in fiction because some character is desperate to get her or his agenda in play, or to get out of the way of some forthcoming avalanche, whether the avalanche physical, as in a mountain shedding its snowy skin, or emotional, by which account a person is driven by internal mechanisms to do something, to take a particular step or course.

Somewhere in early January of 2017, you grew some negative attitude about blogging, decided to take sometime off, then did so, which is to say you stopped returning to this site. After a month or so, you experienced the regret of having taken time off; you felt the absence of your habit of finding something to say about your vision of yourself, the universe, and the prospect of how much you missed the daily exercise of seeing the universal in the tiniest specific, whether an attitude, an inanimate object, an opinion, or the recollection of the multitude of nouns--persons, places, and things--that have passed before you or you have passed before.

You began to repair the gap, hoping to repair the blanks you'd left, sometimes with as many as three different entries in a given date. There you were, writing in 2018 as though it were a year earlier, messing, as it were, with chronology.

What is fiction without obstacles to be overcome?

In real life, an obstacle is the antagonistic aspect of an entity known as Go Daddy, which provides the hosting presence for this blog site. On what was probably March 15, 2018, Go Daddy pulled the plug on this hosting site, You had no clue except that you could no longer access your blog to continue your intention of restoring it to its condition where your essays and comments matched the actual date in time on which they were composed.

By the time you figured out--and recalled Go Daddy's part in this concatenation--Go Daddy had offered your url out to the public. Thus you had not only to enter a bidding auction for it, you had to wait for the date of the auction close to arrive in order to determine if your bid were the high one.

Fiction relies on outcome.

You won the auction for your own url, which also happens to be your last name.

Although Go Daddy suggested your url and blog site was worth at least $830, you became the winner of the auction for your own name for $12.

Your outcome from all this is a combination of humility that comes from buying your own name back for $12, your sense of someone else's valuation of your name as being worth at least $830, and the notion that you will have to scurry a bit to catch up with April 13,2018, which is today.

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