I wanted to share my joy at being accepted into the Master Class workshop at Mendocino Coast Writers Conference this year – MCWC. I participated in the Master Class last year and, like many of the activities at MCWC, forged a bond with the other writers. We keep in contact and encourage each other. Several of us have had stories, novels, and poetry published since the workshop, and many are still working on the goal we set for ourselves: one hundred rejections.
I have been going to MCWC on and off for several years. I don’t know how unique it is, but the non-competitive, encouraging atmosphere is truly amazing. I like to think it is a result of the work of Suzanne Byerley, who was co-director when I first attended the conference. She was so encouraging. She made me believe that it was doing the work that counted. If you worked hard, shared what you discovered, and helped your fellows, good things would happen.
As she has for the last three years, my daughter, Samantha, will be joining me. She is working on the second rewrite of her memoir, Raver Princess. Like me, she has found the conference encouraging.
While working on the sequel to Nano-Uncertainty, More Uncertainty, the characters have taken me away from my original plot outline. It seems the story is going to be about an AI War. This is a theme that has been the subject of Science Fiction in several forms: The Terminator and
Here’s a way to think about propaganda with and an action plan to overcome it. Thanks to Ken Ball for pointing this out. https://georgelakoff.com/2017/02/10/ten-points-for-democracy-activists/.
The sequel to Nano-Uncertainty, More Uncertainty, looks at whether or not an AI can represent emotions, and, if so, could those representations be used to control the AI’s actions.
While listening to a fascinating discussion on Forum, https://ww2.kqed.org/forum/2017/04/11/emotions-are-a-construct-of-the-brain-says-psychologist-lisa-feldman-barrett/ with Lisa Feldman Barrett, one of the call-in-ers mentioned to her that he worked in AI and his project was to see if emotions could be used to control an AI.
Guess I’m not the first person to think of this idea, but, hopefully, I’ll be one of the first to put it in a novel.
Here’s a book on the subject: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-009-2792-6_12. At $439.00 for the book, I think I will wait for the movie.
I got some feedback from my writing group on one of my scenes that there was too much dialog without any breaks for summarized dialog or emotional expressions. I did some research – in A Farwell to Arms, Hemingway has half the book in dialog with almost no breaks. But that’s Hemingway.
I wrote another scene with breaks for emotional observation and my editor thought that I should drop the observations. We discussed the issue and finally concluded that the height of the emotions in the dialog should determine whether one takes the reader away from the dialog or tries to summarize in order to break things up.