Monday, May 25, 2015

What is Visionary Fiction and Why Did I Join the Visionary Fiction Alliance?

About 5 months ago, I started a novel called Transgender Pejorative (The Ghost in the A.I. is Born). I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Most of the novels that I had read up until that time were Science Fiction and the rest were Stephen King. I'm only slightly exaggerating as I was exposed to many classic novels as a child and then quite a few more as an adult. However, As I devoured libraries as a child, the Science Fiction books were always the first that I searched out and the only ones that held my attention after I suffered a traumatic brain injury. I just assumed that my first novel would be Science Fiction.

I couldn't admit it at first but my fledgeling novel is not really Science Fiction. It is written in a post modern style as I, the author, am also a prominently featured character in the book. The form that I started with bogged down after about 12,000 words. I knew that what I was writing was related to Science Fiction but it was, well, something different. Since I was planning to publish as an eBook, I was researching what category I might use to list the book. When I found Visionary Fiction, I was intrigued.

A cursory web search lead me to the wikipedia page, here, and to the Visionary Fiction Alliance, here. More importantly, reading these preliminary sources and recognizing several works that had deeply influenced my thinking when I was younger, granted me one of the most important realizations that I've ever experienced as a writer. I had been writing Visionary Fiction for years.

By now, you're probably thinking, Windi, you haven't even finished your first novel. How on Earth can you declare that you have been writing Visionary Fiction for years? There is indeed an answer and it involves my total and complete failure to make a living as a playwright despite writing several pretty good plays. That failure extends far beyond my meager attempts to get produced to include almost every other playwright writing new plays in the United States, really even the world. The world of theatre, losing its paying audience to television and old age, has circled the wagons to produce either formulaic or stylistically cloistered works of limited vision.

The plays that I write require believing in world changing events, even when those events go unnoticed by the rest of the world. The plays that I write depend upon character's whose consciousness must be altered if they are to succeed and whose failure can be attributed a steadfast refusal to accept that the universe is teaching us wisdom with its every breath. I can't make the audience have a life changing moment during the viewing or reading of one of my plays but I have failed as a writer if they do not have the opportunity to grow and change through the act of experiencing the world that they must inhabit while the play unfolds.

This is Visionary Fiction and it is not welcome on the stages of America right now. Putting Visionary Fiction on the stage requires a level of commitment to the idea that your audience can learn for themselves rather than be spoon fed dogma or mere entertainment. That level of commitment is just too scary for the middle managers that run our mainstream stages to chance their livelihood upon. I can't say that I blame them. Our world is dominated by Republican fear mongers and that horrible domination will take great changes to enact the enormous reversal of fortune needed for middle class people with families to look after and 401K programs that turned out to be nothing but scams to have the courage to once again risk the now for the sake of the future.

This is what Visionary Fiction means to me. Creating works of fiction that inspire people to grow and change in the ways that they see fit so that we can together find a way to preserve and save our Earth failing human society. I joined the Visionary Fiction Alliance because I want to be a part of a literary movement that seek to help better our world one reader or audience member at a time. I am still only 19,000 words into my novel but I now know that it is meant to be Visionary Fiction. I completely rethought the meaning of the novel and thus had to completely rewrite and reformat it. Transgender Pejorative (The Ghost in the A.I. is Born) is meant to open the doors of perception and let the light come blasting through. A transformation of this sort is never without risk and my novel may publicly fail miserably. However, the act of writing has already begun to enact an incredible change within myself and this change has been for the better. Isn't that the exact thing that good Visionary Fiction is supposed to accomplish?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Beginnings and Endings

Every time I begin a new blog, I have such high hopes. This is the time that I will finally find my "blogger" voice. This is the time that I will be inundated with followers. This is the time that what I say will matter enough to help the world change just that smallest fraction of a degree that we need to avoid the annilation of our ecosystem. Um, the annilation of our ecosystem means we humans bite the big one as well so you would think it might be important enough to get people to make some changes. You know, so we can all survive.

Well, that said, I think that my optimism is pretty well in check after last year's experience of slipping into homelessness without receiving any help from any of the social systems of my dearly departed, never to return, once and never again, pretending to be liberal but run by bankers, adopted home town of San Francisco. I guess being considered gaijin, first in Hawai'i and then in San Francisco, should have taught me that you need be born in a place and to live in that place continuously for all of your life to be truly considered a resident these days. Homerism has taken over the US of A and we do not need to help anyone that we don't consider one of our own. I guess all that hoopla about taking care of disabled veterans like me is just that, hoopla. Believe it or not, I thought that I could go anywhere in the USA and call it home. Um, nope. Not one San Francisco social agency helped us. I was only able to buy the old Chevy van that kept us off the streets by withholding rent money and selling everything I owned that had any value whatsoever. Luckily, my old landlord was able to get close to a thousand dollars more per month for our old apartment so she just used our damage deposit to settle our debt and we were free, as far as official San Francisco cared, to live in our van home forever.

Like the intrepid explorer that I am, I decided to set out on a Greyhound bus rather than choose to live the rest of my life in a way too hot and way too cold and way too moldy van. Upon receiving the understanding that I was feeling way too claustrophobic to continue my bus ride, I got off the bus in a brand new, never before seen city. I got a hotel room and began asking, pleading, um really begging, my partner of twenty years to drive the van to my undisclosed location so that we could start our new life. She didn't want to leave her job but, after much begging on my part, she came to understand that we could never afford to live in San Francisco again and that I was never going to return. The only question was whether my newly discovered paradise was really paradise or whether it was going to be yet another disappointing relocation.

Good news!!!! There is at least one community in our late great republic that puts their money where their mouth is when it comes to caring for vets, even transgender lady vets such as myself. Drum roll for the great reveal... Portland, Oregon. I showed up, homeless with my only shelter being that van that my partner and I lived in for close to five months. Within a month of moving to this wonderfully caring community, my partner was working again and we found a cheap apartment to live in. In Portland Oregon, disabled and homeless vets are helped rather than expected to vacate the city so rich people can move in. Hurray for Portland, the greatest metro area in all the land!

More about me as it is all about me, yes? ;-) I am a writer who never gets paid but I am trying to change that. I am re-editing my ten plays into ebooks and I've begun a new novel as well. I am 19,000 words into my magnus opus about being a trans woman and a disabled vet and living homeless in a van and being an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) or quite possible lost in an Ark spaceship somewhere between Earth and some as of yet unnamed solar system. The novel is entitled Transgender Pejorative (The Ghost in the A.I. is Born). I believe that it's more Visionary Fiction than Science Fiction. You can find my Smashwords author profile page here and more on visionary fiction here.

So, that's my new start. I'm trying to get hired as a teacher in the Portland area until my writing takes off (egotist! dreamer!). Being an out and proud transgender woman leads me to believe I may be more realistic to believe in my writing than in my chances of getting hired to teach English as a Second Language but Portland has been so incredibly welcoming that I'm beginning to believe that I may have truly found my hometown. Let us hope and pray together that it is so :-)