Tag Archives: Writing

From Epic to Labours to Saga: Myth-Making

From Epic to Labours to Saga: Myth-Making

One of the most fascinating aspects of myths in general is how there are so frequently variations of the “same” stories.

I mean this in a few senses, but, primarily, consider, say, the stories of Heracles and Hercules, and, secondarily, consider Joseph Campbell‘s concept of the monomyth. I’ll introduce the tertiary consideration later.

Similarily, “The Labours of the MERCANARY™” will be a reimagining of – in other words, an adaptation of – “The Epic of the MERCANARY™.”

Further, the Labours shall use the exact memeoems from the Epic, just reordered, remixed, re-cut.

And, the Labours will significantly shape the prose of the novel, “The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™.”

The tertiary sense of variations of myths focuses (perhaps) more on interpretation. Roland Barthes engages the rhetoric of myth in his theories on semiotics (how meaning is made, how communication functions, etc.).

An Occam’s razor explanation: consider how the reader/viewer/listener brings with them a whole set of biases, attitudes, values, beliefs, and more when they encounter any communicated expression, and that set determines how they might interpret any message.

These memeoems are meant to explode meaning; they ought to have great variance in how they are read.

The prose of the novel will be clearer than the memeoems, without a doubt, but readers should still expect a great deal of coy obfuscation, ambiguity, and wordplay.

By the time the novel is in print, this whole project will be a strange intermedial loop of potential interpretations of the work as a whole.

Sincerely,
David Reynolds
© 2020
PROBLEMATIC PRESS

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(1/6) From Epic to Labours to Saga: Myth-Making One of the most fascinating aspects of myths in general is how there are so frequently variations of the "same" stories. I mean this in a few senses, but, primarily, consider, say, the stories of Heracles and Hercules, and, secondarily, consider Joseph Campbell's concept of the monomyth. I'll introduce the tertiary consideration later. #MERCANARY #theMERCANARY #ProblematicPress #oneshot #oneshotzine #zine #quarantine #cocoon #transformation #metamorphosis #whatnext #morethanmeetstheeye #memeoem #epic #labours #saga #gonzo #picaresque #novel #gonzopicaresquenovel #newfoundland #literature #NLlit #ThisIsIt #ThisIsLit #intertextuality #intermediality #metafiction #dadaism #neodadaistmemeoet

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A Note from the Author on Method

Beware the three of hats.

A Note from the Author on Method

I’d like to tease a few points about this work-in-progress.

These are “The Revelations of the MERCANARY™” …

The nine of cups from which
I shall drink up inspiration.

FIRST REVELATION

I am not mad. While this is a project that plays with themes of identity, psyche, dreams, the supernatural, and more, I assure you that I am deliberately navigating this terrain as reasonably as any writer. Bear with me until it’s in print.

However, I am literally writing a method into what otherwise must appear as complete madness. This leads to the SECOND REVELATION (which is rather lengthy).

SECOND REVELATION

Much is already written. The plot is outlined, and maybe 20% of the rough draft is complete. For the remainder of writing the rough draft, I’m taking inspiration from dadaism.

MERCANARY™ began as a ‘zine, became the trademark of PROBLEMATIC PRESS, sought idolization through OPERATION: MERC(H)ANARY™, transitioned to Instagram for the memeoem epic and labours, and will eventually become a sort of gonzo picaresque novel.

Here is where the method enters the madness.

There are 100 slides in the epic (99 + 1 across two highlight reels). Employing a type of cut-up technique, the first 99 memeoems in the epic will find their way into the novel. Additionally, those 99 memeoems will be used to craft the labours.

Each memeoem consists of three fundamental aspects: audio, imagery, and an original poetic line (or the absence of a line to signal a break).

I have numbered each memeoem in the sequence and noted each of these three aspects for every memeoem.

The notes are cut up as slips. The slips are crumpled into balls. The 99 balls of each aspect will be placed into three of my hats, shaken rigorously, and then allotted. Those 297 balls will be evenly distributed to each of the nine “chapters” of the novel, and this lottery will dictate the memeoems that become the Labours.

The audio shall provide the Soundtrack for each of the “chapters” in the rough draft. I shall make and share playlists for each as writing progresses. I will listen to each on repeat as I write the corresponding “chapter.”

The imagery will provide the Cues for each “chapter,” which I will use as prompts for themes or imagery or some other allusion or reference. These will also be mixed into the labours, meaning the memeoems from the epic shall appear in multiple labours. This is myth-making.

The original poems will provide the A’s. A is for Appreciation. The MERCANARY™ epic is a lengthy appreciation memeoem, hence these are the A’s you are looking for. Since I am the author, these will be directly incorporated into the rough draft. Again, this lottery will help form the labours, so expect a lot of multiplicity in the memeoems.

THIRD REVELATION

I seek to challenge myself with this intermedia-writing project, and I am confident that each prompt will make it into the rough draft.

However, I make no promises as to what gets cut while revising and editing. This ought to be at least somewhat coherent by the time it goes to print.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself, right?

David Reynolds
© 2020
PROBLEMATIC PRESS

PROBLEMATIC PRESS,
Home of the
MERCANARY™

And, follow this link to find “The Epic of the MERCANARY™,” an epic memeoem sequence.

https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE3ODc3NTYyNTkxNTg5MjE2?igshid=lunktmbjeoo7&story_media_id=2286413994658788281_13522736872

Cheers!

David Reynolds

©2020

PROBLEMATIC PRESS

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THE EPIC OF THE MERCANARY™

THE EPIC OF THE MERCANARY™

In the digital age, and within Instagram as a medium, I assert “The Epic of the MERCANARY™” is an epic memeoem.

Specifically, it is an appreciation memeoem sequence that spans 100 slides.

Duration of the experience varies by viewer, but it is at least 25 minutes from start to finish, yet each memeoem is a sort of rabbit hole.

The vast majority feature a “centrepiece” that is clickable back to the source.

Spotify clips are there, too. Tap on any track at the top.

And there is at least one easter egg hidden prominently in the epic. Follow a c(l)ue or two. Tap around. See what happens.

One might get lost if one’s curiosity is piqued.

One might get bored and bail.

One might return, on-demand, and view the epic memeoem preserved as a highlight reel here: @the.mercanary.

“The Epic of the MERCANARY™” is derived from “MERCANARY™: A Zine of Poetry and Adventure,” the zine I published in © 2019.

“The Epic of the MERCANARY™” shall be the foundational text from which “The Labours of the MERCANARY™” are derived.

“The Epic of the MERCANARY™” and “The Labours of the MERCANARY™” shall be the foundational texts from which “The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™” is derived.

Upon completion of the novel, this will be a strange intermedial loop of a MERCANARY™ mythos.

Sincerely,
David Reynolds
© 2020
PROBLEMATIC PRESS

Follow this link to a 20-30 minute long memeoem sequence, THE EPIC OF THE MERCANARY™:

https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE3ODc3NTYyNTkxNTg5MjE2?igshid=cgkpb9hmw6d6&story_media_id=2286413994658788281_13522736872

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Preliminary Context and Clarity

Preliminary Context and Clarity

Before diving head first into the deep seas of writing (and promoting) this gonzo picaresque novel, I want to provide a little more context about who I am in a clear and distinct voice. My voice. Not the narrator’s.

I’m a child of rural Newfoundland in the ’80s and ’90s, having grown up in Harbour Grace. That’s where I began writing little stories by the time I was 8, certainly. I liked pirates and adventure. I played ninjas with my friends in the woods, as one would. I started writing poetry as a pre-teen. I was already reading Poe and Shakespeare by the time I was 13. I wrote some songs as a teen, but I was mostly writing poetry as a teen.

I didn’t really write anything like that while I was studying at university, pursuing a BA with a double major in Philosophy as well as English language and literature followed by an MPhil in the Humanities. Focus had to shift to an academic voice more thoroughly to succeed. I struggled. Believe me. But, I succeeded, and I published the culmination of my graduate studies.

A common creative outlet that carried over from my teenage years throughout my studies and beyond was playing games – video games as well as pen-n-paper roleplaying games. I created and hosted homebrewed sessions and campaigns for more than 20 years. (The other project I’m working on is a video game: FORTHCOMING, ETA = 2023-ish.)

Before moving on, I want to acknowledge absolutely everyone who has influenced, inspired, or encouraged me along this lengthy and bumpy road. I have too many in mind to name here outright (reading this counts for something, though, if you’re curious who’s on the list), but each of you have my eternal gratitude.

As I get into detailing the writing process for the MERCANARY™ novel, I can appreciate that this is going to seem pretty wild.

Ultimately, keep in mind that this sensible-Dave is still here behind the scenes. I’m a competent writer, I’m schooled in narrative arts, I’ve read McLuhan, and I can appreciate social media as a sort of facade.

I can handle this project.

I got this.

With a little confidence, trust, or faith, this ride goes a lot easier.

Kindly bear with me until this thing sees print.

Sincerely,
David Reynolds
© 2020
PROBLEMATIC PRESS

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A Calm Before the Writing Storm

Photo Title: “Distant. Yesterday, I believe.”

I present this pic in which I look half sensible since my social media content over the next few months may appear rather mad.

Most of that content will appear on my Instagram, and some of it will trickle over to Facebook or ProblematicPress.com.

Tune in or tune out as you see fit. I appreciate that this is not everyone’s cup of tea. For real. I’m drinking coffee. Pursue your tastes!

Otherwise, kindly bear with me until this thing sees print.

Thanks!

Cheers!
Dave Reynolds

https://www.facebook.com/ProfDavidReynolds/

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📸 Nicholas Morine

https://www.facebook.com/nicholas.l.morine/


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ON INSTAGRAM
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📚 @problematicpress
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📱👀🍄🐇🕳️📲👌💯💖😎 @the.mercanary
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📓📝⌚🌶️🍌👌💯💗💖😎 @davaflavaprime
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Reading, Writing, & Publishing Workshops at Sci-Fi on the Rock 9

By David Reynolds

Readers and writers on the Avalon Peninsula (that’s in Newfoundland, a magical place), take note: Sci-Fi on the Rock 9 will be hosting an assortment of reading, writing, and publishing workshops that you just might have to see for yourself!

Sci-Fi on the Rock’s ninth instalment takes place from April 24th to 26th at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s. Mark off those dates on your calendar because you’re in for a treat, and read on to get a brief preview of some of the upcoming discussions and workshops.

As the convention begins, Engen Books presents some of the first writerly workshops that will get your attention. Engen returns to SFotR9 with “The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever: A Convention Tradition,” featuring Ellen Curtis and other authors. This panel promises to be so dysfunctional they’re presenting it twice – April 24th at 4pm in the Nimoy Room and April 25th at 9am in the Tolkien Room. Engen Books really knows how to represent at Newfoundland’s premier convention, and so they’re presenting another panel on the 25th at 10am in the Nimoy Room, titled “Engen Early Bird Panel: Wake Up Your Literary Side.” These talks will provide attendees with ample opportunity to address their questions about writing in various genres.

There are also a few more discussions featured throughout the convention that are sure to reveal the innermost secrets of the writing and publishing craft. On April 25th, at 2pm in the Lucas Room, Scott Bartlett presents “How to Make Your Writing Matter to You and to Others.” On April 26th, at 1pm in the Tolkien Room, Charles O’Keefe presents “Adventures with Vampires and Publishing.” Later on that same day, at 3pm in the Tolkien Room, David Reynolds (well, that’s me, actually) of Problematic Press (yeah, that’s us alright) presents “How to Guerilla Publish: Getting Your Book Out There with No Budget.” Together, attendees with dreams of writing and publishing their own material are sure to glean some important insights about the whole process of making their stories available to the world.

If you’re primarily interested in reading and raving on about your favourite fantasy series, then the con has got you covered, too! Interested attendees should keep an eye on the Ambassador Series, which features Alison Edwards and Dr. Christopher Lockett as well as others. Edwards discusses further reading for fans of popular fantasy in “Beyond Harry Potter: Books for the Young and the Young at Heart,” which takes place April 26th at 1pm in the Nimoy Room. Lockett delves into the intersections of some of fantasy’s greatest authors in “The Ballad of Joss, Neil, and Sir Terry: Reflections on Three of our Most Brilliant Fantasists,” to take place April 25th at 3pm in the Nimoy Room. Such nuanced presentations and discussions are sure to give fantasy addicts their fix.

Events at the convention target a broad age range, too. Shelley Chruchill presents “Wee Geeks Storytime” on April 25th at 11am in the Tolkien Room, which is sure to entertain the convention’s youngest readers. However, if you crave more adult flavours, then perhaps you can sate that hunger with Chelsea Smith and Janielle Butt’s “WTF Fanfiction: The Most Cringe-Worthy Stories of our Time,” which is set for April 24th at 8pm in the Roddenberry Room. Again, SFotR9 has a little something for just about every geeky niche.

This is just a sample of the convention’s events; there is much more in the works, so be sure to check it out for yourself when the time comes. You can find more details about all of their discussions and workshops by viewing the full schedule here. Plus, the convention also promises special guests and plenty of vendors, so prepare to get your geek on! For an idea of what to expect, click here to view NTV’s coverage of SFotR8.

James DeMille's A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, Annotated by David Reynolds

David Reynolds studied at Memorial University where he completed his BA in Philosophy and English Language and Literature in 2006 in addition to completing his MPhil in Humanities in 2008. His graduate research focused on the cultural significance of superhero narratives and culminated in his dissertation Superheroes: An Analysis of Popular Culture’s Modern Myths. Presently, he enjoys teaching English at Memorial University while fumbling about as a publisher with Problematic Press.

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