After I put the boys down for a nap, I got real cozy with my laptop, left over muffins from breakfast and a glass of water. It was go time: Time to re-write Never a Day, the story that I decided that I was going to rewrite from scratch.
I opened up a Gchat window with my sister, who is an artist (like, a real one, with a real degree from a real art school. She’s amazing). My line was pretty easy ” ’bout to start this rewrite.”
“Good luck and Godspeed.” She wrote back in encouragement.
I wrote two sentences and went back to chat. “How has your week been?”
“Pretty good. I’m working on some master classes. Watching the Xbox reveal right now.”
Now, I’m a gamer girl. I’ve been all my life. Next Gen consoles have been in my peripheral, but not really because I know that they are crazy out of our price range right now (We’re about to slap down major money for a house and then a preschool for my son. $500 consoles is not currently in the budget). Nonetheless, I’m a gamer girl, so I needed a link immediately to watch.
And boy was I mystified. I was late to the Xbox bandwagon. I’ve never lived in a house without a Nintendo in it, and indeed, we have every Nintendo console in this apartment. For our “core” games, we’re more Playstation people. But from time to time, the Xbox 360 gets turned on for this or that. I pay more attention when Sony starts talking mostly because my favorite franchises happen to be on that system…but today, today, I was really impressed by Xbox One.
But this post isn’t really about Xbox One as a console. This post is about the idea of XBox One. This notion that this little box is going to be the new filter between me and media content. That filter is going to monitor everything that I do while I consume media–be it gaming, watching a sitcom, watching breaking news unfold…this box is going to know.
and that got me thinking about Sci Fi. Is this the beginning of that centralized Vid box in just about ever sci fi novel/movie in the universe? The sole source of all entertainment?
And what about happen if the box really did listen to us while we watch television? What if it watched us? What if it fed back that data to companies in real time? What if it fed it back to government?
My mind is racing with an awesome short story idea: What would happen if a Katrina-like event happened, and a device like this new Xbox monitored the national reaction to it on an individual level? What if government actually made decisions (like if certain parts of an effected city would get aid) based on that reaction? What would that look like?
I’m going to find out by writing it on Saturday. I’m so freaking pumped. I don’t necessarily know if the disaster will be a hurricane (that’s a bit obvious) but the confluence of race/class/government/media really interest me, and I’m going to play with them in this context. Can’t wait! Will post an excerpt this weekend!
My second source of inspiration came from Never a Day, the short story that I sat down to write in the first place. Victor, the character who has survived all of the re-writes of this thing, found himself sitting in the principal’s office reading his class assignment in Animal Farm. I loved it when my students started reading Animal Farm in their reading class. I taught history, but the reading teacher and I were close friends, so I often popped into her classroom when she was reading Animal Farm with the kids. I went for my copy of it to find an appropriate quote to put in this short story. And I started reading. Ohhh the parallels between urban charter schools and Animal Farm. Ohhh the new possibilities for this little short story that I keep trying to write. And what a short little book! I’m going to breeze through this in an evening.
There are good things happening here. The mind is working over time. It is so nice to feel good after a week of significant setbacks. I hope to have an excerpt of my newest edition of Never a Day during this weekend as well.
What is inspiring you lately? What makes your Muse whisper to you?