Into the Green Green Mud: A Novel (with pictures).
December 16, 2006. I was sitting at my computer, listening to music and chatting with my friend Mary Beechy. We talked about divorce and wrote absurdist poetry together, alternating lines. In my background, CocoRosie sang:
I once fell in love with you just because the sky turned from gray Into blue…
I thought of John Lennon’s early poem:
I sat belonely down a tree, humbled fat and small. A little lady sing to me I couldn’t see at all.
I thought of love starting, and love ending, and the clouds passing. I thought of the benign indifference of the universe, and Albert Camus, and shooting a man because the sun was in my eyes. I thought about the theatre of Michelle Milne, the writings of Charles Mee Jr, and the absurdist science of Douglas Hofstadter. I thought about “Like Water for Chocolate” and the classics filled with eternal love, and it made me curious.
Is There Love Without Eternity?
What’s this obsession we have with eternity, and how do we deal with the ephemeral? Life is so transient some times; nothing seems to stay where we left it last. The clouds shift, and friends move away. The sun moves from the three hand to the four, and squirrels are collecting nuts, so where does that leave us?
I started writing. I discovered characters who float from one idea to the next because they hear a song, and remember a book, and then move out west. They see a tree, and hum a poem, and head on home for hot chocolate (when it starts raining). I followed their lead, and let myself be moved by everything around me: music, work, conversations, associations, movies, references, sounds, architecture.
I wrote a novel, and it was a poem, and I called it “Into the Green Green Mud.” But coming from an experimental theatre background, where script and performance are distinct entities, the text was only the beginning. How would I “perform” this novel? The standard performance of a novel is justified black text on white paper. But is that really the best way to explore time and love and change and the weather?
Ann Bogart insists that theatre can be more than speaking dialogue from a script. Theatre can be everything that is possible in space, time, sound, and story: all together at once. And then theatre can be all of us remembering the things we were reminded of. Can a novel be all that as well? Can we break down the boundary between mediums, and use everything at our disposal to communicate with an audience?
By Any Medium Necessary.
The first performance of Into the Green Green Mud is under way, and I’d like you to be a part of it. We’re starting online, with original illustrations, animations, fonts, and music. OddBird will write the code, and Teacup Gorilla will write the music. From there we can make it a reading, a rock concert, a book, or all of these things at once.
This Saturday, March 31, at 8pm I will perform a few selected chapters as a reading, along with projected images and live music, and four of my collaborators reading from their own work.
The reading is free, but we’re also raising money to complete the production and cover our costs. We can’t do it without you, and we’re running low on time. Will you join us?
It’s been a great first week of the project. Thank you so much for your generous contributions. We’re already over 1/3 of the way! It’s been humbling and exciting to hear all your responses. I have every confidence that we’ll make our goal, but we need your help to keep spreading the word!
Some of my poetry will be published in a Trans and Genderqueer Poetry online feature for EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts, as part of this Trans Anthology project.
Several small, independent, and experimental presses are taking interest in the novel.
Check out these people I’m meeting and talking with at the conference:
I’m excited to announce that Teacup Gorilla and OddBird have teamed up to publish my novel, Into the Green Green Mud, as an online multimedia experience complete with original images, fonts, animation, and music.
We expect to release the completed novel and accompanying album in early 2013, a year from now, free for everyone to read, enjoy, download, share, and remix as you like.
Today we are launching a sample first three chapters along with a RocketHub campaign. We need your help getting started, and we’re offering various gifts, experiences, and opportunities—including the chance to collaborate on one of the pages—in return for your contributions. Help us get this massive project off the ground, and score some sweet rewards while you’re at it!
We’ve been making vast improvements to the greenmud interface. The full text is now online, though I may still make some changes as I flesh it out. From here on, I’ll be adding design, one page at a time.
The first step in that process is to complete the font-family. JJ Regular is mostly complete (and in use), JJ Bold is coming along nicely, Susy’s font sketches are done but not implemented, and the narration font is even farther behind. Back to work!
Thank you all for the successful funding campaign! I’m honored to have you on board with the project.
I celebrated yesterday with a cookie and chai at the Tattered Cover bookstore, where I recorded this “celebratory dance”. I also ordered books by Samuel Ace, TC Tolbert, and Time (Trace) Peterson. That’s what I call a party.
This fundraising campaign for Into the Green Green Mud has been an exhilarating ride, and generated more attention than I ever expected. Now, with a few days left, I’m just $1000 short of my goal. Will you help me bridge the final gap?