Thursday, August 21, 2008

278. "The Elephant and the Oak Tree" Baggage and Backstory (poems, songs, abstracts, summaries, communication theory, pitches to agents, Dr. House)

In a nutshell, I could say that "The Elephant and the Oak Tree" has a lot of "baggage" and "backstory" in terms of historical attempts to write the story (formulation in Fall 2005, three conscious trials to write the story), and attempts to tell the story to notable figures in academia and the book publishing industry. I am hoping now that I have my Question Reality manuscript off my chest, now that I am surrounded by a most inspirational (even mystical and magical) audience (Tariel, Oscar, my roommates, CCS, UC Santa Barbara, Toastmasters, Santa Barbara Writers Conference), that the accumulation of failures of the past shall now lead to some degree of success. Or at least some degree of "self satisfaction of completion" and "an efficiency mechanism for distribution" of such a story.

I will further elaborate "the backstory" in a future blog, but this blog is an organized accumulation of "formalized documents" that were attempts in writing "The Elephant and the Oak Tree." They will not be included in the final bookform product, but are organized enough to see the light of day within a blog. These documents may serve some good use in the (very) near future.

Page 1 of EOT rough-draft 2-page pitch to Agents and Editors Day at the 2008 Santa Barbara Writers Conference.

Page 2 of EOT rough-draft 2-page pitch to Agents and Editors Day at the 2008 Santa Barbara Writers Conference.
PDF file of EOT rough draft 2-page pitch at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference:

EOT abstract first formulated for the a CV/resume application for the Blue Horizons program in 2007:

EOT abstract formulated and modified for the CV / resume application for the Blue Horizons program in 2007:

EOT abstract formulated and modified even further post Blue Horizons:

PDF file for the EOT Abstract submitted to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Pacific Division in Hawaii in June of 2008:

The tragedy is that I was never able to attend the conference. Two weeks before applying for airline tickets to go, two major Hawaiian airlines (included ATA) closed down the ticket prices jacked up close to $1000. I could not afford this. Nor could I deal with two conferences back to back (right around the time of Santa Barbara Writers Conference).

Dr. Carl Maida of UCLA pushed my presentation towards the direction of Communications and Campaigns analysis. I guess more formulated-audience analysis. Dr. Robert Chianese (English literature professor) was more intrigued by the content of the EOT story. I started getting depressed how the communications field parameterized human behavior--religion, race, political affiliation, socioeconomic status--the very parameters I am trying to lift up and disqualify myself from. I think this abstract will serve of GOOD USE in terms of future work with campaigns analysis and any other research under the sphere of Dr. Ron Rice's research. But in the end, I will want to understand modern human communication from an evolutionary psychology perspective.

Two communication theories I subscribe to is "sense-making" and "communicating communicatively," which is figuring out the knowledge baseline of your audience, and building from there. The whole Pete-Sadlerian process of "figuring out what they know and don't know, and then build from where they know." This is such a "duh" theory. I am sure it's a Chinese Koan. But it's nice to know it's formulated now.

PDF files of variations of the "Perceptual Relativity" and "Ecological Relativity" poems that try to identify the image as the "leg of an elephant" or the "trunk of an oak tree":

PDF file documenting the story structure of an EPIC EPISODE OF DR. HOUSE (remember that witty, cranky doctor?! I love him to intellectually emotional tidbits! Hollywood has some hope!)

Though this document will not be included in EOT, it has the SAME MESSAGE as EOT. There is a feedback between perception and language and how shifts in one lead to shifts into the other, which can also lead to effective problem solving. In this case, in the parallel story of trying to identify a stuffed animal as a dog or a bear, Dr. House came to realize that he was diagnosing a patient with a certain disease, which placed a mental frame of perception--leading to no solutions. If Dr. House lifted up the pre-existing diagnosis of the disease "bear" and considered it to be a "dog," suddenly House rushed back to the patient and swiftly figured out the problem and cured the patient of her ailment. In concern of human-environmental relationships, the university suffers from the "same problem" of "original definitions," such that academics are stuck within the mindframe of existing definitions/conventions, but if you find alternative, new definitions, then it becomes much more clear on how to solve and manage problems. The house case study was MEDICAL. My story is ENVIRONMENTAL. That was perhaps the most clever plot out of any of the House episodes. And in final note and quote of House, "Death would be a bad symptom." And Dr. Wilson, "What is rational versus what is the law are two entirely different things. Go ask OJ."

PDF files for the SONG "The Elephant and the Oak Tree and the Rest of the Zoo."

Let's just say I wrote this song OUTSIDE the context of the basic matrix plot structure of the story. It is tragic to think that MOST if not ALL of this song will NOT be included in the parable. The ostrich and the peacock are asides. I don't want to repeat myself too much and the song has repeating messages. I'll see how it goes. In short, the song needs renovation and a total MAKEOVER.

PDF file for Question Reality Long Story Short:
I started writing this also in attempt to write EOT right before the AAAS conference in Feburary of 2008. I think this above document is drawn out. I think I was struggling writing it simply because I didn't have QR off my chest as a concrete, completed manuscript.

Page 1 of Victoria's "Biography Sketch" intended for EOT in the manuscript attempt before AAAS in February of 2008.

Page 1 of Victoria's "Biography Sketch" intended for EOT in the manuscript attempt before AAAS in February of 2008. Here is the PDF file:

I think the Biography Sketch is "whiny" like I was some kind of complaining butthead. I had such a hard time describing myself in a WORD. a BLURB. Now, I just tell people I am a Ph.D. student in environmental media at UC Santa Barbara. It's not official yet, but I am a Commonsenseologist Wannabe in the world outside the university and I am an ecopistemologist (subdivision Ecological Cosmology) in the university. That's it. So simple. I don't need to write a long two-page rant of who-in-the-hxll I am! Oh well. Achieving Brevity Takes a Long Time.

No comments: