Never compromise a dream.
Always compromise on how it will come true. -- as seen in yesterday's email inbox
In January, I applied for a desert literature grant. My concept: a shamanic deep map of place using the "real-time literature" of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr in the wilds of the largest desert in America -- Patagonia. (I'd already secured the airline ticket myself; the funds would cover ground expenses of forty days of live tweeting/blogging and mobile/satellite Internet.)
"You're a relatively young woman... you like books?"
He's a regular at the cafe. Picks up a New York Times each morning like clockwork. He's agitated about something someone recently told him about e-books and phones and pads and nooks. That they'd displace the printed word. He likes the heft and tactile feel of books, he says. (I think: And can anyone explain why we like books, really?)
But he's not asking me. He's asking the girl in the next table.
She's fiddling with her flip cellphone. "Sure, of course."
"You think books will be around?"
"Books will be around." He mentions to her that he is 67 years old as the conversation winds down.
On his way out the door, he approaches the young man fiddling with his cellphone: "You think books will be around for a long time to come?""Oh, I love books. I don't know about newspapers making it. Books -- yeah. Don't you worry about books being around. They'll be around my entire life I bet."
The grant winner is announced April 17th. Drum roll....and winning proposal is natural science-based. It's for a book proposal.
My 67-year-old cafe buddy didn't write a book to canvas for opinions on the future of books. Books (1-to-many) never displaced conversation (1-to-1). They added to the Mercurial diversity on Earth. So, too does many-to-many (i.e. the Internet). And god knows what communication and art forms that has yet to nurture, especially mobile?
Why not books plus Nooks? Why do we assume things are either/or? I'm gearing up for a both/and reality.
"Therein lies the social significance of art: it is constantly at work educating the spirit of the age conjuring up the forms in which the age is most lacking." - Carl Jung
Recently, I found a fantastic new blog, The Literary Platform, "showcasing projects experimenting with literature and technology." The day I'm introduced to this site the current post is all about one of my favorite spell-casting imagineers, whom I'd coincidentally been delving into quite a bit recently:
"At the same time the visionary [...] was producing poems which he engraved and coloured by hand, sang aloud to those who would listen, and attempted to sell in the form of books, the contents of which changed through time as poems were added and re-ordered. This multimedia artist and radical ran a business as an engraver, found his inspiration in psychogeographical walks around London, campaigned against child labour and exploitation, and saw angels in the trees of Peckham. His printing process was eccentric, taught to him by his dead brother in a dream." - post "I Dreamt a Dream! What Could it Mean?", The Literary Platform
Besides use of real-time media, I also proposed: "Although open to all the field reveals, my concentration would be in the most overlooked. For instance, while Michael Crichton reluctantly conversed with a cacti, as recounted in his memoir "Travels," the mapping of the invisible, subtle realms of faerie and other shamanic vision is quite missing from desert literature (relative to forest literature)."
It's not that the unseen world I speak of is any "higher" or "truer", it's about a comprehensive, complete deep map of desert (deep maps have been called "participatory history") as the unseen is often given short shrift these days. Not science or shamanism -- both/and.
"[W]hat set Blake apart was his ability to retain and even intensify his
visionary powers throughout his life. [Astrologer R.C. Smith, also known as] Raphael, "having been in company
with this gentleman several times", remarked upon Blake's extraordinary
attunement to the unseen world:
... he is continually surrounded by the spirits of the deceased of all ages... He has, as he affirms, held actual conversations with Michelangelo, Raphael, Milton, Dryden ... He has by him a long poem nearly finished... recited to him by the spirit of Milton" 
In own his time, William Blake was considered "touched": William Wordsworth remarked of Blake, "There was no doubt that this poor man was mad, but there is
something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the
sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott." Fast-forward, and he's classed as a visionary.
It's still regarded insane in our day and age, "To cast aside from Poetry, all that is not Inspiration" as Blake coaxes. Yet only that which is imaged in my own truth flows easily and delightfully for me, everything else ends up leading to a dead-end in a complex maze.
"We're inviting a mix of interesting people, including entrepreneurs, hackers, inventors, policy makers, corporate leaders, technology pioneers, investors, artists, and researchers." - April 20, 2010 email from Tim O'Reilly in his invitation to Foo Camp 
After years of underground art (read, also: self-funded, and far and few sponsors), I'll be working above the radar. Also, for past three years, I've either stayed silent or entrusted any remarkable Uranian  ideas to a single muse whom I could speak to in fragments and symbols and they'd know exactly what I intended. So I'm still feeling into the groove of public (and, hopefully, many-to-many) writing.
"He believed that, rather like learning a language… if you speak a different language maybe you ask different questions. And the language of the digital age is one that Blake would have pursued.” - Tim Heath, Chair of the William Blake Society
p.s. I've postponed my trip to South America to go to Foo Camp. Devoting the summer to multimedia myth-making. (Saw a sticker on Decatur the other day, "Digital Summer.") If you live in NYC and/or the Bay Area, I will be visiting those areas to participate in partnerships mid-May through early July.
p.p.s. Three keywords for the writing I'll do on iPhones and such: multimedia, shamanic, mythopoesis. Oh, and interactive. That's not three, is it?
 From Reflections on the Nativity of William Blake. Note also, "Uranus was discovered in March 1781 when Blake, aged 23, was just embarking upon his career as professional engraver."
 In the world I once lived in Silicon Valley, it's a great honor to be invited to Foo Camp. I live in altogether different realm, and it's still is a great honor to be invited.
 [Historian and philosopher Richard] "Tarnas researched the [astrological] charts of revolutionary thinkers throughout
history and discovered an impressive majority bear a strong Uranus
influence." - Dana Gerhardt's excellent article on the Uranus archetype/planet (Myself, I'm laden with Uranus. Sun square Uranus, Venus trine Uranus, Moon opposition to Uranus, Uranus conjunction to Pluto.)
art credits: "Serafitas, the Water Goddess", by Ophelia Rosenblut;William Blake's painting Jacob's Ladder" (1800); William Blake's painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun" (1805).