April 4, 2018:

It's not writing about real people. Whether vignettes or any other form.

Even when drawing on real experiences the intention is to generalize. One well-known language might be "types", where each vignette or each portion of each vignette illustrates some commonality shared by numbers of people.

But I dislike that formulation, for its idealist implications and its suggestion of over-generalization, where instead of types you get stereotypes that directly undercut the purpose of these pieces.

I prefer the analogy to Cubism.

Where the vignettes single out, that is abstract, some personality tic or human characteristic without suggesting that all people are like this, or even a majority, or that even individuals are like this all the time. Rather that people are complex, their personalities have facets, where sometimes they foreground one facet over the others, but the others are real too and will come to the front when circumstances are right.

That word "abstraction" matters. Even when narrating in concrete detail actual human interactions, for example the café or street vignettes, the intention is to suggest, Many people are like this. These are human traits which lots of us share.

Fifteen years ago I experimented with combining multiple narratives inside these pieces so that they rubbed against each other in ways I hoped were interesting. This is a pristine example of that technique. It was a Postmodernist convention which suited early fiction blogging 'cos compression was necessary for reading on the low-res monitors of the time. A directly materialist determinant. These days while still compressing I'm more interested in the completeness suggested by a well-crafted vignette. There's a whole world here. I find that satisfying, that is, emotionally compelling. Neither an idealist nor a materialist impulse, I think.

It's a return to the way I wrote from childhood through middle adulthood, before the Internet and the turn to anti-linearity captured my imagination.

Interestingly it's still not — never has been — linear.

Ultimately the technical experimentation is about restlessness. And freedom.

Explore as you choose. Write what you are. Use the tools that are uniquely yours.

Let the world catch up. Or not. Have fun, regardless.