Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mozart, Mesmer, and Me

About a week ago, I found an article that claimed Mozart had written his opera Cosi fan tutte entirely in a state of mesmeric trance. Franz Mesmer, in case you don't know (although you probably do know if you're into EMC) created an early form of hypnosis and was very popular in his day. If' you want to know more about him, here's his Wikipedia page.

Now, Mesmer was a patron of Mozart, and as I said, this article implied that Mozart wrote a whole opera in a state of trance. I thought about linking to the article here until I actually read it. Then I discovered it was really just a discussion of Mozart's weirdness in general, and it didn't have much to say about mesmerism. The most interesting detail, apart from the above, was that Mozart once wrote a little ditty called "Lick Me in the Ass."

Anyway, the article is still worth mentioning because it makes me wonder whether Mozart could have written coherently while in trance. I sure can't. Writing under post-hypnotic suggestion is definitely possible, but while you're deeply hypnotized, you're clumsy - and you enjoy the clumsiness because it's a sign of how deep you are. Of course, it's possible that the right hypnotist could get you to write neatly and clearly while in deep trance. I just haven't experienced that.

But by now you're probably asking what this has to do with "Transfixed," the story I've been talking about for a few weeks, and which will go to press on or around December 8 (That's an in-progress cover above. I'd love some feedback on it). Well, I came up with most of the plot for "Transfixed" while I was in trance. I didn't write it that way, but that's where the ideas began: in my subconscious mind. I just kept them in my head until I had time to write.

Here's how it came about. If you've been reading my blog long enough, you know that I have trouble with insomnia and developed a Virtual Hypnotist program designed to help me relax and get to sleep. I still use it every night, and it still works very well; but I'm so familiar with it now that my mind wanders a good bit while I'm using it (To those of you who've never been hypnotized: yes, your mind can wander while you're in trance). Since I've been so focused on this story, even writing right up until bedtime, my mind often wandered over to "Transfixed" while I doing my nighttime trance thing.

I've also written before about how some of my best ideas come to me in dreams, or while I'm lazing in bed on a Saturday morning, half awake but too lazy to get up. I guess all three states are similar, in that they allow me to tap into my subconscious - and my subconscious is usually more creative than my conscious mind. I've been wondering whether anybody will notice anything different about "Transfixed," or whether it will read pretty much like the rest of my stuff. Again, I'd love some feedback once the book comes out.

In the meantime, I can tell you some places in "Transfixed" where I've noticed contributions from my subconscious mind. The subconscious communicates in symbols, sometimes but not always sexual in nature; and since I'm writing erotica, my thoughts are headed in a sexy direction right from the start. Now, "Transfixed" begins with one ship getting run through by another ship. The second ship has been taken over by mind-controlling aliens (but of course!), and now they're invading the first ship as well. I explained in a previous post how that part of the story grew out of a failed collaboration between myself and several other EMCSA authors, so you can't blame trance-plotting for that. But now let me throw out a new non-spoilery details regarding the finished story. See if you can work out all the Freudian references:
  • The ship which gets pierced has a female captain (Michiko), and the ship doing the piercing is captained by Michiko's husband Alec.
  • Alec, under the influence of MC, constantly tempts Michiko to give in to the aliens' control and he tells her how hot it feels.
  • Part of the alien MC process involves piercing the skull of the victim - in a way that causes orgasm rather than pain.
  • When Alec's ship first appears, it emerges from a wormhole; and it carries Michiko's ship into another wormhole - which is where the piercing occurs.
  • The guns fire darts instead of lasers or bullets. This actually makes sense from a "preventing hull breach" standpoint, but darts are still more phallic than lasers or bullets.
  • At one point a character on the run hides inside a large egg-shaped object.
  • In two other scenes, crucial information is shared by two people talking inside small, enclosed spaces.
  • And as a bonus for you Jungian fans, a white man* receives help from a black woman who is his opposite in almost every way.

*Actually, you don't have to assume he's white; I often leave characters' races unspecified so that readers can imagine people who look like them, and I encourage you to do that with this guy. But in my mind, he has pale hair and skin.

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