What is Station Keeping?

Note: I tried to pre-post this last night, but it does seem to have failed. Alas. Here's something that I hope will interest you. Tell me what you think!

One of the things I started doing during our unexpected hiatus, was to think about what was important to me about TealArt, and what I was most interested in doing in the future on the site. Server "mishaps" can do that to a fellow.

I think if the server had fouled up a year ago or even as many as six months ago, I would have just called it quits: the site wasn't that active, I didn't have plans/dreams for the future of the site, and with the addiction of LiveJournal and other semi-blogging outlets, I might have felt that it just wasn't worth the effort. However, because it happened this year, I was faced with a very different feeling. I had ongoing projects that depended on TealArt, the Tumble-log and twitter was important to me, and I had a dream of a rather new TealArt project that I was excited about.

That project, called Station Keeping, is located in it's own special corner of TealArt, but as always the posts will be part of the main TealArt blog. You can read more about Station Keeping on the site or on the accompanying Writer's Wiki of course, but I'd like to tell you a bit about what I hope SK will become.

Station Keeping is an exploration of a couple of ideas and themes. It is a series much like the Hyper(digital)text Series, or the Teaching/Learning Knitting Series, but unlike these projects, it's a work of fiction. The aim is not to discuss an issue of mild personal interest, but to tell a story. SK is also to be written collaboratively: while the hope is to have a unified and ongoing story--which I suspect we will, thanks to the editorial process--installments and episodes will be written by members of a writing team who will be responsible for the content and management of the series. I will participate, certainly, and even direct/cordinate for a while, until the writing team/community gets a sense of itself, but I envision the writing and the reading of this project as a community effort.

In terms of the story, SK is Science Fiction. No matter how much I run away from it, I find my self perpetually enthralled by the possibilities of the genre. One of my guides for TealArt is that it must be fun to work on, and I see no reason to fight the genre I love so much. Not surprisingly, Station Keeping is set on a brand new space station called Hanm Centre in the distant future, in orbit of a colony world not surprisingly known as "Hanm." The station is the focal point of a lot of geo-political (spatial-political?) debate about the future of Humans' organization and residence in the galaxy, but mostly it's just a port of call, a job, and a home to an eclectic group of folk. There are no aliens, ghosts, and humans of the future haven't quite managed to "break" relativity. Station Keeping is in a lot of ways a fluffy space opera, but I would submit that fluffy space operas are fun, engaging, and fascinating: after all TealArt is supposed to be fun and engaging, so it all works out.

Having said that, I'm busy finishing up school for this semester, graduating, getting ready for grad school next year, and preparing to apply again next year; to mention nothing of the other TealArt projects that I'm already working on. Station Keeping won't start it's regular run for a few weeks, and possibly a month or so. So go ahead, you can call it vapor blogging, but in the mean time, I'd like to use Monday mornings (the time when I expect we'll post SK installments, once we start), to post short updates about our progress in development, and our process. Once SK starts for real, the meta will become a more occasional feature, but I hope that you'll enjoy this discussion.

If you're interested in learning more about this project, I'd enjoy hearing from you, otherwise I hope you enjoy this discussion and the story/stories once it debuts.

cheers, tycho

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