INK of the PALIMPSEST

The Thurlow family has been having odd experiences. The oldest son Tom has a repeating nightmare which comes to life in one week of deadlines at his marketing job in Los Angeles. His brother Peter sees a strange man when he looks in the mirror. Their parents discover a mansion on a mountain near their home. This haunted place is a gateway to changing timelines and the Thurlows are mysteriously connected to it. 

The Thurlows' mishaps have attracted the notice of their alma mater, where a separate drama is unfolding. The prestigious Tawaney Institute has discovered the key to immortality. Unfortunately, scientists find that living forever makes people insane. The institute needs the genetic code for a consciousness which can survive prolonged human life spans. In the alumni database, some families seem to provide an organic answer ...

In Ink of the Palimpsest, New Age cults and longevity research provide the backdrop to a much larger transformation of the world. This book is a prequel to Isis Chrysalis, which concerns that transformation.

ISIS CHRYSALIS

This novel-in-stories unveils the struggle of a dark matter goddess to make dark matter visible.

This creature is known by many names, including that of the ancient Egyptian goddess, Isis. In fact, she is a nameless entity who guards the line between dark and light matter.

 

Seven stories set in the past, seven stories set in the present, and seven futuristic stories reveal this creature's impact on the visible world. The stories follow connected characters down the centuries as they glimpse signs of Isis' struggle.

The book starts in the Stone Age as cave dwellers bury this powerful creature near a gate to the underworld. From then on, humans sense that part of reality has been suppressed. They begin to realize that our problems would make sense if we could see all of reality.

 

From Isis' origin myth in Central Asia, to the Manhattan Project, to the rainforests of South America, a grand picture unfolds. A research corporation, Centaur Assessments International, launches a plan to bear witness to this total vision of light and dark matter.

The final story describes Isis' escape from her underground tomb. Her liberation makes dark matter visible and marks the cataclysmic start of a new age.

 

SHORT STORY CYCLES IN PROGRESS

 

NOVELS IN PROGRESS

NARCISSUS SHRUGGED

A novel about a movie star's secret victimization and crimes, and his global travels as he seeks public and private redemption.

SON of the LOST KINGDOM

A boy grows up in a trillionaire family, owners of a privately-held commodities trading house. In shocking revelations, his mother tells his father that her son is illegitimate, the product of an affair.

 

In a rage, the father expels the boy from the family, and the teenager goes on a search to find his real father. He discovers that his biological father is even more powerful, reclusive - and dangerous.

This is a companion novel to Isis Chrysalis, concerning a curse haunting several generations of a noble Portuguese family, the Algarvas.

FLASH FICTIONS IN PROGRESS

 
THE MILLENNIAL BOOK of DAYS

365 flash fictions span one year, inspired by the micro-hooks on Reddit, each page is one day on the calendar, a tiny novel in itself.

POETRY

IN PROGRESS

 
SPARROWS STILL SING in the MORNING

A collection of poems starts with a murdered girl, which unfurls a connected set of poems, set around the world. Real estate deals, Manhattan lunches, dead interns in Washington. Casinos, hotels, beachfront restaurants, tax havens, hurricanes, stranded tourists, and earthquakes.

NON-FICTION

IN PROGRESS

 
INSIDE the POTEMKIN VILLAGE

A collection of creative non-fiction pieces, part memoir, part reflections on the world after eight years of blogging on the impact of technology on global societies, politics, and the economy.

OTHER PROJECTS

 
WATER and STARS

Water and Stars is A LITTLE BOOK OF WISDOM of dream-stories and prose poems. Linocut illustrations contemplate eternal themes of life, healing, and rejuvenation. LC Douglass is working with artist Jude Prashaw. One of Douglass' sample poems is below, and two of Prashaw's sample linocuts are beneath it.

SAMPLE POEM:

THE DRAGONFLY

They say it’s a sign of the future, and a turn for the better.

So I was glad to see it ahead of me,

The same colour as the road, split in two tones,

Black and grey, or rather, black and neutral.

As I got close to it, it pulled away and disappeared, perfectly camouflaged.

Adrift But Not Alone and Ready For The Deep Dive © 2018 by J. Prashaw.

All rights reserved.

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THE ARTIST'S TAROT

 

In a collaboration with artist Chris Dorosz, LC Douglass is writing the accompanying book for a TAROT DECK. The Artist's Tarot recasts the Fool's Path as the creative journey of the artist. 

 

The book will feature quick reference pages, sample card spreads, and longer sections on card origins and meanings.

SUMMARY:

From 1500 to 2000, we have come full circle! Today, the early 16th century is synonymous with Leonardo da Vinci and other Renaissance greats who established what we consider now to be the western artistic canon.

 

For decades, the canon has been derided as clichéd, limited, and oppressive in its authoritative vision. It has been attacked and reevaluated. Regardless, the new schools opposed the original model, without getting to the root of change.

Change involves preservation and obliteration. The tarot was born in similar circumstances to our own. Then as now, the Renaissance marked an explosion in communications. Gutenberg's press, active since the 1430s, accompanied advances in trade and technology.

How does the artist create in a dynamic environment where some age-old truths survive, and some fall away? Evidently, da Vinci and his contemporaries used medieval themes to depict a powerful new vision of reality.

In the Artist's Tarot, the artist sets forth again on the Fool's Journey, to travel our world and reconsider centuries-old archetypes in light of the iconic images we see on the news every day.

The book for the deck covers five aspects. 

First, the past: L.C. Douglass' book combines her scholarly background in history and many years' experience blogging about Millennial culture. She mentions the tarot as a product of the history of Renaissance Italy, especially printing and print-making. Although the tarot was initially confined to aristocrats, block printing made the tarot one of the first examples of mass-produced artwork and became the source for familiar and ubiquitous French playing card decks.

Second, the present: early mass printing is considered in light of the rise of the Internet. 15th-16th century and 20th-21st century advances in technology and art production are paralleled in terms of their radical impacts on popular culture, politics, and the economy.

Third, the occult history of the tarot: the book mentions the cards' esoteric connotations during the Renaissance and subsequent centuries. This is the history of symbols and other, less well known continuities.

Fourth, the artist as The Fool in our world: the voice of this deck is distinctly one of the new Millennium and brings Renaissance questions into our present.

Dorosz presents instantly recognizable scenes from the news, as contemporary as they are immortal.

Everyone knows these images in a second: the little Syrian Kurdish boy, Alan Kurdi, who drowned on the shores of the Mediterranean in 2015. An ISIS execution, conducted for an online audience. A celebrity, hounded by the paparazzi at LAX. This is a tarot deck of UN peacekeepers, terrorists, billionaire's wives (and their pampered dogs). It is a deck of homeless people and international Davos people. Some cards such as the Hanged Man reconsider the old allegories. But the deck acknowledges the persistence of some archetypes: 9/11 was an example of The Tower, made horribly real. 

Fifth, this is a statement from one Millennial artist: the main character is also the Artist as Creator in the World. Dorosz contemplates creation itself as an archetype, reappraised for a godless world. Or perhaps this is creation in a world which has trouble hearing or seeing the divine. The deck is as much a statement on Dorosz's individual art practice, as it is a larger meditation on what it meant to be an artist in 1500, and an artist now.

Since the deck comes full circle, themes such as regeneration and recovery are addressed. The figures in the deck are carved objects left over from the process of Dorosz's creation of three-dimensional rod paintings.

 

The figures represent the creative potential of detritus in the same way that we try to find creative solutions to life and work in harmony with nature, and how we deal with pollution as a price of progress. If creativity and industry have their destructive sides, each card encapsulates a rebirth after shattering moments of construction. 

 

Thus, this deck expresses the same issues we consider when we try to find sustainable solutions concerning material products, by-products, and waste.

 

By recycling or upcycling the detritus from his art in these cards, Dorosz makes a statement about how we can all live in sync with nature and be more mindful and efficient. 

The idea of recycling or upcycling resembles challenges faced in coping with Millennial innovation. As technology carries us forward in time at an ever-faster pace, potentials from the past are lost or discarded. We are forced to choose what we will keep and what we will leave behind. In a period of rapid change, can we preserve that which is being cast aside or forgotten?

The artist's choices involve these most profound questions, and help us all ask how to survive creatively in the now.

Below, see Dorosz's reinterpretation of the Hanged Man, which adds a Millennial flavour to the traditional meaning of the card.

SAMPLE CARD MOCK-UP:

THE HANGED MAN

The Hanged Man © 2017-2018 by C. Dorosz.

All rights reserved.

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