Wai Zandtao

SCIENCE FICTION WRITER

This will be a record of Wai Zandtao's writing - check footnotes for writings that are not sci-fi.:-

June 3 2017

I have just watched two very different movies and I cannot sleep - 03.00 am usual problem of wai tong - andropause.

The first movie was silly and I was tired after a massage Jack Lemmon's "How to murder your wife" - 60s sexist and funny. But more importantly I had downloaded "Lost Horizon". I have watched it before but had missed its purpose - the High Lama was trying to preserve qualities of life whilst the world was killing itself. I went to bed realising I had been forgetting the timelessness of writing, and got up to write this blogentry.

I am ageing, and daily I struggle with the impact of wai tong with its sleep issues. But what concerned me when I lay down is how little determination I am now giving to that which is timeless. I had an excellent Summer of writing, and yet with just two hours of teaching - 2 days one hour each, the writing has dried. Not completely - I have done one long Pirsig Platform and have begun Honiti but it is maybe days since I have written. It is not helped by the vainglorious hope I have for Corbyn.

I started The Arico Chronicles with no idea where it was going leading to a coherent storyline in the end. It began with the mountains and a sense of depression, and the importance of chronicles although I did not know what they were when I started writing.

Honiti starts with love. I am not widely experienced in love, have never managed a lasting relationship. But I do believe I know something of love. Yet I have no idea where it is going.

I got a bit angry today and I need to be careful. I have a good relationship with my massage lady who is pleasant. But today she started giving me advice. Her English is the same as my Thai, and she focussed on "activity". I had told her about my sleep issue and the hormone tension in my body so she proceeded to advise me. I told her about the importance of my writing although she doesn't know what I write about. She advised me to go shopping, to listen to some local open air Thai music - often played by schoolkids. It ws like she was reading off a catalogue of things I reject doing. I told her I was happy, I meditate sometimes, study and write - and go swimming and walk by the lakes. Personally I think that is well balanced, and I think I am unlucky with the wai tong. Yet compared with most my body is doing OK. I was angry; I had told her about y writing and it didn't matter to her.

That brings me back to Lost Horizon and anicca - timelessness. The truth is timeless, and my writing is the way I express truth. Oh how I wish it could be read but then I am not willing to do anything about that but if I have learned any truth I have to put it out there. I am lucky to have writing and I do nothing, and use dabbling teaching as an excuse. Shame on me.

May 12 2017

I feel good as I have just finished The Arico Chronicles. Looking at the last entry of this bioic I realise that this Summer holiday (bpit-term) I have worked well as Wai Zandtao. I can’t now recall how much of Sannadee there was to have finished but I was only half way through the first part of Arico. I had to remember where I was, adjust some of it and put it all together. The second part has been very quick – at the most a month. I am surprised, I sort of feel elated but not bells and banjos but it is a good feeling. If I ws younger I would have been feeling real elation. I think the second part of Arico has been much more about ideas than usual. I kind of know writing should be more about characters and situations and writing about detail – Pirsig’s brick. But how much of that is the way selling is done, and how much is quality writing? I will never know as I am unlikely to meet publishing and even less likely to bend my ways. Anyway contrived quality is not what I am after, I just hope there is sufficient quality in what I like doing. I hope someone gets to read this.

But I do enjoy the telling of these stories, I never really know where they are going – collective anarchism indeed 😊

I have been feeling I would like to develop the Pirsig Platform but who knows? I don't feel a new book at the moment, and there is much unfinished elsewhere.

Yes this is good, I feel good.

April 25 2017

Musing on the Muse - This last month of writing has been productive and has given me an overall sense of satisfaction. In terms of achievement I have finished Sannadee, and am into the second part of The Arico Chronicles.

There is however no presence, I miss this "muse" experience. To try to explain. When I was in the Summer of Kirramura I would live for the writing which started about midnight. I would be waiting to go to bed because I knew I could lie there and the presence - muse - would come. The room would fill with presence, I would feel a deep stillness, and then start hammering the keyboard. It was powerful.

Since I have retired meditation and writing have become my raison d'etre - not specifically scifi (see below); it has not all been "creative writing". Hence the patchiness of Wai Zandtao. Kirramura gave me a real buzz - a strong memory. Writing now doesn't give me a buzz, but rather writing has given me a long drawn-out sense of satisfaction. There is the muse, that is good, but none of the presence. Of course I am a lot older, and in old age the muse does not elicit youthful reactions.

I draw a parallel with meditation. Throughout my life meditation was a hit-and-miss affair that gave me bells and banjos, then meditation became part of my daily life in retirement. As a result the level of my daily life was raised but I lost the bells and banjos. Creativity is now similar. There is no feeling of presence - muse, no elation when writing or when a book was finished, but a general writing satisfaction (this is particularly good as my sleep has been screwed by metabolism issues in old age).

April 15 2017

Since finishing Sannadee I have been working on two projects:-

To continue writing The Arico Chronicles
To finish putting "The Parables of Hexoto" online

Even though I wrote "The Parables of Hexoto" maybe 40 years ago, typing it up puts a storyline in my mind. I don't like it, and prefer to keep one story at a time. So I am just concentrating on Arico.

I started Arico whilst I was still writing Sannadee. I am sure two story lines delayed the finish although I cannot say I concentrate on scifi. I hope to do so now given the state of the anarchic world we live in. it was difficult to bring together all that I had done on Arico, and it is only now that I am on top of it and moving forward with the storyline. With the Gathering I am coming to the end of the first part of Arico, and feel quite good about it.

April 2017

You have been linked to here because I have just finished Sannadee. Ignore this waffle and go straight to the story.

Sannadee began as far back as June 2004. I had just finished a year in the UK dealing with probate after the deaths of my parents - I needed a holiday after being in the UK for that long. I had been going to Thailand since January 2000, and I started a 3-month tour in Koh Samet. Sitting in a bungalow watching the waves sparkle in the moonlight began my work on Baengoi as Samsarapho. I retired early in June 2006, and with the freedom studying and writing just poured out (see May 2010 below and "other writings" belower).

In between the different writing I completed Baengoi, and from what I recall almost immediately began work on Sannadee. Work on it was intermittent even starting The Arico Chronicles meanwhile. I have just completed Sannadee. I am not so sure the intermittent writing is good for the flow of the story, but in truth I don't know when the storyline was broken.

I get frustrated with what I see happening around me. When I think of all the years in teaching, and how much more right-wing and dangerous the world is today I start to write. I keep saying I should focus more on stories as they are timeless - but I don't.



May 2010

Writing started for me a couple of years after leaving uni. I started work in a computing firm and learnt that I was not suited to the rat race. Working for them was a lady, Wendy, to whom I will always be indebted (as were many). She spent time with a drunken child and for that I will always be grateful. Apart from opening up a repressed little middle-class boy she encouraged me to write.

At that time I was spiritually homeless, and I latched onto an Arts Centre that had setup in the Elephant. In my search at that time I made it a home but in truth I am not an artist-writer, I do not wake up of a morning saying "I must write", "where is my muse?"etc. That would have been appropriate for the Arts Centre, and I played a bit of that game (because I was lost), but it is not me. Through Wendy's generous encouragement I started Science Fiction writing, and I was published in the Arts Centre magazine. I think the story was "Morphon", if it was I hope to put it online but at the moment it is just typed.

I drifted away from the Arts Centre as I started to work in Child Care, but the writing continued sporadically. I have no doubt that the initial passion for writing, that produced a surfeit at the time that gave me the self-pretense that I was a writer, was due to my repressed middle-class upbringing. However throughout my life I have written in one way or another so it is not totally me but it is a part - and that is fine to me.

After my first success (?) with Morphon I wrote "The Parables of Hexoto", and I finished that a couple of years later. I still considered myself a writer first, and child care second, so I sent this to a publisher. I got the manuscript returned with a polite rejection - I think Hodder and Stroughton. This wasn't a kick-in-the-teeth but it was enough to dissuade me from writing as a career. Why should life be so easy? I didn't take this as a condemnation of my abilities as a writer but as a statement that I was not commercial. I have never seen these two as the same, and validation by saleability has never been a validation I have sought - however I would have liked the money! (I only have "The Parables of Hexoto" as a manuscript at the moment, but am in the process of putting it online.)

At this stage I got sucked into work, booze and other spiritual directions (other than writing), and in my early 30s I wrote Lidors - this has been nowhere other than my website. This was written at an important change in my life, as was the next one "the Winds of Kirramura" - written about 8 years later just before I started to travel. (The other short stories were written before Lidors). Since then I have only written academically, for an M Ed or similar.

In July 2004 I began writing again at a big change in my life. In this last year both my parents have died, and I have taken time out - 10 weeks travelling out East - well not travelling much, just stopping in a few places a while. Over the last 11 years I have travelled with my work, and people have said to write about what has happened to me. I think nothing has happened that makes the stories people want to read, but I have learnt.

In May 2006 I retired from teaching sick of the careerism and profiteering. For 4 years I have studied on my own, blogged, developed my teaching site at Matriellez, and done some writing. I think there is more to come.

Wendy wherever, ifever you are, thank you.



Other writings:-
Books:- Treatise,
Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Zandtao,
Ginsukapaapdee,
Matriellez.