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Preview: Robert Stikmanz

Robert Stikmanz

Traces & Musings

Last Build Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 17:56:50 +0000


Cover, text block and a “to do” list

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 15:40:22 +0000

Some mysteries simply endure. I woke this morning to find the last task I began last night is complete. How this came about is not a matter on which I can speak. The decisions were well made. Perhaps Rumpelstiltskin. I long cherished a thought of releasing Dvarsh, An Introduction as a hardback. Friends with experience have convinced me of the unwisdom of trying this with an untested book. A hardback edition is tabled until value is shown, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make the paperback resemble unrealized hope. Clickety-click on the image for a view close to size. The text block is done except for an exhaustive error check, and that is on tap to start later today. I expect to take at least three days with this, and I expect to miss an embarrassing number of bloopers. Only a fool is blind to the folly of no second eyes, but I am hobbled by the applicable subsection of Catch-22: I have to produce this book in order to educate a proofreader with skills to tackle it. At the top of this morning’s “to do” list, however, sit a couple of registrations. One is the copyright filing for the [...]

Best of Austin Award!

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 20:03:34 +0000

This can blow your concentration to pieces! Taking a break from reworking a diagram for Dvarsh, An Introduction, I clicked onto *that* social media site to discover my friend Erin Parr had tagged me in a post. This was how I learned that the Best of Austin awards 2017 announced by The Austin Chronicle this morning included a “Critics Picks” honor for me: Best Creator of a New Language. This may not be a recurring award category, but it’s certainly a sweet one. Color me amazed. Check out the companion announcement on

The news from October is about December

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 23:06:05 +0000

STIKMANTICA ANNOUNCES 12/15/2017 RELEASE DATE FOR DVARSH, AN INTRODUCTION But first, the most recent time I saw my friend Taryn Williams, now months ago, we got talking about “life plans” vs. “careers.” I had just lost my job, and she was on the verge of changing hers. In the course of the conversation I told her that my resolute ambitions have always been, “to love well, make art, and leave the world better for having passed through it.” She answered, “That’s important. You need to say that. You need to post that.” Taryn’s opinion is one I don’t take lightly, but I’ve been slow to follow up. Recap: Make art. Love well. Leave the world better for having passed through it. For details about the December book release, here is a link to the October Stikmantica newsletter.

Sonnet 09/19/017

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:22:06 +0000

  Ill stars hang thick above a howling crowd, congested red, atomic guts inflamed, slit eyes on bloody heaves of iron uncowed, the very stones afire, our days of shame. As touts self-immolate in clockwork shred, a touring quartet mouths, “Just get me laid,” ignoring flesh that charred when witness fled the guns that stitched a crèche with serenade. A hacking scam, the fiction’s time at bat parades a snorting geld that farts at sense and cozies close with old clandestine hat to pave a way for flagging peter’s Pence. The bind, of course, is that mad crash and burn unbottled once to feed will not be turned.

The Postcard Project, by Sarah Belle Reid

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 02:46:57 +0000

Among the extraordinary artists enriching the New Media Art & Sound Summit 2017 was Sarah Belle Reid. Performing in three very different sets—a solo set featuring modular synth and augmented trumpet, a trio with two electronicists she had met earlier in the afternoon, and a duo with a telematically present collaborator in Los Angeles—her contribution would have been large on this basis alone. In addition to her performances, Ms. Reid also presented a workshop on “visual scores,” which is shorthand for one approach to nonstandard notation associated with experimental music. The performances were inspiring, as was the workshop. One of my favorite aspects of NMASS is a lack of walls between artists, volunteers and audience, which proved true for this sometime volunteer/sometime auditor, as I enjoyed the opportunity to visit casually with Sarah more than once over the weekend. An upshot of her workshop and our subsequent conversation was that she invited me to participate in The Postcard Project, a distributed collaboration designed for her Patreon patrons. “Beyond thrilled” aptly describes my reaction. Look for a more detailed post once I have completed my part in the project. For now, I check off the first instruction, which is to post [...]

Physical Therapy: “Wasted Years”

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 16:32:39 +0000   December 28, 2016, I fell, breaking the scaphoid bone in my left wrist when landing on top of it. Broken, the scaphoid is a difficult, prima donna bone, poorly vascularized yet located where even scratching one’s head brings it into play. I spent four months with my arm in a splint before the fracture showed sign of healing, at which point the surgeon told me that I am a prodigy. With this bone, he said, most people are in the splint for six months or more. My “rapid” progress, he asserted, must be testament to my lifestyle, genes, luck or what have you. I felt like it took FOR-E-VER! Four months in a splint is four months in a splint, which meant that the offending article came off a limb the muscles of which had gone whimpo and the tendons of which had seriously tightened. Over May and June the focus of physical therapy was to restore range of motion and functionality while avoiding strain on the mending bone. At the end of June, the surgeon okayed a shift to rebuilding strength. Besides a different emphasis in our sessions, the therapist, a guitar player, instructed me as part [...]

Media Files:

Confessions of a shade tree lexicographer

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 18:13:45 +0000

All existing Dvarsh word lists have been exhausted as sources of dictionary entries for Dvarsh, An Introduction. Currently, I am reviewing the lexicon for glaring omissions and coining specialized vocabulary to breathe life into Dvarsh culture. Most of the latter relate to realms such as art, music, performance, poetry, recreation and techne. A thought I had among others in this area was that a well-rounded language resource should include terms for expressing concepts such as “buttplug” and “tapeworm.”  Another thought was that if terms for expressing such concepts happen to markedly resemble the names of people who have messed with me, well, coincidence can be a real malefactor, babe. My older brother once pointed out a family trait: we can avoid temptation, but we can’t resist it. It’s all or nothing. I am a wicked, wicked man. But you knew this.