Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Who is Uno Kudo? Richard Cox.

Sometimes the best stories aren't the ones that tell a tale, but perhaps they are instead those that open up possibilities for new ones to begin? The merits of "What if?" and the ensuing postulation gives anyone who's ventured into that territory fodder for practically limitless ideas. 

The best thing a writer can do is to leave the reader staring at a blank wall after they have finished their story.

To have them sit and let the mind spin on what they've just read and in the aftermath consider what it means, how it relates to their beliefs, how it has broadened their mind and the multitude of questions that are now swirling around in their head that all begin with, "What if...?". That is magic. 

Richard Cox is one of those writers.

Who is Uno Kudo?

Uno Kudo is Richard Cox.

Richard Cox believes he was born in Texas and now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to multiple Internet sources, he has published three novels, THOMAS WORLD (September 2011), THE GOD PARTICLE, and RIFT. Richard has also apparently written for This Land Press, Oklahoma Magazine, and is an associate editor for

However, you can't believe everything you read. Or see. For all you know, you're not even reading this right now.

Why get up in the morning when you can't know for sure if anything is real?

It's pretty likely the world isn't what we think it is. For all we know, the whole thing might be a video game on some kid's computer. But does it really matter? Even if the world isn't real, you still have to get up every morning and go to work. You can still fall in love.  In the end, knowing the true reality of the world is pointless, because it's what we make out of our own worlds that counts. Or so I've been programmed to believe.

What was the motivation behind writing your piece (called "Ripped From The Page") for Uno Kudo Volume 1?

The primary inspiration for my piece was an idea I've been mulling for some time now, and which I explored in my new novel, Thomas World: How do I know if anything in my life is really happening? Which is not exactly a new idea. It's been covered in philosophy for hundreds if not thousands of years, it occurs in films like The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and it even show up whenever you have a dream and realize it during the dream itself. And once you introduce doubt into the reality of this world, how do you get back to not having that doubt? Because we can never really know for sure.

But while I was writing Thomas World, especially at the very end, I realized an important thing. It doesn't really matter. I've been fascinated with understanding the essential truth of the universe and humanity since I could conceive of such ideas, but only writing the climactic scenes of this novel did I realize that more important is making the most out of the relationships you have. Yeah, it's fun to look at the cosmos and deep field pictures of the early universe, but the things unique to you, that are perhaps unique among all life on Earth, are the complex relationships you make with others, and the feeling of romantic love.

So the circumstances in the story were inspired by the philosophical conundrums of defining reality, but the emotional resonance and the images were inspired by a beautiful girl who has recently become an important part of my life. Her glinty eyes are the glint in the piece.

When you begin a story, you never really know what you're going to end up with. This piece illustrates that perfectly.

Richard Elsewhere:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Who is Uno Kudo? Aaron Dietz.

Lately, it seems the biggest question on everyone's mind* is, "Just who is Uno Kudo?" and the answer is "Us", "We are" and "This group of people, together."

I am Uno Kudo, each member of Uno Kudo is Uno Kudo. Hell even you can be Uno Kudo. You'd have to give me something first, some art, a pretty photograph, some writery stuffs...but then! You get the idea.

Uno Kudo isn't one thought, one idea, one mind, one single action or one piece of something. The name might suggest otherwise, but the last thing that Uno Kudo is - is a singular entity. We are a group of individuals who are only able to exist within this project that we have created together because of the collective consciousness of the whole. Together we are an ebbing mass of awesome. Each part of this group has been touched by another and that effect is what has made this possible.

With that in mind, I'd like to begin to answer that looming question.

Who is Uno Kudo?

Uno Kudo is Aaron Dietz.

Aaron Dietz is the author of Super, a novel from Emergency Press about commitment, crisis, paperwork, and heartbreak. Dietz's super powers include a high metabolism and the ability to put things back where he got them. He's also pretty good at math.

As an instructional designer, Dietz has written online high school courses on computer programming, green design, and 3-D video game creation. It’s natural for him to write quizzes. He’s worked a decade in libraries. He’s also been paid to count traffic and once failed a personality test.

Dietz blogs at, writes for, and is an advisory editor of KNOCK Magazine.

Is it really true that you failed a personality test?

Yes. I once took the official Myers Briggs Type Indicator test, and got a response back that said they had failed to detect a personality. It was embarrassing for both parties.

What was the motivation behind writing your piece (called "Status 9") for Uno Kudo Volume 1?

I had so many motivations. I like to combine about thirty different impulses when I write a piece, so I'll just cover the two motivations that are most obvious when you read the piece.

First, I love writing about hopeless situations and how things get that way. In my story, a small crew of people working at an interplanetary science base get stranded without oxygen and are left to wait out the last few hours of their lives with no hope of rescue. I loved thinking of the bureaucracy and various levels of failure that had to occur for things to end up that way. Of course, a rescue does happen at the end, but not before some rather drastic things occur.

Second, I like exploring repression vs. expression. I think it's interesting how repressing a desire can lead to safety (but not gratification) while the expressive action often leads to happiness (but at some level of risk). In my story, the characters decide between instant gratification (at the cost of an increased chance of death) and safety (no gratification, but a better chance of survival). The main character chooses the safe route and part of the motivation for writing this story involves weighing the cost of regret vs. the benefit of survival. How much will a person give up to maintain their safety, and is it worth it?

Aaron Elsewhere:

* This isn't realllly the biggest question on everyone's mind, but, it makes for a decent opener so...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On Friendship.

Admiration of each other's work led us to become friends.

Friendship led us to start gathering together.

Gathering together led us to Uno Kudo, a first-time collaboration of writers from Oslo to Chicago, from New York to Seattle.

Full color, full inspiration.

You are going to love this.