Writing must pierce. Being a writer is like sitting on the table for your first tattoo, or earring, or nose ring. The searing needle burning into your skin, the drop of blood a symbol of what you’ve done. Your body is forever altered. And the way the world sees you has also changed. You’ve made an impression on it, on every passerby that briefly or profoundly stares at you. The gaze depends on the beholder. For some it’s the spectacle of a freak. For others, an attractive impression burned into their mind. It doesn’t matter what the reader sees; it matters that the writer has become vulnerable to the gaze of others. That’s what scares me about a world without creative spectacle – without a needle and body. That world may very well be dystopian. Ruled by seemingly harmonious rules and order, but that cut the body’s nose in spite of its face. Writing and art push the boundaries, creating the I am and You are that is so essential to the disgusting or adoring gaze of the other. It is from that place that society can learn tolerance, understanding, and progress. Without creativity we are doomed to our own banality and flattening. In my novel, Surrogate Colony, people are given X-ray vision to protect themselves from viruses and bacteria. However, X-ray vision in Microscrep isn’t meant to create the piercing reality that society needs to be vulnerable, or creative. It is used to collectively control chaos. However, as the main character, Adriana learns, without chaos we cannot have creativity or desire.