Less Than Random Thoughts From a Science Fiction Author and Generally Good Guy [ Fawkes ]

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

And A Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Blog From Me

Inspired by a post a friend made  http://anamericanboomerslife.blogspot.com/ , I offer my thoughts for this Christmas, 2012.
  Christmas wishes to one and all! I, yet again, wax philosophically, and want to share these thoughts with you. I hope they will help you to embrace and cherish the magic of today. My thoughts spring from the widely acknowledged understanding that Christmas is tailored for children. But, my friends, the spirit of Christmas can dwell in us at any age and in any circumstance if we are in tune with the magic. I am always humbled at the closing soliloquy Bill Murray delivers at the end of Scrooged, challenging us never to forget to go out there and make it a special season.
I think a lot of us old-folk do Christmas dinner out, go on cruises, or similarly morph the holiday. I refuse to go there. There have been Thanksgivings and Christmases where Karen and I were on our own, but we have always (she has always) prepared a proper feast and we have celebrated with the most important family member we have - each other. Mind you, the more the merrier, but just two is enough. How an individual handles the challenges of change versus tradition is deeply personal, so there is no right or wrong. Remember, it's about making yourself happy!
I guess, as an iconoclast, I have always refused to give-in to what has to be or is supposed to be done. I am perhaps the solitary avid hater of Norman Rockwell. His holiday images have poisoned the minds of untold millions. In his Saint Crispin's day speech, King Harry shouts, "And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap..." Similarly, The Rockwellian images of "the way the holiday is celebrated correctly" has cause far too many to hold their Christmas-experience cheap. That son-of-a-thousand-fathers!
We all must make our own happiness, our own commitment to know we were not cheated-out of a proper holiday. Christmas is about love, hope, and charity. Christmas is about acknowledging the miracle of God's grace and slowing down a moment to sense the wonder that is our lives. Keep the spirit of Christmas alive in whatever manner fits you best and it will always be alive.
Oh, and in the coming year, don't any of you be strangers. Merry Christmas to my Blog Family!

PS: Time Diving progresses and it's brilliant!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

As You Know.... Fatigue Sets in, But not the Loss of Passion

So, where have I been?  Clearly elsewhere.  Where elsewhere?  The usual suspects, work, new grandpa, writing, procrastinating - in short LIFE!  One cross I bear is that I feel I must have something to say in order to say it.  That's why I quit Twitter.  Blow-by-blow accounts of someone's thoughts, consumptions and bathroom breaks does not rise to my standard of "need-to-know".  So, I haven't posted because I generally think I have no blog-worthy news.  I am, as it turns out, rather hard on myself.

Some of you may know I am a physician.  I do primary care for adults; as we say in America, I'm an Internist.  Two years back I switch back to this pathway from a darker-calling in medicine - Worker's Compensation Medicine.  If you do not know what that is I envy you - don't learn what it is!  As a result, I am blissfully happy with my work, but it has put a real damper on my writing.  So, my current novel, Time Diving, is turning-out to be like the birthing of an elephant: long and oh so painful.   I do think the effort is worth it, because the tale and the message seems to me to be taking shape nicely.  Hopefully, someday soon, you can be the judge of that.

One thing I am learning as an author who - hopefully justifiably - prides himself on quality, is that it is worth doing the book right.  Since I am turning novels out once every 2-3 years, I need to put-forth the best effort and the best product that I can.  I see other indie authors churning-out really marginal quality product.  I have written some authors and pointed out major issues in their early works, issues which will cause any serious reader to bail.  The one's I've contacted - with but one exception - all say something to the effect that they are moving 'forward' and do not plan to 'correct' issues of the past.  This does amaze me.  If your Volume One of twenty is so poorly presented, who does the author think will stick-around to potentially read the wondrous works they are devoting their time to?  Makes no sense.

Anyway, I also split writing-time now.  I am writing a non-fiction book about my medical experience.  Oh my, you subtly whisper, just what the world needs, another swollen-headed doctor setting the world straight.  Hopefully I'm not going there!  I am coming from the angle of affording those outside medicine to see inside of it, to look at medical care from our eyes.  Plus, since I focus on anecdotes and episodes, there are some really funny - and really sad - stories.  As always, we'll see.

So, thanks again for hanging-in-there with me.  I'm slow but I'm worth it - trust me, I'm a doctor!

One major departure from the past is that I am probably not going to podcast any further books.  I think the time of the podcast novel is past.  They are very time-intensive to produce, a dwindling number of people listen, and there is no money to be made.  More importantly, my hope was that the podcasts would lead to a wider popularity for my written-produces.  This connection is definitely not present.  Abbie Hilton and Bryan Lincoln have a podcast of podcasting literature - Full Cast Podcast - in which they discuss this at length and come to pretty much the same conclusion.  Podcast listeners and book readers are two separate groups.  Plus, back in the day, a podcast was the only serious vehicle for a little fish like me to be heard.  Now, with ebooks and print-on-demand, I can access the readers of the world quite easily.  I am, at the end of the day, an author, not a producer/actor.

Well, nuf' said about me.  I hope and pray you and yours are well.  Stay tuned to witness my glacial progress..........  peace out!