I've seen a lot of commencement addresses for the class of 2020 recently, an outpouring of advice prompted by the lack of a more traditional ceremony because of the coronavirus-related lock-downs. If we're being completely, brutally honest, most of them have similar themes, and say similar things, and convey similar messages, whether they're from a celebrity, a political figure, or a businessman. I generally skim through a few of these as I'm reading the newspaper, but one title, or rather subtitle, caught my eye. It didn't catch my eye for being resonant with me, but rather because it was so completely contrary to any advice I would ever give anyone, if I were in any way qualified to give someone advice. It was talking about the important of letting go of myths of greatness.
When I say that space has an image problem, I mean that the common conceptions of space are distorted. The typical person not only doesn't understand space, they don't understand what we do in space. That matters, because ordinary people interact with space technology on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. I don't just mean people like me, who work in the space industry. If you own a cell phone, or use a credit card, you are almost certainly interacting with space technology when you use those devices.
I have recently learned that to other readers, there are significantly more advertisements, and that they are taking away from the reading experience. I would still like to be able to monetize my story-telling using low-impact advertisements, so I will be spending some time in the coming weeks attempting to clean up the site and figure out why there are advertisements showing up on places I didn’t explicitly put them. Hopefully, I will be able to soon provide a cleaner experience for all of you readers, with the focus being far more on the stories being told, and less on the distracting advertisements.
This is a website for stories. I make a concerted effort to keep it a writing website, and I work very hard to refrain from using it as a platform to talk about things that don't relate to writing, whether those topics are controversial or not. I avoid talking about current events, politics, or even my own "real" job, because I don't think that it's appropriate to use this platform for something other than what I built it to do: share stories. I don't write stories to have deep messages, hidden meanings, or social commentaries, although some people have taken such meanings from my tales. I write to entertain, to tell stories that I would myself enjoy reading, so I assume that is mainly why readers come here, too.
I have a lot of interests, especially when it comes to learning, which is a large part of why I try to read so broadly. One of those interests that is especially conducive to indulging through books is philosophy. Although I don’t have any philosophy book reviews on the site yet (maybe someday I’ll make … Continue reading Futility or Utility?
I don’t remember if this was a comparison I developed, or if I read it somewhere and expanded upon it, but I’ve taken to using windows to explain different styles of writing to others. What I do remember is that it's based on Brandon Sanderson describing his prose as "transparent." This made perfect sense to me, but when I mentioned it to others, they were confused by the idea, and ever since I've been trying to come up with a better way of explaining this metaphor. In other words, I hope that this post is going to make sense to you.
It doesn't come up often, but occasionally I'll have someone ask me to write them into one of my stories. They'll say that they don't care what I do with the character, but that they want to be in there somehow. I refuse every time.
No, I'm not above using cliche titles, when they serve me. Because I'm so very fond of stirring up controversy, I'm going to talk about something that divides more people than religion, politics, or the Great Pumpkin: movie/book adaptations. Fair warning: we're going to talk about some big name franchises, including Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Jurassic Park, and others, so if you don't want to risk potential spoilers from either the book or movie versions of any of these, you might not want to read this post. Otherwise, let's mire ourselves in controversy.
Broadly, I classify my writing as speculative fiction, which includes the genres that are typically shelves under both the fantasy, and science fiction categories. Yet, you will notice that the majority of my works, both published so far on the site, and in progress, fall in the fantasy genre. Considering that my "real" job involves working with advanced, experimental satellites, that might seem somewhat counter-intuitive, and indeed I've gotten a lot of questions recently about why I don't write more science fiction. So, I've decided to try to provide an answer, other than the fact that I'm not nearly as skilled or imaginative, to why I'm not the next Isaac Asimov.
No, it's not a magical fairyland. No pixie whispers into my brain what I should write next, what stories I ought to tell. Actually, I don't think that very many stories could come from a magical fairyland, if such a place existed. It would be too nice in such a magical place, and stories, at their heart, require a digression from the pleasant or the normal. Otherwise, there would be nothing worth reading, much less writing. Which is not to say that there couldn't be a magical fairyland in which things don't go beautifully, but let's leave that possibility be for the purposes of this discussion.