Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Future

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When all else is lost, the future still remains. ~ Christian Bovee

Science-fiction writers have long been looking ahead — getting readers to envision the future. To dream it. Feel it. Live it.

Fiction, in general, focuses on vision — dreaming up stories with little known characters and worlds. Such a narrative requires tensions and problems, which forces one to consider a spectrum of potential, of roles we might play in making the world better or worse. 

The future remains a concept we explore in a myriad of ways.

In case you haven’t heard, FutureMe is a new website that allows you to write an email that will be delivered sometime later. Years from now, you could get a letter from your younger self saying, I hope you broke it off with that egomaniac and finally got around to the career you were talking about.

Of course, it would be better if it happened in reverse: Walk away from the guy with huge ego and go with the career, but we already talked about the younger-self in the previous post.

One question about the future I ask myself on occasions is how I might feel about certain issues down the line — politics, religion, writing, worldviews. Looking back at the younger self, the idealistic known-it-all college student, I can say that many things have changed since then, opinions have shifted over time.

Time will change and reverse many present opinion. ~ Plato

We change, no debate there. The world changes. Businesses change. Today, companies look into the future more than ever, searching for the next trend, next big concept.  One of the most desired qualities in management-level positions, according to Forbes, is the ability to conceptualize — to study the market and predict needs and wants. Be at the forefront of the ‘idea’ business.

I used to say trends are for the very young, and I don’t need to know about the latest this or that. But to keep in step with the writing world, for example (not ahead but barely in step), one must know what’s developing in the publishing business, contests, marketing.

But is there no end to this conceptualizing process? Are we sacrificing the present at the hands of the future, or is this the new normal? Should I just shut up and go write a letter to my future self?

Photo courtesy: imgarcade.com

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No Substitute for Experience and Early TBT

Yours truly, cca ’93

Here’s an early throwback-Thursday question that’s been floated around forever, another curiosity that makes us distinctly human in our ability to ponder, wonder, and pass time.

If you could, what would you tell your younger self, and why? There’s no substitute for life experience after all, so looking back at this point is easy, even if in an abstract form.

I would tell my younger self to stop fretting, to spend more time making memories, reading. To just chill. Sure, work hard, but also chill. Things work out in time, and if they don’t there’s a reason, and you’ll get your answers.

And it’s perfectly okay to poke fun at life — in fact, do more of that. Laugh your head off every change you get. Cry only if you must.

 ~~ What about you?What would you tell your younger self, and why?

Does Retaliation Work?

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I write vengeful, bitchy characters in my stories. The eye-for-an-eye outlook paints them in a multidimensional color, making them  human. Flawed. Maybe even relatable, or easy to hate. Which is fine, because we write to stir up emotions.

But does retaliation work in real life?

In light of all that’s happening in France, editorials are popping up all over the media, and the opinions are split — some are willing to build upon a measure of forgiveness, some are calling for retribution.

But would retribution accomplish anything?

I don’t know. I’m just trying to follow this though somewhere constructive — as all opinions have merit when discussed in a civil manner.

Looking at history, we’d be hard pressed to find an example where retaliation has worked.

Stalin did not back down when Hitler’s forces conducted a surprise attack. The British rallied against Nazi bombings. The U.S. did not back down after Pearl Harbor. If anything, retaliation caused more death and destruction.  

But on a day-to-day basis, we are inclined to go with our natural instinct and not consult history books. And that natural instinct may or may not tell us to  forgive.

I admire those who can immediately pick one side, because I’m still on the fence, even if part of me knows forgiving is the noble thing to do.

What do you think? How do we forgive those who hurt us? Is it possible to learn to forgive, as many advocate?

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Photo: www.cambridgeincolour.com

Keep Clear of The Noise and Things May Just Happen

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There is a lot of noise we have to cut through in life.  I’ve learned that the hard way as a writer who spends hours questioning the way, doubting the self. Reading into the noise, the silence, the everything.

Yet, there’s little more fulfilling than seeing one’s creation — be it a song, a painting, a book — completed and out in the world. Still, remember the noise? It makes going back to a life we know much safer. But is it safer?

I’ve been submitting to publishing houses for over a year, with some breaks in between, and have gotten enough rejections to frame and decorate my house and the houses of a few family members. I’ve gotten some interest along the way, but nothing came to fruition.

Until last month, when the editor at Solstice Publishing said she found my mystery novel compelling and would be interested in discussing a contract.

I read said email twice, asked my husband to read it. Did it really say what I thought it said? Yes, the final consensus was, it did.

The contract arrived a few days later. And so the process began — reading the contract, researching the publisher a little more (as if the previous ten hours put into research weren’t enough), running said contract by a friend of a friend of a friend (working in a law office comes with certain perks — one knows enough lawyers), and finally signing the contract.

Now, I’ve been assigned a copy editor, while the editor-in-chief and I are discussing cover art, website, and all that comes with publication. And my head is still spinning.

This is a very first and shaky step. Sure, a step in the right direction, but still a very, very first step.

As you probably know, the publishing industry has changed a lot over the years, and making it out there, having your book read, is extremely hard. One has to cut through the noise I’ve mentioned earlier, multiplied by one million. But I’ll worry about that a tad later.  Have to see about copy-edits now.

On a different note, sorry I’ve been absent from blogging. Can’t wait to make my way to your blogs, and read, hopefully, that 2015 is treating you well thus far.

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Photo courtesy: mommasunshine.wordpress.com