It has been six months since my last post and certainly life has gone on, most things for the better and some things not. Mostly, my absence has been about starting a new job in a new location, moving a family, and focusing on getting my book well in order. One thing that hadn’t changed was my love of writing coupled with my need to post about it. I could wax on about the need to branch out, improve my technique, or simply share an opinion…but I will refrain and settle for catching y’all up.
FAMILY: Things have been going tolerably well. We moved to North Carolina to take on my new posting and while I enjoy the new job, I can’t say that any of us particularly enjoy the area much. We are creatures of the north (with a little bit of love on the side for the mid-west) and a lot of the charms of this particular portion of the southern United States are lost on us. I went to school down south and I enjoyed Central Georgia and could live there but this particular area doesn’t have a lot going for it. I imagine that we will be glad to move on once this assignment is over. Both of my daughters are doing fine with Emily doing quite well in school and Maggie as cute as ever.
MOVIES: The Summer and early Fall movie seasons have come and gone and I would have to say that the movies that blew my socks off were a varied bunch. Cabin in the Woods was an early favorite and remains probably the single most fun movie I saw this year. The Avengers was quite good and while the movie didn’t move heaven and earth for me, I have to say that I really like what Disney/Marvel is doing. The latest Batman movie was the tale of two movies. The first half was formulaic and merely average but the movie came alive during the same half when Gotham was besieged. The best movies I have seen recently had to be Cloud Atlas and Skyfall. I know that Atlas was controversial and for many, not their cup of tea. I will admit that it had its flaws but in an age when so many movies are cookie cutter copies of each other, this one did different things and did not bore me. It even surprised me at times and thus it gets my nod. As for Skyfall, the battle is over and I will hear no more arguments. Daniel Craig is the best James Bond period.
TV: Fringe, Community, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Archer, The Clone Wars. I have been watching less TV than usual but I still have the shows above that I follow and would commend any of them. Walking Dead in particular is becoming in my opinion the best show on television unless you can show me another that isn’t afraid to kill its main characters off in the most bleak manners possible.
BOOKS: As my TV watching has decreased, my book reading has risen. I will simply state that I am absolutely in love with the works of Joe Abercrombie’s books. He has written six books (one trilogy and three standalone trilogies with another trilogy on the way) all set in the same fantasy setting and using the same set of major and minor characters. I am a big fan of Patrick Rothfuss, Brian Sanderson, and George R.R. Martin but my apologies to these guys but Joe Abercrombie is my new favorite fantasy writer. I will post later in depth about Abercrombie’s works but his books are darkly funny and terrible affairs where there is no black and white, only varying shades of gray. These are the most viscerally real fantasy novels I have read and I am addicted to them. I wish I could write this well.
POLITICS: One of the reasons I have refrained from posting over the last six months had a lot to do with politics, of which I had strong opinions about what just transpired. Politically, I am a moderate Centrist and I will say that I am happy with how the Election turned out. I think a lot about our American society and I believe it has always been a balance between three competing poles: The People and their wants/desires/needs, Liberty which is not just the rights enshrined in the Constitution but also the protections afforded by the entire body of laws and regulations, and finally Capitalism – the economic engine that generates wealth. The very health of American society requires that the bubble be somewhere in the middle between all three. Unfortunately, I felt that the system has gone out of balance in the past couple of decades in favor of Capitalism and I personally believe that the biggest threat to our Liberty and the People is unfettered and unregulated Capitalism (I am quite cool and a huge fan of Capitalism, just not Robber Baron Capitalism). I don’t fear government over reach as much as the unaccountable power of a wealthy few who answer to no one. I find it baffling yet telling that people that would go on and on about the dangers of government power were not only silent during the period of time of 2000-2008 but seem to be perfectly fine with giving all sorts of REAL power to people and corporations whose money lets them tilt the table in their favor whatever the costs to the rest of us. For me, the Election came down to the choice of a person which I felt had the interests of the People and Liberty (two of three poles) and one that had the interests of only one pole, Capitalism. I suppose I could add more but honestly, it really came down to the above. This will be the only time I mention the Election so there you go.
WRITING: Finally, the thing that I have been most into on my free time. As I have said previously, I have been writing my science fiction book and I am on the final stretch. It is shaping up to be about 450 pages long and just shy of 100,000 words. The first draft requires extensive editing and revision and there are parts of it that I plan on rewriting but I am confident that I have the basic story right. It is a Space Opera set about 1000 years in the future and personally I have had a lot of fun writing it. I am taking my time but I have set the Summer of 2013 as the point that I plan on shopping it out.
There is my update and look forward to getting back to some regular posting.