Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Sense in Nonsense

So, I’m happy to report that, after a little bit of an inspirational drought, I’m back at it.  I’ve been writing quite steadily, and the second book in the Reflections of Shadow trilogy is shaping up nicely.

To those who were displeased with my last post, I’d like to apologize for the schizophrenic nature of this blog, but I’m still refining how I use this forum to express myself.  So I’d like to preface this new post with a disclaimer.  If you are not into whimsy, do NOT read on.

When I was in school, I was introduced to stream of consciousness.  We used it as a tool to loosen our writing muscles, and as a filter-free way to express ourselves.  I loved this type of expression then, and I’d like to dive into a little more, just for shits and giggles…  Catch you on the flip side!

Tears of starlight stripped of life fall gently on the rubber wet from use and abuse it isn’t that there should be something greater said the lion often the cries of his inner voice are not heard they fall like the rain on deaf ears and the man that runs the machine refuses to account for something that cannot be considered practical or measurable it’s the plight we all share whether you believe it or not too often we step aboard this journey content to let the driver dictate where we end up but the driver doesn’t understand that sometimes the view from the window is not enough too long in the form can blister our senses until they can no longer tell us anything of the ethereal I lose my greater self it strikes me when I see men and women define themselves through a deity’s eyes when that interpretation is so earth-bound as to be ridiculously biased but time both focuses and unfocuses our gaze and it always will tell me she said quietly when did you get so serious I laughed and shook my head it isn’t the seriousness that’s the problem it’s the objects of mirth in between the faerie smiled then and clapped her hands then we’ll have to find your smile again I went along because a part of me had not forgotten the child wide-eyed with wonder at the big beautiful world if you can smile when no one is around then you’ll be just fine…

DSC02521 (1024x527)

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellaneous, What I'm Working On

Musings on Love

Love.

The word evokes so many images, ideas, opinions, and emotions that it’s difficult to know where to start.  But it’s been on my mind of late, so I’ll give it a shot.

I guess I should begin by admitting (despite my predisposition towards misanthropy) that I’ve been quite lucky in love.  I’ve been blessed with a family who has always been extremely demonstrative and supportive; great friends, many of whom I may not have appreciated as I should have; and a wife that continues to adore me, despite my flaws.

I’ve definitely made a few mistakes in my search for companionship over the years, but, then, who hasn’t?  And, in retrospect, many of those mistakes were nothing more than perceptual – based on my confusing the “idea” of love with the real thing.  It’s such an easy mistake to make, after all, that I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t the reason for so many of the unhappy relationships out there…  When you’re desperate to live in romantic bliss, sometimes a mirage of love can be overwhelmingly appealing, even if reality proves unhealthy.

In my writing, I’ve tried to use my experiences (limited as they may be) to bring realism to the relationships between my characters.  It’s important to me that they’re not immune to the kinds of problems that afflict many searching for love.  Infatuation is a major theme that I’ve tried to explore, as is idolization (who among us hasn’t “crushed” on someone who barely knows you exist?).  I’ve also tried to explore the depths of the “true” love that exists between my characters.  As those of you who’ve known “true” love can attest, it often manifests very differently than how it’s presented to us in the media.

Don’t get me wrong, bliss does exist.  I’m not trying to convey the message that love is an illusion, or that it is any less wonderful than what we’ve been presented with in fiction and fantasy.  I simply wish to impress upon you that “true” love will manifest differently for everyone, and that it’s in love’s idiosyncrasies that it’s true wonder lies.

 

Real love will anchor you, when you are feeling lonely and adrift;

It will heal the scratches from all of life’s nettles;

It will guide your dreams, and shape your reality;

Real love will shatter the mirror that keeps you from seeing the world as it really is…

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellaneous, What I'm Working On

Creativity, Have You Been Swallowed By The Collective?

So, it seems to me that people, these days, are suffering from a nasty case of Groupthink, or “Collective” thinking (to borrow a concept made famous by the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Imagine, if you will, that you’re driving along a busy city thoroughfare, and you hear about a delay in the route ahead.  Naturally, being a clever one, you detour and bypass the slowdown using a “secret” little-used side road.  A few minutes later, however, you’re brought to a jarring halt, and you discover that a hundred other people have had the same thought, and are now clogging your detour route!

If you’re anything like me, you understand just how incredibly frustrating this can be.

Yet, it’s only one example highlighting just how pervasive the problem of “Collective” thinking has become.  And, as tempting as it might be to blame this kind of thing solely on the overreliance on GPS technology, or Social Media, I think that the issue might actually have deeper roots…

Over decades, we’ve shaped a society of people who define themselves by the music, books, movies, and television series’ that interest them.  We bond over shared media interests, using them like a social lubricant.  While this kind of definition might not have been harmful a generation ago, I think that, in the digital age, it may be the cause of an eventual amputation of original thought.  If we’re all being fed the same media diet, after all, it’s natural that our perceptions and reasoning abilities would tend to converge – that we react similarly, because of shared experiences.  But, what if that diet consists only of junk and regurgitated material?  What if everyone is fed intravenously and simultaneously?  Have we become too similar?  And, at what point do we sound the alarm?

Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean.  Lately, it seems like everything produced in the entertainment industry is either an adaptation of an existing material, or a sequel to something that was once unique.  The shocking lack of originality was laughable at first, but it has become more than a little disturbing.  What’s worse, however, is that it’s so pervasive…  Cultural diversity is being lost the world over, to the detriment of us all!

I know what you’re going to say.  You’re going to remind me that shared interests encourage cultural similarity, and help bond groups together – which, in evolutionary terms, is a good thing.  And you’d be right, if we were living in small semi-isolated communities.  But, because we now have cities that are almost unsustainably overcrowded, and a world that can transmit data in seconds from one side of the planet to the other, we are hindering, rather than helping, our own evolution.

When I was in University, I learned about evolution and speciation.  I remember, in particular, learning about two groups of African lions.  One pride was typical and lived in a territory bordered by other prides, where, over generations, confrontation and cross-breeding occurred.  The second pride, however, lived in a segregated territory, isolated from the larger population of lions.  Although large enough to sustain a basic level of genetic variation, the isolated pride’s evolution was demonstrably more rapid, over only a few generations, than the first pride.

The point, if you’ll indulge me, is that… if we want to see variation and novelty in creativity (and day-to-day thought, for that matter) we need to step away from the “Collective.”

We need to “unplug,” even if only for a few minutes a day.  Seek out a new experience, or learn something new (something traditional or, perhaps, unconventional).  Visit a grandparent, or elderly relative, and listen to a story from their youth.  Don’t Tweet about the experience, don’t take any pictures of it… just absorb it.

If we allow that knowledge, or experience, to become part of who we are – as something unique to us – and let it nourish our individuality, it might just spark the renewed vibrancy in our culture that we so desperately need.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that I realize I must “walk the talk,” and live any advice that I give.  Note, also, that I’m painfully aware of the irony in using this “Collective” medium to convey my message, but we need to start somewhere.

1 Comment

Filed under Miscellaneous

Will Schrödinger’s Cat Help You Win The Lottery? It Depends…

Today’s Imponderable:

I, like most normal human beings, hate getting bad news.  So, when I got some today, it got me thinking about whether getting bad news really is unavoidable…

If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory TV series, you’re probably familiar with the basics of the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment.  If you’re not, the experiment essentially revolves around the idea that if a cat is placed into a box with a vial of poison – which can randomly break open and kill the cat at any given time – the cat can be thought of as both alive AND dead, until the box is opened and the truth discovered.  (forgive me, science nerds, for my glib interpretation).

This logic can, I suppose, also apply to news that we’re about to receive.  If we know that we’re about to learn something, but we don’t know what, we can assume that the news will be both good AND bad, until we finally learn it.  But, if that’s true, do we (the recipient of the information) have any influence on the kind of news that we receive?

I’m sure you’ll agree that, for some reason, positive life events and negative life events tend to cluster.  Good days tend to become better and bad days become worse…  I’m not sure whether it’s the law of attraction – which describes that “like attracts like” – or some other force not featured on Oprah, but, in my experience, this just seems to be the case.  Knowing that, I wonder if we can alter the kind of news that we’re about to receive simply by attending to it when the environment is already attuned to the positive.

Take the lottery, for example.  When you play, you can assume that your numbers are both winning numbers AND losing numbers, until you check the results.  If, however, you check your numbers on the day that you lose your job, as opposed to the day that you’re hired into a better position, will it change the results?

I suppose that we can never really know, without having access to parallel dimensions, just how much of an influence we have on our environment.  Perhaps, like Neo from The Matrix, we, too, should try to recognize that “there is no spoon,” and guide our circumstances by manipulating the only real variable in the equation… ourselves and our perceptions.  But, then again, we might look a little strange if we stick our fingers in our ears and dart away every time that we expect to hear some bad news.

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellaneous

Up and Running!!!

Well, after a few days of hard work and lots of trial and error, I’ve got a functional website!
Feel free to browse and let me know if you have any suggestions by which I might improve my site (I am a noob, after all)…
I hope that you enjoy reading all about me and my (hopefully) many works of fiction to come.

1 Comment

Filed under Miscellaneous

Welcome

Hello all, and welcome to my newly-created website.

Please note that, although it’s still currently under construction, there will be lots of new and interesting content to come.

Check back soon! 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Miscellaneous