Random thought

A quick post while I’m on break at work…

Good things come to those who wait those who work hard and go after them.

is the essence of a motivational message I saw posted to Facebook this morning, and it’s something that’s been on my mind for some time now. Consider three of the creative geniuses (genii?) that I admire: Marian Call, Jonathan Coulton, and John Scalzi. All three of them have had considerable success in their fields: Marian Call and Jonathan Coulton are both Internet-famous musicians who are solely dependent on their music for their income, and John Scalzi is a bestselling science fiction writer.

It would be easy to sit back and feel envious of their success; I admit that I am, a little. But, then, it’s easy to overlook the amount of work they each put in: Marian Call is not only a talented songwriter and performer, but she’s also touring almost constantly and doing everything she can to promote herself and her music. Jonathan Coulton is the same way; the fact that his music appeals to Internet geeks is certainly important to his success, but so is his hard work and dedication to his music. And John Scalzi, of course, sweats bullets over his writing, putting in far more than forty hours per week on his craft.

It’s that sort of dedication which I sometimes feel I lack in my life when it comes to any particular endeavor, both in my health and in my writing (two areas where I’m struggling right now). So I’m considering a resolution for the new fiscal year, which starts on July 1 (which just happens to be a Sunday): to simply dedicate more time and effort to these areas. Which isn’t to say that I won’t continue putting effort into other important areas of my life (my relationship with my wife, my job, and so on); just to put more effort into reaching my goals in these two areas.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Check back later when I’ll post a blog entry about something that happened nearly six months ago.

RIP Ray Bradbury

It was the first thing that Jennifer said to me when I woke up this morning: “Ray Bradbury died today.” It was a bummer start to the day, especially since I only got about two hours of sleep last night. It was one of those things that sticks with you all day long, and even now I sort of feel like there’s been a shadow over the entire day. Bradbury was an institution: he wasn’t supposed to succumb to something as banal and menial as death. Not Bradbury. He was supposed to keep writing forever.

Dammit.

Honestly, I can’t think of a thing to say that hasn’t already been said, with far more eloquence, by a host of writers, including Neil GaimanJohn Scalzi, and the like. Even President Obama, our first geek President, commented on his passing.

Bradbury was a masterful writer; he handled characters and themes in skillful ways that most writers can only dream of. By all accounts he was a gracious and kind-hearted man. His insights into human nature, not to mention into the process of writing, were wise and inspirational. I’ve read most of his books and stories, and I’ve tried hard (without success) to replicate that  almost ethereal sense of wonder and, yes, horror, that permeated so much of his work in my own fiction.

So, again: Dammit.

Rachel Bloom unleashed this (VERY NSFW) video some time ago. The fact that Bradbury himself found it “delightful” is testament to his graciousness and good humor. Bradbury had many qualities — not just literary — that other writers could do well to emulate.

RIP, good sir. I worked hard to emulate your style and voice in my fiction, but I failed. But thanks to you, I was able to find my own.

Another story online

I’ve just put my little story “The Afghan Code” online. It was, once upon a time, intended to be at least a novella spoofing The Da Vinci Code, but I was never able to write more than this prologue. Still, I think it stands on its own.

Enjoy!