Off Hours Blogging

January 2014 is coming to an end.  The 18 year old has finished his semester of school.  Due to having changed nations at the time of starting high school, but not due to any personal failings, he is in 11th rather than 12th grade.  He has the day off from school today.

One of the home computers has connectivity issues and another one has other technical problems that I really don’t understand.  Due to things like that and not forcing my son of his machine so that I can use it at certain times, last night’s blog did not make it out at the same time.

Something has really changed.  It is neither all bad nor all good, I suppose.  My blogging has suffered an irregularity but I have done even more editing of an sf novel, begun querying properly to respected lit agents and publishers.  I have also started writing the sequel and am now contending with what really happened.

In the science fiction series starring interstellar mercenaries from very different ideologies and locations – the man who works as the Second in Command – gets to name their organization and dubs them The Children of Loki – which is the name of the novel.

Being a creative person I have come up with a short fiction story to describe my best guess as to how the deity Loki became the parent.  Unlike a lot of more natural childbirth, he unfortunately did not have a wondrous nor even bad sexual liason to become the parent.  It was more like what happened to the god Zeus and the goddess Athena – who sprang forth from his mind after a headache,…but for some reason I think that the mercenary order was conceived while the deity Loki was coping with a rather severe hang over, or else while recovering from a bout of influenza.  I realize that I could be sorely mistaken and that it might be unfair to have saddled him with this type of thing or to claim that they are not the result of Loki having a happy or good experience.  I might be wrong, but maybe I’m not.


A Good Day – for a writer

The stereotype of writers being antisocial is often patently false although there are some who are true introverts.  As for myself, the first time I wrote a novel I was not even alone in the room I wrote it in and I was glad that I was not.  I like people and ever since becoming a mother 18 years ago now, have tended to be more extroverted.  In truth, my true nature is right in the middle – so I’m retiring and shy for an extroverted and a people and party loving person compared to most introverts. 

The past two days have been better, in terms of writing, than many I have had for a while.  The good news is that I have both edited and written.  the dark side, so to speak, is that my head is a bit in a la la land.  I have given the main characters hard lives, frankly and so my relatively boring and tame real life is something of a relief by comparison.  Even so, I love the characters and the story is a bit surprising. 

I have been working with cross cultural interstellar mercenaries from radically different ideologies.  I created, devised or discovered them many years before I knew that I would have to reformulate the beginning of their story while living in a foreign country many years later…Sometimes my real life has also been surprising. 

Writer’s Advice 2014

Today’s topic is: how to connect writer’s to publishers.

There are multiple means to meet editors and publishers nowadays.  In truth, people continue to respond well to in person contact.  There may be conventions, writer’s retreats or conferences you can attend to further your writing goals.  There may be connections through writer’s groups and even writing classes at a local university. 

There are some other methods.  One of these is to call people at organizations and ask about their needs or pitch your ideas.  How easy this is may vary from person to person. 

Another method is to write to people at magazines.  There is something called a Letter of Introduction that is often used by freelancers in the industry.  As with so many other relationships, when it works something longer term often results.  Many writers eagerly seek to build a clientele of editors who tend to accept their work. 

Following submissions guidelines at publishing houses is another simple rule to follow.

Of course one can also search online.  There are several online freelancing services, but there are also ways to contact literary agents and publishers online.

Kaos 2014

Ages ago as the 1980s turned into the 1990s there was a lot of popular talk about chaos.  Chaos theory was one of the newer major breakthroughs in mathematics of the time.  For those born since then, this was around the time that the calculation of Pi was either still being worked out or the mathematicians were double checking the final answer before releasing it to the public and after the discovery of DNA sequencing but way before the human genome was completely known and written down. 

Back then, only the lunatic fringe of astronomers knew what Pluto really was, or even had an idea and endured the denigration of not only the general public but were held down until that monumental astronomical conference in the early 21st century when the opposition left early and did not bother to vote which allowed Pluto to be reclassified as a dwarf planet and the updated theory that Pluto is the first sing of the Kuiper Belt, and as such, it is sort of correct that it is the last planet in the solar system but that is somewhat misleading because it is clearly characteristic of the next region beyond the planets but still within the pull of our one and only Sun. 

The rudimentary basics of chaos theory was simply that nonlinear mathematics can make sense of and become able to make predictable non linear systems.  In actual practice, the meteorological sciences have improved during the past 40 years due in very real part to advances in chaos mathematics. 

Writing and spiritual growth 2014

A natural question for some is: how is writing related to spiritual growth?  Well, most of know that some writings have been held sacred for thousands of years.  During phases in any culture where literacy rates are low or books are hard to come by then hanging onto sacred writings or treating them with respect is all that can be taught. 

There are people who earn a living writing spiritual books and work along those lines.  Both clerics and lay folk do so, although their motives may not always be identical. 

People may engage in private writing or professional writing that those doing it do not perceive as being for spiritual reasons. 

Privately, people may write about their spiritual lives or about their own lives from a spiritual angle.  For those practicing a religion intentionally, who want a means of keeping track of what happens, writing in a journal may help. 

A few months ago I read a nice article online by another writer.  He wrote of how personal and professional development went together for writers and authors, at least in his own perception. 

Many years ago, one of my professors who was also a martial arts Olympic Judoist I took just a few lessons from talked with me about it.  I was wanting to write more but treasured the opportunity to take judo lessons from such an esteemed teacher.  He was a psych professor and was actually alive despite having been a WW2 Kamikazee pilot.  What he told me back then was that it was all about growing as a person and if the writing was more useful to me for that, at that time, then just do that and don’t worry about it. 

On a Green Trash Night in a Saxon Paradise 2014

Amongst the many types of professional writers, there are grant proposal writers.  There is nothing about that job title that tells you whether or not they would be able to write a good book.  It also does not tell you whether or not they like their job.  High quality grant proposal writers can earn a good living doing so professionally.  Many of those that do, may have not had any idea that would be what they would do for a living.  I do not have statistics that analyze exactly who gets into that after getting a writing or English or Communications degree and who just ends up in their 8th year in an admin job in which they are just glad they can pay the bills without getting their hands dirty at the office. 

Grant proposal writing like resume writing, can work for some people.  People can get into it as volunteers or professionally.  A lot of creative writers would cry if they were limited to earning money writing in either of those ways.  That is a lot like when sales people tell new recruits “Yeah, its great, you get to meet a lot of people.”  That is not a bald faced lie but is misleading.

Pop Culture – Transcultural: why does that character sound like that?

During the years in Germany I have watched more films and TV that were either made in German or a different language other than English than ever before. I think before then, I had only seen the film “The gods must be crazy” as I was not ever a big foreign films buff.

There are a few factors involved with cross cultural mass media. One issue for mass media is dubbing and translation. So far, what I have found has been that when I see and hear a Hollywood movie with German dubbing on that I never saw in English, the dubbing is weird for me but only because I am not German. Or so I think. However, once I know the original it becomes clear that the dubbed voices are not the ones that seem to really belong to the characters.

There is at least one German voice, sadly his voice is not all that impressive, which gets a lot of work dubbing German for the movies. I am now able to recognize that man’s voice as I have heard it in many Hollywood movies when German dubbing is on. I have no idea what his name is or what he looks like but hope it pays decently and am impressed that he has been able to get a lot of work that way.

When the alternatives are Japanese, Norwegian, or Chinese or Turkish, I tend to enthusiastically select German although I did watch some Norwegian and a couple of years ago I heard Tibetan on YouTube and felt German was only slightly less confusing but did not sound as good to me.

When the alternative is English I will pick that most of the time but choose German enough to help me to continue to improve my German especially as my neighbors need me to speak German if we are to understand one another in daily conversation.

I studied Spanish in school having not foreseen ever needing more than about 10 words of German in my entire life, even though I have been planning and expecting to live to about 85 years +/- 5 years unless bad fortune or bonus good longevity make it otherwise. I did also study some Latin & French and have learned at least one word of 23 languages so far, but now I know more German than Spanish.

Life sometimes does that to people. Sometimes people are allowed to have the plans they make actually work and other times Life or other people or their inner saboteur makes peoples’ lives unlike what they had had in mind for themselves.