Visiting Authors December 2013

The following is a new edit of a post originally drafted back in 2013.  It shows some of what I went through as I attempted to develop a ‘strong online presence’ that included a good blog.  Part of what happened was that I began to get a higher level of structure for my blogging, only to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under me and my ideas for my blog.

Blog Schedule

Saturday nights are becoming ‘guest blog’ evenings here.  As I am new at it, I am not sure how smoothly it will go.  Sometimes authors will reply to real interview questions with me, but in other situations I may do, what I am doing this first time.  Below is a link to an author of 10+ science fiction novels with Baen books.

Interview of MZWilliamson

Personal Experience

I have actually met Mike enough times in person that I think he might willingly acknowledge that he knows me as long as I don’t embarrass him in front of his wife or a TV reporter.  In person he is so approachable as to seem close enough to normal to not be intimidating but also has enough flare to stand out as an individual.

Next week I will hopefully be able to post a real interview with Jesi Lea Ryan about her and her novels.

Hypergrid Business

Tech Magazines

One of the many types of magazines around nowadays are tech magazines.  Some of these are off line and on, some only on.  To my pleasant astonishment, a few years ago now, I discovered that a woman from my math class our Senior year of high school was managing editor of an online tech magazine called Hypergrid Business.  As I was seeking more professional writing work, I reached out to her.

She let me try a few articles.  As some of you know “writing” is a very general category.  This was tech article journalism rather than creating website content for small businesses, or ghostwriting parts of or entire drafts of nonfiction books, or novel writing, all of which I have tried my hand at.

Despite our limited success working together, I am posting links to some of these.  I learned more about Second Life and other online methods for having group meetings and exploring visual environments ….by writing for Hypergrid Business.

Startled Cat: Story Immersion

Virtual Avatars & Real Life

Was that you or the editor?

For those of you who are not professional writers, I want to disclose to you that although I am the real author of both of these articles, Maria Korolov was the editor of them both.  The changes that she made, did cause me to have a strong reaction.  My first emotion was “Wow, this is so changed I feel confused about whether or not I am even the author of this article.”  That emotion is commonplace amongst inexperienced professional journalists, novelists, and all kinds of writers.

Much ghostwriting creates emotions more like what editors sometimes experience: I wrote so much of this, and yet, my name is not likely to be mentioned in association with it.  Sometimes I would be hired by a business start up to write them website content.  They would give me the word #, the topic of the article, the theme and all of that.  Then I would do all of the writing of the piece.  In some cases, the business would then have an editor make whatever other changes…I have seen works I wrote that were barely changed by the editor and other pieces that left me feeling like….Well, if it were making a pie here’s the story:

I put together the crust and the filling and baked it and my friend checked it and gouged out most of the filling and re-baked the thing.  Somehow she managed to not burn my crust….In the end all that I felt was “my work” was the pie crust, but my friend told me not to worry and still gave me the full credit for the pie.

Ghostwriting: using the same analogy.  I was hired by someone who told me what type of pie they wanted and when.  I agreed to take care of it by a deadline for a preset fee.  They left me alone and I made the pie and they checked it over.  They paid me.  The rest was out of my hands.

Author

I told me what to write and I did.  Then I went and edited the thing a lot, quite possibly more than once.  Then I went around trying to sell it.

To this day in 2019 I still get weirded out about how different it is to make a work, and go around trying to sell it compared to being hired to write something and told what to write…then doing that and not having all kinds of weirdness about being paid for my work.

Pleading forgiveness

I ask that you, random readers, forgive me if you need to, for how I have casually rambled on about the over arching picture for professional authors, writers, copywriting, journalism instead of just neatly posting the tech articles and not writing anything else.

Time Since Then

In truth, my main published items since back then have been review articles and entire novels of my own, which I am still trying to earn money for having written.

During the past few months as well as blogging, I have bid on some contracts to do freelance and applied for some staff writing jobs; some from home and others that would involve going to an office and including work colleagues.

Strange is the world of professional writers.

Valentine’s Day

Exclusivity in Love

Despite all the talk against the sanctity of exclusive marriages between only one man and only one woman…St. Valentine continued to encourage this type of Christian behavior in the 200 A.D. amongst the Romans.

Imagine: how it must be or must have been when it really was having to buck the system if you love someone and actually want to be able to have only one another….and for it to be considered an act of rebellion, not religiously, but socially.

Wow, even will all of my own tendencies and issues and liberality, even I see the sense of one-man with one-woman marriages; the safety for child rearing etc…but also thanks to at least remembering pure loves….people who really don’t want “a bunch of lovers” but just a real love, a real spouse, just one.

Really Radical?!

Believe it or not, St. Valentine was a real person, a man who lived as a Priest of the Christian church in the 200s when the Roman Empire was still going.  In truth, all he did was perform marriage ceremonies for young soldiers, and he would marry people into exclusive couplings despite the Roman Imperial Government being against both at the time when he did it.

Take a breathe and enjoy how internationally common place: one man with one woman marriages really are nowadays in early 2019.

From this perspective it really almost seems crazy that St. Valentine ran into trouble for marrying people like that, but in fact he ran into such severe difficulty that he ended up being martyred: he was politically assassinated for marrying people that way.

Freaky, or what?!

I don’t know about you, but from my perspective that is freaky.  He should not have been killed for such a small gesture of religious freedom and sanctity.

Evolution of a Holiday

Well, like so much in the Protestant realms, the Catholics have ‘slipped us another Catholic Saint Day’ as a cultural holiday.  The holiday has evolved into a day to honor and revere love.

Many people focus on the romantic or sexual aspect of love at the Holy Day, but like so many millions of others, even though I just turned 51 years old I still also really like all the other kinds of love, and enjoy celebrating the holiday regardless of whether or not I get to celebrate with a hubby.

Personally

My personal height of heights for Valentine’s Day is that I received my first accepted wedding proposal on Valentine’s Day in 1991.  I said yes and we wed the first day of Spring, both of which are gloriously romantic.  What punctures this balloon of joy is that the man who I married has barely spoken to me in years and we were divorced just as our marriage was getting started in 1993 after some of the worst first 2 years imaginable but not because he was a deployed soldier in the American or ancient Roman military.  I strongly feel it would be way more romantic if we were looking forward to our 28th wedding anniversary this year.

Despite that, both my mother and my son often get Valentine’s from me, as have a number of others…Some profoundly sexual and romantic in nature, others as most definitely not as the pets or other same gendered children in an elementary school class.

Yours

Here’s to hoping that you have some kind of wondrous and blessed Valentine’s Day; may you all experience God’s love in both the distinctively personal and in the abstract today.

artistic blossom bright clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

About Blogging

Today

Today’s inspiration is a Christian Mihai post.  He’s turned up in my stream of awareness in part due to his frequent blogging and having also authored some books as have I.

I just read one of his blog posts about blogging.  It gave a brief synopsis of his own history with this.

Blogging and I

Me and blogging

The first time I wrote a blog post was back in 2012 or even earlier.  Because of how old I am, that does not seem like that long ago, but really it was.

The first time I became aware of professional blogging might have been 2013.  It is so vague to me at the moment that I feel it could have been as long ago as 2004 …because I landed a gig doing real estate blog posts that once included researching Buckhead, an upscale neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia which later became the surname of the villain in my novel The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead.

It wasn’t until years after I dealt with that, that I tried blogging my own blog.  The first time I tried this very location for blogging was in 2013 if not 2012.

There was a time, for some reason I recall it more clearly, in 2014 when I was just about to create more structure for the weekly cycle of posting at my blog when I somehow experienced some kind of setback….I don’t recall what exactly the actual cause was, but only that…rather than successfully moving forward with setting up and maintaining a more highly structured weekly posting schedule nothing happened for a long time and then eventually I resumed trying to just sort of post on whatever.

Awkward Truths

I think it had something to do with how I have had a good 30 to 40 fellow authors in my Fb friends list, and news feed but then, when I started to ask them about doing guest posts or being guests on my blog, everything fell apart and doubts developed about the quality of my relationships with fellow authors.

General Background Realities

2003 through 2011 I steadily earned more money each year writing professionally, but as a painfully low paid freelancer most of the time.

The first time I was paid for publication was in 1994 when I was still an undergraduate due to being on & off with respect to working full time and working only part time as a work-study or going without working for pay while studying.

In 1999 I moved from England back to the USA but for the first time to Indianapolis and my son was fortunately brought over to me with his father (who is a German I met in intimate association with attending graduate school at Middlesex University in London, England).  That was already 4 years after having started a correspondence ‘trade school’ type of professional creative writing course with the Writer’s Bureau which is also English rather than American.

My son turned 4 years old that year.

In 2010 we moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to a village South of the city of Bremen, in Northwestern Germany.  This had to do with what I studied in graduate school and why and to do with how that had enabled a German man my age to market himself to me (romantically speaking).

My son turned 18 years old in 2013.

If you check the archives for this blog, you can find posts going back at least that far.

Some years I have put more into the blog than other years.  I’m not sure how to describe the results aside from ‘other than as expected’.

 

Biracial or Mulatto?

Political Correctness

Political correctness is a catch phrase that relates to a socially progressive effort to revamp public discourse.  When operating properly, so called political correctness simply encourages people to think in ways that are liberating and in ways that help to dismantle derogatory ways of discussing groups of people in our own society, and replacing them with respectful language.

When political correctness goes too far, it becomes like a kind of social-thought-Police as bad as the evils of ‘socially sanctioned slander of subgroups within American society’ that it intended to correct and replace.

Race

Race is one of the major issues related to efforts at social progress and liberation within American society during the past 100, really longer, but Civil Rights improvements seem to move in something akin to waves building and then breaking when they hit the beach.

Race, like gender, seems to be a blend of something biological and real, and socially constructed conceptions.  In the extremes, there are people who do not believe in ‘race’; they think the whole matter is a lie.  ‘Race’ has been defined by ‘tribe’, ‘nationality’, ‘religion’, skin color, hair type, social position….over millenia.

Race has often been used to do something simple and fairly scientific like describe people.  My impression of it, was that it actually is a way of describing differences amongst homo sapiens sapiens the same ways that animal husbandry folk discuss variations in breeds and stocks of animals of the same species.  While this can be viewed as insulting it can also be observed as a legitimate means of acknowledging and understanding differences without any kind of insult being involved anywhere.

Biracial and Mulatto

In my first released science fiction novel The Children of Loki by my male pen name Robert Fitzgerald Jr., one of the main characters is described as mulatto.  I have come across one or more people who were happy about that, but others reacted with some shock and told me they were mildly offended that I did not use the term ‘biracial’ instead.

Here’s why not

Eurasians are biracial.  Mulattos are also biracial, but not the same way.  Mestizos are biracial, but again, not the same way.  Because there are multiple ways for human beings to be biracial, I wanted to specify which type of combination it was.

The clinical or technical way to put it:  the main male character Kiel Bronson is a balanced blend of Caucasoid and Negroid races.  In other words, he’s mulatto.

Cultural bias

The fiction character Kiel Bronson is from the planet Earth, but is not from anything like what we would describe as America; well, then again, maybe he is.  In fact, Kiel’s nationality is never specified in the novel.  Set far into the future, as the author, I never even confirmed or denied whether or not the USA even exists on the planet Earth that Kiel heralds from.

There are numerous nations on the planet where this general ‘racial type combination’ might occur.  The Americas is one gigantic region in which this type of blend might occur, but India also has pretty much every imaginable racial combination amongst the people and is a large and populous nation on our same planet.  Here and there in the vast expanse of Africa there are another 54 or so nations, subdivided by tribes which may or may not also be considered to be ‘racially different’, are other people who are a blend of Caucasoid and Negroid.

Conclusion

It is actually presumptuous, but probably common amongst American readers, and strangely enough, even on the part of the author, to assume that Kiel is American.  In truth, I was going to put one of those Norwegian symbols in the ‘o’ of the surname, strongly suggesting that Kiel Bronson might herald from Europe or have one North European parent and one African or American (as in the Americas) parent.  Also, he may be a first generation mulatto or a 7th generation mulatto.  It is not explained.

Bottom Line: As the author, the main thing is that Kiel Bronson is our ‘home town hero’ simply by coming from the planet Earth.

To follow Kiel in his first adventure with a genetically engineered soldier from the Exterior Federation of Star Systems click on the link here to buy now.

Connected or Not Re-hash 2019

Welcome to the 21st Century

Here we are, now, in the 21st Century.  My son likes to remind me that we are living in the Information Age, although Generation X is still stunned or confused that this is what followed the Space Age.

Interaction through Media

Once in a while, here at the blog, you may have read about the question of how interactive is the public media?  I mean in the old days we had TV and Radio and newspapers and magazines go way further back in time to fulfill some of the same thing: long distance communication.  I should probably not overlook telegrams, but for some reason I don’t feel I really understand how that really worked in society.

Now, with the Internet, some of how we interact is more modern but similar to that level.  To some degree, blogs or posting at public forums, or semi-public forums is interactive but not in a private or personal way.

Meanwhile, most of us are also navigating interacting in ways that are much more personal and private online.

Some private stuff is both very personal and impersonal such as shopping and advertising.

Companies have grown so competitive for the attention that they are trying to cause potential customers to develop ‘addictive’ behavior patterns or abnormal attachments to checking mobile devices and streams of information.

Regarding information there are the two following important sayings:  “Garbage in / garbage out”  and “Knowledge is power”.   Misinformation, control of information, censorship, propaganda, free press, freedom of information act in the USA, ….the need to sort and to organize information….The need to not be shoved off of the right track when doing research or seeking high quality answers by “Distracticons” ….

Bleep bleep…The obvious

For many people born since 1980, it has become second nature to navigate reasonably well through thick streams of information at least as comfortably as people can handle medium density urban traffic.

Online is not all the same.  There are venues in which interactions are and can be personal.  It is possible to have privacy online, but in general, online activities are like meeting out in public places.   Like being ‘out in public’ there are lots of different ways to be online in not so private spaces.  Instead of this being or feeling bizarre, for many of us, it is almost so well understood that it is difficult to say anything about it.

Really Connected or just imaging things?

The reality is that personal connections that last normally require multiple modes of online communication or role clarity.  I have met real people who: in person, in public settings such as a group social club meal at a restaurant or group meeting over at my house: divulged that they had met their ‘significant other’ or actual spouse via dating sites on the Internet.

I know of friends who did manage to stay friends long-distance thanks to real-time live interactive communication online and engaging in online activities together.

I also know of people who carefully only have online connections with people they are also involved with in person, whether school or clubs.

There are people who don’t consider any relationship that occurs online to be ‘real’.

Millions of us have learned new knowledge or skills through online activity.

Me, personally

For years I used online communication groups intending to learn more about the writing and publishing field and to make contacts in the industry and to help my career progress.

In truth, I do still hope to test and learn that keeping in touch via the Internet with people I have spent time with in person but then spent some years or months far away can enable us to reunite in person and to live our relationship forward in time, with less time consumed by the need to catch up on what happened to either of us in the past….thanks in part to having found out about most of the major stuff online.

Possibly Typical

In my own case, I suspect that I am “just like everyone else” in how I react to online activities.  Like in personal life: context matters.

Some months, it seems like I am only sustained by my Facebook friends and other times I am terrible to them, barely read some of their posts and would not invite them over to my place were they in town.

Other times, I feel one or another of them succeeds in helping me do something important locally, despite the distance, and thanks to being friends who communicate using the Internet.  It is true that some of the same people also ‘harsh on me’ by totally blowing me off when they come to where I live and finally could get together in person.  Being treated that way really makes me doubt whether or not there is any real connection to our online connection.

I suspect, that a lot of other people also feel this way.  In truth, most of us can get like that also about “in person relationships” based in part on how we know others; how we treat each other; how we react to each other.

The 21st Century

In truth, we are still pretty early into this new century.  I think that by 2050 we, as humans, will have worked out ‘how it is going to be’ with these technologies.  What is a short term thing, and what is going to really last, for instance.

I admit that we may not know all of the new technologies that are going to stick around long term, but I think we are all agreed that the Internet and the PCs and laptops are sticking around long term.  Right now, I believe that 100 years from now, people will be as used to them as we have become to the train.

Be that as it may, I still love watching or reading about events in the 1800s when the trains, the telegraph and the rare automobile were really exciting new technologies.

Space & Information Ages

So far, here’s what’s happened that I am most aware of:

  •  It is possible to get YouTube videos and livestreaming from the International Space Station, but still seems bad that the space shuttle program isn’t still going on.
  •  I was able to get photographs sent back to Earth by a probe that landed on Mars within 24 hours of when the probe took the photos.  Pretty effing cool.
  •  SpaceX is one of the companies developing what in the Dragonball Z cartoon TV show was done in the imaginary realm as Capsule Corp.: Reusable rockets.
  •  Multiple agencies and organizations are working on getting us a real base on the planet Mars.
  •  There is considerable scientific research  going into how plants can and cannot grow in low gravity due to the legitimate need to produce ecosystems on any planets for long-term colonisation.

There’s more of course: I invite your comments on how this blog post is written or on the contents.

Days and Daze

Days

We start out days by waking up.  Often we get lots of indication of ourselves for any given day.  Not every day has been the same.  Lots have to do with major stages of life.  Health has a great deal to do with it; the next question always seems to be “Am I well rested?” or “Am I in the middle of a dream cycle?”

A lot of adults have learned to think in terms of “working days” ….contrasted with “days of not working”; as it turns out “days or working” and “days of not working” are both more complicated than each phrase initially suggests.

Then of course, there is working days rather than working nights and weekends.

Days 2

Waking may occur before, during or after dawn.  Personally, my preference is to wake right around dawn.  That means during the Winter I’m “off” my natural cycle or sleeping in late enough to get into trouble with many others.

People who cope with working nights normally wake up after dawn, well after it in fact.  Waking up well rested,  well adjusted to working 2nd or 3rd shift with 3 to 4 hours to go before the children get home from school, another few hours before leaving for work….having seen the spouse in the morning; a spouse who will be entrusted with the children once off to work.

Waking up late with a hangover realizing that it also means one has failed to show up at work on time while horribly lonely is a radically different experience.

Days 3

Days can be almost intolerably long or can zoom by at a frantic pace, loaded with awareness and business the entire time.

One great question I invite you all to answer in the comments section:  what makes a day seem longer to you?

The reason I ask is that I have found that sometimes the longest days are when nothing is going on, but other times it seems to be caused by having a little too much going on.

In my own life, so far, I used to say the longest year of my life was the year I was pregnant: I think it’s because I kept asking myself how far along I was every 3 minutes or else it was because the foetus quadrupled in size and complexity every 5 minutes.

Daze

Boredom, illness, sleep….Trapped in some hellish job or in an entire lifestyle that just feels like a trap.  Any of these may cause a daze.

“Dazed and confused for so long its all true: wanted a woman, never bargained for you…”

Late at night, overtired and intoxicated at the same time while listening with poor concentration to someone talking about an uninteresting subject.  This may be experienced as a daze.

Overwhelmingly happy, just married and at the reception the daughter-father dance went incredibly well.  The best man is holding up the groom, as the groom is dazed by the surreal stunning beauty of his now-wife.  His now father-in-law has said something kind about him during his speech which seems like a definite miracle after having felt despised by the same man the whole time he courted the woman who is now his wife.

abstract art background blur

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com