Hello, and welcome.
As is traditional, I’m using this first post to introduce myself and to explain what I’m doing here. With a bit of luck, you’ll want what I’ve got and hang around to our mutual benefit.
According to family legend, I was obsessed with the book The Littlest Witch, to the point that my parents refused to read it to me any more. This, they say, annoyed me so much that I learned to read, just so I wouldn’t have to depend on them for my witch. Whether the story is true or not, it’s clear that I was mentally warped by reading science fiction and fantasy at a very early age. Large doses of hard SF a few years later warped me in other directions, and probably produced my fascination with techie toys. However, several early experiments with soldering irons and Heathkit electronics kits convinced me that I was not cut out for any field that required hardware expertise. These days I can handle installing a hard drive, swapping a video card, and similar highly technical tasks — but I keep a supply of bandages handy, as it almost always requires a blood sacrifice before the new gear works.
So I turned my attention to other fields. I was a band geek in high school, and have continued to make and listen to a wide variety of music right up to the present. And, like every good geek of my generation, I was heavily into Star Wars and Star Trek, which didn’t take much in the way of technical chops, but were what brought me into organized fandom and exposed me to fan fiction. My first published work was a SW/ST crossover story for the local Star Trek club’s fanzine. I suspect I’ve still got a copy of it around here somewhere. If it turns up, it will be unceremoniously burned.
Science fiction and fantasy fandom led to anime fandom. Music led to ethnomusicology (with some side trips through anthropology, sociology, and psychology). Somehow the combination led me to library science, a masters degree, and my first post-school job. It also led me to computers, via the Atari ST, which was designed to appeal to musicians. I did a little programming, but found I was better at breaking programs than writing them. The result of that discovery was that I found myself doing software QA, being paid to break other peoples’ programs.
Though that first story didn’t lead anywhere, it did represent one of my first attempts to scratch the writing itch. Writing, like malaria, is a recurring disease, and through college, grad school, and beyond, it’s flared up several times. I’ve started several writing projects, most of which have thankfully not escaped from my computer. In recent years, the bug has been mostly limited to hurling books away while grumbling that I could do better.
Which brings us to the present. I realized that I truly believed I could do better than the writers whose books I was hurling. The best way to learn to write is to write. Try things. See what works and what doesn’t work. And that takes time. So here I am. This blog is where I’m going to learn. Out of all of the millions of people on the ‘Net, I figure there must be a few willing to tell me what works (I’m not worried about finding ones to tell me what doesn’t work — but then, I’m cynical like that.)
What am I going to write? Anything that comes to mind. Some of the things I expect you to see here:
- Commentary on the news
- Reviews – books, anime, restaurants, blogs, techie toys, bands, etc.
- Short fiction
- Excerpts from longer fiction
- Non-fiction on a variety of subjects
What I don’t expect you to see here:
- Fan fiction (if I commit it again, I’ll put it somewhere else and link it to protect those with tender sensibilities)
That doesn’t leave much out of scope, does it? Good.
My commitment to myself is to make at least one substantial post here every weekday. If you find the idea of watching someone learn to juggle words at all attractive, I welcome you. I can’t promise it’ll be as entertaining as watching someone learning to juggle chainsaws, but it should be at least as bloody.