May 2023 - Update
“This is the mark of perfection of character – to spend each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, laziness, or any pretending.” – Marcus Aurelius
January through April flew by in the blink of an eye. Winter slipped into spring, and spring is glorious.
I’ve not had an update since early January due to a heavy workload. This update will be quick and offer a glimpse of what’s coming over the next month or so. In early June, I’ll get back to the bi-monthly updates to help me get back on track with helping you know where I am in the writing world.
Book 2, The Blighter’s Shadow, is near its first full draft. Book 1 had a large cast, and that cast continues with the addition of a few more for Book 2. I have decided to divide Book 2 into Part I, Part II, etc. Within this book you’ll be traveling with the characters into ancient cities, step wells, prisons, mountains, and along rivers just to name a few places.
I’ll also start thinking and planning about another short story/novella to be released next year – either as a standalone, or as part of an anthology. That story will be outside the world of The Rune Cycle.
I recently discovered Indie Author Magazine from a friend, and I think it is very well done, as it offers cool articles about independently published authors. Check out the magazine here, if you are interested.
Side note: I generally include hyperlinks within the text of these updates for your convenience, but if you are skeptical of just clicking on those hyperlinks, you can check out all the full links toward the bottom of this update.
Inspiration: Star Trek
As a child, I spent many years absorbed with Star Trek, specifically The Next Generation. I grew up watching the cast of the Enterprise visiting strange new worlds while dealing with each episode’s new threat. Without realizing it, I was studying philosophy in my early teenage years, which helped prompt my formal study while pursuing a degree.
The show gave the viewer hope for a better future, one in which poverty, hunger, and war have been mostly eradicated from Earth. Humans have moved past the pursuit of material possessions and money – to the betterment of all.
Some of my favorite TNG episodes include the following:
The Measure of a Man, The Offspring, The Wounded, Darmok, and The Inner Light
Besides witnessing a future without as much suffering, the show forces the viewer to think about a dilemma rather than simply being entertained. While nothing is wrong with entertainment alone, Star Trek offered me entertainment as an outlet for my fascination of philosophy.
Recently, The Next Generation was continued with Star Trek: Picard, which is a spin-off with Jean-Luc Picard as the main character. He had to grapple with aging and disease throughout the first season, time travel and the Borg in the second season, and saving Starfleet and Earth in the third season.
The final season offered the full main cast of the original show. Even if you aren’t a Star Trek fan, know that it can offer a hopeful view of a future where humanity has moved past its inner demons. At least most of the inner demons.
What I am reading or watching:
Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire – A relatively new sci-fi novel that offers an interesting twist on an ambassador to a well-studied culture. I’m less than a hundred pages in, and I’m hooked.
Strange New Worlds – Another great visit in the Star Trek universe. I’m nearly finished with the first season and just in time for the second season.
Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine – This is an excellent monograph on Ukrainian history, specifically how one nation's people in positions of power can completely disrupt an entire society. To gain more information about why Russia is at war with Ukraine, check out this volume.
Challenge for May: Take a walk or hike through a forested area - just 10 minutes can offer a welcome respite from stress.
A place to ponder the world of writing, among other things.