July 2021 Update
Progress on the first draft of The Blighter’s Shadow’s is steady.
My application to serve as a Municipal Liaison (ML) for this year’s NaNaWriMo is still under review. Apparently, the organization received many applications this year; I hope to have final confirmation soon.
My inspiration this month continues to be what human beings choose to preserve and disregard. Realistically, I could write an entire monograph on this subject. (Perhaps, I will take the time one day.) I strive to keep an eye out for forgotten things that humans have constructed, no matter how seemingly insignificant. The forgotten gems can and usually do stop me in my tracks.
One example is from a recent trip I took with my family to New Orleans. Something as mundane as a decorative metal fence installed to once protect a growing tree’s trunk is now being encapsulated by the tree itself. The grate meant to protect the base of the trunk is also being slowly overgrown. Nature does take advantage of our forgetfulness more than we care to realize. On the other hand, should a city worker decide to forcibly remove the fence and grate, then the tree will likely suffer severe damage and potentially die. So, one can hope, in this instance, that the tree will keep growing around the fence and grate to live a fuller life, forgotten and disregarded.
The National World War II Museum in New Orleans is one of the town’s gems. Those seeking more information about the war can easily find a multitude of documents, monographs, and documentaries about the subject. Less easy, though, is traveling to and studying a collection such as what is housed within the museum. WW II is largely remembered as a war that shook the foundations of the earth — tens of millions of people died in terrible and monstrous ways. Yet, the awe-inspiring effort spent to stop the authoritarian powers is generally considered the redeeming factor within all that death.
No one can argue that the fight to stop the Axis power wasn’t worthwhile. Those ideas are relatively universal at this point but seeing first-hand some of the artifacts involved in the fight can offer a more tangible source of inspiration. Seeing a restored Ford GP (jeep) with a replica chocolate crate makes one smile amidst the thought of the carnage that such a vehicle would have had to travel through in either theater of the war. It also helps you realize that war forces innovation: for example, this jeep had a long piece of steel welded to its front to catch neck-high tripwires strung across roadways.
A significant preservation effort is the time and effort spent on memorializing fortresses meant to once protect trade routes or national boundaries. One example is Fort Pickens near Pensacola, Florida. The fort is massive and is at the end of a long, narrow island in Florida. From someone on a ship, the fort must have seemed relatively small; yet, to wander its vaulted hallways and slender tunnels, visitors are left with the impression of a monumental effort nearly two centuries ago. Despite most of the fortress now sitting in relative ruins, a wandering visitor can easily put themselves into the mind of a soldier following an officer’s orders to retrieve cannonballs for the next volley.
This makes me wonder: centuries from now, what structures and artifacts will those human beings study or enjoy as nothing more than a relic of the past? Will they find that each major city had multiple sports arenas, akin to the ancient Romans who had coliseums throughout the empire or will the arenas have been torn down to make way for something else. Will most roadways have become nothing more than rubble-strewn paths that hover vehicles pass over. Will our museums remain intact and bolstered by additional study or fall to the wayside much like a no longer necessary border fort.
I offer you a challenge for the next month:
When you have a moment, ponder an item or place that you treasure. How do you think the future will treat the treasured item or place?
I highly encourage you to visit some of these places first-hand to help evoke your own sense of wonder. Or reach out to me and share an experience you’ve had which fills you with wonder.
Please be sure to check out my website for continuous updates on my progress. Some of the updates are below:
I continue adding a few short book and/or movie reviews. I finished some books last month that I want to share with you. You can find my thoughts here.
If you have questions for future newsletters/updates, please be sure to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are numerous media links for your convenience: on Twitter at @brigmanauthor, on Facebook at Dan Brigman, Author, or on my website, www.danbrigman.com.
Thanks again for your support! Besides taking the time to read my updates, please visit the following links to create a review of The Alterator’s Light, The Point of Woes, or The Tower of Dread if you’ve read those stories.
Reviews are quick to create! They offer potential readers insight into what you thought about the book. They also help get the word out about the stories and the author. You can simply search for the title of each of my books on Goodreads and/or Amazon or follow the links below.
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Until next time, I hope the month of August brings you solace.
A place to ponder the world of writing, among other things.