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Monday, April 28, 2014

The Germination

As I come into contact with folks out in the ordinary working world they seem to always be intrigued upon discovering I’m a published author. I would say it’s probably the single most interesting thing about me. Otherwise, I am just a normal everyday down to earth red blooded American male just getting by in a tough unforgiving world.

Inevitably I am always asked how I got my start. That tale is not extraordinary, but to satiate the curiosity of those future inquiries, I shall share it here on this blog.

Upon growing up I never fathomed becoming a writer. English was always my worst subject growing up. Conversely, the Sciences and Arts captured my enthusiasm. There was nothing more I hated than having to write a paper. To me it was a cruel form of punishment.

Then, in sixth grade, something pivotal happened altering the course of my youth drastically. Emotional turmoil was added to life when mom and dad broke up. My mother endured the strife of living as a single parent in South Carolina for as long as she could but, eventually, the yearning to return home became overwhelming. After several years of divorce she fled home to upstate New York with us kids in tow.

I said farewell to friends I’d spent an entire youth acquiring and, eighteen hours later, found myself transplanted into a strange new environment where people acted completely different from what I was used to. I was set adrift in a social desert for there was a full two months until the beginning of my sophomore year. I did not know a single soul. I was an alien wandering a strange world.

We lived just outside Camillus, New York. On the third day of summer my mother brought me and my brother to the little library just off the picturesque Erie Canal in the heart of the small village. I fell in love with the place immediately. It was escape from what’d become a tortured reality of boredom and unfamiliarity.

Tales of spaceman, aliens and hobbits filled my summer days and nights. For two solid months I read every waking hour. Stories by the masters Tolkien, Asimov, Hubbard and Anderson cultivated a passion for fantasy and science fiction that still exists within my soul to this day. That year I discovered a love for horror as well delving into the exhilarating worlds of Stephen King. I had discovered a love for reading.

When school finally began I found it difficult relating to this new culture I’d been thrust into. I found comfort writing in a tattered old green spiral bound notebook. I carried that growing collection of short stories with me everywhere. I had no idea whether these works were good or bad, but they were mine. They were my precious distraction.

Soon curiosity got the best of my peers. One winter’s day I found myself the center of attention at a cafeteria table of strangers. I was delighted at the expression upon the faces of those few who listened to tales spun in my southern laden accent. 

The following day more joined our table. The social group before me was of the nerdiest of variety. Their intellectual minds absorbed my work with utmost delight. The next day the table’s number grew two fold. I was finally part of a niche. I had friends. But, more importantly I had discovered something surprising inside myself. A talent for story telling. A seed had been planted inside the core of my being. The following weeks and months it was nurtured and would begin to grow exponentially.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Cosmos Condition

The human condition and need for a steady paycheck has taken me away  from this blog for way too long. I return with a thread about my favorite show in the whole wide world. Forgive me for flashing back to teenagism, but I grew up on this television series and it holds a nostalgic place in my heart...

I grew up on Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. It opened worlds of understanding my adolescent teen mind hungered for. While works such as the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and movies the like of Star Wars romanticized my love for science fiction, Cosmos gave me an understandable structure of possibility. It made me question the laws of science and nature and nourished my desire to fathom a plausible future governed by natural law. I believe that is why even though concepts within my writings may be somewhat outlandish; I strive to give them scientific gravity. The result being my work comes across as being believable.

My best example of this model is the explanation of vampires within my Morian Trilogy of novels. I don’t take for granted the notion of these mythical creatures, but strive to explain the condition why they exist as they are and how their behaviors and practices evolved. All these characteristic are shaped and validated through an evolution of history and endurance of torturous environmental conditions. The story told is governed by the rules of the universe I came to understand through this television series I fell in love with so long ago. I like to think of it as the "Cosmos Condition."

 Now there is a new embodiment of my beloved show on the Fox line up of television channels. Its narrator, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, was a protégé of Carl Sagan himself and, he too, experienced the Cosmos Condition dictating his career. The keen minds of Seth MacFarlane and Ann Druyan strive successfully to make Science and natural law entertaining to those intellectually gifted. With the animation talents of MacFarlane and the talents of Druyan to spin easily comprehensible dialogue it attracts others who are not so scientifically inclined and enlightens these minds with the Cosmos Condition.

Who knows how many future courses will be influenced by this new evolution of the Cosmos series. Will it give the world the next great Astrophysicist like Carl Sagan or Niel deGrasse Tyson? Will it influence genius in producers the like of Seth MacFarlane to strive to bring more intelligent programming to the youth of our nation? Or, will it influence some common citizen like myself to write engaging believable Science Fiction? All I can say in conclusion is our society needs more entertainment like this show. It can only raise the IQ level of the future of this nation… and the world. As a whole humanity is extremely ill informed to the Cosmos Condition.