My Mother used to say this all the time. I don’t remember her saying it to me, but I remember her saying it to my kids and their cousins. Her theory has always been that there are too many interesting things to do in life, and one never, ever needs to be bored. If you are bored, you’re just not being observant enough of your opportunities.
Of course, when you’re a kid, being bored usually means that the entertainments you’re looking for aren’t readily available. For me it meant there was nothing good on television. (Back in the day, you couldn’t pop in a DVD, pull up NetFlix online or watch YouTube. You had to wait for the program to be broadcast. And if you missed it, you missed it.)
Now, I guess, a kid is bored when the WiFi is out.
Fear Failure? Yep. Apparently it’s an Adidas campaign. It puzzled me about as much as did the word “Adidas” when it started appearing on peoples’ shirts. I thought it meant something. (It’s just a portmanteau of the company founder’s name, Adolf Dassler.)
Sorry, Adidas, but… Fear Failure? I consider that an asinine — and particularly American — sentiment, ironic that the shirt is marketed by a German company. Doubly ironic, because the young gentleman wearing the shirt was clearly Asian, and was speaking a non-English language to his friend as they passed. The shirt was bright green and yellow, as I recall, and I assumed from the font and design that it was geared toward athletes of some stripe — possibly even surfers. Though why surfers should fear failure I’ll never know. Continue reading
(This is mostly just a few opening remarks on a subject nicely addressed on at The Figure in Question blog this week.)
Science Fiction and Fantasy, including the Super Hero genre, are for young people. No, I’m not saying that to be denigrating. I’m saying it because they are. They’re for people who keep their minds open, their hearts pure, their souls ever thirsting for something better, something that improves the human condition. They seek peace, justice, adventure, prosperity, triumph. You have to be young (at least at heart) to believe in those things. Old people, middle-aged people, adults (ick!)… their minds have set, atrophied, become rigid. Continue reading
No, that’s a serious question. I only made it a bit bombastic in the title because… well, you’ll figure that out in a second.
I am not a Magician. I’m not. When I do things, you can see the parts move. You can see the wires. I’m not out to make things look easier than they are, or make anyone think that there’s some kind of supernatural force guiding my hand as I perform superhuman feats that mere mortals may not attempt. Sure, some people wonder, “How do you do what you do?” I get asked that. But the fact is, I’ll be happy to tell you. I have no trade secrets. How I do what I do is by having a mind that works in an interesting fashion, by forcing myself to do the things I think are important, and by working hard.
That’s it. I have no trade secrets, no elusive, patented process.
When I was growing up, John Robinson was my favorite fictional father. Like my Dad, he was a scientist. Unlike my Dad, he never shouted (except with enthusiasm, or, y’know, when he had to be heard over the wind from a cosmic storm.) He was religious, so he understood there was a difference between good and evil beyond what some book of rules said, but, unlike a fire-and-brimstone preacher, if you really screwed up, he patiently told you what you did wrong, and then moved pleasantly on to the next topic. This had to be the most compassionate man alive. After all, he let Zachary Smith live for at least three seasons!
Okay, I’m a journalist, and journalists put the most important fact in the first sentence: I cried listening to the last chapter of this book. Not because it was sad. Because it made my soul soar. Because it made me cry out, “Yes! This is what a story should be!” Because it grabbed me by the emotions–my happiness, my insecurity, my fear, my memories of and hopes for triumph–and it didn’t let go until I was weeping in an ecstasy of satisfaction.
This is the book I want to read out loud at cons when they’re crazy enough to give me a slot to read… not my stuff! This.
Marvel Two-In-One. The title kinda says it all, doesn’t it? You buy this book, you’re getting two for the price of one. In this case, two super-heroes. On a smaller scale, it’s the logic that, in the 1940s, led National Comics and All-American Comics to create the Justice Society, or, later, DC Comics to create the Justice League. It’s like this: Some kid has only one dime, and doesn’t know if he wants to read The Flash or Green Lantern. Hey, kid, suppose you could get both for one thin dime? And a bunch of other characters besides? Wow! It’s like getting free super-heroes!
And of course, what you don’t say to the kid is that you hope he’ll get hooked on the “free” super-heroes, and, instead of one thin dime a week, start spending five or six dimes a week, so he can keep up with all those new characters he’s been introduced to. It’s the same principle by which drug dealers give away free crack. (I infer. Do drug-dealers give away free crack? I’ve never met a drug dealer. That I know of.)
Actually, I drafted two blog entries for this week, but neither was finished in time. And sometimes I look at the list of stuff I have to do and realize that I won’t get it done, um, EVER. And I stress out and melt down. It’s not pretty. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often. When it does, though, it leaves me looking at all the people around me whose lives probably suck way more than mine does, and wondering, “How are they so CALM?”
Yeah, I suck at handling stress. I’m much better at finding solutions to things that stress out OTHER people. So, yeah… you people over there… stop stressing and junk. I’ll come fix your problems when I’ve reshaped myself out of the puddle of glop that I’ve currently devolved into.
There, don’t you feel better? I know I do.
Talk to you next week.
So Balticon happened. I’m not really going to do a full rundown of it here. Not that it was bad. It was a very full, very successful weekend. But I’ve tweeted all the good stuff, and I prefer to keep the stuff which set my teeth on edge between, well, me and the people who set my teeth on edge. And there were only really two of them, and I don’t think they can be trained to not set my teeth on edge, so…
Hey, it’s Balticon weekend and this sale is still on! Thanks to the many who’ve attended my panels and stopped by to chat thus far!
Thanks to all who attended our “Fantastic Quartet” presentation at the Howard County Library (as well as those who were there in spirit… deadbeats!) Howard Weinstein, Bob Greenberger, Dave Galanter and I were all pleased to see every seat filled, and additional chairs being added by the event organizers throughout the evening. We were proud to kick off HCL’s “Meet the Author” series. We’ve already been asked to return next year!
As an offering of thanks, I’m offering some discounts on my eBooks. Mutiny Springs Eternal is even free, and it’s a great place to jump on board my award-winning Arbiter Chronicles series. Just click the links below and enter the corresponding coupon code to purchase the eBook from Smashwords. They’re available in every eReader format, including Kindle, Nook and iBooks. Let me know if you have any problems!
FREE! The Arbiter Logs – Mutiny Springs Eternal - Coupon Code: ZH77W
99 Cents! Peace Lord of the Red Planet - Coupon Code: TC75G
99 Cents! Taken Liberty – Coupon Code: WC32M
99 Cents! Unfriendly Persuasion – Coupon Code: SS94B