Long Lost Post: Casual Observance Becomes Insight

So as I was perusing my posts, I realized a post I never got out the door was sitting there for TWO YEARS now!  I feel bad about that, but as I read it over, it was a time capsule of sorts of how I felt in August 2018, you know… before the world went mad?But I realized that was a thought I wanted to express, but apparently just didn’t hit post.  So here’s a blast from the past that I think is potentially even more relevant in the age of the Wokestasi’s cancel jihad.  So, enjoy.

sea landscape water ocean

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Gosh… it’s been already 2 weeks since I went to Realm Makers Conference.  (If you want pictures… I need likes.  Come on, you know you want to see some cosplayers being super cool, yah?  Like my last post.)

Since then, a detail started nibbling at my mind in regards to writing in general.  Now, this is in no way a criticism to any writer, editor, publisher, agent… but it’s had a bit of an influence on me and my future with writing.

The shelves of the consignment store and merchant tables were full of excellent books.  That said, I realized as I flipped through the pages and read the blurbs on the covers something was missing for me as a reader: there were so few books written for me as an audience.  The protagonists were almost exclusively female, or minorities of some type, be they actual aliens or a sub-culture dealing with issues I could not even begin to relate to.  I felt lost in books that should be speaking to my love of literature.  I was at a conference devoted to Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy writers after all, and I did purchase a few that spoke to me.  Perhaps this is part of why I have returned to the classics like “The Comte De Monte Christo”, “Huckleberry Finn” and “Oliver Twist”.

As I tried to make sense of it all, I kept hearing a statement ringing in my head that several people had told me: “Boys don’t read”.  They are too busy or just not interested in sitting still to read.  Any number of reasons/excuses have been foisted about.  From video games to their active nature just keep them from sitting down and having a good read.

Then it hit me that there may be a second part to this equation as I considered all the books I perused and did not buy:

There are blessedly few books written FOR boys anymore!

Almost all the focus is on serving anyone but boys, and there is good reason for it too in regards to an economic sense.  Girls do read more so there is more money in it. They read earlier and spend more on books. Of course, stories traditionally written for boys have been gender swapped because some girls like a bit of adventure and daring-do too.

So now we get stories of Katniss Everdeen instead of Ender Wiggins.  Nancy Drew instead of the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift and his Electric Brain is replaced with Bella Swan and her Sparkly Relationship.  Yes, I partially mock and those books have every right to exist side by side on the shelf. May the best story win.  On the other hand, what if it isn’t an even playing field?  What if books for boys are being edged out of the market place for plausibly good reasons… but not really?

What if it’s more the case that boys aren’t reading because nobody’s writing anything they want to read?  Or worse, talk down to them in books they want to enjoy. Where is the next Johnny Quest?  Today we’d only get that if you made Johnny, Hadji’s sidekick and either made Dr. Quest be in a gay relationship with Race Bannon and Hadji would have to be his adopted daughter.  Sure there’s an audience, and any boy who grows/grew up in a traditional or typical American or western household… these are hard to relate.  At least that’s what seems to be en vogue for traditional publishers. I didn’t come from a culture of diversity and inclusion with more variety than a Christmas fruitcake. I came from a monoculture that saw other cultures as something to respect as having their place too. I’m a firm believer in the Great American Melting Pot of people united by a chosen common culture.

Even Christian publishers are pushing for “diversity and inclusion” over good story.  How diverse were the good old adventure pulps and sci fi?  They always pushed at the boundaries of society.  Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad.  They were products of their era after all.

But how many men remember nights as boys, hiding under the covers reading an exciting book well past their bedtime.  Just one more chapter! Waking up with a dead flashlight or their face stuck to a page they don’t remember reading?  I sure do and I wasn’t that big a reader till I was a teen. The thrill of amazing stories and exotic places

But I had stories I wanted to read!  Passionately!  I loved anthologies of short ghost stories and adventure and sci fi and all the other things that made me dream of bigger horizons than could be found in my life.  Stories that spoke to the problems of young boys like Will Holloway and Jim Nightshade from “Something Wicked This Way Comes”.  Books about girls coming to terms with their issues are now a dime a dozen, but how boys become men is now almost a taboo topic.

I feel there’s a need to speak to boys and men in literature again.  Tell the stories they crave of bravery and great feats of daring-do. They are under-served it seems, and I for one plan to start serving that audience.  For men who remember the boys they were and for boys who want more than just idle spectacle… and if girls or anyone else wants to join in the ride, come on board, and enjoy the adventure!

close up photo of person touching inscribed wall

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Into the High Places… For Real

Well, the last few months have been crazy…

…Even for me.

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For the last few months, not so productive. Yes I’ve gotten some editing done, but I’ve been distracted. More precisely, I’ve been a bit… twitterpated. Some have accused me of being besotted. It’s unfortunately sapped a lot of momentum from my writing. But twitterpation is a darn good reason to not write much.

That’s because there’s wedding bells in my very near future, and with it, I am relocating. Yes, I’m leaving this land of lakes, cheese and beer with a big “O yah! See yah lader, den!” as we who are fluent in Yooper would say. And with that, I’m headed to the mountains of West Virginia to live with my soon to be wife. I wish my departure from the Badger State wasn’t so convoluted, but with Covidiocy running rampant and civil liberties being obliterated by panicked sheeple driven by power mad wolves in politicians clothing… well. Let’s just say the timing could not have been more fortuitous.

So I’m off, and hopfully when the dust settles in… :::whistles low::: 30 days, I will be building a new routine. One that hopefully includes a LOT more writing. Here’s hoping!

So what’s been going on?

Ohhhhh… A little of this and that, but primarily, I am up to the 3rd draft of TWO novellas. Yes, the Dream Nebula is taking shape. There are a few big opportunities coming with that I may have mentioned, or hinted at. I can’t quite reveal yet, but I will say this… I’m looking for an artist skilled in not only doing character ship design, but also sequential art. So if you’re one of those types of people who’s an accomplished/previously published comic book artist and is looking for a project to work on next, get in touch. Not kidding. If your style is right for what I’m about to dig into, I want to talk with you!

(Yes I know I said I was starting the 3rd novella shortly… see the above distraction/twitterpation explanation. It’s still coming. We’ll just see about when.)

And due to current world events, I’ve been getting an idea for a set of short stories. The idea had bubbled in the back of my head off and on for a while, but maybe it’s time I try my hand at flash fiction. You know, short stories/scenes/vignettes in this world I have coming pecking at me.

So, let’s see… getting married, moving, novellas, ummm…. flash fiction ideas…. what am I forgetting?

AH! oh yeah. Akiniwazisaga. Good news. Thanks to my computer frying it’s cooling block last week, I had to get back on my backup “Wee Beastie” and use it while waiting for it to get fixed. When I did that, I found a LOT of information I thought I’d lost, including maps and many other things.

As for music, I’ll be posting some new stuff sooner or later here. I finally got some made into video format. Why Propellerhead Reason won’t directly export into that format is beyond me! Ugh! Just requires a little editing and we should be good to go.

So that’s the news from the land of the mad, and this Cheesehead is going into exile… or becoming an expatriate for good. Only time will tell. So till the next update which will be coming at a much higher elevation and farther south in the hollers and the hills… This version of the song fits my bittersweet but looking forward to a joyous future mood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwpXjtK5m20