Hello, good morning, and welcome to another installment of my weekly blog. It’s the first Thursday in March of 2019. [This is just one of many declarations of the patently obvious that you can often find here. Enjoy!]
I’ve had a relatively eventful week, at least as far as writing goes. I think I mentioned last time that I was feeling under the weather; I’m still fighting the tail end of that illness, but it’s on its way out, so I’m not complaining. Of course, I’ve continued to write my novella, the working title of which is Safety Valve.
Also, I’ve begun editing Unanimity.
I don’t know if I was fooling any of you, but I don’t think I was fooling myself with the occasional thought that I might go beyond the bare minimum break time of a month that I’d set for myself before starting to edit. Shakespeare wrote that “men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive. Yet in that number I do know but one that unassailable holds on his rank, unshaked of motion.” Well…that I am not he, let me a little show it, even in this: that, though I successfully enforced upon myself the minimum wait that I had required before returning to Unanimity, there was just no way that I was going to hold out any longer than that.
In addition to this blog, and to my fiction writing, I’ve been positively aching to write some “Iterations of Zero” posts…which is to say, discussions of nearly any subject matter in science, politics, philosophy, psychology, etc., that don’t deal directly with my fiction. There are huge masses of subjects about which I want to comment, from General Relativity to vaccination, to the cosmic perspective about everyday life, to mathematics, and so on and on.
Many such thoughts and ideas are triggered by items I encounter on Facebook. These are topics about which I want to comment in no uncertain terms, but often I fear that such commentary might hurt the feelings of friends or family. This is not because I’m especially mean in the way I put things; I try very hard to be polite, and I take no joy in insulting others, generally. It just happens that, sometimes, when one says what one thinks is the truth, even if one is being careful, one hurt people’s feelings.
Even worse, commenting on memes and posts often initiates back-and-forth discussions, debates, and/or arguments, of a type which can easily become acrimonious…something I find terribly unpleasant. All of which leads me not even to want to get on social media at all. Such interactions bring out a very negative side of my personality, and I don’t like that piece of me.
For this reason, I’ve been on Facebook much more intermittently of late. This is a problem, because Facebook is really my only means of socialization, my only connection with many people who matter to me. Most importantly, it is my main route of interaction with my daughter. Yet seeing so much misinformation and disinformation and misunderstanding about topics in which I have expertise—or just about which I have thoughts—without responding can be maddening and depressing.
Perhaps it’s egotistical of me to want to write about such subjects, but I’m okay with that; writing is egotistical to begin with. So, I’ve decided to try a new approach to how I write nonfiction:
I work in an office in which there are quite a few smokers, and of course, several times throughout the day, smokers tend to step outside for a cigarette…or for whatever they smoke. That’s fine, that’s their decision, but these are obviously moments in which such people are not, strictly speaking, working. So, in parity, I’ve created a Word file called, “This is my smoke break” and during periods when others go outside to smoke, I’ll write and/or at least a page a day on some topic on which I want to comment. Once such a subject gets in decent enough shape that it’s worth sharing with the public, I’ll post it on “Iterations of Zero.”
Hopefully this will help me scratch my itch and keep me able to abstain from comments on Facebook without feeling bad about myself…and will also keep me from feeling bad about myself because I’ve commented on Facebook. We’ll see how it goes.
In the meantime, and as always, my primary concern is my fiction, whether writing it or editing it (or promoting it, which I don’t do enough of), and that’s what I’ll continue to work on first thing every day. I hope you all stick with me through thick and thin, and that you enjoy my already-published and my upcoming works. Many such journeys are possible, and I hope to bring as many people along for the ride as I can on each of them.
You should buckle up, though. It can get a bit bumpy, and I’m not the most cautious of pilots.