Good morning and Happy New Year to all!
I was just idly wondering, is New Year’s Eve/Day the single most broadly celebrated holiday in the world? I wouldn’t be surprised if it is…and I suppose I wouldn’t be much more surprised if it isn’t. Still, considering the general adoption of the Gregorian calendar by, as far as I know, all the nations of the world, I would suspect that New Years is the most generally recognized possible day of celebration worldwide, across all cultures.
That said, I hope all of you who do celebrate it had a wonderful time doing so this week and didn’t suffer too many ill-effects in consequence. This new year number sounds just a bit like the beginning of a count-down (20…19…), which could be the lead-in to good things and/or bad, but next year at least we should all have clear vision to face whatever comes.
Okay, enough of that nonsense. I have few new things to say with respect to writing this week, but I’ll give you such updates as there are. First, of course, I am very close (relatively speaking) to the end of Unanimity. Interestingly, just yesterday I re-started taking the train—both to save vehicular wear and tear and to force myself to get in some walking every day—and between the train and then some time in the office before work, I got significantly more writing done than I had on any other day in weeks. Some of this may simply be because I’m approaching the end of the story, and the excitement is building, driving me to push out work more quickly. Some of it may be from resting over the dual holidays (thankfully, I did rest, being neither very social nor much of a drinker). But I think just not having to drive (except to the station in the morning) and thus not having to worry about traffic, to say nothing of getting a bit of exercise, really seems to do me some good. Here’s to hoping I’m right.
Penal Colony also approaches its end. Which is to say, the editing process is nearing completion; the story has been finished for some time. I’m enjoying editing it, and I’ve certainly cut a lot of fat out*. It’s at least a little bit light-hearted, despite its dire predictions about a possible sinister side of social media in the future (I know…can you imagine!?). It’s certainly not as heavy as Solitaire, but that’s not exactly a high bar to clear. Of course, all of this means we’re going to have to start working on the cover design any day now, which is its own special, and sometimes stressful, task.
In other news: I don’t recall whether I’ve blogged about this already, but I recently read the book, Bird Box, responding to all the hype (and some interesting-sounding hints) about the Netflix movie (which I have not seen), and it was quite good. I left a nice review, not too long, but hopefully useful, on Amazon, and I’d like to take this opportunity once again to cajole all of you readers—especially if you read independent authors—to rate and, if possible, to review the books you read on Amazon, or at least some significant fraction of them. I know, I tend to harp on about this a bit, but it makes a tremendous difference. It’s also very useful for an author to get feedback from general readers, who after all are the market for whom the books are written.
I don’t have a tremendous lot more to discuss this week, and I’ve almost reached my stop. I wish you all, once again, the very best of new years, and I hope you enjoy yourselves and read plenty of books in 2019. While it’s true that there are a great many other good sources of information and entertainment available, some of which are more seductive—and certainly more passive—than reading, written language remains the lifeblood of civilization, and the most direct and efficient means by which to convey information and stories between human minds. As physicist Lisa Randall points out in her wonderful book Warped Passages, sometimes a few words (and perhaps a bit of math**) can be worth a thousand pictures.
*I have a darkly humorous fantasy of some future person reading Penal Colony and thinking, “This is the story after you cut a lot of fat out? What was it like before?
**which is, after all, just a special type of words