A STORY TO REMEMBER

No matter how old and weird I get, I’m reawakened when I can go and see my favorite band, RUSH. (They were in Denver Friday, August 2, 2013.)

I grew up with them. They are all around my age and can still rock. They were always awesome – even before we knew the meaning of the word – and still are!

  • Geddy – still hits the high notes even though it takes a little longer
  • Alex – fastest fingers I’ve ever seen
  • Neil – what can I say – philosopher/writer, and the drummer of all drummers – so quiet in verse but loud in his beat – he speaks through his rhythm

And, even though you added all the pyrotechnics and string band for the kiddies, you still speak volumes with your images and songs.

Thank you for still rockin’ after all these years. Thank you for your words and music. Thank you from this old soul.

Now to the meat of the blog:

This blog was actually written to praise those who are the true storytellers—those who make the reading and listening so wonderful and cozy—an environment for the reader can melt into. You know it took a lot of work to get the story out, a lot of research, a lot of re-writes, a lot of sweat on what to keep in, what to cut out. Yet these writers seem to have a talent to make the tale flow so effortlessly, so comforting, so funny, so sad, and soooooo beautiful. Storytelling is an art unlike any other. When you can learn something from a well-researched (and well written into the story), that is a great story. There are those that have it and those that don’t.

There are those storytellers like Neil Gaiman that people not in the know go: Who? When he goes on a show and is announced, the audience is silent. They are in awe of him. And, he’s such a humble guy. He’s so knowledgeable and out there that we nerds get him.

New writers of science fiction have hugggggeeeeee shoes to fill. They have the greats such as Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson, Frederick Pohl, Robert Heinlein, Arthur Clarke, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle to look up to, but can they follow in the footsteps of the great? I read lots and lots of SF, but I’ve only found a few ‘newbies’ that I’ll keep following—such as Michael Flynn. He has studied the greats and his writing shows it. Oh, I’ll keep reading the ‘newbies’ but so far I have only a few that have been promising enough that I’ve gone back and ordered a second book.

I also read a lot of mysteries and am disappointed in a lot of the female writers. Maybe it’s because I expect more. Maybe it’s because I was in law enforcement and they don’t make any effort to research and get into the facts of a case. I’m not talking ‘true crime’ stuff, just make the case interesting. If I’ve figured it out by the 2nd or 3rd chapter, it is a sad state of affairs.

And I won’t even begin to get started on the formatting, bad grammar, wording and other ills of new uploads. That is such a distraction. (Get good readers, people before you upload!) Although, I am a great fan of being able to be in total control of your own book!

And so, I am trying to become one of these people, these great story tellers of science fiction and mystery. And to do this, I read a lot. I read a lot of great books, good books, bad books, and really, really bad books. It is my hope that I will wind up somewhere closer to the good books category. I have to work very hard not to spew knowledge to people. I have to work very hard to have great dialogue and great dramatic tension. I know where my strong points are, and that is in the beginning of the project—great research is my forte. Where I get stuck is the day-to-day process of making sense of all that stuff in my head, and where I want to go with the book.

When I am helping my son, I notice I over-correct grammar, spelling, formatting. I do the same thing in my writing and that stifles me. So, I am attempting to back off a little and let him tell his story before all the correcting. That is what I am trying to do in my work. It’s hard sometimes, because I am a severe critic to him and to me. I have to go back to the very beginnings of my story time when I was a little kid and remember the good feeling of the story—the anticipation, the joy, and the endings. If you can get back to the joy of those beginnings, you will tell a great story. This is my goal.

So, thank you all you greats from my past. I am trying to live up to what I perceive your expectations would be of me.

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