Meandering Mission Statement

rightSometimes I feel a generation removed from the important things that are happening in social media, and then I realize that there are plenty of people my age who ARE engaged in the arguments and concerns raging across Twitter or writer/publisher blogs. It’s just me, not my generation. I always learn about controversies and rumors weeks, months, or years later and have to explain to people I live in a hole. As much as I tell myself, “Och laddie, ye’ve got to change” (without using a terrible Scottish accent) my efforts to alter this aspect of my social behavior continue to fail.

hulk thinkI still don’t really “get” Twitter. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong, but my impression seems to be that I have to pay constant attention to find conversations. It’s a time commitment that doesn’t interest me very much. Facebook I understand — I liken it to being in a long hallway with all of my old friends from work or wherever else, and we can share stuff around the water cooler when we need to take a break from what we’re working on.

My sense of removal goes beyond Twitter. My mantra to young writers is to get involved in the industry and to get yourself to conventions, to meet and circulate and get involved in the business. That’s what I’ve done, inspired by my own interest and curiosity and its ended up benefitting me. Yet I don’t drop by other sites to weigh in on modern topics very often, if at all, and I have to constantly watch my tendency to read old, old books rather than keeping up to date with the sparkling new movements in fantasy. Is that reading preference because I have greater faith in the tried in true, or that having spent so much time reading older writers it’s easier for me to read MORE older writers? I wish I could say.

plagueshadowsI’m pretty sure I know why I don’t hang out on other blog sites very much weighing in on various calls to arms. I think I believe what I believe quietly. It works for me, even if it doesn’t work for you. I have my hands full just trying to be a writer and a father and a husband. Yes, I think gay marriage should be legal. Yes, I think misogyny and all other prejudice sucks. I tackle social issues in my writing, but I rarely talk about it on a public stage. (Strange as it may seem, I have had an easier time addressing some of my issues in my Pathfinder novels — all with female leads, spoiler alert, who will NEVER get raped — than in my Arabian fantasy series, which I strove to write from the viewpoint of a man of his time, albeit one capable of change.)

In my upcoming Hearthstones series some of these issues are front and center.  I posit a society where sexual prejudice and preference isn’t even enough of an element of the principal culture to merit comment, to such an extent that I had to rethink the kind of insults that would be uttered by military characters when they’re training distracted newbies. (Have you ever thought about how many insults uttered by men concern themselves with sexual preference or comparison to the opposite sex?) I’m very proud of this work and can hardly wait for it to be seen by my reading public. Right now I’m drafting the detailed outline of the second book in the series.

These are intricate, involved, character driven novels but chock full of intrigue and adventure in an odd and, I hope, unique setting. I’m having so much fun writing them that I keep forgetting to go out and see what’s happening out there in blog land, or the Twitter verse, or elsewhere. And I guess I’ll probably continue to be.

Three from the collection (click to embiggen).

Three from the collection (click to embiggen).

And maybe that’s okay. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after 46 years on this planet it’s to be comfortable in my own skin. I’m a private person, not a confrontational one. I believe, deeply, in human rights and other matters. I just don’t feel like talking about them very much unless its within the work I’m writing, which is why this blog will continue to be primarily focused on old historicals, writing techniques, gaming, the original Star Trek, odd bits of music, and other things that have always delighted me. Controversy does NOT delight me. Maybe if it did I’d have scores and scores of additional visitors and commenters. But then this blog wouldn’t be a true reflection of who I am.

2 Comments on “Meandering Mission Statement

  1. I’m similar – I have opinions, but I mostly keep them to myself. Partially it’s because I dislike confrontation, but also I don’t think the online world is the best place to hash out things. Make a statement? Maybe, but probably not hold a discussion.

    What I’m mostly interested in are ideas, so that’s what I talk about. And then of course there’s my own writing. No books out yet (well, I’ve written a few, in a few genres, only focusing now on one), but when I get some out, most of my focus will be there.

  2. I think I know exactly what you mean, Steven. Except that I do see a very few people who CAN discuss make statements well and even occasionally manage discussions about such things.

    I do not number myself among them. I wonder if it has something to do with the part of the country I’m from, or my age, or if it’s more a personality thing?

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