Monday, February 10, 2020

Fifteen Years





  Fifteen years ago, today, I stepped off the plane and onto the tarmac at San Diego International Airport.  There was no one there to meet me.

  Today, I am still working alone on much the same arrangement that I had when I first arrived in the United States - commissioner per submission.

  Along the way I have had moderate success.

  I'd like a little James Patterson success in the next fifteen years. 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

One Submission Is Better Than None






  On the last day of the first month, I made this years first submission to a publishing house.

  Not a great track record for a writer, but one submission is better than none.

  As the "First Fans" are aware, the care of a parent is draining my time away. Being accountable for a toddler in an adult frame is a time consuming job, You can't just instruct on what it is and what it should be, - because they are elderly.  Instead, grace is needed.

  After spending two days and a night back and forth to the emergency room of a local hospital, it was late yesterday when I realized the deadline was approaching. Unsatisfied with the third, or fourth version, I submitted the version that I thought better -but not award winning.

  One submission is better than none.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

James Patterson Writes in Pencil





  For those that came in late...when I write, I write with a pencil.  Always have. There is something about the lead of the pencil on the yellow of the legal pad paper that makes the writing seem... historical. It feels alive as I scribble it down.  

  As one of my goals for the year involve more published works, I began taking online lessons in Masterclass. Masterclass is a series of video tutorials given by experts in their field of expertise. One of the contributing authors is James Patterson. Patterson has multiple books that I have read (as a fan) where his protagonist (Alex Cross) is employed in an industry that I once was.

  About the fourth lesson in, I was not enjoying the tutorial as much as I like. Though the format was similar to Stephen Kings "On Writing" book, I was not enjoying Patterson's class as much as I had enjoyed his book.

  And then it happened.

  James Patterson said that he writes in pencil on a legal pad.

  James Patterson writes the same way I do...or more accurately, I write the same way as accomplished author James Patterson does.

  And suddenly I was enjoying Patterson's class much more. I went back and started his Masterclass again, and although the links to a number of discussions with previous students is broken, the class became more poignant to me. It became more real as a one on one class because....James Patterson writes in pencil.

  I am hopeful that one day a fan will have the same connection that I had when they relaize their favourite authors (that would be me) writes n pencil.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020





  In 1999, I purchased my first computer in Australia, a Hewlett Packard Compaq computer from a big box home store. At the time, I also purchased one computer game to accompany the purchase. The game was a city building strategy game called Anno 1602. The game was a ground breaker in that the Artificial Intelligence progressed in accord with player development.

  At the time, I was divorced and not in receipt of enough income to make my daughters life more enjoyable. The girls and I played that game. Endless hours was spent with my little one sitting in my lap as her older sister cursed at the non player characters (NPC) when they destroyed something she had spent an hour creating.

  When I moved to the United States, one of the few things that was not lost at seas in transit was a box that contained this game. Last week while unpacking I found the game, still in it's original box, and did a Google search on it. In so doing, I discovered that the publishing company had a new version, titled Anno 1800. The game was available by download only, and for less money than I paid for the original game, I treated myself to my first game purchase in about eight years.

  Wow.

  The reviews justify it's nomination for Game of the Year. The graphics are immersive, the game play addictive, and last weekend, I lost both days off playing the game into the wee small hours of the morning.

  The girls are gone from my life - grown up and moved on. Late nights playing Anno on the computer are not the same without my youngest sitting in my lap pointing out the "bad guys" for her sister. Still, what I lost in the companionship with my children, is retained in the memory of the original game.

  20/20 - a year and hindsight.