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Rhetoretician -- Fiction etc.

2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 =

2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 =

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Last year I pointed out that 47 is a prime number. This year I feel compelled to point out that 48 = 3(2)4.
A lot has happened in a year. To say it feels “transitional” isn’t the half of it. I feel like I’ve turned onto a new path and haven’t the vaguest idea where I’m headed – but I don’t mind.
The biggest thing, of course, is the slow, scary transition into original fiction. Those who haven’t joined my locked original fiction notification list (and you still can) haven’t seen the progress I’ve made, but it’s there. I’ve written several stories, submitted a few of them to magazines and contests, and begun to collect first-edition rejection slips. I’ve joined an online writing group, I’m taking a workshop, and I’m reading lots of good books. I spent about two months devouring lots of Michael Chabon. I read Ender’s Game for the first time over Christmas. Right now I’m in the middle of Nancy Kress’s Beggars in Spain; I’m also in the middle of her book on writing Dynamic Characters. And for knock-your-socks off short fiction, you couldn’t do better than the annual Fish Anthology.

(I sometimes wonder why I'm making the effort.  So far the thing that really excites me about writing -- other than the act itself -- is knowing that something I wrote was moving and meaningful to somone else.  But that was something I got with fan fiction -- something I'm still getting with the fan fiction I stopped writing in August; I got two sweet reviews just yesterday.  But seeking to publish original fiction means giving myself barriers (editors and publishers) to getting the story read by others.  Yet it seems important to do this.)
Ideas for stories come from the oddest places. So far I’ve had inspirations from talking to my daughter about a billboard for a Renaissance fair, reading a horrible report about Disney’s greed, listening to a recording of a book by Will Durant – and the story I’m trying to write now? I got it literally from looking at the clock during that workshop.
In the past year, too, we moved back into our house, I had a job crisis I’m not going to describe in an a public post (but it worked out okay), my sister had a baby, a colleague got fired (no, that wasn’t the job crisis), my wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, and my children have astonished me more times than I can count.
Meanwhile my friends’ lives have been, if anything, even more eventful than mine. Some of you show so much courage in the face of hardship that it takes my breath away. And you are, at the same time, so generous and consistent in your affection and support that I wonder how I ever got along without you.
I had the beard colored again yesterday, feeling silly about it. In the evening we watched The Empire Strikes Back with the kids, the first time my 8-year-old has ever seen it. It remains the only one of the Star Wars movies with a hint of emotional truth or any sort of artistic depth.
This morning (“tomorrow morning,” in my mind, as I haven’t got to bed yet) we’ll go to Three Rivers for brunch, and then I’m spending the day in a coffee shop with my computer – just writing. (Well, okay, maybe I’ll be doing character background for my next story, which is my current assignment for the workshop, but hey, that counts as writing.)
  • Happy Birthday and best wishes for the forthcoming year. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult writing original fiction must be and I am full of admiration for you for attempting to do so. It seems the celebratory glass of wine must make yet another appearance!
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  • Many good wishes for your birthday, Ken! I do admire your brave attempt at original fiction. I know that your fertile imagination will create all sorts of wonderful worlds filled with fabulous words. Enjoy the journey--- the destination doesn't really matter!

    Happy day!

  • Happy birthday!

    I heard on the news the other day that most people feel that their 40s are the lowest point in their lives, and that they are happiest when they begin moving into their 50s and beyond. Looks like you're making a wonderful transition to the best time of your life. Keep writing and sharing your talent with the rest of us. May the coming year be chock full of fun and surprises.
    • Thank you so much, Augusta. I'd never heard that about the 50s, but it fills me with hope. The 40s were, in fact, a downer in a number of ways, and I do look forward to what's coming.
  • Happy birthday!

    Hurra for deg som fyller ditt år,
    ja deg vil vi gratulere.
    Alle i ring omkring deg vi står,
    og se nå vi vil marsjere.
    Bukke, nikke, neie, snu oss omkring,
    Danse for deg med hopp og sprett og spring
    ønske deg av hjertet alle gode ting,
    og si meg så hva vil du mere, gratulere!

    Høyt våre flagg vi svinger, hurra!
    Ja nå skal vi riktig feste.
    Dagen er din, og dagen er bra,
    men du er den aller beste.
    Se deg rundt i ringen, hvem du vil ha,
    dans så en dans med den du helst vil ha,
    vi vil alle sammen feire deg idag,
    for en av oss skal bli den neste, til å feste!

    (Imgaine us all standing in a ring around you singing, bowing, curtseying and waving flags for you).

    Many happy returns. Oh, and since you are 3(2)4, I should point out that I'm the meaning of life, the universe and everything... :p

    *big hugs*
  • Happy birthday, Ken! It's been such a privilege to get to know you over the past year and so much fun. I'm excited about all the things you're doing and the potential that there is for more. 48 is a lovely number - so many factors. Maybe that's symbolic for something.

    I would like to write you a birthday story. Want to give me a prompt?
  • Happy Birthday! You have had an eventful year - one full of necessary events it seems. I hope this next year will be full of extravagent, unnecessary things. :)

    I love to write a drabble for you, but I need a prompt.
  • Ooo! Happy Birthday, Ken.

    Aren't new paths interesting? I wish you well on the one that lies ahead this year. Enjoy exploring every twist and turn of it--and don't forget to stop and smell some of those flowers along the way, too!

    *BIG hugs*
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ken!!!!!!

    Enjoy your day. Ir should be all about you and not the superbowel.

    One thing about moving into original fiction from fan fiction, you've got built in readers that love your work. So, no matter what happens we're all pulling for you.

    I've already read Enders Game from your list. I might pick up Beggers in Spain. I Love that title.

    Have a great day. *hugs*
    • Thanks, Rachel. I'm grateful for all my friends who already read what I've written. You are a wonderful cheering section all by yourself.

      So far, Beggers in Spain is fantastic. I'm having a hard time putting it down.
    • (no subject) - rosathome - Expand
  • Happy birthday!
  • Wow. Spending the day in a coffee shop sounds like a great birthday present.

    Happy birthday! I hope you have a year filled with adventure and success, just like you did last year, only better. Check out my LJ - I've posted a little something for you.
    • Thanks, Annette. That was a wonderful scene you wrote for me and my muse. (I kept thinking of Marina Sirtis, though...)

      In the coffee shop I wrote about 1,800 words of character background. My guy is getting more complicated all the time. (Interesting: When you've written your "world building" and you start in on your "character background," you start to rewrite your worldbuilding.
  • Happy birthday! It sounds like 2007 was a great year for you -- here's hoping that 2008 is even better. :)
  • Happy, Happy Birthday. I am so glad to have started getting to know you over the last few months. I love hearing about your transitions... life is full of them and yet they always seem to surprise us. I wish for you a personal new year filled with all the best!
    • Thank you, dear lady. I have valued getting to know you as well. By the way, I agree with you entirely about many men not "getting" the systematically enculturated sexism that's still here. There are a lot of women (especially very young women) in the same position. But not me.
  • Happy birthday! Sounds like you're making progress in life, doing new things. And the job crisis worked out okay, so it should be smooth sailing ahead on that front while you continue to explore new territory with your writing.
  • What's the report you read on Disney? I'd be interested in seeing that if it's something available to the public. Stories about him are fascinating, largely because the private man was so contrary to the public image.

    Have you read the book "Waking Walt"?
    • Hi, Joia. I haven't read that book.

      The "report" was a comment on my LJ posting of November 2, 2007.
      It wasn't about Walt himself, but the company.
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