Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek

Leonard Nimoy as Spock. See more images of him smiling on the set here.

I am so sad to hear of Leonard Nimoy's death today. 

Star Trek was a big part of my childhood, and Mr. Spock was one of my favorite characters. I loved how he, and the show, emphasized logic and science as a way to navigate all the crazy, alien situations the crew of the Enterprise found themselves in. If Captain Kirk was the engine that drove them ever onward in pursuit of their mission "to boldly go where no man has gone before," then Spock was the compass. Spock's character works so well because he perfectly balances out Captain Kirk's, shall we say, rather histrionic leadership style. Don't get me wrong I love every member of the Enterprise crew. I loved the show for the sense of fun that is at the core of every episode.

When I was a kid we had one TV in the living room, the kind housed in a wood cabinet with a square screen that curved out. We didn't have a VHS or anything, just the TV with its twelve channels plus that wierd snowy UHF station. Star Trek reruns came on at 6:00 p.m. every weeknight, which meant that, every single weeknight I would doggedly negotiate with my mom to move dinner to either 5:30 or 7:00. I don't remember what I bargained, but I often got my way because I watched that show a lot. I watched it over and over, until all 80 episodes were as familiar as old friends. 

So, it is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to Mr. Nimoy, you take with you a little piece of my childhood. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Write About Gigantic Sequins at The Review Review.

I continue my forays into the world of literary fiction with a review of a nifty little journal called Gigantic Sequins over at The Review Review.  I quite enjoyed this one. You can read my review here.

I have been enjoying my forays into literary fiction, and it got me to thinking about the importance of reading around. If literary isn't your genre* that's cool, the important thing is to seek out and read a few things that you normally wouldn't. Writers should do this for the same reason that everyone should travel. Visiting a foreign place expands your understanding of the world, and forces you to examine your usual assumptions and beliefs. The gift of travel is that when you return, you see all the familiar aspects of your home life with new eyes.

This holds true when we read outside our normal preferences. Sometimes it's difficult going or uncomfortable, other times its surprising and brilliant. For me, it's always worth the effort because, when I return to my usual reading, I see it anew. I also bring this broader understanding to my writing.

So, pack an overnight bag, get out there and read around.
Check out more of Tom Gauld's cartoons!

* Literary writing is a style, with the word "literary" being appended to another genre as in, Cormac McCarthy writes literary westerns. It is also considered its own genre, usually contrasted with genre writing, called "Lit Fic."