Monday Musings: Sappy Post Incoming! a.k.a. Family

So I am now safely ensconced in my sister’s homestead with her family and my mother, only a month late for Christmas.  It came to me last night that I am a fantastically lucky individual.  Few people, after all, have grown apart from one family, find a brand-new family (Dave, Reyn, and Jon, gods rest his soul), then rebonded with the first family again.  I have two entire families and, even better, they like each other too.

What it also tells me is that family is more than blood and it is more than the bonds of friendship.  There is an ease and a comfort, something deeper and unique, that defines family.  It is being able to show up on a doorstep at any time and be met with open arms.  It is the feeling that you fit in like a bug in a rug.  It is that sense that, no matter the time between visits, you can step in and pick it back up as if no time had passed at all.

It’s sappy and gooey and so Hallmark-card-cute, but it’s so very real.  For we weak, clawless, fangless, pink-skins, I can’t help but believe that it was the bonds of family that were as important to our survival as our discovery of sharp rocks and fire.

So enjoy those, no matter accident of birth or circumstance, with which you feel that comfort, that warmth.  Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

Weekend Update: To Georgia! a.k.a. A Week with Family

Hello, foodies!

Just to let you know, I’ll be spending most of the coming week in Georgia with my sister’s family and my mother.  Good old family bonding … which is really make-up, as I couldn’t go there for Christmas.

The usual blog updates will still happen though!  I can only promise one review this week, alas, as I will be spending time with the family.

Have a great week, folks, and we’ll be back into full production next week!

General News: On The Road Again! a.k.a. Out of Town Next Week

The title says it all … or at least conveys a significant portion of the message.

I will be out of town visiting family from 8-30-2015 to 9-4-2015.  While all of the usual articles will be published on-time, including a new Starving Interview and Review, I will be less urgent than usual in responding to e-mails and other sundries.  My apologies ahead of time if this impacts you!

Things will be back to normal the week after!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a Starving Review of Heart of Earth, alongside a Starving Interview with the author, Mark Laporta!

Book News: Some more sneak peeks on the horizon

Just a quick update here!

As you may have seen in earlier topics, I’m going to be out of town for the next two weeks doing holiday things with the family.  It’s been twenty years since my last Christmas with them so I’ll be understandably preoccupied.  Not to worry, there’s still going to be writing articles, Starving Reviews, and some other treats coming the weeks ahead, just not quite as many as usual.

Speaking of treats, expect some more sneak peeks into Incorruptible and The Twelfth Labor ahead.  A peek at a table of contents, book cover art, and some chapter reveals, all of that is coming in the weeks ahead.

If you want to get your hands up to your elbows in the creative process, there’s still time and room for more beta readers.  Just check out this post here for more information.

Good luck and good writing!

General News: Time With Family and Reading Books

Just a quick update before my Starving Review of the week: It has been a great few days here in Georgia with my mother, sister, and the brother-in-law and nephew I didn’t really know I had.  I am continually amazed by the things that I didn’t know or didn’t remember and, of course, am overwhelmed at times by the love that had been neglected because of stupid things on both sides.  What’s important is that is all under the bridge and in the past.

What this means for the blog is that I am being filled with fascinating new ideas and remembered concepts.  There’s going to be a wealth of new articles and opinions to come out in the weeks ahead.

Speaking of reviews, my latest Starving Review is going up next and I want to thank the many authors who have put themselves forward for honest, blunt review.  I’m booked through January and more come every day,  Keep ’em rolling!

The Week Coming: Visiting Family, Getting Sick, and a Thank You!

Hey folks!

I wanted to take a moment to update on general site news and some upcoming personal things that will lead to a bit of a slowdown, at least for the coming week.

As I have mentioned in the past, I will be spending the next week out of town, visiting my mother and sister in Georgia.  I haven’t seen them in about twenty years and really only have been reunited with them in any sense for the past year.  This is, for obvious reasons, A Big Deal ™ for me and, for that reason, I can’t make any guarantees as to how much, if any, articles I get posted in the coming week.

Naturally, because I am getting ready for such a big thing in my life, I also have come down with some creeping crud or the other in the past few days.  Fevers, sinus issues, the usual crap.  Nothing serious, but of course this would happen when so many important things are going on in my life.  Maybe it’s karmic payment for the fact things are working out so well right now?  Who knows.

What I do know and what I want to be thankful for is the seeming success of my Starving Review articles.  I now have weekly reviews laid out through all of the coming month, with more undoubtedly on the way.  Expect to see a really fascinating spread of books reviewed in the coming weeks, of all sizes and genres.  At least I know I won’t be too hungry, eh?

Weekend Update: Just a quick one!

Some quick updates for the weekend!

  • I’m just about at the halfway point of writing for Incorruptible.  It’s been a wild ride and I hope I finish out this first trilogy in a way everyone will enjoy.
  • Felipe informs me that the first Kickstarter reward poster will be done very soon.  I’ll be fulfilling those rewards and then, after a little bit of time, I’ll start having those posters available for purchase.
  • I have been busy this weekend, but there will be a Starving Review next week.
  • Lastly, I’ll be out of town the week after next, from the 26th to the 31st.  New articles will be sparse, but I should get a few in.  I’ll be spending most of that time, though, spending time with my mother and sister who I haven’t seen in, oh, 18?  20? years.

Friday Night Blogging – Peace and family

So, to give my blogging more structure, there will be more semi-regular articles going up.  We’ve seen Looking at Character, now it’s time to roll out Friday Night Blogging.  FNB is going to be my off-topic blog of the week, which is to say it won’t directly deal with writing or writing analysis.  Most weeks, it will probably be a look-back at the events of the week, both in my life and in the world, and touching on the points that interest me.

Though a lot of things are going on in the world right now, I have found myself mostly fixated on the events in Ferguson.  I don’t feel as if I have to really say more than that to identify it: it has been scrutinized and watched by people outside the U.S.A. as much as we Americans.  It brought a lot of events into the public eye in a dramatic fashion, things that had been stewing both in the public consciousness and in the policies of our government for some time.  The continued ethnic and economic tensions (often so intermingled they cannot be easily separated), the rapid militarization of our citizen police force, and the common injustices that plague us have now been laid bare.  While I’m glad to see that the violence has curbed and peaceful protest reigns, I only hope that, in that return to peace, that the need to see these massive problems dealt with is not forgotten.  All too often, when the crisis is over, the general public seems content that the problem has passed and doesn’t press to see the root cause of it fixed.

Personally, the past week, well, two weeks, has seen me finally make a reconnection with my biological family.  After my father’s death during my one and only year at college, I splintered away from my family.  I won’t go into detail.  There isn’t any need to do so and, besides, at the end of the day the causes were everyone’s fault and no one’s fault.  What matters is that, for almost twenty years, I didn’t speak with my mother, my brother, or my sister at all.  I had found a new family of choice, close friends who had become more than that over the same twenty years.

Last week, I decided I was being kind of an idiot.  Oh, not that I didn’t have my reasons, but in the past months, my mother, brother and sister had all started trying to make outreaches towards me.  I was being stubborn, trying to ignore it, clinging on to old grievances.  Finally, I realized I needed to cleanse myself of it.  My mother wasn’t getting any younger, none of us were, and there was no good reason for me to act the way I was.  So, I sent my brother an email and told him I wanted to talk to him.  From there, it was only a few days before I talked to my mother.

You know, for something I thought would be so hard, it was so easy.  None of us wanted to worry about the past.  We had all come to the conclusion in the past decades that it was all just foolish things anyway, aggravated by my father’s untimely death.  So, well, I added a new old family to the people I love and love me back.  It’s great to have one family, to have two?  It’s a miraculous thing.

When I sit back and think about it, I wonder if it was meant to be.  Was it fate that broke us up, connected me with my dear friends to be there and support them through their own rough times, and then for everything to be reforged into a larger, stronger circle?  I don’t know, but I’m just glad it ended up as it did.