The past year of not having a blog has been a whirlwind. I’ve gotten married, I ran for and lost a race to become a Scranton School Director, and I’ve gotten married. That’s in there twice because, oh boy, does that require planning, stress, and work. But the payoff was wonderful. I happen to like my wife. It’s a nice feeling.
So, why is this tomborthwick.com and not NEPArtisan.com? A few reasons. I understand that my blog ruffled feathers. I don’t mind that, but people supporting me did. The time-consuming nature of writing was the number one factor in shutting down, but running for office had a lot to do with it as well. Is that selling out? Probably. But I walked away with a lot of lessons on rhetoric — how to talk to people, how to write about issues, that kind of thing. I’m sure I’ll muse on human nature and socialization as the blog evolves.
This blog will include NEPArtisan-esque commentary and news. You can stop holding your breath. I’m also going to include a lot about my writing and probably some general musings about life. Who among you will care about such things? I don’t know. But I’m writing for me, really. Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite writers (after Hemingway, of course) offered this bit of writing advice that sums up my feelings: “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
I’d rather my words not get pneumonia. So I’m writing for me. I have what I would like to think of as good taste. Hopefully you’ll agree. If not, well, it was nice having you on the site for this short time. Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish. (Who got the Douglas Adams reference?)
I will also post any videos or links to published works on this site. For example, one of my stories, Welcome to the Singularity, will be published later this month in Bewildering Stories, which is a neat sci-fi literary magazine. I’ve become rather obsessed with science fiction lately, particularly dystopian and cyberpunk works, and so it has influence my reading lists and my writing.
Mostly I’ve been producing short stories lately (if I’m writing at all, that is). My poor bride finds them all depressing. The aforementioned short story is about a man whose wife has chosen to upload her brain to a collective computer consciousness and he disagrees with her choice and doesn’t want to follow. He deals with crippling loneliness and a world that’s slowly being emptied as others leave it. Finally, he decides to follow. And the consequences are ASTONISHING!
How was that for a dramatic sell? I’ll post the link when the time comes and you can find out for yourself. I’m proud of it.
I’ve also got two more short stories in the works of which I’m rather proud. One, called And We Will Find Paradise, involves a husband and wife going to a resort-clinic to get augmentation prodecures done which will basically make them young again. But that doesn’t really solve their problems, despite both hoping it will.
The second short story I’m working on, It Looks Like It’s Going to Be Sunny, is a real doozy. After a woman’s husband dies (prior to the story’s action), we find her constructing and living in a virtual reality world where her husband is still alive. Except that she has a daughter wasting away in the real world. I’m actually having a hard time finishing it because it’s really, really dark. Maybe I’ll posts some excerpts for you! What’s fun about it is that the tone is extraordinarily positive. Don’t forget, the main character is very, very happy when she’s in her virtual reality world. But the reader knows that things are not okay. Those are my favorite types of stories. Kazuo Ishiguru is good with that. He wrote Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, both excellent novels where the reader is far more aware of what’s going on than the main character. Although my main character is dealing with more psychological issues involving loss and denial. Ishiguru is more about total ignorance of reality, as opposed to a kind of willful ignorance.
I’m not entirely sure what the tone of my posts will be. I imagine I’ll write what amounts to essays. My favorite hobby, I’ve realized, is thinking. Strange for those who don’t know me. A foregone conclusion in the minds of those that do, methinks. It will be fun to start getting that on (digital) paper and maybe fleshing out what goes on in my head.
I’m also unsure of the frequence of posting. But I’m glad to be doing this again. If anybody has anything they want to get out there, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Culural events or political ones are what I’m most interested in getting out there. And I’ll gladly comment on any issues in which people are interested.
Farewell, and thanks for having me back.