Monthly Archives: February 2015

Leonard Nimoy

I imagine everyone who loves SF, and many more besides, will be saddened today at the news that Leonard Nimoy has died.

For most people I guess Nimoy will always be Commander Spock and I remember that when I watched the original Star Trek as a kid Spock was my favorite for reasons I could not then articulate. Looking back now it seems appropriate that I latched on to the character who was intelligent, but didn’t quite fit in with the people around him and didn’t always know how to relate to them, nor they to him. Perhaps that was a role model that I needed at the time. Maybe that’s reading too much into it. Maybe I just thought the nerve pinch was cool.

Either way, I remember my Mum and my Aunt being afraid to tell me how things went at the end of Wrath of Khan. Even then I knew Spock wasn’t really gone. Characters like that are hard to walk away from. One of those Immortals, I doubt not. I don’t want to write too much about Spock though, because Leonard Nimoy was not the character he played.

I never met Leonard Nimoy so I won’t pretend to know what he was like as a person. I think that’s a trap we often fall into with actors and celebrities in general – as fans we never really know them. That’s ok. We know their characters and their performances and it is ok to love those and to love the person who brought them to life. I wish, maybe especially today, that I had seen Mr. Nimoy bring more people to life after Spock.

I am not a great reader of biographies or autobiographies (and why not, I’m not sure) but I should probably read I am not Spock and I am Spock. It cannot be easy to have one’s own identity as completely conflated with a fictional character in the way his was, but by all accounts he handled it with grace.

I remember Mr. Nimoy as well from ‘In Search Of’, a program on various spooky mysteries that he narrated. I remember the Shroud of Turin and I think the Abominable Snowman and something called the Honey Island Monster that scared the willies out of me for some reason. ‘In Search Of’ (and some similarly-themed stuff that I read around the same time) probably has a lot to do with my love of spooky fiction ever since, and some of the stuff that I write as a result.

I guess the next thing I saw Leonard Nimoy in was Fringe. If you haven’t seen it he played the enigmatic parallel-universe traversing billionaire William Bell. The character was not the least bit like Spock. Nimoy’s performance was (to my untutored eye) superb – he was charming and likeable in one scene and then an absolutely terrifying bastard in the next one. The man could act, is what I am saying. It’s a shame that I didn’t really recognize that earlier.

Thanks for a lot, Mr. Nimoy, is I guess what I am trying to clumsily say. Thanks for bringing us an Immortal, and for being generous with your fans ever since. Thanks for sparking my imagination in a variety of different ways. Thanks for sharing your talent with us in all the ways that you did. It was a gift.

Yours was a long life, and very well lived. Rest well.

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Arise, Blog!

Well.

I guess it’s been a while? (Achievement Unlocked: Tremendous Understatement)

Clearly the plan to update the blog once a week didn’t exactly go so well, as with The Project largely finished, I really lost my momentum, both for writing and thus having anything to write about on the blog. In fact, I had more or less decided that writing The Project had been a fun exercise but one that would ultimately not lead anywhere except perhaps reminding me that I do enjoy writing. I did some editting, but no longer with any strong sense that it was for any particular purpose, and so it didn’t seem particularly urgent. I worked at it sporadically. It was probably going to enter the digital purgatory I talked about in an earlier entry until Statler and Waldorf were finished convincing me to never think of it again.

(There’s a whole potential aside here about the danger of setting overambitious goals for oneself that become motivation-killers when one falls short of them, but that’s probably another post. There’s a point I want to get to right now.)

Fortunately for me, another friend asked to read the draft, liked it, and insisted that I should try to publish it. It was a shot in the arm that I very much needed and so Work Resumed.

I’m very excited to say that in the end it paid off: after some relatively major surgery on the draft, I pitched the manuscript to Renaissance Press this past fall and they have agreed to publish what will become my first novel. Having a book of mine published has been a dream of mine for a very long time and so basically whatever happens from this point is gravy. Obviously if the book were to be (on some level) a hit or a success (however we want to define that) it would be fantastic. But people (exact number to be determined) are going to read my story and that feels very much like a success already to me.

I hope they will like it. I can’t wait to share my story with whoever is interested and to see what they think of it. Hopefully we can talk about it.

There is a lot of work to be done between now and the book coming out, though. More editting is a given, and there are no doubt many parts of the process that I’m not yet aware of. I’m looking forward to learning about them all and I’m going to get back to keeping this blog (honest!) with at least weekly updates as part of it.

I’m also working on a new project (with the first chunk already sent out to Eager Volunteers) so I’ll probably talk about that sometimes as well.

Oh yes, The Project does have an actual title! It’s called The King in Darkness. It’s a supernatural thriller story which is, essentially, about despair, or what happens when we are confronted with adversity. We have a choice: give in, or persevere. I guess that’s a choice I would have botched regarding writing if not for that friend of mine. Hopefully my characters handle it a little better. Again, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what people think of the story I’ve told.

Got to be patient a while, though. All being well the book should come out sometime in the fall. Updates about that, and other things, to come.

I swear.

For those of you who have been reading this since I first started The Project, thanks for being part of the ride that got me to this point. If you’ve just arrived, welcome, and I hope to have things to say about getting The King in Darkness ready to publish, writing in general, and perhaps other things, that are some combination of insightful, entertaining, useful (hah!) or at least easy to read.

Meanwhile, why not visit Renaissance Press at their website: http://renaissancebookpress.com/ and have a look at everything they have to offer. They are thoroughly wonderful people who love books and writers and deserve your support.

More soon.

(really!)

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