Celebrate: Star Trek anniversary

Celebrate blog hop

It’s the 50th anniversary of Star Trek this year, and I’m celebrating. Since I was 8 years old when the original Star Trek premiered, you can do the math and find out how older-than-dirt I really am.

Why did the original Star Trek work so much better than its television successors or the movies? In large part because the original Star Trek was written for a mass audience. Not only that, a mass audience of the 1960s, when Western television shows that didn’t violate Judeo-Christian values were the most popular form of entertainment, and the three networks had strict rules to keep swearing and sex out of the public’s living rooms.

One thing that made the original Star Trek beloved is that the Enterprise was a military space ship— you can tell by the military ranks and command structure, and the fact that the ship had state-of-the-art weapons and defenses. Military was something that a lot of men in the audience could relate to in 1966. Some had served in World War 2, and others in the Korean War, and military service was something people did proudly. It was not until a bit later that the anti-Vietnam-War movement convinced large segments of the people that military veterans were people to be spat upon.

The original Star Trek gave us an optimistic vision of our future. Perhaps the most optimistic, for me, is the sheer number of times the King James Version of the Bible was quoted by a Star Trek character. Probably unintentionally, Gene Roddenberry let me know there was a place in his future vision for a Christian like me.

Contrast that to the most popular vision of the future we have on the small screen today: The Walking Dead. The message seems to be that if you are one of the lucky few to not become a zombie, you can have a good time killing zombies for a while. Then Negan will beat you to death with his pet ball bat, Lucille. Not my favorite view of the future (though I’m a zombie prepper anyway.)


My own private Star Trek universe:

I’ve been making up stories in my head about starships and the Enterprise crew since about 1966. Still do, some of the time. By the time I was a teen I began to realize that my versions of the Enterprise crew were beginning to drift away from the original concepts.

By the time I became a Serious Writer, I began to think of making a Star Trek universe of my own with characters who belonged to me. In the past couple of years I’ve been working harder on it, and have come up with the Starship Destine universe.

The Starship Destine is at the center of the universe’s stories, so far. It is a massive spherical ship that only rarely lands on a planet. At the core of the ship is a forest— transplanted tree by tree, plant by plant from a forest plot owned by an Amish farm family and sold to the Fleet.

The starships of the Destine’s time are not the massive government funded exploration ships of the Star Trek universe. A major role of the starships is to facilitate interplanetary trade, and to engage in trade themselves to pay the bills.

The starship Destine is a new starship, which was landed on the planet Sackett on the grounds of the Fleet Academy. During an attack on the planet Sackett by unknown forces, cadets and instructors from the Academy and neighboring Amish farmers took refuge on the ship. One almost-graduated cadet, deemed captain of the ship for the purpose of a training exercise, became captain for real when the Destine escaped the attack on Sackett and began a search for surviving Fleet authority figures….


This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. It is a Friday event which gives bloggers a chance to interact with other bloggers and build up a bigger readership. To sign up yourself, go to: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

 

The first book I ever bought for myself.

The first book I ever bought for myself.

Celebrating book reviewing, book sales and surviving heat wave

Celebrate blog hopWhile I have things to celebrate today, my Wildblue internet service is not one of them. I just got told by them that I’m over my usage limit again— even though I gave up Facebook games in order to save bandwidth for my writing career. So I’m unplugging the internet when not in use and getting up early to use my off-peak bandwidth.

But there is good news in my life. First, I made two sales of my poetry book, ‘surly petunia’ on Amazon.com which is a good start there. As you may guess, poetry doesn’t sell well, and ‘quirky’ poetry even less. But I am encouraged.

Next, now that I have decided to devote my efforts to becoming one of the top Amazon.com reviewers in my genre, I am developing methods to create reviews more easily. Mainly I keep a legal pad handy when I read and note down the key points of the book including character names and such. Here are some of my recent reviews:

Shatterworld – Lelia Rose Foreman

Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century – Peter Graham

The 8-Minute Writing Habit – Monica Leonelle

If you should happen to read any of my reviews — thank you! — and if you happen to think one or more of them is a helpful review for someone deciding whether to buy the book, please click ‘yes’ in the place at the bottom of the review where they ask ‘is this review helpful?’ That would be a big help to me.

And now, the final thing to celebrate— I am surviving the hot weather in spite of my lack of air conditioning. I bought an air conditioner unit but there are difficulties in installing it. It’s hard on me because of my poor health but I am surviving by drinking a lot of ice water and not doing much around the house. Today my big project, besides this blog hop, is doing the laundry. Some of the laundry. Well, maybe one load of laundry and some folding.

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. If you don’t know about it— it’s a great way to get started getting more people reading your blog. Go to Lexa Cain’s blog to sign up, here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

Celebrating the high-information voter

11822833_10205610646398779_7711357802645791809_nI’ve been spending my evenings the past few days watching the GOP convention, mostly on C-Span once I discovered that they were the one station that was just pointing a camera at the even and letting viewers watch rather than filling up the ‘unimportant’ moments with commentators and talking heads to tell viewers what they were supposed to think.

I remember when I was a child my father always put the conventions on and watched them. In the days before cable all 3 major television networks carried the conventions and I don’t think they replaced much of the action with commentators. I distinctly remember those state-by-state announcements of the delegate count.

My father never up and told me that watching the conventions to gather the facts I needed before voting was going to be part of my duty as a citizen when I grew up. He just showed me by his actions how important it was.

Now we live in an age when trusting voting-age citizens believe whatever a biased news commentator or news comedian tells them is happening rather than finding out for themselves. Some still repeat antique talking points that every responsible citizen already knows were not accurate.

I’ve always been one for facts. And a political convention covered live without commentary is a lovely load of facts. If you listen to whole speeches on your own you know for a fact that on that date and in that place, person X said Y. You know every word of the speech and the tone of voice and the cheers or hoots or chants that interrupted parts of it. You don’t have to rely on some biased or careless reporter or comedian to tell you later.

So today, in conjunction with the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop, I’m celebrating everyone of every party who took the time to watch as much of the GOP convention as they could fit into their lives. You are the high-information voters that we need to keep our flawed-but-still-there democratic Republic going. I salute you!

On a personal note I was glad to see the candidate acceptance speech included a call to protect LGBT’Q’ people from things like the attack in Orlando, and a humble thank you to Evangelical Christian voters for their support. Maybe some year soon noticing the Catholic prolife voters among the ‘Evangelical vote’ will be a thing!

And in conclusion— what are YOU celebrating today? 

Celebrate blog hop

Poem Stories: The Cosmos by Han Yongun; Celebrate

Celebrate blog hopThe Cosmos

The cosmos is swaying
in the autumn wind.
Are your petals wings
or wings your petals?
Your soul is a butterfly —
as far as I can see.

The Korean poet Han Yongun (1879-1944) was a Buddhist monk, and also one of the 33 who signed a historic document in 1919 declaring the independence of Korean from Japanese rule.

This poem is a sijo. A sijo is a traditional Korean type of poem, just as haiku and tanka are traditional Japanese types of poems.

How do you understand this poem or other poems? Forget all the English class nonsense where there were ‘right’ answers about the hidden stuff that was in a poem that only an English teacher could work out. A poem is more like an ink-blot test, and there are no right and wrong answers when it comes to what you see in a poem and what you think it means.

Here are some things the poem awoke in me:
I wondered about the word ‘cosmos.’ I looked it up in the dictionary. It can mean an orderly universe. Or it can mean a variety of flower. Is the ‘cosmos’ in this poem the universe, the flower or both? (It makes me wonder what the original word was in the Korean and if it had these two meanings.)

I wonder who the Speaker of the poem is talking to that either has wings or petals. Or both. Are the wings/petals literally. And the soul is a butterfly thing— ‘as far as I can see….’ Interesting.

So, now, your turn. What does the poem mean to you? If you had one question for the poet Han Yongun about the poem, what would it be? Post it in a comment!


This is  a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop.

What am I celebrating? Well, it’s kind of hard these days. I’ve been sick and it’s been very hot and uncomfortable by me. And then I heard the word about the terrorist attack in France killing 77 (Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord.)

But I wrote a good poem last night after I studied the sijo poem above, so that’s something to celebrate. Can’t come out with a new poetry book if I don’t generate enough new material.

And on Lexa Cain’s blog, my friend Robert Mullin’s novella Blood Song was featured on a list of ‘freebies.’ I liked the book so much that I hope some more people will download and read the book.


My email list:

I’ve temporarily taken down the pop-up for my email list. I was hoping to put up a less annoying one but the one I wanted was not compatible with WordPress.com, just WordPress.org. If you want to join my email list without a popup to prompt you, the form is at: http://eepurl.com/FN2hr

Lesser of Two Evils; Celebrate

Bernie-Sanders-Called-Communist-by-New-York-PostSome people are fussing ‘why do we always have to vote for the lesser of two evils?’ Well, Romans 3:23. (For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.) If there is a candidate out there that you think isn’t an ‘evil’, maybe you just don’t know enough about him yet.

Then there is this: the ‘evil’ side of candidates is newsworthy. If a candidate says something the news guys think will get that candidate in Big Trouble, that is Big News and the news guys will cover it to death. If a candidate does something nice or kind or humane— media silence. Not news worthy. So by the time we get from the primaries to the general election, any candidate left standing is a greater or lesser evil.

We need to grow up and realize that no candidate is perfect. Moreover, no candidate can deliver on promises that don’t make sense (free college for all.) More voters need to educate themselves instead of relying on the media to propagandize them, and find a candidate and a party platform they can get behind based on issues, not media hype.


Celebrate blog hopCelebrate the Small Stuff: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

Today I’m celebrating doing the A to Z challenge last month. I didn’t post every day, but I posted a number of days and mostly stuck to my topic, zombie apocalypse. I got some good comments, even though I was taken off the blogroll for no reason I could figure out. And I’m blogging more as a result. This month, I chose 3 topics with the intent of rotating through those topics over the course of the month. Will I get blog readers? I don’t know. But at least I’ll be blogging.


???

 ĉar ĉiuj pekis kaj maltrafis la gloron de Dio;

Hints:

gloro = glory
pekis = sinned
ĉar = because

Celebrate; Important Political Announcement

Barack-Obama-in-The-Lying-King--110199In honor of today’s national holiday, I am making this announcement: I am GIVING UP my writing forever, even though I have 3 good works-in-progress.

I am going to devote the rest of my life to starting a new political party, the American Monarchist Party. We will amend the US Constitution to replace the President with a King or Queen. We will ask all the remaining royal families of the Earth to donate spare genetic material and create our first Monarch in a test tube.

Until our Monarch comes of age at age 31 (another new Constitutional Amendment), I volunteer for the thankless task of serving as Regent and exercising absolute power. (Run and hide, Disney.) So, in 2016, forget the Dems, the Communist dude and the GOP. Vote Monarchist!

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This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Sign up here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

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I have just been reminded about the A to Z blogging challenge which starts TODAY. I will post the first post in that later today. Can’t decide on a theme and am open to suggestions. Thinking of doing politics, zombie apocalypse, or both.

t

 

Celebrate: Poem published!

Snapshot_20160304 (2)Today I’m celebrating an unexpected poetry publication. Many moons ago, I sent off a group of poems to the periodical Scifaikuest, a zine of sci-fi related haiku and other minimalist forms. I’d forgotten about it and assumed I’d been rejected until I got an envelope in the mail with the February edition of Scifaikuest. One of my poems was in it.

More than that, not only did I get a contributor’s copy of the magazine, but they enclosed PAYMENT!!! OK, it was a dollar. But it’s only been the second time I’ve gotten money for a poem of mine.

Check out the web site ‘Sciefaikuest’ for more information on subscribing to the zine, or on how to submit your own poems to Scifaikuest.

This is a blog post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Go to: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2016/03/celebrate-200k-page-views-giveaways.html   to read the other posts in the blog hop, join the hop yourself, or find your missing pink sock.

Celebrate blog hop


Writing a haiku for Scifaikuest

Step One: subscribe to Scifaikuest and read it faithfully. Or, if you have no money, read their abbreviated online version at their web site.

Step Two: read a few books of traditional haiku. Copy out some of your favorites.

Step Three: Start writing haiku of your own. Write two or three a day. Expect most of them to be bad.

Step Four: Make lists of keywords. One list should be your ordinary list of words. The other should have science fiction related words in it.

Step Five: start writing haiku using the sci-fi keywords (along with some from your other list. Write one every day. Expect most to be bad.

Step Six: After a few months, pick out the very best haiku you have written and revise and rewrite them as needed. Put them aside and then revise again. After this, select a small number of your very best haiku with sci-fi themes for your submission.

Step Seven: Submit. Be sure you have read the current policy of Scifaikuest on submissions, and have followed the instructions exactly.

Step Eight: When rejected, go through the steps again until you are published.