Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Living in the Future of Sci-Fi Past...

It's almost 2010.

It doesn't take too much to make me excited but I think this might be doing it.

When I was a child, the year 2010 was a year that belonged in science fiction. It was a year unattainable by man, only by science. It seemed a lifetime away.

Now it is 2010. I'd like to say that sci-fi is upon us but, in truth, that has been true for many years. It turns out that it was a lifetime away, at least in terms of my life. I've gone from a child who believed Luke Skywalker was the most perfect man ever, a child who believed in Gremlins, who believed in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and who believed that ET wasn't necessarily fiction to an adult who....is.

It's not so bad, being an adult. There are a great many perks to being a grown up. I actually marveled at this fact tonight when I went on yet another trip to Jungle Jim's and fulfilled my parent's shopping list. This time, my dad requested onion flavoured Bisto- an instant gravy mix crucial to the British middle and lower classes. Now, I, personally, don't like the onion flavoured mix; I prefer the plain. It occured to me as I was walking out of Jungle Jim's that it didn't matter that my dad liked it. Since I now own my own home and, thus, my own kitchen, I can continue to support my own preference for plain old beef Bisto and still manage to indulge my father's love for the onion granules. I think, as sad as it sounds, means that I've finally realized I'm an adult and able to do exactly as I want.

Also, in regards to me being an adult, I did finally decide to turn in my application to Jungle Jim's. I realized there's no harm in it. In all honesty, given how excited I am by my 'prestigious' title at my current job, I realized that it doesn't matter what I do to earn a living, it's more about how happy it makes me. My real goal is to be a published novelist. Once upon a time, I was an administrative assistant. I chose that job because while it had its challenges, it still allowed me the brainpower to go home and write novels. While I was an administrative assistant, I wrote six novels. Then I moved into computers. I wrote three novels. The last was so difficult, I almost gave up on my ability to write.

Then I decided that it was possible to both do my job well and write in the evenings. This is how I came about my last novel, The Reluctant Demon, written in a month and one of the most fun/silly things I've ever written. It wiped away all the pain of rejection, all the bitterness of being able to claim success by being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) finalist only to receive my "prize" of a Publishers Weekly review that was so bitter, so cruel, so vicious that I almost gave up writing. I'm beyond that now. I will confess, the invitations to join the ABNA 2010 writing contest pulled me enough that I clicked onto Amazon.com's website to see if anything had changed. Unfortunately, the minute I did so, I was hit with a horrid, drama-queen sized bout of Post Traumatic Writing Disorder that I realized I will be bypassing the contest this year. I can't do it. I can't read those annoying discussion boards, read the self-congratulatory chatter from old-timers and be part of the farce. In all honesty, the two prior winners of the contest have...had their book published by Penguin. However, it's not exactly on everyone's lips. The winners aren't taking the world by storm. In point-of-fact, the Twilight phenomenon is still doing a thousand times better...As much as I think Stephanie Meyer is a lucky little hack, she's hit upon something big. The ABNA winners...haven't. As arrogant/defeatist as it sounds, I think I'll try my luck in just trying to get someone to publish my novel who likes it the way someone had to have loved Twilight. It might be a long shot but having weathered the storm of the ABNA, I'd rather take my chances in the real world than be shot down and left broken and bleeding the way I was last year.

Thus, I'm looking to 2010 as a year of hope. I confess, I turned in my application to Jungle Jim's tonight. I couldn't resist. The idea of working in a place that inspires passion and joy makes me happy. Currently, I work in the place of anti-joy and anti-passion. Anytime, I start to burble over at the idea of something that gets me even mildly excited, I see that deer-in-headlights expression in the eyes of my boss. That's no way to work. A boss should welcome enthusiasm, inspiration, ideas and improvement. Not my boss: He's very much a "Things are going ok" type of guy. He doesn't fix something until it's broken.

The year of hope will begin with the simple dream of escaping the mundane and finding salvation in enjoying a job again. It will continue in my attempts to expound upon the fun I had in writing The Reluctant Demon and writing its sequel, tentatively titled Emmy Goes to Hell. That novel, alone, made me find the passion and kefi I had lost in writing. I'd like to say 2010 is the year of me finally finding a mate but, well, on that front, I am slightly jaded. I'm going to try, however.

I haven't quite made my New Year's resolutions yet. I'm working on them. However, many of them will involve me moving towards the positive and trying not to dwell on the negative. I'm sure 2010 will involve many a subject that inspires a rant but, as for past rants, I'll try to let them go. That includes Twilight, my job, disappointments in life, friendships and dating. It's time to wipe the slate clean, even if the slate did keep me entertained during 2009. It is, after all, 2010.

Back in the 1950's, the year of 2010 seemed as exotic as the high-tech, high-sci-fi future seems to us now. When I look upon what's changed between then and now, I realize that, perhaps, the future has eaten the past. We now rely on portable electronic devices to guide us in most aspects of life. Back then, TV dinners were the height of fashion. I suppose, in a way, we are living in the future. It's up to us whether it's a future of reality or if we let it get swept up in fiction.

As for me...I choose reality...laced with just enough fiction to make it fun.

Happy Wednesday.

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