Gate Series Content
(All content is in chronological order)
The Sixth Prophet: The second full length novel in the series. (Coming Soon!)
And Now For Something Completely Different
This is a topic I kinda sorta touched on in an earlier post, but I think it could use some fleshing out.
I have a handful of Facebook friends who have taken to posting images, memes (what have you) likening literature and the stories they read to take them away from their harsh, depressing reality. Something kinda like this:
This is, at its core, the purpose of Escapism; the use of literature and stories as a means to break free of reality and, if but for a moment, be something other than the plain old, boring or oppressed person we are stuck in as real life. It’s a perfectly valid interpretation of literature; and for what its worth, it’s not necessarily a “good” or “bad” one (Lewis Carroll is one of the most famed Escapist authors in English literature… but I don’t too many people would consider much of his work particularly uplifting).
However… I find such stories to not be worth my time as an author.
Why? You may ask. Or not, because you know I’m going to explain anyway.
Escapist literature is the storytelling equivalent of Pixie Sticks; pure sugar… good for a nice endorphin rush that makes you feel good for a short while, but not much else. Hell, the crash that follows often isn’t worth the high you get. Whether you don’t want the real world means little. Whether you’re ready for it not… the real world doesn’t care. That’s what you’re going to get whether you like it or not, and your blissful escapism hasn’t helped you prepare for it in the slightest. Running away from reality never helps.
I prefer stories that give you something you can actually use in real life, lessons that you can apply when things go bad for no reason. Stories that don’t always give you the best outcome, but give you something that can help you persevere. Escapism can’t give you that; when you detach yourself from what actually happens in the world around you, there is nothing to learn. You are metaphysically malnourished.
That doesn’t mean that the setting has to be “modern-day”, of course… but the struggles and the conflicts, the failings and tribulations, need to be something that the characters and the audience can relate to, and yes, sometimes fail to overcome… because it is not through our success that we grow; it is through our failures. That is also how I want to inspire my audience, by showing them that it’s not falling down… but whether or not you get back up.
I’m sure this is a dreadfully meandering rant. Forgive me, it’s 2:40 am and I’m suffering from a bout of insomnia.
And I know it’s hard to maintain interest in someone who rarely talks.
I wish I felt my average run of the mill day was at all interesting. I’m like most writers. I’m horribly boring. My life kinda plays out like Arthur Dent’s in Chapter 25 of So Long and Thanks For All the Fish.
If you don’t know that reference, here’s exactly what I speak of.
I don’t even get the benefit Arthur does later in the book. How exactly do I keep people’s interest in that?
Seriously. I’d LOVE to know.
Well, this morning, some fairly significant news has been confirmed… July 14-16th, I’ll be in Urbana, Illinois for An Eclectic Affair, a convention celebrating nerd culture.
“Okay, Thomas… you’ve been to a handful of conventions. What’s so special about this one that you’re letting us know 5 months ahead of time?”
The answer is that this time, I’m a special guest on my own merits, rather than an attache to someone much more famous than I. It’s a bit overwhelming to get that sort of recognition, but it’s also another chance to see me in person and get all those things you wanted to say to my face out!
I’ll update information as to what sort of panels I’ll be participating in, as well as the content, as well as exactly where I’ll be. So mark your calendars, and if the opportunity arises for anyone and everyone, feel free to drop in and say hi. I’m sure I’d appreciate it.
Anyone gonna be in the central Ohio area January 18th or 19th?
Anyone got so little self-worth they actually want to meet me?
Anyone got any spare change?
If you answered “yes” to all three of those questions, feel free to drop on by Ohayocon 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. Look for the big MegaToyko sign and ask for Tom or Thomas. You may even be asking me, and I’d probably look around for three seconds before I figure out that’s me… but that’s beside the point!
Just a shameless reminder…
3 weeks left in my Kickstarter project, and I’ll admit the response has been better than I expected.
If you haven’t seen it (or hadn’t seen it since last week), I’ve added a bit more to the project page, give a little glimpse into my headspace (shockingly, it’s not like peering into the Necronomicon), and hopefully encourage some more pre-orders.
Check it out and hopefully you’ll like what you see.