Friday, 27 February 2015

Leonard Nimoy: We have been, and always shall be, your friends


Hearing about the death of Leonard Nimoy has been a poignant and strange thing today. He was an incredibly talented man, loved by his colleagues and fans across the globe, and leaves behind a legacy like no other. The things he did, the decades spanned where his work had become part of the backbone of popular culture, the number of things he created which have entered the lexicon of our lives is astounding.

His sad passing has made fans new and old revisit some of his greatest moments as Spock, the many glorious moments from TOS, the iconic and now even more poignant death of Spock in The Wrath of Khan, along with all the other moments which further strengthened his legendary status.

Personally, something which has stuck with me for years now is his performance onstage with a number of other Star Trek luminaries in Alien Voices: The First Men In The Moon, a live adaptation of the HG Wells classic. Hearing Nimoy perform without the expectations that came with him being in costume as Spock gave me the first real taste I'd had of his versatility. As much of a Star Trek fan that I am, the thing I'll remember the most is that powerful performance. I must revisit that soon.

Leonard Nimoy's passing has also made me think about how things continue to change around us each day. The heroes I grew up with will one day all be gone, replaced by things I can't imagine and which I won't understand as I age myself and move away from being in the loop about the latest cultural changes. It hasn't happened yet, but it comes to everyone eventually.

However, even when heroes such as Nimoy are claimed by failing health, the eras they created that defined generations of fans around the world live on in the recordings, the continued passion of the fans and what we pass on to future generations. It's important that the wonderfully creative work of people such as Leonard Nimoy isn't brushed aside and forgotten by future lovers of the fantastic. The original series may seem quaint now, but it was groundbreaking when it first aired. It changed perceptions. It challenged established ideals. It changed popular culture forever.

Leonard Nimoy was an integral part of that change. That zeitgeist. That cultural shift.

What an incredible thing to leave behind.


Monday, 16 February 2015

More words in, more words out



I really need to finish reading some of the books which have found their way into my bedside table. The above pictured books are recent additions to the library which appears to have taken over our house, but I've not had chance to finish any of them yet. This has had a knock-on effect with my writing, as the more I read, the more I'm able to write. It's a well-worn bit of advice for writers to read as much as possible in order to develop and maintain their craft, and the proof for me is that when I can't get the time to read enough, my productivity also suffers. 

I've certainly noticed this recently. With a full time day job, two small children, work on the house and my regular freelancing, time available for my books is at a premium. Energy is a rare thing too, as sleep has been a scarce creature since becoming a father again. 

All of this sounds like me making excuses. I'm really not. It's just important to me that people know I'm working hard to get to the place I've always wanted to be with the stuff I write. It's not been easy lately, but I'm battling on. I love doing this. I promised myself and those around me that I would carry on, following the experiment of putting out A Stolen Fate, and so here I am. I'm really enjoying it when I get the time to actually get some words down into the various files, but I would really like those moments to be less infrequent.

February 2015 - portrait of a caffeinated hack
One way I've got around the lack of time at home is to work on my commute, during which I've actually made a hell of a lot of progress this past few months, making my magazine deadlines easier to fit in with daily life, work and my unending desire to get the stories out of my skull and into the skulls of others. However, recently even those times have been fruitless, as they've been taken up with me either feeling too ill or sleepy to concentrate, or with me trying to focus on whichever book I'd taken out with me and failing miserably due to tiredness.

Thus my productivity has wavered somewhat. The less I read, the less my brain is well-oiled enough for hefty bouts of writing new content. The books I have scheduled to come out this year are all on target, but there's so much more I want to get out there for you. I mean, what else am I going to do with all this stuff?

Incidentally, I had 90 minutes of free time today with no other distractions and got another 1,500 words added to the current novel. It just goes to show you.

So the point is simple. Keep reading and you'll keep writing. Keep it varied, too. Read widely. Read voraciously. 

Oh, and if you see me nodding off with a book in my lap, give me a poke, yeah?

===

PS My blog will now have a conscious focus rather than the random jumble of stuff which it's had since I started it. I'm going to gear it more towards the life of a semi-pro hack trying to fit in interviews with rock stars in the middle of getting the kids to bed and then getting something done on the novels.
So yeah, a new start from here.

BTW - look out for my interview with none other than Lzzy Hale of the mighty HALESTORM at the end of the month in our next issue.