Treasures Lost

Tucked off to the side in a mundane looking office building was a small library. This was a magical place. My Mom would frequent there and bring home science fiction for me, with the strict admonition to “not tell your Father!” How she selected such books was a mystery until I was much older. The stories were not fantasy, but future scenarios based on believable technology. Many of them had a profound and lasting effect on me, so I remember those stories to this day.

I loved writing, and banged out some pretty wild stories of my own on an old, sticky keys, heavier than a boat anchor, Underwood. When I was old enough, I made my own trek to that library and fished out much needed facts and other research for my imaginings.

My Mother had been a secret writer, hiding the fact from a disapproving husband. That’s how she knew such great fiction, she’d been reading it herself! But she vehemently denied this, claiming she disdained science fiction. However, all those books had been carefully chosen, they were the best of the best, I never read any crap.

Unfortunately, my Mother either abandoned writing altogether, or destroyed her work. Her later years were spent devouring murder mystery novels, she was insatiable. She only confessed to being a writer then, but no amount of coaxing could persuade her to write one single line for me. A treasure lost.

Like so many other things, late in life, I have only come to appreciate the gifts my Mother gave me. The love of books, libraries, reading, research and writing came from her. Thank you Mom!

My Father was a non-fiction writer, but he never published his works. I discovered them in his paperwork long after his death. He had a fascination with geology and had literally written an entire text book on the subject.

Two treasures lost.

A Good Source Of

A lot of food products are advertised as being a good source of something we need, like protein, vitamin D, calcium.

But personally, I like stuff that is a good source of joy.

And that is not always healthy stuff, unfortunately. I like to have fun once in a while, and that might be a bag of cheesies. A piece of cake.

Or, it could be a mad dash for a splash in a puddle. . .

As crazy as it sounds, it is even what I’ve been doing the past two weeks. Completely redoing my entire studio. All new stuff. Purging all the old. A very good source of joy that is.

A good source of happiness can be a clean sweep, a fresh start.

It can also be what I will do next.



The Critics

When I first started publishing my own books, I had lots of people criticize my efforts.  People who seldom even wrote an e-mail and thought that was publishing, were telling me they never would have made the mistakes I made, or done it the way I did.  They judged my every decision as if they knew better than me.  I am glad I did not pay them much attention.

One of my heroes is now undergoing criticism and scrutiny and I hope he ignores it all.  Boyan Slat, is a 24 year young man attempting to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a massive expanse of mostly plastic flotsam covering an area the size of Texas.

This is a monumental undertaking.  The people who criticize the current systems failures have no idea what a formidable task this is, as huge and as complicated as going to the moon.  And like going to the moon, has never been done before.

The ocean is a hostile, massive, deep body of water, with incredible powerful forces.  This is not some environment you can write reports about and then everything will work fine. You have to get out there and experience it.  And this is what Boyan Slat is doing.

We need to encourage people like Mr. Slat that he should never give up.  We made it to the moon with far less technology and beyond.  We can now clean up our oceans and restore the world.  We can learn from our mistakes and revise and rebuild.  One day Mr. Slat will be the most celebrated hero of the day.

Critics forget, this has never been done before.  The only real way to make it work is to get it off the drawing board and go DO it.  President Kennedy realized the same truth about going to the moon.  We had to do it.  Not just talk and write science fiction about it.  The rubber has to meet the road.

Boyan Slat is my inspiration, an example of perseverance and resilience, doing something you and I could never do.  He has the right attitude – learn from the mistakes and the unexpected and revise and rebuild until it works.  We need to silence the critics.