Sunday, October 8, 2017

Marching on once again....

Another season of masonry work has passed yet again, leaving me free to pursue “higher” interests during the course of the winter.
Looking back at the last seven years, I’m nowhere near as far along as I had hoped I’d be at now. But by what measure?
Everyone’s journey is different.
I may materially not be better off, but by not giving up the pursuit, I have continuously been adding to my inventory of what Reid Hoffman calls “soft assets”, and in a not-entirely-subjective way, I find the build up to date to be of substance.
I went on a weird digression of sort last year by starting to write a science fiction novel out of the blue. I couldn’t help it in fact: the book started writing itself. Although I’d love to “get back to the prose” and get it finished, I recently snapped back into action mode relating to my goal of metamorphosing into a technologist by profession.
The opportunity I currently see is cryptocurrencies — more specifically, ICO’s, or perhaps, more aptly named, token generation events. That’s what I’ve decided to be working on in the weeks and months to come.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Not taking our way of life for granted

I hope that by now everyone realizes that we’ll be very lucky if some form of a global crisis, the like of which we have never seen, does not hit us before the end of the current US administration.

 I typically tend not to take things for granted; therefore, I’ve caught myself at various intervals in my life appreciating the fact that there wasn’t anything dramatic going on in the world — such as WW3 — to upend our collective existence and ruin my life and everyone else’s.
But I’ve been uneasy lately about the unfolding of the recent political landscape. It’s been incessantly gnawing at me. It’s been in the background of everything else that I’ve put my mind to. It’s been there when getting out of bed and when getting back into it some 16 hours later.
It’s particularly unnerving to think that the White House agenda is being pushed by a white supremacist, Bannon, who worships the Fourth Turning ideology — and in fact hopes for armageddon to set humanity right again — as he controls a mentally unhinged President with no moral compass that carries a nuclear football wherever he goes.
It hasn’t helped my frame of mind reading all the social media coverage, I must admit.
Nonetheless, I have faced the tune for myself and made the anxiety go away by simply deciding to deal with whatever happens, and by accepting the fact that things could go really wrong, and we could, at the extreme end, lose our freedom and even our modern way of life — we could basically lose it all.
It could happen. I sure hope it doesn’t, but if it does, bring it on baby.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Keeping the flame alive somehow

This is my first post in over ten months. I was working from March to October 2016 in my masonry business, and that took priority over anything else; but at around August, one morning, the idea struck me to write a fiction book centering around the role of venture capital and entrepreneurship in the creation of a brave new world in answer to an approaching armageddon.
What had happened is that I had been obsessively reading on the topic of entrepreneurship and venture capital since 2010 in preparation of running my own startup, which, after three iterations, had be put on hold until such a time as an opportunity to be seized would present itself again.
In the meanwhile, all this build up needed an outlet, hence the book. Ideas kept coming out on their own for it throughout that month and even afterwards, compelling me to conclude that I “ought to” pen it down.
I had the idea to compose, play and produce a music album to go along with the book.
And so in October I started, being drawn more to the music at first. After 5 songs, I realized that doing both was too arduous and so I concentrated only on the written story from November onward.
I had assumed that writing a book wouldn’t be too hard “for a guy like me” — the arrogance!
To complicate the matter, it is a science-fiction book and it required that a fair deal of scientific research be done to bring the credibly factor to a certain level.
I sent the first chapter to someone prominent who is an avid reader, and who I respect and trusted not to bullshit me and tell it as it was.
With more diplomacy and tact than were required, the message came across loud and clear: “I have read this,” and “Have you ever read ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King?” he said. In other words, it sucked big time.
Now I was facing the fact that there was more than I had thought to being a fiction writer … if I was to induce someone else to read my work.
I then set out to put myself through a crash course so as to bring my writing up several notches, and went back to work, getting up to and through Chapter 10 before deciding to scrap it all and restart from the beginning.
The second start was much better, but as I was running out of allocated time this winter, I decided to push through getting the first draft all done without bringing each chapter to a satisfactory result, just so I could nail the basis for the book. This episode was painful and filled with self-doubts. At one point I decided that the book should not be written, and I forced myself to finish the rough draft, just for the discipline of completing an action and not merely abandoning something started mid-course.
By the time the first draft was done, I felt liberated; and when I looked at the first chapter, I liked it a lot, even though it would undoubtedly benefit from some polishing should the actual novel be written in the future. I sent it to my trusted reader, who said it was “much, much better”, causing him to want to read Chapter 2, when it’s ready.
So where does that leave me?
I have to imminently go back to my masonry business; however, after several months of steady, albeit part-time work, I now have one good chapter, better writing skills and another 32,500 words to draw from to inspire the novel proper — or the novella — or the short story — to take me where it will, as I continue to unearth its story, characters and secrets.