Sunday, December 19, 2010

ghosts of wan chai

One of my stories, "Ghosts of Wan Chai", is in the December issue of Our Own Voice.

It was first published in "Connecting Flights", an antho edited by Ruey de Vera.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

seeing at year's end

Whoa. I haven't been around here for some time.

And now, the obligatory preamble before I ramble on.

There was a time when I could barely restrain myself from blogging. But as time went on, the need for self-confessionals and such was gored to death by Facebook's status messages and even (to a smaller degree for me) Twitter. Without being fully aware of it, I was Borged into micro-blogging (if I did any true writing like that at all).

And the timesink that is Facebook, with Pet Society and Farmville, ate into a lot of my writing time. Not for fiction (I still managed to write a number of published stories this year) but for blogging. I managed to wean myself almost completely off PS, but FV is another matter. Perhaps it's my secret need for godhood (or maybe I really want to be a farmer, but in a world where Blueberries take only 4 hours to grow).

But while I have curtailed my blogging, I have continued thinking. My thought life is sectioned off into anxieties (business, health, family, writing), hopes (business, health, family, writing), worldbuilding (writing, games), and so on. I think about people I've met, films I've seen, books and comics I've read, games I've played, stuff I've done or not done.

It's nothing special. No extraordinary process here. People do it all the time, I know.

But in these times of quiet contemplation, when the weight of promises made exerts a deleterious gravity, when the scale of a human life can be rendered into telling details, when memory is both dubious and of sudden importance, I find myself asking questions. I consider regret. I examine my faith. And I am slowly coming to grips with what is truly important to me.

When I hit 40 (I'll be 42 this coming January - 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything, according to Mr. Adams), my body began to give in to time. Everything winds down, and the illusion of youth cannot be maintained. With my visit to the various doctors and the realization that if I do not change my lifestyle I can drop dead, things came into perspective.

Before you get the idea that this is a teary-eyed ode to lost youth and opportunities, get a hold of yourself.

What this is is me saying that what matters to me is simply living. Spending days with my wife and daughters and watching the little ones grow up. Spending time with friends just talking the night away, sharing speculative worlds. Writing stories that I'd want to read. Reading books that make me think. Watching films that move me or provoke me. Appreciating the humble egg.

My anti-climatic epiphany is that life, in all its real smallness and imagined bigness, is worth living, and I have chosen to experience everything in 3D full-color billion-dots-per-inch glory. It doesn't make me a better person, no, not really. But the perspective, the zoom ins and zooms outs, have dramatic effects.

It's the same world, and I've been in it before.

But this time, this time I choose to see.