At Fan Companion, I've taken a look at five characteristic episodes of Star Trek: Voyager's sixth season, which has sometimes been called the show's most disastrous year, arguably responsible for the decline of the franchise at the start of the millennium. While I celebrate the popular success of the J.J. Abrams reboot, I was never of the opinion that Star Trek had gotten so horrible that it needed a break (I should clarify by saying I never found it to be horrible in the first place).
Perhaps as a companion to that, I've got a new "Star Trek '12" piece up at Sigild V exploring the Caretaker entities from the first (and later in the second season) episode of Voyager. "Star Trek '12" is a journey through the history of the franchise's timeline, century by century, with the central gimmick that these events all occur in that century's twelve year, which happens to be what this year is. There's a certain amount of perspective inherent in this tour, since you may not have expected, say, the Jem'Hadar to have been created by the Founders so close to Surak's Vulcan reformation, or the Vidiians succumbing to the Phage at the same time, but these are events I've had to juggle, because that's exactly how they fall. I'm a big fan of Star Trek, but not in ways a lot of people normally think of. I've been writing Star Trek fiction for more than a decade, but not in ways that Pocket Books appreciated when I submitted to several consecutive Strange New Worlds contests. I wish the publisher were less interested in sustaining their own version of the franchise and more in the literary possibilities in handling something as inherently visionary as Star Trek. But then, I don't get a lot of respect from publishers in general, so what do I know?
I write about another visionary, Dean Motter, at Comics Reader. Motter's best known for Mister X, but he's not really that well-known. I'm always trying to correct things like that.
I'm still writing poetry at Epistles from the New Fade. I don't write typical poetry, either. Most poets litter their works with images. I litter mine with ideas. I figure that's the way it ought to be, and the way the most important poets have always done it.
In coming days, as I've said, I'll be writing more here at Scouring Monk about some of the more broad pop culture topics A-to-Z readers might have come to expect, but I'll also be writing more about my journey as a writer, including my self-published book, Cloak of Shrouded Men, whose cover is too bland (yet awesome!) to paste everywhere on this or any other blog. Visitors during April might have caught three excerpts from my forthcoming book Yoshimi, but I'll be giving similar treatment to Shrouded Men, as well as my two existing, unpublished manuscripts, Finnegan and Ecce Homo. I noticed a trend among my fellows bloggers to self-publish their books as a matter-of-course, but that's not my ambition. It's great to build a readership and support group, but if you self-publish, chances are greater than not that your readers will most likely be pooled from those existing readers and a limited selection of others of that kind. I self-published Shrouded Men in 2007, out of an interest to see my work in published form. I didn't expect sales, and haven't gotten them, so far, because I hadn't earned them. I had no public awareness. I value blog awareness a great deal, but to me that's just the first step, like any advertising. I want people to read me, but practically speaking, blogging is more about awareness than it is reading (which is why this blog post is so short!). There's a difference between being seen and being heard. This blog is about being seen. Hopefully if you care about me you'll also want to read me.
That being said, any writer who really wants to be heard should have something worth saying. That's why I write about what I'm passionate about, rather than writing for the sake of writing. The idiot teachers who suggest writing everyday just to get the experience don't really know what they're talking about. Write about what you're passionate about, rather than learning to write like everyone else. A writer theoretically already knows how to write. Their authentic voice is more important than anything else in their writing. That voice is a product of their interests and what they have to say about them. The sentences will form themselves. If your readers are only interested in your ability to string along sentences, then they're not really supporting you.