United Airlines and its Dragged-Off Passenger

While the #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos meme is getting some traction on Twitter (and I’ve contributed my share as well), I’d like to add a few thoughts about the recent incident with a gentleman being removed forcibly from a United Airlines flight. My perspective is that of a long-time airline traveler and a family member of half a dozen people who all used to work in the airline industry at one time or another.

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Self-Acceptance vs. Self-Improvement

If you tried to follow every piece of meme-based “wisdom” on Facebook, you’d soon find yourself in an utter dither about what to do with yourself. “Out of sight, out of mind” wars with “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” “Continuous improvement” dukes it out in your head with “Be kind to yourself and accept yourself as you are.” I’ll take some time today to untangle that second knot. Your approach could vary, but then that’s part of reality, isn’t it?

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Relearning an Old Skill

I have been writing stories since I was eight years old. I have the hard copies to prove it.¬†For the next twenty years after that, I was writing a lot of fiction. It was a mix, really, though mostly mainstream and science fiction or somewhere in between. Once I started writing to pay my bills, my fiction productivity dropped off tremendously. More to the point, I began to lose interest in storytelling at all. The reasons for that are a bit complicated, but I’ll give it a shot here. Continue reading “Relearning an Old Skill”

The Tools You Use

I pursued my first English degree with the intention of being a science fiction writer. I wrote a lot more in my teens and twenties and my stories were filled with the concerns of a young man: pursuing adventures, making a difference, falling in love. The Bart who wrote then is a very different person from the person who writes blogs and training documents and journalism pieces now. Aside from my additional 20 years of life experience, the tools I use to write have changed as well. Continue reading “The Tools You Use”

A Plea for the Return of Star Trek

star-trek-captains

I won’t lie: I like Star Trek more than Star Wars–mostly because I can relate to it better. It’s an extrapolation of Earth’s future, and that future is optimistic in nature. Trek is also (sorry, it has to be said) more mature than Star Wars, in that it takes on more mature themes and works in an integrated civilization with a complex moral code. Star Wars? Not so much. Still, I feel the essence of the Star Trek universe has been given short shrift, and I’m hoping that changes soon. Continue reading “A Plea for the Return of Star Trek”