Life in Writing
This quote sounds like something you would read in a fortune cookie but that doesn't make it any less true. Dignity is one of those concepts that we often don't think about but is incredibly important. Dignity is defined as a state of being worthy of honor or respect. A state that all of us should strive to be in. Yet there are so many things that can strip us of our dignity. Jealousy, pride, or as Jack so aptly points out here, aggression.
Aggression is a purely selfish emotion and is actually the opposite of dignity. Selfishness has never brought honor or respect to anybody. So next time you're starting to feel a little angry or aggressive, remember the wise words of Samurai Jack and don't sacrifice your dignity for your aggression.
There's a lot to be said for the power of optimism. When things get bad, they only get worse until you start to think that they can get better.
The Doctor faces his share of tough situations, probably more extreme than anything you or I face, but yet he succeeds against every trial, no matter how dire. Just like the Doctor can never succeed without first believing he has a chance, neither can you or I. We all face difficult things in our life, but no matter what comes up the first step to solving the problem is believing that there is a solution. If you think you'll fail then you will, but if you think you'll succeed then you have you chance.
Name: Beth McCue
Where are you from?
Merrick, New York originally.
Do you have a job other than writing?
I retired last April to write full-time.
Why do you write sci-fi and fantasy?
Sci-fi is what I most enjoy reading. I also love to read books on physics, astronomy and philosophy, but, I don’t have the background to write a non-fiction science book, so I stick to fiction. I try to incorporate a little philosophy in my writing as well. I would love to be able to write a truly funny book but I think that is the most difficult type of book to write.
What are you currently working on?
Marketing my novel. After that, I have several ideas for the next book including a time travel story involving Edgar Allan Poe, John Wilkes Booth and Marcel Proust; a sequel to Oceans Ending; and another involving a deadly virus which targets people with certain personality traits
When will your next book be released?
I would expect it to be towards the end of 2018.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I would have to say when I was maybe seven or eight. I decided to put out a “newspaper” for my neighborhood. It even had a comic strip I created myself. The first big story I wrote was about my neighbor, Robby, who had lost his glasses.
Where do you get your inspiration on what to write?
My ideas usually come up in conversation, either with my daughter or my husband. I am constantly reading something; a book; magazine; newspaper. I love New Scientist and the New York Review of Books.
What are some of your hobbies outside of writing?
I paint and I love to cook. I enjoy baking my own bread and topping it off with some butter I churned myself in my nifty little tabletop butter churn. My husband loves my homemade pizza!
What book are you currently reading?
House of Leaves and Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love Alice Hoffman, Octavia Butler, John Steinbeck, Douglas Adams, Tom Robbins, Hunter S. Thompson, Carl Hiaasen. There are many more but I don’t want to get carried away.
What do you do to market your books?
So far I have sent out press releases; started a Blog Talk radio show on which I read a chapter of my book each week; created a website for the book; created a Facebook page; joined Goodreads; added my book to Book Daily; sent review copies to a few places; added the information to my LinkedIn profile and other social media sites. I am working on putting together a book trailer which will go on YouTube and I plan on starting a blog when time permits.
Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favorite, and why?
I have only written two so far. One is an illustrated fantasy for children, The Quest of the Crystal Steeds, and the other is Oceans Ending. I don’t have a favorite.
If any of your stories could be made into a movie, which would you choose?
I would love to see Oceans Ending made into a movie.
If you could be friends with a fictional character (Including any from your own stories) who would you choose?
Doc, from John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.
Does your taste in movies and shows line up with your taste in books? If they differ, how so?
It does. I love Mr. Robot, Stranger Things, Eureka, Humans. I also enjoy comedies like Monty Python and Silicon Valley.
Do you have a certain place that you like to do your writing? Does environment affect your work?
I have an office in my house where I do 99% of the physical writing. I can look out the window at the birds around the bird feeder and the woods behind the house. I write things in my head constantly. It sometimes makes it hard to carry on a normal conversation.
"The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define you or destroy you." - Dominic Cobb
Thoughts are the most powerful things in this world. Every action good and bad began with a thought. Before Gandhi liberated India, he thought about it. Before Hitler invaded Poland, he thought about it. But it's not as cut and dry as that makes it seem. The thought that lead them to those actions were preceeded by many other thoughts. Gandhi likely had thoughts of wanting to help others long before he dreamed of liberating a nation. Likewise, Hitler likely filled himself with small thoughts of anger and greed long before he tried to conquer the world.
It's the small things, the little ideas, that lead to major choices. Just as Cobb says, "[they] can grow to define or destroy you." Gandhi was defined by his ideas just as Hitler was destroyed by his. Take the time to think about who you want to be, and how you want to be remembered.
Choose to think about the right things, and when the time comes, you'll be the person you want to be. make sure your ideas define you. Don't let them destroy you.
"It's not who I am underneath. It's what I do that defines me." - Batman
What Batman says here is true. That doesn't mean who you are underneath doesn't matter. Your thoughts and your dreams determine your actions. Truly becoming good starts with good intent, but don't make the mistake of thinking that good intent is enough.
Actions define us. Saying that we're still good underneath it all despite our bad choices is nothing more than a crutch. When it comes down to it, good people do good things, and bad people do bad things.
Batman is wise to have said this. It's worth taking stock of your life every once in a while to see where your actions rank. Are you doing good? Or are you doing bad? Be honest with yourself, and make the changes that you need to. Abandon your crutches, and do something good to define yourself.
I know that The Chronicles of Narnia really lays it on thick with the Christian symbolism and that can be off-putting to some people. But regardless of your religion it's easy to see the truth in this statement. People who act against what they feel is morally right will always be miserable. Everybody reading this has surly at some point in their lives done something that they didn't feel right about, and been miserable because of it. Taking a short-cut around the walls that your moral belief system sets up for you may get you what you want, but as Aslan points out, you may not like getting what you want if it's attained in a way that doesn't line up with your beliefs.
What Aslan is saying here is important. If you're unhappy in your life then take a moment to evaluate how well your actions are lining up with your moral compass. If you find that your actions aren't lining up, then make the effort to change them. We can all get what we want, but if we do it the wrong way, we're not going to like it.
Note: I would like to point out here, that not all unhappiness is because of wrong-doing, most is, but for many in this world depression is a very really thing that can bring about extreme sadness with no wrong-doing required. For those who suffer from depression, you may find this post more helpful.
Daniel M. Quilter is the author of A Soul Divided. On this blog he'll interview other authors, review books, share nerd wisdom from popular sci-fi and fantasy, and occasionally share his insights on writing. See a list of his works or see what he's working on.
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