Today I walked through many of your blogs and I found entries that really made me think. Now you all get to listen to me pander on as I work through these thoughts. Feel free to get yourself a snack. I'll wait. Okay, ready? Not everything here will be about writing, but all of these things are important for one reason or another.
One of the first noteworthy posts I stumbled onto belongs to Weronika. She had the opportunity (and I view it as a great opportunity) to work with autistic children. This is a post you really need to read through, because it illustrates an important fact of life that I've always tried to impress on my sons. Every parent tells their child "Make sure you eat all your food. There's starving children in China, dangit!", but most children (hopefully) don't really have any experience with starvation. The same idea holds true for our health. If we're really lucky, we are born fairly healthy and manage to maintain that throughout our lives.
I was actually born two months early, and my parents had to wonder for some time whether I would survive. I had to be cut open at 2 days old to unblock my intestine, and 38 years later I still carry a huge scar creasing my stomach. It is a constant reminder to me how lucky I am that I survived, and how even luckier I am to be fairly healthy.
Autistic people (as well as anyone else dealing with debilitating diseases) remind me just how lucky I am. I'm able to sit down and write in an intelligent manner, and my mind is able to coherently form sentences without much effort. It's something we often take for granted, but if you spend any length of time with an autistic person (I have an autistic nephew), you realize just how difficult your life could be. Thanks Weronika for helping to remind all of us how lucky we are. Sometimes we need to remember that and reflect on how different life would be if we had to walk in their shoes.
Galen had a post regarding military buddies that hit home for me. For those who don't know (I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before), I spent about 5 years in the US Army myself. Although I've been out since '95, my blood still flows green. I proudly wear a huge patch on my biker jacket reminding everyone to support our troops. No matter whether you support the current initiative they are a part of, support the soldiers anyway. Galen's words reminded me of some great people I have known, and as usual his storytelling is superb. Too often we tend to forget or marginalize these invisible people, out there doing what they have to. Way too often, their deaths are a statistic on the news rather than a moment for silent reflection. Take a moment and read Galen's words. They are inspirational and heartwarming.
The New Author has a great post by Larry Brooks that is awesome and irritating at the same time. Irritating, because it strikes a little too close to home. Larry cuts us "pantsers" to the quick with a precise scalpel, highlighting a topic I touched on recently - my own lack of structure in writing. Not holding anything back, Larry does an awesome job of illustrating why even us pantsers need some structure in our writing process - and he's right. He even goes so far as to throw Stephen King at us, dangit. Admitting you're a pantser is the first step.
Hello, my name is Eric and I'm a pantser.
The next step is agreeing to put some structure in your writing process, which is much harder but just as important. Larry says it better than I can, so if you haven't read this post, check it out.
If you need a laugh and a good story, stop by Michelle's page. She talks about dreams and nightmares in her usual wonderful way. Zombie bats indeed. Guppster, new story idea for you. You better ask Michelle if you can steal it though (or co-author something together, which would be awesome).
Finally, celebrations are in order. I evidently received two blog awards (which I will talk about in a later post, since this one is long enough as it is) from Michelle Mclean and Robyn Campbell. Thank you so much ladies; I am deeply honored and really appreciate it. And Rebecca Woodhead is officially Ms Twitter UK. Go give her a virtual pat on the back for doing an amazing job of marketing and promotion. She beat out celebrities for cryin' out loud.
This has been a longer post than I planned, so thanks for bearing with me. These are just things that needed to be said, and I hope you get from them what I did.