First, a little note saying “Thanks!”

I just wanted to take a moment here to publicly acknowledge a whole community that I consider myself fortunate for discovering.

Under different names and websites, I have been active on the net for twelve years or more.  In that time, I felt largely ignored and monumentally alone.  Seeing as how website creation, blogging and writing poetry & fiction have been my hobbies over the years, it can make for a solitary existence.  It’s so easy to give up on a project or not bother to blog for months on end when you feel that all you’re doing, all you’ll ever be doing, is talking to yourself.

A month ago, I decided to join Twitter as Justus R Stone (my chosen pen name).  I started doing some research and through useful hash tags such as #amwriting started connecting with other writers.  Some of these people are already published, many more are hard at work getting there.  Universally, they all pass along outstanding advice and support.

This blog is new.  This will be the 14th post.  And yet I have had more people make comments on my articles here than I did on any other blog or website I have owned in the past 12 years.  It is so much easier to sit down and write my work in progress, or do a blog entry, when it feels like there are people pulling for me.

Now, I do have a loving wife and kids who are always in my corner, but none of them are writers.  It is an entirely different experience to receive support and encouragement from those that share your passion and understand the trials that passion brings.

So I just wanted to say thank you to all those who have come to visit, to those who are following the feed and to those who join me on Twitter.  You have all made this new step into realising my dream much easier and made obtaining that end goal seem all the more attainable.

Doctor Who Love-in, or, Passin’ on the genre love

Everything I’ve posted so far has been about writing advice.  To be sure, as I discover new and wondrous things on this writing journey, I will pass it on.  But my six year old son (my youngest) did something today that just inspired me to make this a personal blog entry.  He came up to me and, word for word, quoted the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who.  I asked my wife how many times he had watched it.  She responded that he had seen it three times, as well as three times for the second episode.  My youngster’s greatest ambition at the moment is obtaining a sonic screwdriver.

This brought to mind the scene in my household only a few days earlier, when all four of us sat down in the living room and watched these latest episodes of Doctor Who.  Myself, my wife and my two boys (who rarely can be in the same room let alone watch the same show) all enraptured by a tale of a mad man and his box.

When I was a boy, this same scene played out with my Dad and I.  It is my Dad that I have to thank for my healthy love for science-fiction, fantasy, reading, movies and yes, Doctor Who.  I recall when Star Trek The Next Generation premiered, we planned our whole day out to ensure we were front and center when it began.  He took me to see all the Star Wars movies when they were in theatres (the originals).  He read me the Wind in the Willows when I was a boy and passed on his complete collection of Hardy Boys novels.  As a child I was ignorant to the many hours he spent putting stickers on and assembling various Transformers, GI Joe and other toys.  In short, everything I love today, I can trace back to those earliest times I shared with my Dad.  And now, I am doing the same with my own boys.

When I lost my Dad to cancer in September of 2009, I don’t think I realised this as strongly as I do now.  As I plunder through my work in progress, pouring all the thoughts and desires of a sci-fi/fantasy, anime loving geek into it, I pause to think that it is my Dad who helped me find these things.  When the day comes that I write “The End” it will be in no small part thanks to him.

I’m particularly blessed, because I found a woman who loves all things geek perhaps more than I do.  I never drag her to see The Matrix or such, it is she leading me.  And now we sit with our boys, cuddled on the couch, watching Doctor Who.  My role is reversed.  My boys look to me with wide eyes and ask about the past Doctors, or about the shows and movies I watched when I was younger.  As they get older, I’m sharing more and more of these with them.  I understand the bond it creates between us and I realise how much I miss my Dad.

Is Doctor Who the greatest TV show ever created?  Well, I suppose that’s debatable.  In our household, greatest or not, it certainly is magical.