Since I’ve heralded the news that I will be ceasing the repetitive drudgery that has denoted so much of my occupational life, I thought I’d let those of you out-of-the-loop know that once upon a time I did in fact write a book.
WarBirds: The Story so far… was published in 1999 by Burbank Books. It focused on a popular flight- simulator that represented the Internet’s first Massively Multi-player Online Game (mmog).
It was a remarkable achievement insomuch that my editor was located in South Africa. My co-writer and publisher were based in Australia, and I was living in Canada. The book is well over 500 pages and represented a couple of years labor during which I interviewed members of the “WarBirds” community, the game’s developers, real WWII pilots and gathered information on the many squadrons that made up the game. I also wrote about the game’s development history and the gaming conventions that constituted a major source of fun and barely fit-to-print shenanigans.
The book and its inspiration were hardcore testimonials to the male sex and represents one of the most testosterone laden chapters of my life. There exist pictures of a very grizzled and vastly over-weight me surrounded by pints of beer, “stogie” in hand and ubiquitous “WarBirds” ball-cap yelling up a storm amidst my aviation loving peers in various locations of the good ol’ US of A. I refer to this period as “The longest cocktail party” because it sure seemed it.
At any rate, I was pleased to see that a copy of the book is located with the National Library of Australia and that numerous citations regarding the book exist including one at wired.com. The British gaming magazine “Edge” also reviewed the book quite favorably stating that it represented: “crucial reading for anyone attempting to understand the dynamics of building an online gaming community.”
Not bad for a first effort if I do say so myself.
It seems John Lennon found some measure of peace during the mid-late 70’s when he entered a self-imposed exile of what he termed, “house-husbandry”. A period he was to reflect back on during the making of Double Fantasy and which included the telling lyrics to “Watching the Wheels”:
People say I’m lazy, dreaming my life away. Well, they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me. When I tell them that I’m doing fine Watching shadows on the wall, Don’t you miss the big time, boy, You’re no longer on the ball.
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round, I really love to watch them roll. No longer riding on the merry go round, I just had to let it go.
And yet for every imaginative individual the dreaded “writer’s or creative block” is anything but a comforting presence or a peaceful retreat from the demands of public performance in whatever form one’s talents choose to take. In my case it invariably leads to a state of inertia. The creative waters cease to flow and I end up doing what I call the “dead-man’s float in the middle-of the pool”.
Sadly, all too often it takes the practical form of menial labor and rather than taking charge of my life and proactively seeking a means of expressing my creative impetus, I languish amidst the drudgery and uninspired monotony of the proverbial 9-5. Ugghhh!!!!
So remembering a basic law of physics that it is easier to redirect a body in motion as opposed to one standing still I’ve decided to stir up the creative process and my nascent writing ability by entering the blogging arena. Hopefully, this medium can provide the impetus for more creative endeavors including but not limited to a screenplay I have in mind, a YA (young adult) novel and an autobiography.
Inertia always makes me feel as if I’m stuck behind some figurative 8-ball with limited possibilities and a hopeless, unrewarding insipid future. So the time has come to break-free of my self imposed lethargy and to stoke the creative fires once more. So I see this Blog as a great training aid one that will allow me to hone my writing skills and prepare the way for bigger and better things to come.
Here’s hoping 🙂