Category Archives: General Thoughts

General thoughts and random ramblings

Swimming in October

A day swimming at the beach on Cape Cod… in October?

It is October in New England.  Summer is a distant memory.  We have chill nights and walks in the woods full of color.

Or that’s the way it is most years.

The colors aren’t’ bright this year and the air is warm.

I did a long paddle on my kayak today, ending at South Village Beach in West Dennis, MA.  That is on Cape Cod.  The beach is where Swan River meets the Ocean (actually, Nantucket Sound).  I started up in Swan Pond.

After getting to the beach, I waded in the water, going deeper and deeper.  Finally I dunked my head under.  And then I swam for about 5 or 10 minutes.  I didn’t have a towel, so I air dried.

Remember, this is October in New England.

OK, I hiked Franconia Ridge last November and swam off of Cape Cod this October.  I have kayaked every month (on the Cape) for almost 30 months straight.  So what will next year bring?  Sun bathing in January?

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Seasons of Imagination by Trent P. McDonald

My mind has been on The Fireborn so much lately that it almost took me by surprise to see a review of Seasons of Imagination. Thank you Karen!

My train of thoughts on...

The author sent me an ARC of this book (pdf format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ :star:

Plot
(by Amazon)

Trent P. McDonald’s “Seasons of Imagination” contains an eclectic mix of stories covering many places, times and even different genre, yet they all hold one thing in common, they are all about people.

Be they silly, serious or speculative, all of the stories are about us.

What makes us tick? Why do we say the things we do? Why do we react as we do?

So whether it seems the stories are exploring outer or inner space, in reality they’re always exploring the human space.

Here is an invitation to open the page and come with me to explore the Seasons of Imagination.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > Single Authors
> Teen & Young Adult

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A Better Place

A similar subject was just brought up by a friend on Facebook so I had to go back and dig this up. We need to go beyond “Do no harm” and enter “try to do good”. It is a lesson the world has seemed to have forgotten.

Trent's World (the Blog)

earth

Many campers, most backpackers and all Boy Scouts know the saying, “Leave the campsite better than when you found it.” That goes far beyond, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints,” since it involves actively doing good.

A slight variation of this phrase is a good bedrock of your personal philosophy, “Leave the Earth better than when you found it.” Like the scouting phrase, it involves a protective part, “don’t do harm,” and an active part, “do good.”

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Dunces and Dreamers…

“He also had a faraway look in his eye, which Elliot always reserved for dunces and dreamers.” – The Fireborn

No matter how suitable you are to receive the ancient sword Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, the biggest requirement is that you are actually someone who can believe that the possibility exists that the Lady of the Lake will give you the sword Excalibur.  That is, you need to be able to see far beyond the mundane (a dreamer) or be so stupid that you can’t understand why it is impossible (a dunce).

Or so goes one of themes I’ve often used in my writing.

Dunces and Dreamers, Dreamers and Dunces.  As I look in the mirror, both that reflecting my physical image and that reflecting “the real me”, I wonder if the two are so far apart…

Slowing Down…

Immature eagle flying

I haven’t really been around on the blog much the last couple of days.  Actually, I might not be for the next few days either.  Possibly the next few weeks….  I might change my mind and be back tomorrow.  I might decided to stay away except for the prompts and challenges.  Or I might be gone for a while.  Not sure yet.

Anyway, this is just a heads up so if in few days you won’t say, “Hmm, i wonder what happened to Trent?  Did he get abducted by aliens or something?”

If We Were Having Coffee on the 9th of September, 2017

Moog and Morning Coffee

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of a very strong French Sumatra Roast!  If you’d rather, I have a variety of tea, though I prefer just back tea, like English Breakfast or something.  It is cool with a bit of an autumn nip to the air, but it will warm up nicely.  Later this week we will have some warmer weather.  The fall nip though – the trees are already changing!  And the Blackeyed Susans are mostly gone!  The sometimes last until November!  And where are we?  Some of you may recognize the picture of that sexy Moog synthesizer as being taken in New Hampshire.

I know I said about million times that I was on Cape Cod for my end of summer vacation last week.  So this week was a week of return.  I returned to New Hampshire and did stuff around the house.  I returned to work and caught up with all of the work.  I returned to some of the works I had in progress. I returned to my exercise routine (still getting back into it…)

But with all of these returns, I can’t actually think of a lot that I did. Continue reading

Educate vs Train

Creativity vs Innovation

Years ago, when I was just starting out, I was sitting in a training room with a few other people working towards being Air Traffic Controllers.  A few of us were talking about the hardest class we had in college.  Depending on the person, it could have been Differential Equations, Fluid Dynamics, Economics or even English Composition.  A little way into it, a fellow ATC trainee came over and joined in.

“You guys are a bunch of wimps,” he said.  “I took a few college courses and thought they were easy.  In the army, now, we had these week long training courses were we had to make our way through 500 page books.  It was very intense.”

“I’m sure it was intense,” I said at the time.  “However, it’s different.”

“How so?” he asked.

To tell the truth, I really could put my finger on it.  But it did feel wrong equating how to do specific task with senior level quantum mechanics. Continue reading

A few Notes on Genre

fireborn-005

I’ll admit that I’m a person who does not like to pigeonhole.  I don’t believe creative endeavors should have boundaries.  My favorite music often is in the cracks.  Yes, there are people who classify this same music with exactness, but if you actually listen to the music, or study it (which I have), you find that it just doesn’t fit.  I don’t think imagination should be boxed in.

And yet we do need those classifications.  Would you really buy music if you had zero idea what it was about?  The same, of course is true in fiction.  Genre is important.

As a reader, I have very eclectic tastes.  I’m sure you’re surprised ;)  I hate sticking to a single genre.  And truthfully, I very rarely pay attention to sub-genre.  I recently read a sci-fi book.  After reading it, I looked at reviews and was a little surprised that every review talked about the sub-genre and how well the book did, or didn’t fit that sub-genre.  Can’t you just freaking read the book for itself without pigeonholing it!?  I didn’t even know that sub-genre existed, and yet people were up in arms about it.  I thought it was a good book, so why argue that as a purple-western-star-bong sci-fi book the main character would never have said, “Hello”, she would have said, “Well, Howdy, fandango!”? Continue reading

Guest author: Trent P. McDonald – Where myth and history collide

I did a guest post on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo blog today! Go check it out.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Gundestrup Cauldron. Image: Wikipedia cc-by-2.0

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide

Back in early 2013, I was taking a walk and thinking about myth, legend (not the same thing!) and history.  Don’t we all do that?  Anyway, I had a little “aha” moment.  Several things just seemed to gel and it all made perfect sense.  Well, at least it did while I was still walking and not researching.

I don’t remember exactly what my thought process was, but I know I was thinking about some variation of the Cauldron of Resurrection (most likely the Gundestrup Cauldron), naked Celts, blue Celts, the Celtic Expansion across Europe and the Arthurian Legends.  You know, typical walk thinking material.

OK, I hear what you are saying: Arthur was so much later than those other things.  What did he have in common with the other pre-Roman ideas?

Well, my brain, for one.

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If We Were Having Coffee on the 26th of August, 2017!

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you large mug of a strong Sumatra Roast, a cuppa tea or some other beverage.  It is a gorgeous day!  I’ve already been out quite a bit, including a long walk on the beach taking pictures of seals.  It’s sunny, warm but not hot, and just perfect!  And where am I?  Some of you may recognize the picture at the top as being on Cape Cod.  The Edward Gorey mug should give it away….

This has been a busy week.  Work was very busy with several projects going on.  One day I had over seven hours of meetings scheduled..

This week was also the official launch of my book, The Fireborn.  Here is a link to the release party.

Thinking of links, after doing a coffee share for someplace around three years, I have decided to make a change.  When I first started, a lot of bloggers I followed did recap posts, so i thought the coffee share was the perfect place.  Nobody seems to be doing that any more, but I still did out of habit.  Funny thing is, I think I can count the number of times someone went back to look at an old post from a coffee share on using the fingers on one hand.  It’s just a waste of my time and your eyeballs.  I’m sure you want to know more about what I’m doing, not what I’m blogging. Continue reading