So much has happened since I last wrote on this blog.
I feel like I say that a lot these days. A worldwide pandemic rages on late into the summer. Multiple tumultuous cultural and social issues are in the forefront and seem here to stay. Politics get crazier each day. I have not been without my own struggles these past 2 months (can't BELIEVE I've let that much time slip away without posting here!). I changed careers and jobs and my new place of work is feeling the economic strain placed upon them by COVID-19. The career I am now in, which is my dream job, involves collegiate sports, and I have watched the proverbial dominoes fall as conference after college sports conference has cancelled their Fall seasons in the interest of protecting the health and safety of their student body, faculty and staff. The summer has brought ups and downs and plans that ultimately amounted to nothing when finally yesterday afternoon my university's competitive conference decided that they, too would not have a season in the Fall, and my university shortly followed suit for any and all competitions. While I support the decision and want nothing but the best in health and safety for all the student athletes I am so fortunate to work with, in addition to the greater community at large, the loss of a competitive season is a blow to both them and me. Its mental anguish and stressful strain as the possibility, nay probability loomed over us all summer, stacked together with the other negative happenings in the world, have come for me wedged between two slices of a first Mother's Day without Mom in May, and a one-year-anniversary of her repose in August.
Yet, good things have happened in my life, too. Life is funny like that. It surprises you. Sometimes, we surprise ourselves and our loved ones, too! In late June, on my 30th birthday, I got engaged to the love of my life. I am ecstatic and incredibly lucky. I did not know that there was someone as wonderful, beautiful, kind, and caring as her out there, or that I would be fortunate enough to be with her.
Then, today, I just happened to be perusing my Amazon Kindle stats, when BAM! I noticed Star Sharks, my first novel and work of epic Space Opera following Captain Basil E. "Nix" Phoenix, his family, and crew of the Star Shark as they struggle to rescue the galaxy from sheer destruction, has its first review! It is a real, written review submitted by a total stranger who evidently read the book in its entirety. It was very flattering and the book was rated 5 stars. My heart leaped with joy as my eyes rolled over those orange-yellow pentagrams and I comprehended them. The book's only other rating thus far is 2 stars, which I suppose different strokes for different folks and Star Sharks is not for everyone. And that is okay. (I actually really appreciate and value the 2-star feedback, too; 2 stars is not 1 star or NO stars, after all! Though, I do wish they had taken time to write a review and tell me their likes and dislikes.
Anyway, one Ian Palmer wrote that he loved the book, its characters (me too!), pacing, and the original story with familiar elements. He said it was a great debut and he is excited for more from me! I greatly appreciate the review, rating, and feedback, Ian, whoever you are, and want you to know I am simply tickled pink that someone read my novel and loved it. I do not write because I want to be the world's best, or to write the next great American novel. I write because I love it. I write because I have stories in my head that won't shut up until they are written down and shared in some way with the world! And I write because deep down I hope some day to be someone somewhere's favorite author, even if it is long after I am gone, or at least to write something I loved when it appeared in my head, while I was writing it, and long after I finished it off that someone else will love, too, something that will help them, give them a spark of hope in the coming dawn just when their night seems deepest and darkest. Ian, I love that you loved the book and promise not to keep you waiting for the sequel and other subsequent novels and stories for too long! It will be soon that I revisit Nix, Ruckus, Ninya, John, Boyle, Gregory, and the rest of the Star Sharks crew, and we shall see where fate takes them...
Incidentally, I have not been entirely idle writing-wise during the last couple of months. I am working on another novel that is not Star Sharks (I am up to 5 of those I have going in some way shape or form, if in my head, partially or mostly written, or in my head. You see, similar to many people's rule with animals, if I name the novel, even in my head, it is real and has a name and I cannot "kill" it; I HAVE to write it, even if it takes me years. I am stuck with it. I have 5 such novels now and really ought to get around to finishing one or all of them!) but rather a work of fantasy that fits into another fantasy universe for what I imagine will be my magnum opus fantasy work novel that I have been building for years. I am also beginning to work on some other things, and will post the fruits of my labor soon!
So to Ian, and to all my other fans I either know or do not know about, keep checking back soon, keep reading and enjoying, and I hope you will love what I have to share in a relatively soonish timeframe!
7/22/2020 just shy of 2:00 AM
Friends of T.D. Smith