Memorial Day is supposed to be a day of remembrance for the soldiers who never made it home, but more often than not, it turns into a celebration of the beginning of summer for many families. As we lose another generation of veterans to inevitable old age, the memories of those who fell in combat during their time of service become lost. But it doesn't have to be so. Not everyone who is a storyteller has a gift for writing or the confidence to put pen to paper.
Recently, I have been reading two different books on the same subject. Both are memoirs in the form of short stories. One author started publishing his books (I've only been reading one at this time) after approximately two decades of experience. The other published after five years. For someone interested in the topic, both books are entertaining, but I find much more satisfaction in the storytelling of the elder writer. His writing has a beautifully reflective quality that results in a wonderful sense of humor, irony, and spirituality. I do not mean to say the younger writer's stories are not enlightening, but his storytelling does show his comparative youth. His focus gets wrapped up in the excitement of first time experiences and the relevant facts as to why these instances during his career brought him such joy. In essence, he is an adventurous nerd.
Friday afternoon I learned that Season 15 will be the last of Supernatural. Many in the fandom seem to already be mourning the loss of the show even though we have yet to finish Season 14. Friday night and part of Saturday I felt a little lost myself - the show and fam-dom helped restore my sense of self after a rough 2016 - but then my thoughts turned to the question of what will end up replacing it on the CW? The other shows holding similar timeslots the rest of the week on the network have failed to hold my attention, and as a fan of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, I fear that once Supernatural is gone, there will be no new fandom to take its place during my weekly TV perusal.
I'm not a big fan of first person POV in storytelling, and many of my favorite stories feature an ensemble cast. This is because the characters I'm most drawn to are fence-sitters. They are not necessarily indecisive, but they do tend to play both sides of a conflict and keep multiple options open for themselves. I always hope they'll choose the protagonist's side in the end, but a good storyteller will keep you guessing throughout the tale.
Today I was reading an article on the indictment of several coal mine supervisors for manipulating equipment and data meant to keep miners safe. Several of the miners who worked under them have developed black lung disease as a result of years of exposure to elevated levels of coal dust, levels that their equipment should have shown to be unsafe had the supervisors not told those miners to interfere with the equipment's ability to collect accurate data. So basically, the focus of the article was black lung disease and the regulations put in place by the US federal government to help protect miners from this disease as well as other mining hazards. However...