The Coincidence of the New Year

Blog No. 12

Some of you have probably noticed that the restart of this blog happens to coincide with the New Year.  It’s easy to assume that I was drinking some time in December, maybe even New Year’s Eve, and said out loud in a slurred proclamation, “My resolution is to get my blog going again, and to get the story blog I do with Justin and Christian, which can be found at, going!”  Those around me (assuming I don’t get drunk by myself in my basement) wondering why I was being so explicit by adding a hypertext link in my announcement in an obvious ploy to get my potential readers to visit my other blog.


That didn’t happen (the drinking alone might have, but I wouldn’t have been drunk or anything).  I’m actually not a big fan of the New Year’s Resolution.  I like being difficult, or at least I am difficult. It’s not like I’m proud.  To me it’s the same thing as seeing a post on Facebook followed by “like if you don’t eat babies.” I don’t eat babies and I probably would have liked your post, but telling me to do it, especially if it’s the so called only way to prove I don’t eat babies makes me not want to like it.  It makes me want to hate it, and you, and babies.

What is comes down to is I like the sentiment, but I don’t like the arbitrary constraints.  I have to give my brother some credit (even if it means he will hold it over my head).  For him, resolutions and decisions to change things start immediately, not next week or after a certain event.  If it’s that important you can start it now.  I have to admit he has something there.  It’s the way he’s been conducting himself for a while, and it is paying off.

Everyone has those times when something has to change.  For me it’s my writing.  I’ve done it before, on this blog in fact.  Making the decision to make the change now, while the iron is hot, has some big advantages.  The idea is fresh and your motivation is high, and the further you can get in the first few days, or hours, or weeks, the more you have to spur you forward when the motivation wanes.

No matter how many times before you’ve told yourself, “This time is the time,” you have to believe it.  It’s either that or giving up your dreams.  There may be a time when that is the right answer, but for now you have to keep believing (no Journey jokes please, Glee has ruined that song for me).  I’m not going to go on some diatribe about how important your dreams are, and what following your dreams can do for you.  That’s something I’ve found, you have to find out for yourself.  Sometimes you have to walk away for a while and sometimes you have to plough through and sit staring at a computer screen at three in the morning with a vacant look in your hollow eyes and a half written sentence glaring at you.  (No, just me?  Never mind).  I do have a back up plan, and I do have other passions, but I can’t give up telling stories, not yet.  The alternative it too horrible for me to accept.

Now it’s Book Review time!

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

I haven’t done one of these in a long time, but I enjoyed doing it, and I think I remember you enjoyed reading them.  So here we go.

The first I had heard about Ready Player One was in a magazine.  I don’t remember which one, I don’t much read magazines, but there were always plenty of them in the back room at my old job and on the breaks when I was too lazy to do anything better, I would find myself flipping through them.  As I halfheartedly scanned the pages, the picture of the cover for Ready Player One jumped off the page.  I stopped to read the little synopsis of the book and immediately went out on the floor (of the book store, where I was working) to look for it.  It wasn’t out yet, so it was a complete waste of the little time that took.  But when it did come out, whoa buddy, I bought it.  (Might not be the most auspicious start, but that’s how it happened).
The exciting part happened when I actually bought the book and took it home.  It was a pleasant coincidence that the following day was my day off because I spent it (all of it) reading.  From ten or so in the morning to well into the night (with breaks for eating and other necessities or course) I sat and read that book.  The next day I got up early to read before work, I read on my break and I read as soon as I got home.  I finished the book on that second night I don’t know if I have mentioned this, but even though I went to school for English Lit and History, I am a very slow reader.  Some people would see this as a detriment, but I happen to enjoy taking my time and soaking it all in (even if it isn’t by choice).  Either way, the point is I loved the book so much that I did almost nothing but read it until it was over.  Then I proceeded to convince as many of my friends as I could to read it.  I’m sure I was a pest, but those who followed my advice thanked me in the end.

Going back to the part where I said I was an English Lit major, I want to point out that I have read many classics and quite a few contemporary books that could be considered high literature.  Ready Player One is not one of these books, but it is probably the most enjoyable book I have read in the last five or more years.  The story isn’t the most original either, but it is interesting enough and provides a good backdrop for the plot.

Ready Player One is awash with references to music, movies and games of the 80s and 90s.  Some reviewers felt that all the poorly veiled references took away from a story that wasn’t good enough to stand on its own, but I disagree completely.  I found the story itself was as classic as the references it was filled with.  It was a reflection of the few real gems of 80s science fiction and coming of age movies.

I’m not going to get into the plot; I have gone on long enough and I don’t want to spoil anything for you.  It is science fiction, which some people are not very keen on, but much of my writing is science fiction too, so I hope you are a fan.  Even still, I think it is one of those books that will appeal to those who might not be fans of the genera, but are fans of a good story.

2 thoughts on “The Coincidence of the New Year

  1. Pingback: The Coincidence of the New Year |

  2. Pingback: Rereading Ready Player One | Ben Van Dongen

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