One thing that life always - or should always - bring with the passing of the years is the gaining of knowledge. It's not necessarily the same thing as 'wisdom' but it can certainly be a step or two in that direction.
My own life has seen me constantly drawn into the mystical world of information technology, although never as the 'It man' unless you count my twenties when the nickname 'cousin It' was bandied about occasionally. I used to have hair then, you know...
Anyway, my point is that all things computer-related seem so much simpler these days - and not just as a result of my long exposure to the underlying technologies. The days of computers being the size of a large room, water-cooled and programmed with punch cards is long past (thankfully), and these days virtually everyone I know carries a tiny computer in their pocket - the modern mobile phone. And that includes most pre-teens.
Some of us even write things like this blog post and receive comments (mostly nice ones) from like-minded or converted individuals from all around the globe. There are millions of websites available to us at the touch of a few buttons (and not every one of them displays the naked charms of young women. Or men. Or other animals...) and we are able to research the most esoteric topics if we so wish at next to zero charge. We can sell our unwanted possessions to people we never see let alone meet, and can buy almost anything and have it delivered to our door (something that is an immense blessing to this MS sufferer who finds carrying anything both tiring and downright dangerous).
These days we can chat face-to-face with relatives and friends on the other side of the world - even while we are travelling on a train, I noticed recently. We can buy and play music of all forms (apparently, that applies especially to the tinny garbage that appeals so much to those who can afford £500 for a phone but only 10p for headphones). We can carry a library of fiction and non-fiction in our pockets and add the very latest titles without moving from the comfort of our armchairs.
All of which progress and my IT background makes it seem a tad odd that it was only last month when I finally launched my own website (John Money Writes).
It is probably a place where I can focus in years to come - the only real future that I can look forward to as the MS progresses, and one that I can (and will) build gradually as writing becomes an ever more important part of my life.
It already holds all of my blog posts (almost 50 of them!) an is split into various topics (which has told me just where my true interests lie) and has pages for contacting me, the services I plan to offer (along with some friends), a tiny bit about me, and some samples of the stories I have already written or am writing.
It was high time that I embraced the interweb thingy properly, and now I find myself planning all sorts of extensions to my nice, shiny new site; there will very shortly be a submissions page where I will display the talents (so to speak) of other writers, many of whom will help with my planned services, and a news-y type page with latest information from around the writing-related world and details of where to find people who are buying or selling literature of all sorts. There may even be a page which displays, almost live, my latest fiction writing - the ultimate preview page.
Most of all though, it has helped me get organised like never before. My actual work has dominated my time and my life recently (well always, really - I'm just that sort of person) but in my 'own' time, I've been busy sorting everything out, raking through my old tales, planning new services and stories, and working on three pieces of fiction more or less simultaneously. Or rather, four now that one particular back-story has developed a life of its own and has provided me with enough ideas for a separate novella - or maybe even novel, given my rambling ways.
One new concept that fascinates me most is a feedback form. The opinion of others fascinates me - and sometimes even educates me (please, don't actually let me hear you say something about new tricks and old dogs...). It's amazing how much you can learn from the comments and views of others, and even though we tend - as humans - to pass over a lot of what people say to us in that respect, we will often take much closer note of what people write to us about. Well, I do, anyway.
I guess this post is something of a plug for my new website - and yes, I acknowledge that - but it's also meant to give us all a little pause for thought. We've come a very long way since our childhoods - even the teens among us - and I have little but praise for the leaps and bounds technology has cantered through during the past couple of decades.
Oh, and when/if you visit the site, yes, there's a very good reason for quoting Edgar Allen Poe (or ta least his Raven poem). Quite apart from the fact that the late lamented Terry Pratchett made me laugh aloud on a crowded train once when I saw that he'd named a raven character 'Quoth' (quoth the raven, indeed) - I find the 'Nevermore' theme so very appropriate to me these days. MS robs people of so many things - things that they will see 'never more' - but the term also provides me with a focus for the future. That which is taken is normally replaced by something else - and in my case that will be story-telling in all its many guises,
And I'm going to have it tattooed somewhere this summer. Any suggestions? I'll re-phrase that. Any polite suggestions?