Here is a list of most of the things I read this year.
There were also some textbooks, and security reports.
On military history, from Vietnam to the present:
Roughneck 91; Antenori, Halberstadt (265)
Zero Six Bravo; Lewis (284)
No Way Out; Weiss, Maurer (326)
War Story; Morris (308)
The Green Berets; Moore (341)
Masters of Chaos; Robinson (388)
Horse Soldiers; Stanton (393)
And most of the way through these books. I started re-reading Delta Force, and the other two are mostly complete.
Delta Force; Beckwith (331)
Blackhorse Riders; Keith (280)
We Were Soldiers Once… And Young; Moore (475)
And some on various other topics:
From a High Tower; Lackey (336) [the only fiction book that I remember reading this year]
Worm; Bowden (264)
Quiet; Cain (444)
Turing’s Cathedral; Dyson (464)
A Briefer History of Time; Hawking (162)
The Cuckoo’s Egg; Stoll (399)
The Joy of X; Strogatz (316)
And most of the way through.
The Highly Sensitive Person; Aron (251)
And the Audiobooks, some with my wife.
Moonwalking with Einstein; Foer (320)
Soldier Dogs; Goodavage (293)
Einstein; Isaacson (704)
The Innovators; Isaacson (542)
I haven’t posted here in a while. Not sure how many readers I have anymore. If you are still waiting on me to post something, thank you for waiting.
Several things have been in the works for a while.
I am in school, as I’ve mentioned before (I think) towards a degree in information security. That was a long time waiting. I grew up building computers, and programming them. After the military, I feel like securing things is a good way to tie my interests with opportunities I will have available. That is about halfway through, and is paying off, with an internship in a local school district tech department.
I also began writing something that had been sitting in the cloud for 2 years, My plan was a little too ambitious, but I was able to crank out around 4000 words over several weeks, stemming from a summary of events that I had originally written. I should post bits and pieces here as it progresses more. The feedback here may tell me whether I should consider throwing it in the trash, or submitting for publishing. 🙂 It’s a fantasy book, set slightly before WWII. In Norway. Some of the challenges are actually important writing, and the fact I am not really a good author of historical fiction.
My wife and I are going to start the application process with Bethany Christian Services fora domestic infant adoption. We were blessed with the Post 9/11 GI bill, and awesome friends who donated money, and are now over-budget. We will be able to pay the application fee, and pay for and begin the home study. This process can take several months. Once that is done, we need to pay pre-placement fees, and can begin the wait for a child! I make jokes about our puppy as ‘the dog-child’, but while on vacation over Christmas realized that while I love my Chiweenie puppy, he is not a child, just a baby dog. Not the same.
So I decided a couple days ago I should start posting a reading list. Here’s the first one. Even during school I read enough there should be at least a short list.
I’ll start with the earlier stuff.
I’ve read lots of Mercedes Lackey, a fantasy author.
Orson Scott Card:
Speaker for the Dead
And I started Children of the Mind (a sequel to Xenocide, while the others were just about Ender in different stories) but decided that it was a bit too much Card for now. Each of the books seems to cover a different topic. Ender’s Game is more tactics/strategy, Speaker for the Dead is Philosophy, and Xenocide is Biology. Each one has lots of ideas on how ethics applies in these situations Ender finds himself in.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
A short book on the Song of Solomon by CJ Mahaney (Sex and the Sovereignty of God)
Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
Mike Meyers Passport Guide for the CompTIA A+ certification (which it helped me obtain)
Not as much as I thought I’d read, now that it’s all written down, but it’s not a bad amount. I’ll be reading lots of stuff for school at least, coming soon, so I’ll be putting more of these up. I’m in the middle of a couple other books too.
So, I’ve started working on my fictional writing some lately (after about 22 years of not writing anything much). I got a Writer’s Digest Press book on fantasy/sci-fi writing. Their website was listed on the back of the book. So I looked. I found this writing prompts page, that is updated every Friday. I’ve looked at several of the newer ones as they came out, this is the first one I’ve been able to do anything much with. I was not able to post it to their website (my new IT skills lead me to suspect either a browser error on my computer, or a bug in their website security, but I may be completely wrong) Here is my story:
One day I was mowing my lawn, just walking along with my nice quiet reel mower, not really paying attention to what was happening. Suddenly, I felt the mower drop. So I let it go, watching it fall into the big hole I’d never noticed in my lawn. “Where could it go?” I thought to myself as I leaned down to look, and felt the edge fall away, but it was to sudden to react. I was so scared I couldn’t even yell for a second, and next thing I knew I was twenty feet down, yelling, barely even hoping my wife could hear me.
I felt myself accelerating down this hole, and could see the light at the bottom of the tunnel appeared to be turning blue. I felt and saw my wedding ring disappear from my finger. At the same moment, I felt the dog tags I hadn’t worn in two years against my chest, and had pants and boots on instead of shorts and sneakers.
Suddenly I found myself in a plane. “Where could I be” I thought. Looking around me, I could see other men and women in Army uniforms. “What happened? I got out two years ago now, or was it all a dream?” I was pretty confused. So, I stopped to look out the window. I could see what looked like a sheet of black glass down below, moonlight reflecting back at me.
“So, I must be on the way back to the states, on leave. Yes, that letter. How do I remember yelling for my wife, but now we’re meeting in person the first time? This letter is pretty clear, directions to her parents house. I remember helping them leave that house!” It was starting to make sense. As much sense as it could. “I married her. I must have time-traveled falling down that hole in the lawn! Now is the chance to fix all the mistakes I started out with. I’ve learned some about how to be a really stupid husband over the last couple years. Just don’t tell her that for a while. How do I not scare her with the fact that I know we will marry? I’ll look like a psycho!”
So, I leaned back my chair, chuckling a little as I tried to fall asleep. I needed to remember how our first meeting had gone, so I could repeat what she’d enjoyed about it. I had about sixteen hours left of a long flight across the Atlantic, and another day before we’d actually meet. Time enough to think, and to get some some sleep.
I don’t even remember the last time I wrote a post [I looked since I started typing, it was New Year’s Day]. I’ve been working full time, and doing full time school. It’s keeping me pretty busy. You’ll see the fruits of my labors coming soon. I’ve done some short writing for my Ancient/Medieval Philosophy class. That’s been fun. Right now I’m working through Aristotle’s Metaphysics, book XII specifically. I also have a paper on the impact of the internet on the hiring/job search process. In all of this, we also have a house that needs lots of work. We basically moved into a project. Better than an apartment in the city though. We find funny/scary things every time we work on it.
Last night, my wife asked me about my favorite part of the year. I’m still not really sure what that was. This was a hard year: I hadn’t worked at the beginning of the year for a couple months. We failed at one attempt to get a house. But, those things are fixed! I’ve had this job since February, and can keep working through school, which will start in two weeks. We have a small house in a small town. It’s so quiet! Also, we’re preparing to adopt. not sure how, but it’s coming together slowly.
So, there are the highlights of my year. What was your favorite part of this last year? Have a good 2014. Feels funny to say that when I remember the 90’s. I was reading in Tolkein’s various books. Elrond said something about the destruction of Thangorodrim (Morgoth’s place, I think), in the first age, and mentioned he could remember it. At least I’m not THAT old (the 2nd and 3rd ages were around 6500 years, end of the 3rd was the Council of Elrond).
I like playing games. I’ll just mention a quick little bit about a game, and a book. Something you should look at (the book, that is 🙂 ). Another Wikipedia link, of course, for Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault. With all the FPS games out there, we should all really appreciate that this one was, if I remember right, even intended to be accurate. The battles in the game are all real places, using real equipment. I learned about a place called Tarawa in there, and found a book about it back in 2007 when I wasn’t in the Army. I had lots of time to read that Summer, and did some reading on military history. I think it was 8 or 10 books. The one I’m thinking of is called One Square Mile of Hell, by John Wukovits, a naval historian. It’s tough to read the book, but good. I’d never heard of the place before I played the game, and then I found out that there were several thousand wounded and dead in a 3 day battle there.
My point is not to depress you today, just to inform you that there are people we should never forget in enjoying our long holiday weekends and parades.