My Log Cabin in Alaska

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Too Stubborn to Change Strategy?

I have been told, and it is true: A good story will stick to you. A great story will change your way of thinking about life. It will change you. This is my story of the day.

I am a Trekkie from way back. I don’t go to all the conferences, nor do I dress up in costume, although I have perfected the Spok salute and I believe in ‘Live long and prosper.’ And I have watched and re-watched and totally enjoyed every episode of all the seasons since its inception.

I once watched a Star Trek Next Generation episode which featured Data, the one and only android in the Galaxy, attempting to solve a problem in one of the narrow ducts in the Enterprise. Either a hostile alien was ensconced in the ductwork, or a toxic leak had occurred there, but something was wrong.

Data programmed a robotic probe to investigate. Now, like Data, the probe was a super computer. Unlike Data, the probe did not possess evolutionary problem solving skills. It could not learn and adapt to new situations. Data’s attempt to correct the malfunctioning duct on the Enterprise soon degraded into an investigation on just how many times he could send that probe into the dangerous situation with the exact same results. The last morsel of that scene that I remember had Data reporting that he had sent in that probe hundreds of times with no variation of the results. It was a baffling issue to the poor android.

That particular scene has stuck with me over the years (decades). Now, first off, don’t get all worried about me. I know this is just a story in a Sci-Fi series. I also know it is well crafted in every sense of the word. But my wonderment is this – How long does it take us, as thinking and problem solving human beings, to change our strategy when we do not reach our goals?

And how much like that probe of Data’s am I? I have been writing stories and submitting them to various publications since I was eleven years old. The reject letters flood past me in a torrent and I move not. I am never discouraged. I write and rewrite, submit, and toss the reject letters into my ever growing pile.

Does that make me strong, or just stubborn? Does that give me character, or simply show that I am not smart enough to adapt and achieve victory, the goal of becoming published?

The world is changing. I have whole heartedly resented the surge into the computer age and I worked for Radio Shack when they were the only ones producing home computers for the masses.I was right there at the birth of the cell phone phenomenon – taking notes. But I cling to my old fashioned ways like a boulder in a stream of raging waters while a flood of technology washes past me. And here I sit like a great block of granite while the strength of the world carves graffiti in my soul and lichens grown in my crevasses, eroding into sand.

I know I can weave a thought into a readable passage. My words have brought knowledge, tears, laughter, and sighs of delight to hundreds of faithful followers over the decades.

So WHY can’t I find a way around that one last hurdle and get a bound copy of my book on a shelf? It is time to change my strategy. But how to uproot that tree that’s standing by the water and will not be moved? How to roll that boulder from in front of my cold, silent life so I can grow in the sunshine of this new world?

Methinks it will take more than faith.

Any helpful suggestions or encouragements? Just click that little comment button down there and pour out your own words.