Friday, 13 January 2017

A beginning

Well, here we go.

Hi. My name is Alex Makar. At the time of this writing, I'm a 35-year-old lover of science fiction and fantasy in their various forms and mediums;  I've been so since the age of eleven. It was then that I got my hands on a copy of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis from the St. Mary's Elementary School library in Hamilton, Ontario. That probably makes me a late bloomer when it comes to reading, but you'll have to cut me some slack, as I was a Polish immigrant who only arrived in Canada in 1988 at the impressionable age of seven.

Being an impressionable kid, those early years in a new country were very formative. I remember crying on my first day of school because I couldn't communicate with the people around me. I remember learning English, making friends, riding my bike all over the place, playing road hockey, being introduced (figuratively) to Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and becoming engrossed in North American cartoons and video games.

Regarding those dastardly video games, I only recently discovered the main reason my mom and dad bought me and my sisters a Nintendo Entertainment System: they didn't have the time and energy to watch us at the end of the day and do everything else that needed doing around the house. I'm happy to report that Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man and Tetris did an excellent job of raising me in the hours my mom and dad couldn't, and I'm grateful that I had parents who were open-minded enough - or just tired enough - not to deny us access to alternate worlds that other parents would have maybe called a waste of time. So, thank you mom and dad.

Like most kids with the freedom to be bored and to seek out their own adventures, be they in Hyrule or the streets of Hamilton, I spent a lot of time in my own head imagining the possibilities that existed beyond my tangible reality. Then along came Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter - the four Pevensie siblings from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - whom I can definitively point to as the keystones who unlocked the power of speculative fiction to me. I've read hundreds of books since then, but everyone has their starting point. Perhaps not so strangely, I know I'm not the only one who had this experience with the book, as Neil Gaiman has notably cited it as the one that lit his literary fuse; rightfully so, as there is something universally pure, exciting, and heart-breaking about that story. With that in mind, I owe much of my love of genre and whatever becomes of my own attempts at speculative fiction to C.S. Lewis and his wonderful world beyond a wardrobe.

My plan is to use this blog as a way of holding myself accountable as a writer, but also as a space to share my thoughts on whatever I'm engaging with in the SFF world at the moment. That could be anything from book, movie, television, video game, music, or story passage analyses, to full-on commentaries and reviews. Hell, I might just blog to share what I'm doing at the moment provided it's relevant to my literary quest. In short, I intend this to be a record of my writing journey for better or worse, and I'm grateful to anyone who takes the time to watch me stumble and improve my skills along the way.

So, here we go.

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