D-Day+8 Musings (and a Random Civil War Note)

D-Day+8 Musings (and a Random Civil War Note)

One week in and things continue to progress, as these stream of consciousness musings reflect:

- I've met or corresponded with some great people both offline and among the book blogging communities, and fully expect that to continue (and if I haven't spoken with you, feel free to say hello!)

- I've also earmarked some conventions in the coming months, which I hope to detail further in the near future

- Harnessing the power of strategically placed online ads and adjusting on the fly has been one of the more unexpectedly interesting parts of this experience. Even as someone who is fairly well-versed with computers and (basic) web design and structures, e-commerce was a bit of a mystery, especially when directed towards the marketing of a book.

All that said, August should be even more exciting - and if it coincides with a return to actually writing again, so much the better!

As a completely unrelated aside, I had the pleasure of sitting down and rewatching part of Ken Burns' The Civil War series from 1990 (can't believe that's 26 years ago). Just an absolutely astonishing program and one that should be required viewing in American curricula. I say that, of course, from the perspective of a Civil War buff, but even aside from from satiating folks like me, it was and remains a triumph of artistic presentation as well. From the way they brought 150 year old pictures to life through a simple panning technique to the quality of the voiceover work, it's truly a masterpiece. Some of the quotes are veritably haunting, not the least of which is one from the opening minutes:

"We have shared the incommunicable experience of war. We have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top. Our hearts were touched with fire." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

As I understand it, the quote is actually drawn from two of Holmes' (a three-year veteran of the war and later a U.S. Supreme Court Justice) speeches, one known as The Soldier's Faith from 1895 (red font), the other from 1884 (blue font). The context of the former - given at a time in which the guns of the Civil War had been silent for some three decades - is equally poignant:

"As for us, our days of combat are over.

Our swords are rust. Our guns will thunder no more.

The vultures that once wheeled over our heads must be buried with their prey.

Whatever of glory must be won in the council or the closet, never again in the field.

I do not repine.

We have shared the incommunicable experience of war;

we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top."

What a linguist.

Credit for the text of the speeches (click the links that follow or the years in the text above to view): http://www.people.virginia.edu/~mmd5f/memorial.htm and http://www.people.virginia.edu/~mmd5f/holmesfa.htm

Credit for the picture: By Excel23 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

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