Talie and Mr. Cognis in Cookie Form

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Happy holidays from the Tomorrow News Network!

Happy holidays from the Tomorrow News Network!

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The World’s Ending, so What are You Doing Today?

Today is December 21st, 2012.  Supposedly, the Mayans predicted the world would end today.

The world is not going to end today, but for the sake of argument let’s say that it is.  I’m choosing to spend as much of this day as possible writing.  I suppose if today really is the end of the world and we’re all going to die, no one will ever read what I write today (aside from this short blog post).  That doesn’t matter to me.

I’m choosing to spend these allegedly final hours of existence doing the thing I love most.  I hope you do the same.  I hope you spend your whole life doing something you love every day, whether the world is ending or not.

So what are you doing today?

The Untold Story

Tomorrow News Network is about a journalist who travels through time.  The ten stories published on this website are about her and her adventures.  What hasn’t been told is my story, the story of a wannabe Sci-Fi writer who set himself an impossible goal and somehow pulled it off.

I’ve been writing since I was in 2nd Grade, much of it Star Trek or Doctor Who fan fiction.  I went to college for TV/Film, and when I graduated I found a job at a local news station.  My work in television gradually mingled with my writing, and one day I realized journalists and time travelers have at least one thing in common: an obligation not to interfere.  With that, the idea for this series began to take shape.

In 2010, I became mysteriously ill.  I was in constant pain, sometimes unable to stand or walk.  Various doctors futzed about trying to figure out what was wrong.  It took them over a year to determine I was vitamin D deficient.  During that time, drawing and writing were some of my few distractions from the pain, so I started work on what would become “The Medusa Effect,” “The Orion War,” and “The Opera of Machines,” as well as the accompanying illustrations.

Talie Tappler: star reporter for the Tomorrow News Network

By the end of 2011, I felt much better.  I had medication and vitamin supplements, my health was coming back, and I thought I could do anything.  Writing ten short stories sounded easy.  I mean, three were basically done.  How hard could seven more be now that I didn’t live in constant agony?

In some ways, it was easier than expected.  My monthly deadlines kept me motivated even on my lazy days.  But in other ways, it was much harder.  For one thing, my health never came back 100%, and I remain vitamin D deficient to this day, though the pain is significantly less than it was.  I also didn’t consider how I’d have to balance my writing with my workload at the TV station, now that I can handle my full workload again.  And a family emergency in September screwed up my writing schedule.  All that plus the problems every writer has like writer’s block, critiques from beta readers, and–as if the vitamin D thing weren’t enough–carpal tunnel syndrome!

I promised to publish ten stories in ten months.  It took eleven months–eleven long, frustrating, infuriating months–but I got the job done.  If I could go back in time and warn myself about just how hard this project would be, I wouldn’t.  I don’t want to change the past.  As for the future, I’m writing ten more stories in 2013, but this time I know what I’m getting myself into.

And to my tens of readers, thank you for sticking around through all this, for sending me emails and leaving comments or for just reading and enjoying these stories.  As I said in a previous post, stories are not something I write and you consume, but an experience you and I share together.  So thank you for sharing this experience with me.