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Redbeard's Journal

Seriously. I have red hair and a beard. What did you expect?

External Services:
  • mtlawson@livejournal.com
  • redbeardguymike
  • redbeardguymike
I really do have red hair and a beard. I'm married to a redhead and have three redheaded children, two girls and a boy. (Ah, the wonders of genetics.) With all of the red hair, you can imagine how... expressive... things can get around the house.

My current job is in IT services, which enables me to work from home, but also means that I never really go off the clock. If you've ever been paged awake at 3AM because someone wanted their password reset for no other reason than it was "important to not wait until regular business hours", you know what I mean.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I love to read.

I used to read whatever I could get my hands on, but when I was younger I used to read a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Tolkien, Moorcock, Asimov, McCaffrey, Brooks, Heinlein, Eddings, and LeGuin were some of the authors that populated my bookshelf. However, there was a collection of essays by Isaac Asimov, Asimov on Science Fiction, that really got under my skin. A few of the essays spoke directly toward the craft of writing SF, which inspired me to start penning my own stories. The tales never really went anywhere, and I hid them away in a footlocker when I went away to college.

Toward the end of my college years I gradually stopped reading fiction. I switched to non-fiction, and spent the next fifteen odd years reading up on a variety of topics. I missed the wave of Alternate History, the domination of Fantasy over Science Fiction, the crossover of Romance into Fantasy, and the rising tide of Urban Fantasy. Once in a great while I poked around the SF/F aisles, but I really never seriously thought about getting back into reading the genre.

I credit the kids for my rediscovery of F&SF.

The older two spent three years reading Harry Potter, and they got sucked into other F&SF stories as well. I was happy to see them follow down the same path I walked, but there was a persistent voice in the back of my head telling me that I really ought to start reading the genre again. "Your kids are doing it, why not you? You're approaching forty; surely you remember what it was like to bike down to the bookstore, hoping to see the newest entry in The Belgariad on the shelves. Don't you want to recapture that magic for just a little while?"

Around Thanksgiving, I finally indulged myself and spent a rare evening out by myself perusing the SF&F shelves at a local bookstore, and finally decided on a few books to try out. As you can see from my sidebar, those few have exploded into dozens.

Okay, I admit it.

This journal began so I could comment on some of the authors' blogs.

After reading enough books, I finally started tracking the authors down online. Much to my surprise, I found a large number of them congregating here on LJ. I read the blogs, and after a while I felt confident enough to not make an idiot of myself and start commenting. However, I didn't want to do it as an anonymous poster, so I created an account just so I could post.

Well, you can figure out the result. Once you start an LJ blog, there's this gaping maw waiting to be fed.

This blog tends to be pretty eclectic. I might post about my beloved University of Dayton Flyers, cooking, or some bit of humor that I found in the course of my daily life. You will also find thoughts about writing, SF&F, the geek life, and other assorted tidbits as well. Feel free to look around and comment.

I keep track of my reading on my sidebar. The top portion is the To Be Read pile (which is not going in the right direction), while the bottom list contains the titles that I've finished. The finished list is in chronological order, starting with Green Rider over the Thanksgiving weekend in 2008.

I don't typically write reviews, if you want my opinion of a novel just PM me. Be warned, however: I tend to have broad tastes.

If you want to, go ahead and friend away. I'll friend you back, if you don't mind.

Yes, you have. And yes, that's me.

Shortly after I began playing WoW, one of my online friends suggested that we start a blog together. After several failed attempts at finding a name, we settled on Parallel Context. Souldat is the long time WoW player, who tirelessly works at tweaking and perfecting his toons, while I'm the noob who is exploring Azeroth for the first time. I don't go into great details about intricacies of the game, but I like to comment on things that I observe while playing the game. Currently we also have a third contributor to the blog, Ehna, who is more a hard core raider than Souldat is. (Me? I don't raid; I'm not interested in it, and I don't have the time to invest in raiding.)

If you're into WoW -or you're not playing it and am curious about it- stop on by.

No, I'm not. Sorry to say, but he and I are two separate people.

You can find that Mike Lawson at here at his official website. I've never met him, but he seems like a nice enough guy. And he was a former Nuclear Engineer, which is something really cool to this Physics grad.