Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek

Neither Fish Nor Fowl

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I don’t know about you, but I sometimes don’t feel much like anyone else.

In general, this is a good thing. I have no doubts about my individuality or individualism. I know who I am; I am self-aware; I work on being my best self, especially as I know full well what my worst self is (and want no part of it, thank you).

Mind, I don’t want my worst self to dominate. And I’m not the only one who has ever thought of this, as we shall see.

In a classic Star Trek episode, Captain Jim Kirk was split into his two biggest “parts.” One half was good but weak. The other half was evil but strong. The good half waffled and could not make a decision as his compassion was so strong, every decision felt like the wrong answer. The bad half made snap decisions, tried to pretend he was something he wasn’t (that is, the full Jim Kirk, when he was only half), and had no remorse even after making the wrong judgment calls. Obviously, both halves of Jim Kirk were necessary for the full Jim Kirk to be able to be decisive–yet moral–at the same time.

So, the worst self I have, that can be ruthless and even cruel at times, has to be taken into account as part of who I am. Suppressing it isn’t the right answer, either, as too much suppression of part of ourselves has difficult and sometimes unwieldy consequences.

That’s why I often feel like I’m neither fish nor fowl.

Of course, the conception of an author’s blog usually is to explain more about why the person writes what they write than explain the person themselves. My answers are huge, sometimes elliptical, yet they boil down to one thing: This is who I am.

So, when I write a romance like Bruno’s and Sarah’s in the two Elfy books, it’s because I believe that romance is–or at least can be–vital to people’s well-being. When I write a romance like Allen’s and Elaine’s in CHANGING FACES, it’s because I believe love can indeed conquer all, even though there will be unforeseen difficulties, and even if the people in question have lots of work to do on themselves to be good partners.

Even in the short stories I’ve written, there usually is a romantic component. In “Baseball, Werewolves, and Me,” psychic Arletta James is a huge baseball fan, married to a werewolf, and has been brought in to consult for a major league baseball team due to unforeseen events. Her husband Fergus is her perfect foil, smart, dedicated, and not willing to take any crap from anyone. The two of them make an excellent team. (I also have a second story about them in the works, for those who’ve asked.)

The two stories about Marja and Tomas, the first a shapeshifter and the second a telepathic Troll, are also in the same vein. They found romance where it was least expected. They both feel like outcasts. (For that matter, so do all the others I’ve mentioned already, particularly Bruno and Sarah of the Elfy books and Elaine of CHANGING FACES.) But together, they thrive, and they use their talents to their best advantage.

I have other short stories that have no romance, mind. And I have a few others that do have at least the glimmering of a romance. But I think you get my point, which is that life should be shared with those you love.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a romantic partner who understands you, celebrate that every single day.

If you’re not, but you have friends who understand and love you for who you are, celebrate that.

And if you’re the most fortunate of all in that you not only have a living romantic partner to stand beside you but have good, caring and decent friends as well, recognize that you live in a bounty of riches. Do not take that for granted, ever. And do what you can for everyone you know, because life is fleeting.

So, while I continue to feel as if I’m neither fish nor fowl, I recognize that my skills and talents can still be effective.

I do hope this blog will give someone the hope they need, or at least some points to ponder. (Let me know that you’re reading, will you? I’m still smarting over that “comment” from Malwarebytes about how “lightly trafficked blog sites often carry viruses and malware.”)

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 15, 2021 at 4:31 pm

Reflections on the Passing of Actor Leonard Nimoy

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Actor Leonard Nimoy, Spock of the original “Star Trek” TV series, died yesterday at the age of 83. Nimoy wasn’t solely an actor — he was a musician, a poet, a photographer, and a movie director, among many other things — but he was known mostly for bringing one role to life: Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-human first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Spock, the quintessential outsider.

Spock, a type of Everyman who could comment, dispassionately, about subjects otherwise often seen as off-limits in contemporary society (much less TV).

Many people are going to be discussing Nimoy’s legacy, and rightfully so. He was a brilliant actor, and in many ways he was at the center of what “Star Trek” was all about.

But my own reflections are far closer to home than that.

When I was young, I discovered “Star Trek” on television in syndication. I was a fan of DeForest Kelley’s Leonard “Bones” McCoy more than Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, mind you, but without Spock’s dispassion, McCoy’s emotional outbursts would’ve had no foil and much less resonance. Somehow, even in my early teens, I picked up on this, and wanted to know more about the actors behind “Star Trek.”

So I read Leonard Nimoy’s first biography, I AM NOT SPOCK. What I found out was that Nimoy was many things besides his most famous, iconic role. His journey as an artist and a sensitive soul was one of my biggest inspirations as a teenager.

It was because of Nimoy’s book, at least in part, that I realized you could be different and still be a good person. That you could be a sensitive artist who your parents did not understand — as his own parents definitely didn’t understand Nimoy’s passion for acting, or the arts in general — and still be able to forge a good life for yourself. And I learned that sometimes it takes time for your vision of yourself to be realized — as Nimoy struggled for years as an actor before he finally landed his role on “Star Trek.”

I did not know Mr. Nimoy, except for watching him on TV and once, very briefly, meeting him at a science fiction convention. But he seemed to me to be a man of worth, talent, and grace.

I mourn his passing.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 28, 2015 at 2:07 am