The Graduated Throwers of 2022 · 25 June 2022

As I think about the graduated class of 2022, I really need to tell my group of throwers that I will miss them.

The class of 2022 was a wonderful class. I have great memories of their time in my classes. I have great memories of the different personalities. I have great memories of their personal growth. And the epitome of those stories has been lived out in my group of graduated track and field (T&F) throwers.

Throwers are a special group of athletes in the T&F world. They launch big rocks, hurl shiny disks, and chuck long spears. I let them know in no uncertain terms that the implements they are throwing used to be and could still be used as implements of warfare. So they need to take throwing seriously for the sake of their fellow competitors. And they do. They make sure that they and those who wander into our area are being safe.

The group of graduated throwers are a special group. I did tell them in person that I would miss them when they leave. I might have even told them why I will miss them. But I wanted to elaborate in print. Rather in digital form.

I will miss the (former) senior throwers because they were great leaders and teachers. They helped out the younger throwers. They taught them how to throw and how to lead. They led by example in their work ethic. They worked to develop bonds of friendship and camaraderie. As a result, the whole group of throwers had a great time this season.

I will miss the (former) senior throwers because they understood that time was short. They understood that most of them would not step into a ring or onto a runway after the season was over. Oh sure, they might coach one day (even though only one of them has professed that desire, but not necessarily for T&F), but their competing days are over. At least for now. At least for most of them. And that realization of their time drawing to a close helped them to help others cherish the time at practice and at meets.

(Their realization of how precious time is was probably the result of their history. After all, they had only two full seasons of T&F, their freshman and senior seasons. Their sophomore season was just two weeks of practice, and their junior season was five or six weeks of competition. Time is precious indeed.)

I will miss the (former) senior throwers because they are just a great group of kids. I know. We probably should not think of graduates as kids now, but I always think of my former students and athletes as kids. Even the ones who are in their forties. So I say that they are kids with great affection. And I do not lavish the term “great” on everybody or every group. But this group was special. They were special for all the reasons I have mentioned, but there was something else. There was a synergy about them. There was an eagerness about them. There was a sense of urgency about them. There was a sense of team about them. There was just something special about them that none of these words quite hits.

Perhaps the thing that made the (former) seniors so special was that they cared about each other and their teammates. They wanted each member of the throwing squad (and indeed the whole T&F team) to succeed. Even if that success was at their own personal expense. They cheered with the younger athletes at their successes. They cried with those same athletes when they had a bad day.

Many of the graduated class of 2022 have those same qualities about them, but in my eyes, the throwers epitomized those qualities. I will think fondly of the whole graduated class of 2022, and I will miss many of them. But I will miss my graduated class of throwers most of all.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Self-Publishing · 18 June 2022

Unless you are Hugh Howey, you probably will not be taken seriously as a self-published author.

There are many authors out there who are self-publishing these days. And why not? After all, it is a no-lose proposition. You can put your books out there on Amazon or whatever your favorite self-publishing platform is, and voilà! You are a self-published author. No muss, no fuss. You can even put your book out there as a print-on-demand book. It takes a little more time than just digital publishing, but it is possible. (And it is something that I still need to do.)

There is a problem though. When you are a self-published author, people do not necessarily take you as seriously as they would if you are published by a publisher with a pedigree. Which makes sense. People do not consider you an author unless you have books at the brick and mortar book stores. Or at least unless you have more than digital books.

I am writing about this topic because self-publishing is near and dear to my heart. It is how I have published all of my books so far. Oh sure, I would be happy to sign a book deal with a publisher. Most likely. The thing is, I do not write books because I need everybody to read them. If I did, I would be sorely disappointed. No. I write because writing is like breathing. (I know. I have said this too many times in my blog posts. But it is true.) I write because I need to write. Indeed, to not write, would be a sin for me.

But back to publishing.

Some people self-publish because they are tired of getting rejection notices from potential publishers and literary agents. Others self-publish because they think their stuff is actually good enough to get noticed by people, even if potential publishers passed. Others self-publish because they think they have something to say. Or maybe those are just my reasons.

I started self-publishing because I was tired of spending my time writing inquiry letters to publishers and agents. It became a waste of time. (I used to keep some of those rejection letters. When I actually got them.) I also think my writing is good enough for people to enjoy. And I think that the things that I write are worthy of people reading. At least some of the time.

So why am I writing about self-publishing? Part of the reason is because I got another rejection. Which is not a big deal. I was rejected from being a guest on a podcast because the hosts like to focus on authors who have traditional publishers behind them. I get that. Why talk to some author who nobody knows and who nobody is likely to ever know? It is not a way to keep your listeners happy. Unless of course, you are trying to get people to think differently. Or unless you are trying to expose people to new people and new ideas. Which is not their main purpose. I really do get it.

Well, I am no Hugh Howey, but perhaps someday more than a couple people will eventually read my books. And maybe one day I might even get a contract with a real publisher. But for now, I am happy self-publishing my books on Amazon. I am happy to just do my writing in obscurity. After all, writing and publishing is like breathing. I just need to do it. Which is why I am happy with my current publishing paradigm. Even if I am never taken as seriously as Hugh Howey.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Who Writes with Fountain Pens? · 11 June 2022

I do not know whether you have noticed, but I have been using pictures of fountain pens on my blog lately.

For some reason fountain pens are synonymous with writing. At least in my brain. Or maybe it is just that I have used fountain pens as pictures for my blog when I have written about writing lately. I know. I have also used pictures of typewriters and keyboards in my posts about writing. But in my brain, the fountain pen points to writing more than either type of keyboard.

It is funny though. I have been using the fountain pen pictures before I wrote that I am like Stephen King. The reason that the timing is funny is because Stephen King does his daily writing with a fountain pen. I even imagine him using a quill pen and an ink well. Even though I suppose he probably uses a modern fountain pen.

Personally, I do not know that I could use a fountain pen to write every day. I would probably get cramps in my hand after a couple minutes. After all, I do not use a pen that much. I could use a keyboard for seemingly hours. But a pen is just too much. I think it is because I tend to grasp a pen too tightly, but I can relax my hands and fingers and arms when I use a keyboard. So I can write for long periods of time when I have the time and am so inclined.

Even so, I think there is some mystique or romantic notion associated with fountain pens. They are elegant. They are beautiful tools. They are sleek. But they can be messy.

The nibs on fountain pens can leak or they can pool ink in a spot if they are not moved smoothly. However, those little imperfections in the lines of writing with a fountain pen make the product more beautiful rather than less so.

Unless of course, you cannot read the writing. That is my problem. When I write by hand, I can barely read what I have written. It really does look like chicken scratching. Unless, of course, I write with block letters. Which does not take that much more time, but the ideas flow slower when I write by hand. Which is really why I write with a keyboard. I want to be able to read what I wrote and I want to be able to write as fast as my mind works. Which is not necessarily that fast, but it is faster than I can write with a pen. Especially, a fountain pen.

Still, I like the idea of writing with a fountain pen. And so I associate fountain pens with writing.

So there you have it. Now you know why I have been using pictures of fountain pens on my blog lately. (As if your inquiring mind really wanted to know.)

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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