Old Wine in New Wineskins

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”  –Ecclesiastes 1:9

Another school year has started–the 19th for me as a university professor (amazing!)–and I have classrooms full of students who are eager to learn–well sort of–and just as eager to get out there and start their careers. I always find it interesting when each and every year students come up with the idea that their generation is more special than every generation before or after, and that every idea they come up with is somehow never been thought of before. It’s a fantasy I have to smile about, in the same category that I put the sex talk I had with my teenage son when he said, “Dad, sex today isn’t like it used to be.” I had to laugh and say, “Matt, they’ve been having sex for thousands of years. Do you think that much has really changed?”

One of the exciting things that is happening here on campus is a new-found respect that our department is getting from the university when it comes to creative ideas. And I will have to give credit for most of that to Kyle Portbury, our 38-year-old professor who is also an accomplished scriptwriter and filmmaker. He came to SWAU last year with lots of energy and ideas, and has promptly gotten all of us involved in some great activities. One of the long-range projects we are working on is trying to start an institute that would take advantage of the intellectual property that we all have in common and utilize our creative skills in various areas to cross pollinate projects. For example, one of my many books might end up turning into a pilot for a Netflix series, or a graphic novel, or even an audio book. This not only would give me more exposure as an author, it would give our students great opportunities to create. And I definitely want to be involved. And as technology comes up with myriad ways for people to communicate–computer games, for example–we can adapt and expand. I am excited about the possibilities, and hope that it all comes to be.

In the meantime, as the classes settle in for the new school year, I am eager to get my current novel Tesla’s Ghost resurrected again. I promised you I would keep you posted, and my plan is to start including episodes here for critique by my fans or critics (you can decide which category you fit into). I hope to get that up and running by next week at the latest. The thing with creativity is that it is synergistic. The more you have, the more it encourages. And I like that very much.

One of the reasons I left publishing to come to a university is because I love the creative and academic environment of a campus. If things work out, we are going to see some great things come out of that creativity, very soon.