As those who follow me online may well know by now, I will be starting an 18-month stint of service in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) starting tomorrow, as of this writing.
This was something I first thought of doing years ago, and later decided that it was something I must do. And tomorrow, that dream finally becomes a reality. There are several reasons I have chosen to serve (at 27 years old, I am not required to serve, so I had to volunteer for this); it’s a good way to integrate into Israeli society, a great way to improve my Hebrew, and will hopefully both improve my writing and open up future opportunities for me, as well as provide an experience I would have regretted missing out on had I not chosen to serve. But most of all, this upcoming service is not about those practical benefits, or about me. It is about sacred duty.
For over 2,000 years, the Jewish people did not have a home or an army, no way to defend our selves. This changed nearly 70 years ago, with the establishment of the modern State of Israel. This is a period of history millions of Jews would have given anything to be a part of, to be able to play a role in keeping our country and people safe. How could I not take this opportunity? Honestly, I feel that every Jew should be here, and play a role in this grand period of our history.
Tomorrow, my role in it begins. I do not know what exactly I will end up doing for most of my service, but I aim to fight to be able to take up a role that best allows me to use both my body and mind to do the most good.
This will not be without some sacrifice. Aside from the obvious giving up of my free time and committing myself to the service for this length of time, it will likely also delay my ability to find a wife and start a family, and it will most likely slow to some degree my just-begun writing career, as I will have far less time to write and promote myself during this time.
But this is a sacred, religious duty I have chosen to undertake, and so I can commit those 18 months (which includes vacations, so technically not quite that long). I will do what I can to mitigate these drawbacks, but to do meaningful things, there must always be some level of sacrifice, but you also truly learn who you are by this.
I am the kind of person who is goal-oriented, and when I set my mind to it, I do what I need to accomplish it. I chose to move to Israel on my own over a year ago, so I did. I chose to travel to Hungary, alone, for over a week earlier this year, so I did. I decided to write science fiction and fantasy novels, then self publish them–I now have two books out. And I decided that I would join the army. I begin that journey tomorrow. It’s hard to put into words how that feels right now, with it truly only hours away,
That said, what does this mean for this site, going forward, and for my writing? Apart from A Greater Duty and A Looming Shadow, which are out now (as well as my Master’s thesis), I will do my best to get short fiction set in the Galaxy Ascendant to members of my mailing list as regularly as possible. Additionally, I will be releasing my first epic fantasy novel, The Dragon Hand, next summer, so keep an eye out for that, and I hope to have another book, The Scarred Princess, out around when I finish my service, around June 2019. Then, I hope to go back to the Galaxy Ascendant and write as much as I can (dependent on whether I need a day job or not.)
As for this site, there will be fewer blog posts, but I will try and get some up here as time allows, and I will still be on Twitter, though less so than I am at the moment. I have also begun using periscope, which will allow me to talk about things I might have blogged about, but in less time. I also plan to start uploading them to my fledgling youtube channel as time allows.
I look forward to sharing my experiences with all of you, and any support you can give, from buying my books, spreading word about them, and leaving reviews over on Amazon. I cannot over-emphasize how much all of that helps.
Until next time!