Obama, Crichton & My Birthday

I normally don’t write something too personal, I find that those that do end up sounding too pretentious. But on November 4, 2008 three significant things happened.

On this date I hit a milestone – I turned 30. I thought turning 30 would somehow change me, affect me in some way, but it didn’t. I can’t say I feel more mature or even wiser. But for some strange reason I feel more pro ud, proud enough to tell people I’m 30. In fact, being thirty is not that bad, it’s not the end of the world, I mean, Mark Twain published his first short story, Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog when he was 30. And Danish novelist Hans Christian Andersen published his book of fairy tales when he was 30. I have published a novel bu t hopefully like them I can keep writing and perhaps publish many more.


I’m not American but just seeing Barack Obama elected President of the United States was overwhelming. I’m not going to spend too much time on how significant this was, millions have done a far better job of this, but I will say this is not only great for the United States but also for the entire world. Obama is the son of a white Kansas mother and a black Kenyan father. He was raised in Asia and has a half-Indonesian sister. His middle name is Middle Eastern. He is all of us. Only time will tell whether he lives up to all our hopes and dreams, but this is a step in the right direction.


I was shocked to hear the death of author Michael Crichton. In my teens I was introduced to his books by my brother. I remember reading them and being completely immersed in his world, whether they be about alien viruses or the 19th century gold heist in London. There was something about them; they were both ambitious and entertaining. He made science digestible! What made him stand out amongst all the great writers was that he wasn’t afraid to write a different kind book: Jurassic Park (dinosaurs), Timeline (time travel), Prey (nanotechnology), Rising Sun (Japanese/American relations) and so on. His books were controversial, yes, but at least they made us think. I can’t tell you how excited I would get just hearing that he was coming out with a new book. Just the thought of what other worlds or journeys he would take us on gave me goose bumps.

Michael Crichton inspired me to become a writer and for that I am forever indebted to him.