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Hi - I am Mike Stewart. I was honored to be named a semi-finalist in the Woven Tale Press 2017 Literary Competition.

My essay "Pinky Swear" begins on Page 15 of The Woven Tale Press Vol. VI #2 Literary Journal (better viewing on large screen). The first lines begin to explain my goals and why any help or advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated - My Story starts: "My writings are different. I pinky swear it."

   Woven Tale Press   

I have modified part of my story to make it an introduction to the book I have written. You can read this below. I would like to be published – just not for the usual reasons.

INTRODUCTION - Copyright © 2017 by Mike Stewart

My writings are different. I pinky swear it.

I am unique. This is a source of pride to me – false pride. You see, you are also unique. We are all unique. None of us are perfectly normal. Maybe I am wrong about this – the false pride part. Our uniqueness is valuable, important, or, at least, interesting. Why shouldn't we all be proud of our uniqueness?

A lifetime of experiences gives us our strengths and weaknesses. Some of my strengths may help you. Some of your strengths may help me.

When I worked for IBM, the corporate motto was "Think". As I have grown older, I appreciate more and more the importance of "Thinking Longer and Harder".

There was a time when I liked Science Fiction. Here I will not talk of Science Fiction.

There was a time when I found insects and biology fascinating. Here I consider bees and a dog. I write about smart ants, both real and imaginary. A cute kitten, frightened wasps, and an old cat are all part of my story. Nevertheless, this is not a book about biology or bugs.

There was a time when I was interested in the stock market. I was not writing then and, after a long time, I concluded that I had only learn a lot of useless things. Now I am not so sure. Nevertheless, I will not discuss the stock market.

There was a time when I was interested in the physical sciences, everything from the smallest atom to the vast universe. And beyond. What I write here is influenced by this time.

There was a very long time when I was interested in business. The relationship between people and technology is complex and intriguing. What I have written about people and the internet could make one a better salesman and financially more successful. Now what I deem important has changed.

What is this book about? What is its genre – fiction, nonfiction, creative writing, mystery, or some strange mixture? I think of it as primarily nonfiction, but speculative. I have tried to think “outside the box” while keeping at least one foot in the box. This foot keeps me tied to our reality, our universe, as I look around, searching for support for my unusual thoughts.

What I write here is about the power of thought. Einstein imagined what it would be like if he were riding a beam of light. This thought experiment lead to the theory of relativity. Einstein changed the world. Maybe all of us are capable of even more sophisticated, in depth, revolutionary thought experiments. This story seeks to encourage this kind of thinking.

People, for example, want to write about what they consider important. Why would you want to write about something unimportant?

I have thought a great deal about this. How do our minds, on a cellular level, decide something is important. When, how, and why do we decide something that we once thought was critical is now irrelevant? Our worldview and what we think is important can change. In some sense, what we write today may reflect a different person than the person who writes even a short time ago. This book is a story of connections. One shows how long ago thoughts of bees influence my thoughts and writings today.

One strange thing about this story is I don't think of it as having an end. We can always think more about any subject, look at it from a different angle. I would only like to reach a point where there is a logical pause. I am desperate to reach this logical pause. I fear that one day my reasons for wanting to write this story will disappear.

Even if we are all unique, there may be common traits that we all share. Perhaps, we all want to be important. Perhaps,we all want to feel important. Yet we are unique - if we had to list, in order of importance, from most to least, one hundred things, ideas, or values, I doubt if any two people in the world would produce identical lists.

I can feel important if I can think of thoughts or ideas that no one has thought of before (by this I mean what I and a lot of other people consider a substantial thought - not silly thoughts like "Would George Washington have become President if he had had Rudolph the Reindeer's bright and shiny nose?").

My journey to feel important is made more difficult by the fact that hundreds of millions of thoughts are created every second. A thought would have to be weird or strange to have a chance at being unique. A thought could, however, be almost completely false or based on facts that are not true and still qualify if it contained a small kernel of truth.

My hope is that you see something that no one ever recognized before, something about the way we think.

. . . .

We are all grains of sand on a vast, lonely beach. Listen closely. Every grain is screaming. Desperately screaming “Notice Me”.

. . . .

Congratulations to the other contributors to WTP Vol. VI #2: Josie Bell---Jodi Colella ---Clodagh Beresford Dunne---Bill Hall--- Jean-Luc Le Balp---Elle Napolitano--- Susan Dworski Nusbaum--- Gerasimos Platanas--- Dillon Samuelson---JT Thompson--- and Shea Wilkinson