A wise man once said -
While politics is the art of the possible, history is the art of the impossible. I have never hesitated in attempting the impossible. What is historically relevant may not be politically prudent. One has to make one's choices.
I love that quote. V. P. Singh was the eighth Prime Minister of India (1989-1990) and the forty-first nominal Raja Bahadur of the northern kingdom of Manda. He was one of India's elite. As such, he knew what he was talking about when he said that "history is the art of the impossible." He hit the ball out the park when he said that relevant "history may not be politically prudent." He was, however, a politician. I'm not - no longer even the armchair kind. Still, history and politics are inseparable. History is an interesting subject. Politics, not so much, but it's essential have an appreciation for politics for what it is to know real history. I did not solve the impossible, I think I merely got closer to solving the
nearly impossible than most. I'm not a romanticist and I'm not beholden to anyone for my work. My books are written for readers who think for themselves.
Another wise man said -
Never associate with idiots on their own level because, being intelligent, you'll try to deal with them on their level - and on their level, they'll beat you every time.
Yes. I know this sounds harsh, but it's profound wisdom, and you will be one step closer to wisdom if you heed the late, great, Mr. Brynner. Forgive me if I don't give up too much personal details. It's the era we live in. I hope you understand. Besides, I've given too many details in my latest book already. Boring casual idiots who may stumble here is not why I write, nor to entertain them with personal details idiots cannot possibly comprehend. I've taken Mr Brynner's advice to heart.
History. I thrive digging into it, to try and understand why things are the way they are. I always have. I have my parents and educators to thank. I'm also a private person and I prefer it this way. It's an upbringing thing, I suppose. I mind my own business and choose to be around people who mind theirs. Climbing the social or corporate ladder never interested me, and never will. I choose to make my own future, success, or failure on my own terms. I would not say that I'm introverted, however. I always enjoyed writing, and so, I chose to write something which is meaningful to me. One might say that it was a therapeutic goal.
Both my parents are now deceased. I miss them more that I can express in words. I always will, but,
that's life, as they say. I have a younger brother who is the only immediate family member living outside the country of our birth, and in the same city as me - Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am married to my very best friend whom I love dearly. We have been married for more than three decades. We have two children who are both adults now and have embarked on their own life journey.
I was born in the 1960's Czechoslovakia (ČSSR), today, Slovakia. My dream career as a boy was to become an archeologist - an Egyptologist like Howard Carter. I devoured all his books as well as any books on ancient Egypt I could lay my hands on at the library. I think that's where I caught the history bug - that - my family ancestry, and my past experiences as an refugee-immigrant son trying to understand why we had to leave our homeland. Like any exile's son, I often asked myself
why more times than I care to remember. My question was exacerbated by the fact that none of us could ever return to our homeland without being arrested until the fall of communism. Freedom. Like anything taken for granted, one cannot appreciate it until it's gone. Nor can enyone possibly appreciate exile except for another exile. By 1989, when the communist regime fell, it was far too late to reassemble the fragmented pieces of our lives. So, appart from being multilingual thanks to circumstances, I don't consider myself a Slovak or a Canadian-Slovak like some other people I know. It's the pragmatic side in me. My parents worked hard in the west. They planned to give us a future in freedom, to make something of me and my bother which is why they poured a small fortune into our private schooling. My parents hoped that I'd become a physician. It did not happen. It was not for me. I wanted to dig up the past, not somebody's ulcers. I think my parents were disappointed. In the end I became neither physician or archaeologist. I went to university and received my first degree in political science, of all things. I intended to seek a diplomatic career, but nothing came of it. And so, I changed tracks and got into computer programming. I started off as a software engineer, eventually becoming a management consultant.
Ultimately, career-wise, I landed a position as a director with a federally funded not-for-profit organisation in, ironically, health care. Our corporate mission was to implement Electronic Health Records in Canada. I was responsible for implementing technical architecture and overseeing investment deliverables in seven jurisdictions: Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. My passion for strategy and achieving results that matter served me well, I'd say. Maybe it was my quirky secret - I derive pleasure teaching people new skills based on my own experiences. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing someone achieve greater things than they could on their own. It was a worthy mission and one which I'm very proud of. The mission was also a partnership with territorial and provincial jurisdictions. Together, our efforts are positively impacting the lives of many Canadians and even people around the world in terms of how modern health care is practiced and medical information is shared, although much more still needs to be done. I don't think there will ever be a finer, skilled, wiser, passionate group of individuals assembled anywhere in one organisation. It was a privilege to be part of the team for eleven years, and to have worked with so many talented individuals on the jurisdiction side. I learned a lot from all of them in the process. Profound changes in my personal and professional life between 2017 and 2018 changed my perspective on many things. Alas, all good things come to an end, and it was a small blessing for my career to end after my parents were gone. They were very proud of what I did. And so, I turned my attention full-time to finish a project with a friend.
Elizabeth Bathory project began around Christmas 2015, innocently enough. It was inspired by a discovered portrait of the sixteenth-century Ungarian, not Hungarian, Slovak countess . The history of this region is very complicated, and of course, it includes legends. One of these is of Elizabeth Bathory, who is said to have murdered hundreds. Her popular myth is based on a highly enigmatic historical character and a nineteenth-century propaganda article. She was an actual person, but practically no archival information about her life survives. Piecing it back together was the purpose of what was my part-time effort, a short story vindicating her of crimes she supposedly committed. History still hides far too many secrets. My first two books of my research noted were published in 2019 - the Chrysalis Books - Chrysalis I, Chrysalis II and the unpublished Chrysalis III. I've put together a timeline of the creative process, if it interests you. I'm ready to publish a much-improved book my father first wrote but could not publish. It's the benefit of time, research materials accessible, and the fact that I live in a free country. I finished it for my father, myself, and for my children. My version of his Elizabeth Bathory book - Chrysalis IV - has much more historical perspective on the sixteenth-century. The international intrigue is fascinating and quite shocking, actually.