Thanks for the feedback. It is a great fear of mine that my writing will get worse not better. I've seen it happen to writers who become complacent.
I greatly appreciate the feedback and the thoughts you shared and especially devoured the praise. It was great to read what you wrote about Marilyn's story because that is approaching book form. The text is done and I have sent it out to four readers to ask their thoughts on what parts are slow or need to be changed or even which work well. It was an incredibly amount of work turning a blog into a memoir. How Marilyn and I met, daily routines, the Magic and MMORPG years, the discovery of the Cancer and the aftermath are all included and fleshed out. All it needs now is feedback and final editing.
I don't quite know how to address the passion part in my writing. Right now, I am traveling, writing, and trying to learn Spanish. It is much harder to convey passion about Spanish class than it is to convey passion about the struggle to succeed at Magic and make it to the pro tour. Of course there is passion about struggling to keep Marilyn alive and keeping a positive attitude. It's very easy to show the rage you feel at nurses that suck or the fear when the infection comes back and I am awake all night in the hopital with a bucket and helping the nurses change the sheets every thirty minutes.
I'm not competing in anything right now and no one is dying under my care (thank God) so I am sure my writing has lost some edge that it used to have. I also used to put more work into my Star City columns because at one point I was being paid well to write them. And being about Magic, well, I've always had strong feelings about that.
You're one of the few people to comment on my fiction. I am assuming you are referring to the first chapter of my novel I had posted a long time ago called "Eminent Domain?" Fiction was hard! Would be nice to know if people enjoyed that first chapter when it was posted. If my passion came out in that I am very glad. That bodes well for the far off future.
I will think of what you have said and see if I can find a way to express my passion for other things in my writing. It is a problem. I am in Rome right now and it is beautiful. I have recorded some great slice of life observations here. But no matter how many times I write "staggering" or beautiful" or "breath-taking" I don't know how to compose travel writing that can speak with the passion of battling Cancer or someone in Magic or MMA. I think I can only express wonder and humor.
I know what you are saying and I agree. The quandary is how to solve it.