Black Holes and the Art of Writing

blackhole1Wow, I can’t believe it’s been just over a year since I put anything new out on the blog. Forgive me dear readers for being so neglectful of you. I hope you will forgive me once you find out the reason for my neglect.

You see, I had dreams of writing another book (a novel this time), and thought that I could do that and continue my blogging, too. Unfortunately, I found that writing a novel is like getting sucked into a black hole. At first I merely crept up to the edge of the blackness and peered inside the void. I would gaze down into that dense blackness and wonder if I could actually fill enough pages to create a book. After all, I’ve spent the greater part of my life writing short, novelty pieces, how-go guides (which are by their very nature short), and short stories. (Do you see the pattern there? Everything is short…).

However, after spending enough time gazing into that black hole, I decided I was ready to give it a try. After all, how difficult could it be? I’d been writing my whole life, and if the story didn’t take off, well…no harm done, right? I’d simply back away from the black hole of authordom, and continue being the writer of short pieces.

So, I started writing—a paragraph here, a chapter there—but nothing that really interfered with my “real work” of writing (for my blog, for my paycheck, for myself). But after a while the little bits I had created started to come together into something bigger, something more than just a short story or a novella. Soon, I was caught up in the fever of the characters I had created. Their needs and their desires became all important; they began to run my life. Before I knew it, I was no longer standing on the edge of the black hole, I was falling into it. (And let me tell you, once you start falling, it goes on forever.)

Here it is, fourteen months later and I’m finally at the other side of that black hole. I have a completed book, I’ve written a rough draft of the second adventure for my characters, and I’ve done up an outline for book three. Wow! It’s like waking from a dream and finding out that it wasn’t a dream at all.

It may have seemed as if I fell off the face of the Earth (and in a way, I guess I did), but the results are worth it (at least to me). If nothing else, I proved to myself that I could survive falling through a black hole. But I also learned that writing a book is hard work, and writing the story is only half the job. There’s so much more to do and I may make a lot of missteps along the way, but you’re welcome to journey with me.

I assure you, the journey is mystical, mundane, mind expanding, and life enriching.



Ooops, sorry…

ottoman“Oops, sorry…” I mutter to the ottoman I just stumbled over. The other people in the room glance at me as if I’m nuts, but that’s okay. I may be slightly off, but I’ve just as often wondered why other people don’t apologize to objects that they trip over, bump into, or knock about.

I mean, we’re all made from the same stuff, aren’t we? From what I’ve read, the chair we’re sitting on and the computer we’re using to write this post all share the same basic components as us , we’re just structured differently. So, why do we suppose that the objects we label inanimate don’t feel or think?

I grew up watching TV shows such as “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Bewitched”, which showed people constantly being turned into objects (chairs, bed warmers, pin cushions, and pillows). And let us not forget the show “My Mother the Car” or the KIT car from “Knight Rider”, they were very human-like in their interactions.

And lest you think I watched too much TV as a kid, there were (and are) books of fantasy and SciFi with robots and androids whose feelings are as acute as any human’s, cups and saucers that hold their own tea parties, toys that come to life when people aren’t around to see, and beds that fly.

So, who’s to say that the ottoman I apologized to didn’t appreciate the recognition and consideration I showed it? And if I hadn’t apologized, would that same ottoman have wandered over into my path again, perhaps with a more malicious intent?

And what does it cost, really, to offer an apology to a chair, ottoman, shoe, or other object when we bump into it, trip over it, or knock it over because we’re not paying attention to our surroundings? Perhaps if enough of us took the time to be more gracious to our things, we might find ourselves extending those same courtesies to each other, too. Now wouldn’t that be a more pleasant world to live in?