Book it to Who, What, When, Where

What was your first all time favorite book?

Do you remember 1990? Film gave us Flatliners and Total RecallJurassic Park leapt out at us from print.

In those days, my mother was a voracious reader. She added to her book stacks almost daily. Usually from the supermarket checkout aisle, after working as a physical therapist for a hospital in downtown Lubbock, Texas.

I was 10 years old. Curious about her imaginary exploits, I asked her to read one with me. Her eyes widened and she grabbed her worn copy of Greg Bear’s Eon.

Eon was published in 1985. My mother read it three times. Then she read it to me.

Several aspects of the book riveted me. A female protagonist discovers forever in a rock floating in space, which is actually a ship designed by us in the future to survive a situation concocting itself in the present. Does it get any better than that?

The first time isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, but it sure was for me.

Was it for you?

Then in 2008, I found myself smitten with the characters in Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.

I read it before, during, and after work until there was nothing left for me consume. Yet Claire and Henry occupied my mind for weeks.

I might as well have been possessed for all the hours I spent captivated by them.

Does becoming the focused observer of events which move at a faster pace, momentarily release said observer from the shackles of time? Or at least what we, in our understanding of the daily routine of time, perceive it to be?

I find myself engrossed in my first novel, The Last Symbiant, which I hope will become someone else’s first – the way Eon was for me. Time is slowing down even as it is flying by.

My characters are telling me who they are and what they are up to. Then they change their minds and I realize that what I thought I was writing about has become only an introduction to a larger concept.

The narrative is taking control, and I am now the observer of a process which has me showing up to the page to access a portal into a world I had always been begging to see.

An opening is always present, usually accompanied by the fear of where a jumble of nouns, verbs, and adjectives might lead. In this process of being as still and focused as possible, fear has announced itself to be like the reflection I see when there is a glass door in front of me. Otherwise, I might not know a door is there.

What have I discovered? What can I offer you?

This experience is not linear. It is circular. Multi-dimensional. Spherical, like a pristine pebble. Or our beautiful planet on which I sit. Writing. Discovering forever in a rock floating in space, to write you the novel I always wanted to read.

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