Well, there are actually many Nevets paradoxes, but I was struck by one today. More on that in a moment.
First, just wanted to call your attention to some of the tweaks to the blog layout. Nothing major, but I moved the popular posts widget up, updated the features authors widget, and changed Twitter widgets. Also, I added new widgets, one of which will link quickly to stories that have been posted on the blog, and the other which tracks some of the erstwhile educational posts I have put up. Hope these changes are positive.
Second, Nevets.QST-featured author Gary Corby is hosting a contest on his blog in which you can win a copy of The Pericles Commission with the nifty Australian cover. If you don't have this book, you enter. If you just like collecting, you should enter. If you want to have a piece of Down Under, you should enter. And, even if you don't want to enter, you should go check out Gary's blog. He's always entertaining and has a great variety of posts about everything from his experience as a new writer to ancient history.
Alright, now onto the the paradox of the night:
I don't do sequences well. Really, at all. I don't think linearly, so point-A to point-H is just how I think. The whole ABCDEFGH thing is beyond me. I think of states, not transitions between states.
When I'm writing that shows up in that if I had my way my book would be a collection of extended scenes with no transitions between them. I hate transitions. Mind you, I'm not just talking about pedantic transitions such as, "He took the train to Chicago." I'm talking about entire chapters of material about what happens in between. I personally couldn't care less about how the process of development.
In life, it shows up in that I don't do the whole life is about the journey thing. No way. I don't do journeys. Life is about the present moment and the destination. Period. Oddly enough, that's essentially how my memory works to. I remember different things, but not the necessary steps in between them. I remember a time when I didn't know A and then I remember knowing A, but I don't remember learning about A. For instance. Or, more commonly, I collapse all the states in my memory and don't even remember that at one time I didn't know A.
My emotions work the same way. There's on and there's off. There's no building or receding.
It's all states. No transitions between states.
But here's the thing.
The only thing I hate as much as I hate linear sequences is stasis. Every state must be a dynamic state, with enough energy to change into another state. I may not think about the changing, but I know I need there to be change.
It often makes little sense. For instance, I know that Rose and I are not in the living situation we want to be in forever. We have no immediate plans of chance, but we know we don't want to stay in our current state. As much as I cannot think in terms of the steps required to transition into another state, I also go insane if I feel like we're not heading towards a transition.
This evening, I finally began to understand a little more how it works. It's like how I imagine motion. I've talked on this blog before about the fact that my mind doesn't do spatial thinking well. One of my limitations is that I cannot imagine motion. If for instance, I try to think about a car driving down the road, all I can do is picture the car on the road with a sense of motion that is implied but not visually apparent.
That's really how I do life, too: I need my states of being to have a sense of change that is implied even if it is not literally planned out.
In a practical way, it's also how I end up writing. Most every scene I write, and most of my short stories and flash pieces, has an underlying sense of impending change that is far stronger than any actual transitions I write. It's both a strength and a weakness.
I haven't really thought about it, but you can probably find traces of that tension in some of the characters and stories I've written.
As a matter of fact, I didn't plan this, but here's a spontaneous contest: find something convincing in a story that I've posted here, or on www.Nevets-QST.com, or on FlashyFiction.blogspot.com, or one of my stories in Genre Wars, that has a character or a plot element reflecting this struggle with state and change, and I'll send you your choice something from the CafePress store or a signed, nicely-printed copy of one of my stories. Hop to it!
Soundtrack for the writing of this blog post provided by Kan-Johnny-Eight.