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Eighteen months ago I had an idea while I was floating in the pool staring at the Arizona sky. Ideas are like that. They often come when you do not have a pen or pencil or stylus or notepad. Fortunately, this was not a fleeting idea, but grew steadily larger and wider and I found myself thinking the story while I stirred spaghetti sauce or drove to work. When an idea refuses to go away, it means I have to start another novel. The characters began to speak to each other and to me, and then exciting things blossom into scenes involving biplanes and horses and trains and long knives and bottles of whiskey–the words and images flew around inside my mind and insisted they become a story on paper.
So I began another book. Here it is. If you had told me it would be a year and a half before the idea became a real physical item, I might have been discouraged that it would take so long to become “real”. Instead, I enjoyed every moment of the creation from the blank page to the cover design to the formatting headaches. It was always a “work in progress” …and now the progress has ended! It is a strange feeling. I have been living the characters so long they are as real to me as anyone I know. Surely they are not dead now that the book is done!
Then yesterday I had another idea.
Blue Damask will be free on Kindle for three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 25th -27th of January. Two paperback copies will be entered in a Giveaway on Goodreads. Enter to win one of them before February 28th!
Happy New Year!
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Philosophers and poets through the centuries have wondered how we got here, and more importantly, now that we ARE here what we are supposed to be doing.
Blake’s image above, of Newton as architect is a representation of man’s mind as the creator of physical objects. The “seat” he sits upon, however links his own physical body to the realm of the unknowable. If Newton creates…who created Newton? Blake rejected the idea that the Universe is knowable through science. In the poem “The Tyger” Blake wonders what kind of forge the creator of the tyger used to make that glorious animal. He knew that there was something beyond both religion and science.
Blake found it difficult to give up his Christian Bible, though he rejected organized religion as losing its purpose in a sea of greed and power. His art and poetry demonstrates a mystical element that transcends his Bible, yet while he hungrily explored the realms of the mind, he clutched the Christian elements that seemed to comfort him.
There was something more, however. He wrote, “The Treasures of Heaven are not Negations of Passion but Realities of Intellect from which All the Passions Emanate in their Eternal Glory.” He knew from his own mystical experiences how matter is created.
It is the combination of passion and intellect that creates the world around us. Intellect supplies the chart…the architectural drawing, and passion supplies the energy necessary to bring an idea into physical reality.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
(1794 William Blake from “Songs of Experience”)
With intellect alone, there is nothing but the idea. A paper Tyger.
With Passion alone there is just the storm of random energies dissipated into the ether: “Sound and Fury, signifying…nothing”.
Combined we have all the wonders of the world.
And all the horrors.
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