When I was in college I loved Thoreau and Emerson’s ideas about always seeking to find new adventures, to really live to the fullest. Emerson said, “Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”
I think that is part of why I wrote The Call. Writing is the quintessential embrace of the future. You start with an interest. You explore, savoring tidbits of information until a tiny kernel of an idea springs into existence. Then you play with it, twist it about, looking at it through the prism of your life. With a burst of sheer joy you begin. It is a journey and an adventure. When I started I knew the beginning and the key element of the end. But the experience I had ‘discovering’ the book while I wrote it was suddenly finding new characters who wanted to be in on the action, new ideas springing into the middle of the work that made me go back and rethink the beginning, and many, many new learnings that changed everything from beginning to climax to end. As I befriended my characters it was comparable to making new friends with real people. I learned about their personalities and interests and the complexities within that I hadn’t anticipated. This happened somewhat naturally for most of them, but for others, notably Radek and Straci, the ‘villains’ of the piece, it was my writing partner, William Walton, who pushed me to know them deeper. His questioning of actions and motivations, his affection for them made me care more deeply for what made them who they were, and that made them ultimately so much more real.
My book was a very deep dive into unknown waters that somehow were linked to the vast sea of my life experience, the murky recesses beckoning, the pristine unknown ocean tides of writing pulling me to places I barely knew existed. Come On. Dive in. The waters sometimes are as warm as a lovely bath. The chilling depths bracing, strengthening, a baptism of new life. See what you can discover, what will surprise you and leave you refreshed, panting for the air of your old life, but with new energy for the future that lies waiting for your embrace.