Category Archives: Novel
Compulsion, opportunity, fascination and thirst for understanding drove me to write this story.
It all started with a single question. “Why are we here?”
I know every sentient being, since standing became a fad, has asked that question. Some have offered answers. The answers are usually transcendental or hard science. Neither answer is satisfying. Too many things still made no sense to me. I wanted a different answer, so I searched for my own.
I spent several years mulling the idea until understanding finally surfaced. The inspiration was fascinating and I realized I had a story to tell.
How would I tell it? I had no clue, but the more that I thought about the answer, the stronger my compulsion grew to put my thoughts to paper. However, I still wasn’t committed because my life was too full of distractions, and writing demands contemplation and introspection.
A few years after I realized the potential of my initial concept, my job changed, requiring I work remote from my family. With no television or internet available, I had many hours of free time every day with nothing to do.
In my quest for diversion, movies got boring, so I read several books I had put off. Eventually, my growing apathy made me realize I needed something more fulfilling. I decided to try writing a short story relating to the idea I was ignoring.
I wrote two short stories. Though they trended toward my earlier thoughts, their themes didn’t relate to each other, nor did they directly address the concept I was developing. I considered them a part of a larger framework.
On completion, I sent them around to my family and some friends. The responses were positive and I had several people request more.
That was the beginning of dedicated writing. I went underground and offered nothing more for several years as I researched technology, sciences and constructed a framework on which I could hang the story. Writing was my secret life and the story became the world where I lived when I wasn’t working. Addiction closely describes the way I worked on the book, a secret addiction.
The story so mesmerized me that I found myself merely an observer. The text jumped from my fingers and appeared on my screen where I experienced the character’s lives as a voyeur. I felt their hopes, their love, their frustration, their sadness and their terror, not as I did reading other books, but as a citizen of their world.
When the ending revealed itself, my elation was meteoric and it flowed to the pages with almost no effort. It was epic!
Thus, the answer to that question is simple. Once I had the opportunity, I had to do it. Everyone must know what happened in the lives of these people and someone had to write their story.
Does that make me crazy? Until you read the story, you have no idea.
I have many favorites. I highlighted one of them at the beginning of the epublished book. It is a poignant moment where one of the characters suffers with remorse for his earlier decisions and another offers a paradigm shift.
“Look beyond the present. What really matters were not the animals, the plants or even specifically the people you saved. Overall, they are only here for a blink. What you did, was save the heart and the soul of the universe’s sentience.”
“Do you really consider sentience the most important reason for being here?”
“I do, Sir. Life itself is such a small beginning. Life is pointless unless it can look at itself and say, ‘I’m disgusting’. Isn’t the spark of sentient life all that really matters?”
“In that context, my friend, you are correct. Intelligence is a significant step in the evolution of life.”
“Now you understand. We’ll never quit. Given that thought, we have the intellect. We have the skill. We can find resources. We have the drive to do anything we can visualize. Now is our opportunity to prove it.”
This quote focuses on the determination of humankind to survive at any cost. In this case, self-awareness is the most precious attribute of life.
I’ll post other moments in later Blogs. Thank you for asking.
This the most common question…and for some reason, it sounds like a complaint.
Why should the length of a book need justification? If a reader derives satisfaction, not from the number of books read, but from the entertainment value of each story, a book’s length is not relevant. Thus, my answer is simple. It is as long as it needed to be.
The plot of “Field of Orbs” is a puzzle, which builds through combining eight original storylines. These independent stories introduce the key characters and show their interaction with their universe. Through a common disaster, the lives of these characters combine into a single thread.
The story examines the personal interrelationships of the characters under various conditions. New friendships form and old friendships are tested. Tragedy and terror test their resolve. Trust, love, hope, passion and betrayal manipulate their lives and the emotions of the entire world. Altruism rises from despair, only to suffer the challenges of survival.
As with any book, by the time the story plays out, that is the length it becomes.
Nevertheless, when I read a book, I sometimes reach the end and feel a bit cheated. I close the book, wishing I could still experience the story. Longer stories don’t have quite the same degree of that feeling, even when I didn’t want the story to end.
While writing “Field of Orbs”, I hadn’t read much of the story for several years. When I completed writing the final chapters, I read it from beginning to end with no breaks.
On finishing the story, I found I didn’t want it to end. It was fun and I noticed I missed the feel of being involved in the lives of the characters.
So, though it looks like a long story due to the total number of words, “Field of Orbs” is simply an anthology of several converging stories that become inseparable as the main plot grows to a fever pitched adventure.
If you have any thoughts on this topic, feel free to comment.
A number of readers have asked me questions about my book, “Field of Orbs”, relating to the characters and story. My hope for this blog is that I can answer those questions (when they don’t spoil the story) and provide insights to the process I used for writing this novel.
If you haven’t read the book, I’ll give a quick summary here.
The story begins at a key point in the exploration effort of two of the main characters, “Digger” and Sharon Krolier. They are searching the Amazon Jungle for the location of an ancient civilization.
An archeological artifact they stumbled upon earlier is their only hint of the existence of the place they are certain exists, yet they have only a vague idea where to search. Digger is driven to find the location because, judging by the sophistication of the relic, he believes they will find ancient ruins that contain the remains of the advanced civilization, a civilization he assumes perished long ago or everyone would know about it.
The quest to find the truth behind the relic leads them on a frustrating, yet amazing journey that ultimately changes the way they view their world.
The approach to developing “Field of Orbs” as a Science Fiction story was to keep the science low-key and a normal part of everyday life.
The technology moves ahead of technology available in 2010, only enough to enable some of the goals for the story. Many of the technologies were in their infancy, or were a natural evolutionary next-step, from when I researched for the story. Given that constraint, the adventure follows the lives of a number of characters as they experience exposure to multiple challenges.
The science aspect becomes more apparent in the next chapter when an Explorer is arriving at a planet for research. This introduces a few of the key technological accomplishments that support the rest of the story.
His personal logs contain insights to the torture of long duration spaceflight, his interests and his reason for being an Explorer. He explains much of the state of space technology and indicates, through interaction with his ship’s computer and video feeds from home, some of the social aspects of his home planet.
He knows little about the planet at this point, even with earlier visits by other Explorers. Previous attempts to land robotic probes were tantalizing, yet disappointing. The consensus of the researchers back home determined that a manned mission with newly designed probes could be more successful at such a distance.
All the information on the Explorer’s visit to this planet is from his personal logs, which is the method I used to present the entire story.
After that, we drop in on other lives to discover what they do and how they relate to their world. Some of them are making new discoveries that affect everyone on their world. The plot is how they deal with those discoveries and their success.
Thank you for your interest. Tell your friends.
Find the book at fieldoforbs.com.
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