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Never Upon A Time: The errant muse

Several years ago some errant muse from another dimension made use of my brain while I was sleeping. I only know because each morning there were memories strewn around inside it that hadn't been there the day before. It was like someone telling me about a TV series that they were watching on a channel that I couldn't get -- and you probably know how annoying that can be. Every morning for a couple of weeks I awoke to a voice in my head reciting the intriguing introduction.

Three clocks hang on the office wall.
The white one has stopped. The black one keeps ticking on.
Above them the red one is going backwards.
The fairy tale has started.

Every morning there was another episode of the story in my mind and I couldn't get the image of those damned clocks out of it.
I even tried contacting a script writer, for this was a TV series that I definitely wanted to watch if only someone would produce it, but he told me that collaborations seldom work and I was on my own. I knew that the story wouldn't go away by itself. I had once woken up with a children's short story buzzing around in my brain like a desperate bluebottle wondering how it had got in there, as I did. I never had any children to tell it to, so it is still lurking there, my intellectual property, occasionally flying around again to annoy me anew. I only have myself to blame. During my career developing computer systems I had always kept all the details in my head until I had them safely written down, so I knew full well that the only way to flush this TV series thing out was to write it all down. I wasn't capable of doing that myself, so I conceived a fictional writer to do it for me and delegated the task to him. The advantage of a fictional ghost writer is that they don't expect to get paid.

It took a while for my alter ego to get clued up on the basics and conventions and then he was away, typing out chapter after chapter in a matter of weeks. My mind was free at last, but then I read what he had written and realised that there was something about the story, something so complex that I could never have conceived it myself in the time. There were even references to other as yet unwritten stories, all cunningly integrated into the text. I tried writing a synopsis, but every time I read the story I wrote a different one and still I didn't believe that I understood what it was really about. A title had already suggested itself, as had every other aspect of the story, but I added a few extra words to it to express my suspicions.

That was some time ago. Now even many chapters of the other two novels in the trilogy are transcribed from brain to computer. Now the three clocks are so familiar that I am comfortable having them around and the characters in my story are old friends who even seem to suspect that I exist somewhere beyond their reality. Of course they are sane human beings and. like all of us, would never seriously consider the possibility that they were fictional. However I do wonder whether, if Descartes had been thought to be a fictional character, the premise cogito ergo sum would have carried so much weight.

There it is then, my first novel, albeit now a truncated version of the original until I rewrite the second part properly.

Never Upon A Time
(about something else)

Now just one thing puzzles me. If many disaster zones eventually become tourist attractions, why won't anyone read my novel?


I guess all of us robs or bobs have a touch of madness that runs through our bones...

As I read this piece I was smiling and nodding from ear to ear- For me my fictional ghost writer is from another dimensional realm - he calls himself-Santo Nicola- He keeps telling me that's its me who is the fictional one but I digress.

I thoroughly enjoyed this essay into the mind of a writer and look forward to reading your time clock opus...

my warmest
rcallaci;bt3184 said:
he calls himself-Santo Nicola- He keeps telling me that's its me who is the fictional one but I digress.

Yes, point of view applies to one's view of realities as well as individual viewpoints within one reality. My story is set in the realm of Eventuality, the place where the likes of us go to ask "What if ...?" and the disillusioned go to say "If only..." It is a black place with no or infinite dimensions, so far as space and time are concerned, where events hang like stars in the sky waiting for a vector of some reality to touch them as its context drives it on. Every conceived event is there whether it has really happened or not. All the fabulous creatures like unicorns, fairies, vampires and honest politicians are doing their thing there just because someone remembered that they did or thought that they might. However, turn around and it is a place of light with black stars shining everywhere. It all depends which reality you choose to turn your back on to seek another. To travel through it you only need to change your intentions and new possibilities will come towards you, but it isn't wise to travel alone. Lateral thinking or thinking outside the box is all very well as long as you can find your way home, but alone it is easy to get lost and lose all sense of where your own reality lies. That is why the wise and the sane always share the experience.

My characters openly suspect that their lives are being manipulated, but who doesn't to some extent? In one chapter that I wrote a girl wouldn't give an answer to a marriage proposal until the "puppet-master" was not around, as she wanted it to be her decision alone, which touched me. However, the couple believed that I was their creation rather than the opposite, which puts me in my place. I suppose in a way that they are right, that I wouldn't exist as a writer if they had not made me one by sharing their lives with me. In return my pledge to them is to do everything I can to bring them into our reality to share their experiences with others.

Regarding the Robs and Bobs, my wife and I were once staying with a large family by Loch Lomond as bed and breakfast guests and when we introduced ourselves the mother said to my wife, "Yes, one of my sons is a Robert. Never trust a Robert."

I gave my novel to the 77 year old lady who lives next door to read. She stoically read through several chapters and said to my wife, "I really want to get inside Rob's head to understand how he thinks." My wife just said, "Don't try. You'd be mad to do that." I think perhaps my wife understands me all too well. That's why she has never read my novel, because she doesn't have to. Then there's the problem of giving one's novel to friends to read, that it seems to reduce the number of friends that one has. One seems to have vanished without trace, maybe left the country even. Ah well, at least our neighbours don't seem to have any plans on moving house. They're nice enough people although he plays jazz trumpet and she accompanies him on banjo and the wall between us isn't that thick, but we wouldn't want to lose them. It's just as well that she never got to understand how I think, not at her age. Nobody should have their illusions shattered.
Yesterday was our 44th wedding anniversary and we made it a movable feast. At lunchtime we ate the starter course inside our house (temperature 68ºF and shady), then moved halfway down the garden and ate the main course with wine sitting under the new pergola (mentioned several times in Totally Pointless Posts as the posts supporting it were quite flat at the bottom when it was erected. Temperature 50ºF and shady with a light wind), then moved into the greenhouse at the bottom of the garden, taking the patio table with us, for the sweet course, coffee and liqueurs. (Temperature 78ºF and full sun, bliss after the pergola.) In the early evening we had fireworks (Indoor fireworks of course. We weren't mad enough to go outside just to set off fireworks.) followed by a blazing open log fire. We've eaten every wedding anniversary celebratory meal at home ever since we spent our wedding night here 44 years ago, but this year we got as far as the bottom of the garden. Well it's a lot cheaper than a world cruise. It was our first lunch in the garden this year as well. Kent gets a fair amount of sunshine all the year round despite England's reputation for dismal weather. So now we're into year 45. My angel likes sapphires. She has them in her eternity ring and pretty soon their promise will have been fulfilled.

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