Friday, December 2, 2011

On Black Holes and Alleged Book Deals

I don’t understand Quantum Mechanics. Lately my son’s been giving the family mini lessons at the dinner table but the bits and pieces that I manage to grasp fall away shortly after the meal is eaten. My mind is a sieve for stuff like science and math. Blame this on a history of scary and/or uninspiring nuns and a dash of an inferiority complex back when I was in high school (cough cough) over twenty years ago.

My son patiently and excitedly explains his latest insights in what I assume is a perfectly understandable manner. But what I hear sounds like this: “particles…light….Einstein said….so force will…something something….a dead cat…” Then he gives up and directs the rest of the conversation to his father.

But every once in a while a concept seeps in. I hate to say this, because it will make me seem very self-centered, but it’s usually a concept that relates to, well, ME. So here’s the background info—and if you’ve been following this blog even sporadically, you can probably guess what I’m about to say next—I’m waiting but pretending I’m not waiting for news about a potential book deal. This WAITING is slowly driving me mad. Every day I wake up not thinking about it while actually thinking about it. I go about my morning viscerally shoving it out of my mind and mentally patting myself on the back about my cheery upbeat attitude as I make breakfast and pack lunches. Then it’s down to my cave of an office to fire up the stuttering/near broken lap top to further not think about it. I do this by writing another blog. And doodling around in my journal. I make up projects. Writing exercises. And rereading snippets of inspirational writing books. Why don’t I just start another novel? But Christmas is only a few weeks away! There’s no point! These are just a few of my fun mental battles.

Then it’s time for yoga and further not thinking about It That Shall Not Be Named. Maybe it will happen today is the thought that burbles up during my mediation. Which I quickly tamp down until it’s time for lunch! And more writing in the office. But I’m out of my pajamas now, so I’ve got that going for me. I know, I’ll enter a writing contest. I’ll write a poem. No. I must get the heck out of the house. I simply can’t sit one more second in front of my computer blinking at my empty email box.
I haul myself to the library. To the post office. To the grocery store. My metaphorical hands are pressed against my ears. I’m not thinking about it. I’m not thinking about it. Because if I DO think about it, what I think is: it’s not going to happen today. And there isn’t much of a leap to get to the next step: It’s not going to happen ever.

But at this point you may be thinking: Wait. Wasn’t she talking about Quantum Mechanics?

Don’t worry. I didn’t forget. So it has something to do with black holes. Apparently, (and forgive me if I get any of this wrong; it’s really really likely that I will.) if you are heading toward a black hole, you will, at a certain point, cross the black hole threshold and fall into it. BUT if someone is watching you fall into a black hole, he won’t ever see you cross over. From his vantage point, you just keep getting closer and closer. Forever. There was more to my son’s explanation and now that I think about it, this may not have anything to do with Quantum Mechanics. I had stopped taking information in and was simply picturing myself slipping closer and closer to a black hole. But the black hole in my mind was the %&#*%^ book deal.

It seems that there is an actual scientific reason why time has slowed down and collapsed in on itself and I am seemingly no closer to reaching my goals than I have ever been.

Whew. So that’s a relief.


  1. Jody, there's nothing I can say about the process that you haven't hear a million times so let me just say that I admire your courage in baring your soul like this. Wishing you the best of luck, because that's all that's lacking now--the talent and the hard work are already there.

  2. Thanks Tracy. You'll probably be happy to know that I'm almost at the point where I'm sick of writing about it too. On another note--just started your new book Dark of the Moon. Soooo good.