What are we made of?

April 25, 2013

Time for an update.  I printed copies of my books (via Lulu –  recommended for hard copy) and put them in the local English language bookshop but few have sold; they’re few out of thousands, besides, the proprietor can’t remember how many he’s sold and I’ve already paid for them.  As a primary outlet it leaves a lot to be desired.  Also, I am now really committed to the entire ebook idea and the Kindle in particular which, I think, will inherit the earth so hard copy is not at the forefront of my thinking.  There have been lots of successful self-published writers but I’m always reminded of Joe Cawley’s book, More Ketchup Than Salsa (http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Ketchup-than-Salsa-Confessions/dp/095724990X – it’s actually a good book to be read in a Lancashire accent) because he has made a success simply by telling his customers about the book.   They tell their friends and so it goes on.  Now that I’m running our guesthouse (www.casaluiz.com) I have the same opportunity and have started to do the same thing, to the extent of giving copies of one book in the hope of downloads of the others.  We’ll see what happens.  I’ve already managed to get two more reviews, which is better than I’ve done over the past few months.  The personal touch seems to work.

I’m reading a lot.  One of the writers is Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Saramago) who died in 2010; Portugal’s most celebrated writer.  His style is rather like Paulo Coelho and I suppose the nearest UK equivalent would be J C Ballard.  Interesting reading but very inward looking, philosophical and allegorical.  I have to admit to being fascinated by this style which is so different from the run-of-the-mill novels; more style than substance but whose ideas live with you afterward the book is closed (metaphorically speaking with a Kindle).

I am still awaiting inspiration for my next book, having abandoned my last efforts of a sequel to Flight Into Darkness out of boredom.  I think you can only invest months of your life in writing if the idea is one that galvanizes you to write and I await that idea.  The allegorical Saramago style may offer a lead but I’m not sure if I have enough literary insight to see it through.  I always think of writing as being on many different levels:  1.  Say it like it is: modern journalism.  2.  A glimpse into the inner worlds of characters: normal novels (the level where most of us write).  3.  Deep inner worlds:  great literary fiction.  How to get from 2 to 3 is the question but I think it involves avoiding the superficial and trite and becoming embroiled in the subconscious, to some extent, seeing literary links between unconnected things, thinking in a more profound way about subjects and more deeply about characters’ motivations.  Ian McEwan does this well to name but one of hundreds.

So, I seek abstract ideas that interest me.  Here’s one that appeals:  In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book ‘The Four Agreements‘ he says ‘we are all light’ (http://www.amazon.com/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/1878424319).  Oh, yeah, you say…garbage you say, I’m skin and bone with a soul…new age crap.  However, lets associate another idea to that.  Scientists do not truly understand gravity or the reason that one mass attracts another; we all know it happens and can measure it but we don’t know why.   The Large Hadron Collider at Cern in Switzerland may offer an insight in that they have seemingly isolated the Higg’s Boson (http://www.howstuffworks.com/higgs-boson.htm).  Now this particle is postulated as being what gives mass to the particles in atoms, the protons, neutrons, electrons and fundamental particles that make up everything.  It is probably the most numerous particle in the universe (90% of the universe is dark matter) but the most elusive.  Without this so-called God Particle, matter is…well, what are atoms?  They are nothing.  they are weightless, massless, incapable of interaction or even of holding themselves together.  They are massless…they are radiation.  And what is light?  It’s the visible part of  electromagnetic radiation.  Therefore, what are we made of?  Well, light is close.  Science and philosophy collide.

Just an idea.