A Dark & Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night.

My psyche has been talking to me for the last few days. With some reluctance, I recognized what my psyche was telling me. Being a stubborn soul, I preferred ignoring my psyche for as long as I could. Yet, I’d come to a fork. I could continue to the right, along the path I’d been following. I already knew that was rocky. The going was treacherous and uneven. When it comes to writing, following a treacherous and uneven path is mentally and emotionally exhausting, especially if you know that following the other path would be a smoother journey. But —

Exceptions exist. But, the other path was the one my psyche was telling me to take. But the other path didn’t directly relate to the novel I was writing.

Yet it did; I needed to know what happened with Phileas and Brett. Generally, I knew Phileas is a highly respected scientist. Working for a major corporation, she led a team searching for the latest God Particle, a project known, with matter-of-fact drama, as the God Particle Search Project. Significant progress was slow, so another project, private and personal, the stuff of her childhood dreams, drew her.

It was a dark and stormy night.

Phileas first read those words when she was two, but once they were read, everything was changed. A Wrinkle in Time’, by Madeline L’Engle, was the first book she read more than once, and in fact, went on to read a dozen more times. By the third time, she knew all the words and didn’t need to read the book, but settling into bed and opening up a screen above her face soothed her. Being in bed and secretly reading under the softly glowing faintly blue panel was cozy. It was a romantic escape for someone who was otherwise ruthlessly determined, logical, practical and mathematical. In fact, it was a dark and stormy night on Castle Prime, while visiting, when the weather control system in one of the domes malfunctioned, that crystallized the epiphanies that initiated her turn toward her personal project.

It was a dark and stormy night. 

For me to understand what happened with Brett and Phileas, I needed to know more about Phileas and then learn about what happened with her and Brett. I knew many basics. Brett had a son. He didn’t know he had a son. The son, Kimi, had been illegally conceived.

Kimi worked for Phileas on the GPS Project. Brett was a fourth-waver, inhabiting newly terraformed planets on the corporation’s behalf to prove it was safe. Kimi’s ‘fake’ father had manipulated the genetic maps related to Kimi and Brett. The systems had caught the errors but flawed results ended up reversing the maps so the systems thought Kimi was Brett and vice-versa. That’s the basis of the first novel, ‘Returnee’, available on KDP.

While writing ‘Returnee’, I established that the systems thought Brett was Kimi. What I didn’t establish but I knew was that as part of that, Phileas had inadvertently taken Brett when she thought she was abducting Kimi. She took Kimi, along with the rest of her team, because she’d traveled into the future. While in the future, she’d learned things, and now she was covering her trail, and attempting to keep others from following her path – because she knew, in science and technology, that major discoveries like hers rarely happen without like discoveries being made elsewhere.

The result was that the GUFIN virus was created and brought back from the future. And this is where the next novel, ‘Long Summer’(the work in progress) comes into play. To know what happened with Brett, Phileas, the GUFIN virus, and the Travail, I had to know what happened when Phileas abducted Brett and wiped out his knowledge of what had happened.

And that’s what my psyche was ordering me to do: write that out so I fully understood it. Naturally, I had to write it out in story form, because I think in story-telling form when I’m writing fiction. So, thinking about Phileas and her background, and her literary hero, Meg Murry from ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, I was able to begin:

It was a dark and stormy night.

As I knew, the first line is actually homage to another novel — and Snoopy, of course, loves it — but once I wrote it, Phileas leaped to life.

Time to shut down and call fini to another day of writing like crazy. No words were written in the novel today, but so much progress was made.


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