Thursday 29 June 2017

Something from Nothing...

Just a few...
I'd love to say that over the past few weeks of testing my children through their extraordinary stack of home-made flash cards for their A-levels and Year 12 revision, that I've learnt much about their subjects ranging from Klingon (sorry, I mean, Physics) to m=squarerootof 94061tothepowerof9-[c/theta&delta]minussomethingelseendingin'ta', to post-modernists and naturalists and how they disagree. No, I can't pretend I've learnt a single scrap of new stuff but admit that it's nice to finally be able to help my children with their school work for the first time since they were about three.

Nonetheless, this plunge into the most enormously far removed world of writing I usually frequent, has reminded me of a question which has spun around my mind for as long as I can remember. It's a strange question in itself for someone with such a blatant disinterest in science which lasted the entire extent of my school days - and some. It took me into my forties to generate anything like enthusiasm for understanding 'how it all works' and I blame my head-long collision into cancer for that as I do like to understand at least some of what they tell me.

You can't make stars from nothing.
So, the question is this: just where did the first cell come from? Yes, I know, the algae thing and the Big Bang and blackness and that Stephen Hawking stuff. But it's not that. It's the before the before, the very start, the absolute nothingness - where did that come from? How can something form from nothingness, how can nothing end up in a big bang? How was the ‘nothingness' formed? 

No one has ever answered that for me and although I believe in God the Spirit which guides us and *can* make us do the right thing, I don’t personally believe in God the Creator and certainly not as creator of the universe. But I admit that the theory of something forming from nothing, the scientific theory, isn't any more plausible to me.  

Is there anyone out there who actually feels confident that they can explain how nothing came from nothing? Or is this a question which is just too big even for the most brilliant of minds? 

Your thoughts are most welcome and meanwhile, I'd love to hear your questions, the ones you've never had answered - not that I'll be able to answer them, of course. Meanwhile, it's back to fictitious worlds and oddball characters for me. 

Monday 19 June 2017

Naked Chance

I'm head down in The Taxi Ride, the current name for the first draft of my next novel which I wouldn't embed too firmly in your consciousness as it will last oh, anything from a week to a month based on my other working titles. They've ranged from The Tree House to Thrown Together to Lack of Charge and have all been summarily discarded already.

That isn't to say I'm not having great fun writing the story. In fact, my biggest frustration at the moment, due to my - albeit much pared down - work commitments, teens, exams and flashcards, the odd compulsion to hoover the house, catching up on a few years' of missed coffees with friends and family (that's important, right?) and err, going on holiday (I'll stop now before you craft the Voodoo doll) is that I can't spend every single minute on it. But that's first drafts for you. It's the wonderfully hedonistic feeling when the story flies from your fingers and the characters write themselves.

Fortunately, the book reviewer and popular blogger, Rachel Gilbey, kindly came to my blogging rescue and asked me to guest post in her Chances Fortnight. This is where writers talk about chances they've taken in their lives. Somehow my mind rushed to Ilse, the mother of adorable Andreas, the then seven year old German boy I was tasked to look after when I was an Au-pair. When Ilse chose to talk about her 'alternative' kind of holiday hours after we first met and when we were still using pictures to communicate as neither could speak the other person's language, aged 18 and not particularly worldly-wise, it was clear to me that my year off in Germany was going to be anything but dull.

We're also offering two signed copies of Glass Houses and details of how to enter the competition follow. The competition closes on 26 June. 

I hope you enjoy the read and good luck!