Writing Time

So, I’m writing about a personification of Time.  How would you characterize Time as a person?  Does Time have a sense of humor?  Do verb tenses confuse Time?  Does Time ever experience deja vu?  Does Time have a favorite snack?

I know other authors have tackled writing about Time as a character.  My take is a little different.  Mine is a woman who is referred to by her minions as, the Mistress.  She’s frequently covered with tiny spiders and thin wisps of silver webs.  She wears long, flowing grey robes with billowing sleeves and a flowing train.  The Mistress glides on a carpet of fog from one universe to another.  She carries an hourglass filled with miniature skulls instead of grains of sand.  It frequently irritates her and she would much rather have a nice watch.  She likes to wear a jester’s hat, with little bells hanging from multicolored tails.  She always has a wedge of cheese in one of her many pockets.  Cheese amuses her.  She likes to watch it age.

In my book, there’s a problem with Time.   It’s a contagious condition that is spreading across multiple universes.  When dimensions fall and Time collapses, how would the inhabitants of that universe know?  If Time gets caught in a loop, how will the universe react?  If Time has an enemy, who can she call on for help? 

These are some of the questions I ponder as I write Blithering Genius.  I had hoped to finish this book earlier this year.  It just needed more Time.

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Fun with Toxic Waste

For years, fictional characters have gained superhuman abilities due to exposure to toxic waste/radiation/mutant spiders.  They run around in tights for no apparent reason.  Some choose to be heros while others try (and fail) to take over the world.  Someone will inevitably knock down buildings, toss trains, or raise a bit of a ruckus.  Heros will swoop in, enjoy a prolonged tussle, and then race off, leaving a demolished city in their wake.

It occurred to me that, in spite of the frequently hyped mutation benefits, most people really don’t want to live near a toxic waste dump.  I know.  You’re probably wondering, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great to have an extra pair of arms, or some wings, or the ability to read minds?”

What if those arms looked like T-Rex arms?  That doesn’t sound quite as good now, does it?  Other than the obvious texting advantage, tiny additional arms don’t have much going for them.  What if you grew wings, but they were pink and too small to help you fly?  That might be especially bad if you’re name was Tinkerbelle.  Kids can be cruel, you know.  Parents who name their kids after fictional characters can be worse.

I think mind reading would be pretty bad, though.  Can you imagine the constant noise and confusion as hundreds or even thousands of thoughts swarm over you?  It’s one thing to ignore the roar of faceless strangers.  It’s another to try in vain to block the thoughts of those you know.  Do you really want to know what they think?  What about politicians?  Can you imagine the years of therapy you might require if you knew exactly what your govenment had planned for you?  The only time you’d find absolute peace and quiet would be while you were stuck in traffic.  Heavy traffic is blissfully free of thoughts.

I think teleportation would be a much better super power.  I think about that every time I buy gas.  I also dwell on this idea during the daily commute.  Think of the possibilities.  You could instantly jump anywhere you wanted to be without the soul-crushing grind of getting there.  Nothing would be out of reach.  There’s a downside, of course.  The fact that the planet is spinning and falling through space means that your jump would have to be perfectly planned in order to avoid slamming your face into a mountain or unexpectadly enjoying the vaccuum of space.  All in all, you probably wouldn’t have much time to learn from mistakes.  On second thought, telepathy might be safer than teleportation.

A mind reader just drove past me, rolled down his window, and shouted, “Duh!”  I’m glad I don’t know what he’s thinking.