In many aspects of life, self-doubt is one of the most crippling things; no less so for a writer.
Some of my unpublished books have undergone rewrite after rewrite and still I sit and ”stew ” over them.
Even the novel I have had published, I re read it and think…Hmmm, I wonder.
And just when I am about to chuck my manuscript in the electronic waste basket I think…I’ll give it another shot.
Yet, what is truly frustrating is the author is not necessarily the best judge of the work.
Writing I have thought of as really inspired has oft times received a lukewarm reception and stuff I have had a take it or leave it attitude has been warmly received.
One man’s meat is another mans poison, right?
Anyway, here are 800 words of the first novel in a fantasy series titled The Mining of Lif.
I have yet to decide whether I should put this forward.
The Mining of Lif.
In the beginning…again
As writing is an act of creation it must, therefore, have a creator.
And one of the marvellous literary licenses of narrative fiction that such a creator is able to take is to create whatever he/she wants.
You mean like me?
There you go. Now I’m not talking to myself anymore.
You sure about that?
Of course, I’m sure. I created you.
So am I a who, whom or what?
All three, if you like. But for now you can be the Wholly Ghost.
Oooh, with Capitals, too. I like it. But…er, isn’t it spelled incorrectly?
No. Not for this story.
Oh, careful. You had a bit of an italic episode there.
Anyway, the point of this introduction is, well, because I can, and because I am reminded of a song called, “Third stone from the sun.”
Aha! Right. See where you’re going.
‘S’cuse me. But that’s two, “Ands…” in the space of two sentences. Can you do that?
Creators can do anything. It’s their version of reality, after all.
If you say so.
I do. What’s more, we get to be part of the stories.
We do? Hey, that’s great. So what are we? Heroes or villains?
Neither. We are what we are.
You’ll see as we go along.
This is a bit like playing You Know Who.
Ah, now you’re getting it.
Hold on a moment, you said stories. There is more than one?
Absolutely. Things did not grind to a halt after the initial act of creation. Lif goes on.
I’d check that last sentence. You made a spelling error. That should be Life.
No. It’s the correct spelling.
Now I’m confused again. Can we get on with the story?
I think it’s probably best we do.
Oh, by the way, you’re not going to start off with, Once upon a time, are you? I hate stories like that.
No, I am not going to start it like that.
That’s the second sentence.
The wondrous, most magnificent planet of Lif is an absolute marvel; a marvel it exists at all.
Once upon a time, as so many stories begin, this blue and white planet, which was known by another name, floated in its own unique spot in the universe somewhere between nothingness and eternity, orbiting around an insignificant sun, in an even more insignificant galaxy.
It still does.
In the beginning, as with most planets, nothing much happened for g’zillions of years…
Eventually, Mother Nature began to bring forth life in all its myriad of unusual, but nonetheless wonderful, forms.
Over time, a semi-sophisticated race evolved to take its place in the galactic sunshine. They developed technology; including a reasonable space program, fast food outlets, television re-runs and toothpaste with five stripes. This race also succeeded in polluting half ‘their’ world’s natural freshwater supply and managed to exterminate innumerable species of flora and fauna.
Much of this race believed in a creator god and they established thousands upon thousands of different religious sects to worship him. Or possibly her. Some may suggest this race was merely a bunch of sects maniacs. Whatever they were, it was never quite clear why so many different sects were needed to worship this creator god but each sect believed in its own superiority. What the creator god thought of all this was never determined. Although, with billions of worshippers all praying to him, or possibly her, the Creator probably took loads of headache tablets.
Most prayers were about really important stuff such as, ‘please let me sink this last putt’ or ‘I know I forgot to buy a ticket, again, but can’t you help me win the lottery just this once and I promise to go to church, mosque, shul, temple, meeting room above the Pig and Whistle every week.’
During this period, they engaged in several thousand wars, some of which were global and along the way developed the means to clone plants, animals and themselves.
Eventually, all but four countries abolished the death penalty and they decided to call themselves civilised.
Wallowing in all their glorious, self-congratulatory wonderfulness, they were not quite prepared for what appeared out of the blue.
It arrived during a World Cup final, which only goes to show that not everyone is a Soccer Fan.
Some have called them Dino-Killers. Others have called them Planet Busters. Maybe only the Creator knows the name of this meteor, as after it hit all that remained was mostly water and dirt and the few survivors had far more pressing things to attend to than naming a bloody great piece of space rock.
Oh, by the way, in case you believe that the Creator never answers any prayers you are wrong. God did answer one chap who pleaded for a golf shot. Unfortunately, this chap signed his card incorrectly and was fined or penalised or whatever they do to golfers. He blamed the Creator for this too.
Just no pleasing some people.
So. In the beginning…again.
First, there was the word. Not the word, but rather another word.
The other word was “oops,” accompanied by a shrug and a sigh.
And then there was Lif…