Thursday, March 11, 2010


Current Project: St. Patrick's novella 
Status: Ready to write!

I just finished a book called FRACTAL TIME by Gregg Braden. Braden was a computer programmer with the defense industry before he became a best-selling author. One thing I find fascinating about his work is the way he combines science and spirituality. 

In this book, he talks about the recurring cycles of nature that are nested within ever-larger cycles of how we mark time. The 24-hour cycle of day and night, within the 28-day cycle of the moon revolving around the Earth, within the 12-month cycle of the Earth rotating around the Sun, within the 5,125-year cycle of world ages, within the 26,000-year cycle that it takes our solar system to pass through all twelve constellations or zodiac signs of stars. 

Lots of fodder for the humorous time travel novella I'm working on!

Stunning as it may sound, Braden didn't write this book just to give me ideas for writing. He makes the case that the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 isn't the end of the world, but the culmination of two rare events: the end of a 5,125-year world age and the completion of our solar system's 26,000-year journey through the twelve constellations. He arrived at these conclusions by combining recent scientific discoveries with twenty years of studying how ancient peoples, such as the Maya, tracked time so precisely without computers as we know them today. 

He also states that there are predictable cycles of human events such as war and peace within these cycles of time, and introduces a Time Code Calculator to make these predictions. For mathematical genius types, he offers an appendix that shows each step he used to calculate when conditions were ripe for a repeat of historic events, such as the attack on Pearl Harbor or the 9/ll attack on the World Trade Center. 

He also offered a simplified formula to figure when events in our own lives are likely to repeat. 

Non-math types such as me were left to our own devices to make up stories about time travel and wonder if I could figure out how to win the lottery jackpot. 

Seriously, I found his ideas really interesting. Are our lives a series of patterns or cycles that we repeat over and over? Fortunately, Braden offered the message that with each cycle, we also have the opportunity to make different choices that sets another pattern in motion--perhaps a more positive pattern.

Have you noticed patterns or cycles in your life or your writing? We've had quite a few discussions on this blog about our writing processes. Parts of those processes we like because they generate stories we love. However, other parts of those processes are riddled with anxiety and stress. 

Have you intentionally changed how you write so you enjoy the process more? For instance, I've heard some writers say they jump right into another project as soon as one is finished and off to their editor. Others use the time between projects to relax and "refill their creative wells." Or do you just stick it out through the tough times of your writing process with the knowledge that writing The End will be worth the anxiety?


Paty Jager said...

Genene, you lost me with all the numbers! LOL As my daughter used to say, "This is math, why are there letters in these problems?"

"This is writing why are there numbers in this post?" LOL

I agree life does go in cycles, and I think the cycles are what help us know that when times are hard they will get better.

I tend to do different things between projects depending on how I'm feeling and what needs to get done.

Alice Sharpe said...

genene -- lots of interesting ideas here, thanks for opening my eyes this a.m. And Paty, LOL.

THis is what I think: Life demands slogging out the tough times. Otherwise we would never eat anything but wild fruit that grew right next to the sidewalk -- wait, there would be no sidewalk, too tough to build. Every single aspect of life let alone "jobs" or "art" or "compulsions" is a mix of good and bad and anyone who says they love every detail of something are either eating funny mushrooms or need a couch and a guy with a thick accent, a notepad and a beard. There is no choice but to slog through the tough times and for me, it's the knowledge of the reward at the end -- I am done! -- that keeps me moving forward.

That said, I know there is a pattern to my writing that I believe is fairly typical and that's work, work, work, play, play, drift ... work, work, work etc.... I don't know if patterns is the same as cycles. It's too early. I have to think about this. Need coffee...

Genene Valleau said...

LOL, Paty!

I have to agree with both you and your daughter about math. However, this book was actually pretty good about explaining these cycles, even for those like me who have to work at math. But my sons are both mathematical geniuses, so if I have number questions, I just ask them. :)

Since you and your hubby live on a ranch--or two!--you probably experience cycles more vividly. And it seems the only time you have "between projects" is enough to take a deep breath and jump into the next one! You are one busy lady!

Genene Valleau said...

Alice, I'm sorry you were confronted with this before coffee!

I also think of patterns and cycles as being the same thing. What fascinates me about this author's message is that we can change cycles by being aware of them. Then we can make different choices or view them from a different perspective. And, barring access to those funny mushrooms, that may mean just putting one foot in front of another until we get to that end reward--and knowing there will be a reward.

I also need to insert "play" in my cycles. Thank you for that reminder. :)

Katie said...

Of course everything has a pattern. It's because everything is made up of mathematical equations that keep all of the universe running. ^_^ It was really quite clever of God to set it up this way, if I do say so myself.

I've been working on changing my cycles and life patterns lately. There are some things I want to improve in myself, some old ways of thought I'm changing. I know the writing will flow so much more because of this "rewiring." What you said about positive patterns-this is what I'm trying to achieve. And it's been really great.

Genene Valleau said...

LOL about mathematics, Katie! I've always been slow with math. Maybe that's why it's taken me longer to catch onto the patterns than a lot of other people.

Good for you for rewiring your life into more positive patterns! That's what I'm doing too.