Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Decide to Write a Book

January 11, 2009

Two years ago, almost exactly. My management consulting business was in the tank. The economy had gone south for the winter and my clients flew down there with them. I was depressed and alone and sitting in my office overlooking the marina. The dreams of making the business work turned into the reality of it never happening. I did what I usually do when I have little to do and I'm depressed. I picked up a book and started reading. The book was Dinosaur in a Haystack, by Stephen J. Gould. I had last read the book almost fifteen years before and it was one of my favorite non-fiction works and what the author had to say resonated deeply with me.

I opened the book to the first page, and what should I see? A doodle. A simple sketch of a spirally shell with a caption below it reading "Shell People". The doodle immediately brought back the memory of the plane flight. I sat in First Class on a 747 headed for Amsterdam. My final destination was Archangel, in the Arctic Circle part of Russia. I remember seeing the Aurora Borealis, not for the first time nor the last. I doodled for the duration of the flight and a story was born. I did not write the first word of the story until January 11, 2009, but when I did it the doodler became a writer.

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