Friday, September 11, 2015

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect by Debra H. Goldstein

Cause and effect. I find the philosophy of causality, that B immediately results from event A interesting conceptually; but as a mystery writer, I don’t believe things happen in a perfectly linear way. My vision is skewed. For me, rather than the main path being A to B, there always seems to be a few A++ along the way.

For example, my “A” this week was the receipt of editorial comments on a first draft. “B” should have been my rewrite. It hasn’t happened yet. Oh, I’ve been thinking about the changes I need to make, but the pluses I referred to have kept B from becoming anything more than a thought in my head. I wonder if your cause and effect ever runs like this:

A – Receipt of Editorial comments
A+ - Read the comments and scratch head to understand them
A++-Go to gym to clear head
A+++-Stop in gym cafeteria for a smoothie and think about how much I hate exercise
A++++-Go home and look at manuscript and manuscript comments. Play solitaire
A+++++-Glance at printer next to computer and remember the paper tray is broken
A++++++-Check e-mail. Notice, conveniently, Best Buy has new printer on sale
A+++++++-Run to Best Buy and purchase printer during twenty-four hour sale
A++++++++-Get it up to my office but notice the office is dusty and cluttered
A+++++++++-Begin two day cleaning-purge four boxes and a bag. Play solitaire
A++++++++++-Set up new printer but have to figure out how to do wireless set-up
A+++++++++++-Shower. Rush not to be late for Mah jongg game
A++++++++++++-Throw concepts around with editor. Play solitaire. Gym
A++++++++++++++-Research and draft remarks for Temple Selichot program
A+++++++++++++++-Review notes, deliver speech and participate in panel. Exhausted
A++++++++++++++++-Write Stiletto blogs and set up It’s Not a Mystery blog
A+++++++++++++++++-Take a nap. Worn out, but mind keeps working overtime
B – Adopt Scarlett O’Hara’s philosophy: “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”

Mystery writing compares to my A to B. Red herrings, turns and twists, and unforeseen character demands prevent the story from merely being simple cause and effect. I’m glad. Think how boring going only from A to B would be.

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