Meandering Monday about What Truth May Lurk Within These Lobes

I write fiction. I am often asked (even by myself) where these ideas and characters come from.

We are all different – what goes on in our minds, what we decide to let out. Each of us exerts a certain amount of control over our unbidden thoughts. Some people don’t have any (or are totally unaware that they do, or are too embarrassed by them to admit to having them.)

I admit that I have all sorts of thoughts that just pop into my head, and I often don’t know where they come from. Sometimes I recognize bits and pieces of something I may have heard, or read, or seen in some video entertainment. But much of it comes from other places. Do I act on these errant thoughts, or utter the inappropriate words that pop into my awareness? Not usually – I’m not anywhere near that close to a Tourette-like lack of self-control.

My writing is another matter. Although I do have some lines that I will not cross in my stories (self-imposed by my own sense of decency/comfort-level), there are many things that my emerging characters say or do that I would NEVER do (or even WISH I could do) myself. I am not a murderer or assassin. For that matter, I’m not a blue alien mantis, or a colony of hive-minded non-corporeal beings.

And yet I write them.

Over the years I’ve read that one of the things fiction-writing tries to accomplish is helping us to understand THE OTHER: people (or, in the case of speculative fiction, BEINGS) who are different from us – to try to get inside someone else’s thought processes, to understand them almost as well as we understand ourselves.

And how well do most of us understand ourselves? I’m sure all of us have encountered a situation with someone we know that made us ask them WHY they did something that made no sense to us, and their answer was either just as nonsensical to us, or a standard “I don’t know.” If use the FIVE-WHYS approach (asking why five times to force the person to go deeper into their reasons) you might be able to get close to the truth – or they could just make up the answers. What about you? Have you ever have you ever asked yourself those FIVE WHYS? And do you know if you were getting honest answers (some of us can be very good at lying to ourselves – especially if we don’t want to face what we really are.)

What does it mean to be civilized? Is it that we don’t think those unapproved thoughts (the thought police would like to think so), or that we simply choose not to voice them (which is more likely what happens, as we consider the consequences of our honesty.)

How do we define who’s insane? Whose standards do we use? Is it only the people who can’t control their wrong-thinking who rate medication or commitment? Some people would insist that anyone who isn’t in lockstep with their thoughts is a danger and should be put away for their own good.

“Why, those people might actually choose to break an egg from the wrong end!”

Those people will be ruled insane by THE OTHERS. Wrong-thinking will be punished. And what’s right or wrong needs to be stabilized for that to make any sense at all – if there are no standards, then we’ll all be punished.

I don’t think an even distribution of additional suffering is really something society should aspire to. But then, some people…

How well do you think you know yourself? Do you wonder whether you really know what you think you know? Or would you rather not think about it?

Just saying…

Current Book Promotions

In a Flash Detective Jimmy Delaney eBook CoverPurrMission-MainTall_025For information on my current promotions (including the FREE Presale and reduced price preorders for Cats of War III, my participating books in the 14th Annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale, as well as FREE starter eBooks for my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series and my Detective Jimmy Delaney series), look HERE on my CURRENT BOOK PROMOTIONS page.

Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Want to help me make a go of this writing gig WITHOUT IT COSTING YOU A PENNY? I’m in the Amazon Affiliates program, so any time you click one of the links I provide here to my books on Amazon, and then make a purchase of something like, say, a TV, I get a small percentage of Amazon’s profit. So PLEASE consider using one of my links to get to Amazon before you make that next purchase. Thanx!


or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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