“Universal Scholar and Professor, Amy Tan, Everybody*”

(* = She would probably be aghast that I called her that.)

In 2008, Amy Tan would stand before a crowd and talk about how all the forces of the universe align for her when she’s writing. It’s hard to explain, and yes, her talk was devoted to understanding that very thing.

I myself have already written about that peculiarity a few times, both in the arrival of my tax refund for a certain amount and the timely reuniting with my longest-running friend. But before even that, and before I even knew who Amy Tan was (author of “the Joy Luck Club”), on December 31, 2014, I had a thought that I wrote down:

“Problem with knowing the future of self – rarely can anything be decided upon with such certainty and conviction that the event can be broadcast into the future. Too many factors, aside from the fickle nature of man itself; it’s too open to change until the time of the event(s) itself. There can be no “cosmic help,” since nothing can be determined per the individual deciding. Could there be something to a cosmic chain of events, forcing an individual to act in a particular manner? And if so, is this kind of individual future the only kind to be “written,” and thus, that cosmic influence is the “luck” that causes those choices to succeed?”

So, good luck figuring that out. Scribbled furiously somehow on the longest day of being on the job that year.

But, it’s the same subject material as Amy Tan’s presentation, though there can be a bias here, since she tooled her metaphors to suit a “scientific-minded” crowd. Dunno if I fit into that category, but I had these thoughts myself. Still more, in reference to the above thought that I had, my friend Jacob Conaway suggested another author’s work on the same subject. I don’t remember who he said, but I’m writing this so that I’ll remember to ask.

It’s not a new idea, as proven above, as well as throughout mythology, but… what’s the answer? In every way, in sharp contrast to my self-doubt (still present), I believe that I’ll make it as an author, I just have to start. That’s the hardest part, surely, because it involves so much personal growth. I’ve changed a lot already! Growing still, but not as rapidly as I’d hoped, which is no reason to be upset.

And I’m not. The “take it easy” approach ensures that I miss nothing, what I need is the routine and the focus and those things are related to each other. The creativity will come, it’ll all fall into place and I have proof enough of it.

For me, the lack of want to start is entirely based in fear. I’m working to overcome that and I’ve made some progress. Just understanding that sort of thing in its own right was a step. The actual work, however, begins after that understanding.

I spent some time today and wrote out a much more detailed outline for ch. 2 than I had before. That helped a bit, the only thing missing is all the dialogue. And that’s where I hope to try out the new “act it out” thing, though I have to admit to not knowing how that’s to begin. Well, not true, just start talking about the scene and what’s going on in my characters’ minds. It’s not tough, I just want the excuse.

And there are constantly questions I’m asking myself, too, which is great, albeit a little maddening.

Here’s the part where I lose some of the responsibility, too. I think (that doesn’t make it true), that at its core, Amy Tan’s suggestion that she sees more things aligning when she’s aware of it is based in superstition. Or, the mind over matter. She even says that she uses a “filter” to sift through all her information, getting a feel of how it relates to her particular question(s). But, it does require some amount of belief and she doesn’t deny that, either.

I do think that belief plays a larger role than might be ever be admitted by most people. Believing I will succeed is my believing in the story of my future, a place where I’ve written a book that allows me to write another one. It really doesn’t seem so far-fetched, almost simple. Believing in the story of my future is like saying “The Boogey Man’s gonna help me, you’ll see!” and that’s not bad.

It ties into another ancient idea of the daemon, or the genius. Some outside force that is partially responsible for the work, taking some of the credit, but most importantly, some of the pressure away. I’d like to think that some successful authors in the world feel this way, even now, simply because it can be used as a source of strength.

Ah, the point of this is that when I scribbled that note in haste, it was a reminder that I saw every time I needed it thereafter, which is to say purposefully scrolled up to look at it in my phone’s history. Now, I’m actually on the “right path” that I believe that I’m supposed to be and with some strength in that idea. So much so, that’s actually forcing me to improve as a person and have thoughts that I wouldn’t normally have.

Which is exactly what’s supposed to happen. More and more, instead of just meeting objects and strings and forming complex connections out of (very) limited interactions, there’s the potential to find people who have similar ideas and thoughts and form relationships.

As much as I’ve wondered where my own strength in my own convictions was, now that I’ve started to move on it, and in a very big way, here lies an opportunity to be aware of all the coming great things. I mean, it won’t all be good. I expect pain and dark places, but also to lose some of those things, too!

Nothing is certain, except one’s mind, and even that doesn’t last very long. If it’s a matter of mental energy, then maybe that’s it. To have a thought, an idea worth believing in, remembering it, is to give it energy all the time, which links it to the greater meta of everything in existence, thereby giving it time and strength enough to receive cosmic influence.

When we change our minds, when we forget our own thoughts, that energy vanishes. Since the cosmos operates on so grand a scale, I can only imagine that it takes time, if not proof of commitment to the idea, before we can be showered with sunlight.

The horrible counterpoint must be raised. There’s the thing where you change something when you observe it and this happens in the brain, too. Uh, mostly because it operates on chemicals, which means a physical substance that has to be formed and processed and so, the “understanding” or “memory” may change every time it’s recalled based on the nature of those chemicals (and additions/subtractions of).

So, that energy changes, too, and so the nature of the cosmic influence. And sometimes, it can go negatively.

Who can explain it? The universe has feelings, and one day I’ll talk about that. I’ve hinted at it already by saying that humans have a sense of humor because humor itself existed in the universe already.

I don’t have any inspiring words to wrap up on, the letter itself is a lengthy explanation of a certain problem and the sudden discovery of other people who’ve shared it. I’ve heard of “the Joy Luck Club,” but I had no idea Amy Tan was the author. I haven’t read it and it certainly isn’t the only work she’s done, but suddenly, through that same “cosmic aligning” I found her talk about her creative process and the universe’s involvement once she’s decided that’s what she’s doing.

I agree! I’m learning all I can to do everything right all the time, writing aside. Having seredipiditiously heard Madam Tan’s words on this subject, I’m only more empowered. And so should everyone be. In this regard, I’m more interested in her work, and will pursue some. I’m also overjoyed to hear her mention her mother and grandmother’s influences, too, since that helps with my understanding of culture, even the personal kind.

I guess the short, simple lesson is: If you’re going to believe in something, [expletive] fully believe it. Get all the power you can out of it, otherwise, why bother? Get something else. And if you haven’t found something yet, then consider the search itself a great quest of awesomeness. Personal growth should be a constant. And I, especially, know that’s a hard one to believe in.


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