"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"

"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."

"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."

- Rumi

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Schrodinger's Cat

In my experience, to be a writer is to live in a near-perpetual state as Schrodinger's Cat.  For those who are unfamiliar with this concept, it is a thought experiment in quantum mechanics.

Way back in the 1930's, Schrodinger wrote:

One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter, there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of the hour, one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges, and through a relay releases a hammer that shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.
It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality. In itself, it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks.
Basically, in a nutshell, the cat is alive and dead at the same time.

What does this have to do with being a writer?  Everything of course.  Once we send a manuscript of to anyone, we essentially become like Schrodinger's Cat.  We live in a state of accepted and rejected until we receive that email or letter informing us of exaltation or despair.

I've got two things out right now:  My stories for Fantasy Flight Games and a few sample blog posts for the company I call my "day job."

Now, I find my predicament with FFG rather intriguing.  I have a contract.  I have fulfilled my end of this agreement, and the work is off to the Editor in Chief (don't know if that's the actual title, but it works for now.) The stories have already gone of to the EoC once before.  They were returned with some corrected changes.  See my first blog entry for the specifics on that.  I completed the changes and sent it back.   That was Monday.  Have heard nothing.  I hope that's good.  We'll see.

As far as the "day job" goes... it's not so nice.  I've been trying to get noticed and earn my way into some position with more responsibility, which hopefully will turn into more money.  In order to impress the owner of the company, I've submitted three potential blog posts for the company blog.  I emailed them to her yesterday.  SURPRISE!   I haven't heard back.  Yeah, it's been less than 24 hours.  This is my writing we're talking about... MY... WRITING... She probably hasn't even opened the attachments in order to see that those are the greatest blog posts in the history of blog posts.  Well, excepting the ones I've made here and on LiveJournal -- of course I'm saving my bestest stuff evar just for me.  But... this is where the real agony of the writer's life begins.  The not knowing.  The waiting.  The, "Would you bloody well tell me already!" stage.

Yes, I am well aware that agents, publishers, Editors in Chiefs, and company owners are very busy people with many people clamoring for their attention.  That doesn't register at all in the pit of my stomach every time I hit refresh on my email or check the mailbox.  God.  No wonder so many writers are alcoholics.

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