Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.



The Casimir Effect

The story of Trevor and Sheu-lo had started with a conversation about apples. There had been no flash of physical magnetism, no sparks flew, no glint in the eye, no wry smile, no hint of seduction whatsoever. None of the elements that had made his encounters with Dani so gut-wrenchingly wonderful. Yet as their conversation had moved from Fuji apples to Bob Dylan and Eminem, something happened.

“It’s the Casimir effect,” Sheu-lo had said weeks later after they had finally abandoned the pretense that they were colleagues, nothing more. She had made the comment over dinner in a dimly lit restaurant, where music never played, an irony that Trevor found appealing.

“It’s a scientific principle. Casimir was a physicist who experimented with electromagnetic fields. Everyone knows about positive and negative fields.”

“Opposites attract,” Trevor said.

“Right. But Casimir discovered that there is a small attractive force that acts between two uncharged plates.”

“Not opposites?”

“Just two plain, metal plates.”

At first they had maintained their worlds separately, but they soon overlapped. And though they were spending many evenings together at Trevor’s insistence, they had limited their physical involvement. There were lapses in discipline which played on Trevor’s guilt on different levels. The feelings that he had for Sheu-lo were built on a foundation of respect.

There was no dramatic proposal, no elaborate ceremony.

They were married in Max’s church, attended by their families.


Another random paragraph from my novel in progress.

He turned to look at Dani.

The glow from the street lights moved across her face, highlighting her features before leaving her obscured in shadow. As if there were two versions of the same person. The woman of light who quickens his heart and brings forth thoughts that he had willed himself to suppress. She of ankle boots and smooth skin and hair of fire. And the one who lives quietly in the dimness, who understands his thoughts and challenges his mind, who without even trying is as alluring and comforting as a soft song in the evening.

A friend.

copyright joseph e bird, 2015

Walking in Memphis

My current novel in progress is heavily influenced by music.  In the scene I’m working on right now, Dani travels to Memphis on business.  I was reminded of the Marc Cohn song, Walking in Memphis. You can hear the song below.  But what’s interesting is that apparently the song is 100% autobiographical.  You can read the rest of the story here:

Hello, Dani.

Here’s what’s fun about writing.

First, the concept of my work in progress, the log line, if you will.

Trevor Larson is a promising young singer-songwriter until an accident leaves him unable to play, and as he finds a new direction for his life, he is plagued by poor decisions as he clings to his dream of being a musician.

I painstakingly outlined the story from beginning to end in three acts. I developed the main and secondary characters in detail and the roles they would play in the story.  I created chapter summaries. As I began working on the story, I’ve made minor changes to everything along the way.

Around Chapter 8 or 9, I introduced a few tertiary characters who served a purpose, but were supposed to go away. Most of them did. But Dani insisted on showing up again in Chapter 10.  And Chapter 11.  And she’s still there in Chapter 12.  She went from tertiary to secondary a long time ago.

The fun part is that she is developing a very interesting relationship with Trevor.  This wasn’t supposed to happen.  But there’s a chemistry between the two that’s undeniable.  Good old-fashioned girl meets boy.

Just like Trevor’s life, this story is taking an unexpected path.  This is why I like to write.

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