Sunday, August 11, 2013


When I was nine, my friends and I saw a UFO.

We were having a sleep out in my neighbor's back yard the first time we saw it. The night was dark, and we were whispering, trying to avoid being shushed by the parents inside. Jani spotted it, pointing it out to the rest of us with a 'wow, look at that'. Of course we doubted her at first - she tended to tease and was a huge practical joker.

But when we looked to where she indicated, there it was, a round object floating over our neighborhood, lights flashing around the body as it moved - red, yellow, white, green, blue.

Sleeping bags were tossed aside and all thoughts of being quiet forgotten, as we leapt to our feet and followed its progress in the sky. When our parents had finally calmed us down, we retreated back to the sleeping bags and stargazed for the rest of the night, waiting for it to return.

We didn't see it again that night, but over the course of the summer, we'd spot it flying over our neighborhood at least once a week.

And we were certain it was an alien spacecraft.

Imagine our disappointment when the local news reported that it was merely a small airplane, preparing to land at the tiny municipal airport a few miles from where we lived. The pilot was a joker.  He'd strung Christmas lights on wire around the body of his plane. He kept his plane at Airport #2, and would take off during daylight hours, returning with his 'spacecraft' after dark.

I was devastated. I wanted it to be a UFO. I wanted to meet aliens, to watch a spaceship land in our street, to take off and explore another universe.

That wasn't going to happen.

But on the shelves in our house, there were books where it did.

The improbable is possible in a book.

Spaceships land. People travel through time or live on deserted islands. The good guy/girl always wins - and if they don't, there's a good reason why they didn't. The average girl gets the 'hot' guy. Cancer is cured. Wars are won. Governments overthrown. Children solve mysteries. Mermaids walk on the land.

Anything is possible within the pages of a good book.

And that, well that is why I write. To make the improbable my probable - if only for a little while. I live the story while I write. Eat it, breathe it, dream it.

If I'm lucky - write the right thing at the right time, query the right agent, sell to the right publisher - maybe someday I can share my improbables with others and help them escape from reality for a little while.

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