What if this could last forever?

clock“Time passes.  Will you?” Alex jokes with the high school physics class that he teaches. All of his students are sure that you can’t slow down time. However, Alex can.  By the end of z2, he has learned how to make time pass more or less quickly to suit his needs or even just his preferences.

If you had Alex’s powers, what would you do?  Speed through the time spent waiting in traffic? Make a kiss last a year? Speaking of kissing, and what often follows, I am told that at least one major world religion promises orgasms that will last forever in the after life.  It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to think that maybe after six, seven hundred years one might be ready to convert to another faith.

When my own mother, a devout catholic, was near her death she surprised me by asking me whether I thought you really sat around in heaven and played harps forever.  After a lifetime of attending mass regularly, it occurred to to her that she wasn’t sure that she was up for a whole eternity of harps. I sympathized. I figure I’d make it one day, max, with harp music.

harpBut she didn’t need to hear about my own doubts right then, she needed someone to sooth her own.  If there ever was an occasion to rise to…

“I think that what ever happens after death, mom, must be far more interesting and better than anything anyone here on earth has ever thought of.” The smile on her face was it’s own reward.

Is there anything, anything at all that I would want to last forever? I’m still thinking.  Meanwhile, it’ a good thing that time passes.

For more thoughts on “what if” check out my y1 blog post on what if you could look like anyone?And see my x0 blog post on what if I really do know what you are thinking?

How things change: being thoroughly modern

Visit Caitlin Kelly

Visit Caitlin Kelly

I’m waist deep into research for the fourth novel in this collection, and am spending way too much time thinking about human trafficking and involuntary prostitution. It is a horrible subject to have take residence in your head. Then it occurs to me. Could there possibly be a worse subject for a Broadway musical? Except for the intentionally awful “Spring time for Hitler” of The Producers fame, I think not. And yet, a few years ago I saw such a musical on Broadway.

Let me back up. I was still a child when my sister and I were allowed to see the Julie Andrews movie Thoroughly Modern Millie in which a heartwarming small town girl sets out to marry her rich boss but first must evade an Asian “white slavery ring” and assorted comical mayhem ensues. My mother, to her credit, asked me after the show if I had any questions about the plot and I assured her I did not, even though of course I did.  She left it at that. My sister and I loved the flapper dresses and the long cigarette holders and a tipsy Carol Channing  gushing “raspberries” and declared it our favorite movie ever.

So when my own children were mostly grown, I found myself in New York with them and my sister and guess what had just opened on Broadway? “We have GOT to see it.” My sister and I jumped up and down.  “This is going to be great!” Only it wasn’t. Since the movie came out in 1967,  I had acquired two teenage daughters and several Asian friends. Girls marrying for money wasn’t so funny. Caricatures of Asians were less so. Drunk overdressed rich women? No. And kidnapping young girls so they could be forced to have sex? By intermission I was thinking that this had been a very bad idea.  My kids were giving me funny looks. The world has changed so very much, I thought that night, and I’m glad that it has.

However, the Broadway musical went on to win six Tony awards, including best musical. It spawned three traveling productions and, in the words of Wikipedia “has since become a popular choice for high school productions.” Yikes. High school productions.

Okay, so maybe the world isn’t quite as different as I sometimes think that it is. Sometimes, it’s me that has changed. And I’m glad that I have.

For more on how things change with time, visit my x0 blog here for thoughts on veggie burgers, humor and empathy. Also visit my y1 blog here for thoughts on gay psychiatrists and my hoarding disorder.

Music for doing what needs to be done

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Website

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Website

Like the other members of the Zeitman family, Alex finds that music helps him do the extraordinary things of which he is capable. To me, this is merely interjecting a bit of realism into the plot. Music helps me stay awake late at night when I am driving. Music helps me get out of bed and face a tough day, thanks to the fact that I have an alarm tied to an mp3 player with a special selection of wake-up songs. I play one kind of music when I am cooking a big meal or doing a chore that takes extra energy, and other types when I am stressed and need to relax. I think most people use music, the right kind of music for them, to bring out their strengths and to help them do what needs to be done.

Because Alex can slow time down, it is natural that he gravitates to songs that tie into this talent.  When he slams his car door only to realize that he has hit the lock button already and has left his keys on the seat, he turns to the great Diana Ross of the Supremes to help him.  Please check out this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Tribute to the Supremes, and enjoy the video of “Stop! In the Name of Love” here.

Stop! In the Name of Love

More ways to read

z2 final May 2013Interested in reading z2 but don’t use a Kindle? Visit the new z2 on Smashwords where it is available in all sorts of formats you can download or read on screen.  Also check out z2 on Goodreads where you can get a pdf or an epub file for the first 75% of the book for free.

Coming Soon: z2 will be out in paperback at amazon.com June 16, 2013.

Check out the new cover

I’ve been working with Jennifer Fitzgerald at Mother Spider Marketing to redesign the z2 cover with a little more zing and a little less confusing combination of images.  I am very pleased with the result! Please check it out and let me know what you think.

new cover for z2

new cover for z2