As I wrap up the first draft of the entire Metatron’s Army series, I can’t help but notice that several scenes which were cut 18 – 24 months ago are making their way back into the finish. Interestingly, they are associated with the meat of the NDE. The fallout has been equally as interesting, if not a bit disconcerting because it’s had a strange consequence.
The top of the box into which I’d shoved much of the experience has been ripped off.
It was Unique. As I’ve written before, Hollywood has distorted an experience that cannot be replicated nor shared due to the unique nature of it by telling one piece of the entirety, throwing in a bit of dramatic imagery and putting it in the minds of many that this is how it is – for everyone.
Such, I suppose, is the hazard of good storytelling.
There is far more to an NDE and fortunately, there are numerous stories, studies, and documented interviews to draw from in order to learn more.
And each has the opportunity to honor the individual and their unique experience.
Metatron’s Army grew out of the images and sensations I saw and experienced during my own NDE. However…
And it’s a BIG however…
I needed to create a great deal of lead up. I knew what I saw and experienced. What led up to that?
What was it I was seeing, exactly? What was I being told?
That the setting was sci-fi was a given. After all, heaven is celestial, correct? When we consider what’s after, don’t we look up to the stars? How to interpret the rest and what conclusions to draw. Well, that was a whole other story.
So, what’s real? More than I’ll ever own up to. I have presented a bit already in previous posts but here is another tidbit. Time Distortion Sickness. It is a condition that is extrapolated from a conversation I had at ten years of age, in the days after I got home from the hospital.
Still fairly paralyzed on my left side and as yet unable to walk. I also had difficulty feeding myself without making a mess.
My father walked in one evening to find me sitting up in bed, staring off into space. What was I doing up, he wanted to know? I looked up and said, “Did you know that in another life I’m dead? I died from the aneurysm? I can feel it.”
He said, “Well, you’re alive in this one, so go to sleep.”
It was absolutely the right response and the first of many existential conversations he and I had as I sorted out what I’d seen and experienced and contrasted it with what I’d been fed in Catholic elementary school.
Not even close to the same.
My father did an incredible job helping me learn to integrate and live with the craziness so that I could move on with my life.
Something the doctors seeking to publish seemed reluctant to do. After all, there was academic fame to be gotten, I suppose, though not every doctor fell into this category, most notably, not my neurosurgeon nor the British surgeon who began my training in alternative medicine.
When it came time to develop a plot for the MA series, I considered. What if I’d never learned to live with the knowledge that in another timeline my life was different? And what about all those other lives where we turn left instead of right? What if we knew?
Thus Time Distortion Sickness was born.
I wove together a backstory that would eventually wind its way to the ultimate series climax and resolution.
Though pieces of the NDE are pulled in throughout, a large chunk falls into the latter half of the series.
The climax – you might say the point of it all – came from a “conversation” I had in the fall of tenth grade. I’d already been daydreaming the story content – the way it was developing. And then – a word from our sponsor.
“That’s not how it happened.”
Crap. Did someone really just talk?
Little did I know I would have been better off getting used to that way back then.
I listened to a twist I wasn’t particularly happy about but which needed to happen, apparently because – it did? Hard to say. Images running together – flashes of information at the speed of light? Talk about sorting…
Especially when you’re just a witness and not emotionally involved. Yet…
As for the experience…
I’ve learned to say very little about the NDE outside what people find familiar if not comfortable.
People get very upset when my experience doesn’t match what they saw on television. Some people go so far as to tell me what happened to me, (what I saw, heard, etc). Isn’t that special?
Flash! Every once in awhile I’ll come across an article or a documentary that comes close to some of the experience.
Hugh Everett III had a lot of it right, as well as a young Russian mathematician who developed an equation in the early 70s that proved out a lot of Everett’s work. There’s also a good PBS Nova documentary on black holes that’s pretty close to certain aspects.
Weave. While science and math went far to help me understand a great deal, I still relied on the story I wove to address that which was difficult to describe.
As pieces of the event would replay across my visual screen throughout the years, like flashes of backsight.
First pass. When it came time to write the story, I ended up cutting several scenes. It seemed necessary as the story seemed to be winding out like a spool of thread rolling across the floor. But then a funny thing happened. It all came back around.
Without me trying – or noticing.
About three weeks ago, while working on the beginning of the Middlegame (Books 6, 7, and 8), I found myself having an unexpected response to the words onscreen. Was I writing them or reading them?
More – why did they seem so familiar?
I quickly realized that not only was the core of the story coming back, it was a memory, from the NDE.
It was very difficult for me because I had to relive a lot of the sensation of being outside my body watching and listening and living information not available to everyone.
Even for someone like me, who has lived with the paranormal since childhood, it was unsettling.
Familiar? Characters that had become more or less stand-ins supporting the main characters were given the opportunity to show their true selves.
This depth had been cut, but I apprently – unconsciously -began bringing it in again. It was as if I was the reader, not the writer, or perhaps just the stenographer.
Specific environments that had been difficult to describe in the aftermath of the NDE had been in the original story, i.e. climates of the planets. In the telling of the story, however, I’d not spent a lot of time on the specifics. As the series climax drew close, I was presented with the opportunity to spend time (and paragraphs) describing some of the more memorable “environments” and the sensations of being in them.
In on instance, it was almost a recreation of the memory though I’ve used it to support the story.
Home Again. As I wrap up the series, I have found my way back to the beginning, to those moments when I was organizing the images and sensations from the NDE in a way that I could understand, if not live with.
It feels good to be home again.
There truly is a peace of mind, if not soul, in seeing the experience organized using a talent I was born with