I went to go see a speech tonight given by Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk who also happens to have a Ph.D. in molecular biology. It made me realize that I should talk about the after effects of reading Chameleon War.
In Chameleon War, I attempted to capture some of the basic ideas found in Buddhism. The book does not address spirituality explicitly, but the structure of the plot, in the end, creates a scenario in which, to make sense of the plot, the reader must discover that his or her only choices are to become frustrated in his or her inability to understand the reason for the plot's apparent confusion, or to accept it for what it is . . . . a challenge, nothing more, nothing less. Life, like the book, does not explicitly present itself as a vessel for spirituality. This is because spirituality does not come from life. Spirituality comes from within oneself, one's mind and the mind's relationship with life. To some people, the book may come across as just being a series of individual experiences one feels along the way. My intention was that those experiences should be looked at as being separate from the nature of the existence from which they were experienced. The nature of the existence in the book shifts at the end into a perspective that appears incompatible with one's initial understanding of his or her experiences throughout the book. This is where the confusion arises and where there is an opportunity to simply be one with those experiences without needing to understand them through any one particular perspective, because its impossible to wrap your mind around the plot. It will always escape as soon as you attempt to mentally confine it.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Much of what I write concerning Caye Caulker is fictional. However, in my mind, as I wrote the book, I imagined being on Caye Caulker, a place that is full of magic and peace. I've been there twice in the last several years. I've lived on St. Croix for four of the last five years. I wrote the book while living on St. Croix. I miss the imperfections of Caribbean life that you can experience when you are an expat, and can't see when you are just a tourist. Being an expat can help reveal how having everything you want available at the local mall down the street can lower the quality of ones life. I hope that that this comes out in the book. Much of the book captures the raw edges of life. I don't want to offend anybody living on Caye Caulker as many of these raw edges may not exactly ring true for Caye Caulker. However, for me, I've found that some of the dark the raw edges of the setting I reveal are very true to my experience of the Virgin Islands, but in an uplifting sort of way. I hope this blog can be a place where people can discuss these ideas.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Someone recently wrote to me and stated that she was surprised that I could write a book about a place that is as quiet and uneventful as Caye Caulker. My response was that the story takes place on a somewhat fictional interpretation of Caye Caulker, but the book is not about Caye Caulker. Also, I play up the quietness of the island as a contrasting backdrop for the turmoil that is building in the main character's life. The whole idea of using the term chameleon is that the nature of the drama is hidden like a chameleon.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Welcome to The Chameleon War Blog. The book has only been available on Amazon.com for one week. It will be available at Borders and Barnes & Nobles in the Twin Cities soon. I'm also working on a cool trailer to post on You Tube this summer. Do you have any marketing ideas? Have you read the book? What do you think?