Visits From A Man Named Nobody 66

Visits From A Man Named Nobody 66

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February 25, 2038, 11:02 a.m. 

13 Years, 281 Days Ago

“It’s not working,” Doctor Endinger said. 

Paul stood in front of the man’s ostentatiously large desk feeling like a criminal pleading his case. From one point of view, he was.

“The vacuum spheres have already created several new avenues of study in quantum physics.” Paul had to fight to keep the urgency out of his voice. 

“Which is why I’m not firing you.” Edinger was a lanky man with wispy gray hair that never seemed to look the same way twice. It sort of looked like a button up shirt and tie had sprouted hair and started walking. “You’ve shown promise in your theoretical studies, and we encourage you to continue the research, but we can’t afford to fund any further experiments after this year ends. We won’t be budgeting for your project after this.”

“But I’m so close!” Paul stepped up and planted his hands on Edinger’s desk, though he still had to be about four feet away.

“We all thought that a year back,” Edinger admitted. “You came to us with your degree and the ability to generate self-contained vacuum spheres, but no amount of research or money has helped anyone, including you, figure out how to connect those spheres to allow for instantaneous transport.”

Paul’s head sank. There was no denying that truth. There were a few basic theories that might allow for two fields to connect, but none of them had any practical application.

Paul looked up, desperately playing the only card he had left to play.

“I’ve been thinking about one last thing,” Paul said. The formula made a kind of sense, but he wasn’t sure if it mattered. “If we created the fields in the same place, they would be connected that way.” 

The formulaic data had some odd issues. There was a variable he couldn’t reconcile, but Paul hoped the viability of the concept would give him just one more year of funding.

Edinger offered a patronizing smile. “What would be the point of teleporting to a place you already are?”

Paul stepped back, finally slumping down in the leather chair behind him. It was over. His life’s work had reached its final conclusion, and there was nothing else to do. 

“I imagine you’ll still spend a lot of energy working on this concept, and I’m not forbidding you to, but I am telling you that you need to start considering areas of study that have more immediate applications,” Edinger said.

He’d accepted a fellowship in the company’s applied physics division offering them a way to expedite shipping and delivery methods for the world. Edinger proved to be the only one even willing to hire him under those conditions. 

Jordan and Lidia happily found other jobs, thus ending their friendship, or at least degrading it to nothing more than an occasional meeting for drinks and reminiscing. Paul was the last one left trying to do something he knew was possible. The problem was, the only person capable of doing it kept it a secret. 

“I know how disappointing this is for you,” Edinger said. “Why don’t you take a week of paid leave to consider options and come back fresh. I understand what it is to set aside a long-held passion project to move onto something else. But I think in time you’ll be happier developing projects that bare more immediate results.”

Paul looked at Edinger, trying to appreciate what the man was doing. Paul nodded. He force himself up and headed to the door. He managed to mutter thanks and a promise to be back next week with some ideas.

He left the building in a daze, catching a ride to his condominium. He plodded up the flight of stairs that led to his particular unit and got inside. He finally realized what he was thinking when he stepped into the second room, which he’d converted into an office. The walls were covered with white-boards, papers, and formulas. The white-tile floor was hardly visible given desk and numerous stands that also had more and more formulas and theories covering them. 

His most recent concept was on the desk. He was pretty confident he could indeed create a field that would form a sort of frozen moment in time. In that field one could travel from one spot to the other. Once the field went down, he’d have effectively teleported. Sure, all that really happened was that time didn’t pass in the vacuum sphere, but it would have the same result. 

The problem was that field could only be so large. There was also the odd variable he couldn’t reconcile. For some reason, the space dimension worked exactly as he planned, but the dimension of time kept unbalancing the equation. 

“What’s it matter?” Paul pulled the small rolling chair away from his desk and sat staring at his life’s work. 

It was all over. He’d probably keep doing the math, but without funding for any experiments, he couldn’t prove whatever theory he showed. And without any experiments, he couldn’t verify if his theories would work. Sure, he had a little less than a year of funding, but he didn’t have any clue what to try. 

“I guess you win.” Paul didn’t expect Nobody to appear. When he first moved into his condo, Paul thought Nobody would have a place he could teleport to. Of course Paul covered his home in sensors and measurement tools hoping for just such an event. But Nobody had never shown. Still, the man somehow knew what was going on, so it felt right to talk out loud.

“Why did you use such a wonderful thing just to pester me for all these years?” Paul asked. He could imagine what Nobody would say, but he didn’t want to think about the man’s sermons or viewpoints.

He waved his hands around the room. “This could send food to every homeless person. It could make shipping and traveling obsolete. Friends and family could visit each other in less time than it would take to open a door. And you use it to yap at me.”

Of course, he also helped. A small part of Paul understood that. He’d dressed Paul’s wounds when he was a child. He’d encouraged him to build friendships and bonds that were precious. 

Of course they were all gone now too. Paul was alone. He was unsuccessful. He was angry and sad. 

His PID buzzed. He glanced at it, seeing that his mother was calling. He briefly considered letting it go to voicemail, but his mother might be the only one left who cared about him, so he answered, linking his PID to the earpiece he always wore.


“What’s wrong?” His mother asked. 

“What do you mean?” Paul asked. 

“You said, ‘Hey,’” she replied.

“Yeah, hello. Hi. How are you? What’s up?” Paul gave a list of other greetings as if any of them would have worked.

“I hear it in your voice,” she said. “Something’s wrong. What’s up?”

He chuckled. “I just had a real bad day at work, Mom,” he said. “I’ll get over it. But what about you? I haven’t forgotten to call or visit.”

He’d called her pretty much every week and visited more and more just to spend time with her. It started to feel right in a way. It was just them against his father. It was just them before Bill and Jordan, and now it was just them again. He made sure not to let her feel the way he’d felt when all the other people in his life faded away for one reason or another.

“I know,” she said. “That’s why I’m calling today. I know it’s soon, but I was hoping you could visit again this weekend.”

“Sure,” he said. Maybe that would help him. He could talk to her about his job. She always made him feel better. “Why so soon?”

“Oh, I just felt like having my son around,” she said. “Is that OK? Are you too busy?”

“No,” he said chuckling. The more he thought about it, the better it was. He needed the chance to recharge and relax. “I’ve actually just taken some time off work to relax. I could be there tonight if you want.”

“Oh that would be perfect!” She sounded genuinely excited.

“What’s going on?” he asked again. 

The line was quiet for a moment. “Why don’t you come down, and we’ll have some dinner. Then I’ll tell you why I’m so excited to see you.”

Did she have news? Did she finally meet someone new? More likely, she’d found some new project at her church she could work on, which maybe wasn’t the great news she always thought, but it mattered to her.

“Sure,” he said. “I’ll see you tonight.”

… to be continued …

The Rubber Tree Plant: The True Challenge of Being an Author Businessman

The Rubber Tree Plant: The True Challenge of Being an Author Businessman

I play cards with my wife’s grandparents every Thursday. Today, the wife’s cousin (who lives there) asked m how the business was going. I told him I was happy at how it was growing. Then he asked me a question that stumped me, and I’d like to share my thoughts with those of you who wish to become authors.

He asked me what the hardest part was.

Is it the writing? I don’t think so. It certainly isn’t the hard part for me. Whatever I’m doing from day to day, I have to think I type somewhere between 1-3 thousand words a day. Now only a portion of those words are for my career as an author, but I don’t think it’s hard to write (at least not the way that I think of it). Now I don’t want to go off on a tangent about why some people may struggle with writing, but I want to establish that writing isn’t actually that difficult.

Is it the editing? Well, I hate it, but it’s not actually hard. It’s tedious. It always feels like I’m just looking at evidence of how bad a writer I actually am. However, when I sit down and get to it (after I’m done moping), it works out.

It’s not the designing. It’s not the marketing (though I still have a long way to go).

So what, then, is the hardest part.

I realized the hardest part is the grind. I affirm I could take any hopeful writer and help that person get a book published on Amazon in less than a calendar year. I would only require that individual promise to spend at least two hours a day on said book. Outside of that, I could help anyone. But hidden in there is another example of the grind.

I’m aware of at least a dozen people who started a book. What happens though is people start out with a burst of inspiration and ambition. It’s like a person who just chugged a Red Bull. Sure, you start off hot, but you eventually burn out, and that’s my point.

The people who start a book and the people who finish writing a book are only separated by one factor: They keep going.

The people who finish a book and the people who get published are only separated by one factor: They keep going.

The people who don’t sell any books and the people who sell hundreds of books (or more) per month are again only separated by that same factor: They keep going.

I can personally attest to the first two above assertions. Several people started writing books when I had started writing my books. I kept writing, and they stopped. They had their reasons and excuses, and I’m not here judging them for those decisions. I’m only stating that, with the blessings and by permission of God, I finished my book because I kept working on it. I got it published because I kept looking for ways to make that happen.

Now, I currently only average about eight sales a month, so I’ll understand if you don’t think much of this little motivation blog I’m writing. However, when I first started selling books, I was amazed whenever I sold a book. I’d go months without selling a single copy of anything. Then I started working on my marketing. I started studying and acting on what I learned. This has lad to a small, but steady, increase of my sales per month average.

The tough part about being a writer doesn’t actually have anything to do with the difficulty of any one task. Even if one argues editing, writing, or designing is hard (even if I respectfully disagree), it’s still not that difficult. But writing every day, day after day, for years. That’s hard. The commitment it takes is ludicrous.

I’m here to tell you it still works. The effort usually reaps equivalent rewards in time. Now I’m still limited to the time God allows me to be on this Earth, but while I’m here, if I keep working toward a goal, it usually happens.

Determination, I propose, is the only real distinction between people who accomplish a goal and people who don’t. This isn’t an absolute. I can train every day for the rest of my life, and I’m not making the 49ers roster. Talent and genetics plays a role in some areas, but not writing. Over the long haul, almost anyone can do almost anything with enough time and effort.

This is my message to you all today. You can choose to give in to despair or disappointment, or you can choose to keep going. You can accept that what you were doing is no longer intrinsically motivating and decide you don’t want to do it anymore. You have that right, and I won’t mock you for it. I just don’t want you to feel like you will continue to fail just because you have failed. Indeed, you will fail if you stop trying simply because you succeeded once.

I have to finish the Oneiros Log. I have to finish Images of Truth and revise and publish a whole bunch of other novels. They can’t be purchased if I never make them available for sale. So if you’re discouraged, please consider this motivation I offer to you. If you still want that goal, keep pushing. Keep working. If you stop, you’re guaranteed to fail. But you might succeed if you just try one more time.

Thanks for reading,


Failure is a choice; success is inevitable

Failure is a choice; success is inevitable

Greetings All,

I’m sitting at an airport getting ready to see the family. As I considered what to talk about (I’m a discovery writer at heart, so mosts of my posts are organically conceived if not written), I came across a post on FB about George Lucas and how he had to fight to get Star Wars out to the people.  THAT post reminded me of a conversation I had with my sister recently.

I think if I die, and anyone cares to throw out a quote from me,rock-climbing-155134_960_720 I’d like it to be this:

Failure is a choice; success is an inevitability.

At any point in time, an individual is free to decide he or she no longer wants to pursue those goals. The reasons can be disappointment or a new opportunity that’s of more interest, but it is the individual who chooses to stop.

But what happens to those who decided not to give up?

Here are a few of the (perhaps a bit less known) stories of those who didn’t give up.  My source for this is, where you can find the full story here.

Brian Acton was turned down by Twitter and Facebook before he and Jan Koum built WhatsApp.

Steven Spielberg was actually rejected by USC’s School of Cinematic Arts because of his C average.  He took an unpaid intern job at Universal  and waited for his chance.  I think it worked out.

There are more stories. I’d be interested to hear yours (if you feel you’ve arrived) or another. There are a lot I’m aware of, so I’m particularly interested in stories people may not already know, but that doesn’t preclude you from placing whatever story of inspiration you wish in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.

Why is it, in stories we demand characters who perceiver through failure, but fail to recognize the lesson that teaches us. Anything worth having is worth working for.

The Journals of Bob Drifter Front CoverI’ve published two books so far. I’m not ever going to stop writing. I’ll either make it, or I won’t, but I believe I’ll succeed in time if I just keep at it. I believe the same of you.

If you choose to let go of this path, don’t choose because you’ve decided to be a failure. Instead, choose to move on to something new. If you look at it that way, you weren’t a failure, you simply found something more worth your time.  But if the thing you’re after means everything, I implore you to be willing to risk everything to get it. That’s my point of view.

So strive. Fight. Work. Do so knowing it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. You will get there, so long as you keep working.

Thanks for reading,