Change, Choice, and Serendipity

Lately, I’m drowning in choices, so it was perfect timing that I saw The Adjustment Bureau yesterday. Totally rocked. It’s loosely inspired by Philip K. Dick’s short story, “Adjustment Team.”

The movie explores the conflict between a person’s free will to choose and the “Chairman’s” (or God’s, or the Universe’s) plan. The Adjustment Bureau’s agents run around and cause tiny little changes—small moments of serendipity (or bad luck) that create a life-altering change in a person’s life. Here’s the trailer, if you haven’t seen it:

While I’ve been swimming through a sea of choices in my life, I realized that I have great faith in serendipity, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Worse, I have little faith in planning—

God likes to laugh.

The biggest choices in my life weren’t choices. I planned on being a vocal accompanist, but I got sick for ten years. I decided I was grateful, because I ended up teaching, and I truly believe I was meant to do that, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world. I loved every minute of it, minus a few parents.

While I was happily teaching, writing started taking over my life. It was never a decision—more like the universe eventually persuaded me to focus on writing.

The whole ebook formatting career was another happy accident. (One I’m grateful for every day. It sorta feels like all of you led me there, by asking me to do this little techie thing or another. Thanks!)

imageSo you can see why I distrust plans. And choices? After the universe made me sick for ten years, I have this fear that if I make the wrong choice, the universe will rain down hell to get me back on the path it prefers. Or I fear wasting a bunch of time planning, only to have God laugh and send me off in a totally different direction.

Life is unpredictable.

On the other hand, I made a plan to move into a camper. I spent years de-cluttering, planning, and whittling down possessions. I researched for years, and then I made it happen. No serendipity there, and God (knock on wood) didn’t laugh. (Phew!)

As I was walking and and looking at the moon and stars tonight, I realized that I was a bit afraid of making plans, given my life’s history. But there are things I want, and I want to make them happen, too.

It comes down to free will, choice, and planning versus serendipity, chance, and God’s/the Universe’s/the Whatever’s plan.

Being a Libra, I generally come down smack in the middle, but I think for the next year, I’m going with free will, choice, and planning.

What about you? How have your big plans worked out in life? Has the Universe ever altered those plans in a big way? And what about serendipity? Or bad luck? Do you ever just want to throw up your hands and stop planning, because the Universe seems to have its own plan for you? Or do your plans mostly work out?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags: , ,

If You’re Alone…

Two amazing videos via Rhonda Stapleton. The first is about how to be alone, something I learned a long time ago, but it’s a great and sweet video. I want to show it to every teenager or person who’s recently had a breakup.

And this… THIS is the most awesome thing I’ve seen! I want to show this to every older teen and woman who’s ever felt the pressure of “pretty.” (Would that be every girl and woman in our society?) I clapped out loud about 75% of the way through… you’ll see what I mean. This is totally awesome!

I’m in the middle of a bunch of projects, but I should be coming up for air soon… with a new website for my eBook formatting business!

How are you these days?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags:

Front Table Junkie

It’s terrible; I’m embarrassed: I am addicted to the front tables. Give me any bookstore, and every single day (even if I’m there four or five or six days a week), I will comb through the front tables to see ALL the newest releases.

I’m ashamed. I’m the reason why authors get significantly more sales if they get co-op. I’m the reason why authors struggle to make me aware of their book, let alone buy it, when they don’t get co-op.

Even though I know better, I tend to operate subconsciously on the misconception that if I comb the genre section once every month or two, then I only need to keep track of the front tables and I won’t “miss” anything.

This is not true. I know that.

In actuality, most of the newer books are hidden in the stacks. There’s been a trend lately: have you noticed? An ever-increasing majority of the books co-oped on the front tables are already-proven sellers, a year or two or even three years old.

I’m driven into the stacks to find new books. You’d think this would be a good thing, right?

No. Oddly, I’ve grown addicted to new books, as in, I want to read a book released in 2009. Not 2008. Not 2001. I’m okay with the 1800s, but other than that, I seem to want 2009. If a book perks my interest, I immediately look at the copyright date. If I try a new author, I always pick their latest release, unless it’s a wildly popular series, in which case I will start with (and only with) number 1. If number 1 is not in stock, oh well.

By and large, though, I want the books being released TODAY. I want stories that reflect our world’s subconscious TODAY. I want stories that reflect our culture and society TODAY. I want to know what authors TODAY are thinking. I want to know what readers TODAY are reading.

I do have a bit of an interest in watching the pop culture trends and the book trends, so that might be part of the problem. Also, I believe art should reflect its society and its time. How can an artist/author do any reflecting, if they are unaware?

What think you? How do you browse? Do you have a preference for any era of books, or do you not notice?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Books | Tags: ,

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