Sunday, 10 October 2010
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about possibilities. This was brought on by a book I bought which discusses what happens to possibilities – all those things we could have done, but didn’t. Where do they go? Who would we be if we’d gone with that choice, rather than this one? With Eldest going through the process of choosing universities and courses of study for next year, it was very pertinent right now. All those ‘what ifs’ to consider
I often wonder who I would be if my family hadn’t come to Australia. As a child, my first choice of ‘what I want to be’ was a palaeontologist. I was hardly old enough to say it, let alone understand what it was, but nevertheless the idea of digging up history stuck with me and I turned into an archaeologist. I didn’t stay an archaeologist for long, but I think if we’d stayed in England, I would have. Australian archaeology doesn’t really discover a lot beyond a few stone tools and fireplaces and I couldn’t see myself doing that for the rest of my life. Celtic and Roman remains however, would have been far more interesting. I still get a thrill when I read of ancient ruins being found, or bog burials.
I wonder if somewhere, in an alternate universe, there is another me pursuing that possibility that didn’t eventuate for the Kate in this universe? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not regretting anything. I’m extremely happy with where I’ve ended up. I just wonder.
Choosing between possibilities is another reason I like novel writing. I love mulling over the possible (usually horrible) things I could do to my characters. I love it when someone’s critiquing my work and suggest what they think is going to happen next, only to find in the next chapter that I’ve completely surprised them. I know the kids at school love those stories where they can choose the way a story goes, just by turning to a particular page. A story may start from a particular point, but there are so many possible directions it can go, it’s exciting.
Like life, really.