Unexpected Twists and Turns

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Happy Spring, my friends! I am so sorry I dropped off the map this winter. Between moving to my brand-new house in St. Petersburg, FL, getting a brand-new job working in the Admissions Department at a guide dog school, and rescuing a brand-new stray German Shepherd mix named Lexi, it has certainly been a busy few months. But I am in a new space now, and it's good. Scary--and not at all the life I expected--but... good.

Lexi O'Kane! (Photo Courtesy of Rob and Melissa Zeno)
I was thinking about the unexpected twists and turns our lives make, and I realized this is exactly what happens in every single book I sit down and try to write. I believe my story is going to be one thing, and then it ends up being something completely different. Scary--and not at all the book I expected--but... good. You know what I'm saying?

Stephen King once said he views his stories as completed works of fiction when he starts writing them. He doesn't know what they are yet, but they exist somewhere--already laid out in their entirety--and it is simply his job to extract them. In his writing guide, On Writing (which I'm sure you've already read... If not, why not??), he uses the example of excavating a fossilized skeleton. Sometimes, you have to hack at it with a pickaxe, and sometimes you have to delicately brush it with a toothbrush. But when you're finished, you have a story. And it may not be the exact story you thought you were going to write, but it's the exact story you were SUPPOSED to write.

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Do you guys think life is like this? I waffle back and forth between the idea that we are charging into uncharted territory and the idea that we are simply following a trail already created for us by *someone* or *something* out in the Universe. We don't KNOW we're on a trail, so we have the ILLUSION of free will, but it's not really free will at all. It's more like being fixed on an invisible train track, with all our twists and turns already prepared for us.

What do you think? Chaos vs. order, random vs. written? I am so interested to hear your thoughts on this, and I hope your spring is treating you well--predestined or otherwise. :)