A person enters a shabby apartment setting up in Chicago, sits down at a table, and agrees to a preposterous prepare – the female sitting down prior to him, a self-described witch, will forged a spell to free of charge him from the undesirable attentions of a persistent ex-girlfriend.
“I am heading to cast a spell for you to get this girl out of your life endlessly,” the witch states. “But, I have to warn you about consequences. There are always consequences—to witchcraft. Are you organized to settle for all of them—even these that you may not be equipped to foresee?”
The scene sets the phase for a new novel, referred to as “Breaking the Spell,” created by Rocky Smolin, a lengthy-time Del Mar and Carlsbad resident who invested his career creating computer packages and complex textbooks.
Smolin, 73, stated he made a decision to test creating a novel throughout the COVID-19 lockdown right after a dialogue with a close friend, all through which Smolin experienced described how as a younger guy, he had experienced a equivalent condition with a witch, a spell and an annoyingly clingy ex.
In his situation, stated Smolin, the former paramour “disappeared from my lifetime so fully it was as if she by no means existed.”
Though he never realized for guaranteed what occurred to his previous girlfriend, or if the witch’s spell had just about anything to do with her disappearance, Smolin mentioned the incident brought up an appealing philosophical problem about the intersection of the spiritual and rational worlds.
Like Smolin, the novel’s primary character, Roger Coles, arrived of age in the globe of 60s counterculture, open to all sorts of thoughts, which include the supernatural. But he was also firmly grounded in the realm of the rational, earning his dwelling as a software developer.
“It’s not an autobiographical novel. But it has autobiographical things,” Smolin mentioned. “I drew from my have knowledge to make people and some of the gatherings.”
Smolin, like his protagonist, is prepared to consider the existence of phenomena that cannot be explained by means of scientific formulation or traces of computer system code. “I like to assume I hold my intellect open up to all opportunities,” he said.
In addition to its themes of witchcraft and the supernatural, the book is also an exploration of the most important character’s research for meaning in his daily life, as occupation and household recede. His quest requires him to New Orleans, launching an odyssey that includes stops in Burma, Normandy, and Cape Cod before he finishes up back in his hometown of Chicago.
Smolin said he wrote the 1st chapter swiftly, then got trapped and determined to acquire his character to New Orleans, a position he’s personally frequented various times, to see what might materialize. The trick labored, sparking a plot line that carried Roger Coles close to the world, and aided him kind out his priorities in life.
Smolin stated he approached the process of producing the e-book like a occupation, setting up a regime of sitting down at the keyboard every early morning. Some times the sentences and paragraphs poured out, although on other people the phrases slowed to a trickle. But he produced continual progress.
He loved the operate. “It was an adventure,” he mentioned. “I call myself the accidental creator.”
He’s also appreciated the feedback he’s obtained on the novel, whether or not from his wife of 44 years, Marsha Sutton, a veteran journalist and columnist for this newspaper, or other folks who credited the e book with transforming their pondering on significant lifetime issues. “It’s fulfilling,” he stated.
Smolin self-posted the ebook, which is out there on Amazon. He reported his upcoming obstacle is to market the novel and allow folks know about it. His concentrate on audience, he mentioned, is anybody in his or her adulthood, perhaps nearing retirement, hoping to determine out what will come future.
“What do I do, who am I, how do I uncover my way?” he said.
When he’s not tricky at get the job done on a composing undertaking, Smolin can be observed taking part in standup bass with a place new music trio or a classical string orchestra, or riding 60 to 100 miles each individual week on his bicycle along the North County shoreline.