They’re here!! It’s really happening. Release date is April 23rd. Time to check for typos.
Eric’s class is on a field trip to the coal gasification plant in this scene.
Finally, we’re back outside at the side of the plant where the trucks tip their loads of coal into the processing area. Our chirpy guide is saying, “There’s a picnic area along the shore of the Eagle River where you will have your bag lunches, and Mr. Asplunth, the plant foreman, will come out while you’re eating and answer any of your questions.”
Shit. I look over at Will, whose face has hardened again. The prickly feeling intensifies and, instinctively, my muscles tense, ready. Miss Chirpy continues now with an even bigger smile on her face. “I understand that one of you is Will Asplunth, the foremen’s son? Will, would you like to come inside and visit with your dad?” She looks at us happily, searching for Will.
All the students turn to look for Will as well. Standing beside me, he says through clenched teeth, “No, thanks. I’m going to eat on the bus.” He turns abruptly and starts jogging across the unloading area toward the parking lot.
No! Stop! It explodes into my brain and before I can think I’m lunging towards Will and grabbing him by the arm; yanking him back towards me. I sense more than see out of the corner of my eye, the dump truck coming fast around the corner barreling towards us. I’ve pulled him so hard that his momentum brings him crashing into me and we hit the ground, scraping and bruising ourselves on the asphalt and landing in a tangle of arms and legs. The dump truck, going much slower now, makes a wide turn around our group and passes harmlessly by where Will and I lay on the ground.
“What the hell? Will says, angrily, shoving me away from him and clambering to his feet. “What was that for? I can’t believe you actually threw me to the ground.”
“That dump truck, I though it was going to hit you,” I stammer out. I knew it was going to hit him and I just reacted. But it didn’t even come close.
“What are you, like Superman or something?” he says sarcastically. “It was nowhere near me.”
“I’m sorry. I though it was. I guess i was wrong.” I can’t believe this. I was trying to save him from getting hit by a truck and I’m apologizing. I feel like a complete idiot. The entire class is staring at Will and me. He’s glaring down at me, and I’m still on the ground, blood dripping onto the asphalt from where the skin is scraped off my arm.
Will takes a deep breath and lets out a whoosh of air. “It’s cool man. Sorry for yelling at you.” He extends his hand towards me to help me up. “Just don’t pull that shit on me again, okay?” He gives a half-hearted laugh.
Mr. Ogle comes over to see if we’re okay and find out what’s going on. Then our guide takes the class over to the grassy area by the river for lunch and goes off in search of a first aid kit. I sit down in the shade under a tree, and Renee comes over to sit beside me. She puts her hand on my wrist below a spot on my arm where most of the skin is scraped off.
“Are you okay?” she asks, her eyes wide with concern. “What happened?” What did just happen? My goalkeeper instincts kicked in when I though Will was in danger, but how did I know that? The truck didn’t come anywhere near him. I had an uneasy feeling all day, and then the sudden flash of danger! Had I been wrong?
“I don’t know. I guess I thought the dump truck was going to hit Will and I pulled him out of the way. I didn’t think, I just reacted.” I lean my head back against the tree.
“Why did you think it was going to hit him?” It’s a reasonable question, but do I have a reasonable answer? If anyone would believe me, it would be Renee, so I decide to tell her the truth.
“It just flashed into my head when he started to jog across the parking lot. I didn’t even see the truck at first. I just knew he was in danger.” I shake my head and shrug. “But I guess I was wrong.”
“Maybe,” she says. “Or maybe you really did save him.”
Excerpt from The Field when Eric and Renee are discussing how ‘thoughts are things’ and the Akashic Record.
“What do you mean exactly that ‘thoughts are things,’ and what is the Akashic Record?” [Eric asks.]
She sighs. “I didn’t really want to get into this right away, but here goes. Just remember that you asked me. Thoughts are things means that our thoughts are energy; both creative energy and electrical energy. So when someone says that thoughts have power, they mean that your thoughts have the power to turn what you are thinking into reality and also that thoughts literally have power in that they are a source of energy that can be measured.”
“But everyone knows that thoughts can turn into something real. First you have an idea, then you act on the idea and then it’s real.” I know this isn’t what she really means, but I just can’t help playing devil’s advocate.
“That’s true, but the theory is that if a person is able to harness their thoughts and access the Collective Consciousness to focus on a goal or objective, then the step where action is required is skipped. The thought itself is what makes it happen.”
“As in ‘mind over matter?'”
“Pretty much, yes.”
“I guess I already know that on some level because of what happens sometimes to me in the goal and what I’ve read about studies done with athletes. So much of sports id mental. There was one study where they used three groups of athletes training for the same event.” I drum my fingers on the table, trying to recall the article. “Two of the groups used visualization and one just trained. The groups that visualized winning both performed better than the one that only trained – even the group that only visualized and didn’t train at all. They concluded that visualizing success was as important as training, if not more so. Still, the Collective Consciousness? What’s that?”
“The Collective Consciousness is all of the thought energy from everything in the Universe, like an underlying current of energy connecting everything together, and the Akashic record is like a vast library of all the thoughts and information that every existed or ever will exist.” She stops and looks at me for my reaction. I look down at her hand still clasped in both of mine. Her nails are perfect ovals and the skin covering the tiny bones and muscle and sinew that make up her hand is smooth and unblemished. I am reminded of how amazing even the things we take for granted really are. The human hand is at once beautiful and miraculous. It’s miraculous that we even exist at all, really. That the world exists. How different is it to consider that there could be truth to what she’s saying?
Thoughts are things. Currents of energy. A library of thoughts.
This is the quote at the beginning of The Field. It really sums up the theme of the entire novel.
“What we call empty space contains an immense background of energy. This vast sea of energy may play a key part in the understanding of the cosmos as a whole. Space, which has so much energy, is full rather than empty. What we perceive through the senses as empty space is actually the plenum, which is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves.” ~ David Bohm, physicist
Eric and Dr. Auberge discuss the Collective Consciousness in The Field.
“It could be instinctive athleticism or that you are subconsciously reading the behavior of the other player, or,” Dr. Auberge pauses for emphasis, “you could be tapping into the Collective Consciousness.”
“What’s that?” I feel like The Twilight Zone theme song should be playing in the background.
“It’s called many things; the Akashic Record, the Universal Field of Consciousness, and by some, God. Many Eastern religions believe that we are all connected to each other and to what you could call God or higher consciousness by our thoughts and that thoughts have power, or even energy. Science is just now recognizing the power of thought. As you said, visualization is used frequently in sports, but there is much more to it than that.” I’m thinking that I am in store for a really out-there conversation with Dr. Auberge, but I’m saved when Renee comes into the kitchen and puts her hand lightly on my shoulder. I didn’t hear her come in so it startles me a little. The conversation with Dr. Auberge was getting pretty intense. At some deep level it resonates with me, but at the same time, thinking that there’s a Universal Field of Consciousness seems straight our of a science fiction movie. It’s hard to believe it could actually be real.
I thought I would share some quotes from my novel The Field about connecting with the Unified Field and ‘All That Is’. I hope you enjoy them and perhaps they will make you ponder.
This one is when Eric is describing what it feels like when he’s in the soccer goal and he simply knows where the ball is going.
“I don’t want to make too big a deal about it with Will, but sometimes I just get a feeling of knowing. It just flashes into my head. Maybe it’s from years of playing, but when it happens it feels different then reacting on instinct without thinking. It’s like knowing without thinking.” ~ Eric Horton, The Field
Do you have this kind of intuitive knowing or connection? I’d love to hear what it is like for you.
When you are writing you always wonder if you are getting the character’s point of view right. Apparently I nailed it on Eric’s teen boy point of view. A male librarian reviewer recently told me that he though I was a man when he was reading The Field and this reviewer agrees that I got it right, too. 🙂
“Richardson did a terrific job of portraying this young male, and it really felt like I was inside a teenage boy’s head for the entire story (which was a little scary at times!). I’d highly recommend this book to any male young adult reader, and all the parents wondering about just WHAT is going on in their child’s head. It was a great read.”
Here are just a few of the cool things happening at the ALAN (Assembly of Literature for Adolescents at the NCTE) Conference in Boston.
1. Hanging out with teachers of english – my people! There are literally stacks of books on the ballroom tables and people giddy with anticipation to read them.
2. Listening to REALLY well known and well respected authors talk about writing, books and how powerful they can be in the lives of young people. Here are a few of those who were here. I was sitting toward the back of the room, so I took pictures of them on the big screen – sorry about the quality.
Chris Crutcher – Note the title of his presentation – “Can We be Fucking Real?”
I say YES! Not only can kids take it, but they need to hear it AND they can spot a phony a mile away.
Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl
Bill Konigsberg, author of Openly Straight
3. Seeing THE FIELD on the “New Teen Fantasy and Adventure ” Shelf at the Barnes & Noble in Boston – facing out!!!.
4. Fantastic sign outside the restrooms. ALAN wholeheartedly supports the LGBTQ community!
Tomorrow it will be my turn up on stage. Can’t wait!