As I’ve worked my way through the Infinion series, I’ve encountered some eerie coincidences.
When I wrote Regression, I pondered how to produce maximum genetic variety from a small population of individuals. Regular fraternal twins or siblings just didn’t create enough diversity; I needed to most completely opposite DNA possible, so that the children shared no common genes even though they had a common mother. I decided to have the plasmid act on the chromosomes, making twins who started out identical, but through manipulation ended up with completely opposite genetic material. I dubbed my babies Polar Twins, having not heard of the term before. Then, in 2010, I was at the vet for a routine c-section when the vet commented ‘We’ve got twins’. I didn’t think much of it, since a litter is by nature fraternal twins, until she reinforced that no, two puppies shared both a placenta and amniotic sac. Imagine our surprise to discover one of those pups was a male, the other a female. One possible explanation for our unusual twins is polar twinning, where an egg had uneven division of the cytoplasm during oogenesis and a viable polar body was created, then an X chromosome sperm fertilized one of them, and a Y chromosome fertilized the other. Such an occurrence has not been seen in dogs. Unfortunately, we lost the male pup to an infection so could not document the ongoing development or determine fertility level later on. I do have a sample of his DNA, which when life settles down will get submitted for extensive testing to verify the relationship between the puppies, their mother, father and siblings. Still, for having never heard of the concept of polar twinning, then using the term in my book (I was all exciting thinking I had coined it, but I guess perhaps not), to have one of my dogs give birth not only to rare twins, but possible polar twins, is surprising in the extreme. That is the most unusual of the coincidences.
As I was working away on Evolussion, I drafted a scene where Dawn relives her demise, and views the full moon. Realizing how critical readers can be, I decided to verify the phase of the moon on 11/11/11 AFTER I had written the passage to include a full moon. Imagine my delight to find that yes, the moon would be full (full is actually on the 10th, but will appear full enough less than 24 hours later). The creepiness of coincidences didn’t hit at that point because it was only a couple.
Then the other night my husband brought to my attention the fact an asteroid is passing quite close to Earth in mid-November, and would actually still be visible on 11/11/11. I had not written one into Dawn’s experience, but since an asteroid is the cause of all the problems on Earth, it’s freaky one is truly passing near at the time of my book release, and will likely still be visible on 11/11/11 (albeit maybe only by telescope)!
I like to ask my husband for help and thoughts now when working on the books. I never told him I was writing the first one until it was done, but that’s a story for another blog. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I pulled out the globe, spun it, and said ‘Where would you land if you were an alien coming to Earth for the first time?’ He pointed to Northern Africa and said ‘Right there. Lots of landmass around, it would make sense.’ So, I wrote that in as a placeholder, without getting specific. Then, tonight, as I was writing a first contact scene, I realized where the contact had to take place. The Great Pyramid in Giza is situated smack, dab in the centre of the Earth’s landmasses. Trent and I had watched a show about the pyramids only last week, and as I tried to add more detail to the first contact meeting, I realized coincidence was once again at work. We had unknowingly chosen exactly where the Great Pyramid was situated, and then the show (Ancient Aliens) mentioned it sat right at the centre of the landmasses. I’m still working on the first contact scene, and discovering properties of the pyramid I was completely unaware of, but that work themselves seamlessly into the story in the same manner that White Buffalo Calf Woman did when I discovered that tale.
That is another coincidence, finding a Lakota legend which fit my story, after just putting ‘vision quest’ as a placeholder in Evolussion. I had never heard of her before, but she’s become a central part of the series. Refer to my earlier entry about White Buffalo Woman and 2012.
Although unrelated to the Infinion Series, I had another TV coincidence happen for an urban fantasy I will begin as soon as Revolussion is finished (which is of course being delayed by life’s curveballs, just as always). I knew exactly what I wanted to have happen in the story, but could not find a natural beginning for the tale. Once again, watching a show (Gates of Hell) led me to the perfect location for my already developed activity. These coincidences save me immense amounts of research time, as I would have had to scour hundreds of possible locations without happening to turn on the TV to a show I had no intention of watching, and which happened to mention ‘Mayans’ right when we turned the show on. Eerie!
I may be a scientist who believes in empirical data, but I still find it unsettling when I sing a song and then hear it on the radio within minutes, and that happens more often than I like, LOL! Coincidences, or scripted? .
I shouldn’t write after midnight!
<edit – Since it’s Sample Sunday, I’ll try and post part of the pyramid scene on my other blog later today!>