A person enters a shabby condominium constructing in Chicago, sits down at a table, and agrees to a preposterous plan – the woman sitting down before him, a self-explained witch, will forged a spell to free of charge him from the unwanted attentions of a persistent ex-girlfriend.
“I am heading to cast a spell for you to get this woman out of your lifetime permanently,” the witch states. “But, I have to warn you about repercussions. There are generally consequences—to witchcraft. Are you geared up to acknowledge all of them—even these that you could not be equipped to foresee?”
The scene sets the stage for a new novel, named “Breaking the Spell,” penned by Rocky Smolin, a extensive-time Del Mar and Carlsbad resident who invested his job writing personal computer courses and specialized guides.
Smolin, 73, said he made the decision to try crafting a novel in the course of the COVID-19 lockdown right after a discussion with a good friend, for the duration of which Smolin experienced explained how as a young person, he experienced seasoned a identical condition with a witch, a spell and an annoyingly clingy ex.
In his case, mentioned Smolin, the previous paramour “disappeared from my daily life so absolutely it was as if she by no means existed.”
Though he never knew for absolutely sure what took place to his former girlfriend, or if the witch’s spell experienced anything to do with her disappearance, Smolin mentioned the incident brought up an appealing philosophical problem pertaining to the intersection of the non secular and rational worlds.
Like Smolin, the novel’s key character, Roger Coles, arrived of age in the environment of 60s counterculture, open up to all kinds of ideas, 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 features,” Smolin said. “I drew from my possess encounter to generate characters and some of the functions.”
Smolin, like his protagonist, is willing to consider the existence of phenomena that just cannot be explained by scientific formulation or traces of computer system code. “I like to imagine I keep my thoughts open up to all options,” he claimed.
In addition to its themes of witchcraft and the supernatural, the ebook is also an exploration of the primary character’s research for meaning in his lifetime, as career and relatives recede. His quest can take him to New Orleans, launching an odyssey that incorporates stops in Burma, Normandy, and Cape Cod in advance of he finishes up back in his hometown of Chicago.
Smolin mentioned he wrote the initially chapter quickly, then acquired caught and made the decision to get his character to New Orleans, a put he’s personally frequented numerous instances, to see what could possibly occur. The trick worked, sparking a plot line that carried Roger Coles all over the world, and aided him type out his priorities in existence.
Smolin explained he approached the activity of composing the book like a work, developing a schedule of sitting down down at the keyboard each early morning. Some times the sentences and paragraphs poured out, while on other folks the terms slowed to a trickle. But he designed continual progress.
He relished the operate. “It was an adventure,” he reported. “I get in touch with myself the accidental creator.”
He’s also appreciated the opinions he’s received on the novel, no matter whether from his wife of 44 many years, Marsha Sutton, a veteran journalist and columnist for this newspaper, or other individuals who credited the reserve with switching their contemplating on critical lifetime concerns. “It’s worthwhile,” he reported.
Smolin self-revealed the book, which is available on Amazon. He claimed his upcoming problem is to current market the novel and let individuals know about it. His target viewers, he reported, is any one in his or her adulthood, potentially nearing retirement, striving to determine out what arrives upcoming.
“What do I do, who am I, how do I locate my way?” he mentioned.
When he’s not hard at do the job on a writing challenge, Smolin can be uncovered playing standup bass with a region audio trio or a classical string orchestra, or driving 60 to 100 miles just about every 7 days on his bicycle alongside the North County shoreline.