The postscript to my novel Ice Fire predicts that we will be hearing a lot more about methane hydrate, an alternative energy source currently being studied by nations around the world. I was right in my prediction, but not in the way I imagined.
Last week I tuned in to the first episode of the new TNT series, Dallas. The series opened with Bobby Ewing’s adopted son Christopher sitting at a country club table with potential investors. He pulls from a pressurized container a clump of ice and lights it on fire. Methane hydrate. Ice Fire. His pursuit of alternative energy sets him on a collision course with John Ross, J.R. Ewing’s full-blooded (hot-blooded?) son, a wanna-be oil barron. Let the internecine family rivalries begin.
Though not the first – and obviously not the last – to incorporate this exotic and potentially dangerous form of energy in a work of fiction, it was rewarding to get an idea out there that others also find interesting.
On a different but no less rewarding note, this small vignette was recently passed on to me by a friend. She was discussing my book with the manager of her local book store. After she left a woman who had overheard a part of their conversation asked the manager which book they were discussing. She was told and bought my book. She liked it so much that she came back and bought the audio book which she plans to introduce and incorporate into her ‘friendship club’ over the next few weeks.
Both of these occurrences are small matters, perhaps insignificent in the larger scheme of things. But they are one writer’s rewards, part of what keeps a writer toiling at the computer hour after hour, day after day. Writers, keep your eyes open and treasure your own rewards whenever they occur, however small they may be. The stuff that dreams are made of, they are sufficient unto themselves.