Monday, March 15, 2010

Serendipity -- I Know It When I See It!

Whoa, the weekend went by in a flash. I didn't intend to completely ignore my blog, but I was on a roll with those revisions--just having too much fun to stop.

My novel is a standalone suspense, the tentative title now changed to Dead Wrong. This is my third tentative title, so anything can happen as I continue through the book. Sometimes an idea jumps right off the page during the revision process--a character's turn of phrase, perhaps.

One of the chapters I revised this weekend involves a bit of police procedure. I had bluffed my way through the scene, thinking I'd have a real officer of the law take a look at it later. Little did I know the right person would slip into my life like a Stealth bomber.

The newest member of my Raintree Writers critique group used to be a policeman. I met this writer more than a year ago and had a long conversation with him at dinner. I didn't learn of his police experience then. Later on, I read and critiqued one of his stories, and we had several e-mail exchanges. I still didn't discover his background. I didn't know it when we invited him to join Raintree Writers, and I still didn't know it until the group sat down to critique my most recent submission.

That's when I discovered the little things (and a couple of big things) I needed to do to make the police procedure in that one chapter more authentic.

The person with the knowledge I needed was right there in my group.

This is serendipity.

"The faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also: an instance of this."


Things like this happen from time to time. I think it happens to everyone. It might have something to do with our unbreakable connection to each other through a power greater than the individual. On the other hand, maybe a serendipitous event is just a coincidence.

What do you think?

15 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

That is a great example of serendipity!

I like serendipity more than coincidence - to me it implies a sense of karma - a sense we have a little more input into life. Being a positive force should mean a return of positive forces at good times. Boy, that's rambly, but I hope you get what I mean :)

Karen Walker said...

I think there is both serendipity and coincidence. Glad you had such a serendipitous experience in the right person appearing at just the right moment.
Karen

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I'm a firm believer in serendipity! Hope your revisions continue to roll along at a good pace.

Paul D. Brazill said...

It was meant to be, no doubt about it.

Mason Canyon said...

I'd call it serendipity or fate. I agree with Paul, it was meant to be.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Wow! That is serendipity!! You lucky thing. Totally meant to be. Good luck with the rest of your revisions. Perhaps you will meet just the right peson for every scene you're unsure about ;)

Ann said...

I am a believer in serendipity, though I haven't experienced it. Well not that I have noticed anyway.

Glad you found what you needed at your finger tips. Good luck with the rest of your revisions.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

How cool is that? I'm a believer. One time I was writing a story about a mountain man who walked with this very unique walking stick. I had to go out in the car to get something and in the back seat was that walking stick. My daughter and her friends had taken the car the night before and her friend had left it in the car. What was eerie is it looked just like the walking stick in my story. Yep, I'm a believer.

Jan Morrison said...

Another believer here - sometimes we Buddhists call it 'auspicious coincidence' and it is a way the universe has to encourage us along the path we're taking. I want your policeman!!! I'm riven (isn't that a grand word!) with jealousy. I so need one in my pocket. On the other hand, I have a public prosecutor who has been very helpful.

Terry Odell said...

I recall being on a plane and trying to work out some plot points revolving around a crisis in a small private jet. I didn't think the airline personnel would like to discuss disasters, but it turned out the man seated next to me was a private pilot, and more than happy to give me some ideas.

Carol Kilgore said...

I love it when things come together like that. My aunt calls it a Happy Accident.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by. We do enjoy exploring the mysteries of life, don't we?

Jan, Kathi and Terry -- I love hearing about your experiences. They reinforce the whole idea of something bigger than the individual helping out when we need it most.

I also like Jan's comment about the universe using "auspicious coincidence" to encourage us along the path we're taking. I've been feeling unsure about my efforts to write something different this time (outside the amateur sleuth mystery genre). Maybe this is the "you go, girl" signal I've been waiting for. :)

Linda L. Henk said...

Without serendipity there would not be Teflon. I've experienced some of these happy coincidences for myself. Sometimes I'm thrilled, other times baffled, amazed and usually humbled.

Talli Roland said...

I love the thought of serendipity. It's all about karma, baby: what goes around, comes around! Great post!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I fell in love with the word even before I knew what it meant. But the word has governed my life - call it serendipity, call it destiny, call it anything- but things have happened to me that couldn't have happened if there were not paths falling into place.