Cover image for “A Narrow Slice of Time”
“A Narrow Slice of Time” by Dennis and Judy Schmalstig is available on Amazon.com. The following is the link for the print version (also available in Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/Narrow-Slice-Time-Traveller/dp/1533577420/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466860827&sr=8-2&keywords=a+narrow+slice+of+time+schmalstig
The summer of 2013 sucked. Actually the whole year turned out to be a torture fest of illness, hospital visits, departures, wrangles with an Insurance Company Who Will Not Be Named, and a death in the family. My wife Judy and I hit bottom sometime in August. There was nothing wrong with our relationship, but the circumstances of our lives had become harsh. I cast about for something to distract us from continuously brooding over our situation. I remembered that Judy had mentioned that she was interested in writing a time travel book with me.
Her eyes didn’t exactly light up when I mentioned my willingness to try a writing project with her, but we began to brainstorm a plot. Judy was set on trapping someone in the past, and I had ideas about a time travel device and an organization that made changes in the past for the supposed benefit of the future.
I began to write chapters late at night after Judy had gone to bed. I would print them out and show them to her, and she would get back to me in a couple days with editing suggestions and positive criticism about my dialogue, plot twists and character development. As the story progressed and various characters went about their business on different time lines, Judy provided the vital function of keeping things straight. She has a clear, logical mind well developed from years spent doing research as a plant physiologist, and she was able to keep the book on track.
We still faced a good deal of miseries during the time we spent working on the book, but every time we sat together and discussed it we forgot about our troubles for a while. We got excited about exploring new avenues and about planning the end of the book. We even got way ahead of ourselves by playing around with ideas for successive volumes in a time traveler series.
It’s been nearly three years since we began “A Narrow Slice of Time”, and our circumstances are better. We no longer need a distraction to help us get through our days, but have decided to continue working together. We found out that we deeply enjoyed sharing the creative process of writing a book. Of course we don’t always agree on all issues, and I’ve dug in my heels on a few occasions. I’ve discovered, however, that Judy has a very good sense of plot and doesn’t care for a lot of fancy frippery in the telling of a story. She wants me to move things along and to get to the point. She has good taste when it comes to character development wanting fully fleshed out villains and protagonists with believable motives. I’ve learned to take her advice on most occasions.
The best thing about this whole experience has been finding something new to share as a couple. It’s an unexpected journey, an adventure that has shown us that our horizons are still open and that there is still more to see and do.