Looking Back on “A Moment’s Worth” Five Years Later (PART 2)

Today I go over the remaining chapters of my debut novel, A Moment’s Worth, as I give my memories, impressions, and reactions to each of them. Here we go:

Chapter 14: The Glass House of Interesting Things

This chapter has got to be the most intricately detailed one of them all. If anything, I think that this one most blatantly expresses what this book is all about. My only regret is that Dagny, despite being mentioned so many times in it, wasn’t there. I should have incorporated her presence in.

Chapter 15: Airport Infinities

This chapter was inspired by a true story of someone I know getting stranded at SFO, and spending the night walking around the international terminal. It was fun getting to write Justin outside of his element, and I like that this was the introduction to the character of Manny. Magic and airports aren’t really subjects that typically go together, and yet I had a good time bringing them together anyway.

Chapter 16: The Feather of a Hummingbird

This appears to be yet another chapter that touches on subject matter well before it entered the public conscious at large: self care and mental health. I can also see how the scenario that plays out – David getting a message from Baleia – could have easily become a situation whether one of them takes advantage of the other, had some other writer written it. I’m glad it deferred from that direction, and instead made for a more enlightening scene.

Chapter 17: Transcendence of the Celestial Messengers

This was one of the chapters where a great deal of rewriting had been done, for it was originally Dagny making the speech, but as an adult. Instead, I really enjoyed the experience of writing from her mom’s perspective instead. I liked the little connection to Chapter 5 and I liked seeing Yvonne and Dan again, but in a stage where their friendship is more developed. Since this chapters marks the end of Part 2, it only seemed appropriate to continue the pattern. Part 1 ended in the past. Part 2 ended in the present.

Chapter 18: The Dream Line

This made for an effective beginning to Part 3, as magical realism melds away and elements of science fiction begin to take its place. It’s clearly indicative that all three parts explore roughly the same time period, as indicated by the appearance of Yvonne and Justin on the train. What I find very interesting about this chapter is its timing: It was written a year after Gardens By the Bay opened in Singapore and it’s now a little dated, for the train line the protagonist traveled on now has an updated final destination.

Chapter 19: Earworm Frequency

I don’t find this chapter to be that strong, but it’s still interesting in that it combines both science and music. I managed to successfully and subtly namedrop the names of other characters and I liked how Ami’s expressive doubts didn’t affect Nick at all.

Chapter 20: Night Market Rhythms

Although this chapter is not the last one, it is the last one I had written for this book. It’s also quite a weird one, for it actually was influenced by the Japanese folktale of Princess Kaguya. Reading it now, I can almost kind of see it as a precursor to An Absolute Mind, what with having the lead character with an unusual ability.

Chapter 21: The Grove

This chapter is one that I find weak in so many ways. For one thing, I cringe at Takoda’s remarks about a person’s sanity and what people – particularly women – wear. That would definitely not fly in today’s time. I wish I hadn’t made a reference to Atlas Shrugged – even if it did reveal the source of Dagny’s name. Lastly, I felt that weaving Melanie into this chapter was very poorly done. I think I could have done that better.

Chapter 22: Spoilers

This chapter concludes Yvonne’s arch. This is also an instance of showing an interaction that would not have played out as it did nowadays. Yvonne should not have given Kai the benefit of the doubt when he was making her uncomfortable. At the same time, this chapter has one of my favorite lines I wrote for this book.

Chapter 23: Pending Access

This chapter is like a sci-fi action movie. It was a fascinating read, even for me. I like the mentions of Melanie and Baleia and the overall exploration of the meaning of a story. Luna mentions a war, and in the past, I used to consider it an undeveloped part of the novel. But now when reading it in the present political climate, perhaps it can be seen as another example of unconscious foreshadowing.

Chapter 24: Activate: Unification

This is truly an unusual chapter, for it is a story within a story. This concept is something else borrowed from author David Mitchell. It mentions the war again, and even touches on families being separated. That’s not that different from what is happening with people coming into this country from the border. It’s an interesting chapter, but I also feel it could have been a whole lot stronger.

Chapter 25: 2052

While this chapter is chronologically the last, it was actually one of the first ones I had written for this book. I remember the day I came up with the idea for this one – again, centered on a child – for it was the same day as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I just have this drive for showing children who’re smarter than what they’re given credit for; including all those who’ve yet to come.

That just about does it for this look back on A Moment’s Worth. I hope you enjoyed this just as much as I had reading and reacting to this novel. It’s clear that there are areas in this book that could have been a whole lot stronger, and I say this as someone who has grown and evolved as a writer over the years. But one thing that is for sure is that I don’t regret writing and publishing this novel when I did, and I’m flatter that this marked my entry into the much bigger writing world.

While I continue to write and improve, I look forward to seeing where this novel will be in another five years. Who knows who else will discover it by then.

A Moment’s Worth and its companion short story, “46,” are available for purchase as ebooks on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and other venues and outlets as well. Be sure to also leave a rating and review on any of these platforms and Goodreads, for that’s how more readers will find it.

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