The Impossible Earth: Launch Party Speech

Ladies and gentlemen, and those who could not be here tonight, but are most definitely here in spirit, I welcome you and I thank you for coming on this rather cool and windy evening.

This book, this project, this…child of my fertile imagination is one of the most unique endeavours I’ve ever even considered. Even in grade school, I felt a kind of connection with the idea of creative writing, but some aspect of what I wrote would always have far too much of a basis in something that was already established.

Beyond the acknowledgements written in the book itself, my own extreme self-discipline should be credited quite strongly for the inspiration to continue writing, and subsequently improving upon that particular craft and talent.

It was my English Professor at Seneca who, after reading some of my poems, suggested that they were written so well that they should be submitted into a creative writing contest, which helped me believe that I could succeed at something greater than the occasional blog, poem, or detailed observation.

On the morning of October 25, 2014, I awoke from a very comfortable sleep to the sounds of a violent wind storm outside, & my brain opted to paraphrase the classic “It was a dark & stormy night” line with “It was a windy, rainy morning”…and the inspiration to finally sit down & start writing the book was born.
By the end of that year, I had 4 chapters and a Prologue, I was feeling motivated, driven, and inspired, but concerned. So I reached out to a long distance friend, someone I trusted to provide me with an honest, unbiased opinion…and asked if she would mind reading over what I’d written so that I knew if I was writing something that only I would enjoy, or something that was of actual interest to the average person.

Three months later, I had 2 chapters and 2 partials written…and my first big obstacle hit, my hard drive crashed and was deemed unrecoverable by 4 different companies. I was destroyed, I was lost…my beautiful dream to leave something unique and memorable behind was gone…until I remembered that I’d shared those first 4 chapters and Prologue with my dear friend Crystal…and sure enough, there it was…in my Sent folder!

It took another 3 months for me to regain the motivation and accept that what was once written was gone and whatever I wrote to replace it would have to suffice, but I finally got back to writing the rest of the story.

When it came time to find an editor for the book, I went through a recommended source, a published author who offered a service at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, what I did not realize at the time, or even 6 months after the resulting edited version was received, was that the story was too complex for her to adequately follow…and some of her edits and comments led to my losing momentum and motivation. It wasn’t until I finally sat down and re-learned a bit about Microsoft Word and its unique options that I realized that she had gotten quite lost and confused…and her notes suffered as a result.

To give a particularly amusing example, towards the end of the book she expressed concern: “This all sounds like gobbledygook to me and in order to make even pseudo-scientific explanations believable enough that the reader can suspend his disbelief enough to enjoy the story, the explanations need to be plausible and make sense.” As luck would have it, a roommate of mine had a firm grasp of the sciences and was quite impressed with how well the science fiction tied in with actual established scientific facts and foundations, and that helped me see the light with regards to her edits; and provided that necessary grain of salt.

There are elements to the book related to my own life experiences, and some elements that are based in observations of the struggles that humanity & society has suffered through over the previous 20 years. One particular embodiment of the kind of suffering that inspired an aspect of my story was that of a friend whom I lost during the time it was being written…it’s why I chose here to hold the launch, and it’s partly why I chose to dedicate the book to her memory. Tali was the most angelic soul that I have ever had the privilege of coming into contact with. She was a driven, intelligent, and beautiful individual (inside and out) who was born with a particularly rare defect that shortened her life and made it a struggle from the very beginning. Tonight, I still choose to honour and respect the memory of my lost friend by being here in this restaurant that I most closely associate with my times spent with her, and can only hope that my book will prove sufficient enough to be worthy of the dedication to her memory.

As I move towards the closing of this, I wanted to let everyone know that I finally managed to do a read-through of my lovely book…from a reader’s and critic’s perspective. As I made some notes on things that I’d like to correct, I also realized that I should compose a companion piece to point out and explain references and such in the book, sort of a Nerd’s Easter Egg Hunt, as it were…called “The Impossible Earth: A Referential Journey”. I plan to probably post that on the website as well as on social media.

In closing, it goes without saying that there IS another book in the works, a sequel, as well as 2 different book projects that are in the development stages. One of my more enthusiastic readers has indicated that I’ve created a vast new world that I can create a great many stories with…and I can only hope he’s right!

To those of you who have already read and enjoyed my book, I thank you for your support. To those who have not yet read it but are hoping to, I welcome you to this magnificent journey. Thank you!

In Memoriam – Tali Rom

The development of John Knight’s first book: “The Impossible Earth” was impacted both positively and negatively by various factors.

The untimely passing of a pure soul who was a dear friend of John’s, months before her 29th birthday, led him into an emotional tailspin that could not have been foreseen.

Without the creative triggers to write a poem or passage that would be a fitting tribute to the dear departed, John decided instead to make his first book one that was dedicated to her memory, with a majority of the royalties to be donated to a research charity for Fanconi Anemia; a rare blood disorder that she was born with, which may have shortened her lifespan.

R.I.P.  TALI ROM

September 9, 1986 – April 6, 2015


 

UNDERSTANDING FANCONI ANEMIA

WHAT IS FANCONI ANEMIA?

Fanconi Anemia is a disease passed down through families (inherited) that mainly affects the bone marrow. It results in decreased production of all types of blood cells.

Fanconi Anemia is different from Fanconi Syndrome, a rare kidney disorder.

CAUSES

Fanconi Anemia is the result of an abnormal gene that damages cells, which keeps them from repairing damaged DNA. To inherit Fanconi Anemia, a person must get 1 copy of the abnormal gene from each parent. The condition is most often diagnosed in children between 2 and 15 years old.

SYMPTOMS

People with Fanconi Anemia have lower-than-normal numbers of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets (cells that help the blood clot).

A reduction of white blood cells can lead to infections. A reduction of red blood cells may result in fatigue. A lower-than-normal platelet count may lead to excess bleeding.

Most people with Fanconi Anemia exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal heart, lungs, and digestive tract.
  • Bone problems (especially the hips, spine, or ribs; can cause a curved spine (scoliosis).
  • Changes in the colour of the skin, such as darkened areas called cafe au lait spots and vitiligo.
  • Deafness due to abnormal ears.
  • Eye or eyelid problems.
  • Kidney(s) that did not form correctly.
  • Problems with the arms and hands, such as missing, extra or misshapen thumbs, problems of the hands and the bone in the lower arm, and small or missing bone in the forearm.
  • Short height.
  • Small head.
  • Small testicles or genital changes.

OTHER POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS:

  • Failure to thrive.
  • Learning disability.
  • Low birth weight.
  • Intellectual disability.