Critical Mass

It’s always at about this time of year that everything looks as if it will reach critical mass, and something will have to give. In previous years this has often manifested itself as an attack of whatever the current virus is, in varying degrees of nastiness ranging from someone losing their voice to the entire family being laid low, and in one case to a family member being rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack. Last year at this time I realised I didn’t have the mental or physical energy to carry on with one of my spare time activities, and this year I know I need to give up on another one. In each case, the activity in question hasn’t been bringing me any pleasure for some time, so I am very much looking forward to jettisoning this second one, which isn’t writing, by the way, in case you were wondering!


It’s only because I’ve had such a long Christmas and New Year break that I’ve been able to make this decision. Normally I just tend to trudge on and on doing what I usually do without really thinking about what I’m doing or whether it’s worthwhile. But I’ve been working on my writing plan for 2016 and, although I have resolved not to make any resolutions this year except to do something related to writing every day, I have done a sort of review of the way other things in my life fit in around my writing.

At first I thought I had broken my not-really-a-resolution on New Year’s Day itself, which would be some sort of a record, because I spent the whole day reading, eating, and watching television, but I remembered I had also browsed a couple of image websites that day to see if they had added anything since I last looked that might be suitable for my planned re-design of the covers for my 1950s series. I still couldn’t find anything. Must try harder.

The post heading has reminded me of a drabble (100 word story) I wrote a few years ago in the run-up to the failed apocalypse.

Apocalypse: Critical Mss

The chief scientist spoke to the President.

‘I’m afraid we’re approaching critical mss, sir.’

‘I’m not a scientist, but surely you mean critical mass, don’t you?’

The scientist shook his head. ‘No, it’s definitely critical mss.’

‘What does that mean exactly?’

‘It’s when the amount of electronically published material is so unbearably vast that it causes an imbalance in the physics of the earth’s rotation and we spin off uncontrollably into space. It’s the electrons, you see. There are just too many of them.’

‘Have you written up this important theory somewhere? Published it online?’ The president paused. ‘No, wait…’


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