Welcome to our second Question of the Day, which was posed alongside seven others to our many fine contributors, only for each answer to be brutally snatched away from its siblings and grouped here, like the uniquely misshapen offspring of so many identical clones…
…where was I? Oh yes: Question Two!
This being a speculative fiction anthology, we’ve encouraged figurative interpretations of the concept as well as literal ones. What’s been the biggest “ecotone moment” in your life so far?
Christina Klarenbeek: My life has seen many transitions, but the most ecologically based would be moving from the city to the farm.
Daniel Ausema: I guess I’d go with when we first moved to Colorado (to an edge-of-the-mountains ecotone) and I started staying home with my then-infant son while my wife went through her not-a-second-of-free-time medical residency. Taking care of small children doesn’t afford you a lot of free time, but I needed writing to keep me sane and devoted whatever time I could find to it. I became much more deliberate about understanding the processes and the options and becoming much more professional in my approach to writing.
Stephen Palmer: All the ones I think of immediately are far too personal to divulge, but I should perhaps mention my last house move, which, albeit in retrospect, really seemed like letting go of my earlier life. I suspect most house moves though do have this transitional aspect, particularly if you think of your home as a kind of sanctuary.
P. J. Richards: The biggest, and most obvious, ‘ecotone moment’ was when I became a mother. Along with all the cliches and paranoia I fully expected, came fascinating revelations of innate knowledge – I could almost feel switches in my brain flipping to ‘on’.
Rebecca Schwarz: Filling our home with more human beings changed the ecology of our house. Discovering the world anew through my daughters’ eyes, remembering the slights, hurts, and victories of childhood helped me find my voice as a writer. My kids are also quite enthusiastic about bringing nature into our home. Currently our family includes a dog, a tortoise, four hens, and a fishbowl full of classroom guppies adopted five years ago from a beleaguered first grade teacher the day before Christmas break. My children irrevocably changed my environment, and it keeps changing, reminding me that constant growth and adaptation is nature’s way.
Kurt Hunt: Children. Without question, the most important transition I’ve ever experienced. The first time my first son grabbed my finger was an immediate and huge emotional and psychological shift.
Andrew Leon Hudson: I remember very distinctly when I was twenty-one and driving from my family home in the north of England to my first, real, dream job in the far south. I was gripped by a sense of genuine euphoria—that this was it, life was changing right then and there. It was, sort of, though it also changed again about nine months later when the dream job ended…
Victor Espinosa: Right now. Transitioning to becoming a full time writer from whatever I was doing with myself before. It’s been strange to be able to look at almost two versions of myself as I switch gears hard to focus everything on writing and leave behind everything before it.
Matthew Hughes: There have been several, more than I can count. I had an unusual upbringing, rootless and constantly moving house. My father was a secretive man, so at the age of five I only discovered we were emigrating from Liverpool to Canada when we were on the bus taking us to the ocean liner.
Jonathan Laidlow: I became marooned in still waters while attempting a doctorate on Laurence Sterne’s eighteenth-century novel Tristram Shandy. I was crippled by the source material, the secondary literature, everything about it. It seemed to extend fractally so that the deeper into the study I went, the more there was to comprehend. Eventually I snapped and slipped sideways from academia into admin work, swearing I’d finish the thesis somehow. Of course I didn’t. Twenty years later I’m still trying to understand what happened to me, and what to do with 60,000 words of useless chapters.
Igor Ljubuncic: I would guess changing my career from physics to Linux. It is not a trivial thing trying to make a living out of your hobby, but it is definitely something I would recommend to everyone. A bold move that pays in the end.
More from the writers tomorrow. In the meantime, if the coming together of these differing experiences has whet your appetite for more ecotonal encounters, why not check the progress of our Kickstarter campaign, and maybe pick yourself up some really good stories on the cheap?