Pie in the sky


“In order to make an apple pie from scratch,
you must first create the universe.” 
Carl Sagan

Oh well, is that all?  As if buying the apples and sugar and pie crust and kinda mixing them together and baking for awhile wasn’t hard enough. 

I guess it’s obvious I’m not the cook in my circle.  My contribution to the family cookbook was a recipe for pancakes that called for Swiss Miss cocoa mix in place of, you know, actual milk or other perishables.

Worldbuilding was a major part of writing and revising my first book.  I just wanted to tell a story (the apple pie in this analogy) but first I needed a universe with oxygen for heat source ignition, cell mitosis for vascular deciduous flora, and neural networking so somebody with a bigger brain than me could figure out how to make an apple pie.

So much of what goes into creating a story never gets on the page.  Did you know that most of what’s sold as cinnamon is actually cassia, a related but cheaper substitute plant? No one really cares about that; they just want a tasty pie.

What a lonely thing is that story, floating isolated in a universe of billions and billions of ideas.  (Can you hear Carl saying “billions and billions”?  I can.)  Hopefully there will be other stories to join it, to make a solar system of a series.

And great, now I have tangled my metaphors so that you’re left with the mental image of pies in space.  Sorry.


Maybe the metaphor works.  After all, everyone knows pies have an event horizon — the point at which you can’t go back and have to eat the whole thing.



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