“Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.” – Carl Sagan
I recently participated in a local author day at the Magness Library in McMinnville, Tennessee. If you are from middle Tennessee and love books, historical buildings, or libraries, I highly recommend visiting Magness. It is a beautiful building which has an intriguing history. At any rate, after the event I started thinking about all of the different people I talked to throughout the day, a few retired teachers, the wife of a foreign mission worker, the daughter of a Muscle Shoals musician, and of course, other authors from various ‘lanes’ of fiction writing. At one point, I even enjoyed an impromptu tour of the building that one library staffer graciously guided me through. In the middle of the event, a former college teammate of mine dropped in with her two boys just because I was in her neck of the woods. It was such a pleasant surprise, and the teacher in me really enjoyed meeting the kids.
That day helped me realize that Dunnigan accomplished something I could not have wrapped my mind around until I experienced it. Like Carl Sagan suggested, the book bound the readers and I together with a group of people who lived in a time 100 years past. That, in itself, was a most curious experience– time traveling! I may have more to say about that in a future blog, but in a more present sense the book brings me to meet people I never expected to meet. And long after I have breathed my last, the story will continue connecting readers with the people of Dunnigan and I. How incredible is that?
As the time of year has come for people to (hopefully) be thankful, grateful, and joyful, I must say that writing and interacting with readers makes me feel all those things and more. So let us all be thankful for the broken shackles of time, the bonds, and the magic made possible by books.