Monday, September 05, 2005

A Point of Inflection

Most engineers and scientist know what a point of inflection is – in the most basic terms, it is the point on a graphed curve when the arc changes from convex to concave or vice versa. It signifies many important things in the mathematical world, such as a point in time when the velocity of an object goes from positive to negative or when the acceleration of an object become zero.

In writing, we have our own “point of inflection”, otherwise known as an Epiphany, a point where our character realizes something profound, something meaningful, something life-changing.

I had a point of inflection, or an epiphany, as I perused all of the information online concerning Hurricane Katrina. There is blame, confusion, and despair rampant not only in the affected areas of the hurricane, but throughout the United States as well. I feel a personal connection to those affected by the hurricane on many levels – a large majority of those affected by Katrina are African-Americans. Also, many of my friends from college and co-workers' families have sustained brutal losses due to the hurricane. I wanted to write an upbeat, happy entry concerning my sister’s wedding, but in light of everything that has transpired over the past week, I feel I cannot, at least not today.

I find that things I was arguing about in the past seem mundane and petty now. It was just a few weeks ago that I was arguing with Mrs. V on how I didn’t want to get rid of the plethora of books I have amassed over the years; now, I’m planning to donate a large majority of my personal library to a book drive organized by the Austin SCBWI chapter (if you have questions concerning this or would like to donate, please email me at vcj@varianjohnson.com and I will forward you the appropriate contact info). And it was just last week that I was telling Mrs. V that I didn’t have any clothes I wanted to donate to goodwill; now, I am happily donating a large chunk of my wardrobe.

You all know about the American Red Cross; please continue to donate to them as they are always in need of supplies. And Mrs. V would kill me if I didn't mention to keep the American Humane Society in your thoughts as well, as there are hundreds of homeless pets in need of support.

I promise, I will be back to my usual, chipper self in future posts, but I just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t say something about Katrina. If you are the praying type, please keep those affected – and the nation in general – in your prayers as we forge ahead in these trying times.

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