Sometimes the Magic Works

I recently finished the book "Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life" by Terry Brooks. Not only is this an excellent book on writing, but more important to this blog, it is a phenomenal look at the creative and exploratory process. The following is an example:

"I know enough about the world to appreciate that the one constant in life is change. But change does not happen without imagination. Progress occurs not because we remain satisfied with what is, but because we hunger for what might be. We are always looking to take that next step. But the next step begins with looking beyond the possible to the impossible - because what seems impossible to us today becomes commonplace tomorrow. It is one of the primary lessons of the world, and it has its roots firmly embedded in the fertile loam of our recognition and celebration of the importance of the imagination."

Or perhaps if you were more interested in mentoring others:

"...then I must give him a chance to discover this truth on his own. I must encourage, not discourage, his use of imagination. I must remember that not only must I not close off the possibilities he chooses to explore - whether I believe them realistic or not - but I must encourage him to find a way to open the locked doors that bar his way."

Or possibly you desire to learn more about change, and advocating change:

"...I am as likely as the next person to fall under the sway of the world's overarching desire to remove the large part of life's nagging doubts by embracing the norm. As much as the next person, I seek reassurance that some things are dependably constant. I want a modicum of stability in my life. I want a sense of security and control. Using the imagination can stir up trouble. Challenging the status quo of things sometimes evokes unnecessary concerns about what we've always accepted as true."

Within the book, Terry Brooks gives one of the best descriptions I have read on the exploratory process. I found the book a warm contrast too much of the cooler - more analytical writings on the topic.

The book spans his fiction career (which may or may not interest you), his writing technique (which I would imagine intrigues most of you if you write blogs on a regular basis), and some of the relationships in his life where he tries to simultaneously learn, engage the creative process, and mentor or write (which to some of you may sound similar to simultaneous learning, test design and test execution).

If you are looking for an entertaining and imaginative book that will help with both your writing and your testing, give this one a try.