“What if God was one of us?”

Credit to Eric Bazzilion, and thanks to Joan Osborne for singing his brain-rattling words.

Much earlier, thanks to my mother, who, along with various grade school teachers, had promised that if I applied myself, I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up. Little did they know how seriously I would take them.

Finally, at some point, I read an interview with an author. I can’t remember who, where, or whether they were even well known, but according to them, the best thing about being a writer was the ability to be anyone you want to be. I took that to heart on many levels.

 So, I had quite a blend stirring in my imagination for years before I finally had the luxury of converting that concoction into words, and it shouldn’t be entirely surprising that the central narrative of The Ghostwriter Series, The Words, purports to be the autobiography of God or the Creator as He prefers.

He announces, “In the beginning… I was born.”

He explains that He once lived a life much like ours. He did not create the Universe; He exists within it but will claim credit for the tiny bit among many that we call the universe. He did not invent sex, much as He would love credit. It predates Him and has been and remains one of His favorite things. He did not invent sin. Another concept predating Him, which He has concluded, is a creation of our own making. So, there is no need to ask for forgiveness except from those whom our actions have harmed and certainly not from Him. He promises to answer some of our questions while sharing the story of His life.

Before dismissing this as utter nonsense, consider: Once upon a time, an audacious ape dared to stand on its hind legs, raise its head above the others, and, yes, consider itself superior. And, I believe, particularly with the first written words of its descendants, our ancestors, we’ve become active participants in our own creation, our own reality, and the universe in which we exist. We are creators, minor gods, on the rise, and who knows what the future holds if we don’t destroy ourselves first.

Consider how far we’ve come from that first self-important, entitled bipedal ape. Imagine a mere five hundred years ago explaining your SmartPhone to the Inquisition, then those explanations we would no doubt require of our descendants in another five hundred years, given that opportunity, for all the innovations that become a common daily part of their lives. From there, considering the current accelerating pace of technological and medical innovation, how far into the future before the descendants of our descendants appear to us as gods, like those of Greek mythology? Are there any limitations, other than our imaginations, to what we can ultimately become?

From an entirely different perspective: How have we received purported messages from on high in the past? Generally, the words of fellow bipedal apes, correct?

In the first book of the series, The Involuntary Ghostwriter, JONATHON FRY, thanks to a hard-earned financial boon, finds himself with a year to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing a novel and begins with a fictionalized memoir of his early life. But he is soon haunted by powerful erotic visions of a beautiful woman he had never met and feels compelled to write about memories that are no longer his own.

Wouldn’t this have been similar to the experiences of prior writers of the Holy books, through no choice of their own, becoming conduits channeling the words of God or the Creator as He prefers? Prophets? Involuntary Ghostwriters?

Jonathon’s wife is happily the initial beneficiary of her husband’s erotic late-night dreams, rekindling their love life and admittedly enjoying the best sex of her life. Until he foolishly gives an honest answer to her largely rhetorical question: “What’s got your hormones in an uproar?” After which, she accuses him of using her body to fantasize about some beautiful, younger woman, and the year-long celibacy she then enforces on her husband threatens to destroy their marriage.

The twin narratives of The Involuntary Ghostwriter represent life’s bookends of coming of age and coming to terms with navigating one’s latter years, let alone with Jonathon having an unknown voice in his head and questioning whether this is merely his imagination or dementia.

The Ghostwriter’s Wife, the second book of The Ghostwriter’s Series, as in The Involuntary Ghostwriter, consists of overlapping narrative threads. One continues the epic tale of the Creator, The Words, and the other, as the title suggests, tells the story of ANNIE FRY, the wife of Jonathon Fry, The Involuntary Ghostwriter. And, with her discovery of what had kept her husband so occupied the past year and what she entitles, The Words, Annie’s epiphany of not only wronging her husband but robbing herself of what she’d been so thoroughly enjoying reawakens her sexual appetite and unleashes a newfound adventurousness. The Words continues with the future Creator and His Wife venturing forth to establish a foothold for their continuing quest for immortality and wealth, the latter not as a goal in itself but that of financing their pursuit of the prior, their ultimate goal – hers in a medical research lab in the quest for the fountain of youth, his in a technological startup that will reshape the world. And, in their rare free time, they discover Naked-Hide-And-Seek, and Wigs-And-Things before filling their home with bald-headed teenage geniuses and discovering orgies in the attic.

The Ghostwriter’s Legacy, the third book and the conclusion of  The Words, with the Creator’s long, long march toward immortality, also tells the story of SAMMY FRY, who adopted his great-grandfather’s last name. Sammy discovers a copy of his great-grandfather’s book, The Words, on a bookcase shelf of his great-grandfather’s office when he was six – far too young, according to his Grannie Annie, who promptly confiscated it. Sammy’s great-grandfather shrugs, retrieves the book from his wife, signs the copy, and inscribes it (‘To my Great-grandson, Sammy, Dream big and believe in yourself. You can be whatever you want to be.’) After reading his great-grandfather’s book many times, Sammy ultimately recognizes that it contains the formula for eternal life. Some years later, he convinces EVE (a young woman who’d have nothing to do with Sammy in grade through high school and accuses him of stalking her when, to her dismay, she discovers they’ve both chosen to attend the same university) to read his great-grandfather’s book and follow him in his pursuit of immortality.

The Ghostwriter’s Words: Since this title hasn’t yet been released, rather than a spoiler, I’ll only provide a teaser: The Ghostwriter’s Words centers around the one-thousandth birthday of SAMMY FRY of The Ghostwriter’s Legacy, the great-grandson of The Ghostwriter, Jonathon Fry.

The Words – An Autobiography is the extracted central narrative of the first three books of The Ghostwriter’s Series. The Words was to be the entire, and only, story before Jonathon Fry interjected himself and began spinning off parallel narratives. At one point, I planned to kill him off to save what was becoming ever more convoluted and confusing to many early readers and myself. If you’ve read the initial three books of the series, you’ve read The Words, and there is no need to reread it unless you need a refresher. Then again, The Words might be seen in a different light after reading The Ghostwriter’s Words.

Titles in The Ghostwriter Series