The Butterfly Effect


It was the best of years; it was the worst of years. That is how I would describe the year 1990. That year was a mix of some profoundly beautiful moments and some profoundly terrible life altering moments. I’ll spare you the details but it should suffice to say, I would never forget the lessons I learned when I was 23. From those experiences, and how I came to grips with them inspired the story and the book that would take me 17 years to finish. I nurtured and developed this book like a child, keeping it safe from harm, but now it is over 17 years old. It is ready to leave the nest.  You could say, it’s my “Mr. Holland’s Opus”.

The books first two illustrations take on the form of a comic book to show the apparent simplicity of childhood but as the story evolves, the illustrations become more elaborate. You could say the characters in the book have the burden of playing out my existential crises. They were inspired by many of the dreams I catalogued from 1990-1998. I mined those journals (my journals of unrefined illusions) and weaved together a tale that I at first thought was completely original. However, after reading Joseph Campbell’s books on mythology, I realized it was archetypal. It had been told countless times before, but with different characters and settings. That was okay. I wasn’t writing just for myself, but also for others who might identify with the characters and the events that propel them through the narrative. The premise of the story revolves around fear and its resultant turmoil. How do we deal with it? Fear gives us an opportunity for transformation; we can stay in our comfortable ruts or we can try something new. Through the practice of lucid dreaming, I learned that confronting fear with hatred only made the fear stronger. However, I also learned in those dreams that embracing fear with love and compassion transformed the threat into something benign. You can’t fear what you love. The anxiety I suffered from in my waking life diminished with each transformative dream. The mind is powerful and so are its thoughts, but only if you believe them.

I am well aware that the title of my book, “The Butterfly Effect” shares the same title with a movie starring Ashton Kutcher. I had planned to use this title for my book since 1993 and the term butterfly effect is not copyrighted or trade marked. It refers to a concept in chaos theory. The concept being, that a butterfly in one part of the world can cause a storm in another part of the world simply by flapping its wings. I touch upon this concept in my story.

The first run of the book is published by a print on demand publisher, Blurb Publishing at Print on demand books tend to be a little more expensive than other widely distributed books; it has something to do with volume. However, with this publication what you are getting is a limited edition print of the book. It is unique in that this version of the book is equivalent to the directors cut of a movie; this book was written, illustrated and designed by the same person. I like to think of it as a work of art in itself and not just a product for sale. There have not been too many chefs involved to spoil the soup. It is as I envisioned it. I will, however, be submitting this book to other publishers who can distribute on a wider scale, which would lower the price. As expected, another publisher will have editorial changes that might alter my original version. The book will be available through the Blurb Book Store at and Amazon.

I would like to take this opportunity thank my friends and family who have inspired and motivated me along the way these past 17 years. Your support and patience is greatly appreciated. A special thanks to my wife Rhonda who took on the painful task of taking my handwritten manuscript and transcribing into the computer for me. You deserve a medal! May you all see in the book a reflection of yourselves. Many blessings and as always, Namaste.


Paul w. Coca


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Previously published:

 The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. 

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