Tag Archives: civil war

Are You Ready for the Apocalypse?

The word on the street is that nine days from now, on December 21st, the world is going to end. They say this because the Mayan calendar ends on that day. This seems a little bit extreme, considering that our calendar ends every year on December 31 and people don’t consider that a portent of doom.

However you feel about the Mayans, I have to admit that there are plenty of signs of bad things to come for all of us. The political upheavals of the last few years have got me thinking that our society is on the brink, and despite the re-election of Barack Obama, they don’t seem to be getting any better.

Most generations think that things have gotten worse over the course of their years, and I am no exception. I look back fondly on many of the years of my youth. But even though I am an adult now, and have a fairly decent job, I am still living in a rough neighborhood for the simple reason that I can’t afford a better place. I am still paying rent because I can’t manage to save enough for even a down payment on a house. I am driving a sixteen year old car that is literally falling apart because even though I have no outstanding debts, my credit score is still too low for me to get a decent loan.

And everywhere on the news, I see politicians helping the richest people in the country get richer, while the majority of their constituents end up homeless and unemployed, living off what is left of the government’s social programs.

This isn’t the America I grew up in. This is certainly not the America I thought my kids would inherit.

When did America stop being a democracy and start being a fascist regime? When did the people stop caring and let the corporations take over?

I’m sorry that this post has turned into something so depressing. But if nobody does anything about the problem, then I can only see one outcome. America will either have another civil war, with the 1% on one side and the 99% on the other. Those may seem like good odds, but you have to remember that they are the only ones that will be able to afford the weapons in this war. Take a look back at history to see what happens when the downtrodden workers go up against the wealthy elite. It never ends well.

So stock up on your emergency rations and make your plans for defending your home. Either rioters or zombies, one of them will be knocking down your door before you know it.

Check in again on Sunday. I’ll be starting my vacation and I’m planning on seeing the new Hobbit movie while I still can. I’ll post a review in an attempt to lighten things up around here. See you then!

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Where to Begin?

I have an idea.

I started working out the details of the setting for my story. It’s important to know something about their world so the characters have a background to work in.

I have identified most of the major characters and given them a place in the world.

Now I need to take all of this and plan it out so that my idea, characters, and setting turn into a solid story. That’s not as easy as it sounds.

The first problem is that the setting for my story is a little overwhelming. My last post gave some of the details of that world, and if you read it all the way through you are probably as depressed as I am about the current political situation in the United States. I’m not sure how I am going to be able to make it through the next six weeks before the election on November 6. The only comfort I have is that, based on the polls, Romney really doesn’t stand a chance of winning. But then, elections have been bought before. Just look at the results of Scott Walker’s recall election for proof of that one. I’m also still convinced that George Bush rigged both of his election victories.

Another problem is that I am using characters from stories I have already written. This story is kind of a new spin on my first NaNoWriMo project, with the addition of the main characters from my two Valkyrie novels. The main character from my first book, however, will be a bit different from the way he was originally portrayed, and the story itself will be a lot different.

Since I am using the main characters of three of my previous novels, I want to give each of them a chance to shine in this one. So I will need to figure out how to switch between character viewpoints as I write. The book I just finished used multiple character viewpoints, but I don’t think I did it very well. I’m hoping that with a little more planning I’ll be able to do a better job of it this time. I’m thinking of switching viewpoints between chapters, and with a little preparation I’ll be able to plan each of my chapters in advance and decide which character will be the focus of each point of the story.

The last problem I have is figuring out how to present my idea as a solid story with a plot that people will be able to follow. Right now my idea is solely a civil war to reclaim the country from the dark forces that have taken over the Republican party and stolen the last election. That’s a pretty vague idea. What I really need to do is figure out how my characters fit into this idea. I need to figure out where they are when the story starts, what pulls them into the rebellion, how they manage to win in the end, and most importantly, what vital parts of their personality are revealed and change over the course of the story.

Because it’s really all about the characters, right?

Seriously, while I honestly think that the Republican party has recently become not just a bad idea, but an active evil that needs to be stopped, I don’t want this story to just be my own little political rant. I’m not here to get up on my soapbox and scream my beliefs to the world. I’m here to tell an entertaining story, and hope that my readers learn a little bit about both themselves and the world they live in by the time they reach the end. And hopefully what they learn will help to make this world a better place for all of us.

I don’t have a lot done yet. I think I may need to re-read my previous stories, if only to get some of the names and character details straight. I’m still mulling over how I’m going to start. I’m watching some dystopian movies for ideas. I just finished watching Soylent Green, which was eye-opening for me. It’s actually a fairly good representation of the world I think we are headed for if the Republicans take control. High unemployment, people living in the streets, crime is rampant even among the police, women are treated as “furniture”, and the big corporations can do anything they want because they are in charge of it all.

As always, I appreciate any comments you might have for me. What is your favorite dystopian movie? Leave a note about it and I’ll see if I can find a copy to add to my viewing list before November 1. And check in again on Wednesday for another update.

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Politics, The Writing Experience

I’m Done. What’s Next?

As you can tell by the title of this post, I finished my story. It came in at just over 61,000 words, so I hit my goal for the story as well as my goal to finish by the end of September. And now it goes into a drawer for a few months or years until I can stand to look at it again enough to edit it.

So my next project is getting ready for NaNoWriMo. As you may recall, it’s going to be about the next civil war in America. I’m bringing back George from my first NaNoWriMo project, Dragons at Dawn, as well as Miranda and Nicole from my Valkyrie series. They will be teaming up to save America from the demonic forces that have taken over.

Part of my process is figuring out how bad things have to get before somebody has to step up and do something about it. So I have been taking a long, hard look at the Republican agenda and have posited some worst-case scenarios for what would happen if they win in November. As you might guess, I am fiercely opposed to practically all of their party platform, and I will proudly vote for Obama (again!) on November 6.

Here’s what I came up with. Forgive the rambling nature. These are just thoughts I jotted down as I perused a list of the goals of the GOP.

The United States is a democracy in name only. The corporations had taken over by buying all elections, and profit rules the country. People are treated like slaves, especially women. There is no longer any social safety net, and most Americans have lost any retirement savings they had. Elderly are either forced to work, or they live on the street. Children are forced to find jobs to help their families survive, and public schools have all been shut down, leaving education solely for the rich elite.

Unemployment is at a record high, leaving at least a third of the country out of work, while millions of American jobs have been outsourced to other countries. Unemployment insurance has been eliminated, leaving people destitute within days if they lose their job. Anyone lucky enough to find employment is desperate to keep it, making themselves virtually slaves to their employers.

Health care is only available to the rich, while the majority of the country is forced to either purchase expensive medication or buy on the black market. People are dying of diseases that were thought to have been wiped out decades ago, and there are rumors of plague.

Taxes on the people who do have jobs take half their income, and most of that money goes to bailouts and handouts to the richest people. The country has a state religion, with mandatory attendance for everyone except the rich, who profess belief but don’t conform to the practice.

Women and homosexuals are targets wherever they are found alone, with beatings and rape common and never investigated. If women are lucky enough to find jobs, they are paid a small fraction of their male counterparts and are often required to perform sexual acts to keep their positions.

Clean energy research is a thing of the past, and companies ravage the countryside with no concern for the environment as they look for more fossil fuels, even though the demand in the United States has dropped drastically, since most people can no longer afford a car. Bicycles and walking is the most common mode of transportation, since even public transportation has gotten to be too expensive for most people to afford.

Guns are common, and most of the wealthy employ private armies labeled as security forces to protect themselves. These forces are staffed mainly by the poor who enlisted in the army in an attempt to better their lives. Once they are discharged the only employment they can find is in these security teams, with the best going to the police. The police forces have been privatized. Their staff has been drastically reduced, and only patrol the wealthiest parts of the country. Everywhere else crime runs rampant. Fire departments have also been privatized, and again, they are only called out to protect business property and wealthy homes, leaving the slums which cover most of the cities to burn if a fire breaks out.

The divorce rate is down since single parenthood is illegal. Many women are forced to marry if they get pregnant, even in the case of rape, since abortion is also illegal. And since contraceptives that used to be provided by organizations like Planned Parenthood are no longer available, and sex education is no longer taught in schools, unwanted pregnancies have increased.

In short, the superpower that used to be the United States of America is now a third world country, despised and ridiculed by most of the world. Canada and Mexico now guard their borders to keep Americans from crossing into their countries illegally, and most people can’t afford the bribes and fees that are charged in order to get a passport.

That’s it. That’s what I think might happen if the Republicans are in power. Pretty scary stuff. Then you throw in some demons and Valkyries and you get a downright horrific mess. Ready for more? Here’s an overview, showcasing some of the different groups involved in the story:

The country is ruled by the richest people, who have all formed an alliance with demonic forces. The demons used their powers to take over the country for the rich, but now they are getting bored and have been going out into the world more and more frequently to wreak havoc.

The rich people are losing control over the demons, and are starting to get worried, but they are trapped in the lives they created for themselves. Some of their children are starting to rebel against their parents and supporting the common people.

The Valkyries and other supernatural enforcers are having trouble keeping the increasing numbers of demons from revealing the magical world. The influx of demonic power has also increased the number of human wizards and priests who are discovering how to use magic on their own.

There are also increasing numbers of people joining gangs, and many gangs are fomenting revolution. They are heavily armed and pissed off, with nothing to lose.

In short, the country is about to break wide open in civil war.

Those are my preliminary ideas. Now I need to start figuring out how to tell this story. I’ll need to decide how each of my characters is involved in this mess and what they are going to do to get us all out of it. I’ll also need to come up with a good antagonist. They will need someone to fight with. Someone who has been behind the scenes, planning this whole thing for his own sadistic pleasure. I can’t use Mitt Romney, because despite how hard he tries, I just don’t think he is evil enough for the part.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back on Sunday with another update. See you then!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Politics, ROW80, The Writing Experience

Planning for the Future

I am still working on my YA story, and last night I hit 42,000 words. But today I thought I should start getting some thoughts down for my next project, which needs to be ready in time for NaNoWriMo.

In case you missed it, my next story is going to be about a civil war or revolution (what is the difference?) here in America. The things that the Republican Taliban Tea Party have been trying to push through are disgusting and wrong, and have me seriously concerned about the direction my country is headed. So, like any author worth his salt, I decided I need to write a story about it.

Of course, the story is going to be anything but normal. I’m partial to writing urban fantasy, so my story is going to be about how the evil Republicans have made a pact with the dark forces in order to win the election, and now the monsters and demons are starting to come out to play. I’m going to bring in my Valkyrie forces from my earlier books, as well as the wizard and his dragon from my first NaNoWriMo story. They will have to fight the demons and bring the country back to the side of good.

Sounds good, right? The question is, how to make it great?

I thought that the first thing I should do is start making a list of all the funny business the Tea Party has on the Republican platform and how it would affect the country if they win and start pushing it through. Things like the cuts to education, which would put most of our kids into a position where they won’t be able to get a decent job. Or the union busting, which opens the way for the elimination of the minimum wage and child labor laws. These things together would likely result in most of America becoming nothing but slaves to the big corporations. Think of history, and the “company store” that coal miners had to put up with. They would work all day for a company and come home owing more back to the company than they brought home. It was a vicious cycle that took the combined efforts of unions and the government to end. I don’t want to end up like that.

So today I am going to try to get my writing done as usual, but I am also going to work on starting my list (I have a little list, they’ll never be missed). For now I’m just going to compile the atrocities on their platform, later I’ll work on putting my thoughts down on what will happen if they get enacted.

Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts on the matter. The issues that concern me the most are the war on women and the destruction of our public education system. What are yours? Do the plans of the Tea Party give you nightmares like mine?

As usual, I’ll be back on Sunday with another update. See you then!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Politics, ROW80, The Writing Experience