fiction isn't always fiction
Has it really been seven months since I've written a post? Yes it has. And a lot has happened in that allotment of time. Cultures, including ours, rising up all over the world against their governments, a pandemic, school closings, stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, an economic crisis, social distancing, church closings, mask mandates, etc etc... all during an election year. Three months until November, and still no Democrat running mate announced, no debates, no nothing. Just more COVID19 news...always bad. Always a step backward, never forward. Never making any progress.
So, tell me...how does it feel to actually be living within a dystopian society?
Because we are. Just look around you. People everywhere, moving around in lines, obeying notices, signs, and arrows, covering their faces, distancing themselves from one another, not going to church, not going to school, scared to go out in public, scared to do much of anything; judging, calling each other out and hating each other all over a virus with a proven survival rate above 99 percent. Civil unrest has been unleashed in cities across the nation at an unprecedented rate under the obvious pseudo guise of peaceful protesting and armed 'militias' are storming towns and threatening residents while police stand idly by with seemingly no power to do anything about it. Guns are being bought up at a rate never before seen. Ammunition is scarce and what can be found of it has increased substantially in price. And there seems to be no end to any of this in sight.
If your scared, you have reason to be. This isn't normal. We are seeing the seeds of an insurrection being planted and cultivated, and that's a scary thing. COVID19 is real, but the scare tactics keep us glued to our seats, worried to death and most importantly, distracted. If you're scared of dying, here's a news flash: death is inevitable. It's coming whether you like it or not. Your fear won't keep it away and neither will any precaution you take to keep it away longer. And what of protecting those around us, one might ask? The greater good? It's a catchphrase. There is no such thing. Society is too selfish to give a rat's ass about the general safety of the public unless TOLD it was necessary or patriotic or the right thing to do by our controllers. Shouldn't we already know what the right things are? Why do we so vehemently trust those in government who have lied to us about so much already? Why do we allow it? Because we'd rather just let it go and not worry. We want the quick fix. We want to feel better even if things aren't actually better. We like feeling secure, even if we aren't. Ladies and gents, we live in a dream world. America as it stands cannot go on forever like this. To maintain freedom, we must fight for it. Otherwise, we get something else: the illusion that we're free. For most, that's enough. But it isn't for me.
It's a tough world, but the way I see it, each of us has a choice:
Live our lives in a box, scared of our own shadows and ignore all things good simply because we could die of anything at any minute
Or live our lives to the fullest because life is precious and we're only blessed with one of them
enough of that. gimme book stuff
I realize you don't follow me to hear my rants. I'm a fiction author and authors write books. Some write faster than others. Some have more time than others. Some are better at managing their time than others. Where do I fit in? :) I don't. I'm horrible at writing fast, having time, and managing the time I have. Plus, I'm a great procrastinator to boot. I've become the best second-guesser of my own work and I relentlessly edit and re-edit everything I type as I type it. I can't help it. If it doesn't meet with my approval it gets rewritten until it does.
The Heart of War began as a concept last September at the finalization/publication of INDIVISIBLE, which became a blockbuster release, thanks to all of you. I began working on it immediately and released the cover in early November, which, looking back, might've been a tad premature. All hell broke loose politically in my home state of Virginia about a week after and for the first time in my life as a card-carrying member of the silent majority, I became an activist. I attended meetings, made my opinion known, and went to 2nd Amendment rallies across the state. In doing so, I shook hands with a lot of folks who I found were a lot like me and my overall concept of The Heart of War underwent some transformation. There was a message that needed to be conveyed, and that required some rewriting.
My personal life had also come under fire; my family was no longer comfortable with our home location. We were surrounded by the wrong types of people. So, plans were put in place to buy a home farther away from standardized civilization and move somewhere more rural. And...just as that journey began to blossom, boom; pandemic and subsequent craziness. I don't know we did it, but we love where we are now, and needless to say a lot of time has passed since then and I'm behind once again. But it's better to be able to breathe and I've been able to get some writing done, leaving me with one final conundrum: getting this damned book out to you and lining up others.
To keep myself aligned with dates and occurrences of note while writing, I keep a timeline. I do so now using Microsoft Excel, as you can see below. If you click on it, you'll see dates that occurred earlier on within the What's Left of My World series timeline.
I began writing the series in 2016, and had to devise a date sometime in the future when it was set to begin, and as well when it all might end. Back then, I had no idea how long the series might turn out to be. It could've been two books, three, five, or twenty, and at this point, I still haven't decided. I only plan to keep it going so long as there are readers out there who remain enthrall with Lauren's plight. I know that it cannot go on forever, and as they say, all good things must come to an end.
If you're paying attention, you'll note the cell in the above photo highlighted in orange, titled, "Day of Collapse." Now look to the left of that cell and note the date. September 26, 2020. I came up with these dates barely four years ago during the inception of the series. Before I started using Excel for my timeline, I printed out calendars and wrote notes in the day fields. Take a look at the next photo. That's right, folks. Four years ago, I wrote that September 26, 2020 was to be the day of the collapse in What's Left of My World. It's the day of which I first foretold in the epilogue of books one and two. The day referenced in Worlds Apart's preface:
"On a Saturday morning in late September, a thermonuclear device of unknown origin was detonated approximately one hundred fifty miles above the Earth’s surface, at around forty-one degrees north latitude, or just south of Lake Michigan. The resulting electromagnetic pulse blasted downward over an area approximately six hundred miles in radius from the epicenter, placing the majority of the United States of America under an inaudible, imperceptible umbrella of mass destruction."
Had I known the series would go this far, I probably would have pushed the timeline ahead a few more years. But, alas, hindsight is 20/20, if you'll pardon the pun. Also, had I known it would have taken me a year to get the seventh book out, I probably wouldn't be pointing any of this out. But I thought it made for interesting corollary, and even better, for a damn-near perfect release date for The Heart of War.
I'll update with links and all that good jive before long here and on my mailing list, and as well on social media outlets galore. But go ahead and mark your calendars. Until then, I have some writing to do.
Stay safe and healthy.