I am a middle child. Well, actually, my older brother is the middle child, but he is also the oldest of the boys, so I inherited the title and all the benefits that come with it.
Because of that, I spent a great deal of time fading into the background. I became pretty good at it, actually. It’s a talent I still try to use to the best of my ability. I became an “Observer.” Back when I was a little boy I spent a great deal of my time under the couch (I was pretty small), listening to what the rest of the family was saying and doing.
When I became a teenager, because I could no longer fit under the couch, I became bored rather easily. I didn’t have a lot of friends, but I had an abundance of overactive imagination.
The summer of my 13th year, I must have been driving my Mom crazy with my questions and moaning about being bored, and my Mom yelled at me, “Go write a book.”
So I did.
The first one was longhand in a notebook (I’ve still got it, somewhere). After my parents realized writing was occupying my time, my Dad brought me a Smith Corona typewriter to use, and I spent every minute I had pecking away to get the voices out of my head. He worked in a typewriter repair store at the time, so it wasn’t long before I got an electric one for Christmas. And I pecked away even faster.
I came up with an idea for a story when I was 15 that has occupied my mind for the past 37 years. It started as a simple fantasy, then turned into a horror and much later into a science fiction story. But the story was always pretty much the same, just the time and place changed.
I finally got the first part of it out of my head and into my hands a week ago. I’ve been reading it this week as a reader rather than a writer or editor. It’s not as perfect as I had hoped, but I’m satisfied that at least those voices aren’t screaming in my brain.
Looking back on it, I wonder if my Mom told me, all those years ago, “Go write a book” as reward, or punishment. Either way, thank you Mom.
That is all.
Betrayed – The final part of the Rages.
The fate of the world waits in the Wilderness. Determined to find the Leap, the might of the Seven Realms journeys into the fury of nature’s Rages in search of its destiny.
Marshal Jodi Tempest, betrayed by the Federation she serves, is determined to find the Leap and subvert Lord Judge Syiada’s quest for godhood.
Wrynd Scimitar Hatcher, consumed with the need for vengeance, embarks on a last, desperate act to destroy those who have wronged him.
At the center of it all is Harley Nearwater, the Castaway. Delivered to the Wrynd, his last, only hope is a deal with the Grey Walker, a legend of mystical power and ruthless cunning. It is a deal with forces he cannot comprehend, and may be his undoing.
The Earth Rages. Humanity is Hunted. The End of Everything is About to Begin.
The Earth Rages. Humanity is hunted.
In the New Age of Discovery, society has cured its ills, and lost its soul. There is no disease, poverty, religion or war. Gathered in Hub cities of the Seven Realms, ninety percent of humanity lives within the Vale, a digital world of their own design, where they want for nothing . . . except a purpose.
Outside of the Seven Realms, the world has returned to nature, to the Wilderness, where every living thing hunts for human blood. It is a land of madness, a place where the Earth itself Rages for the extinction of humanity. From the Wilderness three strangers will be changed forever, and the world with them:
Harley Nearwater journeys to the Seven Realms. He seeks only the company of others for a time, to find respite from the harshness of a world he no longer recognizes. Death follows him.
Quinlan Bowden searches for his wife, and knows to find her he must leave behind the security of the Hubs. The mother of his children has been taken and if they are to save her, they must face the Wilderness, where monsters truly do live. He holds onto hope, the faint glimmer of hope that things might yet be made right. But he knows the world is full of monsters, and their master is despair.
Brinna Wilde dreams of a place beyond the Wilderness, the only world she has ever known, where the last of the faithful wait for Judgment Day. Her dreams lead her to the Seven Realms, where the gifts of the greatest civilization of man might guide her toward redemption.
Their paths will cross. Chaos will reign.
The end of everything is about to begin.
The idea behind The Rages and the Book of the Shepherds has been bouncing around in my head for decades. I blame it primarily for my unstable mental condition. But now it’s starting to scare me a little bit. Especially when I see stories like the one on MSN, linked below. In The Rages, Right to Income is a basic right of life and everyone gets a paycheck just for being a citizen. I thought it was a little far-fetched when I first thought it up, but I figured it’s science fiction, let’s add it to the mix and see what comes out in the plot. Now I’m starting to feel a little prophetic, and a lot worried for our future. The Seven Realms of Man is great to write about, but I’m not sure I want my children living there.
I am at a loss to how we have come to where we are, and find myself wondering every day what it means to be an American. In the end, has the meaning slipped beyond our grasp?
It’s not just the mainstream political candidates that we have been told are our only choices; it is the vehement, hateful rhetoric that so many people I call family, friends and neighbors have chosen to employ to prop up deeply failed candidates.
Perhaps the most disheartening trend I have witnessed of late is the siren call by mindless followers that a vote for anything other than the Democrat or Republican is a vote wasted. It is contrary to everything I was taught at my father’s knee about what it means to be an American.
What have we become?
I was taught by my parents that it did not matter your color, creed or religion; we as a people are citizens of the United States of America. Whether you were Christian or Muslim, Jewish, Atheist or Agnostic; whether you were Heterosexual, Homosexual, or anything in-between, it didn’t matter. Together, we were Americans.
That America seems to have slipped away.
Now, we vote only for our own self-interest. What will the candidate do for me, my family, my beliefs, my community, regardless of anyone else? That is not who we were as a nation. It’s not what we must be if we are to continue to be a nation of one people. Our vote should and must be what is best for the nation as a whole, not just what one candidate or the other might say to stave our fears.
Ronald Reagan was the first president I have any true recollection of following as I transitioned from youth to adulthood. I admired him greatly. I served my country under President Bush and President Clinton, even though I did not necessarily vote for either of them. But in every president from President Reagan to President Obama, I have found in each and every one of them something that I deeply admire. I did not agree with any of them on every decision they made, but I did not sit where they sat, did not face what they face, and did not know what they know. Once the vote was cast and the decision was made, they were my president.
It would be easy to blame the political parties for the turmoil we find ourselves in. But we need to accept responsibility as the people of the United States, that we, collectively, have made our choices in the past to lead us where we are.
The political system as it is now formed makes it impossible for a man or woman of integrity and character to reach office with that integrity and character in place. Not just at the presidential level, but from the local office all the way to the highest position in the land, if you seek to serve, you must adopt platforms you may find repugnant.
We have allowed it to happen, encouraged it even.
I believe more and more every day that if the America I was taught to love and serve is to survive, the political parties we follow must fade into history. They are both corrupt.
The only chance we have is to vote our conscience. Vote for who you believe will best serve us, regardless of whether they are running for office or not. Draft them, if you must. Vote and let your voice be heard, that we will not accept anything less than the best we are, as a people, to represent us, not just the choices that have been offered.
If enough of us vote for integrity and character, wherever we might find it, we might finally make our voices heard that this is our country, collectively, as one people . . . united.
Perhaps then, we can find a way back from the abyss.