As I was telling a fellow blogger yesterday, my books are taking over my life. Last Train to Kingston is keeping me busy with marketing, signings, talks, and emails from people wanting to ask a question or discuss the book. The second mystery in the series, Last Rose on the Vine, is almost completed and I’ve been working with two great beta readers, Joyce and Tracy, to make sure errors are caught quickly and don’t make it into the first printing. (Who says you can’t learn from your mistakes?)
This weekend, Charley and I took time off from the mystery series and travelled to The Hancock Shaker Village, the November setting for the stories in A Berkshire Tale.. I was asked to sign copies of my books and to read from The Pacas Are Coming! ZuZu and the Crias. I spoke with lots of grandparents wanting to bring home a copy for their grandchildren. Eventually, I intend to add two more ZuZu stories I’ve written and turn the first edition into a hardcover book illustrated by an artist.
But that plan will need to wait until Carnivore Conundrum is launched in December. Carnivore is what I’ve been working on with Zack Perry, a young artist from the University of Rhode Island. It’s a verse poem about a baby pitcher plant named Adonis. He awakens one morning inside the Roger Williams Botanical Garden and finds a fly in his digestive juices. The fly pleads, “Oh, please spare my life! I’m needed at home by my larvae and wife.” Adonis spits out the insect and decides he is going to be a vegetarian, causing his mother and her friends much angst. It’s presently in the hands of a formatter and we are hoping it will be ready in time for Christmas. I’ll be including a compact disc I made of the verses using different voices for the plants and animals trying to save this precocious baby from starvation.
I have another great idea I would love to develop when I can find the time. It’s a crime thriller set in Washington, DC.
An evil, powerful Russian leader seeks to take over the world. He, and the oligarchs he’s chosen to be his closest aides, need only to take over the United States to make this a reality. They launch a search for the most narcissistic, immoral, unethical, corrupt person in the US and when they find him, they make him their puppet. They lend him money and videotape him in compromising situations. They parlay money to buy seats for politicians who will support their puppet. They target the most ignorant, angry, and needy of the population and use social media platforms to brainwash them. They enlist the aid of greedy, old, white men who want to protect the billions of dollars they’ve accumulated and convince them to invest their money to secure the entitlements they feel were meant for them by backing the worst candidates possible for public office.
When all is in place, the oligarchs hire hackers to sabotage the US voting system, ensuring their candidate will be elected. Social media allow ads and posts from these hackers to prey on the racism, misogyny, fears and hatred imbedded in the system since the country’s patriarchal government was formed.
Their marionette is elected and given only one task – to abuse his power to bring about as much chaos as he possibly can. He is paid substantial funds by his handlers to bring darkness to the Capitol and chaos ensues. The moron surrounds himself with the worst advisers and toadies to aid, abet and sit silent when necessary. Bribes and the fear of being publicly humiliated are effectively used to control these politicians who help the moron puppet to whittle away at The Constitution. Together, they work diligently at destroying the Declaration of Independence written to protect citizens; granting them the rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Blacks are castigated for peacefully kneeling to protest the bitter truth that some human beings are dispensable; that precious lives are being callously destroyed. Hispanics are told they are not worthy of the same rights the white citizens of the country are given. The weak, the old, the infirmed are doomed to illness and death. Responsibility for the care of our most vulnerable is discarded like so much wet tissue paper. Women, speaking out in defence of their rights, are deemed “nasty” and the victimization they always have been subjected to is normalized even more by the behavior of the deranged animal puppet now in power.
And the world looks on in horror.
History has truly become a forgotten thing of the past. America is now recreating its own version of Nazi Germany. The angry, young white terrorists are taking to the streets, empowered by the deplorable words and actions of their own home-grown Führer.
And the decent, law-abiding citizens of this once great country look on in horror.
Now, this is where the story takes a bit of a turn – an ironic plot twist. Some of the characters in the book are not having any of this. Nasty women gather together to march. They find there is incredible strength in unity. Blacks begin to fight back, demanding the inequalities so inherent in our everyday life be seen for what they are and changed. Statues revering traitors start to fall. Athletes use their First Amendment Rights to publicly kneel in protest to remind us of what our flag really stands for. Hispanics rise up and declare they are a valuable part of the fabric of our society and will not allow that to be torn asunder. Dedicated journalists begin to understand how important their words are in keeping facts out in the open – in calling fake news, fake news; in relentlessly exposing a lie to be a lie, no matter how many untruths must be tirelessly unveiled each and every day. Lawyers and judges, democrats, independents, progressives and even a handful of republicans with courage and moral conviction take up the torch. And so, the denouement may be a very different ending than the Russian leader anticipated. He misjudged the resilience of people who understand and value their rights. He underestimated the women who decided they would take matters into their own hands and lead themselves when the void needed to be filled.
After the initial shock and feeling of hopelessness I wrote a post, contending that this era in our history was something too long in coming. We were once thought to be a great nation. The Great Nation. We really weren’t. But we realize we can be and we’re finally doing something to rectify all of the things inherently wrong in the way we’ve conducted our business here in the US forever.
This is our own Enlightenment, precipitated by the actions of an immoral, deranged animal – a deplorable, abusive, narcissistic sociopath. We recognize we’ve been complacent and slow to comprehend, but making mistakes and correcting them is sometimes the best way to learn a hard lesson.
The Russian leader is dethroned by the angry masses because their economy has ultimately failed due to sanctions placed on the country by a wiser US Congress. The chaos the puppet moron created only serves to bring out the best in a country severely needing to deal with its underlying faults and frailties. The deranged, moronic animal, his greedy family and his cowardly cronies are brought to trial. They’re found guilty of colluding, aiding and abetting a foreign country in plans to overthrow their government. The treason is unmasked. The horror finally subsides. The better angels have come forward and we are a better place for having gone through the storm.
Now, I just have to find a good title and some time to get this written before somebody else steals my ideas. Perhaps I’ll call it The Art and the Failure of the Russian Deal?
Have a peaceful week.