What Have We Done

Photo by Noah van de Wetering on Unsplash

When I say we, I mean 0.2% of the eligible voters that have selected our new Prime Minister. Boris Johnson, the man who openly lies, is racist, is an adulterer and the worst Minister in any government post ever (Chris Grayling runs him close) has been selected by 66.4% of his own party to lead the 5th biggest economy on the planet. That’s just 92,153 rich people (you only have to be over 15) voting him into power.

Now don’t get me wrong, on the one hand, and yes he’s not a good man, he is exactly the type of person I need in my story which was predicted a couple of years back when I said, online, “we shall elect a dangerous right-wing despot to sit alongside the other dangerous right-wing despots in America, Russia and other major states around the world”. But on the other hand, we will all have to suffer a little more because of it.

Leila’s journey to meet Finn and ultimately on to meet with her destiny requires people like Boris to create the circumstances from which humanity needs saving.

I’m excited. I shouldn’t be. I should be terrified (on your behalf). But I’ve work to do to weave this genuine nugget of unholy existence into the plot. Thank you, universe for dropping this nasty, and deceitful pawn into the game.

And, well done fate, well done insanity, well done stupid people and well done those of us that cannot see where this will end. I am about to show you your future and you won’t like it.

Mapping The Story

The notebook and pen

Today I found myself in a coffee shop drinking cappuccino. I had taken with me my notebook and a fountain pen. The nib of my pen scratched away at the page and some lines didn’t have any ink in them but the words formed and the thoughts flowed.

I have a plan now. The main themes are scribbled on one page, the character plots on another and the story timeline is mapped onto a third.

Tomorrow I start to type up the first draft of the story. The story without dialogue. The story without any character development. The story in its most basic form, just to see whether it stands up on its own.

My aim is to complete the first draft of the story by the end of October, just 15 short weeks away.

The draft will have around 25,000 – 35,000 words.

I don’t have a word count target for the final completed draft in mind but instinctively it feels like 65,000 words.

My target to finish the book is August 2020…

65,000 words in 410 days = 160 words per day. 1,100 per week. 5,000 per month.

Good words, great words, amazing words…

Well, it’s a plan…for now.

Last Night I Had A Dream

1:28 am I sat bolt upright in bed, chest tight and heart pounding. It was still living within me, eating at me, gnawing at my soul. Still asleep I got out of bed and went to my desk. The pen in my hand felt odd, light, it wasn’t there. The paper before me was luminous and surreal in the near darkness. I knew it was there but couldn’t see it in the dark. I started to write, to flow, to allow it to spill onto the paper. I didn’t know what I was writing, I just wrote (the words are in bold).

“The body feels constricted but this feeling mocks you as it only shows that you are still alive. You want to die.”

The feeling of being in another place, out of body and mind. But knowing that it’s still a feeling and it only serves to remind you that you are still alive but on a journey towards death.

“Scared…before the end, knowing it was the end felt helpless. Defined and void of all external thought. Stuck in a situation by roads, people you love leaving; the clawing loss and the void they leave. The point at which being dead would feel better than this living emptiness”

The feeling of fear eating away at your very soul as you are left behind by loved ones. Their leaving feels like your soul is departing with them. You are left empty and hopeless.

“A grief in the chest, heavy with dread. Others confused but not knowing what was happening. Mind fighting to stay in the game. The heart pounding and tight in the chest. It’s like the end of oxygen, breathing is difficult because there doesn’t seem any point.”

Odd ghostlike figures drifted through my dream without meaning or reference. Superfluous and irrelevant beings but for their presence confirming that I was still there.

“It’s as though the body is closing down and the mind fighting desperately to wake up, but you are awake. Empty, crushed, grief of losing what was. It will never be the same. No comfort or sense that you can take a step or move from this loss. Deep clawing pit of despair. Empty worthlessness. No hope or any sense that the limbs will function. Deepest depression where each thought is just something that comes in to interrupt the hopelessness and loss.”

I tried to capture the sense of feeling as I struggled to write what I was feeling in this half sleep.

“Each view after a blink is hated and feared because I can see I’m still in the nightmare that I want to end. Angry I’m still here participating in the end of everything when all that I want is the end of everything.”

A sense that I feared the end but wanted the end to come. I wanted the nightmare of existence in this (dream) world to finish and for me to wake up to everything being ok again.

The pains in my chest stronger and more paralysing with each futile breath. I move to another room (in the dream) hoping to find something but it’s as empty as the others. The rooms are my heart, it is empty and I want to die.”

The pain I felt as I wrote were pains of crushing loss and debilitating grief.

I went back to bed and immediately resumed my sleep. Waking this morning to a lovely day full of hope and promises. I’d forgotten about my dream. I’m glad I wrote it down.

And So It Begins

The seat of power and insecurity…

The plan is written, the fishbone diagram is done, genre selected, characters outlined, story thread clear and both the proposition and plot are cast. The plan is there alright, I suspect it will change and grow over time.

The Truth Will Set You Free (The Premise)

The book is based on our capacity to allow deception and lies to influence everything we do and think. The human trait is to trust and seek something or someone to follow. We are like sheep continually searching for new pastures in which to feed. Feeding and mating are our given purpose and the role of the shepherd is to make us herd together, to flock together, to eat and reproduce together, to remain passive and compliant and above all else, to trust them completely.

As sheep, we are made to feel secure, we feel protected and free to be sheep. Like sheep, we follow each other and do what all of the other sheep do. We ignore those that appear to cry wolf. We ignore the wolves dressed as sheep. We bleat and frolic reassuringly together, we watch as our children grow and play together. We are made to feel as though we are happy and have no reason to think otherwise.

And there comes a point when our older children leave us, they are taken to another place. They mature and become sheep in their own right. We believe it is to a place of safety and security but it’s just separate from us. It’s another place like ours where they, like us, are penned together in fields of joy. Safe near our shepherd, loved by our shepherd, their shepherd will guide them safely forward. We soon forget about the children because we are safe. We no longer worry about the children because we are safe.

We are safe because nobody told us that we are meat. Nobody had to tell us, they just made sure we all felt safe and secure. Fresh pastures, streams from which we drink and, of course, we are watched over by our shepherds. Shepherds that tend to us lovingly. Our whole lives being given over to a belief. Our way of life designed to show us that we are sheep. We are sheep. We loved like sheep. We ate, lived and breathed like sheep. We took pride in being sheep. I now understand why they didn’t tell us we were meat.

It is only when we are all taken from this place and see the executioners gun that the veil is lifted. We are in the killing line and moving towards the unseen bolt. We’re penned in and cannot turn back, we are terrified, we’d hadn’t been lied to, we just didn’t know that this is what they had planned all along. We just keep moving forward until we are next in line and we see the gun. It’s too late now. We have no choice. The meadows and the streams are a distant memory. I wonder what happened to my children. Had I let them down? Could I have worked it out? Could it have been different? What if I’d stopped to think? What if I’d worked out that their kindness was used to cynically mask all reality? It was obvious now, it wasn’t obvious then.

The truth has set us free from our illusion that the shepherd wanted us to live in peace and this happiness is forever. The illusion that we are nothing more than meat. We never are, and we never were. We are all just meat and we have been used to feed their unending consumption. We are produced and reared so that we feed their machine. We don’t benefit from the product, we are the product.

Unveiling – A Dystopian Pre Apocalyptic Story (The Plot)

A book based upon a time, not too distant from now, when the technocracy end game plays out in full. The final piece of the technological jigsaw is in place and the enabling systems of humanity’s freedom and entertainment are used against us to meet the long term goals of those in power.

Them and us. Humanity versus wealth and power. Love competing with greed.

The story is about Leila and Finn as they embark on a treacherous journey to save humanity from its destruction. Unveiling is what happens to us as we immerse ourselves into their world. As we suffer and triumph with them along the way. Their arch rival Benzi Brindle will stop at nothing to halt their journey because he knows, if they get to him, it will be a fight to the death. Benzi never fought battles he hadn’t already won.

Sheep become shepherds and shepherds become sheep. The storyline unveils both the good and bad in all of us. Imperfect people in a far from perfect world. Who holds the gun as our line moves forward? Who can stop then shepherd with the captive bolt? Who do we trust? Will your own veil be lifted by my story?

In The Beginning…

Why on earth did I start this adventure with you?

Well, I fell in love with you. It wasn’t love at first sight. It wasn’t even a smouldering and deliciously submersive or visceral thing. It sort of grew as I got to know you. It was this developing love affair and your ultimate unveiling that had me staring wide-eyed at every facet of your nature. Things are never how they seem, something didn’t quite fit. I wanted to see how this thing would unfold.

I knew you long before I met you, the 42 year old fighter. A brave, passionate and focused woman. I guess you’re around 5’10” (1.78m) and 146Lbs (66Kg). Toned and tall as I often described you to my friends. I know you majored in Psychology at Princeton, you’re lean and mean a real athlete. I found out that one of your many achievements was to captain the college Taekwondo team. You led them to the USA Taekwondo and National Collegiate Taekwondo Association finals, two years in a row. You’re a real winner, Leila, in every sense of the word. You won’t know this but I stumbled into you whilst out walking. I have been completely captivated by you ever since.

“Leila loves all forms of physical contact. Whether it’s in competition or the more earthly and sometimes gentler pursuits as a lover. She excels in all fields.” I love how knowing this makes me feel about her. I love that she never knew how I felt. I love that this was my very first thought about her.

When you walk it’s as though time slows, the sun grows warmer, the leaves around you flutter more softly and the colours shine more intensely. Your long legs flow like they’re passing through deep cool water and with the graceful expression of an assured athlete. Everything looks in place and your hips link the confident stride with the lyrical sway of a woman in her prime. I see you, Leila, as you look straight ahead, oblivious to all around you. Your Titian coloured shock of hair bobs with each step, your skin, tinged with midwestern colour, glows like an oil painting. It shows above your pale blue shorts and your almost bare midriff below your cropped Princeton T-shirt. Your neck is long but not too long. Your ears sit almost flat against your head and they have small turquoise studs in each lobe.

Leila, you really know yourself. You understand yourself and you are dissatisfied with the mundane or the ordinary. It is this that attracts me to you the most. Well, this and the fact that you are the most beautiful woman I have ever known.

I knew Leila was destined to fall in love with Finn. I knew it would take her away from me. I knew that she was prepared to sacrifice everything to be with Finn. And she did…I couldn’t prevent it. I couldn’t change it. But I love her right up to the very day it all came crashing down and her world caved in. I love her.

My Thought Progression

As a writer trying to establish the nature, psychology and person characteristics of the protagonist, I first had to decide whether I liked Leila or not. It could have gone either way. It still can. I wanted to understand her voice and what made her tick. 1,000 words hand written and flowing onto my notepad, without pause, describing what I knew about her deep inside. It was from this that I had to craft her into a person and into the story. Leila was formed in a hundred fantasies, 100 meetings of people from all walks of life and 100 walks in the hills with her on my mind. I knew I had to give her voice to narrate this story and act out her role. She’s still a work in progress.

Writer or Storyteller

I never imagined I’d actually write a book but I’ve always wanted to. I wasn’t really sure I could and I’m still not sure if I can. I’m hoping Leila will help me change all that.
 
It started deep within me many, many years ago. I was a child growing up in the beautiful countryside of the Mayfield Valley. I played alone amongst the wildflower meadows and earthy streams. My endless summer days painting themselves onto my ever so slightly torn canvas.
 
Looking back, the best part about my childhood was being born to an absent father and a narcissistic mother. I was alone for a reason. I was the witness to my mother’s pain; she never liked witnesses to anything. Solitude gave me my freedom. Freedom to explore secret trails, meandering streams and steep, tree-lined valleys. The sibilant sounds and sacred scents of my childhood endure with me and through me to this day.
 
Four years ago, I got to know an amazing young woman called Leila. Leila isn’t like anyone I had ever met before. She is alive, sensitive, funny, smart, sexy and fearless. Leila and I have been on many amazing journeys together. We’ve loved and hated each other. We’ve been apart and we’ve come back together over and over and over. This past couple of years we have become inseparable.
 
In the coming months, I am going to tell you more about Leila, a lot more. I want you to fall in love with her, as I have.