The writing is not going well right now. I've reached a literary fork in the road. The story has two lines of action and I haven't been sure for a couple of weeks which line to pursue first. Now I've decided which one to follow, but I'm not sure exactly how to handle the scene. Do young people die? If so, good guys, bad guys or both? If no one dies (my preference), how is that avoided given the set up?
Ah, some of you (one of you? Maybe a little kid in the back?) ask, why wouldn't you just write your preference?
As I write, I establish characters, settings, and situations. This fantasy series is primarily character driven rather than plot driven, so I must be true to the characters as I've established them. Now, the scene in question involves minor characters only, so snuffing one or more will not seriously impact the story as a whole. But what happens in this scene will help define those characters and will show up much later, in the final plot resolution. So...can the bad guys escape without deaths? Can the good guys? And can the bad guys (who outnumbered the good guys about three-to-one) win the battle? If they do, will their subsequent plans also bear fruit? Hopefully I'll get back to this situation very soon.
I picked up three new used books at Good Will in Rochester. This was tougher because unlike the Good Will store in La Crosse, they do not organize their fiction alphabetically by author.
The three books I chose were because the authors are known to me both as someone I've read before and because they are highly respected in the world of science fiction.
I just finished the first: A World Out of Time by Larry Niven. Niven is famous for his novel Ringworld. It's considered a science fiction classic. I've read it, but beside the wonderful concept of Ringworld, I had trouble following the details. So, no surprise that I had the same problem with this novel. He moves the characters around in his invented machines, but doesn't really explain it in such a way that the reader (or at least, this reader)can easily follow it. And the women that are important in the narrator's life have the same first initial and an unusual name. One even has a name that is long, hyphenated, and difficult to pronounce. This makes it hard on the reader. He could have easily chosen a name equally unusual, but shorter and less difficult. Also, having two characters with similar names is considered a no-no in fiction writing. In my two Just Lucky books, but especially the second one, I had a character named Jean and as first written one named Jennifer. Those two appeared together in more than one scene. Confusing. I changed "Jennifer" to "Melinda" to avoid that problem. I feel Niven should have done the same.
I've now started In the Ocean of Night by Gregory Benford. My familiarity with Benford is through excerpts from his Man-Kzin Wars books. I'm only a little way into this one, but I already find it more comfortable than Niven's work—following along is not the work it was with Niven.
Now, an opinion piece:
I must address the abomination of January 6, 2021. American terrorists were encouraged by Donald Trump to march to the Capitol Building, saying "we" not "you" would walk down to the Capitol. But he didn't, he returned to the White House. Before the crowd left to do just what Trump suggested, Rudy Giuliani told them, "Let's have trial by combat." Their purpose was to interrupt or even negate, or change, the Constitutionally required certification of the Electoral College ballots for the election of President.
I suppose those of you reading this know as much as I, or more, about what happened. Thugs, urged on by the current President of the United States, and his pet pooch Giuliani, stormed the Capitol, climbed the walls, broke windows, invaded the building, the rooms of debate, even the private offices of elected officials. One of them is photographed with a Confederate Flag!
If these (expletives deleted) had been citizens of another country, it might have been considered an act of war.
I posted on Face Book that they should all be arrested, and shot in the kneecap in the process. One woman was killed. Background on her shows she was not only a Trump supporter, but a follower of QAnon. Now we know that one of the policemen trying to do his job, trying to protect our seat of government, was beaten to death.
I am incensed. These people turned our country, temporarily, into one of those countries that have revolutions and violence in their capitols to decide who will rule.
In my opinion, Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, and possibly Donald Trump, Jr., since he spoke to the crowd as well, should be charged with premeditated homicide. They incited a riot and violence that resulted in the deaths of two people. The Trump cult has finally acted on Trump's suggestion that if the election was "stolen" from him, there would be a civil war.
This is the darkest day in American history, domestically, perhaps ever, since the burning of the Capitol in 1814 was an act of war by the British.
However, the Constitution and American Democracy did finally win the day (or the night) and the clear choice of the American voters was upheld.
On the web site gocomics, which I read every morning, along with the regular comic strips are plenty of editorial cartoons too. By both liberal, conservative, and it would seem neutral artists and some of them had "commentary" about the abomination. One, by a conservative columnist, had a picture of a one dollar bill with Washington, shedding a tear.
Since 1814 we have had wars, terrorist attacks by foreign religious zealots, bombings by domestic terrorists, bombings and shootings by enemies foreign and domestic. This is the first time our nation's Capitol building was attacked—violated. And it was done in the name of and by the encouragement of a sitting President.
Like December 7th, 1941, this is a day that will live in infamy, and the sitting President, and his minions and his children that had a part in this will, I sincerely hope, be recorded in history with the same view as the Japanese that bombed Pearl Harbor or the Al Qada terrorists that took down the twin towers. Long prison terms for all of them will be, barely, sufficient justice for what they have done to our country.
I suppose none will face a firing squad. A pity...
As usual, all commentary, pro or con, is welcomed. The comments may be repeated or hi-lighted here, but the commentators' names will remain unrevealed unless they specifically request public recognition.
Also as usual, please read. Before you believe anything you see or hear on the internet, television, email, twitter, or any other media site, check, double check, and maybe triple check the facts. If straight fact-checking sites do not offer information, if you read Fox News, also read CNN. If you get info from the Washington Post, also get it from the Washington Times or the New York Post. If you read it from The Federalist, also read Huff Post. Then make up your own mind.
Lastly, many from one of the political sides boasts their "Christianity." Christ gave us two Commandments: Love God, and love your fellow man like you love yourself. Please examine the words and deeds of these "Christians" in the light of those two commandments, especially the second one, and decide for yourself how Christian they really are.
Thank you very much for your attention. We can all hope that 2021 is better than 2020. Shouldn't be difficult...