You can download a copy of the book for free onto any device from 2-11-2015 until 2-15-2015
Here’s the link to push on 2-11-2015:
You can download a copy of the book for free onto any device from 2-11-2015 until 2-15-2015
Here’s the link to push on 2-11-2015:
Well, it’s been a long drawn out process. The novel is finally coming out and is available now on Amazon. I’m going to set-up a free period for anyone who wants to read it. So look for that post coming up.
I just wanted to say that this novel has an interesting and odd genesis. I came up with the idea in 1998 and started writing it toward the end of 1999. The first draft was finished in 2000. While I was reading it to my writers’ group I had the distinct feeling that despite it being the best thing I had written it would take a very long time to come to publication. At the time my fellow writer’s made comments like, “Wow, this is so imaginative!” or “How do you think this stuff up?” Truth is it was more like a series of visions and logical extensions. Many of the things from inventions (like the ipad or tablet which was originally called an enotebook came out about 10 years later) to the further corruption of our democracy, the widening of the rich with the rest of us, the environmental impacts of climate change – all will read to you as if I wrote them in the past year or so. The book also deals with religious extremism.
Never has there been a time when this book could have been more prescient then it is now.
When I first wrote it I tried to put it aside. In fact I did for many years. It seemed too far ahead. The ideas ungraspable and maybe even more than a little dangerous. I was actually afraid of putting this book out – especially during the years just following 9/11 when it felt like we closed ranks and no longer wanted to look in the mirror at our own culture but rather find an enemy to annihilate.
It was at the writers’ groups insistence that I continue to polish the book – continue to write it. For years I set it aside and worked on other things – always with a push from the four lovely women who came weekly to critic, support and aid one another. As the years turned they started to call me and leave messages like, “I can’t stop thinking about your book. It’s as if it’s all coming true.” This would light a fire under me to edit again – fix some funky transitions, etc.
In 2007 I took it to the SDSU Writers’ Conference. I submitted part of it to an editor for evaluation and won an award for the book. The speech given that day was about how everyone who had won this award was on their way to being published and to huge publishing success. I knew I would be the exception. Maybe someday but not anytime soon.
This book asks us to question everything we take for granted. It calls upon our deepest western mythologies, looks at the spiderwebs lurking inside our broken democracy, our broken paradigms and lays out a dark road for those of us who do not want to see this forthcoming future. But it does also offer hope and solutions and a new paradigm as an alternative. This book is more layered then a Jackson Pollock painting and some of those layers are for the reader to explore and not the author to lay out.
Despite all the seriousness that is at the heart of this book I also wanted it to be enjoyable. So far I have yet to have someone read it who didn’t find it engaging. My editor (who is not easy to please) told me she “loved it,” and couldn’t wait for the next one. I don’t know if there is a next one, but OK. And those of you who read it here before it’s final edit were very kind.
It’s always felt like the book I was born to write. And like everything else about me it was our of synch with time until now.
My best to all of you!
The book is called, “Trees for the Forest” I will put a link up soon when it’s free on Amazon!
I just googled the title of my novel Americhrist and found that it is an actual church! And one that freakishly seems in keeping with the one in my book. My novel just gets creepier and creepier. It seems almost like I tapped into the future and just dictated back to myself from 30 years in the future. So much of it has already come to pass…
And a footnote in it is a 3rd WW which doesn’t kill everyone and isn’t really like the first two which I can see coming in all the nations charts I’ve looked at.
Getting chills yet? I am. I remember when I was writing the book the writer’s in my writing group were all saying, “Wow, Denise you have such an imagination,” and stuff like that. That was back in late 1999 early 2000 as I was writing it I was reading it. As time passed and I went through editing, and the Bush administration went forward with their agenda they all confided in me at different times that they thought often about the book and how bizarrely accurate the forecast was looking and becoming.
You can click on the page Americhrist if you want to read it. The book is posted here. Here’s a link to the freaky church with the actual name. It seems they are being sued for defimation which would make sense if they are anything like the weirdos in my book and I’d have to think they would be… knowing me.
And a link to the explanation of AmeriChrist Ltd. which seems to be in keeping with the twisted “Christian Values” in my book:
Seriously if everyone read the novel I think it would scare most of the population into doing something about global warming and the twisting of Christianity found in churches exemplified by the AmeriChrist of my book.
Best wishes and happy holidays,
Here’s a link to my book to make it all that much easier:
As a side note there seems to be some part of my brain that taps into very specific information when I’m writing. Perhaps it’s like automatic writing or something. Every story I’ve ever written (fiction) within months I’ve met people with that story or with the names of the main characters or it has become a headline story much later. I guess the psychic in me can’t get out of the way no matter what I do.
Anyone out there see Bill Maher last night? He had an author on named Jeff Sharlet who wrote a book called “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power,” all I can say is if you haven’t read the hypothesis I put forward in the book (which is published here on the website) “Americhrist” then this will seem too crazy to make up (which I thought I did through conjecture, inference and intuition.) But as it turns out my theory that there was and is a secret cabal of crazy nut jobber Fundamentalist Christians who think the ends justify the means is actually very, very, very, very real and ten times as scary. They believe (as Hitler did) that because they are wealthy and in positions of power they are the “chosen” people and therefore the rules do not apply to them, only to us “little people.” Again this is one of the themes of the dystopian novel I wrote back at the turn of the century. I always knew they sort of believed it in their heart of hearts but this man Jeff Sharlet actually lived with them and they gave them their philosophy which provides no moral judgement for Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, etc. Basically any mass murdering psychopath who happened to get into politics – because, as you guessed it, they were “chosen” by God.
This theory is eerily close to, well, actually it is exactly the same argument Hitler made and believed. So there you have it, self-admittance by this group at the heart of our government which is by nature cruel, destructive, murderous and evil by any moral standard. Accordingly however they (as all socio/psychopaths) believe they are exempt from morality because of their station. I can’t think of the exact Hindu lore that addresses this very common phenomena when human beings are given power but it is something to the effect that one of the Gods is talking to a king and he’s about to crush an ant and the God says not to kill as that ant was the last one who was king. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, right? I guess even proximity to power corrupts the weak minded. Or perhaps it is the hunger for power and excess that leads them toward the centers of power only to have access to a darkening of their souls.
On another note, I looked at the transits to the Dow Jones and they are similar to the transits that occurred during the last big crash. However I’m not getting a feeling of impending doom there. Instead I have a feeling there is something strange going on, a propping up, perhaps an artificial structure holding the market up that may break later. We’ve seen a lot of this over the past 20 years as deregulation has occurred so has real accounting, accountability and truth.
I’m publishing the entire book on its own page, instead of a chapter a week — this way if anyone gets into the book they don’t have to wait and read it. Also because it is fiction, it will keep it separate from the issues on the front page. The book really is an extension of this blog, or I should say this blog is an extension of the book, it did come first after all!
Please excuse any silly mistakes that would be found by a copy editor such as their instead of there, stuff like that. After you’ve written 100,000 novel it’s hard to see these things no matter how many times you read it. Also my editor friend complained about my punctuation which I tend to avoid because it gets in the way of my flow. I personally don’t find it distracting, but it you are like my friend try to forgive me as this, too, would be fixed when it is properly edited by someone other than me.
So you will be seeing what editors and agents have seen. And hopefully it will be polished again and readable at some future point in book form. I hope you enjoy it.
The book came from a vision I had of the future, one in which Armageddon didn’t happen, no big war or dramatic explosion, just us killing our world through global warming and all the bizarre side effects this phenomena will include.
The book got its title from 2 themes in the book. You’re a smart audience and I’m sure you can figure out why and how it got its name once you read it.
Hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 2 – Sleepless Night
(2044, January through June)
Gale force winds and thunder, garbage cans crashing over, objects slamming into walls and fences, and Ira slept through all of it like a kitten cuddling at his mother’s breast. But not me. My mind and heart were on fire.
Chi followed me, meowing for treats. It was cold downstairs. The angry wind forced its way between door and window cracks. I grabbed Ira’s ratty old sweater. The first present I had given him. It was the only thing left from that period of his life, perhaps a small reminder of how far he’d come since the penitentiary. I barely knew him then. We had dated about a year. He told me he worked for an internet research corporation, a consumer watch dog group that kept an eye on the defense department, it had some crazy name I forcibly forgot.
There was never any question. I was instantly in love and hopelessly naive about human nature. Turned out he was part of a watch dog group of hackers who stole classified information and sold it to reporters for a premium. To him it was noble, the people had a right to know and he had a right to make a living. Really, it was closest to intellectual prostitution although he saw himself as a twenty first century Robyn Hood. He could have been building something great instead of hunting down and exploiting government weakness. But who was I to judge? I knew his heart was good and his intentions were pure. And I loved him. He loved me. So I waited.
We avoided talking about it. And if we had to refer to that period there was a code, words that lessened the pain or importance for both of us. Anything to make it less real than it was. Usually if I referred to it, I said, “when you lived in the country.” He usually said, “during that time.”
When I was hired at Digibio, they ran a background check. Nothing came up in the preliminary. A month later they revoked access to anything but the chlorophyll research lab and the cafeteria. But it didn’t really bother me.
The tea kettle was singing. Only one bag of Chamomile left, hopefully it would help put me in a coma. And I could wake tomorrow discovering it had all been just a horrible nightmare.
The lights browned. The drawer had only three emergency candles left from the previous storm which ended two weeks prior. It had lasted thirty five days straight and the power had consistently gone out during peak hours. According to the weather man another hurricane was due to hit North Carolina. But other than historic value there was nothing there. Both Carolinas were dead, the states didn’t have money for scrims and except for folklore about people surviving off the land in the forest, there wasn’t a soul within a hundred miles of New York or D.C. And now all that was left was D.C. There were reports of a smattering of survivors in Seattle but the numbers were low.
I walked to the sofa and stared out the window, drinking tea. Chi sat on my lap. The rain was fierce and reminded me of New York, in my mother’s old brownstone. There had been a very bad storm when I was ten. We had both woken for different reasons. The thunder and lightening had cast shadows of monsters on the wall scaring me out of the room. While Mom contended with a real beast. She was setting out buckets all over the living room to catch the water oozing out of the fissures and cracks in the ceiling. Later I found out she had been afraid the whole damn roof was going to cave in on us, but at the time she pretended it was a game. A fun thing to do together. She had me searching for bowls, buckets, and hats until each little fissure was represented by its counterpart on the worn hardwood floor. And when a bucket would fill, she would grab one of the mongrel cups or bowls from my loot while pouring the buckets contents into the kitchen sink and then dutifully replacing them.
But even though she presented a calm rational exterior I knew something was very wrong. And I remember admiring her. She was fearless, capable and godlike. Nothing could harm me with her protection. She was able to keep the world away with her brilliant mind and convert anyone in her circle of influence to her point of view.
But that night I saw panic when she didn’t know I was watching. It was complicated seeing it and not wanting to see it. So I chose to believe the buckets were a game, knowing it was a protective lie. A lie affirming her love for me.
The street lights flickered in the rain. Some of the UV scrims down the block looked as though they had been sliced by a colossal box cutter. They flapped in the wind like serpent shaped kites.
D.C. was tolerable. It was cleaner than New York and had a much more reliable and quick acting body pick up service unlike the Corner Hut Drop Off Centers of New York, which were always teeming with mutant flies and reeked of decaying flesh no matter how often the workers cleaned them out. It was an ineffectual system and a health hazard. But you hardly ever saw the dead on the streets like you did here in D.C., even if they didn’t stay long on the walk ways you were still confronted with them daily. Maybe it was a bit healthier but I preferred New York. It felt more like an old city, with people doing all different sorts of things besides just working for the government or on some government related project. More than anything it was my connection to a personal history I missed. Even if New York barely resembled the one of my youth. Even if it never snowed anymore and the winters felt like warm fall days from childhood. I knew it. Somewhere under its fading, wilting petals the stem was the same.
And despite the elaborate scrim maze providing the best UV protection in the world (or so we were told by our government) I had preferred shabby New York. If only I could have gotten my mother to move. But that was like asking lead to turn into gold. And even though it got tiresome always wearing a protection suit or carry a UV umbrella or coating my skin with titanium dioxide which made me and my mom break out like hormonal teenagers if we so much as looked at the stuff, she would hear nothing of the virtues of my new city. She desperately loved all that was left of New York.
On the steps of the apartment building across the street a black shape moved. It was big enough to be a person but could have been a box or a piece of furniture left out for trash pick-up which had caught in the gale force wind, but most likely it was one of the infected. A crack of lightening lit the street clearly and I saw the woman. Skeleton Plague. Aptly named for the visual state it left its victims in – their skin and fat tissues were literally cannibalized by their bodies immune system and the results were a horrifying sight – skin turned paper white, taught and veiny, held up by the jagged tent poles of their bones.
The government said Skeleton Plague was communicable, but it was an auto immune disease. The scientific community was still debating its genesis and treat-ability, but that was it. We knew something was turning white blood cells into cannibalistic machines, whether it was UV-B, UV-A rays or some other solar radiation mixed with pollution was the only question. There was always a new outbreak during solar flares and there had never been any evidence of it being contagious, but people were afraid and the CDC had decided early on it was best to treat it like all the other plagues that had come down the pike and keep its victims quarantined. Those that got it generally spent a lot of time outside and didn’t alter their behavior during solar flare warnings or relied only on the city scrims to protect them. The woman had probably escaped from quarantine in a vein attempt to see her family one last time, but they wouldn’t open the door for her.
In the next crack of lightening I saw her convulsing. She was in the last throws of life. I called the health department and a few minutes later I saw a hazmat team take her body away. No fanfare, no ceremony. Life reduced to inconvenient garbage. It hadn’t always been like that. I could almost remember a different time. Mom told me crazy stories about her childhood and what seemed like an Edenic period at the turn of the century. I never really believed her until I was in college and studied history.
When I first started dating Ira I brought him to Columbia to meet my mom for lunch. We decided to stay afterward to see a documentary she was showing for her sociology class. Ira and I both burst into laughter after just a few minutes of the film. It looked so ridiculously naive, there biggest worry was crime. What was it? A thousand people dying a year from gun violence? Something remarkable like that. I couldn’t believe it was real and mom nearly kicked us out because some of the supposedly “shocking” statistics being thrown out about the death rate and natural disaster escalation seemed like a statistic seen on one good day in 2040. A year? It was so shocking I was surprised the rest of the class wasn’t rolling on the floor in stitches. But mom didn’t agree and it took a while for Ira to live down the incident and make up for his “insensitive behavior.” I had been the one making all the noise but, being her daughter, it was OK for me.
His saving grave was his Jewishness. No way mother would have forgiven him if he were a gentile. Not that she was religious. Try the exact opposite. She passionately hated any and all organized religions and poo-pooed all forms of spirituality. So the emphasis on being Jewish always struck me as bizarre. She explained her obsession as a desire to keep the genetic lineage alive. Why that was important in my case was silly since I couldn’t bare children, nor could more than half of all New Yorkers due to our parents and our own, radiation or UV exposure, but she kept her hopes up.
When I was a teenager my rebellious phase included going to temple with my orthodox friend Rachael. You’d think I was found plotting to kill the Pope. Even then she probably wouldn’t have been so angry because she hated the Pope as much as all religious leaders, to her they were devils poisoning minds and using fear to enslave the masses. I got a six hour lecture on the first day about the evils of organized religion and a history lesson about the estimated quarter of the women’s population of Europe who were brutally murdered by the Catholic church during the Dark Ages. The next day was a four-hour lecture on the raping, killing and pillaging of the matriarchal temples of the original Jewish people (the temples were dedicated to Astarte and later, in an obvious political move, she was turned into the demon Astoreth in the bible) by the followers of Jehovah who later became modern Jews. Then came the lecture about the slaughter of Christians and Jews by Muslims and the rise of terrorism in the Middle East at the turn of the century where tens of thousands were murdered in God’s name. She was sure to point out the irony that they were all fighting over the same God, Jehovah simply called a different name by each of the three major western religions.
The next week was devoted to, the Hindus and other “Pagan” religions who didn’t fight over the politics or names of Gods because to them, “all Gods are one,” so she told me if I was going to study any religion the only kind in her opinion worth its salt were the shamanistic traditions of either old Europe or the Americas. But as far as she knew all those teachings had been wiped out by genocide and political warfare. So being a shaman was a dangerous business and she didn’t condone that either. Best to stay with science, the functional universe and the now. Religion was too messy, spirituality too dodgy and philosophy too abstract to be useful. These feelings Miriam claimed came from studying sociology. But I don’t think the cause of religion was helped when her father the Rabbi walked out on her orthodox mother who later denounced Jehovah as a God who only cared for selfish men.
So in my family God was a dirty word used to divide families and punish mothers. I couldn’t help picking up a distaste for Him after watching my favorite biology professor’s research project shut down by the university because of pressure from Jessie and Sandy Applegates, Wrath of God, inc. Biological waste was used in some of the experiments and this meant there was some fetal tissue. Hordes of Fundamentalist Christian zealots picketed and screamed for months on Campus. The University had been pretty good about ignoring them until one of them strapped a bomb to his back and blew up the lab.
The Wrath of God, inc. denounced the suicide bomber once the University slapped a lawsuit on them and of course they weaseled out of it because they practically owned the U.S. They were the biggest religion in the world, what was left of it anyway. My mother called them, “a twisted Hip-Hop carnival of Christ.” They made me sick and if mom wasn’t enough to turn me against religion, their very existence, shut, locked and buried any religious curiosity in me.