Do no harm

Photo by Ash EdmondsMy responses to world events since Brexit in the UK and Trump’s election in the USA have brought me to a crisis of personal morality.

My growing instinct since then has been to embrace the necessity to fight violence with violence. Punch a nazi? Please do. Kill a nazi? We’re not at war yet, but when it’s declared someone give me a sniper rifle and set me up in a hide. I’m physically broken, but still the same person who served a long career in the military until I got badly wounded and retired on a medical war pension.

But there’s the problem. I’m not the same person. After a long struggle with my conscience some ten years ago, I set violence aside and became a quaker.

So now you see the crisis. In these past eighteen months, my old willingness to use violence in order to protect vulnerable people reasserted itself. Except that it hasn’t felt right any more. It hasn’t felt right for me. For the person I’ve become.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that the dreadful wrongs being done in our world shouldn’t be fought. Or that the many vulnerable people being harmed and endangered and oppressed shouldn’t be protected. What I’m saying is that there are different ways to protect them.

What I’m saying is that while I will continue to call out wrongs when and where I see them, I’m no longer someone who will smack a nazi or pick up a sniper rifle against them if and when the war is declared.

What I’m saying is that I’m a quaker. I’m a pacifist.

My WIP is already reflecting this change.

It gets easier by the day to tear our world apart. Circumstances make it scarily possible. I won’t be part of that harm. As far as I am able, I will help to heal our world.

Monday morning coffee

Monday morning coffeeI know of no better smell and taste. Not at this time of the morning anyway. A gorgeous pint of unsweetened black rocket fuel, please.

Had a fall last week and hurt my arthritic shoulders badly. They’re still agony. Can’t sleep because can’t take my weight on either shoulder for more than 15 minutes at a time before the pain is sickening.

So writing is off the menu for the time being. Still living with my characters in my head, mind. Space Train 2 is talking to me again after my brief interlude with that palate cleanser story, which I’m ready to put aside now until ST2 is done. Chapter 2 is ready to rock. As soon as the pain is manageable, I’ll be back into it.

Let the adventure begin

photo by Corey Silva

Actually, I have three adventures waiting to begin. Three writing projects ready for me to dive into.

There’s Space Train 2. When I finished Book 1 with such a prolonged, intense adrenaline rush, I thought  I would continue right into Book 2. But it turns out my mind wants to refresh itself first. I’ll be happy to press Go on that project when the time is right, but for now it’s waiting patiently.

There’s my palate cleanser fantasy, now with the working title 90 DAYS, which I showed you a raw snippet of last week. That opening scene has developed, as I expected it would, and my hero is in the process of becoming an anti-hero. He’s a man who acts on urges that many of us might only daydream about. Someone who will beat the living shit out of a nazi as easily as others will RT an activist tweet. Someone who might even kill a very bad person and then sleep peacefully. Wishful thinking? You bet it is, and I think this one has the legs to go all the way.

And there’s a co-authored cozy mystery that Holley Trent and I have been talking about for a while. We’ve both had deadlines to fulfill this autumn, and desks to clear, but we’re approaching the point where we can do some work on this one and see how it goes.

Three projects, and each one quite delicious. That’s my 2018 planned.

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