Category Archives: literary fiction

Chapter 8.5 of novel-in-progress Covid-1984, The Musical

Over the last four days, I worked hard to finish the first draft of this novel by my self-inflicted deadline of Sept 11,  I met my deadline. I got four more chapters sketched out.  I found the ending I was hoping for.  The novel is twenty-chapters long.  It will take me a few days to proofread all of them before I put them on my website. (Yes, your typo corrections are welcome.)  Today, I’m adding a new chapter after Chapter Eight.

It’s mostly dialog between Winston and his friends, Horatio and Laertes, from his old life in my last novel. The chapter establishes some tension that will snap in the rising action of (what will be) the eighteenth chapter. In the next months, I will be going over the entire novel, tweaking and tightening and, most importantly to me, adding more poetic resonance.

Right now this chapter reads a lot like movie script with very little stage direction. One of my best friends, N, tells me she hates fiction, especially when the author cranks out a bunch of adjectives.  So if you’re like N, you might prefer this version of the chapter before I sully it with echoes from Alexander Pope’s Dunciad.

Continue reading

Locus Amoenus 21 years after 9/11

My 2015 novel, Locus Amoenus, is a dark comedy featuring Hamlet as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.  Today you can download the audiobook (free) . It’s the last great work by actor Ben Jorgensen who was suicided by the lockdown. Today, not incidentally, I will be completing the last few chapters of my new novel, Covid-1984, The Musical, part 2 of this saga (for which I hope there is not a third).  I’ll be dedicating this novel to Ben, of course.

Audiobook read by Ben Jorgensen

Chapter 12.5 of novel-in-progress, Covid-1984, The Musical

In this chapter, some Amenia locals form an anti-mandate activism group called, “The Lawn Chairs,” and take on the local school board, whose Superintendent is a Drag Queen. Looking to get banned for his one.

Further interior renovations are taking place with this chapter, which comes after 12 and before 13. I’ll do the re-numbering later. Continue reading

Chapter 12 of novel-in-progress, Covid-1984, The Musical

In this chapter I bring together some major themes of the book, and our of times.  In Amenia, the small-town setting of this story, for many generations there was state school for “feeble-minded children” that employed most of the residents.  It was the site of a horrific scandal in the 1950s: murders, abuse, forced sterilization. It was part of the eugenics movement promoted by US Supreme Court Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. that lasted generations. If the institution were to reopen for business today, they might be locking up moral imbeciles who don’t believe in vaccines or conspiracy theorists who are trying to destroy faith in democracy.

I’m doing some interior renovation of the novel as I get closer to finishing it.  I have a self-inflicted deadline of 9/11 to get this first draft done.  This chapter is out of order for the moment, but the way I write each chapter can stand alone as a short story.

Continue reading

Chapter 14 of novel-in-progress, Covid-1984, The Musical

In this chapter, I show Winston following Voltaire’s advice and teaching Honoré, Julia’s daughter, how to garden.  While they work, they have the sort of exchanges about nature and biology that Winston used to have with his mom.  They reflect on the nature of death and composting.

But the most important function of this chapter is to establish the fact that the parasitic class doesn’t understand what ordinary people (i.e., non-psychopaths) value most.  We are not all that willing, usually, to fight for land, resources, power, fame–nor even some abstract notion of freedom.   But we will defend children.  Personally, I am willing to suffer censorship, alienation from friends, job loss, being targeted by the IRS,  or being charged with “terrorism” for spreading misinformation about vaccines.  Because of what the WEFers have done to Maddie de Garay, the 13-year-old who participated in the Pfizer trial, was paralyzed as a result and then subsequently ignored, and what they have done to Gracie McNamara, my 12-year-old neighbor who was severely brain-damaged by the Pfizer shot. Many children have been killed or maimed.  That’s the hill I’m willing to die on. 

Orwell’s Winston didn’t have a child in his life. If he had, Orwell would have written the ending differently, for Winston would not have given in.

Continue reading

Chapter 13, novel-in-progress Covid-1984, The Musical

In this chapter, we are reliving the fall of 2020. Remember when we were still uncertain that the oligarchs were trying to kill us?  Remember when a few people who were pointing out the obvious were being called conspiracy theorists? Well, I trust my readers have smartened up a bit since then.

I finally bring Felix O’Brien onstage.  A couple of chapters ago, I hinted that the was going to show, but he never did. This time he appears in person.

What did you think when Orwell’s Winston approached O’Brien for help?  Did you guess it was a set up?

What about our situation here in real life?  Are there some who are seeking saviours in all the wrong places? Continue reading

Chapter 11, novel-in-progress, Covid-1984, The Musical

In this Chapter, Winston and Julia read a draft copy of Koenig Schmidt’s book, Eusocial Capitalism, my version of Orwell’s book within the novel 1984.

In this introduction I want to relate what I learned from an article by Cynthia Chung on James Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution.  Burnham (not Trotsky as many assume) is the real inspiration behind Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein. Chung draws links between Burnham, a former Trotskyite turned neoCon, and Henry Kissinger, Klaus Schwab and the Great Reset, the agenda of which is presaged in Burnham’s writings:

“Effective class domination and privilege does, it is true, require control over the instruments of production; but this need not be exercised through individual private property rights. It can be done through what might be called corporate rights, possessed not by individuals as such but by institutions: as was the case conspicuously with many societies in which a priestly class was dominant…”

“If, in a managerial society, no individuals are to hold comparable property rights, how can any group of individuals constitute a ruling class?

The answer is comparatively simple and, as already noted, not without historical analogues. The managers will exercise their control over the instruments of production and gain preference in the distribution of the products, not directly, through property rights vested in them as individuals, but indirectly, through their control of the state which in turn will own and control the instruments of production. The state – that is, the institutions which comprise the state – will, if we wish to put it that way, be the ‘property’ of the managers. And that will be quite enough to place them in the position of the ruling class.”

I thank Chung for the insight that Schwab’s The Great Reset follows the tradition started by Burhnam and satirized by Orwell in 1984.  Klaus Schwab is his own worst enemy; the more people who become familiar with his writings, the sooner we will have a popular uprising against the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Continue reading

Message without a Sender

Once again, the masters of The Strange Recital podcast, Brent Robison and Tom Newton have brought my short stories to life.  In this episode I read two, “The Narrative” and “Signs and Symbols,” from a collection that I’ve been working on called Chance that Mimics choice. Like the other stories in this collection, these are about the art of making/finding meaning.

Why do writers write? Why do readers love to read?  If you’ve ever wondered why people might enjoy fiction so much that they spend the better part of their waking hours engaged in it, listen to this podcast and the interview that follows.  There is no greater pleasure for this writer than being able to sit and chat with other writers, like Brent and Tom, about writing. It’s the only kind of reward I need.

Listen to find out what a “message without a sender” might be.

You can also listen on Spotify.  Just search “The Strange Recital.”