When I was young I wanted to be a writer. I read the letters of famous authors and two stuck with me through life. Ernest Hemingway said that the best way to become a writer is to go out and live. Have as much experience as you can and then write. He did not mention that an education in English or writing could help.
I went out and started college. I took up boxing. I was still living at home. Our Uncle Sam wrote to me and drafted me into service in the Police Action (War) in Vietnam. I left in the spring of 1966 from my parents home in Fullerton, California. During those days most people went through boot camp and then spent about 10 months or so in Vietnam and then went home and were discharged. Through a series of unfortunate events (excuse me) I ended up spending around 5 years in service in and out of Vietnam. What I did and saw and learned has affected me the rest of my life. Everything since then has been lived in the context os the war. I suffered from PTSD but didn’t really get that diagnosis for almost 40 years after returning to the United States.
In recent years I have finally gotten some good counseling from the VA. I had been attracted to counseling in my life to try to help me understand what I clearly did not know about myself. I worked with three good counselors in my life but none of them even thought to ask about the war and it’s effect on me. I have found out that I have a condition called alexithymia, which is an inability to feel the normal emotions of life. Apparently there are over 200 emotions we humans experience and a PTSD sufferer has access to only about 10% of those.
So I had trouble getting and keeping jobs, having and keeping relationships, feeling good about myself for any extended period of time. I missed the music and romance and dancing in my life. I ran an extreme sports practice for several years. I was drawn into the world of investment and insurance by a concerned client. I worked in that field for 30 years and it proved to be good in that I could change companies and products and approaches without ever having to quit. I tried more than 10 times to have a long-term relationship and always failed. So my personal life did not reflect the success I had in other areas of life.
I didn’t work in financial services, I fought in the corporate wars, and so forth. Always defined by my experience in Vietnam. the VA has told me that Vietnam Vets are the most suspicious people in the country. We have the least trust in the government. I have done a lot, I had experiences in life as urged by the successful authors that went before me. All defined by the war experience.
So I call my writing efforts, The War Chronicles. I wrote a series of seven novels about a Vietnam Vet trying to live in what seems like a hostile world to him. His name is Gideon Jones because I always said I should write a book called Gideon, Jonah, and Me, Three Men Who Tried to Escape from God, but Failed. It was my vague understanding of the PTSD that controlled. me. Those stories are put away for now.
I followed those up with a book that dealt with the needs and desires of two marginalized groups in the U.S. LGBTQ and Veterans. The book is called The Consequence of War, and is about a man who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and has come home unable to fit in anymore. He is living a dark violent life and is about to disappear from society for good. Then two acts of violence leads him into an opportunity to find love, to define and understand who he really is, and then puts him into a deadly situation from which he cannot escape by himself. So many people can’t even tell others how they feel and how they want to live. They are forced to pretend that they fit into the very oppressive binary role models forced on us by society.
The Consequence of War is a very dark book that deals with life on a violent and negative basis. In this book we find that many people make their decisions on selfish desires that are not based on healthy wants. We are faced with men who will beat, and kill other human beings and especially like to torment the weak. So when a soldier who has been trained to kill, and then has killed successfully and often comes along and sees this behavior, he uses the skills that he was taught. He is much better trained than the average criminal so he solves problems by killing the perpetrator. There is no recovery, or rehab in his world, there is no counseling or workshops to help a person change or grow. There is only an end to their deprivation. He was trained that the first person to move wins, and in his case the first one to move lived. He doesn’t talk to bad people, there is no witty or macho conversation. He just walks up to them and kills them. He doesn’t fight, he kills.
So we find the main character, Elijah McCoy, living a life with only one friend, and with no intimacy, friendship other than his main friend, and no love or tenderness. There is no room for that. He keeps on the move, like a shark. He rides a bicycle everywhere around the city. He is silent and fast and can show up anywhere. He is not taught to assess danger as such, just right or wrong in a situation. If there is something that needs to stop then he stops it. He doesn’t do it to endear himself to the people he saves. He does it because it’s the right thing as far as he can tell. He often leaves without even talking to the person he saves and never tries to find them after that meeting. Until he saves the life of a young gay man who is being beaten to death. That man tracks him down and makes a connection with the soldier that saved him. He can see the goodness inside Elijah for some reason. The man he saved is named Phillip and his long time friend is a man named Rick Vargas. The two of them adopt him and start to bring him into a social circle.
Elijah tries to help a woman who is being stalked and in the confrontation with the stalker, Elijah kills him. The woman is no doubt saved from the stalker but in the death Elijah is put in a situation where his best and only friend takes the rap for him because of the Elijah’s underground life. Because the man who died, was a member of a large biker gang The Sons of Perdition, the best and only friend becomes the focus of the wrath of the lawless bikers and the battle is on. Elijah can’t figure out a way to kill all the bikers without having to also battle the police in his Oakland City, so he realizes he has to join forces with them to save his friend. To do this Elijah has to give up his freedom and therefore a chance to have a relationship with a man who loves him. The only time in his live he has been known, accepted, and loved.
The situation becomes a huge battle that finally determines the life or death of many, many people. It shows the nature of the city, the strength and weakness of the police, the character of the best friend, and the value of love in various forms.
This book led to another necessary book that is called The Welcome Center and described the life of us all in the very near future. It is dystopian, true, very real, and what is called faction. It is fact based fiction and very engaging. When you read this story the situation in which we all find ourselves right now become clear and all the more frightening.
Dr. Gillen and Page published a research study in 2014 that looked at the relationship between the actions of the congress (government) versus the needs and desires of the people. They looked at around 2,000 pieces of legislation and found that there is now a zero correlation between those two sides. The actions of the government in the United States is no longer connected to the will of the people We were founded as a nation where the government was the servant of the people, and was composed of the people, by the people, and for the people. This is clearly no longer the case. So Dr. Gillen and Dr. Page rightly classified us as an Oligarchy. There were several million people in the 2016 election that responded to this study and asked the rest of the population to wake up and take back power. The election process was subverted by the existing government, whoever that is, and their total control of the media and somehow we were led to believe we actually had an election and Donald Trump was now our legitimate president. I believe that our situation is a lot more dire than this, as bas as this sounds.
The second book The Welcome Center starts off with an announcement that could come any day now, that Washington, D.C. is no longer the capital of the United States. The congress has been moved to an undisclosed location, the president is now living in New York, and the Supreme Court is in a private enclave. Well this is not far from what you know to be true.
This story then takes that premise and extends it up through the probably rulers of the country now, and down to the people like us that are trying to live in this confusing time. The premise is that the “Shadow” government is banking on the fact that they can fool enough of the people into thinking that everything is still as it was, that as long as they lie they can do whatever they way. So they start to push the envelope to see just how much the people of the U.S. will take. Thus they get to the point of making the big announcement about the change to the Welcome Center status of the capital. It gets worse from there. It becomes necessary for veterans who served honorably, to put themselves in situation in which they know they will be killed, to get the message out to the people that we are no long what we think we are.
The book makes a couple of really big points. 1. is that the oppressing government, whoever they are, can only rule us if they break us into factions and keep us fighting with each other. So 2. for the nation to heal and save itself, we all need to acknowledge that there has been a takeover of our government, and the citizen’s enemy is not each other in little splinter groups, but it is the government. We will have to draw together and accept each other as equals in order to take the government, our freedom, dignity, and future back from the people who have stolen it. It becomes clear through the example of the veteran suicide missions, that gay people, poor people, non-shite people, women, immigrants, and others are not really dangerous to us at all. But we can all pull together and when 300 million people take to the streets very little can be done to recapture the oppressive forced work structure we now have. So when millions of people of color, non white people lead the way by taking control of Los Angeles, and when that leads to 9 more cities setting up permanent protests, it is not surprising. The people who saw the courage of the veterans who chose to die so we could all be free, and the non white population’s courage in leading us in a stand against the lies, is enough to motivate all of the other groups of people to unite against the takeover of the U.S. Finally the militia movement in the country realizes that they have not been really protecting the gem of democracy by joining in the oppression of non-white people and gay people, and immigrants. They have actually been helping our oppressors to crush the life out of the beautiful dream the United States could be. So the militia moves to help and join with the non white protestors and suddenly there are millions of people fighting for freedom. There are many themes in this book and a lot about which to think.
Book One, The Consequence of War, has been shared with the Crime Writers Association as they did a paid assessment of the manuscript. Their analysis was that there was a lot of work to do but that the story was worth the work. They said “it was satisfyingly dark.” That led to a conversation with a published author who encouraged the further hard work to take the ideas and make them into a more professionally done book. So a real artist was hired, Alan Gilliland, of England, a very well established and very talented artist. he created the striking cover after long discussions with me about the book. A real editor was put to work, Amber Helt of Rooted in Writing. She worked with me for several months on a developmental edit. It is well worth bringing in a good professional editor. She then worked it through a final polishing edit.
Now I have sent the book to Kirkus for onoe of their expensive and harsh reviews. If they think it is a book then my very capable editor will put it in eBook format and we will upload it to Amazon (Create Space) and Ingram Spark and start marketing it .
I am just ready to turn book two over to the editor.
Step by Step.