“YOU HAVE FREEDOM
WHEN YOU’RE EASY IN YOUR HARNESS.”
If I have learned nothing else in the past two years, it is that, regardless of how much I deny it, what happens in my community impacts what happens to me. I cannot make the argument that the life that I, my wife, and my dog lead is insulated from the town in which we live, or, that we’re not so different from hundreds, if not millions of other lives on this planet. Yes, we are different; we are free to hope that we can be individuals, but the communities in which we live are organized in the same basic way because they are organisms and we are the cells of which they are comprised.
When communities lose their head—their reason for being; their heart—for social services; their stomach to make the hard decisions, their waste and other systems to keep the lights on and throw out the trash, they wither and die. Toxins take over the community immune system of laws and law enforcement. The dream of a utopian community is undermined by negative dystopian actions.
It doesn’t take much to kill a naturally fragile organism, or ecosystem, or village. But when bombarded by external factors they are especially, and increasingly challenged. This means you and I have been impacted.
So let me say, I am sorry for your loss.
Whether you are grieving, or have been ravaged by storms, or the failure of your community, you have seen the change. We have seen our species become more threatened. These changes foretell an uncertain future, yet, despite all that, I see hope.
Despite the 5.6 million people who have died of Covid worldwide; despite the onslaught of new virus variants (like BA.2 omicron, What’s next? Can we keep up?), despite the anti-vaxers, the naysayers, the haters; despite zero change in zero-emission promises and the cheap greenwashing of our future, despite the denial that Earth is losing wildlife species at an alarming rate; despite on-going gun violence, despite all that I nevertheless see hope.
When action of your own free will is coupled with hope, making the world a better place, then hope really is sacred. It is not desperate, it does not create chaos, panic and anarchy. Despite all its restrictions, freedom is sacred hope.
Speaking of hope, last year I was single-minded about achieving my two writing goals: to publish The Trilogy for Freedom as a box set, and to complete the first draft of my new novel, Never Less. I am happy to say, done and done.
In many ways these three novels are about the Me, You and Us of freedom—the three aspects of how freedom is experienced:
A Fado for the River was based on me, that is, my personal experience as a student visiting Mozambique one year before Portugal lost its colony in a fight to gain its self-determination.
Atone for the Ivory Cloud was inspired by someone I knew, a music composition friend at university—it’s a story about how her love of music could transcend her hatred of elephant ivory smuggling. It’s about You—trying to harness freedom, to see how it fits.
The Drowning Bay is about US. What do we do to save the bay? Would we break the law? Would we jeopardize our freedom, home and loved ones for a lost boy? It’s a call-to-action for all of us.
The manuscript is with my development editor and beta readers–to whom I am most grateful.
This is a thriller novella about Mindy, a young girl trying to save her opioid-addicted father. Like her, Pablo, her latinx classmate also has father issues; he’s undocumented, which means Pablo is a Dreamer kid with a dad who’s one arrest away from being deported with his family back to Mexico, where his relatives were murdered by the cartel. Because both their fathers are vulnerable the kids are mentored by an octogenarian submariner with a family history of alcoholism.
Though addiction is major theme of the story, neither child allows the other to be a victim of their father’s predicament. Instead, they set about ambushing an opioid smuggling racket.
Mindy is a headstrong, slightly bookish, slightly precocious, and very spunky ten-year-old. Her friend, Pablo is athletic, eccentric, artistic and exceptionally brave.
This is book one of a new series.
(If you’re interested in joining my beta reader group, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org )
This is a middle-grade magic realism satire about a small harbor town trying to conform to the natural ecosystem under the sea.