Why I write
September 26, 2018
Why write? Everyone has their own reasons,
but I suspect they all boil down to, “I write so people will read my book.”
Why do I want people to read my book?
Because I want them to learn and feel what I did after I’d written it. To thrill readers with an adventure, wonder, give them hope, make them cry or sometimes shout with joy. I always loved Michael Crichton so this novel needed that flavor: near future, business and government screwing up science.
The first novel, The Next Day, I started writing immediately after 9/11.
I experienced so many feelings stuffed into a tiny box together, patriotism, sadness, anger, hatred, love, all about to explode. I needed to figure out why this happened.
Islam was not a religion of hatred or murder. How could someone with so much passion for Islam become so hateful toward other humans to the point of murdering thousands? From Naval Academy days, I had picked up a book when studying Islam called The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, translated by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall. Now I read it in earnest, in addition to many, many websites.
On the other side of the coin, there were Americans, my compatriots, wanting to strike back at ALL Muslims. Everywhere. Kill them all. Some of my Naval Academy friends said, “Nuke ‘em ‘til their sand turns to glass.” My medical partner at one time was Muslim and Pakistani. She and her family suffered a lot just trying to pray in her back yard. It became an obsession to write these things into the novel.
Could there have been WMD that Iraq hid?
The President and his Weapons of Mass Destruction thought to be in Iraq, but then never found. What if there really were WMD, like bioweapons, easily hidden away to be used quickly. A movie had come out a year before about mutants, X-men, and my medical mind thought it possible for viral and bacterial infections to mutate human DNA. Quite possible, it turns out. And what if that mutation caused the humans to enhance their underlying personality traits, good became better, bad became evil. Alex Smith and Jabril El Fahd were born. A battle of good against evil started forming.
How would it feel if I had been completely isolated from the news on 9/11, yet had loved ones killed in those events? I would be furious, crazy with the need for revenge. Alex Smith and Rachel Anne Lane felt that way, too, in the beginnings of the book.
And then came the cast of characters
After researching all things Islam, WMD, mutations, bio-warfare, I developed the characters into unusual people, people who loved the environment, wolves, rock-climbing, fly fishing, wilderness photography, one major character an Apache Indian, the Navy and NSA, just so much FUN to write about!
Because of the nature of the characters and the problems, the novel involved many nations, spread around the globe, ending with the battle between good and evil in my home state of Colorado at the Royal Gorge. It required multiple mistakes on time zones, careful study and restudy of travel times by air through multiple time zones. I needed a story line strung around the room!
Finally finished, I had to find a literary agent—Yeah.
That didn’t happen. After shopping 20 agents, I began another book, put The Next Day away, only to have it reappear after writing and publishing two other novels. It took a year to get it changed from WordStar to Word, to improving the writing, to editing, to publishing. But it’s there now, for all to read. Many of the characters are used again in the sequel, Anodyne Eyes, which also uses characters from Dan’s War.
I hope you enjoy each book in turn, though they are all stand alone. You do not need to read them in sequence, but I think you will enjoy Anodyne Eyes more if you read The Next Day first, then Dan’s War.
I will talk about what it has taken for a science and math guy like me to become a writer. Back to school!
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Anodyne Eyes–Deep Character Dive
September 19, 2018
Many unusual characters work in Anodyne Eyes, my thriller, sci-fi novel. To better understand them, read below where I review Alex, Jabril, Rachel, Dan, and Jeff below. These characters are in the prequels, Dan’s War, and The Next Day.
First, meet Alex, the father of Alexis, a fun-loving, adventurous guy. He works as a genetic engineer. Most importantly, Alex becomes a major character in the prequel, The Next Day
After 9/11, Alex creates illegal U.S. bio-weapon in a top-secret lab on the Amazon River in Brazil. The Amazon River in Brazil? Yep.
At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, Alex faints while working on a new virus. At that moment his girlfriend incinerates 3,000 miles away in D.C. where a terrorist crashed a Boeing 767 into North Tower. The day after 9/11 (Yeah, the next day), he starts changing into an unusual creature, one he initially despised. Conclusion: Did the virus change him? When terrorists attack his lab because they want bio-weapons, his new powers come into good use. Soon he will need them even more against Jabril El Fahd.
Next, meet Jabril, brought up a happy farm boy in Iraq with his mother, a nurse, and his kind father.
The U.S. embargo starves and kills over 500,000 children. His mother gets sick and dies due to the lack of antibiotics. Holding his dying mother, Jabril swears to avenge her death. His father turns jihadist and promises Jabril to bin Laden. Jabril rises through the ranks, smart, brutal, and unstoppable.
He plans to spread a bio-weapon developed in a secret Jakarta lab, hidden from American inspectors. The week after 9/11, he infects himself with a virus to kill millions of infidels. But, an ex-Army special forces contractor guard, Rock, recognizes him in the Jakarta airport, and subsequently tracks him. Jabril slaughters the scientists in the Jakarta lab and barely escapes Rock. He explodes the lab, and travels to the U.S. On the plane he begins changing into a brutal monster, thrilling at his newfound power.
More importantly, Rachel Ann Lane blossoms in Anodyne Eyes. She’s introduced in The Next Day as Alex’s old flame he still loves.
Rachel works for the same company Alex does, only she works in the D.C. lab. Despite breaking up with him, she still loves him. Because her passion is wilderness photography, she travels to vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park. On the way, she stays in Denver, at her grandmother’s, a survivor of the Depression era, who left her house to Rachel. On 9/11, she camps, snaps photos, and fly fishes in the back country of Rocky Mountain National Park. She dreams of Alex while her current boyfriend is killed by a plane crashing into the Pentagon.
The day she hikes out of the Park (Yeah, The Next Day) a serious Sergeant tells her of her boyfriend’s death and whisks to her lab in D.C. There, she hears of the attack on the Amazon Lab. As a result, she decides to go help Alex. But, a sleazy U.S. senator gets word her company makes illegal bio-weapons, and subsequently he uses his connections to shut down their operation. She narrowly escapes and in a harrowing boat ride across Chesapeake Bay meets with Sam Houston, a CIA agent par excellence. Then he flies her in his private plane to Chile, and additionally to end up at the Amazon lab to help Alex. Sam is the one character who ties Dan’s War, to The Next Day. He’s rich because of a million-dollar surf board business, which allows him unusual friends, deep cover and money to spare.
Dan Trotter we meet in the other prequel to Anodyne Eyes, Dan’s War. In spite of his Asperger’s syndrome, Dan functions well as CIA computer geek and make-up artist. He wants to live up to his father, a pilot and hero in Vietnam.
Partly due to his Asperger’s, Dan sees his loved ones in a green hues and bad people in red. He dislikes touching people, but loves his son, Jeff, and his wife Marci with a bottled-up passion. When Marci starts having an affair, and his son gets a drunk-driving ticket, Dan loses it. He’s spent his after-hours earning extra money for Jeff’s college fund, writing computer programs to interface with nanobots. And now, because of Dan’s program, an OPEC insider starts destroying world oil using nanobots interfaced with oil-eating bacteria. As a result, world war starts. Finally, Jeff may not go to college because he joins the Army.
After a heated argument with Jeff and Marci, Dan and his friend and field agent, Fred, must rush to Venezuela in order to investigate oil wells drying up. There, all hell breaks loose with the Venezuelan mafioso and a Louisiana gay character named Remmy. Fred is killed. Dan runs for his life through the jungle, dodging bullets, finally saved by a beautiful Louisiana Marine in a helicopter. As a result, Dan falls for her, in his odd way.
Sam Houston, the surfboard magnate, CIA field agent we first met in The Next Day now helps Dan. As the only character who runs through all three books, Sam ties them all together.
He parachutes onto Pensacola Beach and joins Dan, the Marine beauty, and his friends. Their mission: to stop whoever is causing oil wells all over the world to dry up. Subsequently, Dan finds out that one of his programs is being used by an OPEC insider to couple oil-eating bacteria with nanobots, destroying oil in all the OPEC wells, causing a world Oil War. And then he finds out Jeff joins the Army, so he redoubles his efforts to save the world, and his son along the way.
Finally, we meet Jeff, Dan’s son,
a happy teenager, great at basketball, enjoys sex with his girlfriend in the back of a ski bus. Because he gets caught driving drunk, argues with his dad, finds out his girlfriend is pregnant, he decides to join the Army when the Oil War starts. It wouldn’t be so bad, except he’s sent directly to the front in eastern Texas, where he gets trapped, under fire in a Humvee with a crazy sergeant.
Hope you enjoyed this deep dive into characters of Anodyne Eyes. For a better understanding, please click on the two prequel books listed below.
Have a great week. Fall is coming–soon I hope. I am tired of 90 degree heat! But at least I don’t have to worry about hurricanes here in Colorado. I can wade into a 55 degree river and catch beautiful rainbow trout on a dry fly. Can’t hate it. That’s why I wrote the other book The Guide.
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Designer Babies-Genetic Modification
May 13, 2018
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If I told you that in five years you could pick the sex, the eye color, the height, and the athleticism and intelligence of your child, would you believe me? What if I told you it was already being done? Genetic modification is here. Designer babies
Yes, they shut down that clinic. But that’s the USA. What about China?
China-the future of genetic modification-BBC. Crispr DNA modification has been used for years. And it can be used on the human DNA.
What if you could alter your daughter’s genes to end human violence and war…forever?
Well, you say, it would take several generations to get any DNA trait into the whole human population. Would it? Really? We can now wipe out mosquitoes that carry yellow fever or malaria or ZIKA in only ONE GENERATION with GENE DRIVE technology. You have to read about it here.
Scientists alter malaria mosquitoes with Gene Drive
One step further and we can do it to humans.
So now, in Gene Drive and Crispr DNA technology, we have tools to alter evolution, not in centuries, but in 30 years, in ONE generation.
Just think, a modern-day Hitler in say North Korea or China
could spread the gene for strength, intelligence, and lack of emotion to form an entire army, an entire nation, and have them ready to take over the world in 18 years—outsmart, out battle and kill without remorse. Brave New World was so benign compared to the real possibilities.
Maybe we need a gene alteration that would do the opposite, stop all human violence and wars.
What if I told you a piece of one teenage girl’s DNA could end all wars. Forever! What if that girl was your daughter and she was the target of the most brutal terrorist ever?
That’s Anodyne Eyes. Enter the future of Genetic Modification.
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Three Gifts for the Fourth of July
July 4, 2018
Music, Kindness and Reading. Someone told me we should live for these every day.
(There is a gift for you at the end)
One gift will add to the other, and you will be glad you did all three. For motivation, take a peak at this video of veterans reunited with family. You may only be able to take a few minutes. I needed a lot of Kleenex.
1) Music. Give one veteran something from YOUR HEART to THEIR HEART! A song, a collection, a simple CD of music that has touched you and them in a way that makes you happy, makes you want to dance.
If you are a musical artist, give them a concert!
It’s your time to give back to the 1% that protect the 99%.
2) Kindness. Do something that will stop wars. If we stop wars, there can be no more veterans suffering from ruined lives or families due to their experience in war. My suggestion is reach out and understand someone from a different culture, particularly Muslim, as we seem to need to understand them. One of the greatest generals and former President Dwight Eisenhower noted that the biggest way we can end wars is to embrace others as people, not alien beings who just don’t speak English.
Here’s a couple of Muslims you might enjoy. The video is old, quality not great, but oh so sweet.
Please try these simple things. The results will be huge. Music brings us together, and I believe heals as well as any prescription I could ever write as a doctor.
Don’t let music, our music with each other, our love for one another, die.
If you just feel you can’t get motivated to do it, you just don’t have it in you, remember, all that stands in your way is YOU. Just Try, like this beautiful song.
3) Reading. There is one final gift you can try. Give a veteran a book.
Better yet, give them a Kindle and they can carry the Library of Congress with them, a Kindle Fire and they can listen to all that music and watch all those color videos, too.
Thanks for stopping by. there is a gift waiting for you, too.
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June 10, 2018
How many gallons of fresh water per day are normally figured per person?
I found out I had no water sense. In writing my latest book I learned so much from Brian Werner at Norther Water Conservancy http://www.northernwater.org/sf and I thought I would pass it on.
The answer, at least in Colorado goes back to very specific rules developed for water rights from rivers. Since reservoir storage capacity was figured in acre-feet, that is what was used. They decided that one family of four needs one acre-foot of water per year. That’s 325,851 gallons per year, 892.74 gallons of water per day per family, or 223.19 gallons per day per person. The answer is c) 223 gallons per day per person. WOW!
However, the EPA has figured that typical Americans use is 100 gallons per day, or about half what reservoirs typically reserve for us. So there should be plenty. Why are all the rivers drying up, then?
How can we possibly use so much water? Look at typical water use and learn.
This is a great website someone showed me to explore how to teach your kids (or yourself) about fresh water facts and conservation. https://www.epa.gov/watersense
Other ways to conserve water in your home and yard. https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/45-ways-to-conserve-water-in-the-home-and-yard/
But, I don’t want to do all that stuff to conserve water. Let’s just use the ocean. There is so much water there. Surely that’s the future and we’ll be okay.
The problem is that desalination uses a lot of energy to work and costs twice as much, as regular fresh water sources, though the cost has nearly halved since the Post Carbon Reader came out in 2011.
It’s clear that conservation can help a lot. But with the continued population explosion, we will need other sources of fresh water. Desalination may be the only thing we have. To avoid increasing global warming by using so much energy to process sea water, we need to do it with renewable energy. https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/18/renewable-water-desalination/
There are other, more drastic solutions to global warming, as in Dan’s War. But that might lead to global war and a post-apocalyptic United States as in Anodyne Eyes.
Sometimes people just don’t care about other people, only their own home, farm or ranch and are willing to do almost anything to prevent others from having any of “their” water. That is a subject I explore in my next book.
Enjoy that glass of cold water now. Your grandkids may not have that luxury.
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