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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Innocent Byproduct on May 18, 2009, 09:52:09 PM



Title: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 18, 2009, 09:52:09 PM
Hi guys,

I got permission from Duncan to share some of my post-oil novel. It's called American Crude. If anyone wants to give me feedback, please feel free.
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::ETA::

The latest chapters are found at these links. (Some link to my Blogspot blog,
some to other posts in this exact thread.)


Main page for my Blogspot blog called "Hitting Peak" (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/)

American Crude - Chapter 1 --- (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-1.html)
American Crude - Chapter 2-a - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-2.html)
American Crude - Chapter 2-b - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-2-b.html)
American Crude - Chapter 2-c - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-2-c.html)
American Crude - Chapter 3 --- (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-3.html)
American Crude - Chapter 4-a - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-4.html)
American Crude - Chapter 4-b - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-4-b.html)
American Crude - Chapter 4-c - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-4-c.html)
American Crude - Chapter 5-a - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-5.html)
American Crude - Chapter 5-b - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-5-b.html)
American Crude - Chapter 5-c - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-5-c.html)
American Crude - Chapter 6-a - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-6.html)
American Crude - Chapter 6-b - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-6-b.html)
American Crude - Chapter 6-c - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-6-c.html)
American Crude - Chapter 6-d - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-6-d.html)
American Crude - Chapter 6-e - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-6-e.html)
American Crude - Chapter 6-f - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-6-f.html)
American Crude - Chapter 7 --- (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-7.html)
American Crude - Chapter 8-a - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-8.html)
American Crude - Chapter 8-b - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-8-b.html)
American Crude - Chapter 8-c - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-8-c.html)
American Crude - Chapter 9-a - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9.html)
American Crude - Chapter 9-b - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-b.html)
American Crude - Chapter 9-c - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-c.html)
American Crude - Chapter 9-d - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-d.html)
American Crude - Chapter 9-e - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-e.html)
American Crude - Chapter 9-f - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-f.html)
American Crude - Chapter 10 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-10.html)
American Crude - Chapter 11 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-11.html)
American Crude - Chapter 12 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-12.html)
American Crude - Chapter 13 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-13.html)
American Crude - Chapter 14 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-14.html)
American Crude - Chapter 15 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-15.html)
American Crude - Chapter 16 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-16.html)
American Crude - Chapter 17 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-17.html)
American Crude - Chapter 18 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-18.html)
American Crude - Chapter 19 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-19.html)
American Crude - Chapter 20 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-20.html)
American Crude - Chapter 21 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-21.html)
American Crude - Chapter 22 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-22.html)
American Crude - Chapter 23 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-23.html)
American Crude - Chapter 24 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-24.html)
American Crude - Chapter 25 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-25.html)
American Crude - Chapter 26 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-26.html)
American Crude - Chapter 27 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-27.html)
American Crude - Chapter 28 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-28.html)
American Crude - Chapter 29 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-29.html)
American Crude - Chapter 30 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-30.html)
American Crude - Chapter 31 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-31.html)
American Crude - Chapter 32 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-32.html)
American Crude - Chapter 33 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-33.html)
American Crude - Chapter 34 - (currently at Blogger/Blogspot) (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-34.html)


NEW!! Monday, August 17, 2009
American Crude - Chapter 35 - (currently in this thread) (http://kunstlercast.com/forum/index.php?topic=2006.msg28245#msg28245)
American Crude - Chapter 36 - (currently in this thread) (http://kunstlercast.com/forum/index.php?topic=2006.msg28246#msg28246)





Comments at my blog have been disabled, so if --after reading any portions
of the novel-- you want to comment, you will need to backtrack here again
and make your comments in this thread.  

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Here's what I'm looking for in your critiques ...........

I am NOT a whimp about feedback. Two years ago I was indeed very insecure about my writing and my ego was quite fragile when it came to feedback. I've since gotten over that and have learned that steady shovel fulls of nicey-nice in peer review sessions is mostly pretty useless when it comes to the preferred task of honing down a manuscript to the point of actual professionalism. While I'm not asking for anyone here to come up with creative insults, I am asking you to helpl me via clear and helpful guidance with the following:


1) Where exactly was the precise spot where you got bored and really couldn't be bothered to read it anymore?   
2) Was there any specific paragraph (or more) where I prattled on for too long on one particular topic and bogged things down too much? 
3) Does any of the dialogue feel fake or trite or unbelievable?
4) Did I get any factual stuff wrong in my research?
5) Is it predictable? Is my foreshadowing too "on the nose"? Is anything cliche? Have you seen ANY of this before in another manuscript or movie, thus making specific pieces of it --or even the whole blessed thing-- nothing but one huge steaming pile of derivativeness (sometimes called a re-hash, or called a re-packaging, or even called a rip-off)?


I have already run this by other writers on another message board elsewhere -- a message board JUST for writers. And some of those writers are actual published professionals whose works sell as Barnes & Noble. And I did get lots of good feedback there and I was able to tweak things up quite a bit with their awesome suggestions. Meanwhile, I want to run this by you guys as well simply because you guys are the intended audience of this novel: true Peak Oilers! So you have insights that they would not.

So .... here it is. And thanks for the read. As Jason Blumenthal of Escape Artists once said "The hardest thing for a writer is just getting your work read by someone." So I do appreciate the read, guys.


WARNING:  Some adult content. It hovers around an MPAA ratings equivalent of a PG-13, barely brushing up against a full blown R rating.  To be more specific, (using the lingo of the MPAA) there is some usage of "strong language," some "scenes of brief yet intense peril" and also some "overt sexual language." But I can assure you there's no "malicious violence," no "scenes of graphic goriness", nor anything akin to what the MPAA creatively dubbed "stylized fighting" after the first Matrix movie was shown to them. ;)





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 18, 2009, 09:54:05 PM
(Hmmm.... having formatting difficulties. Please bear with me.)


Success!!!


All four posts below add up to 4600 words.






... ... ... ... ... ................................................................. AMERICAN CRUDE


... ... ... ... ................................................................... A Novel of the Coming Post-Oil Collapse








... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ................................................................   by


... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ............................................................. Innocent Byproduct



::EDIT::

I have deleted this excerpt to cut back on the amount of band-width I am taking with this novel and thus make room for the NEXT excerpt to be posted further down-thread. If you wish to read this now-deleted excerpt, I have a freshly-edited version of it in my blog called Hitting Peak  (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/) at this link here (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-1.html). The comments section of the blog has been disabled. So if you wish to comment, please do so here in this thread. Thanks.  









Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 18, 2009, 09:54:37 PM
Here's the next piece ...




::EDIT::

I have deleted this excerpt to cut back on the amount of band-width I am taking with this novel and thus make room for the NEXT excerpt to be posted further down-thread. If you wish to read this now-deleted excerpt, I have a freshly-edited version of it in my blog called Hitting Peak  (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/) at this link here (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-2.html). The comments section of the blog has been disabled. So if you wish to comment, please do so here in this thread. Thanks.  






 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 18, 2009, 09:55:00 PM
The third chunk.




::EDIT::

I have deleted this excerpt to cut back on the amount of band-width I am taking with this novel and thus make room for the NEXT excerpt to be posted further down-thread. If you wish to read this now-deleted excerpt, I have a freshly-edited version of it in my blog called Hitting Peak  (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/) at this link here (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-2-b.html). The comments section of the blog has been disabled. So if you wish to comment, please do so here in this thread. Thanks.  



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 18, 2009, 09:55:47 PM
And here's the last bit. And this will be the end of the first two chapters of my novel in its current incarnation.

Sorry -- No "scenes of intense peril" yet. (That comes later. ;) )






::EDIT::

I have deleted this excerpt to cut back on the amount of band-width I am taking with this novel and thus make room for the NEXT excerpt to be posted further down-thread. If you wish to read this now-deleted excerpt, I have a freshly-edited version of it in my blog called Hitting Peak  (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/) at this link here (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-2-c.html). The comments section of the blog has been disabled. So if you wish to comment, please do so here in this thread. Thanks.  



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on May 19, 2009, 02:18:58 AM
Great start to a book I can't wait to finish IB!
The character development is superb, and the plot is engaging so far.

The only thing i can possibly find fault with is the part where he's got a hard on in anticipation of his meeting. I understand the sentiment, having been there my self, but it doesn't really happen that way for most grown men. Something like that is more apt to occur at age 13, when we'll take the zero rather than step up to the chalkboard to show our work in Miss Turner's Algebra class, if you get my drift. ::)

Do you already have a conclusion in mind, or is this going to sort of write itself as the chapters unfold?

I really think you've got something good here.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 19, 2009, 03:41:34 AM
Great start to a book I can't wait to finish IB!
The character development is superb, and the plot is engaging so far.

The only thing i can possibly find fault with is the part where he's got a hard on in anticipation of his meeting. I understand the sentiment, having been there my self, but it doesn't really happen that way for most grown men. Something like that is more apt to occur at age 13, when we'll take the zero rather than step up to the chalkboard to show our work in Miss Turner's Algebra class, if you get my drift. ::)

Do you already have a conclusion in mind, or is this going to sort of write itself as the chapters unfold?

I really think you've got something good here.

Thanks, Andy. :) Your kudos are very helpful. And your complaint is also very helpful. I have just one question -- was there NO point at which your eyes glazed over and things got boring?




Meanwhile, let's talk about men having hard-ons (if that's okay wth Duncan  ;D).

My attempt to try and capture an accurate sense of the male animal seems to be proving inadequate here in this writing sample. ;) Oh well! Back to the drawing board, eh? I admit I chose to read a few hard boiled noir-esque novels told in First Person to help me get a sense of the inner thoughts that men might harbor in their regard of females. And plenty of those hard-boiled novels had their MC's confessing to hard-ons during those momemts when they encountered certain females, so I assumed I was in the correct neighborhood with that portion, but maybe not, eh? ;) Meanwhile, I perhaps need also to consider that since my novel is NOT a true-blue hard-boil nior the way Altered Carbon is, it might very well be that I am barking up the wrong tree in my quest for authenticity in my MC (my main character). If that passage doesn't fit the tone of the rest of the novel, then I probably need to either tone down the I-had-a-hard-on aspect of that (otherwise) very crucial paragraph, or else cut that sentence out entirely. Tone is pretty much EVERYTHING in a novel, and an uneven tone can be jarring and off-putting. So I definitely need to address that passage if it's proving to be not only inaccurate as far as what the male member beyond adolecense is apt to do, but also perhaps ill-fitting with the rest of the story's tone.



Do I have a conclusion?? Yes, I do. :) But regrettably, it's the intricate unfolding of this story and its eventual arrival at that exact ending that prompted me to write this as a novel instead of as a screenplay. The whole story is just so huge and so sprawlingly long that when I attempted to outline it as a screenplay it was coming out to a ridiculous 15 hours of screentime. So at that point I neeed to re-think it as a novel. Switching from screenplay format to novel format is a real brain-buster and it wasn't easy, but I think I'm geting the hang of it. (One of the biggest and most crucial differences is that screenplays are about motion and action but novels are about internal thoughts and ponderings.) Here I am unfolding everything very slowly, and the first truly exciting thing in this story doesn't happen until about the 15,000 word mark. (At the moment these first two chapters are merely 4,600 words, so there's a ways to go before we hit my first "scenes of intense peril.")  And then when I usher in the events of my collapse (and I intend to portray a rapid collapse, and hopefully it will be a believable portrayal), that event won't be happening until perhaps the 40,000 word mark.



Thanks for the feedback, Andy. It's much appreciated.  8)








Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on May 19, 2009, 03:49:12 AM
I got lost on the first chapter.  Not sure which wife is referred to or what is going on there.

But the second chapter I got intrigued.  It is unusual to have the main character be a blue collar workman (for all his small business attire!) and all that such a life entails with the technology of the craft and the laws that affect that craft.  So I think this is new and very interesting.  So I am hooked!  You either have to allow us to read it in full or get it published!  Don't leave us hanging hear?


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 19, 2009, 04:38:14 AM
I got lost on the first chapter.  Not sure which wife is referred to or what is going on there.

But the second chapter I got intrigued.  It is unusual to have the main character be a blue collar workman (for all his small business attire!) and all that such a life entails with the technology of the craft and the laws that affect that craft.  So I think this is new and very interesting.  So I am hooked!  You either have to allow us to read it in full or get it published!  Don't leave us hanging hear?

Thanks, carwood.

If you got lost in the first chapter, then I need to retool it. Truthfully, the first chapter was originally about three paragraphs longer than what it is now. But in my effort to trim trim trim, I seem to have cut a little bit TOO much from that chapter and thus robbed it of its clarity, and so you got lost.  So that is my fault right there and I need to address it.

But you liked the second chapter? Good to hear! I will try to provide more soon. But in order to spare poor Duncan, perhaps I need to start posting the rest in my blog and then linking it back here for you guys. (Now what is the password to my blog? I haven't posted in months!)

Yes, a blue collar hero is a little rare. And a plumber as a hero is (so far as I know) utterly unheard of. So originality is certainly the goal here. I was trying to pick a profession that would have a logical connection to oil, and for the purposes of the story the occupation of plumber worked the best. I actually interviewed a real life plumber to get a lot of this information about his profession. He's the one who told me about September's pre-heating maintenance, and furthermore he very adamantly insisted to me that a good plumber would not violate the law and do under-the-table work. So to appease my interview subject I had to come up with a plot twist to MAKE my MC (my main character) be willing to break the law and do an under-the-table job. So there is serious research behind this novel. I especially liked that fact that in my research I discovered that plumbers are considered among the least sexy professionals in the eyes of American women, and they are literally seen as a buffoonish and uncouth charicature-- living cartoons who only ever serve as comic relief. So I had to take extra care to try and craft my fictional plumber in such a way as to make him a real person with belevable sex appeal.



So far I am not hearing anyone say they found it unreadable. No one is saying "right here is where I lost interest." Or even "right here is where things got a little weak." I'm not compalining. I just need to identify the soft spots and tighten them up.


Thanks for the read, carwood. 8)








Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on May 19, 2009, 01:15:58 PM
I never lost interest at any point.

The first wife/second wife thing - -I quickly came to the conclusion that neither wife was in the picture, except that first wife was mother of his son, so he still had to deal with her.

Not really sure where second wife was relevant, except perhaps as background info.

Did i understatnd correctly?


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 19, 2009, 01:52:10 PM
I never lost interest at any point.

The first wife/second wife thing - -I quickly came to the conclusion that neither wife was in the picture, except that first wife was mother of his son, so he still had to deal with her.

Not really sure where second wife was relevant, except perhaps as background info.

Did i understatnd correctly?

Yes and no.

His first wife is the mother of his son. His second wife is Mystery Lady and he is here explaining how he first met her.

Again, I guess I was being too brief on some things, so I need to tighten them up.

This is exactly the kind of feedback that helps hone down a novel into something that's actualy publishable. :)



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: billonions on May 19, 2009, 02:33:09 PM
  Nice set up...yeah I do detect the ol' film noir Mickey Spillane/Dash Hammett thing.

  I like Dash Hammett.

At any rate, you've made the hero likable, yet he's got an edge to him, a risk taker, willing to bend the rules if he has to and doesn't dwell on it other than the practical aspects.  That's a guy thing, rational risk taking.  It's also a guy thing to go with "Fortune Favors the Brave."

  I do know men who have a fractious relationship with the 'ex', but they tend to have given up on conversation, especially the kind that involves justification.  Perhaps the one bonus of breakups is no longer having to 'explain' rather than state.  It would be more like "Whadya want."  "What... and this means?"  "So, it's the friggin city, besides rats are everywhere, you got 'em (wherever)."  "Whatever, I'll look after this, beside it not what your really trying to get at ain' it."

  Tone begets tone, like two dogs with their ruff up and eyeing each other up.
  The call would end, unsatisfactory, for both, with a silent 'Bitch' on his part and 'Bastard' on hers.  In the old days the hero would have "choked a couple of Luckies back" to calm his anger, perhaps longing for a smoke would be be more modern.  Guilt and regret and anger....

  I like the detail about trying to juggle finances...it gives depth to the element of risk and puts him in the passive state with the mystery women.  Kinda like Sam Spade, knowing the "Doll" was trouble, "the pieces just weren't adding up" but "the Landlord could add well enough, and all he'd been gettin' lately was minuses."

  As far as the boner thing, well it's not how we function. What you wrote would be true, not so much in uncertain anticipation but in certainty.  All it would take would be a light brush of the fingers on his hand as she was making an unrelated point, or to emphasize a point.  She dropped her hand, laying her fingers lightly on the back of my hand and looked me in the eye,  "I need discretion, it's all about privacy."  Then have her pull her hand back and finish her statement.  This would totally confuse and daze 90% of guys.  The heart would be racing, bells ringing, the room would shrink, it would get hotter and the pants may very well...um, grow tighter in certain spots.  It would also be a power thing, on the part of the women and our hero could be picking up a completely different vibe as well.  Sexual hunger and fear.

  The beauty of of the written story is it allows for complexity and development, so there is no reason that your character can't have a strong sexual nature expressed physically.  Particularly if he's been in a long period of non-sex.

Keep at it, you're writing the thing so I hope you don't feel I'm giving too much information.  Pulling you away from your intent and character. Look forward to more.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 19, 2009, 03:38:43 PM
Thanks, Bill. :)

Meanwhile, your insights into the CHANGING dynamics of a man's interactions with his ex is very helpful also. I'm at a severe disadvantage not only from being a woman but also from never having been married myself. So the point of view of a divorced man is defintely a challenge for me here.

As for Mickey Spillane--I admire the jaded tone and the dark cleverness a TRUE noir, but I don't know if I could ever write one with a straight face. So I want to stress that I am only trying to do nothng more than merely BORROW threads of such a novel. If you feel these mere threads of Mickey Spillane are enough, then I will have achieved my goal. I also seek in the midst of all this to try and maintain the integrity of my own voice, and also uphold the consistency of my MC's voice.

I'm glad you liked the financial pain my MC is suffering. When I interviewed my real life plumber, he said there's almost no way a half decent plumber would ever truly be broke regardless of how bad the economy might get because (as he said) "everybody needs toilets." So he said I would have to stack the deck very high against my MC to realistically paint a picture of true financial desperation.

As for your discusion of the boner thing--your own commenet is perhaps the most helpful to date. I think I've got (no pun intended) a handle on the hard-on situation now. I will definietly rewrite it. Meanwhile I want to apologize to every last male on the face of the Earth for my misunderstanding of that. But, in my partial defense, I will simply quote the dumbstruck words uttered by Elaine from Seinfeld: "How do you guys walk around with those things?"

I will soon be retweaking everything via all of this terrific feedback.






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: billonions on May 19, 2009, 04:20:24 PM
Chuckle...

  The answer is that we're still working on it but sometimes it's hard....

Handy people are always figuring out how to make it work, the world will always need plumbers because even with nothing to plumb, they have still spent time on how to put two and two together in a real and physical sense.  They are physically familiar with tools, how to use physical effort in an endeavor, as in how much force to put on a nut to loosen it from a bolt with out stripping it.  They also know what to do if it does strip.  It's a form of literacy so to speak, an ability to read and comprehend a hands on problem.

  When I work on things I 'see' the the solution, and the steps involved.

  I remember when I first tried to build things.  While I knew what I wanted, the act of doing was fraught with the unknown, and as such became a long voyage of discovery.  Learning what a nail will do and not do meant several rather rickety projects before, with the help of others, I got it. Watching others follow the same path, while frustrating, also reminds me that once I was as they and thus the power of a few choice words and actions reveals a whole universe of possibilities, rather than plausibilities that may return little for effort expended.  This you would understand very well as a writer.  It's a very similar process in a way.

 
"A session in the céilidh-house would usually begin with polite inquiries as to how everyone's family and relatives were doing and move on to everyday news. After these formalities, the real storytelling could begin. Guests were especially fortunate if the céilidh was attended or hosted by a sgeulaiche, an exceptional storyteller who would be well versed in sgeulachdan. These are full length, elaborate tales which could sometimes take several evenings to tell."

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Ceilidh/html/storytelling_readexhibittext.html (http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Ceilidh/html/storytelling_readexhibittext.html)

  When I first started to work in the Mill, the older guys could listen, a few of them could tell fantastic stories.  Whiling away midnight downtime while listening to tales of bush pilots and bush mysteries, of hearing long histories of local characters, some long dead, some still vibrant, and some in a state of decrepitude, all in a 'and so it came to pass' mode was a world that opened for me.  Sometimes it would be a circle of tales, everyone would get a chance to contribute to the theme, sometimes it would be 'old so and so' who would have an endless supply of stories.

 We still do it today, 'cept I'm the 'old' guy now.

The world will always need story tellers, and a good tale teller will be happily fed by plumbers.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: luciddreams on May 19, 2009, 06:39:58 PM
IB, you are an excellent writer.  Your descriptions breath life into the story.  For me, a book is like a mental movie.  While I read I invision what the characters look like, what the environtment looks like so on so on...and the better the story the less work I have to do in that regard.  The better the words are put together the more I can just lay back and go for the intended ride of the author.  The world you are crafting is very visual to the point of almost 3 dimensions.  I'm not blowing smoke up your ass either.  I don't "jack people off" as Carlin would say.  I to write, and so I know what you are up against.  It seems that you edit as you go more than I do.  At least that's the impression I got from reading your reply to Wood's post.  I have always been the type to just write the story.  I don't look back until the story is finished.  The advice of Stephen King is great advice.  Write the story and then let it mellow before you do anything.  For me the editing process is the second phase of writing a book.  I just find it easier to edit after the story has been written.  I know it's not better or worse than writing slowly and meticulously, editing as you go.  Just my style.

I think Bill did a good job addressing the hard on.  I'll add my two cents.  First you should know this, and I'm not so sure it's true for all men, just been my experience.  I never get a boner while standing up unless I'm naked or fixin to get naked if you know what I mean.  It is common, especially for teenagers, to get a random boner for no reason, but it always happens while sitting down.  I have never been standing there and poped wood.  The older you get, the rarer it is to get a random boner, but they still happen, and they have no apparent cause mentally. 

Let me say this...and this is what I disliked about the story.  The way the boner was presented made an otherwise upstanding fellow appear to be a pervert.  I imagine a pedophile would walk around with a boner.  and that's the impression that I got of him.  I was sympothetic to his demise.  I was feeling for the guy, and that made him more real to me.  I respect his business sense and the fact that he is a dedicated father.  Lesser men would not give a shit.  My point is that Pete is very likable. 

So the boner, and then the lunch.  It felt like you were describing a date.  Like what a guy would be thinking while on a date...not a business meeting.  You make him look very desperate for female attention.  In a way he feels stripped of something because of that.  I would expect him to not be looking for a romantic interest with her, just business.  I don't know where you are going with the relationship...I mean I know they get married eventually.  Hmmm...not to sure how to pin point the problem.  I just think it would be better if she showed an interest in him first.  You know catch his attention before he starts thinking the way you had him thinking.  I know he was very impressed with her voice, and a voice can do that to be sure.  He just comes off like he has no game at all.  Like he doesn't know his way around a woman.  Maybe you want him to appear that way?  I don't know, and if you do than you have done a great job.  Being that he's the MC, I would like him more if he was confident.  Maybe that's just the male in me.  I want to look up to a guy who knows what he is doing with women.  It makes the character more of an alpha male.  Still...I don't know where you are going with him, so I have probably already said to much.

I will say that I am completey intrigued with your work.  It's a great story.  I can't wait to see how it is a dystopian, how it all shakes down, and that is the mark of a good story.  I wish I could take up were you left off and write it myself.  I've been thinking about writing a dystopian PO novel for about a year, but I've been too busy with work and advancing in my profession.  Keep up the good work IB.  Thanks for sharing with us.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 19, 2009, 10:25:27 PM
Ludicdreams, thanks for all the props. You said so much I don't know where to begin. I never knew you were a writer, so this amount of kudos from somelike you is especially valuable to me.

Yes, I do lots of editing along the way. I generally prefer to write out only sub-story sequences at one shot, then I'll turn off the computer for a few weeks and not think about that sequence, then I'll go back and re-edit everything for things like straight up story logic and also trying to achieve brevity and (thus) forward momentum (Stephen King said "Second Draft = First Draft minus 10%"). Only then will I show my work to someone who can give me feedback. So I do pretty much what you also do, only instead of writing out the WHOLE story at once before tossing it into the drawer (to "let it mellow" as King said), I prefer to employ this exact process only upon sub-segments as I go along. My justification for that is that I hate to get 50,000 words into something then have to go back and MAJOR re-construction of entire plot points. I assure you I'm aleardy wroking from a general outline, but I've already riun into a rpblem with a cell phone situation later on in Chapter 8, so I am already having to backtrack to Chapter 6 to totally redo the way I handle the fact that the cell phone isn't working in Chapter 6 and my MC is unable to call anyone for help by Chapter 8. (I have to say that the invention of cell phones has REALLY made it very difficult to write stories involving characters who are in mortal danger and unable to call for help. Just trying to dream up excuses as to why a cell phone doesn't work is a constant problem for a lot of present day writers, especially screenwriters trying to re-envision updated versions of old classic films from past decades, such as Soylent Green.) So unravelling 50% of a hand-knit scarf that's only 12 inches long and then resuming from there onward is not so difficult. But unravelling 50% of it after it's already hit 74 inches is a heart-breaking undertaking, enough to put me off of even resuming the entire project.

As for the intense micro-editing that I do, that came from my screenwriting training. I'm sorry to say that I am a very long-winded screenwriter, and the really difficult thing (difficult for me at least) about a screenplay is that you do NOT have a very large piece of real estate to work with when writing a screenplay--you have ONLY 120 pages and no more. Exceeding 120 pages is deemed unprofessional in Hollywood, and only the likes of James Cameron and Peter Jackson and other 8-digit A-list writer/directors can get away with shockingly unacceptable breaches of protocol like that. So I learned long ago that it pays to spend over one solid hour absolutely agonizing over a single action paragraph no longer than 4 lines, trying desperately to shrink it down to just 3 lines without losing the power and energy of the original paragraph. And I am not exaggerating when I say I have spent over one entire hour agonizing over just one 4-line paragraph. Something else Stephen King said was "a lot of people ask me HOW I write these stories. And the answer I always give them is 'one word at a time.'"  So each word counts. Each word needs to be utterly justified. I wish I was as effortless as writing stories as Mozart was at writing music--he was described as writing down his music upon his score sheets with the non-stop fluidity of a man taking dictation. And there were no cross-outs or scribbles or corrections of any sort when he was done. No, I'm afraid I am not that good. Mozart wrote his music one note at a time, but it all came out exactly as he intended with almost no second thoughts by him at all. My stories are written one word at a time, but then I always go back and revist every last word dozens of times before I'm through. 

So far I have 29,000 words to this novel, and I haven't even gotten to the story sequence when my peak oil collapse happens with its very rapid and full-blown societal breakdown. Back in the days when I was a much more immature writer, I would have hastilly breezed past all this character development stuff and plowed straight into to the juicy bits of the story as quickly as possible, and only THEN would I have been agonizing over my words.  But I have since learned that every word on every page needs equal amounts of agonizing attention paid to it, even during the "preliminary" and "boring" bits of the story found early on. And the reason is that if I find those early bits of the story boring then my readers will find them boring also. So I now treat the preliminary stuff with a lot of TLC --if I am intently engaged in the unfolding of the early stuff, then my readers will be also. One word at a time, is what Stephen King said, and it was one of the most important nuggest of advice I ever read as far as bringing my own writing to maturity.   



As for your critique of the hard-on, I am now thoroughly sold on cutting that part out entirely. I still need to include the paragraph where he SEES her for the first time, but I need to write that paragraph in a way that isn't chiche, and yet still describes her appearance and also describes his general attraction to her. It's an important paragraph as far as character development and in helping the reader believe that he could fall in love with her. And while I need to keep such a paragraphit, I also need to avoid including even one molecule of cliche in it.  So that one paragraph will be a total rewrite from front to back and I can assure you I will need to spend far more than just one hour such a rewrite. I again must apologize to every last male on the face of the Earth: I have done you all a terrible disservice. I tried quite sincerely to "think with my dick" as one of the members of my real life writer's support group said to me many months ago when I had them all read an earlier draft of these same two chapters, and I obviously went way too far. So out it goes. Back to the drawing board. Your wording of that critique was the most detailed, and it's also the only critique here that actually stung -- but not in a bad way. And that kind of sting is usuallly the very best kind of medicine a writer can get. So thanks for the utter honesty. You did me a tremendous service. 


I do want to come back very soon with more for you guys to read and to critique. So it's great to hear that so many of you liked it. I will oblige as soon as possible. 





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 20, 2009, 12:24:37 AM
Chuckle...

  The answer is that we're still working on it but sometimes it's hard....

Handy people are always figuring out how to make it work, the world will always need plumbers because even with nothing to plumb, they have still spent time on how to put two and two together in a real and physical sense.  They are physically familiar with tools, how to use physical effort in an endeavor, as in how much force to put on a nut to loosen it from a bolt with out stripping it.  They also know what to do if it does strip.  It's a form of literacy so to speak, an ability to read and comprehend a hands on problem.

  When I work on things I 'see' the the solution, and the steps involved.

  I remember when I first tried to build things.  While I knew what I wanted, the act of doing was fraught with the unknown, and as such became a long voyage of discovery.  Learning what a nail will do and not do meant several rather rickety projects before, with the help of others, I got it. Watching others follow the same path, while frustrating, also reminds me that once I was as they and thus the power of a few choice words and actions reveals a whole universe of possibilities, rather than plausibilities that may return little for effort expended.  This you would understand very well as a writer.  It's a very similar process in a way.

 
"A session in the céilidh-house would usually begin with polite inquiries as to how everyone's family and relatives were doing and move on to everyday news. After these formalities, the real storytelling could begin. Guests were especially fortunate if the céilidh was attended or hosted by a sgeulaiche, an exceptional storyteller who would be well versed in sgeulachdan. These are full length, elaborate tales which could sometimes take several evenings to tell."

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Ceilidh/html/storytelling_readexhibittext.html (http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Ceilidh/html/storytelling_readexhibittext.html)

  When I first started to work in the Mill, the older guys could listen, a few of them could tell fantastic stories.  Whiling away midnight downtime while listening to tales of bush pilots and bush mysteries, of hearing long histories of local characters, some long dead, some still vibrant, and some in a state of decrepitude, all in a 'and so it came to pass' mode was a world that opened for me.  Sometimes it would be a circle of tales, everyone would get a chance to contribute to the theme, sometimes it would be 'old so and so' who would have an endless supply of stories.

 We still do it today, 'cept I'm the 'old' guy now.

The world will always need story tellers, and a good tale teller will be happily fed by plumbers.

Bill, this is an honor. Thank you. :)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on May 20, 2009, 01:20:25 AM
So it looks like Lucid, Bill and myself all agree - ixsnay on the onerbay!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 20, 2009, 01:32:05 AM
So it looks like Lucid, Bill and myself all agree - icksnay on the onerbay!

It's unanimous! ;D

(I told you I needed help with the "guy stuff!")


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: luciddreams on May 20, 2009, 03:01:27 PM
IB, I feel for your self-inflicted torture.  I wrote my first story (of any length) when I was 9...it was 35 written pages, and it was called "The Banchees of Scotland."  I have no idea what became of it, but god I wish I still had it.  I have always found it supremely ironic that I am a writer and can't spell for shit.  Go figure. 

I think the difference between you and I is that you are a professional writer, and I am just a writer.  I have never written a book with the intention of publishing it.  I have always written because I had to.  It's interesting to note that you are having to hold back from the main story to develop characters because I have the opposite problem.  My stories are always about the psychology of the characters, and I have a hard time coming up with plot.  I mean I will know what the main plot of the story is, but I will get lost in the characters and three pages later the plot has gone nowhere.  Realizing this, I have accepted that my stories are usually lacking in a believable plot.  It's okay, because I don't intend to publish. 

I have developed, over the years, a sort of automatic editing voice.  I battle the flow of the words streaming from the story god's with my right pinky constantly putting the brakes on and errasing words via the "backspace" key ;D  It's rare that I ever actually rewrite anything.  When I edit, after the mellowing, I usually cut things out, achieving that 10% less that the King is talking about.  But, like I said, I'm not a professional writer trying to publish and make money.  I just do it for the love and psychological need.  I have often said that if it weren't for my writing I would probably be insane, or in a ditch with a heroine needle sticking out of my dead arm.  Well that, and if I hadn't met my wife  ;)  Can't wait to read more of your story...how about a link to where it's hangin' in the net. 



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 20, 2009, 08:34:58 PM
Wow, Lucid. It's great to hear other writers just plain talk about writing. We're all wired differently, so we all will interface our minds and our creative souls with the grit and machinery of the process in a different way. (BTW, I can't spell either. ;) )

As for your assessment of my being a "professional" writer, I regretably must confess I have never sold anything. So I still have the day job, and I also need to specify (at times like this) that becasue of THAT technicality right there I must classify myself as "just an amateur," and furthermore (even though I have been warned by other writers NEVER to call myself this) I am also merely "an aspiring writer." But the craft is important to me and I do have ambitions to sell something one day, so I just keep at it.

Because of my life-long love of cinema, I've been concentrating on screenplays for over 5 years now, so I had to learn proper screenwriting format and get into the groove of Hollywood's business ettiquete. I have three completed scripts "in the trunk" at the moment, all of which I have submitted to various Hollywood production companies during the past two years. (Most screenwriters have over a dozen in their own trunks, so I still have a long way to go.) One script in particular -- a romantic comedy with overt supernatural elements that I wrote with Jim Carrey in mind (he's one of the current reigning kings of the odd genre called the "supernatural romantic comedy") -- keeps nabbing a lot of attention, but I can never quite land a sale on it. (So I still can't give up the day job.)

If you are writing simply for you, then that's more than enough reason to never stop. And the notion that it keeps a person sane has lots of merit to it. While Hollywood is a town with probably more therapists and analysts per capita than any other place on Earth, Spielberg has famously said: "I don't need a therapist. I work out all my problems via my films." 




As for my sharing more of my story, I have worked out a deal with Duncan that will allow me to continue posting more and more successive excerpts of the novel here at the forums, but will prevent me from killing his band width. Hopefully before the end of tonight I will be able to post the next two chapters right here in this same thread.





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: luciddreams on May 20, 2009, 09:47:05 PM
Since we are talking about writing, let me state an obvious fact about writing.  I have noticed in my life that my best writing comes from a place of mental torment and pain.  In my late teenage years it was all about figuring out what I believed.  That's when I wrote my first novel of any length (it was 145 pages or 56321 words).  "An Institution Known as Truth."  Still, to this day, it's my opus and I can't believe I wrote it.  I go years without reading it, and then I read it and wonder what happened to all of my brain cells because I couldn't have written that.  Sometimes I feel like I channeled the damn thing out of the ether.  I actually dropped out of college with a 4.0 gpa and a full ride on academics because I couldn't be bothered with playing that game.  I had a novel to write...biggest mistake of my life.  I got trapped in the navy and wrote several books (though I must admit finished none of them), all of them over 100 pages, while bombing Afghanistan in the day's following 9/11.  Needless to say I promptly got my ass kicked out of the navy due to my conscientious objections and then willingly got lost in a haze of drugs.  Lot's of poems written during that period, but no stories...go figure.  I did manage to write a 45 page story in the middle of that responsibility hiatus called "Adultery Happens Quickly."  It's a tragic black comedy (is that an approved genre?).  My point...

my best writing has come from tumultuous times in my life.  That pain seems to add in the creation process.  I decided to get responsible at 25.  That decision coincided with my decision to mary my wife.  I've only written a few short stories since.  I got happy and lost the need and motivation to write.  I even quit writing in my journal which I have kept religiously since I was 18.  It's over 1000 pages and I actually lost a couple hundred pages due to a laptop malfunction while in the Navy.  I used to write in the journal 1 sometimes 2 times a day every day all year.  Now, every once in a while, as in maybe once every other month I'll write some.  I've taken to writing poems whenever I have the need to write.  Don't know why I decided to post all of this...but why not. :)  I still consider myself a writer.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on May 20, 2009, 10:03:03 PM
IB, yes, I very much liked everything after the first chapter.

I have not finished reading the other responses, but I got so excited about the plumber aspect that you mentioned I had to respond immediately.  You are so absolutely correct about a plumber's low self-esteem.  My last "significant" other was a master plumber and we were together a lot of years.  He was an extremely brilliant man and an excellent plumber, he solved various water problems I had that many other plumbers could not fix.  His brothers were doctors and he talked often about the low esteem plumbers had because of their considering plumbers lower order professionals.  He said that plumbers were essentially the preventers of the need for doctors in a clean and good water system and in keeping everyone's life as germ free as possible.  So be sure to let me continue to read the work because of my several years living with and even assisting a semi-retired master plumber.  I will do all I can to help.  My plumber friend died of emphysema not all attributable I am sure to cigarettes, probably lots of it from the solvents and glues that plumbers have had to use.  He would really make me laugh because when he was contacted to do repair work (which he hated, but his health required that as he could barely walk!), he would show up no matter what was out of order carrying into the job a pair of channel lock pliers and a screw driver.  Most of the time that was all that he needed.  He was born in 1930 so he went through all the phases of plumbing, starting out with cast iron and on to plastic, although he didn't do plastic.  If you wanted him to do a new job, he only worked copper.  He did do 1 new job when I knew him because he could take his time with his ill health.  I saw how the plumber works first, then the foundation guys, then back to the plumber.  There are territory battles between electricians and plumbers.  The electricians kept drilling holes for wiring that the plumber wanted.  I also watched the first test, where water is put through the completed plumbaing system at high pressure before exterior walls are put up to check for leaks.  My master plumber did not have a single leak.  All his connections/joints were sautered (sp?). 

He told me a funny story about his journeyman/apprentice years.  He worked for a grouchy old master plumber in a large facility with lots of very large boilers.  He was about 2 to 3 stories up working on one of those when his master plumber told him to get a tool.  My friend looked down and the tool he wanted was within reach!  My friend said to his "boss," "It's right there, all you have to do is reach over and get it!"  His mentor said, "Yeh, well I have you to get what I want without reaching over, so get it!" 

I recently had to hire a plumber and he charged $80/hour so their rates have gotten better since I had my plumber friend. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 04:26:52 AM
Since we are talking about writing, let me state an obvious fact about writing.  I have noticed in my life that my best writing comes from a place of mental torment and pain.  In my late teenage years it was all about figuring out what I believed.  That's when I wrote my first novel of any length (it was 145 pages or 56321 words).  "An Institution Known as Truth."  Still, to this day, it's my opus and I can't believe I wrote it.  I go years without reading it, and then I read it and wonder what happened to all of my brain cells because I couldn't have written that.  Sometimes I feel like I channeled the damn thing out of the ether.  I actually dropped out of college with a 4.0 gpa and a full ride on academics because I couldn't be bothered with playing that game.  I had a novel to write...biggest mistake of my life.  I got trapped in the navy and wrote several books (though I must admit finished none of them), all of them over 100 pages, while bombing Afghanistan in the day's following 9/11.  Needless to say I promptly got my ass kicked out of the navy due to my conscientious objections and then willingly got lost in a haze of drugs.  Lot's of poems written during that period, but no stories...go figure.  I did manage to write a 45 page story in the middle of that responsibility hiatus called "Adultery Happens Quickly."  It's a tragic black comedy (is that an approved genre?).  My point...

my best writing has come from tumultuous times in my life.  That pain seems to add in the creation process.  I decided to get responsible at 25.  That decision coincided with my decision to mary my wife.  I've only written a few short stories since.  I got happy and lost the need and motivation to write.  I even quit writing in my journal which I have kept religiously since I was 18.  It's over 1000 pages and I actually lost a couple hundred pages due to a laptop malfunction while in the Navy.  I used to write in the journal 1 sometimes 2 times a day every day all year.  Now, every once in a while, as in maybe once every other month I'll write some.  I've taken to writing poems whenever I have the need to write.  Don't know why I decided to post all of this...but why not. :)  I still consider myself a writer.

Lucid, my favorite definition of art is "truth expressed through beauty." And so I believe that being in touch with our strongest emotions is the best avenue toward trying to supply the first half of the requirements for a genuine work of art. :)





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 04:32:18 AM
IB, yes, I very much liked everything after the first chapter.

I have not finished reading the other responses, but I got so excited about the plumber aspect that you mentioned I had to respond immediately.  You are so absolutely correct about a plumber's low self-esteem.  My last "significant" other was a master plumber and we were together a lot of years.  He was an extremely brilliant man and an excellent plumber, he solved various water problems I had that many other plumbers could not fix.  His brothers were doctors and he talked often about the low esteem plumbers had because of their considering plumbers lower order professionals.  He said that plumbers were essentially the preventers of the need for doctors in a clean and good water system and in keeping everyone's life as germ free as possible.  So be sure to let me continue to read the work because of my several years living with and even assisting a semi-retired master plumber.  I will do all I can to help.  My plumber friend died of emphysema not all attributable I am sure to cigarettes, probably lots of it from the solvents and glues that plumbers have had to use.  He would really make me laugh because when he was contacted to do repair work (which he hated, but his health required that as he could barely walk!), he would show up no matter what was out of order carrying into the job a pair of channel lock pliers and a screw driver.  Most of the time that was all that he needed.  He was born in 1930 so he went through all the phases of plumbing, starting out with cast iron and on to plastic, although he didn't do plastic.  If you wanted him to do a new job, he only worked copper.  He did do 1 new job when I knew him because he could take his time with his ill health.  I saw how the plumber works first, then the foundation guys, then back to the plumber.  There are territory battles between electricians and plumbers.  The electricians kept drilling holes for wiring that the plumber wanted.  I also watched the first test, where water is put through the completed plumbaing system at high pressure before exterior walls are put up to check for leaks.  My master plumber did not have a single leak.  All his connections/joints were sautered (sp?). 

He told me a funny story about his journeyman/apprentice years.  He worked for a grouchy old master plumber in a large facility with lots of very large boilers.  He was about 2 to 3 stories up working on one of those when his master plumber told him to get a tool.  My friend looked down and the tool he wanted was within reach!  My friend said to his "boss," "It's right there, all you have to do is reach over and get it!"  His mentor said, "Yeh, well I have you to get what I want without reaching over, so get it!" 

I recently had to hire a plumber and he charged $80/hour so their rates have gotten better since I had my plumber friend. 

Carwood, these are GREAT anecdotes. Thanks for sharing. Meanwhile I'm sorry to hear he passed away. He sounds like he was a true craftsman.

And yes, I would love to hear you chime in with any criticisms or suggestions as far as your neo-insider's knowledge of the world of plumbers. Every little bit helps in trying to achieve a place of authenticity in my end-product.

And stay tuned for Chapers 3 and 4, coming up in another hour. Chapter 4 includes what might prove an overly-long exploration of the unfair derision and marginalization that all plumbers suffer in modern society. Even though I really like that part and I hate to cut it down, I'm counting on people here to tell me whether or not it drags on for too long.

:)





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on May 21, 2009, 04:39:36 AM
 "In the plumber's hands, lies the health of the nation" they say... (IAPMO says, I mean).

 My minor quibble would be that Freon is gone from the scene, really. They're phasing out R-22 now, we're a long way down the road from Freon. You'd probably be looking at R410a for most of your AC season repairs, and there's not a compressor involved, just a 25lb tank and a manifold. What a guy would likely blow up that would be financially uncomfortable would be something like the whole electrical  system on a Dodge Sprinter, which has been known to happen if you want to do something like run your business software on a laptop off a plug in or hard wired inverter in the van. If you switch the laptop to a grey market Chinese DC power supply, it also doesn't help, you still blow up the van sometimes. It's pricey to fix.

 Also, it used to not be uncommon to do the work, then pull the permit with the town, which is the reverse of how people are supposed to do it. Right now, a lot of towns will not issue a permit if the homeowner is delinquent on any taxes or assessments, which is obviously not so good if you find that out when you go to pull a permit for work you've already done... Can't collect on illegally performed work. Likely this would be high on the list of situations your plumber might anticipate.
  
 Forgot to say, very nice, smooth, correct prose, a pleasure to read no matter where you're going with it. Much appreciated even though everyone ought to be able to do it in theory.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 04:51:40 AM
"In the plumber's hands, lies the health of the nation" they say... (IAPMO says, I mean).

 My minor quibble would be that Freon is gone from the scene, really. They're phasing out R-22 now, we're a long way down the road from Freon. You'd probably be looking at R410a for most of your AC season repairs, and there's not a compressor involved, just a 25lb tank and a manifold. What a guy would likely blow up that would be financially uncomfortable would be something like the whole electrical  system on a Dodge Sprinter, which has been known to happen if you want to do something like run your business software on a laptop off a plug in or hard wired inverter in the van. If you switch the laptop to a grey market Chinese DC power supply, it also doesn't help, you still blow up the van sometimes. It's pricey to fix.

 Also, it used to not be uncommon to do the work, then pull the permit with the town, which is the reverse of how people are supposed to do it. Right now, a lot of towns will not issue a permit if the homeowner is delinquent on any taxes or assessments, which is obviously not so good if you find that out when you go to pull a permit for work you've already done... Can't collect on illegally performed work. Likely this would be high on the list of situations your plumber might anticipate.
  

Logan, thanks for the info. :) But please forgive me as I confess that most of the craft-specific jargon you're using here falls kind of outside my scope of understanding (That's my way of saying you;re talking over my head. ;) ) But the more professional and expert advice I can get, the better.

As for my using the phrase "Freon compressors," I was under the impression that HVAC experts still called them "Freon compressors" even though it's no longer Freon that gets used. No?? If not, I can change it all up. 8) 





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 04:53:16 AM
Okay, I have two more chapters tonight: Chapters 3 and 4. This will take up 4 posts. The word count for all 4 posts adds up to 4200.



::EDIT::

I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it, go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-3.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.  







Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 04:53:30 AM
Here's Chapter 4. It will require 3 whole posts in a row.



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it, go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-4.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.  




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 04:53:44 AM
Here's the second chunk of Chapter 4.



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it, go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-4-b.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.  




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 04:54:06 AM
And now the final portion of Chapter 4. This marks the end of tonight's postings. 




::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it, go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-4-c.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.  


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Vooch on May 21, 2009, 07:49:55 AM
dialouge is really good !


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 02:11:32 PM
dialouge is really good !

Thanks, Vooch. :) I frequently get told by other writers that my dialogue is one of my stronger points.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: luciddreams on May 21, 2009, 04:00:29 PM
Here are some passages I didn't like or think are wrong.  I think your work is excellent, but I know that you want the criticism to make it better.  Again, this is simply my opinion...respectfully so.  First this one:

Quote
Those people were like walking time capsules carrying all that valuable information perfectly intact from the forgotten past and into what proved to be our society’s doomed future.

This struck me as cliche for some reason.  I think it's the "walking time capsules" part.  The rest of the passage is fine, I just think a different simile would make it seem less cliche.

And:

Quote
I started loading the tailgate with everything I’d need for a tank repair

I might be misuderstanding this.  But vans don't have tailgates, trucks do.  At least I haven't seen a van with a tailgate before.

And:

"how much more manly can a guy get with his physical appearance?"

"how much more manly can a guy get with his work environment?"

This one bothered me for two reasons.  One,  I heard your female voice coming through Pete and it made him sound homosexual.  I don't think another dude would talk about how much more "manly" another profession is from his.  At least he wouldn't want to admit it.  Two, I think saying "how much more manly can a guy get" back to back like that sounds redundant and somewhat lazy in delivery.

"I consoled myself with the admittedly sexist bit of self-deception that a woman that beautiful couldn’t possibly be dangerous."

Shit...the more beautiful ya'll are the more dangerous IMO.  But you did say "self-deception," so obviously Pete knows he's wrong in believing that. 

I hope you don't feel like I'm nit picking, or just focusing on what's wrong with your hard work.  I think your a brave soul for posting this work on a forum that is not composed of writers.  It's different to do something like this online amongst other people who are doing the same.  I've never done either.  Maybe it's easier because you will probably get less criticism.  I trust that you can handle the criticism from myself, and indeed, want it.  I think it would be awesome when you publish if you could give a thanks to the K-cats in the thanks section. ;)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 04:20:55 PM
Hi Lucid,

Most of the stuff you've cited is stuff I was already questioning somewhat myself. In short: I knew I had comitted the typical-for-me error of having overwritten those passages, and I hadn't trimmed them back enough yet. I usually need to slowly shear down each chapter just a few layers at a time, but that requires many many repeat re-readings by me before I can plane it down to something lean and mean. I've re-read Chapters 3 and 4 only about 6 or 7 times, not the 20 or 30 needed to really make it tight.  Like a sculptor who starts with a ten foot block of soft clay, it takes thousands of paasses with those tiny little sculpting tools to whittle it down to the desired rendering, and the floor beneath the sculptor's ladder is covered not with giant chunks of clay but millions of little shavings. So you've saved me a lot of time by pointing out to me pieces I was quietly suspecting needed to get 86'd, but that I might not have realized for another week or two yet.  :)

Do I think you're nit-picking??? No! :) You're a second set of eyes! This is great! Progress is being accomplished!


As for my misuse of the word "tailgate" .... hmm ... I assumed the rear cargo port to of any sort of vehicle--even the trunk on a boring old sedan--is supposed to be quite blanketly called a "tailgate." No? ??? I picked up that assumption when I lived in the Philly suburbs and first heard about "tailgate parties." But if I am totally screwing up that vocabulaty term, or else if that's just a regional (mis)application of the word "tailgate" not found anywhere else outside the greater Philadelphia region (and thus prone to confuse most of my non-Philly readers), then I will re-tool that line completely.

As for the homosexual reference. Once again, I told you I needed help with the guy stuff! ;D




So ... out it all goes!!  Thanks! 8)






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: luciddreams on May 21, 2009, 05:12:00 PM
Yeah, I'm 99.9% sure that "tailgate" is a term specific to the back end of the bed of a truck.  As far as a tailgate party is concerned, I believe that term comes from the fact that most guys drive trucks.  They drive their trucks to the football game and get drunk/grill out before the game with the ass end of the truck being the focal point for their little temporary party site. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 21, 2009, 05:20:21 PM
Yeah, I'm 99.9% sure that "tailgate" is a term specific to the back end of the bed of a truck.  As far as a tailgate party is concerned, I believe that term comes from the fact that most guys drive trucks.  They drive their trucks to the football game and get drunk/grill out before the game with the ass end of the truck being the focal point for their little temporary party site. 

Okay then. :) Perhaps I'll switch out the word "tailgate" and replace it with "rear cargo doors" or something like that. 8)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on May 22, 2009, 03:53:18 AM

Why would you have a 5k in your basement? That would be a tank a little better than 6 foot diameter by 20, up on saddles, probably a steel tank.

 Steel tanks fail because the bacteria that grows in the oil/water interface varies the pH and eats a hole in the steel, most of the time. Why wouldn't you bury a 10k treated fiberglass tank and hook up a dispenser? It you had money to burn in Philly, you'd probably make it a Pacific Pride location.   


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 22, 2009, 10:15:46 AM

Why would you have a 5k in your basement? That would be a tank a little better than 6 foot diameter by 20, up on saddles, probably a steel tank.

 Steel tanks fail because the bacteria that grows in the oil/water interface varies the pH and eats a hole in the steel, most of the time. Why wouldn't you bury a 10k treated fiberglass tank and hook up a dispenser? It you had money to burn in Philly, you'd probably make it a Pacific Pride location.   

Logan ... dude :) .... I am deliberately TRYING to mystify my readers with these exact questions. You're SUPPOSED to be taken aback. That's the point. :)


But your observation of the reasons for tank failure are duly noted (and also very helpful, so please don't stop with these excellent insights 8) ).








Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on May 23, 2009, 05:08:58 AM

 Sorry! Obviously, that's the plot device, which is why for starters. What I meant was more along the lines of "tell me more".

 Also, are you sure you're into the foreshadowing, stylistically? I kind of feel like maybe it gives too much away.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on May 23, 2009, 11:19:27 PM
Your draft novel is growing on me, IB.  I have three comments:

1)  I was critically looking for the "small histories" that can be found in the classics.  You have done that in part by having the hero explain how essential his cell phone is.  Why not be less explicit and have the hero buggerizing about with his phone, e.g. checking messages, deleting messages, texting ,etc. before having to ditch it.

2)  A man does not meet a beautiful woman and only note her outfit.

"there stood Mystery Lady next to the car in her brown velvet hat and matching jacket"

Is she tall, slim, fair?

Can I suggest you read or re-visit "The Winter Of Our Discontent" when Ethan checks out Margie in detail in Chapter 4.  A man would very carefully note her posture, face, shoes, build, manner, hair, etc. and maybe not what else she was wearing.

3)  The man is still trying to second guess a woman's thoughts.  I think he should have been resigned to just going along with things before now.  For the purpose of the novel, he may as well because he is essentially a spectator.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on May 24, 2009, 03:54:43 AM
At the time that MK showed me the magazine article, she consoled me with the assurance that she thought I was the sexiest man in the world and that the women who answered the survey didn’t know what the hell they were missing. But a few years later when things started getting sour between us, she had the fucking audacity to bring up that article and tell me she had grown to be inwardly embarrassed by me and was now tired of having to apologize to her family and friends “for having married a plumber of all things.” And then I knew our marriage was over when she went one step further by snarling to me with much venom and disgust about how when she met new people she now made it a habit to avoid for as long as possible telling them the truth of what her husband did for a living. The final nail in the coffin of our relationship was when I could no longer provide for my family at the comfortable level they had grown accustomed to -- she put up with me for as long as I gave her the good life, but then when I faltered in that area she had had enough of me.


And that, in a nutshell, is the story of many a man's life.
Two of my friends have been victimized under that same premise "she put up with me for as long as I gave her the good life...when I faltered in that area she had had enough of me." From that point, everything falls apart in predictable order, with the law doing an unusually good job facilitating the departure of the man from his own home.

You're keeping it real IB!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 24, 2009, 11:21:54 PM

 Sorry! Obviously, that's the plot device, which is why for starters. What I meant was more along the lines of "tell me more".

 Also, are you sure you're into the foreshadowing, stylistically? I kind of feel like maybe it gives too much away.


If you feel I'm giving too much away, by all means say so. :)Giving away too much is a fatal mistake for any story from any medium.


Thank you, Logan. :)





For you!

(http://www.videodetective.com/photos/039/001645_48.jpg)







Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 24, 2009, 11:46:10 PM
Your draft novel is growing on me, IB. 

Thanks! :)


 I have three comments:

1)  I was critically looking for the "small histories" that can be found in the classics.  You have done that in part by having the hero explain how essential his cell phone is.  Why not be less explicit and have the hero buggerizing about with his phone, e.g. checking messages, deleting messages, texting ,etc. before having to ditch it.

I appreciate that insight and I want to apologize for my inability to be that good at my craft.

The truth is that I orignally had over a dozen of thos exact moments. And I kept putting that stuff in and then yanking it out. Putting it in, yanking it out. The inclusion of those comments and backstory things just kept coming off in my mind as unneccessarrilly awkward "asides" and struck me as the worst kind of "author's intrusion." And I have repeatedly been told: "When in doubt, leve it out," so out it went. I admit that I do have it in the back of my head to go back at a much later date and try to stick a few back in with less awkwardness. For now I want to keep the story as smooth as possible. The smoother the read, the less likely readers are to bail out on you.


2)  A man does not meet a beautiful woman and only note her outfit.

"there stood Mystery Lady next to the car in her brown velvet hat and matching jacket"

Is she tall, slim, fair?

Can I suggest you read or re-visit "The Winter Of Our Discontent" when Ethan checks out Margie in detail in Chapter 4.  A man would very carefully note her posture, face, shoes, build, manner, hair, etc. and maybe not what else she was wearing.

Okay, three things in my defense. :) And one of them is a really lame exacuse, so perhaps "guilty as charged" should be the final verdict against me with your complaint.

First, I have recently rewritten this part just a tad bit to more emphasize her physiology (including her boobs). And yet I did that in spite of the fact that feminists moan and complain when female characters in novels get introduced with a descriptive paragraph that merely describes their physical appearance. Mr. Kunstler's novel World Made By Hand has been ravenously trashed by feminists for exactly that. So, here's a new description below.

Second, his initial introduction to her was over the phone with no visual accompaniment, and she told him at the end of the hne call that he would be able to recognize her via the hat. So as he walked to the diner, imagining the look AND feel of a brown velvet hat, that hat became alost inseparable to him in his mind, and he emotionally latched onto the imagery as well as the tactile association of soft brown velvet. And even after he finally saw her for real, the hat was now intimately tied in with his first impressions of her.

Third, (and here's my lame-o non-excuse) I still have that screenwriter's bone in my head that is fiercely disciplined toward conjuring quick, pithy visual descriptions of characters that can be shot with a camera, as opposed to those descriptions that try to gleen some inner quality utterly incapable of being shot with a camera. So that's my way of saying my novel-writing abilities are somewhat compromised.

Anyway ... here below is my rewrite (currently found in my blog).


Quote


I arrived outside Hal’s Diner just before eight and peered through the glass. Amid the mob of patrons I spotted the backside of a dark brown hat that was soft and floppy looking. A small swirl of coral-colored velvet in the shape of a flower graced one side of it. The woman wearing it sat alone in a booth, clicking a Blackberry. I hovered, waiting for her to turn her head so I could get a better look. As I stood waiting, I carefully slid my sunglasses off, making sure never to avert my eyes from the hat and its wearer.

At last the waitress came to pour a glass of water, and the velvet hat pivoted to greet the water-pourer. I only caught Mystery Lady’s profile and only for a few moments, but that one glimpse was all I needed. I won’t be so melodramatic as to make the trite and ridiculous claim that “I knew right then we were destined for each other.” Instead I'll simply confess that while I was inwardly hoping during my walk to Hal's that she'd be somewhat easy on the eyes, that hope dissolved after only a few blocks when I sadly recalled one tragic fact about the ranks of American wealth and prestige. Nearly all rich women from that era had disfigured themselves with the soulless cookie cutter uniformity of nip and tuck lies. And to top off that rampant epidemic of self-mutilation, these deluded shadows of former womanhood had all further warped their true selves via bottled blonde hair, cantaloupe-sized breast implants, and liposuctioned states of skeletal emaciation.

But not Mystery Lady.

Her hair was dark and shining. And even though she wore it very short it was still thick and vibrant and just begging for a set of kind and caressing fingers to slide up the nape of her neck into those generous handfuls of soft humanity. Her skin had a rich olive tone. And as I watched her talking to the waitress, the quiet grace of her gestures and head noddings evoked the same classiness so evident in her voice earlier. In those few moments I even witnessed her stand up briefly to remove a brown velvet jacket that matched the hat. And instead of a pair of implanted cantaloupes beneath her dark turtleneck, she sported a refreshing set of ... reality.

A sweetly humming euphoria rose in my chest. And as long as I didn't try to disengage the trance-like fixation of my eyes from the hat-wearer, the euphoria would remain blissfully alive.

I lingered in my gaze upon her, nursing the euphoria, deciding how to enter, and even imagining my triumphal and god-like arrival at her table would prompt a rapturous smile of ecstasy from her. But then I saw her reach forth her left hand to rest it upon the now-filled water glass. And that was when I caught the unmistakable glisten of a diamond ring.

I paused.

My aspirations of godhood quickly deflated, and the humming euphoria gave way to a slow and sad melancholy that felt like the final few moments of an abandoned cigarette right as it burns itself out.

I summoned all my professionalism and entered the diner with a cool casualness.

When I reached her tableside she shot her head straight up at me in mild surprise. Her eyes were chestnut.

“Brown velvet hat with a flower on the side?” I asked.

And then she smiled. While not the rapturous smile of adoration I had hoped for, it seemed sincere and its glow boosted my ego again.





3)  The man is still trying to second guess a woman's thoughts.  I think he should have been resigned to just going along with things before now.  For the purpose of the novel, he may as well because he is essentially a spectator.


Hmm... can you clarify that? I don't know if I'm getting your drift here.

But otherwise, thanks for the feedback. Every little bit helps. :)



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 25, 2009, 12:20:19 AM
And now for Chapter Five. This will need three posts. It's all just shy of 2,500 words.



CHAPTER FIVE





::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it, go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-5.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.  



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 25, 2009, 12:20:43 AM
Here's the second part of Chapter Five.



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it, go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-5-b.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.  



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 25, 2009, 12:20:55 AM
And now the third (and final) part of Chapter Five.



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it, go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-5-c.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.  


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on May 25, 2009, 04:43:56 AM
 Much more interesting now that you've got a bit of a head of steam up-

 Assuming my link can be made to work, the tank in the center is a 4,000- On the right, 10,000 on the left, 250,000. Ignore the propane tanks, please, nowhere else to put them at the moment.

 http://internetshare.shutterfly.com/24

 In the second: http://internetshare.shutterfly.com/32 you have a horizontal 20,000. The big ones are 100,000 gal, but you can't see all of them. Also, the 250 is out of service, but I hope it's useful as a  crib sheet- all that infrastructure holds under a million gallons, and it looks like that because it's expensive enough that there's nothing left over to paint it.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on May 25, 2009, 07:45:04 AM

Hmm... can you clarify that? I don't know if I'm getting your drift here.


I simply think he is asking too many questions (in 4-c) before seeing the task at hand.  Discretion is obviously required and he has been paid some money.

Also, the re-worked meeting with Mystery Lady is better.  I should have also mentioned his impression of her social status which you have included.  Keep it up.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on May 26, 2009, 10:33:11 PM
I have been swamped with work and not read the novel from Chapter 2, but I hope to do so as soon as possible.  In reading all the posts on this forum topic, I note the psychology of the plumber's wife as being in line with my master plumber's real life wife who abandoned him when he could no longer keep her in the manner she was accustomed to, which was quite good when he left to do overseas work with a lot of money. 

Another thing I noticed as the "friend" or "significant other" of a master plumber is the plumber's wife dilemma, which I expect is similar to the doctor's wife dilemma.  "Oh, you are Alex's friend, well let me tell you, I have this [name any plumbing problem].  Perhaps you could ask Alex what it might be and let me know."

I took the writing sequence in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin.  It was changing from extremely intelligent "liberal" professors to the head of the Department retiring and replaced by a lifetime retired military.  In the final screen writing project, I wrote a script similar to Thelma and Louise before Thelma and Louise, the really first of its kind in that genre.  I got a B+.  The A+ winner, written by a male, was the Rocky boxing script, same-old, same-old.  I got totally disillusioned and gave it all up.  Went back to being a drudge in a legal office.  Never tried again.  So I am very glad to see you keeping on.  When I watch a movie, I always check out the screenwriter.

Movies have deteriorated over the years for 2 reasons.  They buy plays too often and they have the writer/director the same.  It is my opinion that, most of the time, if credit to a play is given it won't be much of a movie with a few exceptions, "Proof" being the only one that I can think of.  To me, movie scripts based on novels are always so much better, written by professional writers, not directors. 

I have not read much Stephen King, except one, "Dolores Claiborne."  I tried to read it after seeing the movie.  In that instance, the screenwriter took a very poorly written novel and turned it into one of the masterpieces of psychological drama.  I have watched that movie about 5 times watching the skill of the writer, building and flashbacking, into a horrifying situation. 

When Hollywood gets over itself and returns to buying the rights of some of the very fine writers it can reverse its deterioration into boring.  I hope you can get some of your scripts accepted.  But with the egos thinking they can be a director and a writer and the producers trying to make movies by retreading old themes and not paying for good writers, there is not much hope of it.  I hope it reverses soon while I am still alive, but I don't hold out much hope for it.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on May 28, 2009, 01:59:22 PM
Okay, we have had lots of lightening here and I was not able to “plug” in because at the top of a hill, I am at risk for lightening strikes and so I unplug everything, including my satellite internet connection.  But this morning it was beautiful and I wanted to read your work first thing in the morning when I am at my best.  I was totally blown away by it.  It is wonderful.  One of the things I had been hunting for in all media was more end of civilization types of theories, both fictional and non-fictional.  You should have a huge market for this novel if you can get it published.

In Chapter 2-b, I really liked your revision to concentrate on real feminine beauty as opposed to plastic surgical and artificial modifications. 

In Chapter 2-c, as I recall in a previous chapter, the condo was given over to the nightmare ex-wife, but the secretary reports a potential foreclosure.  Did I miss something here, is his present abode a condo?  I remember him glad he could reduce his rent with maintenance work.  If you would remind the reader what the foreclosure would be that would be a help.

In Chapter 4-a, in the days where there were easily over 100 gas stations, I would like a phrase in there about the 100 stations being owned by the same 4 or 6 megaoil corps.  In a book I recently read, the author pointed out that the biggest oil companies had been buying up independent gas stations and putting the same 4 to 6 brands on every corner all the while increasing prices as they went.

And I would recommend the change to “through” the rear cargo doors of the van.

A typo in 4-a mcahines.

I would take out “I do want to remind you” in the Amish paragraph.

Interesting about the carpenter, is this a real life survey or an invented one?  Or is this in furtherance of the culture coming to recognize a practical skill as more important than the so-called “professional” class?

I liked the joke about cell phones and kidneys!

In the third part of Chapter Five, misspelled luminosity.

By the way, on Amazon.com, there was somewhere in there in the Kindle sales section, about self-publishing on Kindle.  You might want to check that out.  If some idiot agent or publishing company doesn’t take this novel, it has to be out there.  I love it and can’t wait for the next chapters!

You are doing a fine and wonderful job and I know because I have spent my life reading the works of others and some of the best others and some of the worst others.  Kudos, IB, a great novel and an exciting plot!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 31, 2009, 11:32:24 PM
Much more interesting now that you've got a bit of a head of steam up-

 Assuming my link can be made to work, the tank in the center is a 4,000- On the right, 10,000 on the left, 250,000. Ignore the propane tanks, please, nowhere else to put them at the moment.

 http://internetshare.shutterfly.com/24

 In the second: http://internetshare.shutterfly.com/32 you have a horizontal 20,000. The big ones are 100,000 gal, but you can't see all of them. Also, the 250 is out of service, but I hope it's useful as a  crib sheet- all that infrastructure holds under a million gallons, and it looks like that because it's expensive enough that there's nothing left over to paint it.

This is very groovy stuff, Logan! :) I am assuming that these photos are ones you took with your own real life camera, and that this work yard is your real life workyard, where you have your real life job, and all those tanks are part of your real life business. If so, thanks so much for sharing all that. This is so enlightening!

What do you do, Logan? Are a plumber? A heating expert? Am I bumbling around with this novel in your line of work? And am I making terrible mistakes and assumptions about your line of work that all betray my lack of real knowledge??  :D

James D. MacDonald, a noted sci-fi writer, said that there are two things most novelists get wrong: horses and guns. So he said: research, research, research. And then after all your research, run your rough drafts past actual real life experts who deal with what you're writing about, and expect them to point out loads of errors. And then rewrite accordingly.   

So if I am making loads of errors, by all means let me know.  8)



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on May 31, 2009, 11:37:49 PM

Hmm... can you clarify that? I don't know if I'm getting your drift here.


I simply think he is asking too many questions (in 4-c) before seeing the task at hand.  Discretion is obviously required and he has been paid some money.

Also, the re-worked meeting with Mystery Lady is better.  I should have also mentioned his impression of her social status which you have included.  Keep it up.

Okay. I get your drift now. :)

I didn't feel questions about the repair itself were out of line for him. Only questions about who she really was and questins about what's so cool and elitist about her house were deemed the off-limits kind of questions.

Beyond that, thanks for the kudos! :)



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 01:35:42 AM
Hey, carwood, thanks for the interest and encouragement.  :)

I have been swamped with work and not read the novel from Chapter 2, but I hope to do so as soon as possible.  In reading all the posts on this forum topic, I note the psychology of the plumber's wife as being in line with my master plumber's real life wife who abandoned him when he could no longer keep her in the manner she was accustomed to, which was quite good when he left to do overseas work with a lot of money. 

It's good to hear that my characters and research present a ring of truth to people who have had first-hand (or close-to-first-hand) exerience with the subject matter That authentic feel is pretty much the only thing that persuades any person to keep reading onward in any novel. As soon as that authenticity fades, the novel gets tossed aside. So if as you say I am succeeding so far, then the 48,000 words I've already cranked out in my laptop have not been a waste of time I feared.


Another thing I noticed as the "friend" or "significant other" of a master plumber is the plumber's wife dilemma, which I expect is similar to the doctor's wife dilemma.  "Oh, you are Alex's friend, well let me tell you, I have this [name any plumbing problem].  Perhaps you could ask Alex what it might be and let me know."

This is interesting and it's one of those nuggest of real life that I avidly file away for future use. I do not have a specific moment in my current Work In Progress which would be able to incorporate "the plumber's wife dilemma," nor even "the doctor's wife dilemma." But that entire sort of a scene that you just described is ripe with great story fodder. I regret that before reading this post by you I never heard about that sort of wife's dilemma before. And yet when you explaiend it just now as far as how it impacts the wives of doctors and plumbers (and most likely the wives of many other professionals as well), it rings true to my ears as far as how life in general really goes. So it's a real keeper and I promise I will use it at some point. Thank you for dropping it in my lap like that.

I took the writing sequence in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin.  It was changing from extremely intelligent "liberal" professors to the head of the Department retiring and replaced by a lifetime retired military.  In the final screen writing project, I wrote a script similar to Thelma and Louise before Thelma and Louise, the really first of its kind in that genre.  I got a B+.  The A+ winner, written by a male, was the Rocky boxing script, same-old, same-old.  I got totally disillusioned and gave it all up.  Went back to being a drudge in a legal office.  Never tried again.  So I am very glad to see you keeping on.  When I watch a movie, I always check out the screenwriter.

I'm really sorry to hear that. Some professors are clueless. A lot of good writers never get their chance in life, and the most classic and tragic example of that is the suicide of the unpublished and very young writer John Kennedy Toole. As for me, I rarely have anyone tell me my stuff stinks. That alone is enough to keep going.

Movies have deteriorated over the years for 2 reasons.  They buy plays too often and they have the writer/director the same.  It is my opinion that, most of the time, if credit to a play is given it won't be much of a movie with a few exceptions, "Proof" being the only one that I can think of.  To me, movie scripts based on novels are always so much better, written by professional writers, not directors. 

I liked Proof also. :)

The current trend in Hollywood is to only chase after a movie project if the entire thing already has been bestowed with someone else's stamp of approval. So risk-taking is almost unheard of in Hollywood right now as far as untested writers with radical story ideas in never-been-done-before genres. With a typical budget of $40 million on the line per film, Hollywood wants a sure thing every time. That's why remakes and sequels are so huge--already been tested and proved before, so going down that same path again carries less risk. Also, "based on a true story" is a huge motivator for a greenlight. As is a screenplay based upon a successful novel, a successful stage play, a successful TV series, a successful comic book, etc. If it already worked in some other incarnation, then it has a greater chance of being accepted by the current generation of nervous nellies in Tinsel Town.

Stage plays can sometimes be hard to adapt to the screen simply because stage plays at their very finest are REALLY supposed to be about grand speeches and intense verbal confrontations where lofty ideas related to the human condition get explored in the subtext. Those things don't always play out well on a silver screen because the real heart and soul of cinema is movement and action and motion. So all those theatrical speeches and confrontations need to be rethought and tweaked with an eye toward movement and action before transplanted into a work of cinema. (Taking a verbal confrontation off of a front porch and re-doing that same verbal confrontation inside of a moving car is one of Hollywood's favorite tricks to inject motion into a "drawing room" scene.) Only a complete fool of a movie producer would take the unedited script from a successful stage play, slap "FADE IN" in the front page, then slap "FADE OUT" on the last page, and then begin shooting. While the stories are always good, those scripts need to be genetically modified to fit the cinematic enviroment lest they suffocate and die. The same can be said of adapting novels, comic books, and even fairy tales to the silver screen: they simply need to be rethought and refitted as works of film. One of my favorite stage play adaptations was the movie Nuts starring Barbara Streisand and Richard Dreyfus. That story's structure leant itself well to cinema because of the indispensible usage of many flashbacks to reveal the unfolding mystery. 


I have not read much Stephen King, except one, "Dolores Claiborne."  I tried to read it after seeing the movie.  In that instance, the screenwriter took a very poorly written novel and turned it into one of the masterpieces of psychological drama.  I have watched that movie about 5 times watching the skill of the writer, building and flashbacking, into a horrifying situation. 

When Hollywood gets over itself and returns to buying the rights of some of the very fine writers it can reverse its deterioration into boring.  I hope you can get some of your scripts accepted.  But with the egos thinking they can be a director and a writer and the producers trying to make movies by retreading old themes and not paying for good writers, there is not much hope of it.  I hope it reverses soon while I am still alive, but I don't hold out much hope for it.


Hollywood is facing a long slow demise. That whole town costs way too much. The art form known as cinema costs way too much. And the general public who --just ten years ago-- used to pay six bucks for a first-run movie ticket, are not --at this point in time-- willing to pay ten bucks for a first-run movie ticket. It just costs way too much, and there are now loads of other options for entertainment available. So ticket sales are down down down down down. People are now getting their entertainment for free free free free free on the internet. As far as what little interest still remains for feature length (two-hour) movies, people would rather do NetFlix because it's literally ten times cheaper, and way more convenient. This all ultimately means the local movie theatre is officially on the endangered species list. I absolutely dread the decline of the local cinema, but there's nothing that can be done about it. The painful truth is that Hollywood's previous financial model for making movies and then selling them is right now seizing up and sputtering into a death spiral. All of Hollywood knows this and they're scared shitless. It's not that the general public doesn't like movies anymore--the public still loves movies just as much as ever. It's just that they won't pay actual money for them anymore and for the first time they have many many ways to avoid doing so. Entertainment will always be needed. But, "this terribly expensive paint box" /Orson Welles] keeps getting more terribly expensive with each passing year, and ticket sales keep declining with each passing year. So a new business model needs to be devloped, and no one in Hollywood is quite sure of what that new business model will entail and thus everyone in that town is quaking in their boots over the classic fear of the unknown. But regardless of what is still not yet known about the future of the whole industry, you can probably make a pretty safe bet that Jim Carrey will no longer be getting $20 million per picture in a few short years. And then all the Los Angeles swimming pools and all the Bel Air mansions will perhaps become a thing of the past.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 03:06:28 AM
Okay, we have had lots of lightening here and I was not able to “plug” in because at the top of a hill, I am at risk for lightening strikes and so I unplug everything, including my satellite internet connection.  But this morning it was beautiful and I wanted to read your work first thing in the morning when I am at my best.

Awesome! I'm honored!

I was totally blown away by it.  It is wonderful.  One of the things I had been hunting for in all media was more end of civilization types of theories, both fictional and non-fictional.  You should have a huge market for this novel if you can get it published.

Thanks!  8)

The History Channel has certainly tapped into the public's interest in this very flexible sub-genre (the sub-genre of "end of the world" stuff) via their two hit weekly TV shows Mega-Disasters and Life After People where all they do is merely speculate on potential chaos and destruction. Also, the Weather Channel has their own twist with a show called It Could Happen Tomorrow focusing just on speculative disasters related to weather. So a broad and avid audience certainly exists for this kind of speculative infotainment.

There was a link on Mr. Kunstler's web page for a solid year (gone now) to an essay (http://energybulletin.net/node/44031) about the new sub-genre of speculative fiction called the "post oil dystopia." That article (which includes a full treatment of World Made By Hand) overtly stated that the entire genre is wide open for new books to be written for it because very few published works actually exist at this time covering a true post-oil dystopia. That right there was enough to inspire me to take all my own post-oil imaginings and make them into a novel. I had been formulating this novel in my head since last year (I started just day-dreaming the initial stages around April of 2008) and then I started writing it in July. (And now I'm sending it up the flagpole here at KunstlerCast for all of you fine folks.)

I am indeed banking upon there being a true market for this sort of fiction. And I'm further banking on the playing field being very empty and quite wide open for now (although that could certainly change in the next year or two as the message of Peak Oil continues to filter out to the masses, as well as to other writers of greater skill than my own). One very encouraging bit of news is that the successful post-apocalyptic novel The Road (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/) by Cormac McCarthy was shot as a big-budget film last year with a major cast including Viggo Mortensen, and is slated for release this upcoming October. While The Road is not a post-oil dystopia, the ultimate point here is that "near-future post-apocalyptic fiction" is indeed cycling back into favor with the public again, with an emphasis upon the aspects of that genre concerning a) the unfolding of the civilization-ending calamity, and b) the raw struggle to survive after the fact. If The Road proves a success, there will indeed be a scramble amongst publishers and movie producers alike to find other stories in the same vein. So I am trying to get ahead of the curve here.



In Chapter 2-b, I really liked your revision to concentrate on real feminine beauty as opposed to plastic surgical and artificial modifications. 


Thanks. I regret I originally took way too far the friendly advice from a fellow writer last year that I needed to "think with my dick" as far as that scene where my MC first sees the female interest. But in spite of my misunderstadning of the male animal, the fine folks here at KunstlerCast helped me reel that whole passage back in again.

In Chapter 2-c, as I recall in a previous chapter, the condo was given over to the nightmare ex-wife, but the secretary reports a potential foreclosure.  Did I miss something here, is his present abode a condo?  I remember him glad he could reduce his rent with maintenance work.  If you would remind the reader what the foreclosure would be that would be a help.

The secretary got a business call from my MC's business bank about a business loan. (Not his personal bank concerning a personal loan.) So it was his business that was about to be foreclosed upon. But now that you've said that, I need to go back and review the way I wrote that passage to make sure I stipilated it was a business loan that was in arrears.

In Chapter 4-a, in the days where there were easily over 100 gas stations, I would like a phrase in there about the 100 stations being owned by the same 4 or 6 megaoil corps.  In a book I recently read, the author pointed out that the biggest oil companies had been buying up independent gas stations and putting the same 4 to 6 brands on every corner all the while increasing prices as they went.

I fear that would constitute more than a slight excursion off into the realm of soap boxing, and soap-boxing is almost always a fatal mistake. I could probably try to see about engineering a more subtle way of sliding that creepy and disturbing information into the story. But blatantly writing into the tale's voice-over narration might not make for good story-craft because it would most likely be too "on the nose." 

And I would recommend the change to “through” the rear cargo doors of the van.

Hmm ... that one silly sentence is really presenting some probems. ;D

The ultimate goal is "smooth effortless read." If that one sentence still ain't smooth, I really have to re-do it. I'll try to re-tweak it some more.


A typo in 4-a mcahines.

Oops! Machines!!!

I would take out “I do want to remind you” in the Amish paragraph.

I hemmed an hawed over that one. I put it in, took it out, put it in, took it out. I'll revisit it. :)

Interesting about the carpenter, is this a real life survey or an invented one?  Or is this in furtherance of the culture coming to recognize a practical skill as more important than the so-called “professional” class?

My former roommate from college married a carpenter, and she later told me that she hs oportunity to read exactly that sort of a women's magazine survey article out loud to her sexy carpenter husband (and then lots of good-times-in-the-bedroom sparks flew that night in her household). I never saw the article, but she explained it to me, and the plumber vs. carpenter conundrum always stuck out in my mind. (And guys! Be forewarned! Your wives will indeed tell their closest female friends certain limited details about what goes on in the bedroom.)


I liked the joke about cell phones and kidneys!

;D

In the third part of Chapter Five, misspelled luminosity.

Oops! (I got it now! Thank you!)

By the way, on Amazon.com, there was somewhere in there in the Kindle sales section, about self-publishing on Kindle.  You might want to check that out.  If some idiot agent or publishing company doesn’t take this novel, it has to be out there.  I love it and can’t wait for the next chapters!


Thanks! :)

You are doing a fine and wonderful job and I know because I have spent my life reading the works of others and some of the best others and some of the worst others.  Kudos, IB, a great novel and an exciting plot!

You sound like an avid reader! The world needs more readers!  :D




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 03:42:19 AM
Now for just one half of Chapter Six. It comes out to 3,400 words and I took four posts to do it.

I NEED EXTRA HELP WITH CHAPTER SIX GUYS!!! EXTRA EXTRA HELP!!

This one is a VERY long chapter. In fact, it's so long I can't even fit it all in tonight. Let me know if it's too long and I'll start cutting stuff down.

The very very very very very best indicator that a passage is going on for way too long without something either new or interesting happening is if you (the reader) just get tired of reading it and don't have the patience for it anymore. If that happens, tell me WHERE it happens. Tell me the EXACT spot where you rolled your eyes and started playing Mine Sweeper instead. I took a chance here in the hopes that I had already banked enough good will with my readers via the prior chapters to where they might be lenient with a longer chapter of extensive stage-setting without much happening. But that kind of leniency only goes so far. So I need to know where your breaking point happens (if it happens at all).

The realy difficult thing for me here is I need to make this huge underground faciliy believable. So I am taking great pains to craft its size in a tangible way, and also make it seem truly functional, and to make certain details register in the mind of the reader as beyond merely just plausible. So I did a LOT of description. But sometimes a writer can reach a point of diminishing returns with such extensive writing, so I need to walk a tightrope here and you guys are my balancing pole.



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-6.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 03:42:50 AM
Chapter 6-b



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/05/american-crude-chapter-6-b.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 03:43:12 AM
Chapter 6-c


::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-6-c.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 03:43:29 AM
Chapter 6-d .........  (And that's it for tonight.)



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-6-d.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on June 01, 2009, 11:02:09 AM
If all tanks are at similar pressures and elevations, connection between tanks does not linearly increase the pressure at the valve; the pressures from two tanks can not be superimposed to produce double the pressure.  However, with a greater overall reservoir, decline in pressure will be slowed.

Consider a dam wall.  The underwater pressure at the base of the dam wall is unrelated to the area of the dam; it is only dependent on the depth of water at the dam wall.

So the lady's initial answer is essentially correct.  The leaking of all potentially interconnected tanks through the one valve is the main problem.

That's just basic physics; I can't help you with plumbing advice.  But it seems that routine hydrostatic testing is in order with that many tanks (i.e. measuring the decline in pressure in an actively pressurized tank).


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 11:30:48 AM
If all tanks are at similar pressures and elevations, connection between tanks does not linearly increase the pressure at the valve; the pressures from two tanks can not be superimposed to produce double the pressure.  However, with a greater overall reservoir, decline in pressure will be slowed.

Consider a dam wall.  The underwater pressure at the base of the dam wall is unrelated to the area of the dam; it is only dependent on the depth of water at the dam wall.

So the lady's initial answer is essentially correct.  The leaking of all potentially interconnected tanks through the one valve is the main problem.

That's just basic physics; I can't help you with plumbing advice.  But it seems that routine hydrostatic testing is in order with that many tanks (i.e. measuring the decline in pressure in an actively pressurized tank).

Ahh--I see what' you;re saying!

You're the kind of proof reader who helps put the "science" into science-fiction! ;D

Thanks for catching my dumb-assery. I will fix that. 8)







Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 01, 2009, 11:55:54 AM
Chapter 6:  “As we waked,” I assume is “As we walked.”

Dust buildup: With the concrete sealed so tightly, I am wondering where the dust is building up from.  I read that “dust” in the household is really dead skin cells from the inhabitants.  I spend most of my time in one room where I have a serious dust buildup.  In other rooms, the dust builds up very slowly particularly when I don’t open up.  Here we have a closed system with sealed concrete and no humans coming and going. 

I got a little disinterested at the lengthy physical description of the plant, but I expect your male readers loved it so, unless the male readers here tell you otherwise, I expect you should leave it in. 

Did get back in when we are set to solve the problem and see the tool room.  I think everyone relates to good tools, no matter what we do from housework to plumbing to doing surgery. 

Yes, I googled it.  Pipe fitter is one word pipefitter (even though my Wordperfect program didn’t recognize it where I pre-write some of my postings before copying to the forum).

Quick comment on full-length films and Netflix.  For several years, Friday afternoon was my movie time after taking care of my client.  No interruptions of any kind and the big screen and big sound to live a pretend life.  Moving to the boondocks, I did satellite TV and now back to Netflix.  Now, even when I head to town, I don’t want to go to a movie theater because the theater popcorn (which I loved) began to give me severe diarrhea and I found that after the fee of overpriced pop corn and drink and theater ticket, I had to sit through the movie even if I didn’t like it.  With Netflix I usually watch the movie, but I can endure it by doing other things while getting through it.  Television, however, I never gave anything a chance, 30-seconds, no interest flick to something else.  I got a Netflix film that I almost quit watching, but the round trip to the post office at 50 miles made me sit through it.  (I get all of them at one time so I have 1 each night until the next trip!) The other nights are podcasts or instant play on Netflix.  This movie, “Everything is Illuminated,” I almost quit but kept on and found it truly remarkable and innovative in film.   I expect Netflix supports movies now because they must have to buy a huge number of the DVDs.  Rarely do I get a message that a film is out of my local office and must be found at a further location.  When it is, they send me an extra one!  I would think all of this would encourage better films and should, but I think it is the greed of producers that causes the horrible repetition and lack of screen writing from really phenomenal fictional works in abundance.  The Madoff mentality perhaps because everyone things we are at “end times” as we know them and it is last chance mentality.

However, a while ago, I read that in spite of the economic downturn, movie theater ticket sales were increasing! 

Anyways, I am really getting excited to know whether this is indeed military or a private consortium of “enlightened” multibillionaires in charge of this facility.

Part of the fun of reading, is speculating what the author has in mind.  Right now, I think the husband of Mrs. Jones is fictional and, at some point, our hero and she will become romantically involved.  In fact, the lack of information about the second wife leads me to believe she will be the second wife.  Somewhere, we know the Amish will be a part of this and I look forward to that as well. 

Did you by chance see the DVD on the Amish youth?  This documentary explains that at teenage age, Amish youth are allowed to participate with “English” living.  During that time they are to decide whether to join the Church and community or leave the community and Church.  In these wild years, these teenagers live the same fruitless life that urban teenagers live, i.e., partying and drinking and drugging with sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll and sleeping until late afternoon.  And I guess I repeated the same in my youth fleeing from the daily grind of sustainable lifestyles that my parents had.  So I look forward to your depiction of the Amish and their lifestyle and how they fit into the subterranean life you are depicting.

Interestingly, as a child in a severely distressed dysfunctional family, I spent most of my time fantasizing that my parents were “caretakers,” that my real family was a father in charge of an secret underground medical research facility and the farmhouse was a front.  I was isolated with no playmates most of the time and 2 warring parents so I lived my “subterranean” fantasy life to escape reality.  Wonder what is about subterranean scenarios that is so fascinating to the human mind–-shades of our many years in caves pre-civilization?


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 02:34:40 PM
Chapter 6:  “As we waked,” I assume is “As we walked.”


Oops! (tanx!)  ;D



Dust buildup: With the concrete sealed so tightly, I am wondering where the dust is building up from.  I read that “dust” in the household is really dead skin cells from the inhabitants.  I spend most of my time in one room where I have a serious dust buildup.  In other rooms, the dust builds up very slowly particularly when I don’t open up.  Here we have a closed system with sealed concrete and no humans coming and going. 


Hmm ... I was told it's partly human skin, but also pollution, volcanic ash, and even space dust settling down onto our planet via daily penetration of cosmic debris. I have an a/c system going in my underground complex, and so there are air intake vents on the surface, inhaling fresh air from above. Those air intakes can be filtered, but that filtration has its limits. So unless you have a perfectly enclosed system (and my underground complex is not 100% enclosed) you will have some dust.

I think need to do some more research. Perhaps my dust layer should not be too terribly thick at this time.



I got a little disinterested at the lengthy physical description of the plant, but I expect your male readers loved it so, unless the male readers here tell you otherwise, I expect you should leave it in. 

Okay, this is good to know. It will be ver helpful to me if you tell me where it was that you sighed. Do you recall the exact spot where eye-rolling set in?



Did get back in when we are set to solve the problem and see the tool room.  I think everyone relates to good tools, no matter what we do from housework to plumbing to doing surgery. 

Ahh good! :)



Yes, I googled it.  Pipe fitter is one word pipefitter (even though my Wordperfect program didn’t recognize it where I pre-write some of my postings before copying to the forum).

Now that's a biggie! Thank you! :)



Quick comment on full-length films and Netflix.  For several years, Friday afternoon was my movie time after taking care of my client.  No interruptions of any kind and the big screen and big sound to live a pretend life.  Moving to the boondocks, I did satellite TV and now back to Netflix.  Now, even when I head to town, I don’t want to go to a movie theater because the theater popcorn (which I loved) began to give me severe diarrhea and I found that after the fee of overpriced pop corn and drink and theater ticket, I had to sit through the movie even if I didn’t like it.  With Netflix I usually watch the movie, but I can endure it by doing other things while getting through it.  Television, however, I never gave anything a chance, 30-seconds, no interest flick to something else.  I got a Netflix film that I almost quit watching, but the round trip to the post office at 50 miles made me sit through it.  (I get all of them at one time so I have 1 each night until the next trip!) The other nights are podcasts or instant play on Netflix.  This movie, “Everything is Illuminated,” I almost quit but kept on and found it truly remarkable and innovative in film.   I expect Netflix supports movies now because they must have to buy a huge number of the DVDs.  Rarely do I get a message that a film is out of my local office and must be found at a further location.  When it is, they send me an extra one!  I would think all of this would encourage better films and should, but I think it is the greed of producers that causes the horrible repetition and lack of screen writing from really phenomenal fictional works in abundance.  The Madoff mentality perhaps because everyone things we are at “end times” as we know them and it is last chance mentality.

Few people remain unmoved by cinema. There will always be a demand for it. But the money situation is always an issue. I'm glad you've worked out a system that works for you. And I do hope cinema can continue in its present form, but I kind of doubt it.



However, a while ago, I read that in spite of the economic downturn, movie theater ticket sales were increasing! 

Well I sure hope so! :)


Anyways, I am really getting excited to know whether this is indeed military or a private consortium of “enlightened” multibillionaires in charge of this facility.

Ah! Stay tuned. Chapter 8 has some answers. 8)



Part of the fun of reading, is speculating what the author has in mind.  Right now, I think the husband of Mrs. Jones is fictional and, at some point, our hero and she will become romantically involved.  In fact, the lack of information about the second wife leads me to believe she will be the second wife.  Somewhere, we know the Amish will be a part of this and I look forward to that as well. 

:)



Did you by chance see the DVD on the Amish youth?  This documentary explains that at teenage age, Amish youth are allowed to participate with “English” living.  During that time they are to decide whether to join the Church and community or leave the community and Church.  In these wild years, these teenagers live the same fruitless life that urban teenagers live, i.e., partying and drinking and drugging with sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll and sleeping until late afternoon. 

Yes. The Devils Playground. I watched it twice all the way through, then I e-mail the producer and he and I chatted for a while.

And I guess I repeated the same in my youth fleeing from the daily grind of sustainable lifestyles that my parents had.  So I look forward to your depiction of the Amish and their lifestyle and how they fit into the subterranean life you are depicting.

:)



Interestingly, as a child in a severely distressed dysfunctional family, I spent most of my time fantasizing that my parents were “caretakers,” that my real family was a father in charge of an secret underground medical research facility and the farmhouse was a front.  I was isolated with no playmates most of the time and 2 warring parents so I lived my “subterranean” fantasy life to escape reality.  Wonder what is about subterranean scenarios that is so fascinating to the human mind–-shades of our many years in caves pre-civilization?

Okay, let me get all college literary on you guys, then I'll circle back around to my story again.

*clears throat*

The "underground lair" is an extremely important symbol found in all great epic stories --all of them. Without fail. The underground lair is always (well, ALMOST always) a place of evil and dread, and --symboliclly speaking-- anytime a character enters into the dreaded underground lair, he is actually entering into death itself. When he emerges whole again, that is symbolic of his being resurrected from the dead, and thus he is now a new person. The hero must pass through the underground lair, undergo testing of both his skill and his character. Sometimes he will also retrieve an important magical item from the lair, or else gain an important piece of knowledge, or else free a prisoner (or group of prisoners, such as a princess or cache of slaves) from their long and bitter captivity within the lair. After completing all of this, the hero will emerge from the lair again as a newer and better person, and then he can go on from there to fulfill his ultimate destiny of defeating the evil anatgonist.

Passage through the underground lair is a plot development found in such ancient and important tales as The Odyssey, Jason and the Argonauts, Aladin and the Magic Lamp, Beowulf, The Legend of St. George, The Legend of King Arthur, etc. The nature of the underground lair is usually a literal cave deep in the ground. But sometimes it can be a huge fortress (such as the Castle of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz) or the insides of a creature (such as the inside of the whale/great fish which swallowed Jonah -- he was literally "in the belly of the beast") or the insides of a super-modern, high-tech monstrosity (such as the Death Star in the first Star Wars film from 1977 where Luke Skywalker rescued Princess Leia).

Even the Bible has several instances of a character passing through the underground lair (Jonah, Peter, Paul). [Here I'll point out that a close cousin of the underground lair is "the wilderness" or "the desert." (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, just about every last one of the Prophets, Jesus, Paul). And the Bible is full of characters who had to spend a long lonely period of trial and testing "out in the wilderness." That period of time spent "out in the wilderness" is also known as "a back-of-the-desert experience."] And Jesus himself, when he died, is said to have descended into Hell where he took the keys of Death and Hades from the hands of Satan. Then after finishing that task, Jesus ascended back up out of Hell, taking with him "captives in his train," which is a King Jamesian description of the newly-freed souls of the righteous dead ascending out of Hell with their rescuer, Jesus, so he could take them to their final resting place up in Heaven. After he delivered the freed captives, he then returned to Earth again and arose from the dead on the morning of the first Easter. He was not only alive again, but was suddenly in possession of a perfected human body of transcendent power. His final task is found in the Book of Revelation where he defeats Satan with an eber-lasting finality. 

Even the second Alien movie called Aliens had an undergrund lair which was actually the inner-chamber of the nursery where the Alien Queen had all her eggs. After Ripley rescued the little girl named Newt from her imprisonment in the egg chamber, Ripley also set as many eggs as possible aflame, then escaped with Newt back up the long long elevator shaft to the planet's surface again where Bishop came and rescued them with the shuttle. But then after Ripley "ascended into Heaven" and returned with Newt and Bishop back into their mother ship up in orbit above the planet, Ripley still had yet one more battle to fight against the Alien Queen in her effort to save the little girl Newt. And Ripley needed an entirely new body -- a superior body -- to engage in that battle. So Ripley donned the armor of the load-lifter suit, and via that load-lifter she defeated the Alien Queen in hand-to-hand combat. "Get away from her, you bitch!"

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings also have many instanses of underground lairs where battles take place and magical treasures are gained. The Goblin Kingdom found under Misty Mountains where Bilbo first found the Ring and had his contest of Riddles in the Dark with Gollum, The underground tunnels of the Barrow Wights where Merry and Pippin gained their swords and then were rescued by Tom Bombadil (sorry, guys that scene is found in the book, but not in the Peter Jackson movie). The Dwarf Kingdom in the Mines of Moria where Gandalf fell in battle against the Balrog, the Lair of Shelob where Frodo was poisoned by the giant spider then taken captive by the Orc patrol. The Paths of the Dead where Aragorn confronted the ghost of the long-dead Prince Baldor and demanded that he and his cursed army of traitors make good on their promise of allegiance to the Throne of Gondor.

A few inversions of the underground lair do exist -- and when I say "inversions" what I am saying is that instead of the underground lair being a place of evil and dread and testing and imprisonment, it's a place of safety. Inverting the underground lair from a place of evil to a place of good is an entirely modern development in the entire history of human literature. Prior to ths modern era, only evil creatures dwealt beneath the ground and only good creatures inhabitted the sky above. But all that changed in the 20th century. Comic books are the fore-runners of this new-fangled movement of underground lair inversion. Batman has his Bat Cave. The X-Men have their secret base underneath the boarding school. etc. I have already written an essay elsewhere here in this forum about the psychological role served by the super-hero in helping modern humans cope with the inhumanness of our dark and evil and impossily huge industrial cities. To summarize my essay on superheroes: Part of our modern inability to cope is intimately linked to our modern inabilty to even conceive of how huge the cities are where we sadly live. So the super-hero --an entirely modern invention first conceived of back in the 1930's by two kids from a fair-sized city-- is a coping mechanism for modern daily living. If we can somehow imagine that there is just one person big enough and powerful enough to be stronger than this horrible evil city, able to master this city, able to effortlessly navigate this city, and always dutifully ensure our safety within this city when the cops all around us most assuredly cannot, we can breathe a little easier. And that is the role the super-hero plays in our modern literary lives. He looks down upon the city from a lofty perch atop the god-like Empire State Building, watching over us protectively. And then when he retires at the end of the day, he slips into an underground lair --but not a lair of evil, instead it's a lair of good. By inverting the role of the underground lair from a place of dread to a place of hope, the entire concept of the super-hero inverts the evil posed by this already backward and upside-down life we lead in the dark evil cities of modern industrial society.



My conclusion ....

A lot of literary scholars believe the underground lair is a deeply ingrained motif in the human psyche, and that that is precisely why the underground lair is found not only in all the great epic stories from antiquity, but even in just about every last body of folk legends from every culture and continent in the world.  The inclusion of an undrground lair in a story has a powerful impact.


Now for my story ....



I am not going to reveal at this time as to whether or not this underground facility in my story is a place of evil and dread. It has its purpose.  But yes..... the inclusion of the underground lair packs a lot of punch in any story, and whenerv you find a story with an underground lair, the story is aspiring to be given consideration to qualify as being downright epic.








Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on June 01, 2009, 04:11:16 PM
Quote
What do you do, Logan? Are a plumber? A heating expert? Am I bumbling around with this novel in your line of work? And am I making terrible mistakes and assumptions about your line of work that all betray my lack of real knowledge??   

 You're doing quite well, really, and I'm enjoying your work very much. You're definitely holding my interest, although I did have a little difficulty visualizing the facility. I think it was more to do with not backing up and reading straight through from the previous section though.

 I work for a heating oil company, and those pictures are of our tank facilities. Obviously I'm keenly interested in the situation your protagonist finds himself in. (it's horrifying!)

 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 01, 2009, 04:25:13 PM
Quote
What do you do, Logan? Are a plumber? A heating expert? Am I bumbling around with this novel in your line of work? And am I making terrible mistakes and assumptions about your line of work that all betray my lack of real knowledge??   

 You're doing quite well, really, and I'm enjoying your work very much. You're definitely holding my interest, although I did have a little difficulty visualizing the facility. I think it was more to do with not backing up and reading straight through from the previous section though.

 I work for a heating oil company, and those pictures are of our tank facilities. Obviously I'm keenly interested in the situation your protagonist finds himself in. (it's horrifying!)

 

I aims to pleez. ;D

And your knowledge of heating oil companies is certainly an asset around here! Have you discussed Peak Oil with your co-workers at all?




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on June 02, 2009, 02:56:40 AM

Certainly, we discuss it. Of course, heating oil is already a shrinking business.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 02, 2009, 03:55:04 AM

Certainly, we discuss it. Of course, heating oil is already a shrinking business.

Good for you guys for being aware!

And I am glad to hear heating oil is a shrinkng industry -- not that I want to see you out of a job. It's just that burning the stuff for heat is about the dumbest thing we've done so far with it.

 



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on June 02, 2009, 08:07:53 PM

 The fun part is figuring out what you're going to do instead.

 Of course, not everyone thinks so. Tends to be too much math and science involved... and if the operation is two guys and a truck, it could just as easily be a dump truck, or a beer truck, or pool water, etc.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 02, 2009, 08:14:16 PM

 The fun part is figuring out what you're going to do instead.

 Of course, not everyone thinks so. Tends to be too much math and science involved... and if the operation is two guys and a truck, it could just as easily be a dump truck, or a beer truck, or pool water, etc.

:)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 02, 2009, 08:17:14 PM
Okay, I'm getting ready to do another set of sub-chapters.

But before I do, any last comments or questions or objects on Chapter 6-a through Chapter 6-b?? 

I have some very good feedback so far up above (including some insightful corrections to myscience), but no major protests from anyone.

And I also fear I have lost a few readers. (Maybe things got too weird for them?) 



Last call before moving on. Anyone??







Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 02, 2009, 11:44:35 PM
Now I can't find where I got weary at the physical description--maybe I was just tired for other reasons that day--part of the old-age syndrome.

I think you are good to go and I can't wait for the next installment.  I don't think you would have lost readers, just commenters. I would have to look at the view stats, I guess.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on June 03, 2009, 03:23:29 AM
A little clarification: by "what you're going to do instead" I meant something along the lines of how else a person will manage to have residential heat and hot water.

 
Quote
It's just that burning the stuff for heat is about the dumbest thing we've done so far with it.

Hah! Indeed. You could hypothetically do a whole lot more for your community running those gallons through, say, some surplus Soviet armored fighting vehicles. Special Election!  ;)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on June 03, 2009, 04:44:36 AM
The underground lair is always (well, ALMOST always) a place of evil and dread, and --symboliclly speaking-- anytime a character enters into the dreaded underground lair, he is actually entering into death itself.

Our primordial fear of dark, deep places is well founded.

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/sanpr/naracoortecaves/ea7.html

It is thought this giant boa lived underground and feasted on any animal that fell down through a sinkhole and into the caves from the karren landscape above.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 03, 2009, 04:37:38 PM
The underground lair is always (well, ALMOST always) a place of evil and dread, and --symboliclly speaking-- anytime a character enters into the dreaded underground lair, he is actually entering into death itself.

Our primordial fear of dark, deep places is well founded.

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/sanpr/naracoortecaves/ea7.html

It is thought this giant boa lived underground and feasted on any animal that fell down through a sinkhole and into the caves from the karren landscape above.

Wow! A literal dragon's lair!!!!  :o :o :o


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 03, 2009, 05:42:38 PM
Now I can't find where I got weary at the physical description--maybe I was just tired for other reasons that day--part of the old-age syndrome.

That's okay. No one has said "BORING!" yet. So I'll just go with it.

I think you are good to go and I can't wait for the next installment.  I don't think you would have lost readers, just commenters. I would have to look at the view stats, I guess.

:)




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 03, 2009, 05:43:48 PM
A little clarification: by "what you're going to do instead" I meant something along the lines of how else a person will manage to have residential heat and hot water.

 
Quote
It's just that burning the stuff for heat is about the dumbest thing we've done so far with it.

Hah! Indeed. You could hypothetically do a whole lot more for your community running those gallons through, say, some surplus Soviet armored fighting vehicles. Special Election!  ;)

I'm partial to focusing upon medical supplies myself. ;)




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 05:16:57 PM
Okay. Marathon posts now. Duncan might kill me, but today's offering is 6,400 words in 8 sections.

Chapter 6-e


::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-6-e.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 05:17:14 PM
Chapter 6-f




::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-6-f.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 05:17:28 PM
Chapter 7 (and it's a super short chapter too)




CHAPTER SEVEN


::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-7.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 05:17:52 PM
Chapter 8-a



CHAPTER EIGHT



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-8.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 05:18:06 PM
Chapter 8-b



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-8-b.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 05:18:24 PM
Chapter 8-c



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-8-c.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 05:18:44 PM
Chapter 9-a



CHAPTER NINE

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 05:19:03 PM
Chapter 9-b (and that's it for today)



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-b.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Vooch on June 04, 2009, 06:58:36 PM
IB,

Is there anyway you could simply post a link to the excerpts - as dedicated as I am, the lack of coherent formatting is distracting


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 04, 2009, 06:59:17 PM
I knew she couldn't be married!

Oh, by the way, you no longer can sleep, eat, do your day job, or anything else.  I am hanging on the cliff here and I have to know whether he will save her or not!  (Though I expect he will, as she will be his next wife!)

Here's by little bit of editing.  (One of the things that bugs me about reading these days is that publishers appear to be bypassing paying for real proofreaders as there are so many glaring errors in language.)  So I hope you don't mind, IB, if I make these small proofreaders comments.

Chapter 8-B

My first immediate [task?] was estimating how extensively her ribs might have been damaged:   

weighed out weather to leave (the spelling of weather here should be “whether”)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 07:09:44 PM
IB,

Is there anyway you could simply post a link to the excerpts - as dedicated as I am, the lack of coherent formatting is distracting

Ahh, vooch, you present me with a terrible conundrum via that request. :(

Basically, my experience with posting excerpts on the net is that people do not ever really want to leave the web site they are already in. It's actually considered bad internet etiquette to ask people to please hop out of the current web site to accomodate a read session and it even downright pisses them off. So posting just here (as much of a pain in the ass as it is for me to post it here) satisfies that need that most people have to stay comfortably in place on just one spot on the interwebs.

Please tell me: what aspect of the formatting are you finding incoherent? Is it the font style? Is it the degree to which I shorten each sub-chapter between posts?



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 07:15:44 PM
I knew she couldn't be married!

Oh, by the way, you no longer can sleep, eat, do your day job, or anything else.  I am hanging on the cliff here and I have to know whether he will save her or not!  (Though I expect he will, as she will be his next wife!)

I take it you're hooked. ;D


Here's by little bit of editing.  (One of the things that bugs me about reading these days is that publishers appear to be bypassing paying for real proofreaders as there are so many glaring errors in language.)  So I hope you don't mind, IB, if I make these small proofreaders comments.

Chapter 8-B

My first immediate [task?] was estimating how extensively her ribs might have been damaged:   

weighed out weather to leave (the spelling of weather here should be “whether”)


I do not mind editing critiques of that nature. Misspellings, grammatical erros, and (in this instance) a bad editing job all need to be brought to my attention. (And in this example, I edited that exact sentence earlier today, and you have now pointed out to me that I accidentally deleted the wrong word --"task." I was supposed to delete the word "first" when I was adding the word "immediate" as a replacement for the word "first" but for some reason I killed "task" instead. I was too hastey.)

As for "weather" --yeesh! I usually don't make that mistake between those two words. My bad.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Vooch on June 04, 2009, 08:52:28 PM
IB,

Formatting - it is a novel. The breaking up of it into thread posts just makes it difficult for an oldster to read (altough Car seems to do fine, but then she is a heroic figure all her own)


As of for the rules of websites - ask Ducan is he would mind.  We all are great fans of yours so you are not going to find it difficult for us to click through.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 04, 2009, 10:13:30 PM
IB,

Formatting - it is a novel. The breaking up of it into thread posts just makes it difficult for an oldster to read (altough Car seems to do fine, but then she is a heroic figure all her own)


As of for the rules of websites - ask Ducan is he would mind.  We all are great fans of yours so you are not going to find it difficult for us to click through.

Let me see if I can just plain post each chapter in its entirety and not break them each up. The only thing about that is it would be horrible for anyone here to hit the QUOTE button on such a massive post.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 05, 2009, 12:06:43 AM
Me, a heroic figure, Vooch?  For the last 50 years I spent working on all different types of computers with all different types of software and then when it was down to the PC, I spent years using all different types of formats from working for numerous internet medical transcription service providers.  So I have lots of experience doing that.  Also since I would hire onto one of these and get irritated at management stupidity and confront them and get fired, I had to spend a lot of time going through the horrible process of getting hired at another sweatshop.  Each one of these required 2 hours of testing for a below minimum wage rate of contract or employee status (line rate not hourly) so I have passed about a million tests in medical terminology as well as standard spelling and grammar tests.  I guess, all in all, to be female born before women's liberation is, in itself, an exercise in being a heroic figure!

Of course, that leaves all of you in a position of having to scroll through my lengthy comments because having worked line rate rather than hourly, I kept working to increase my typing speed, which is around 120 wpm or so.  More often, my typing is faster than my brain hence the random utterings of an old woman trying to delay the milking or the loading of rocks onto the utility trailer. 

Whatever format it is in, IB, I am enthralled.  I know the heroine will survive and the hero will think of something ingenious to see to her chances of medical care.

Falling into a dangerous piece of equipment is certainly the kind of thing that humans do for all our intelligence and how we seem always to do 2 steps forward and 5 steps back!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 06, 2009, 06:02:41 PM
Vooch, I don't know of any other way around the problem. The realm of cyberspace is not a perfect overlap with the realm of the hard-cover novel. I don't want to disrespect Duncan and drive up his band-width. So all I can do is hold my hat in my hand and ask you to try and bear with me here.

Carwood, I do think you are indeed a heroic figure here. All you have seen and been through, as well as all you are accomplishing right now causes the rest of us to stand in awe.



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 06, 2009, 06:06:45 PM
On other matters I have a question for all readers so far -- am I straying too far into the territory of either

a) network soap opera?
or
b) Harlequin romance?


This is supposed to be a "guy" kind of a story. But we all know I'm not a guy, so my more feminine-leaning habits in story crafting are probably slipping through. Have I meandered too deeply into soap-opera-land?






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 06, 2009, 07:02:17 PM
Thank you, Innocent Bystander, for the wonderful, heart-warming words of kindness. 

As to romance, even though I am a female, I don't think you have strayed too far--even guy stories always have romance in them--granted too often aggrandizing romance, hunter/prety type of romance, but guy version of romance, nonetheless.  And, anyways, how many centuries have we females read all the guy stuff because that is all there was to read?  Luckily for us of female gender, there are great numbers of fine writing by female writers published by impressive publishing houses--Sara Paretsky, Abigail Padgett, Janet Ivanovich, Doris Lessing, and Nevada Barr to name a few and my current favorite, Elizabeth George.  I am reading between you and Elizabeth George in between non-fiction with Bill McKibbens. 

And I see enough action/adventure here to satisfy guys, I would think with guy stuff in details of the warehouse, tools, and problem solving with repairing the tank. 

Although I have tired of guy-types of romance and constant objectification of females by male writers, my current favorite male writers are Kyle Mills (young guy!) and Ken Follett.  Both of these writers have romance in them.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 07, 2009, 11:50:17 PM
Thank you, Innocent Bystander, for the wonderful, heart-warming words of kindness. 

As to romance, even though I am a female, I don't think you have strayed too far--even guy stories always have romance in them--granted too often aggrandizing romance, hunter/prety type of romance, but guy version of romance, nonetheless.  And, anyways, how many centuries have we females read all the guy stuff because that is all there was to read?  Luckily for us of female gender, there are great numbers of fine writing by female writers published by impressive publishing houses--Sara Paretsky, Abigail Padgett, Janet Ivanovich, Doris Lessing, and Nevada Barr to name a few and my current favorite, Elizabeth George.  I am reading between you and Elizabeth George in between non-fiction with Bill McKibbens. 

And I see enough action/adventure here to satisfy guys, I would think with guy stuff in details of the warehouse, tools, and problem solving with repairing the tank. 

Although I have tired of guy-types of romance and constant objectification of females by male writers, my current favorite male writers are Kyle Mills (young guy!) and Ken Follett.  Both of these writers have romance in them.


I grew up with a house full of nothing but brothers. Guess who got outvoted as far as what kinds of Saturday morning cartoons to watch? So yes--I watched he-man kind of shows growing up.

I regret I have not read any of the authors you've listed. But if you are that prolific of a reader and I can still keep your attention with these chapters, then I guess I must be doing something right.



Onward to the next chapters.





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 07, 2009, 11:59:35 PM
Chapter 9-c (This next section is in 4 posts, containing 4,400 words.)

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-c.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 07, 2009, 11:59:57 PM
Chapter 9-d

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-d.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.
v


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 08, 2009, 12:00:11 AM
Chapter 9-e


::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-e.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 08, 2009, 12:00:45 AM
Chapter 9-f   (And that's it for tonight)



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/06/american-crude-chapter-9-f.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 09, 2009, 01:50:07 PM
What?  :-\

I get ten readers for this latest installment and no comments?  ???




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on June 09, 2009, 04:47:43 PM
Relax IB! :)
I look forward to reading the next installment, but I'm at the office and prone to interuption.
I will be patient and wait until tonight after the kids are looked after and I can sit in my comfy chair with a glass of red wine! 8)
If this next installment is as good as the previous ones, you've got a best seller waiting to happen!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 09, 2009, 05:55:38 PM
Relax IB! :)
I look forward to reading the next installment, but I'm at the office and prone to interuption.
I will be patient and wait until tonight after the kids are looked after and I can sit in my comfy chair with a glass of red wine! 8)
If this next installment is as good as the previous ones, you've got a best seller waiting to happen!

Thanks, Kevin. :)  I thought I was merely experiencing nothing but empty, drive-by hits to the view counter. I await your response. 8)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on June 10, 2009, 12:13:32 AM
You Go Girl!! 8)  This is great reading.  I'm looking forward to more!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 10, 2009, 11:06:31 AM
You Go Girl!! 8)  This is great reading.  I'm looking forward to more!

I hope to get it posted by tomorrow. :)



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 11, 2009, 05:56:33 AM
Guys, I need to take a short break. I came home tonight and walked in on a burglary in progress.

No, I'm not hurt.

Yes, I'm still shaking.





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on June 11, 2009, 09:00:46 AM
No one deserves that, IB.  It causes a cold feeling when you suffer the violation of trespass.  My thoughts are with you and I hope it doesn't happen again.  I believe you are caring for your mother.  Is she OK?


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on June 11, 2009, 11:58:17 AM
I've been through it 2x IB and I know how you must feel.  Never caught the bastards red-handed like you did.
Hope you're doing OK through this.  Have a break - you certainly deserve one.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 11, 2009, 03:01:31 PM
Here's the long version of the story, hyper-compressed:

-- Very late on Saturday night my mom called--she says she's sick.
-- I drove all the way out to Westefield to see about her. I called an ambulance and she was admitted to the hopsital rght away.
-- Since her apartment in Westfield is just two blocks from the hospital, I have been staying at her apartment in Westfield all this time instead of back in Springfield. So the house in Springfield has been unattended since Saturday.
-- But then today my cell phone ran out of juice. I had to drive back to Springfield to get the battery charger. (With no cell phone the doctor can't call me tomorrow with the latest update on my mother.)
-- I pulled into the driveway around 10 PM tonight and found two kid's bikes lying on their sides by the trash cans. That was bizarre.
-- I walked into the house, I could smell a man's cologne, I could see things had moved around strangely, I even found the refrigerator door hanging open. (And I was worried I had left the fridge door open since Saturday night!) And then I found the deadbolt at the back door unbolted and the door ajar. So I surmized that the owners of the bikes were still in the house. I knew I had to get out of there instantly and go call the police--but my cell phone was dead and the charger was upstairs on the second floor! I decided to drive to a friend's house 4 blocks away and bang on the door.
-- I went back to the car and spotted a kid sneaking out of the back yard, crouched over, carrying a gym bag, weaing a baseball cap and a hoodie up over the cap. I called out to him in anger as he made his way to the street: "You forgot your bicycles!" He ignored me and kept on going.
-- Then a second kid poped up right beside my car -- also with a bag, in a cap and hoodie. He said to me: "What happened?" (all innocent-like).
-- I rolled my eyes and said to him: "Just take your bikes and go!"
-- He apologized and said he and his friend assumed no one was living in the house. He said he and his friend were homeless and had been living in the house for two days now. He promised they hadn't stolen anything. I asked him to do mer a favor and tell me where they enertered the house. He said the hatcheay was unlocked. I asked him to just take the bikes and leave. He did, but said he had to take a piss first and proceeded to piss on the base of the chimney.
-- I was too scared to go back into the house. But my phone was STILL dead. And my charger was STILL up on the second floor.
-- I drove to my friend's house and rang his beel incessantly. He usually downs an entire rum and coke at eight o'clock, then hits the sack around nine o'clock. So I knew he was sleeping soundly.
-- I finally pulled out my cell phone and prayed there was just enough juice in it for one more call. I called my brother. He had flown in from Ohio yesterday and was staying with a friend out in Longmeadow. I called him. He answered. I explained to him that I had just walked in on two kids who had broken into the house. And then the phone died.
-- I reasoned my brother would instantly call the cops, so I decided to head back to the house.
-- I parked out front and waited. The cops arrived and searched the house. They said it was all clear, but my bedroom had been thoroughly tossed.
-- My brother arrived while I was upstairs with a cop, looking at my trashed out bedroom.
-- I also suspect they stole my small portable fire safe. I bought it for forty bucks at K-Mart 10 years ago. Inside that safe I keep my passport, my original Social Security Card, and my birth certificate. (Oh, joy!)
-- The cop said he needed my drivers license to take the report. I handed it to him. But now I cant find my license. I don't recall if he gave to back to me or not. I called the police and they do not have it.
-- I am now back at my mother's apartment. I do not feel "violated." Yet. I'm still trying to get over the shock of losing my grandfather's ring. I have no idea what I am going to do to prove who I am since now ALL the documents that point to my existence no longer exist.





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on June 12, 2009, 03:53:15 AM
There is a process for replacing all that stuff. As long as you remember your SSN you should be ok.

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/ssa.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=251

It's good luck that you're unharmed, I am very pleased to hear it.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: whipstock on June 12, 2009, 04:28:26 AM
IB,

I'm glad you are ok. If you are up to it, keep up the posts.

Best Regards,


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 13, 2009, 09:20:15 AM
Sorry about the home invasion, the shock of your mother's illness, and losing your documents--way too much to handle all at one time.

Anyways, belatedly I read Chapter 9 and found only 1 typo in 9-e, "me view."

Exciting as always, looking forward to more when you recover from all that happened!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 13, 2009, 10:04:59 PM
Thanks for everyone's support and kind thoughts. :)




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 13, 2009, 10:08:12 PM
And now for Chapters 10, 11, and 12 in their entirety. It's 6,000 words.

And just for vooch, each chapter gets its own post. (So just 3 posts tonight.)




CHAPTER TEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-10.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 13, 2009, 10:08:27 PM
CHAPTER ELEVEN



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-11.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 13, 2009, 10:08:43 PM
(And this is the last post for tonight.)


CHAPTER TWELVE



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-12.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 14, 2009, 11:35:35 PM
I am delighted you have a border collie here!  I absolutely love border collies and have a female border collie 9 years old.  Before that, I had a Lab/border collie mix.  However, we had numerous breeds of dogs, including mixed unknown breeds of dogs as a child.  I have never, ever seen a female dog hump anyone.  It is always male dogs.  In fact, as an adult I have always chosen female dogs because I was so weary as a child of being humped by male dogs some of them the same size as me.  I especially do not think a female border collie would hump–mine never has though she was neutered.  She does beg for attention once I have told her a new person is “okay.”  Then she wants petting and attention.  My border collie on greeting and accepting a stranger and the stranger would pet her would then roll onto her back and beg for a belly rub.  She would react violently though I expect if she smelled a severe injury and stress on me.  She would set up a continuous, high-pitched whining that would drive everyone crazy, staying beside me.  She is very “tuned” to me and I to her.

Oh, and having just finished “Merle’s Door,” where the author talked about eyebrows on a dog–they don’t have eyebrows according to the author, because unlike humans, they don’t sweat and don’t need eyebrows to keep sweat from rolling into their eyes. 

Instead of Misty blinking, I would have her maybe softly growling or raising her lips in a manner that indicates to others by border collie language, you had better be careful,, I can bite at any time if provoked.  My dog does it when I try to remove a tick from her!  It is the border collie snarl and quite intimidating!

Can’t wait for the next Chapter!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on June 15, 2009, 12:53:37 AM
Hey, carwood. I was wondering of the border collie would peak your interest. :)

I had already written the border collie into the story long before you ever told any of us here at KunstlerCast that you had one of your own. So when I found out you had one as a pet, adn tehn realized you were enjoying the story, I decided to stand back and wait with pointed anticipation for your reaction to Misty's introduction. I'm glad it has you so jazzed.



Meanwhile I definitely want to make sure I have the psychology of a border collie correct. I understand they are among the most intelligent dogs out there--sometimes a little bit too intelligent for their own good. I realize your concern about the detail of Misty's failure to be territorial when she realizes that Catherine is injured. But keep reading and perhaps Misty's reaction might make more sense in another four chapters. If not, maybe I should go to a border collie forum and ask the folks there for some advice on my scenario. 




On other matters, I can personally attest that I had a female dog hump me one--but not my leg. It happened when I was visiting a family with six rambunctious kids. I had been their babysitter for years, so they all knew me very well and I was accepted by the family dog immediately. I wish I could recall the breed. She was some kind of a snow dog with a slightly curly tail -- not as curly as an Akita, but she had a big shaggy coat and arctic snow dog sensibilities to her. She was also a very loving dog. Anyway , let me tell you the story of getting humped by a female dog. .............

......... I was out in the dirveway with the kids and the dog. The dog was active and happy and wagging her tail and she was also running around in circles around the kids (like a sheepdog might I suppose -- keeping the perimeter around the kids secure). The oldest two kids (ages 12 and 10) were riding their skateboards up and down the driveway. They asked me if I knew how to skateboard--I said yes, but it had been years. I said I'd give it a shot. I started skateboarding and I got brave enough (perhaps foolish enough) to try and do a one-eighty on the skateboard there in the driveway. And of course I fell (but I was completely uninjured). As soon as I fell, the dog charged right over to me and she licked my face once and then started humping me. I laughed my ass off. I assume she did this as a protective declaration of ownership, lest a prowling pack of arctic wolves might swoop in from the horizon and seek to attack the weakling human who fell on the tundra prairie. So I firmly believe she thought she was probably protecting me. But anyway, that is my one and only story of getting humped by a female dog.

But your insisting that a LEG humping would never happen at the hands of a by a female dog might very well be true. My skateboarding story didn't involve a leg hump, it was a unique scenario of a fall. So perhaps I have a credibility problem here. (And yet, no leg humping actually happens in the story, just the humorous speculation on it. So maybe I can get away with it.) 



As for the eyebrow thing, I know dogs do not have TRUE eyebrows. But I have (far too many times to the point of cliche) read books where the writer describes some dog as having "flames of gold where eyebrows should have been" *yawn*. So rather than resorting to the over-used phrase "where eyebrows should have been," I'm just taking the shortcut of saying plain old "eyebrows" to streamline the narrative. Meanwhile, I have indeed witnessd many breeds of dogs over the course of many years engage in the "twitching eyebrow" thing (with that part of their foreheads where eyebrows ought to be). And as a writer, I am banking on the firm conviction that other people (my readers) have also witnessed that same "twitching eyebrow" situation in other dogs. I wanted to use that commonly witnessed phenomenon as a character introduction for Misty --  something very concrete and tangible that virtually every reader has witnessed and would thus allow all those readers to visualize the dog in a concrete and tangible way.  Keeping that narrative as minimalist as possible is (I think) important for my even bothering to flesh out the dog as an actual character. If you want I could take the word eyebrows and put quotation marks around it.





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on June 15, 2009, 03:49:32 AM
Did you name her after my Misty???

(http://www.geocities.com/triptych.geo/misty1.jpg)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 15, 2009, 10:18:17 AM
Well, IB, you do have writer's license, but my female border collie would not be more likely to hump anyone or anything, but she would try to herd you.  One of the things that people cannot understand is her excitement when anyone approachs their vehicle.  To her, the best thing of all is to herd a vehicle.  I warn comers and goers to my abode that she HAS to herd their vehicle out the driveway and not to worry, she watches the wheels carefully (as she would a herd of goats or sheep).  She knows the wheel turning indicates the direction the vehicle is headed next.

So my border collie would be more likely to circle around our hero and the cart while he is pushing it around and try to herd them.  But if you want your border collie to hump, then let her hump! 

And yes, my border collie anticipates my needs even before I know what I need.  She understands a wide range of my language.  For instance, recently I could not find a guinea fowl that had hatched a clutch of eggs.  I was worried about the mother and her babies and I could not find them.  Now over the years, I have asked my border collie to find goats and find cows and she has done so.  So in case she knew the word guinea, I said "find guinea."  I continued to walk around and search but almost immediately she was barking and I heard an outraged guinea fowl.  Of course, once she was told to find something, she would assume I wanted to herd the something and so she was trying to herd the guinea fowl and the mother was trying to protect her babies from my border collie.  So there was quite an unroar until I could get around to call off her almost unbearable urge to herd on request.   I could rant on forver about her intelligence. 




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on June 27, 2009, 08:49:03 PM
IB, where oh where are the next chapters? 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on June 27, 2009, 09:44:45 PM
IB, where oh where are the next chapters? 

Yeah IB we're waiting with bated breath! :)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 01, 2009, 06:27:10 PM
Sorry guys.

I have another five chapters in my laptop right now, but I haven't transferred any of it from the laptop to the internet because my mom has been in the hospital for over two weeks now. She was admitted for terrible vomitting problems, then they decided to operate, and the surgery was a success. Within three days after surgery, she seemed to be doing well and the doctor said she would probably be discharged within another four days, so I was trying to pay some attention to my private life again this past weekend, and instead of visiting her I merely called her to chat on the phone on Saturday and Sunday.

Then on Sunday evening she called me in tears and said she was being held as a hostage in a bank robbery gone wrong, and started spewing all kinds of other paranoid nonsense. I called the hosptial and they said she was experiencing "confusion." But they never called me to tell me about it. So if she had never called me I would not have known. I went in to see her that very hour on Sunday night and nevr lefty until late last night. The hospitalist told me she was experiencing "accute dimentia" and I stayed for hours --which turned into days-- to try and keep her calm and help her through all her exams and tests. The nurses have been generally glad for my presense because I have been able to convince her that no one is trying to kill her. She has been vascialting back and forth between delusions of granduer and paranoid fantasies of extreme persecution. Only last night did she seem semi lucid and "normal" and they also gave her four drugs at 11:00 PM which all pointed toward sleep (morphine, ambien, trazadone, and saraquil), so I decided maybe I could finally leave.

I finally left the hospital last night at about 1 AM (Wednesday morning/this morning) and actually got a real shower again (so I was in the hospital for 51 hours straight with no shower -- one nurse gave me a bunch of toiletries and towels on Monday and brougth me to a private bathroom with just a sink and a toilet). I am heading back to the hospital right now.

I do have more chapters. But this situation with my mom has sort of been a priority.

As I have been in the hospital, learning about all these procedures and watching each nurses shift change and then I introduce myself to the next nurse, and the next nurse, and see all their routines and as I get so accustomed to anticipating their next step of care for my mom that I can actually hep the nurses by being a second pair of competent hands, I continue to marvel at how advanced modern medicine is, and I also dread of utterly dependent we are upon the oil. We would lose well over 99% of all aspects of modern medical care if we suddenly turned up short-handed on oil. Trying to retrain ourselves to go back to a circa 1914 level of medical technology would be ten thousand times more serious than mere "culture shock." Aside from the occassinal Green Peace/Religious Missionary type who perhaps did volunteer work in a medical facility in a Third World nation during their younger and more idealistic years, I do not believe many members of the American medical community could adapt to a Post-Oil way of treating the sick and caring for the infirm. So the "culture shock" of no oil would traumatize more than just laypeople -- it would traumatize all the doctors, nurses, x-ray techs, phlebotomists, etc etc. We'd be reeling for weeks and only the truly strongest and most psychologiaclly adaptable members of our medical community would be able to commit themselves to a full blown re-thinking of "how to do medicine." The rest would probably curl up into their own versions of the fetal position and call it quits.

Fotr those who have been following this story, you will note that I introduced a doctor in this latest chapter. And he's a total dick too. Quite deliebrate on my part in setting up future conflicts. This is the fourt hosptialization for my mom since March of this year, and as I process my pain and fears for my mother, a lot of it gets filtered into the writer's part of my psyche that tries to make sense of life.

Anyway ... I will TRY to come back again soon with more chapters. I need to return to the hospital right now.

-- IB


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on July 01, 2009, 06:33:11 PM
Mom comes first!  Hope everything goes well and she gets better.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on July 01, 2009, 07:30:40 PM
We all suspected that was the issue.  There is nothing more important than caring for your loved ones.  My mother passed away suddenly last weekend and until then she had been supporting my father who developed dementia after a cancer operation.  He is in a nursing home and we never expected this scenario of Mum dying first.  Still, she was adamant she was only leaving the family home in a box so that provides some solace.

Regarding oil and medicine, it is astounding how much plastic equipment is discarded with each blood donation, especially with donation of platelets.  Surely it is possible to autoclave glassware or even some plastics for much of the process.

Please post more chapters when you can.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kwellada on July 02, 2009, 01:36:17 AM
John & IB: you guys both are in my thoughts.  Tough times, indeed.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on July 02, 2009, 03:19:33 AM
That is a really tough situation- don't neglect your meals or sleep too much, you'll need your energy! Best wishes to you both.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 02, 2009, 03:30:33 AM
John, so sorry about your mother. 

IB, how very traumatic for you!  My eldest sister developed a similar serious dementia and had to be medicated.  Your mother must really be a strong person for it to take so many high-powered medications to calm her.  Please take care of yourself.  Easier said than done, right?!  It is really unfair of nature to take a parent from us in that way.  My father died fully cognizant of his surroundings and his loved ones.  My mother died with long-term dementia and that is a very traumatic loss because one never could say good-bye.  I thought I would be relieved when my mother died, being totally bedridden and essentially non-responsive the last year of her life, but I still cried.  She was in a nursing home for 2 years with 1 year of childlike behavior and the last year immobile and uncommunicative, unable even to turn over in her bed.  Losing a parent is so difficult and traumatic and you must must must get a little rest, hot showers, and some good food.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 10, 2009, 12:48:57 PM
Thanks for all the kind thoughts. I know you guys are sincere.

Meanwhile, I was about to post three more chapters yesterday when I got a call from the hosital: they were asking my permission to intubate my mom. I said yes. So they moved her into ICU and she now has a half dozen tubes in her from her moth to her nose to both sides of her neck--just everywhere.

My family is driving in from all over the country and today we will all be together in one room for the first time in over 30 years. I am my mom's health care proxy, so the final decision to either sustain her or to let her go will be mine, but I want all my family's input on that one.

I still have those chapters and I just want to spit them all out at you guys. So they are about to follow in th next few posts. However, they are very rough and also probably way too long -- good writing is always lean and to-the-point. But rough writing is more of a ramble and not as economical. It takes time to write shorter stuff and I haven't had that kind of time. I also fear these chapters do not have as much coninuity to them: that means they have loose ends and plot inconsistencies. So it will be helpful if you point out those inconsistencies for me so I can hammer off those rough edges. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 10, 2009, 12:56:23 PM
CHAPTER THIRTEEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-13.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 10, 2009, 12:57:27 PM
CHAPTER FOURTEEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-14.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 10, 2009, 01:02:14 PM
CHAPTER FIFTEEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-15.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 10, 2009, 01:03:15 PM
Three chapters in five posts. see you later guys.

--IB


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 10, 2009, 11:20:49 PM
IB, thanks for the chapters, I will read them later, but I wanted to take this time to tell you how sad I am for your mom's deterioration.  I am so glad you have a lot of family members there to help you make the decision. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on July 11, 2009, 03:22:08 AM

Those are very good chapters! Hope all is going well with the family.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 11, 2009, 12:48:16 PM
Latex gloves for gathering eggs?  The German immigrant farm families that I grew up around and with would have laughed wholeheartedly at such a concept.  My job as a child was to gather the eggs and I never was instructed to even wash my hands.  Our nesting boxes were 2-tier in a darkened room as chickens prefer darkened areas to lay their eggs.  I would just stick my hand into the nest since it was too dark to tell if there were eggs there or not and I would feel around for them.  Several times to my horror I would feel the scales of an egg-loving snake and run screaming out of the hen house. 

So latex-wearing egg gatherers–is this the norm in our bacteria-fearing “modern” world?  I gather all my eggs with my bare unwashed hands and have read not to wash the eggs because the hen has a mucous layer on the eggs to preserve them, i.e., lets them breathe but keeps out bacteria.  Most well-heeled chicken raisers have egg-rolling egg nesting boxes.  The hen lays the egg and the bottom is canted so that the egg rolls forward to keep from getting dirty from the hens feet or need to defecate.

Patches, my border collie, sends her delight at how well you have border collie behavior and psychology down, especially the breed’s intense attachment to and love of a single person. 

I am so glad the ranch hand milks both cows and goats!

A wonderful read, IB, especially considering the emotional trauma you have been going through.  This is live proof that trauma spurs artistic creativity.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 12, 2009, 10:00:15 AM

Those are very good chapters! Hope all is going well with the family.

Thanks, Logan. :)



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 12, 2009, 10:02:30 AM
Latex gloves for gathering eggs?  The German immigrant farm families that I grew up around and with would have laughed wholeheartedly at such a concept.  My job as a child was to gather the eggs and I never was instructed to even wash my hands.  Our nesting boxes were 2-tier in a darkened room as chickens prefer darkened areas to lay their eggs.  I would just stick my hand into the nest since it was too dark to tell if there were eggs there or not and I would feel around for them.  Several times to my horror I would feel the scales of an egg-loving snake and run screaming out of the hen house. 

So latex-wearing egg gatherers–is this the norm in our bacteria-fearing “modern” world?  I gather all my eggs with my bare unwashed hands and have read not to wash the eggs because the hen has a mucous layer on the eggs to preserve them, i.e., lets them breathe but keeps out bacteria.  Most well-heeled chicken raisers have egg-rolling egg nesting boxes.  The hen lays the egg and the bottom is canted so that the egg rolls forward to keep from getting dirty from the hens feet or need to defecate.

Patches, my border collie, sends her delight at how well you have border collie behavior and psychology down, especially the breed’s intense attachment to and love of a single person. 

I am so glad the ranch hand milks both cows and goats!

A wonderful read, IB, especially considering the emotional trauma you have been going through.  This is live proof that trauma spurs artistic creativity.

Sorry, carwood. I had a woman who keeps chickens tell me she wears gloves. I admit I've never gathered eggs myself though. :)

Good to hear Misty is sizing up as a likeable and believable character.  ;D






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 12, 2009, 10:04:44 AM
CHAPTER SIXTEEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-16.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.




Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 12, 2009, 10:06:47 AM
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-17.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 12, 2009, 10:08:44 AM
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-18.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on July 12, 2009, 11:25:31 PM
Can't find chapters 13-15 on your other blog IB- links don't work, even if I click them from Chapter 12 as posted on your blog.

Don't want to read 16-18 until I see them!!

I was very absorbed up through Chapter 12 - you have quite a novel going here, but I am wondering if you will stop posting here and leave the end for a publication date to be announced?


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 13, 2009, 11:08:04 AM
IB, that latex-wearing thing has me wondering so I am going to ask the 3,186 members in the 3 Yahoo groups I am in, i.e., Free Ranging Chickens, Yard Poultry, and Pasture Poultry if anyone wears latex gloves to gather eggs.  I will let you know the results.  Now I am settled in with my morning tea, a somewhat functional brain, and the pleasure of reading your latest posting.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 13, 2009, 11:51:49 AM
Even if you withhold the final chapters for book sales as Andy R suggests, I am a buyer.  Dr. Tuxedo--what a truly wonderul arch enemy, evil personage.  I so look forward to our hero destroying the vermin and look forward to how he will accomplish it. 

I noted only 2 typos as follows:  “She looked up with sad eyes then plopped he head back down again”

“walked in a daze over to the widow that overlooked the back of the property”

I am hanging on the cliff waiting for the next installment. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on July 14, 2009, 03:31:12 AM
It's an interesting question, I suppose, whether it actually makes sense to withhold online chapters on the theory that it crimps eventual downstream sales. I'm not saying John Scalzi is Dean Koontz now in terms of sales volume, but he's done pretty well in print and I remember reading his whole first novel posted online. I can think of two or three more at least off the top of my head. I have the sense that how your novel is received online is an important indicator of how your target market will receive it, but that the actual overlap is really just enough to sell your book via word of mouth.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 14, 2009, 10:46:30 PM
Sorry, guys. I screwed up! I posted in such haste that I messed up the blog end of it.

I will fix those postings in my blog so you guys can read chapters 13-15.



Meanwhile, as an excuse, I have been visiting my mom every day in the hospital for several weeks now. My entire family came last week when my mom hit the ICU. My mom got admitted to the ICU on Thriusday morning and has been on a ventilator since --the hospital called me on Thursday morning (I am the Health Care Proxy, so I make "those" decisions) and asked my permission to either intubate her, or to let her go without, and I told them to intubate her. So all my brothers (except for Neil) and my sister all came in on Thursday from Ohio, Boston, Manhattan, Connecticut, etc. So all of us (except for Neil) -- were together in the same room for the first time in over 15 years. I have five siblings, and my father is also still living, so ALL of us --including my siblings' spouses and all their children-- came together over the weekend and we took over the entire ICU waiting room (all of us except for Neil). Not just my siblings and my dad, but even my aunt from Vermont and my uncle from Rhode Island (the only two remaining siblings of my mom).  Evenyone eventually had to leave by Sunday and she was doing loads better on Sunday anyway. She's been improving with such strides she's actually surprising the doctors (she is 77 years old). Meanwhile, since I am the Health Care Proxy, I have to keep in contact with the doctors and I also report back to my family every day with the latest news on my mom's progress.

Tonight I have major internet stuff to do so I will be here to do clean up on those chapters.

So so so sorry for that technical glitch. I was a little scatter brained when I did it.

--IB






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 15, 2009, 03:35:32 AM
IB, so glad your mom is doing better and all her relatives and loved one were there with you.

On a lighter note, I have been getting an overwhelming response on my query to my 3 groups, including the professional group of chicken growers/producers and all say that they do not wear latex gloves to gather eggs.  One respondent said that if she is going to incubate the eggs for hatching, she will wear latex gloves to make sure the eggs go into the incubator without her germs.  Another jokester reported that he used welding gloves to protect from the hens pecking him when he reached underneath her to get the eggs.  I remember also gathering eggs as a child at near sunset and always getting pecked if a chicken is setting a clutch of eggs.  It can be pretty painful!  One respondent said he had worked with a large factory farm and latex gloves were not used there either.  So from this, I understand the latex glove thing to be evidence of someone with a pathology about germs.  All said that if the eggs were pooped upon, they would dust or wash it off and clean the nest box and add nesting materials.  Farmers/ranchers have lots of immunity because they work around animal feces and manure all day and all year long and all have no time or money to waste on donning latex gloves.  The profit margin is too slim as it is.  The scarce about germs is produced by television advertising in the sales of Lysol and bleach products and the large corps trying to make food buyers believe that only they can produce "safe" food, when in actuality with the unhealthy condition of the animals in corporate farming/raching and intense antibiotic use as a consequence, the food is extremely dangerous as superbugs evolve or medically resistent to known antibiotics colonies of microbes and bacteria. 

All a user of eggs needs to do is wash the egg if that user wants to blend in the egg and shells in a raw food blender concoction.  The interior membrane of the egg protects the egg (future chicken) from bacteria.  Otherwise, chickens would have disappeared long ago because the chicks would never form having been eaten by bacteria within the egg. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 15, 2009, 10:44:10 AM
Wow, carwood, thanks so muhc for clarifying that to me! I must change it all up now! You're awesome! :)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 15, 2009, 11:04:01 AM
Okay, guys. All fixed now. Again, so sorry!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 16, 2009, 11:27:34 PM
CHAPTER NINETEEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-19.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 16, 2009, 11:28:11 PM
CHAPTER TWENTY

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-20.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 16, 2009, 11:29:09 PM
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-21.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 16, 2009, 11:29:42 PM
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/07/american-crude-chapter-22.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on July 17, 2009, 04:12:20 AM

 Nicely done! One thing I'd point out about OTR Gasoline tankers is that you need a CDL with a valid hazmat endorsement to get behind the wheel lawfully, even if you're just driving around your own parking lot... to pick up fuel in it, you probably need a TWIC or that other ID I forget the name of. Back around 1995-97, I rode around a lot in tankers ferrying fuel from the terminal to gas stations, and I recall them being 21 speed manual transmission diesels. Lots of luck hopping in and finding reverse if they've never done it before.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on July 17, 2009, 04:46:47 PM
I continue to be riveted!

One item that may require changing for future publication - you may notice that the "Global War on Terror" (GWOT) moniker has fallen into disuse since Obama took over.

The new, more Orwellian classification for this endless war?:
"Overseas Contingency Operations" (OCO)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 17, 2009, 06:09:28 PM
Very exciting, getting into peak oil or here alleged to be just a stop in the flow.  We could all be experiencing a similar event though given erratic weather and increasing storms in the Gulf region as much of our gasoline comes from oil derricks in the Gulf as well as the pipelines running from Houston where oil from other countries is delivered for refining.  There were hints of that the past year when Houston's gas stations were out of oil because of the storms.  Even then with at least 2 weeks of advance warning of an impending landfill of a possibly severe storm, apparently the people didn't get it.  I saw a CNN video where a Houstonite was "losing his patience" because of waiting for truckers bringing in fuel.  Anyone in their right mind would have filled up as many gas cans as possible given the warnings.  So as well mannered as IB's Philadelphians were in her novel, it would put Texans to shame.  In her novel and I hope it is so in the future as we all get more sophisticated at the real cause of our problems, the citizens were banded together against the government.  I eagerly await to see if the problem was really lack of petroleum supplies in full and not a government-inspired plot to make it appear it was a temporary flow problem. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on July 19, 2009, 03:37:11 AM
When fuel supplies stop, I am not sure everyone would be just hovering around their vehicles.  Strange things would start happening.  For instance, I think there would be mobile cars an trucks overflowing with people and people would be seen running and walking across fields and along roadways.  There would be a range of reactions.  While most people would be fearful, some people would accept the inevitable and would be playing cards; there would be a village atmosphere in part.

I know that when motorists are stranded by floodwaters, local farmers drive in and sell food at exorbitant prices.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 19, 2009, 04:08:50 AM
John H., I think you are correct, but in this case, when the people are not sure how long the lack of fuel will occur there will be patient waiting.

However, during the petroleum crisis in the '70s as we were transitioning to dependence on foreign oil and gas stations often were without gas and long lines, there was violence and arguments among cars waiting for a place in the queue waiting for gas.  During that period there was news of long lines so people were fearful that it would be a long wait and the possible loss of jobs in not getting to work.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on July 19, 2009, 11:15:53 AM
Furthermore, from the point of your novel, this is first time when a large cast has been involved.  This is an opportunity to show a range of reactions to the situation reflecting how people thought at the time.  I imagine there would be cars overheating, fights over / queues for phone booths, fights over / queues for gas-powered taxis.  Not all of the behavior would be rational.  I recall a newspaper article from the 70s about rail commuters having to walk along the rail lines to the city.  There were basically 3 groups of people based on their reactions - angry, resigned or humored.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on July 23, 2009, 04:40:33 AM
You doing ok IB? You're a bit too quiet for everything to be fine, I think.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 23, 2009, 04:54:38 AM
IB, I too am worried.  I hope things are okay with your mom.

By the way, everyone on my poultry groups were excited that they participated in a work of art.  I told them I would ask you if they could read the book on your blog.  If that is okay with you, let me know and I will post the link.  It might cause a lot of distraction with so many different types of people, so I will understand if you don't want the distraction.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 23, 2009, 08:44:56 PM
Hi again guys,

I am doing more drive-by posting today.

I have been to the ICU repeatedly for the past two weeks. I missed five days so far out of a total of 36 days now in visiting my mom in the hospital (I brought her to the Er on June 16 andshehas been in the hospital ever since). And now the doctors are telling me they want to put a thrachea (sp?) tube in her so they can take her off the ventilator.  So I have to confer with the rest of my family then sign the legal papers to let the hospital do that.

I am reading your posts today. Thank you for all the great feedback. Thank you also for your concerns about my absense and about my mom. Carwood, yes, go ahead and tell your other cyber friends about the on-line novel. I have no problem with that. I do not fear feedbak, so tell them to go ahead and let me know if I have made any further errros. The best feedback is from people who just plain know. And Logan -- I am the proud owner of a CDL myself, have been for over 15 years now (I was one of the first 500 people in Pennsylvania to get one when the CDL law was first passed. ;) )

I have written another 8 chapters. I hope to post them soon.

--IB





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on July 23, 2009, 09:48:35 PM
Wow!   You're leading a busy life!  Loved the last few chapters and looking forward to the next 8 :)
Give your mom a big hug from this Canuck and wish her well!  It sounds like things are going OK.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 23, 2009, 10:23:07 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-23.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 23, 2009, 10:23:25 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-24.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 23, 2009, 10:23:43 PM
Last chapter for today.



CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE



::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-25.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on July 24, 2009, 02:26:17 AM

“True, but my point is that the principal payers aren’t commenting. So unless we have some corroboration--”


Is that principal payers or principal players?

I loved the Nike dream sequence thing.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 24, 2009, 09:32:32 PM
IB, I posted the link to the yahoo poultry groups on Chapter 1 on your blog.  Hope you get lots of readers!  I also posted the kunstlercast.com link as well.  Might get some of those Fox News listeners that we have to educate! 

I wanted to post here a humorous comment one yahoo poultry group writer sent in:

Eggs come from cartons after all, not from chickens!
Gloves, mask, full body suit, and tongs, let's not forget
the tongs!
When my egg-collecting robot is perfected (around the same time
that sealing wax gets perfected), mankind will be completely
insulated from knowing where it's food comes from. Then we can market
any darn thing as food and someone will eat it!
Oh wait...we do that now....just what part of a chicken IS the nugget?

Wayne Seidl


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 24, 2009, 10:15:54 PM
I only saw one typo, i.e., where "their" should be you have "there."

"That’s there job"

Can't wait for the next chapters as usual!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on July 26, 2009, 09:01:38 AM
What is your imagined final product of your novel, IB?  Do you desire the publication of a hard copy book?  I profess total ignorance of the publishing business.  I imagine this business to be riddled with nepotism, intrigue and other pitfalls.  Since you are a screen writer, is this story cinematic a la Thomas Hardy stories?

It has been a good read so far and I look forward to more chapters.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on July 27, 2009, 11:06:32 PM
Carwood, thanks for the free advertising. :) And yes, very humorous! Chicken nuggets indeed! ;D And thanks for the typos catch. Typos almost never get caught by spell chyeck  and only sometimes get picked up by grammar check.


John H, it should be principal players. ;D (More typos!) As for my intent for the novel ....




I think I have just hit the midway mark for completeing this novel novel. I am at Chapter 32 in my laptop at 74,000 words so far. I suspect I will take this baby all the way to a full 150,000 words before I am through, so it's a full bown summer beach book in the making. And even then, I have another story with the same characters planned as a sequel to this one. So the tale has a very broad scope to it.

I would hope to publish it for real as an actual novel -- like ... you know .... at Barnes & Noble and Amazon ;D. Truthfully, I am "just a screenwriter," so always envision each and every one of my latest story ideas in my head as a movie, and as I start to fashion the story's initial framework, I am always working out my initial story outline (usualy just a one-page outline), as a screenplays rather than as a novel. But as I attempted to sketch this story out into an outline last year (in May or June of 2008) as  a screenplay, I realized the intended scope of the story would prove far too large to be encapsulted into just a 2-hour movie. My next attempt was to re-think it as a 12-hour TV mini-series (even though mini-series are super-duper hard to sell), but even THEN it was still just way too large even for the far more vast vehicle of a mini-series. So I was finally forced to go to the format of a novel. So in July of last year I started writing this one as a novel.

It was VERY hard for me to do that because I haven't written in past tense nor in prose for many years now. Screenplays are ALWAYS written in present tense, but novels are (about 99.997% of the time) written in past tense. So even just switching from present tense to past tense was a huge leap for me. And then there's the additional hurdle of rethinking my descriptions so that instead of the super-short, even telegraphic descriptions (sometimes even broken sentence fragments) used in screenplays, I had to once again find within myself the ability to write prosaically with both grace and flair. Writing in Third-Person POV and also in past tense and also with grace and flair was way too much to ask of myself, so I made one compromise to my screenwriter's handicap: I launched into this novel while employing First Person POV instead of Third Person. That is why I have a narrator/MC named Pete Walczak (the abbreviation for "main character" is MC). By adopting First Person instead of Thrid Person, I was covertly straddling the line between screenplay and novel -- that's because my naration is like an extention of screenplay dialogue (i totally love writing dialogue!). So he and his narration is my secret crutch in making this very difficult leap from screenplay format into novel format.

Meanwhile, I wated to make this thing as professional as possible. I have seen many many message board forums over the years where a member steps forth and says "Hey, guys, I wrote a fan-fic!" And then he or she posts the fan-fic, and it's kinda .... average (and sometimes even kinda embarrassing). I do NOT want to be average here. I want to be publishable. So I was hoping you guys would be a little more brutal with me than you have been. Brutal is what hammers a novel into top form, not kid gloves.

As for navigating the publishing industry itself, I am far more familiar with Hollywood's gauntlet for getting a script sold than I am with New York's gauntlet for getting a book published. But my general thumb nail understanding of New York is this:

1) Do not query any publishers and/or literary agencies unless you have the entire novel finished already -- only half-finsihed just won't cut it. It MUST be a finished MS (the abreviation for "manuscript" is MS). (You guys have been an invaluable cheer-leader squad for me, helping me to stay the course and to take the steady path onward toward the finish line. This is one honkin' huge novel I am attempting to wrangle into existence, and it's only been your collective attentions here that have helped me see it through to this midway point thus far. So PLEASE don't abandon me now, guys.)

2) Do not bother with any novel that is a mere copy of something else. New York is right now drowning in MS submissions about a) private boarding schools for wizards, and b) college professors who specialize in cryptology getting hired by the US government to figure out an elaborate secret riddle. (This seems to me to be a very orignal work--at least I HOPE its original.)

3) If you submit a query and they actually say "Yes, we'd like to read it," most agencies/publishing houses usually only want nothing more than the first five pages, or else nothig more than the first three chapters, or else something in between. They will rarely ask for the full MS (although that does happen once in a great while). And whichever amount you wind up sending them, they will know within the first two pages --often just the first two paragraphs-- if they intend to pass you by or not. But if you can hook them ni the first few sentences and hold their atention, you now have half a shot. So those first three chapters need to be killer chapters, with every single word weighed out by me with excrutiating care and very high craftsmanship. (And you guys are my sounduing board for achiveing that sort of perfection.

4) The following is a quote from an amazingly funny yet painfully true essay written by a professional literary agent. In this quote he compares the act of reading to the act of drinking water.

http://www.jeremiahtolbert.com/2009/5-lies-writers-believe-about-editors/

You [writers] get to read for pleasure, selecting material that has been through at least one filter. Whereas you turn on the tap and get a stream of nice drinkable water, we [editors] put our mouths to a sewer pipe and hope to get at least one swallow that won’t give us raging diarrhea.  

So I need to make those first three chapters count. I need to make that professional reader in New York smile and sit back in his chair and want to keep on reading. And I also need to make THE REST OF IT count as well. And I am hoping you guys can help me. So I need the NEGATIVE feedback from you all as well, not just the nice stuff.

My one advantage here in actualy achieving publication is that the entire market is LACKING in post-oil dystopias. So the competition is very low right now. That could change very soon though. And if Mr. Kunstler's NEXT novel called The Witch of Hebron gets that little extra "sequel boost" that I truly suspect it might, then it could very well hit a slot on the new York Times best seller's list.

I am betting that The Witch of Hebron will get what I like to call the "Austin Powers/Jason Bourne Boost". And by that i am referring to the original The Bourne Identity] film in, and also to the orignial Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery film -- both of those (introductory) films only did "okay" at the box office --not terrible, mind you, but not phenomenal either. But then, it was the DVD/video/cableTV "after market" that gave both of those "introductory" films their super-huge followings, the likes of which neither film enjoyed during their inital theatical releases. So then, when the respective sequels to those two films came out (The Bourne Supremacy and Austin Powers the Spy Who Shagged Me), those sequels both hit #1 at the box office on their opening weekends. The third films of each franchise, The Bourne Ultimatum and Austin Powers in Goldmember topped their predecaessors even more. Anyway, I suspect that The Witch of Hebron is going to land in the book seller's market place with a huge splash, fueld by the growing awareness of Peak Oil, and the slow yet growing fan base of Mr. Kunstler's books. Maybe not enough to get it into the #1 slot on the New York Times list, but possibly somewhere in the Top 20. If so, then the very tiny genre called "post-oil dystopia" is going to be gold. And I will be one of the few writers who actualyl has a completed book to offer to New York (at least for a brief while).



Here's what all three Austin Powers movies did:

Austin Powers: International man of Mystery 1997
Total Domestic Box Office Gross: $53,883,989 (never went higher than the #2 slot at the box office)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=austinpowers.htm

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me   1999
Total Domestic Box Office gross: $206,040,086 (debuted at #1, and in just that one weekend it took in $54,917,604, beating the entire theatruical run of the first movie)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=austinpowers2.htm

Austin Powers in Goldmember 2002
Total Domestic Box Office Gross: $213,307,889 (debuted at #1, and in just that one weekend took in $73,071,188)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=austinpowers3.htm



And here's all three Bourne movies:

The Bourne Identity 2002
Total Domestic Box Office Gross: $121,661,683 (never went higher than the #2 slot at the box office)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=bourneidentity.htm

The Bourne Supremacy 2004
Total Domestic Box Office gross: $176,241,941 (debuted at #1, and in just that one weekend it took in $52,521,865, almost double the debut weekend of the first movie)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=bournesupremacy.htm

The Bourne Ultimatum 2007
Total Domestic Box Office gross: $227,471,070 (debuted at #1, and in just that one weekend it took in $69,283,690)
http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=bourneultimatum.htm










On other matters ....



I am having  a difficut time even getting online to post here at the forums because I am constantly at the hospital with my mom.  They took her into surgery today to remove the ventilator tube from her mouth and replace it with a trachea tube in her throat -- she has been on the ventilator for over two weeks now, and two weeks is just too long to be on one of those. So the next step was a trachea tube. The surgeyr went well and she is now sleeping off the anesthesia. After she recovers from today's surgery, she will be in ICU for only another day or two and then get sent to an intermediate care unit that has been specially designed to help respiratory patients to get weaned off of a ventilator.

I am unfortunately NOT writing as "lean" as I would prefer to write. These last fifteen chapters have been very lengthy and lacking the same brevity and punch and forward momentum of my earlier chapters. I am concerned about that. Brevity is something I can achieve only when I have LOTS of time to read my work, and then re-read it, and re-read it again. And via all that re-reading I can cut and trim and slowly pare things back. I often need 20 re-reads to achieve that sort of concise level of compact dynamism to my work. I do not have that time right now so my writing is oming out as kinda over-done and is getting sloppy and droning on and on and on and *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* ............

If anything this crisis has all brought my family closer together. And I can't complain about that.









 








Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on July 28, 2009, 06:09:35 AM
IB, I am very glad our encouragement keeps you going and as to criticism, could it possibly be that there is nothing to criticize, that you are doing a really good job?  Reviewing my pleasure at reading your novel, I can't think of anything that I want to criticize.  You are doing a great job and if a jaded New York reader doesn't know gold when he or she sees it, then they need to get out of the polluted air and get some oxygen in their brains!

Concurrently with reading your novel, I have been reading in publication order the novels of Elizabeth George.  All the critics rave about her and I don't see any disappointment in terms of skill in going from your writing to her writing. 

We're with you all the way and I just know somehow the gods of publishing will smile on you and get you started into being the new star author.  Of course, to keep up the new women writers is a big job because they have been truly great in every respect--Elizabeth George, Sara Paretsky, Nevada Barr, Abigail Padgett, to name a few, but none are writing dystopias and you are indeed at the cutting edge of tomorrow's fiction genre, a subcategory of science fiction, I expect, but a reality-based science fiction, not the awful stuff that has been done to date, i.e., high tech monstrosities.  Of couse, two women writers, Jean Hegland and Olivia Butler, have done dystopias and good ones as well. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 01, 2009, 07:39:40 PM
Thanks, car. :) A steady readership is aleays appreciated. As for the idea that my work is flawless as is ... well ... only Shakespeare is flawless. ;D



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 01, 2009, 07:40:09 PM
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-26.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 01, 2009, 07:40:34 PM
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-27.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 01, 2009, 07:40:54 PM
CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-28.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
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Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 01, 2009, 07:41:09 PM
Last chapter for the day (with just a tiny piece of Chapter Thirty tossed in at the end to add some continuity).

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-29.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on August 03, 2009, 07:04:58 PM
The silence is deafening, am I the only reader these days?

IB, there are the minor edits, mostly your use of compound words.  "Robot like" should be either robot-like or robotic.  "Water side" should be waterside and maybe river view should be either riverview, riverine or riparian (or "homes with river views").  You use "waterfront" but not "waterside".

A very minor edit. "--the sort of smile" needs a space before "the", or maybe a semi-colon.

Then there is the bigger stuff.  The hero seems rather naive about peak oil.  Especially for someone who is so practical, attends farmer markets and has seen recent military service.  If this is all news to him, shouldn't this set off a lot more questioning within him or of her?  Isn't the term "peak oil" in common use?


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on August 03, 2009, 07:22:17 PM
The silence is deafening, am I the only reader these days?

You certainly are not!!  Just finished reading IB and it's great - keep it coming! :)
My only complaint is that this book is on my computer.  I prefer the old fashioned way.  A nice hardcover with a bookmark.
I don't want to cart this goddamn laptop up to my bedroom if I feel like a chapter before bed!
Hope this is published as I will be the first to purchase it!  I trust things are OK with your mom?


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on August 03, 2009, 11:21:55 PM
I concur with John H about the peak oil thing and his naivete.  I also felt the male's thoughts way too much how we women wish a man would think--just a little to romance-novelish to me.  After 2 marriages, he would not be so adolescent in his thought processes.  He would be more skeptical as burned twice is hard to overcome, at least it was for me, but maybe not, maybe you are right, at the approach of middle age, one wants to find a companion fast and idealize one quickly so as not to end your days of old age alone (which is what happened to me, hence I spend my old age alone!)

Oh, and Shakespeare was the Danielle Steel or Ken Follett of his day.  I find nothing perfect about him.  I think he should have stayed in the class that his contemporaries put him in.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on August 04, 2009, 01:24:29 AM
Oh, and Shakespeare was the Danielle Steel or Ken Follett of his day.  I find nothing perfect about him.  I think he should have stayed in the class that his contemporaries put him in.

And he uses too many cliches.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on August 04, 2009, 03:57:49 AM
This story keeps getting better!
I agree with carwoods observations about the male's thoughts being how women wish he would think - but the reason I picked up on that was his observaton about the jewelry - or lack thereof - and the assertion that emeralds would be perfect.
From a guy perspective, I have a hard time envisioning that observaton coming from someone like Pete.

Here's a nitpick, but it also jumped out at me.
In the story of the snowstorm, you mentioned Pete hauling a half cord of firewood into the house to a rack next to th fireplace.
A half cord of wood weighs over a ton an takes up an area 4ft x 4 ft x 4 ft. And is generally enough to last a couple weeks in a fireplace.
So maybe "a load" of firewood would be a more representative description.
Can't wait for chapters 31 and on...


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 05, 2009, 11:27:36 PM
Okay, guys. More drive-by posting. :)

The critiques have been addresssed and the corrections are now found in the new renderings of these same chapters out in my blogspot blog. And those kinds of critiques are EXACTLY what I need, especially where you guys all pretty much agreed that I had strayed the line into the forbidden zone of Harlequin Romance territory. I do want to keep SOME romance in it, but Harlequin caliber is not alowed, so thak you for catching me as I wandered over there without realizing it.

One (otherwise valid) complaint I'd like to ask you guys to bear with me on: Yes, Pete is ignorant of Peak Oil. The point of this novel is to preach to "the unintiated," so Pete needs to reperesent people who don't know --even plumbers. Pete is supposed to be the character that the uinitiated identify with as he becomes educated on Peak Oil himself--even though he is a plumber. (I'll be bettin' that good old Joe the Plumber Werzelbacher doesn't know about Peak Oil.) 

More chapters tonight!  Keep those critiques coming. :)

And as for tonight's chapters ... I am geting into the technical aspects of Peak Oil itself (finally) in this chapter. So I need you guys to totally correct any little tiny mistakes I might have made in my data (and I'm sure there are plenty). So here's where you guys can take out the fine toothed combs and really scruitinze my facts. 






As for my mom ...

She has been moved out of ICU into a special intermediate care unit designed to help ween peope off the ventilator. Her kidneys are doing well. But her intestines still aren't fuctioning right.

Thaks for all your kind thoughts and prayers.




 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 05, 2009, 11:28:09 PM
CHAPTER THIRTY

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-30.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 05, 2009, 11:29:40 PM
CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-31.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
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Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on August 07, 2009, 04:29:36 AM

Regarding your Dr. Blackmail scene, during our morning tech meeting today I determined that 50% of the field personnel in my division carry dedicated digital voice recorders on them at work. For the burner service guys it's 100%, since it's a hard button feature of the windows mobile smartphones they're using.I didn't put it up for a vote, but if anyone ever said anything like Dr. Badguy said to our hero,  the consensus seems to be that a call would be placed to the front desk to file a report- He who files a report first gets to be the complainant, and the other guy gets to be the scumbag, usually.
 Secondly, regarding the secret bunker, it occurs to me that your protagonist would maybe know, in his interior monologue, that your New Jersey style facility has tanks that big because they are sized off the wetbarrel contract, in multiples of 420,000 gallons. Real players think in barrels, and dumb it down into gallons for us idiot retailers. Those big tanks are sized  for taking delivery of various multiples of the standard 1000 barrel contract. Little guys do everything in multiples of truck volume, or, rarely, rail car volume.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on August 10, 2009, 01:42:11 PM
Whew!  The explanation of oil's contribution to history and its loss for our future history is very awesome.  Excellent job!  Excellent explanation of the techno-fixers not getting it. 

Alas, also confirms the choice I made to relocate where I am and the years I have spent working towards self-sufficiency, initially due to poverty and now due to increasing gasoline cost. 

Funny, my starting life pre-industrial, i.e., no electricity and little money for gasoline and ending it possibly the same way if I live another few years.  I daily ask myself that if gasoline went to $15/gal would I have what I need?  The only question is whether my household pipes would burst if the house stayed unheated in 0 deg F. 

Amazing job, IB, and the response of someone facing the realities of the future for the first time is very good I thought.  Horror and disbelief--while holding on to the idea that if it were true, somebody somewhere would have solved the problem already or getting about to.  Steam power might also be viable for a while.  I have watched the nonthinkers for years, cut off major amounts of biomass in terms of juniper cedar and burn it.  I hope to live long enough that steam power makes every one of these morons regret their foolishness.  I have all my biomass ready for the impending deforestation of what is left of wood power left on earth.

I will post a visual representation of this later.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 12, 2009, 12:01:47 AM
Logan, thanks for the insider information. :) The voice recorder won't be a factor in my plotline -- mostly because it would screw up my plotline (hee hee!  ;) ) but also because it makes no sense for a one-man-show like Pete to even have that kind of equipment. Meanwhile, the knowledge of oil units and standard tank capacities is the helpful kind of insider info I can always count on your to provide for me. :)

Carwood, thank you again for your praise. :) An avid reader like yourself surely has a discriminating pallete for prose, so I appreciate the feedback. I guess this means you're also giving me a pass on the plot development of Pete's being ignorant of Peak Oil. ;D


Meanwhile I did do some minor tweaking of these latest chapters (the tweaking never ends). But ... on to the next chapters. Tonight. :)





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 12, 2009, 12:28:22 AM
Chapter 32 is a long one. Maybe even boring, so let me know ....



CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-32.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
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Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 12, 2009, 12:30:02 AM
The second of two chapters tonight. Be forewarned -- strong PG-13 rating here, bordering on an R.



CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE
 
::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-33.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
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Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 12, 2009, 12:30:24 AM
Last chapter for tongiht.




CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

::EDIT::


I've now moved this chapter to my Blogspot blog. If you want to read it,
go to this link (http://hittingpeak.blogspot.com/2009/08/american-crude-chapter-34.html). If you want to comment on this chapter, you must backtrack
here to KunstlerCast again and comment in this thread.



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on August 16, 2009, 03:24:21 AM
The story is coming along nicely, IB.  But I still think Peter pays way too much attention to perfume, jewelry, clothes, etc.  Personally, I judge women by their gait and whether they wear comfortable (i.e. sensible) shoes.   Even more so if I knew they were carrying some injury.  Women dress up for women including herself, or didn't you know?  While the shoe thing varies between men, you describe the shoe color but not the shoe type especially the heel; I think a man would not do that.

I think you need to describe better some of her grimacing / difficulty in sitting in a chair and perhaps the difficulty in wheeling a chair across a room.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on August 17, 2009, 07:16:44 PM
It would rather surprise me that Peter had knowledge of peak oil.  Most people have no clue because of the oil corporations ownership of the mass media.  Even when they advertise impending shortages, they advertise that they are working on easily obtainable alternatives.  It is only those of us with a slight case of paranoia that search out alternative media on the internet.  Most of us are glued to our satellite or cable or broadcast TVs where all is well and good with no adverse anything other than businesses having to pay for so-called "health" care.

One of the first things I got rid of when I lived alone through widowhood or divorce are dresses with zippers in the back.  I would think an independent woman like our heroine would have done the same.  Of course, she is still in the age of wanting a male/female relationship so I guess she would attempt to still look alluring. 

The thing I wonder about is even the possibility of any kind of sexual relations with broken ribs.  I have never had one so I don't know.  All I do know is that I gave up intercourse about 10 years ago because my right hip arthritis caused a severe muscle contraction nearing climax that was so painful it took me back to non-arousal, i.e., back and forth, so it became too frustrating. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on August 17, 2009, 07:58:31 PM
All I do know is that I gave up intercourse about 10 years ago because my right hip arthritis caused a severe muscle contraction nearing climax that was so painful it took me back to non-arousal, i.e., back and forth, so it became too frustrating. 

Car - you're making me blush!  Does this mean you can last all night? :o
(sorry - couldn't resist!)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 17, 2009, 10:53:17 PM
The story is coming along nicely, IB.  But I still think Peter pays way too much attention to perfume, jewelry, clothes, etc.  Personally, I judge women by their gait and whether they wear comfortable (i.e. sensible) shoes.   Even more so if I knew they were carrying some injury.  Women dress up for women including herself, or didn't you know?  While the shoe thing varies between men, you describe the shoe color but not the shoe type especially the heel; I think a man would not do that.

I think you need to describe better some of her grimacing / difficulty in sitting in a chair and perhaps the difficulty in wheeling a chair across a room.

Okay, so I gotta get some more testosterone flowing here, eh? (More guy-interviews slated for later then.) My sister-in-law read it a few weeks ago and while she totally liked the story (she said she was so disappointed when she got to page 200 and everything just stopped!) she likewise felt Pete was too feminine. She works in New York City in the fashion industry as a stylist for photogtraphy shoots, and as such she works alongside a lot of men in that industry whom she would describe as having far more femininity than most other men might. So she says my character Pete kept tripping her highly-attuned guy/feminine radar as she read.

And I should show more of Catherine being in pain? Okay, I'll try -- but I also want to avoid having her being a crybaby and a helpless do-nothing. Kinda like the female lead from the original 1950 movie War of the Worlds, that lady just would NOT stop screaming! It got annoying after a while (and when Stephen Spielberg did his remake four years ago, he quite lovingly decided to pay homage to that one ridiculous character flaw by having the Dakota Fanning character incessantly scream all through that movie).   :)



 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 17, 2009, 11:02:19 PM
It would rather surprise me that Peter had knowledge of peak oil.  Most people have no clue because of the oil corporations ownership of the mass media.  Even when they advertise impending shortages, they advertise that they are working on easily obtainable alternatives.  It is only those of us with a slight case of paranoia that search out alternative media on the internet.  Most of us are glued to our satellite or cable or broadcast TVs where all is well and good with no adverse anything other than businesses having to pay for so-called "health" care.

Okay--one positive vote in favor of my allowing for Pete to be utterly ignorant of Peak Oil. :)  (And I aghree about TV cow-towing to the oil companies. Even PBS!! Eeh--gads! PBS runs this one annoying 60-second spot every night right after The News Hour with Jim Lehrer! That spot (I think it's by BP) dismisses Peak Oil as a great big who-knows? sort of a non-issue. Burns me up wheneever I see it.



One of the first things I got rid of when I lived alone through widowhood or divorce are dresses with zippers in the back.  I would think an independent woman like our heroine would have done the same.  Of course, she is still in the age of wanting a male/female relationship so I guess she would attempt to still look alluring. 


I am a single woman, so I also avoid dresses with zippers up the back. But ... her husband has only been dead for two-and-a-half months now. So she hasn't cleaned out her wardrobe yet this year. ;)




The thing I wonder about is even the possibility of any kind of sexual relations with broken ribs.  I have never had one so I don't know.   

I pondered it myself. But it's necessarry for the plot that they have sex, so ... they did. ;D



(And sorry to hear about your arthritis! Yikes! That totally sucks!)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 17, 2009, 11:38:52 PM
CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

Later that night I stood outside Mr. Frazetti’s pawn shop, banging on the door with an impatient urgency. It was now quarter past eight and well after sundown. He’d been closed for over two hours now and the lights of the store were all out. But he lived upstairs so I was certain he could hear me. It was a very cold night and I stood there in my leather jacket, trying to ignore the growing chill in the air.   

After banging some more I saw one small light flicker on in the extreme rear of the shop. I stopped banging and peered through the glass to watch him stride forth from the back with a huge grin. He unlocked the door and greeted me with a false warmth.

“Pete!” he smiled. “I’m closed now! But for you, I will open the door! How ‘bout those coins? You bring them for me tonight?”

“I have something better,” I whispered. “But we need to go into the back first.” He paused a moment, perhaps mildly shocked that I was being clandestine for the first time in my dealings with him. Then he shrugged and nodded, ushering me inside. He locked the front door behind us and led me toward the rear of the shop. As we walked though the cluttered, over-packed store we passed by a rack of electric guitars, a glass display case full of jewelry, another display case full of microphones, and shelves stocked with old DVD’s.

Once we reached the back wall of the sales floor we climbed a short set of three steps into a glassed-in security room overseeing the entire store. It had a few odd desks in it and a series of small black and white security monitors. He locked us in and looked at me in silence, waiting for my next move. I reached into my pocket and produced the sole gold bar for him. His lids peeled back so far I could see dozens of squiggling red veins rimming the yellowish whites of his eyes. 

“Over here,” he whispered with a prudent nod, gesturing to the far side of the security room.

He walked only a few paces away and sat down at a small roll top desk. He unlocked it and rolled up the gate. On the now-exposed desktop I saw a very small yet precise set of shiny, stainless steel balancing scales, a dual set of stainless steel weights, and a scratch-test pad. I also saw what looked like a .38 revolver. He took the gold bar and performed various tests: scratch testing, color testing, pH testing, and weighing. When he finished, he set the gold bar down on top of a black velvet cloth on his desktop and left it there. Then he twisted in his chair only partway toward me, pointing to my gold bar with respect.

“This one bar is exactly one pure ounce of 24-karat yellow gold,” he whispered. “Today’s closing price of yellow gold at 24-karats was…” He paused a moment and twisted back around to face the desk fully again. From a top drawer he pulled a spiral notebook. I peered over his shoulder at the book and saw a neatly arranged tabulation of handwritten dates and the prices of different precious metals scribbled down in their respective columns. He pointed to the colm marked YELLOW GOLD and said: “Three-thousand, eight-hundred, seventeen dollars and twenty cents per ounce.”

I knew he was correct because I had already checked the online price of gold myself back at the office before running over to his shop that evening. The only reason I even came to him at all was I knew he had the proper gold-testing kit to verify the bar’s purity.

He looked back up at me from the book, a suspicious glint in his eye. “Before I make an offer, tell me where you got it.”

“A friend,” I said flatly.

“You gonna sell it to me?”

“How much?” I asked.

He sighed and spun around in his chair to face me fully, then he beckoned for me to lean down closely to him. I did exactly that, and he whispered to my ear: “We can do this one on the books, or off the books. If you wanna do it on the books, I give you a fair price, you let me photocopy your drivers license, I hand you a check, and then you gotta fill out a tax form at the end of the year. But if you wanna keep this one off the books, I give you cash and nobody knows nothin’ ‘bout nothin’ but you, me and the angels.” 

“How much will you give me if we keep it off the books?”

“Deep discount,” he shook his head with sad downcast eyes and sat back in the chair while folding his hands in front of himself. “Very deep discount.”

“How much?” I repeated, a noticeable edge to my voice.

“If it were anybody else,” he shrugged, momentarily parting his folded hands, “fifteen hundred. But for you: two thousand,” he nodded while locking his eyes with mine. Then he joined his hands back together again with another smile. The son of a bitch was actually pretending like he was doing me a favor.

“Thirty-five-hundred,” I said with more of the same flat tone and a solid poker face.

He paused with a feigned expression of boredom, stroking one side of his face with his palm. Then he sighed and countered my offer with a downward lilt to his voice: “Twenty-five hundred.”

“Three-thousand even,” I countered. “And if my ‘friend’ ever gives me any more of these, I will come to you first. And that’s a promise.”

Again he paused. He rolled his eyes as if trying to think about it. Finally he sighed, again in feigned boredom, and shrugged as if this was all some bothersome inconvenience.

“For you? Okay,” he nodded with a grin and folded his hands together again.



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 17, 2009, 11:40:01 PM
Last chapter for tonight.


CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

I walked back to my shop office by nine PM, a bulging envelope of cash --mostly hundred dollar bills-- stuffed into the front breast pocket of my leather jacket. I entered the shop and went straight for the office safe behind my desk. I spun the dial right, then left, then right again, cranked open the safe door, and shoved the envelope up into the rear of the top shelf.

After closing up the safe I stood and walked over to the fax desk where the brown military foot locker still sat open. But now it was completely empty.

I sighed in a surreal daze and closed the foot locker. Then I picked up its now-light shell and placed it on the floor against the wall beside a stack of copy paper boxes. I turned my attentions to the rear room where Catherine and I said good-bye, stripped the sheets off the mattress, stuffed them into a trash bag, and shoved the mattress away into its formerly upright position behind the same storage shelf. Satisfied, I exited the office trailer with the bag of sheets under my arm and locked the door behind me.

After I got home I tossed the sheets into the laundry pile and sat down at my kitchen table with a sandwich and a glass of milk. It was nearly ten PM. As I ate I pulled from my jacket’s side pocket the already-opened envelope of very fine looking cotton stationery. I popped open the slightly-ripped flap of paisley, and pulled out the matching page of note paper with its own flourish of brown and gold paisley along the top border. I read it to myself with a sad numbness, reviewing its delicately handwritten message for the fifth time that evening.

“Dear Mr. Walczak,

If you are reading this, then it means I have presented you with a gift of not only the wool jacket, but also the contents of my late husband’s regulation foot locker. And it also means you and I have parted company and likely will not see each other again. So more than merely a contingency bonus, this is actually a farewell gift.

I thought very long upon whether or not to give this to you. I hope the obvious expense of it doesn’t offend you. While you are free either to use it or dispose of it as you see fit, all I ask is that you never try to give it back.

Be forewarned of this: I give you this gift not out of extravagance or condescension but out of dire concern. You will need this in the very near-future, possibly to save your life. So guard it well and spend it wisely.

Had things worked out differently, and had you come aboard as an employee of my estate (or most especially if you had become more than a mere employee), I would not have given this farewell gift to you. Instead I would have “only” extended to you the full measure of protection currently afforded by the Warren household, something my late husband had been trying to forge for me for the past 18 years, and worth far more than gold.

But now that the gift has been given, you are on your own. So I hope it can be of some assistance to you and your loved ones during the dark times ahead. Please take care of yourself. And good luck.

Very Truly Yours,

Catherine Anne Warren”





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on August 18, 2009, 09:32:49 PM
Kevinn, does this mean you can go all night?  Back in my youth, I could go all night when my hips were good, but alas, never found the man for the job!

I am just saying to you younger-than-mes!  Enjoy it while you can as every day your body grows older.  Libido does not age, but joints do!

IB, I think you have the price of gold right as it bounces around $1,000/oz now. I think I missed how the locker got empty.  Did I not pay attention reading somewhere or did he put it all in his safe?  Since you are busy entering more frequently I am hoping that your mother is much better.

Oh, and John H., I was required to wear good shoes my whole lifetime because of my club foot.  A while ago I had to visit a podiatrist to sand down a callus.  While waiting a normal footed woman came in with both feet in surgery boots.  Her problem, huge bunions had to be removed because of a lifetime of wearing pointy-toed high heels.  Her husband in good shoes was walking.  She was barely able to.  What felt really good (after being different my whole life because of my shoes) was I was walking with only one callus on the right great toe built by my body to compensate muscular weaknesson the left foot.  Chinese women's feet get bound as do ours if we buy the brainwashing.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 20, 2009, 12:10:44 AM
IB, I think you have the price of gold right as it bounces around $1,000/oz now.

Yeah, just trying to estimate it going by the price of iol. If my story assumes that oil has more than tripled in price, then gold has more than tripled also.


I think I missed how the locker got empty.  Did I not pay attention reading somewhere or did he put it all in his safe? 


No, you didn't miss anything. It's just that I never showed the reader what he did with the rest of the gold. ;)


Since you are busy entering more frequently I am hoping that your mother is much better.

Somewhat yes. Long story short: Last week I absolutely DEMANDED that the doctors do SOMETHING and not just hope she gets better on her own. So they tried soemthing kinda radical on Friday. It worked. She's on the road to recovery at last. :)





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on August 20, 2009, 05:30:38 AM
That is great about your mother--I so hope she recovers and that you can spend a lot of years yet with her.

I was the last of the lot with a father much older than my mother.  My mother had me late in life as well so I missed a lot of adult time getting to know my parents.  Daily, I think of the things I would have liked to know if I had been more mature and thought to ask my mother and father.   My son is wasting his time that he could have with me and I wish I could get through to him that time runs on and parents don't last forever.  If he wants to know more about himself, he needs more time finding out as an adult what type of characters (for better or worse) his parents were.  But he has not taken the time for that and so he is missing out on a never-to-be recovered opportunity. 

I guess this is my plea to any Kunstlercastians from talking to whatever age if they have a living parent or parents (or grandparents or greatgrandparents), don't miss out the opportunity to get to know who they were and are.  If you pass the time up, you may well spend what I do--spend time wishing I knew the answer to this or that question concerning my environment, my family history, or their wealth of experiential knowledge.  The old saying, those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it is even more true with generational history. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 21, 2009, 02:03:03 PM
Carwood, I totally get what you're saying about the dire long-term need to get to know your parents, in spite of the short-term discomfort it might bring to your ego. Failing to gain that knowledge of who your parents were and who they became will be irretrievably detrimental to your own journey of learning who you yourself ultimately are.

I am finally getting to know my father now that my mom is in the hospital. He visits her every day, even though he has been absent from our family for over 25 years now. Even though I LOOK exactly like my mom, my personality predominantly has a lot of strong elements that come straight from my dad. So in getting to know him I can see many small bits of myself everywhere. He just turned 80 years old last month. He's seen a lot. He also has a lot of good years ahead of him since he's in very good shape and cotinues to keep his mind and his body active.  I see some of his flaws, and I keep slent about them, but I also try to make mental notes to myself on how to avoid those flaws in my ow future.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on August 21, 2009, 07:14:15 PM
Thank you, IB, for your kind words and understanding the importance of getting to know your parents even though it is indeed often painful.  And I am especially excited that you are getting to know your dad.  I remember my first visit to a psychologist for my "problems" at the age of 21.  I made the appointment, sat in the chair, and could only say one sentence, "I hate my father!" and could do nothing for the next hour but cry.  Actualy, I loved/hated my father and that was the problem.  It took me a lifetime to understand why I loved and hated him and the psychologist gave me no insight.  It took years of reflection and dreams to finally come to an understanding.  And the understanding was eminently crucial to my understanding myself and how I related to the world.  It is only when we are adults are we able to begin the process of allowing our parents to be adults, with flaws and strengths, and our model for our own reactions to events and people.  Another major thing about parents, when they become mortal, we realize we are next in line!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 22, 2009, 08:07:32 PM
Research shows we need our dads. You guys out there hear that?? A really good way to screw up your kids is to just plain leave them.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: faraway on August 23, 2009, 12:13:45 AM
There's a funny Albert Brooks movie that deals with this subject ... getting to know yourself better by getting to know your parent(s). In this case he's getting to know his mother. The film is called Mother. Debbie Reynolds plays the mother. My sister and were on the floor laughing so hard at parts of it .... Reynolds' character being so like our mother.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 24, 2009, 09:09:39 PM
Latest news, guys: the doctor told us today that my mom has cancer. They won't say how long she has, but they did say it's only "treatable" and not "curable" at this point. And any treatment would be chemo and radiation, and yet since she's so sick and frail she mose likely can't stand up under such treatments. So they said my family has to start making decisions.






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on August 24, 2009, 09:19:31 PM
Oh my...Really sorry to hear about this IB :(
My thoughts are with you at this sad time.

Kev


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on August 25, 2009, 02:08:24 AM
IB,
I'm sorry to hear such bad news, especially since last week's news seemed so promising.

My prayers are with you and may your family offer the strength to cope with whatever lies ahead.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on August 25, 2009, 07:54:29 PM
In retrospect, my father made a wrong decision when he elected for an operation rather than chemotherapy.  Putting elderly people under anesthetic is dicey and will affect cognitive function.  I do not know if that is the choice you are facing but anesthetics remain a problem for the elderly until the medical fraternity has this problem worked out.  It astounds me that having operated, the surgeons then release patients with obviously reduced cognitive abilities back to their homes without cognitive assessment.

I hope your mom remains of sound mind so you can be most rewarded with what time you have left with both your parents.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on August 26, 2009, 11:13:13 AM
John H, said it the best, about the time left. 

My father died of prostate cancer.  What I remember is that he wanted us to understand he was leaving us and he needed us to accept that and not pretend there was anything different about his future.  I failed in that regard, not acknowledging his impending death, but wanting it not to be so.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on August 27, 2009, 04:49:17 PM
Hi guys,

Thanks for all your kind thougths and support. Meanwhile, I am moving to a new apartment this weekend, and starting a new job on Monday. That and I have to have a conference with my family about how to handle my mother's diagnosis. So life is busy. I will be back next week with more chapters. 

--IB






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on September 19, 2009, 07:55:14 PM
IB, my thoughts are with you and hope that you are okay.  I miss you!  Hope to hear from you as soon as you are able.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on September 20, 2009, 01:56:47 PM
Me too IB.  I hope all is well with you.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on September 24, 2009, 12:41:50 AM
I am so sorry I have had such a long absense from the boards. But after the diagnosis of cancer, everything escalated from there. And I was her health care proxy, so I was front and center at the hospital every day. (My new employer was very understanding. Amazing flexibility was granted to me in this whole situation)

My mom passed away last week on Thursday morning, just after midnight. We had a wake this past Sunday and then cremated her.

http://obits.masslive.com/obituaries/masslive/obituary.aspx?n=barbara-alice-sheehan&pid=133085426

Anyway, I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. Thanks to all for your kind support.

--IB






Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: LarSue on September 24, 2009, 12:33:55 PM
IB - My deepest sympathies to you and your family.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I know how difficult those times can be, dealing not only with the illness and loss of your loved one but with the general upheavel in your life.  I'm glad you had a sympathetic employer.  I'm sure that took a lot of stress off you.

Take it one day at time.  We're glad you're back.  You were missed.

God bless you.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: faraway on September 24, 2009, 07:22:47 PM
I'm so sorry to hear tha IB.
I'm sure having you there taking care of things was a great comfort for her.
May she rest in peace.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: billonions on September 24, 2009, 09:16:41 PM
Sorry for your loss.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on September 24, 2009, 09:25:28 PM
I figured your long absence was because of the loss of your mother.  Now is the time to heal your loss and remember always to be patient and loving with yourself.  Reading the obituary, I note that you have 5 sisters and brothers?  Having so many brothers and sisters should help ease the burder of loss.  Your mother was born one year before my oldest sister. 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on September 24, 2009, 11:58:04 PM
My sincere condolences IB.  We're feeling your pain and thinking of you.  Please take care of yourself.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andrew on September 27, 2009, 11:24:07 AM
Sorry for your loss IB, I lost my own mother to cancer when I was in high school.

In transit, Andrew


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Andy R on September 27, 2009, 01:29:28 PM
IB
While it's unusual to convey condoloences on an internet forum, there is a familiarity that develops among people you interact with on a somewhat regular basis.
Sharing your novel has been a highlight of some days, so I definitely missed the follw-ups.
I hope your family has been a comfort during this difficult time, and I hope in some small way, we have as well.



Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: whipstock on September 27, 2009, 05:42:36 PM
My condolences as well IB.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on September 28, 2009, 01:36:45 AM
Deepest sympathies.  I hope you can find the strength to be reminded mostly of the best about your mother who shaped you and helped to form your ethics and outlook.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: luciddreams on October 10, 2009, 05:36:29 PM
condolences IB.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on November 18, 2009, 08:40:18 PM
IB, are you ever going to write this novel again? 


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on November 20, 2009, 05:17:38 PM
My new job has become very demanding. I go to bed every night exhausted and my laptop sits there untouced.

I have 7 whole chapters I have not posted. I apologise. Wish me luck in getting a handle on my job and being able to balance out my worklife/homelife.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: carwood on November 20, 2009, 06:11:02 PM
Thanks, IB, and I understand the conflict between what you want to do, i.e., write and the necessity to "earn" a living.  I appreciate you letting us know that we can look forward to more of your writing as conditions permit.  Just be sure to finish it before I kick off as I am getting older every day!  Just kidding!  I will take my computer with me as I sit on a cloud with my furled white wings or sit in the heat of my past life wrongdoings! 

You are dealing with 2 major stressors, grief and livelihood stress.  Take good care of yourself and don't worry.  Your audience will be here when you are ready!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: billonions on November 20, 2009, 09:53:23 PM
  I can relate to that.

  I have no advice...'cause I can relate......


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Logan5 on November 23, 2009, 05:15:13 AM

 I'd love to read more, if you manage to fine time to post. Very sorry to hear about the chain of events, It's a very hard thing.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: Innocent Byproduct on December 16, 2010, 11:53:49 PM
I want to try and resurrect this old thread. So I will be posting new chapters soon, and moving this whole thread over to Creative Expressions.

You guys game??





Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: noodles on December 17, 2010, 12:51:29 AM
Go for it!


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: billonions on December 17, 2010, 03:36:53 AM
Yeah IB, go for it.


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: kevinm on December 17, 2010, 01:37:16 PM
Definitely!  :)


Title: Re: Excerpts from my post-oil dystopian novel
Post by: John H on December 17, 2010, 07:16:47 PM
Has your muse returned?  You may need some "the story so far".