Time to Look Back, and Ahead

It is that time of the year to look back at what happened during the past year and think about what will happen during the next year. In my case, the book PushBack did finally go live. The official publishing date is July 15 but there were a few hic-ups and the first real copies didn’t appear until September. The last half of 2010 has been used to publicize PushBack. Despite good efforts by Smith Publicity and Author House the results have not been overwhelming. The results were not a surprise, but you never know until one tries.  

What’s next? Another year: that’s a pretty safe prediction. Beyond that: it gets iffier.  

Plans: Start another novel. That should be a safe prediction. Predicting a start is easier is than predicting a finish. I would like to do some short stories, including short shorts. How about doing one short every week? That may be a little ambitious. I’ll say one every two weeks; twenty six for the year.

What about the rest of my life. I think I will just let that happen. Starting a novel and writing twenty-six short-short stories is about as much planning as I can handle.

What about the novel to be started next year. Well, I’m cheating a little when I say I will start a new novel next year because I have already been thinking about the next one in 2010.  I have written two short stories and have thought one could be the first chapter and the other the last chapter. And I have a name for the novel. It will be “For the Cause.” It will be a hybrid, a combination of fiction and nonfiction. A lot of fiction is associated with real happenings but labeling it as fiction relieves the author of the need for references, acknowledgements or credit. In the book I am envisioning, some chapters will be entirely non-fiction and others will be fiction. The non-fiction chapters will have references credits and acknowledgements. Anybody who reads this may think I am spoofing them. I’m not. I don’t know how one would categorize this sort of a book. Maybe it would be called a non-novel or a completely unreadable novel

The Limits of Capitalism

An exchange between the PushBack’s main character, Jim Reed, and his long time girl friend, Linda Alonzo, has not gotten a lot of attention from reviewers and interviewers. Jim and Linda are talking about the US 2033 economy: 

Jim is saying; “As long as the economy keeps growing, it will eventually cure a lot of these problems.” (Referring to the national debt financed by foreigners and unsustainable entitlements.)

 Linda wasn’t convinced. “There is something about this constant growth thing I don’t understand. How can something like the economy keep growing like forever? How long can an obese person keep gaining weight?”

 The question is; can there be infinite growth in a finite world? Capitalism as it’s currently practiced requires growth to make the economy work. The United States needs GNP to grow at least 2 or 3 percent in order to maintain full employment and a healthy economy. The earth’s major nations have adapted the capitalistic model and depend on constant growth to drive their economies. Is this sustainable or does the earth need a financial system that will work in a steady state fashion? Is such a system feasible, or like perpetual motion, improbable or impossible?

Deficits Matter?

The PushBack story portrays deficits as the culprit behind the collapse of the United States Government.

Vice President Chenny has been quoted as saying “Deficits don’t matter,” when deficits soared as a result of tax cuts and two wars.

When going to college I took an economics class as one of my recommended elective non-engineering courses. A young professor with a lot of energy and enthusiasm taught the class and I enjoyed the experience. I do remember one thing he said in one of his lectures with regards to federal deficits. Deficits weren’t anything like they are now, but they were a concern to many people. The young professor stated that the deficits don’t matter, but with a caveat. He said “Deficits don’t matter if they are owned by the nation’s citizens, in which case the government becomes a storage facility for the nation’s savings.” During World War II the United States government consumed a big portion of the entire GNP and paid for it by borrowing money from its citizens. Everybody was working overtime and they had money but there  were very few opportunities to spend it. People were encouraged to buy war bonds and they did. Even school children were given stamp books, which when filled could buy a $25 war bond. When the war ended, all these citizen investors cashed in their bonds and it became a stimulus that helped drive the nation’s prosperity after World War II. I cashed mine in and bought the first new car I ever owned,  a 1953 Plymouth.

Deficits do matter when owned by foreigners. A government loses control of its finances if it borrows money from foreigners to pay its bills and exposes its citizens to unpredictable risks and dangers.

Kirkus PushBack Review

In this dark, intricate thriller, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter squaring off against a fascist American government of the near future.

It’s 2033 and the gold bugs have been proven right: too much quantitative easing has produced hyperinflation, the collapse of the American economy and the breakup of the United States into regional successor regimes. The most odious of these is the Federated States, a white supremacist dictatorship in the Old South that relegates blacks, Latinos and Asians to second-class citizenship. After his girlfriend is shot by soldiers during a peaceful protest, Jim Reed, a black lawyer from Atlanta, joins up with a multiracial resistance organization called the Freedom Legion and discovers his knack for masterminding terrorist spectaculars. Hotel bombings and guerrilla attacks provoke more repression; the Federated States initiates an Ultimate Solution to rid its territory of blacks, and Jim and his comrades conceive a monumental strike to decapitate the dictatorship. Wellnitz plays on strands of both left- and right-wing paranoia but manages to make his lurid scenario both believable and exciting. His fictive world has a down-at-the-heels desperation that brings an ugly, all-American racism bubbling to the surface. The well-paced plot regales readers with nerve-wracking action scenes, serpentine intrigues and tense, engrossing procedural as Freedom Legion operatives work out the mechanics of procuring and deploying weapons of mass destruction. Wellnitz’s sharply drawn characters are cool, hardened men and women, but they are also three-dimensional people wracked with misgivings and emotional conflicts. Their world is an intensified but all too familiar version of our own, and we can’t help sympathizing with them even as they undertake the most extreme—even monstrous—measures to wrench it back to sanity.

A riveting techno-thriller with a compelling human drama at its core.

Scheduled Blog Talk Radio Events

December 15, 2010 ; Literary Diva 4:30 PM CST Warner Robins Georgia. Blog Talk Radio

January 6, 2011; Page Readers 11 AM CST, Scottsdale Arizona Blog Talk Radio

January 6, 2011; Y’all Talk Radio 8PM CST, Mobile Alabama Blog Talk Radio

January 10, 2011; Works Cited 12 PM CST, Marion Indiana Blog Talk Radio

March 22, 2011; A Book and a Chat 5:30 PM CST, Waterburg Connecticut Blog Talk Radio