Skip to main content

It helped.

I've been bitching about my inability to form a solid conclusion to my post apocalyptic comedy for like five or six months now.  At one point I prophesied that I'd have to check in again after the election to see if I was motivated to write that book again.

Turns out, I am.  Things didn't go the way I wanted, but the imminent threat of Trump has helped me sharpen my focus.  Ironically, the uncertainty of American civil rights and the gross ass-stank feeling of disgust that's been whirling in my gut for the last couple weeks has actually helped me to soften the edges of my story rather than crystalize them.

My book is about a lot of things, all of them political: immigration, race, the role of government, taxes, war, etc.  But the most important thing is also the least political - the American Dream. Whatever the hell that means.

I realized the other day that I was so caught up in proving a point (which is overstating things, since you never really "prove" anything when you're writing fiction) that I lost track of that basic concept.  And because of that, I was coming up with some really ridiculous stuff.  At one point, I was debating if the story should climax with the protagonists shooting an explosive-laden harpoon into the central villain.

For context, that would have come after about 280 pages of light-hearted banter and laid-back observational humor.  Y'know.  Just like that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry slit that taxi driver's neck with a broken windshield?  That happens in comedies, right?

The point is, there's a lot I want to say in my book, but above all, I want to be funny and hopeful.  And it's really hard to do those two things with violence.  So - mild spoilers - I've opted to go for something calmer and more rational.  Instead of having the protagonists spark all-out war on the people who disagree with them - even in a situation where, admittedly, a couple of those pricks have it coming - I'm going down the path of peace.

In the real world, nobody except the most insane (and naive) extremists wants war.  The rest of us don't have time for that bullshit.  We just want to go about our day and pursue our dreams, no matter how idiotic or fruitless.

The American Dream isn't a promise of success or even of acceptance.  It's simply the freedom to try.  Somewhere along the way, I lost track of that.

So, I think I've got my story figured out now.  Fingers crossed the rest of us can do the same with the country over the next few years.

PS - If you haven't started yet, donate.  And donate often.  The National Resource Defense Council, the Standing Rock protest, Planned Parenthood, the Latin American Defense Fund, the Trevor Project, the NAACP, any of it.  Just send your money to literally anybody that isn't a rich white prick.  We're all in it together, and unfortunately, our president-elect doesn't seem to realize that yet.