A chapter from an upcoming book

This new project is a bit of a departure from my other work, but dang is it fun for me. I hope when it is finished I can make it come out on the page like I see it in my head.

This is a little rough, but here we go! Another Chapter from this one, and this may be the last that I post until the novel is done.

They were everywhere. Slowly walking through the crisp night air. Earlier in the day he decided that he just had to find her. He had to, find a way, no matter what, stop her poorly chosen course of action. He must protect her innocent husband. He had to protect the innocents she was harming with her choices.

As a priest he was the sword and the shield of God. There was far more at stake than just her husband. He had to take this small step. He had to protect mankind from this evil, by any means necessary.

He was having difficulty keeping his eyes on the road while trying to locate her. He said a silent prayer of thanks for the lack of rainfall. The full moon was also helping make this Saturday night brighter than most.

Many of the streetlights did not work these days due to some budget cutback or other. The government continued to make many of these cuts in as many highly visible ways as possible. The more visible the cutback the better, for political reasons. Every layer of government called it a time of fiscal crisis. They did this all the while they continued to increase the salaries of the highest-ranking government employees by enormous percentages every year.

Apparently light bulbs were too expensive, but the enormous salaries for the ones that decided not to keep the lights working were perfectly acceptable. To Father Frank it was just another example of the rapid decay of morals and ethics finding ways into all portions of life.

He could see them, they were mixed in with the normal pedestrians who were on their way to dinner, or perhaps a show. He saw them, the original peddlers of sin. They were walking around advertising their primal services. They were mixed in with the crowd and moved around mostly unnoticed due to how many of them there were.

Maybe she had already found a customer and he was too late. He had to find her. He could not lose faith, his search had to be successful. God wanted him to find her.

As he continued through what remained of the more upscale part of the Boston Theater District, he saw many more of them. These would be the expensive ones. These women had to be the prostitutes that parishioners came in and confessed to being with. He always saw just how bad people’s emotional lives got after giving into this kind of temptation. He saw them as the aftermath, as good people tried to make peace with giving in to temptation. He helped them deal with that guilt.

The women were walking the streets like they had a destination in mind. In a manner of speaking he supposed they did.

They all had their own way of showing off their “product.” Most were doing this by wearing clothing with as little fabric as humanly possible without exposing the last few vital patches of skin. It was an impressive thing really, especially given the cold night air.

Then he saw her. The one he was looking for. He saw her first from behind. She had a shapely 5’8” frame, and brown hair down to the center of her back. Her real name was Lisa, but who knew what she used out here. He knew most women in this “profession” would use a fake name. His misspent youth had given him some experience in this area. When he thought about that part of his life now it seemed like someone else had done these things.

Maybe he was wrong, maybe this one used her real name. It didn’t matter, this was the woman he sought.

That was her, it was definitely her, she was the one that did this, not out of financial necessity, but out of her lust for danger, her desire for danger and sex. He still wondered how she could od this and still think of herself as committed to her marriage. It was pure evil that enabled her to behave in this fashion. In their marriage they had plenty of money, plenty of love. At least in one direction. She had no real need other than her perverted lust for danger and carnal pleasure.

He slowed the Jeep that had been his since before becoming a priest and lowered the window. “Excuse me. Can I talk to you for a minute?”

Father Frank hoped he could remember the entire pretense he had decided on that he hoped would get her in the vehicle. He hoped his story would be believable. It did have the ring of truth to it; at least he believed he did.

She strutted over to the car in her high-heeled boots, short red skirt and ludicrously low-cut shirt revealing as much cleavage as she was physically able. She had attempted to disguise her identity through heavy makeup, but this was definitely the woman he sought.

He would never forget the unique shade of blue in her eyes. He felt that looking at them in the confessional offered him a view into her twisted and evil soul. Here on the street he saw that same evil. Nothing had changed since he spoken with her. It was actually worse than he originally thought. Now that he saw her out here, he felt that perhaps it was too late for her.

“Sure. Hey, I know you. What is a Holy Man like you doing out here? Wait, did you come out here to try to talk me out of this?” she asked.

“Would it do any good if I tried?” he asked. The grimace that went along with his statement was something he practiced in the mirror hoping it would persuade her to believe his story.

“None at all,” she said flatly and without hesitation.

“Look, I will be blunt. Even men in my more rarified profession get stressed and have certain needs. Pressure builds up. Normally I can handle things myself, in a manner of speaking. Right now, I am in desperate need of some major relief. I have not been able to get you off my mind since we spoke,” that much was absolutely true.

“I am, after all, human. I think you are the one type of woman whom can help me with the problem I am struggling with, and I think both of us can get something out of this,” he said, hoping it didn’t sound too rehearsed or desperate. He thought he may have rambled on a little too long.

There was zero hesitation as she opened the door. “This will be a first. I can legitimately claim this is one thing even I never dreamed of doing. I don’t know if I should call this kinky or just bizarre. Either way, I am in,” she said as she climbed into the car.

“How much?” he asked as he quickly pulled away from the curb worrying that he might sound too nervous. It didn’t matter, he was going to stop her tonight, one way or the other.

“For you?!? All things considered, if you will answer one question for me, I will do you for free. To whom will you confess this sin?” she asked flirtatiously, not caring about the answer.

He let out a genuine laugh, “Any other priest can hear my confession.” It was the last thing he expected her to ask.

As they drove to the motel where he had already taken a room for the night, he hoped the inane chitchat would not give away his nervousness. He still wasn’t exactly sure what he was going to do, but he was taking steps.

He was firm in his belief that the Savior would once again return to walk amongst mankind. Father Frank believed that the moral state of a world eternally at war that the Savior was needed more now than it had been in a long time. Lacking the return of THE Savior, perhaps a messenger of his would serve for the moment. Perhaps he was the messenger who could put the world on a road back toward the light. Perhaps that process could start with this woman.

Driving around looking for this woman, looking at the deviant underside of society had solidified Father Frank’s belief that the world was in urgent need of His return. The Priest was more confident than ever that the actions he intended to take this night would be the first steps on the road back toward the light for the world. It would all start with this woman.

The half-truths/half-lies he told this woman would serve the greater good. Yes, he was deceiving her but that was necessary to serve the greater good. Frank believed in old world justice, old world values. Scripture was very clear in its message of God being the ultimate authority on justice. The Priest believed those who served him on the worldly plane of existence were meant to help in delivering people to the Lord for justice.

She saw his mind drifting and shifted his focus back to the situation immediately at hand.

“At this point I would usually ask what it is you want. In this case I am going to guess you don’t have too many ideas. Should I offer up a few suggestions?” she asked while gently running a finger around her ample breast, slightly exposing a nipple in the process. It was a well-practiced move.

“I do have something in mind. You know, just because I am a man of God doesn’t mean that I have neither understanding of, nor fantasies about the pleasures of the flesh. Besides, in the confessional, people tell me all kinds of things. Some parishioners like to describe their sins with loads and loads of detail. Normally the things they confess sexually are things that they have done with someone other than their spouse. Every once in a while, I start to think that some people come in so they can brag instead of confess,” he said.

This admission of his was accurate. He had decided to tell her the absolute truth whenever practical. He had no worries about her believing his story. God must be helping him. Surely, he had Diving protection. Why wouldn’t he? At least he could stop her on this night.

“What is it you want to do to me?” she asked.

“I want to bind you to the bed. Your hands and feet will be spread to the four corners. Then I will cut the clothes from your body, then move my tongue from your breasts slowly down to your womanhood. Finally, when I am convinced you are exhausted by orgasm after orgasm. I will thrust my manhood inside you. When I climax, I will spread my seed across your lovely breasts,” he said. Perhaps this night would bring the Return of the Lord through this woman.

“My, my, you are a naughty boy. Normally I am not a big fan of being tied up, because I like to be able to move around. For you, I will let that rule slide,” she said as they arrived at the hotel. She could not wait to have this man inside her. She was pleased they had arrived quickly. Her heart was beating quickly in anticipation. This was not a sensation she experienced often, but she was finding enjoyable.

He opened the door and they entered the non-descript, inexpensive motel room. She had noticed while on the way that they were not in a good part of town, and far from where she called home. In fact, it was a fairly bad part of town, but she was used to that. Perhaps not this bad, but not far from it. Many of her customers, even the very wealthy, preferred parts of town where no one would ask questions. The room certainly had everything they needed for the next few hours.

He pushed her to the bed in what he hoped would be a playful fashion. He reached into the nightstand drawer where he had pre-placed some long strips of leather. He used them to tie her to the bed.

Her heard began beating faster.

The further things progress, the calmer he became.

She winced in pain as he tightened them more than someone doing this sort of thing normally would. She ignored the pain, merely attributing it to his inexperience in sexual play, besides the pain excited her.

He pulled out an eight-inch, razor sharp hunting knife from the drawer. He swiftly cut the clothes from her body. She moaned in apparent pleasure. He was unsure if it was part of a show for him, or if she was really enjoying this, not that it mattered. He wondered what clothing she planned on wearing home. He supposed that in time her clothing, or lack of it, would be irrelevant.

Finally, he pulled a gag from the drawer. He shoved it in her mouth and tied the strap behind her head. Her eyes grew wide as she moaned again. Now he was certain that this evil woman was enjoying this bizarre situation.

With her fully prepared he looked upon her naked body. He could not help but admire the primitive nature of her curves. The raw, animalistic lust it must invoke in most men was obvious in point of origin.

It didn’t matter. His frustration with being unable to fix the world around him in the eyes of God was now boiling over.

No doubt about one thing, she was the epitome of attractive woman. Original sin had come from another attractive woman, and she had been dealt with.

He prayed silently. He was sure God could hear.

My Lord, you know of my love for You. I want nothing more than for this world to once again reflect Your image. Humans, such as the one before me, are obviously under Lucifer’s influence, and to him they must be sent. I pray for her trip to the afterlife to be sift so that she may face Your justice. Amen.

He finished the prayer and stood over the bed with the knife still clenched in his right hand. He saw her look to his crotch and notice his lack of physical excitement. Her eyes then quickly moved to meet his. Her expression of excitement replaced by one of confusion.

Perhaps, in addition to his lack of erection, his still being fully clothed led her to understand this was something other than the sexual tryst she was led to believe. She looked back to the knife in his hand and noticed he had on latex gloves. She hadn’t seen that before, and the look in her eyes grew wide with panic. She was no longer confused. She pulled on the leather holding her to the bed, attempting to free herself.

He thrust the knife at her chest. She rocked her mid-section to one side. She was very flexible.

The knife missed its mark. He had wanted to stab her in the heart. All he managed was to leave a long, deep cut across her torso. Blood began to flow and leave a red pool on the bed sheets.

She let out a noise that was far from the sounds she had uttered in many other cheap motel rooms. This one sounded like a wounded cat.

The leather straps were too strong to be broken. She managed to pull one arm hard enough that a part of the bed broke, and she suddenly had one arm free.

She punched him in the solar plexus.

She freed her other extremities and made her way to the side of the room where the Priest was trying to stand or even take a deep breath.

A much-practiced knee to the face sent him tumbling across the room. He had lost all ability to get his feet under him. Blood was flowing from his nose and down his face.

He managed somehow to stagger to one foot and a knee. He brandished the knife hoping to keep her back while he regrouped for a second try at her heart.

A small grin crossed her face despite the pulsating pain in her side. The Priest had no way of knowing that she had mastered disarming a knife wielding assailant years before.

He lunged at her in an attempt to have the blade find her heart. He missed completely as she spun out of the way. In the process she grabbed his arm, throwing him to the ground as the knife flew across the room in the opposite direction, and well out of his reach. Certain that he wasn’t an immediate threat she went for the knife.

He found himself confused and on the floor. His rattled brain was telling him to stay down and figure out how to stop the pain.

A voice in his head told him to get up. He fought the urge to vomit and instead pulled a gun from the inner pocket of his jacket. He had thought this night through, complete with backup plan.

From the outset he thought the knife would be the optimal silent solution. A gun would have to do.

He fired twice, once in her chest, once in the head.

She fell to the floor with her head making a very disturbing, wet, squishy sound. He thought it sounded a bit too much like an overly wet sponge falling onto a tile floor. The second bullet had taken a portion of her brain and scattered the grey sticky substance with thick bloody streaks on the walls behind her. It started to slowly work its way down the wall. Some pieces of her skull littered the floor. Portions of it had shattered as the bullet exited her head and left rice sized pieces of bone on the floor.

It had been so easy. It was easier than he thought it would have been to release her twisted soul from the physical body.

He quickly gathered his things and left the room. He was now very glad he kept the German made pistol his grandfather had brought back as a memento from his time in Europe during World War II. It was the only thing left to him in his beloved grandfather’s last will and testament.

He knew in this neighborhood the police would see the scene for what it was. A murdered prostitute. No major investigation would be launched.

He climbed back into his Jeep, took off the gloves, and wiped his forehead free of sweat. He cleaned the blood from his face on the towel he had taken from the room and pulled out of the parking lot.

He wanted to make his way back to the Church and pray.

His opening salvo in the Holy War to reclaim God’s Earth had been fired.

His position of honor in Heaven would be certain.

COVID, the Holidays and Depression

This time of year is full of all kinds of stress in a normal year. Seasonal depression is a real thing, especially for parents, people distant from family and friends, you name it there is a reason for people to be bummed out between now and the end of the year.

This year is especially weird. We have seasonal depression/anxiety, COVID stresses, election anxiety, a year of protests, political division, kids stuck inside, distance learning, distance working, massive unemployment numbers, the list goes on and on.

While I as a mere technical guy who also writes books on occasion can’t solve any of these things I can use what voice I have to urge anyone suffering from these problems to call someone. Family, friend, a hotline, the guy who used to hangout at the local bar when that was allowed…someone. Don’t try to get through it alone.

If you are stuck in a rut it only gets worse. Give something new a try and perhaps turn off the news once in a while. It may help.

Cult of Personality, 80s tune or fortune telling?

As we all sit back and watch another Presidential election and have one side of the other call people names, lash out, or insult 1/3 of the voting public at any given time I find myself thinking about this 80s tune more and more. Cult of Personality by Living Colour. Other than some iconic guitar work the song brings an amazing message that is applicable as much today as ever.

Let’s look at the lyrics.

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I’ve been everything you want to be
I’m the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality

We see right off the bat that they are talking about politicians, and get the hint that the lyricist doesn’t trust them.

Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
Then a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your T.V.
I’m the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me

President Obama won the Nobel Prize before he really did much in office, and that’s fine, it doesn’t bother me just a ton. The majority of former Presidents and some world leaders are given the Nobel Peace Prize and hey, Nobel committee, good for you, but if this is a “given” just for being elected does that make the prize a huge deal or just a “oh here ya go” kind of thing (at least the Peace Prize, as someone with a degree in Physics, the other prizes really matter).

I tell you one and one makes three
I’m the cult of personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality

Now they are letting us know that politicians who are being voted for because “well that’s my guy” can say just about anything and get away with it, and expect their followers to just believe it. How often have we seen flatly untrue things said during this election and people believe it. Far too many in my opinion.

Neon lights a Nobel Prize
A leader speaks, that leader dies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set you free

Go back to the refrain. Just for a reminder.

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your own god’s name
I’m every person you need to be
Oh, I’m the cult of personality
I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of
I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of personality

Politicians are trying to be everything to everybody. They can’t be. Leaders do what is the right thing to do, not the popular thing. They have limited powers, despite all the Presidential contenders promising to “lock people up” for reasons we don’t completely fathom (we have a thing called due process). We have allowed them to become these cults of personality, we have given them power, fame, fortune, and yes, some people hold certain ones above God.

If you haven’t seen it, head over to YouTube and watch the video.

Re-read of DragonLance Chronicles Book 2 is done

I have been re-reading the DragonLance Chronicles series for the first time since the 1980s. I first discovered these books when only 2 were available and had to wait for the 3rd to hit the market. I actually remember finding them to this day.

I was at a mall in Dallas, I’m sure my Dad dropped me off for a while with instructions to meet him at a specific time (I didn’t have a driver’s license yet). I had some cash and it was time to chill out, and the mall had an arcade so I was good to go.

I wandered around for a bit before I went to the arcade, hit the bookstore (yes I am that guy) bought the first two books thinking they would be kinda cool and headed to the arcade.

After playing video games until I ran out of quarters (saving enough for a coke) I headed to where Dad was going to pick me up. I probably had an hour or something left.

I remember the books sucked me in from the very start.

The characters are relatable, and likable and the good versus evil is compelling.

Everything about the books just work. The politics is even relatable. You have elves versus humans (different political factions) versus dwarves, all thinking they know what is best for everyone. Each pushing those beliefs for “the good of all.” It was a depth I didn’t notice then but I do now.

The writing even shows what motivates the characters inside their fantasy world, it isn’t just blundering about from fight to fight. That is interesting today but as a teen helped me understand some people. Some are motivated by power, some by money, some loyalty and others just fun.

The books teach us (the younger and older readers who have forgotten) that working together we can defeat evil or overcome obstacles, but when we allow ourselves to be divided or pulled apart we have challenges.

It also shows that sometimes you have to think out of the box and get people’s attention no matter what. Tasslehoff Burrfoot is a prime example of this.

The writing is so good that at the end you can feel the emotional pain that people who survived the battle go through as they mourn their loved ones.

Now, I know some people will say it is kid stuff and I’m not a kid. I disagree this is a great read for anyone, even if you aren’t a huge fan of the fantasy genre. Give is a shot.

It will help you forget all about the daily challenges of life.

My copy isn’t nearly as nice as this picture, but I do have one with this original cover.

Please read and enjoy, and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman thank you for helping a teenager become a lifelong reader (eventually a writer myself) and helping me to understand the people I encounter in my daily life!

The Mandalorian – Star Wars Epic

I need to preface this with I am old enough that I saw the first Star Wars movie in the theater with my dad. I have very fond memories of that day. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before or since theatrically speaking.

To say that the Mandalorian has captured SciFi and Star Wars fans attention is to do it a discredit. The show has captured new viewers to the genre and generated one of the most popular (non political) memes in forever. Yes, Baby Yoda.

I have been watching the show as soon as I can as the episodes come out and I like them. What I find unique about them is that unlike the movies it allows us to get really in depth into a single character. That allows us to really understand what it is like in this make-believe Universe.

Even being directed by different directors the episodes just flow and hold together well. I think that spawns from them finding people who are not just seasoned directors but they also have people who are Star Wars fans behind the scenes. That and each episode can hold up on its own, so you can drop in a casual watcher and it holds.

The action is great, the special effects are great, there is very little I could think of to improve the show.

It even remembers to bring the funny. Because what parent can’t relate to the problems Mando is having with a toddler who has Jedi powers.

Lucifer – Great Entertainment

One of the tragedies of the pandemic shutdown (and this isn’t news to anyone) is the lack of production on television and movies.

They were halfway through a new season of one of my favorite (Lucifer) when everything stopped.

What is Lucifer you ask?

Well if you haven’t seen it Lucifer is now over on Netflix and the basic premise is what happens if the Devil gets bored down in hell and decides to “retire” from his eternal job.

He moves to Los Angeles, buys a night club (really nice one) hand helps the LAPD find criminals, because he kind of misses punishing people from time to time. Part time is fine but full time he’s kinda tired of.

Ok ok I get it, the premise is silly, and let’s face it a buddy cop show with the devil as a partner, how’s that gonna work.

Well it does.

Did I mention the bar he owns has lots of hot women/men is in virtually every episode and he delivers a series of one liners that are just hilarious?

For instance when looking at some suspects he sees a redhead.

His answer? “Oh how about that ginger chap, soulless bastards even give me the creeps.”

Ok it doesn’t work that well typed in a BLOG but on video…hilarious.

Add to that he gets upset when people scream out God (you know…women) and he’s forced to leave a good time because he and his dad (God) have a few issues.

If you haven’t seen it, and you have Netflix, watch the first two episodes, you won’t be sorry. Then drop me a line and tell me if you agree, disagree or if you think I am absolutely nuts.

World War 1 – Has much changed?

We have all sat and watched the news over the last decade and seen a reasonable amount of things change through that time. But have things changed that much fundamentally around the world?

I have been locked up (off and on) throughout the year due to COVID-19, and like many people have had to find things to do. One of the things that has occupied my time is working on a few writing projects (see the books area of this website) and reading a lot more.

One of the things I have been reading is about the history of World War 1, not just the battles but the politics of how it all started and I found a few things of interest.

First, it wasn’t just an assassination that caused it, that was the excuse but had that not happened something else would have kicked it off.

The largest contributing factor was really the way the world was governed at the time. There wasn’t really a democracy governing much of the planet besides the United States and a little bit in England (the Kind and Parliament were splitting duties a bit).

Mainly it was smaller countries not wanting to be governed by some aristocracy from some other nation. These aristocracies were made up of the same families just inheriting the governing position handed down from parent to child, and then these royal families would only marry into other royal families so at the time they were basically all cousins, half brothers, etc.

Now, we live in a world where, increasingly, if you aren’t born into a family with either a political background and therefore connections and family name recognition, or a family with tons of money and therefore less dependent upon donors you don’t stand a shot at being in leadership (and I’m not just talking about being President this goes to other offices as well).

Now, fast forward to 2021 in the USA and we are arguing about the validity of an election to fight over which person from this class of modern day aristocracy gets to be in charge.

Have we really changed or do we just call it something else now?

I’m not sure I’m smart enough to answer that question but I feel that it is one we must consider.

2021 versus 2020 and the next generation

So far 2021 is starting out just as stressful as 2020, and it has the potential to be either a disaster or to bring us out of the insanity. Too early to tell which way that’s gonna go.

One thing that happened in 2020 is the impact of everything on kids. Early in the calendar year late last school year in large numbers they were thrown out of their classrooms into distance learning with mixed results. Some kids thrived academically, some kids didn’t (this was largely down economic lines).

We had a curtailment of normal kid activities from sports to birthday parties. At a time when kids are learning the social skills we curtailed those skills, and let’s face it as a nation we have forgotten civility in many ways.

In 2021 we need to do better, and yes I mean for kids, however it goes further than that. We HAVE to be an example to the next generation, we have to be civil once again without regard to political party.

We must stop the name calling, we must stop the division, most of all in 2021 we have to learn how to have fun. Fun needs to be the name of the game, we need to relax, we need to be there for people in our lives without an agenda. Help your neighbor without thought of if it will immediately benefit you.

Let’s be adults again in 2021, and let’s enjoy ourselves, but stay safe all at the same time.

DragonLance Chronicles Volume 1

I have posted about my re-read of this series a few times. But I’m going to go through them book by book with some little mini-posts.

As you can tell I’m not using a stock photo of the book, that one is probably my second (or third) copy. The first one(s) having been loaned out and never returned. But it is an early one so it has followed me around for a long time.

I have recently been re-reading the DragonLance books, starting with the earliest of them written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Turn back the clock to 1985 when Dungeons and Dragons was a thing but not a massive thing, it was still on the growth swing.

These books were developed to basically be a DND party going through their adventures. They weren’t the lowest-level characters, but they weren’t the high-level ones they would become in later novels.

The books were, simply put amazing. I was 13 when they came out and starting to get to bookstores on my own (and still do but my wife won’t let me go alone anymore).

The first book Dragons of Autumn Twilight honestly begins with a bang. A group of friends return for a reunion and discover their peaceful meeting place had been taken over. They return to find war is about to break out and somehow, they end up meeting two barbarians who hold one of the objects that could cause the start of that war.

What I find fascinating about the book, and the author’s style is that it is compelling, I really want to turn pages as fast as I can, not sleeping until I am done. I remember when I first picked this book up in 1985 only two books in the series were available. I shot through them in a week, my dad shot through them in a weekend. It was the first book we really read together and talked about that you could tell my dad would have read without doing so for his kid.

Now, at the age of 40 something (ok late 40 something) I am re-reading them. I am instantly transported back into the land of Krynn and have a new, and different experience with them. Is it better? I certainly appreciate it more, and I also find that I strive to become a better writer myself as a result of the hard work that went into these novels.

Remember at this stage there were three books planned, so the reader knows the story is going to grow. The author has to set that hook in a way that gets you to come back for story 2 and 3, and in the case of DragonLance for many many more to come. This book achieves that goal in a huge way. It has the right level of detail without going nuts (I love George RR Martin but come on…his books can get dense).

Highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t read them to pick these books up and read them as quickly as you can. I don’t write in this genre but I can’t say that they haven’t influenced me. The way the authors intertwine the action and adventure sequences with the human story is amazing, and something many more authors should strive to do regardless of genre, for it is that human struggle that compels me to turn pages. The action matters, but the human side of the story turns a good book into a great book.

While you are here go click on the books page and check out some of my work. Have a great day! Thanks for visitin.

Land of Confusion – Song or Reality

I was a teenager when the band Genesis put out their song Land of Confusion. It still cycles through the radio from time to time and has a pretty solid cover version by the group Disturbed.

The Lyrics always stick in my head. At the time I took them to be a political statement on global leadership and how they should change or evolve. But now some 35 years later it seems to hold the same message. Has political leadership stayed the same or is that just the way the world is?

Let’s look at those lyrics and try figure it out. If you disagree with my interpretation please feel free to comment down below.

I must have dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They’re moving into the street

Here they seem to be indicating soldiers, or anyone who has seen trauma such as riots, are haunted by those images. I have been haunted by the screams they say. I myself am a veteran, I know many, and some of us are still haunted. I know at the time Vietnam vets were still coping (and some still are). Now we have war on terror challenges as well.

Now, did you read the news today?
They say the danger has gone away
But I can see the fire’s still alight
They’re burning into the night

They say look at the news, there is some new giant danger coming to kill us. Well the last year and a half has certainly had a lot of that. But honestly, the last 20 years has had nothing but news trying to scare us with real, and sometimes overblown dangers.

There’s too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there’s not much love to go around
Can’t you see this is the land of confusion?

Between news stories that are inaccurate because they went out without all the information to more and more violence overseas and at home, there are a lot of people, and a lot of problems, and not a ton of love. We need to try love more is what Genesis is saying, and honestly that isn’t a bad idea, even today.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in

Between pollution, disease, litter, and other issues…Yeah we are still working on this one.

Oh, Superman, where are you now?
When every thing’s gone wrong somehow?
Men of steel, these men of power
I’m losing control by the hour

We are always looking for that one person, that one leader that can fix it all. 1/3 of the country falls immediately behind this person and criticizes anyone they perceive as not fully supportive. Only problem is no leader is perfect, and we can’t be 100% behind anyone ever or you get Stalinlike governments. We should question power, we should question leaders and understand that not everything they do is perfect.

This is the time, this is the place
So we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go around
Tell me why this is the land of confusion

We are always trying to build a better tomorrow, there is always the promise of the future, but when does that future arrive?

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in

I remember long ago
When the sun was shining
And all the stars were bright all through the night
In the wake up this madness, as I held you tight
So long ago

Everyone seems to have that bright spot in their past they remember fondly. I know I do, and I have sought a return to that “simpler time,” don’t bother. That was then this is now.

I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know we’ll never keep

Every generation promises to fix it. So that’s not new, it felt new then, but it has happened forever.

There’s too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there’s not much love to go around
Can’t you see this is the land of confusion?

Now, this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for

This is the world we live in
And these are the names we’re given
Stand up and let’s start showing
Just where our lives are going to

I think Genesis spoke to a generation, and I think that generation has been trying to not be the one to repeat this pattern. I also think that some of these things are just the nature of the world we live in. It is confusing, it is huge, and it is full of challenges, and Genesis found a way to make us think about those challenges.

I love the song, and both videos, the original by Genesis and the new one by Disturbed.