Thursday, March 17, 2011

Help Japan, Dystopian Lit, and What's Next, Maybe.

Outside: A balmy 46, but headed to 52
Listening to: Big in Japan, Alphaville. Want to take a trip back to the 80's? Click the picture to watch the official video on youtube :) Am so digging their hair.
Reading: XVI by Julia Karr and Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock
Breakfast: Oh feta omlette, how I have missed you!

Japan is one of those places that's been on my list of destinations to see before I die, and a piece of me that dies every time I see footage of what's going on over there. Not just because I wonder if the trip my cousin and I talked about for sometime in the next year will happen (for the record, I WILL get there), but because of the absolute and inevitable devestation, and moreso, the human audacity, courage... heartbreak. To me, everyone in that crisis zone is a samurai.

In the last week, several auctions have sprung up in the writing community--writers helping other writers helping the folks struggling to survive. All of them have different things to offer. Authors for Japan has winning bidders make their payments directly to their charity of choice, the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Char and I will be participating in the WRITE HOPE auction which should be up and running in the next week or so. Why bid on our lot (which I will duly plug when it's up)? You'll get a pile of Sirenz swag, a music CD from the band that produced our upcoming book trailer and a DOUBLE crit of the synopsis and first three chapters of your manuscript. And since Char and I are noobies, you'll have enough money left over for a Blood Magic ARC :) Proceeds will go to Save the Children.

Yesterday when I visited the Elevensies, author Tommy Greenwald posted another site Kidlit4Japan organized by the folks at SCBWI New England. Proceeds from these auctions will go to Save the Children and UNICEF USA Fund.

This isn't the first time that writers have banded together to help in a crisis, and unfortunately--because who wishes for these things to happen?--it won't be the last. This got me thinking about some other stuff that's kind of related...

My agent's most recent blog posting was about Dystopian Lit (click here to read!), and why it's growing in popularity. I agree with her assessment--in the microcosm of the novel the characters, now in survival mode, lose (eventually) their trappings, hang ups, preconceptions, and sometimes faith. Then the self--who you really are with no BS--becomes the #1 value. For anyone, this is gold (know alot of adults, self included who need to just let things go). For an adolescent, it's platinum. It's priceless. 

I would like to add another layer to this--perhaps it is because of the times we're living in that Dystopian is coming into its own. Could it be that with all the upheaval in the world--wars, coups, disasters, natural and man--a post apocolyptic world could seem quite real, and perhaps, quite near?

Along side my next 2011 Debut Author Challenge Book I'm reading Fingerprint of the Gods. VERY simplified--it's about earth formation and connections between ancient cultures (similar mythologies on opposite sides of the globe--how?). Among the many theories presented is the idea that ancient civilaiztions had access to advanced technologies--for measuring time and earth changes. One thing that is standing out to me is the idea of celestial mechanics--that the movements of the planet have physical effects on the earth. Kinda makes sense, even if you just take the moon's gravitational pull on our tides as an example of such an effect. Apparently, this is happening now. 

The way it's described in the book--and again, this is WAY oversimplified so read the book--every 2000 years or so, we move from one age to the next, the ages labeled ala the signs of the zodiac. We are moving from the age of Pisces into the age of Aquarius (go head, insert HAIR theme song). I haven't read about the significance of what entering the Age of Aquarius means, but here are a couple of points the author made that stuck in my now-blonde head:
  • The transition period of one age ending and another beginning is marked by the precise alignment of planets that only happens every 2000 years give or take.
  • Said alignment causes physical changes in the earth, which marks the transition of age to age. The last transition took place around the time Vesuvius blew... 
  • That said, how many earthquakes/tsunamis/disasters (some of our own making--there is a theory in the book about the earth's core that can be related to what's going on with that oil spill in the gulf, BTW)--have we experienced in the last year?
  • Now if each of these ages lasts longer than anyone living now would have been able to witness, how would we ever know what to expect except from whatever was recorded--IF it could be recorded--and what evidence was left behind and untouched (because lets face it, we humans, we like to mess with things).
All theories of course, but food for thought. In the mean time, carpe diem and lets stick together! Bid. Donate. HELP.


  1. You may be interested in my friend's blog - she talks about the timeline of the transition

  2. Wow--I am definitely going to have to read Fingerprints of the Gods. Great title, too. But I love how you've simplified some of the points. Really intriguing, no?

    Thanks for sharing,