Couple big writing updates:
1) It’s been awhile since I posted an update on my current project, A Season of Rendings. I have been busting my butt on this book this year, and in the last month or so I’ve really gone into overdrive. Last time I think I said I was planning to have it out this year. This is usually about the time I crawl back and have to admit that I won’t make my goal. Not this time.
Barring acts of nature, A Season of Rendings will be available on Kindle by the end of December. This is me, reiterating the previous goal and even doubling down on it. Mark it in the history books! And just to put my money where my mouth is, watch for it to become available for pre-order right around the end of September.
2) I’ve decided to make it my primary goal for next year to produce two full-length novels. That might not sound like a big deal in a context where self-published authors are producing 6 – 15 books a year, but these will not be formulaic romance novels designed to turn a quick buck. These will be real Adam J Nicolai books, of the kind you know and love. I’m not just pulling this goal out of my rear, either: I did real maths!
I see that look on your face. I wouldn’t believe me either, given my track record. But this is me, promising: by end of December next year, there will be three new books on Kindle written by yours truly. One of them will be A Season of Rendings. One will be book 3 in the Redemption Chronicle, tentatively titled Of Dark Things Waking. The last will be something new. I’ve got four ideas for that last one. I’ll let you know which one I go with as the time draws closer.
“Sea level rise” is such an innocuous phrase. It sounds like the coming in of the tide, like it will creep up on us slowly. Like we’ll be able to look out our windows and say, “Yep, it’s higher. Might be time to think about building a levee . . . or maybe moving.” It implies all the time in the world – or at least enough to safely react.
I spent my early adult years thinking this way. Now I realize it’s not like that at all.
The sea level won’t rise calmly, like a filling bathtub, and our coasts won’t recede gently. They will spasm beneath the onslaughts of storms like we’ve never seen before, suffering devastation that leaves them permanently deformed. The sea won’t “rise” so much as it will pounce, borne inland by superstorms and Cat 5 hurricanes.
When I saw pictures of New Orleans underwater during Katrina, Haiti and New York underwater during Sandy . . . when I see the pictures today of Houston underwater because of Harvey and as we all brace for the horrors sure to be delivered by Hurricane Irma, I don’t think, “My god, look at the flooding.” I think, “This is a glimpse of the future. This is what the new coastline will look like.”
It is happening. It is happening as we speak, before our eyes, the world over. It is happening just as the world’s climatologists predicted it would, and it is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.
Twin Peaks: The Return is over. I didn’t think it could affect me like it used to. I thought I was older and more grounded now, and that’s still all true, but I won’t lie: the ending left me profoundly unsettled. My mind is whirling and I’m actually reticent to go to sleep tonight for fear of what I might dream.
The horror of Twin Peaks is its power to meticulously dismantle every norm, to deconstruct reality and turn things literally backwards until you are left wondering what is real; if anything is real at all. And not in a cool Matrix-ey way but in a horrible, “Oh my god the shattered pieces of my mind are crumbling through my fingers” kind of way.
The show’s final episode forces you to ask, “Is he real?” “Is this really happening?” and “Are they actually there?” until you abandon your demands for a rational reality, just digging in your fingernails and hanging on for dear life. It’s a precarious state to enter, and you can’t just turn it off when the show ends.
For the last 25 years Dale Cooper’s doppelgänger’s last question (“How’s Annie?”) has haunted me. For the next 25, the last question of Dale Cooper himself may very well do the same.
Well played, Mr. Lynch. Well played indeed.
Trump spoke out against white supremacy today. He gave a speech calling them “repugnant” and referred to them by name – the KKK, the neo-nazis, white supremacists. Good news, but when I break it down I’m not inclined to believe it was heartfelt. Why?
Well, how much time do you have?
— It was two days late.
— It was delivered with “all the enthusiasm of a hostage video” (this quote from Walter Schaub, Trump’s own former ethics chief).
— It was tele-prompted, which means someone else wrote it for him.
— It came only after enormous pressure from other Republicans.
— It *still* hedged, if you listened to it carefully. “As I said Saturday…” and “As I’ve said before.” Except he’s never made an absolute black-and-white denouncement like this before. Never. Which comes off like a weak dog whistle buried in the noise: “Don’t worry, guys, they’re twisting my arm but I’ve still got your back.”
— It still didn’t directly repudiate their support of him or their use of his name.
— He didn’t tweet it. He’s made 4 tweets today, none of them repudiating white supremacy, and every single human being knows that when he really means something, he tweets it.
— It was sandwiched in between two other appalling actions: a tweeted insult against Ken Frazier (the black man who quit the president’s advisory council over the speech on Saturday), and a threat to pardon Joe Arpaio (the Arizona sheriff who defied a court order instructing him to stop racially profiling people for potential deportation).
There is still some good news here, though. His DoJ is investigating. He was forced to come to the microphone and speak the words they wrote for him, which shows his will can be bent. His approval rating took another shellacking for his sniveling equivocations over the weekend, dropping to 34% in the latest Gallup poll (!!). A campaign to make him prove what he said by firing white supremacists Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka is gaining steam, fueled by Trump’s own speech. Outside of the Trump administration, a social media campaign to identify, doxx, and punish the alt-righters who beat Deandre Harris half to death is working incredibly well, and The Daily Stormer, the Nazi website, was dumped by their host (GoDaddy).
But this isn’t a Grinch story. Trump’s heart is just as shriveled and black as it was on Saturday. Yes, the words passed his lips– a lot of words have passed this guy’s lips–but I’m not fooled by them. I’m not breathing a sigh of relief. I look at his actions, and it’s obvious the words he spoke were exactly that: