What I have cooking.....

I've been having a little bit of a hard time getting back into the swing of things regarding my next novel since the worst of the cold from hell has passed (If you haven't had it yet, you will).

I decided to write this little piece outlining the themes I am looking to incorporate into the novel and hopefully it will start the creative juices flowing.

The story, if my shameless self-promotion campaign has somehow eluded you, introduces the character of Miles Torvalds as a young man with a serious problem.

His mother is dying of cancer.

The story is set in the not too distant year of 2021, and technology has evolved.

It has also further become a barrier from life to those that seek to use it as such, and liberating to those that can wield it's awesome power.

For instance, modern medicine has progressed to the point where certain cancers are cureable.

More importantly, the form of cancer that is slowly dragging Miles' mother into a early grave is cureable.

No problem, right? Wrong.

Natural miracles are free, those crafted by the hand of man are quite often not.

The Torvald's have medical insurance, but the greed of insurance companies is apparently not as easily cured as cancer. Miles pursues all legal and obvious avenues to help his mother to no avail.

So, reluctantly he decides to give up and resigns himself to the fact that his mother will not see another Christmas.

Well, if you believe that, you don't know Miles very well. Don't worry, if you choose to take this little journey with me, you will.

The exhaustion of legal options does put him at a crossroads of his life. His mothers illness has taken a toll on his father, who now manages to appear more tired and weak than his dying mother.

He wants to see his parents laugh again. He wants to hear more of his mothers boundless optimism for his future without it being tinted with the regret that she will likely not be there to see it.

They have always told him that he would do great things.

Well, one persons greatness is another persons villainy. All that is left is for him to decide who will hate him when the dust settles.

Will it be the "system"? The faceless puppeteers that control the fortunes of millions by having the resources to shape policy and deflect guilt?

Or will it be himself? His family could never hate him for not excommunicating himself, but he would always know that he left options on the table to save his mother. How could he look himself in the mirror every day knowing he didn't do everything he could?

That decision is the crux of the novel. His choice comes early in the book, and I don't think that it takes a rocket scientist to see which way he is leaning.

Of course, those of us outside the dark reach of the situation can cheer him on to his life as a fugitive from the safety of the other side of the page.

The simple fact is it is more entertaining to watch someone do courageous things that we might not have the guts to do ourselves, to imagine ourselves doing them and glean some semblance of pride in the ability to visualize our role in a fictional characters accomplishments than to lay our own freedom on the line.

The small matter of planning how to steal a large sum of money, actually pulling it off, then getting away with it long enough to use it to fund his mothers life saving surgery will sure be plenty fun for us to watch, sadists that we are.

I want to invest you in his actions, his choices, because this novel is not the end of Miles story.

He plays a large part in my upcoming novel "d.o.mai.n", and the story of how he became the person depicted in that novel is, I believe, a fascinating story.

I want to make you ask yourself the same questions that Miles has to ask himself, to be weighed down by the gravity of the consequences from the safety of your own imagination.

I want you to realize that the fictional world I offer is no different than our own in the sense that often there are no right answers, only a choice between acceptable losses.

I want you to feel guilty along with Miles, I want you to share pride in his successes, to feel you have a stake in his plans, and be halved by his losses.

Oh yes, there will be losses.

You cannot tread in the footprints of a power you don't understand without attrition.