Daily Prompt: Idyllic

What does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share?

Resistance, Norway What binds us is our love of life and aspiration for peace.  We are old and young, genders are equally represented: we hold councils – one member for twenty “residents” – every month, with a general assembly held every six months.  We have a small unarmed police force that reports to the council, it is there to protect the children and our older residents, if anyone threatens them.  We are tolerant of every creed and faith, of every sexual persuasion, providing children and vulnerable people are not put at risk.

This is a virtual community, although we are gradually buying some land for leisure activities and retreat.  The community is funded by its members, the residents, who contribute according to their means.   We value individuals’s right to privacy, to respect and equal status.  We have sworn to help those of us who need help because of poor health, age, or just bad luck.  We believe in the sanctity of the human body, and the eternity of the soul, and respect all religions.  Some of our members are wealthy, others are poor: we are all equal.

We do not bear arms, and several of us are veterans from recent or older wars.  We admire the Cathars, the Paris Commune and Spartacus. Our favourite novel is Stephen King’s The Stand.

#Diary of a #Writer – December 11

Pythagoras, SamosToday’s is a bright, frosty morning, perfect for writing. Sol, already near its zenith, is about to turn around the corner of the house, and for a couple hours the garden and my desk will be lit by the subdued colours of a clear winter sky. Small patches of frost-free grass appear along the hedge…

Characters and scenes are slowly falling into place, the novel has made more progress in the past two weeks than in the previous four months. The Angel helped a lot: one should never neglect one’s Angel. And I have been asking myself about this: if someone – deity, daemon or superior aliens (superior as in “wiser” than us and more experienced – “ancient” maybe) – is observing us, what do “they” see? What do they think of the way “we” persecute the weak, the poor, the lost, the other species – how we torture our world, incinerate cities, molest women and children, murder people with drones or other assassins, etc…? The liars of the politicians, the cowardice of the media, the greed of the powerful? What does it mean to “them”? How do “they” judge us, if at all? It may be that one day, a lovely winter day like this, we will get the answer we deserve to those questions. In the meantime is it right to make this a matter of fiction?

Turning the page, as this is only one of the many questions writers should ask themselves, I am simply happy the way things are going, as writing goes. A way was found to link the past to the present, actual or imagined, to marry reality to the dream, and the story feels the better for it – or at least I hope it will, to the readers. The books I have most admired are those that allow the reader some freedom of interpretation of one of the pivotal characters. For example in The Stand, Mother Abagail. She sees and never judges, and she appears powerless, and yet… In Snow Crash, Y.T., the kourier, Hiros’ not so secret love and guardian. So I have latched on one of those, and her character is developing well. There is a degree of ambiguity as to where her loyalty – or patience – lies, that is how long she’s prepared to witness the misbehaviour of the rest of us. The other characters are taking notice, fortunately for them and for the story, they will soon get out of themselves and their parochial prejudices, and see the light. So will I.

There is a lot of material to edit, some of which will be moved to the bin, as it should. How far am I to have a complete draft? Please note I did not write “first draft” since whatever there is has already been edited and rewritten at least twice! At this point I cannot predict, possibly till the summer, who knows! I am in no hurry to complete, but I want to make progress. The opposite is demotivating!

For those who refuse to live in the real world: #Booker Award!

 Well, my dear friend Marina Sofia, who somehow finds time to write, has honoured this sinner of the very special Booker Award, and that seems to be particularly aimed at book lovers, and perhaps poets: indeed I am a book worm, if not totally immersed in fictional worlds… I have to say that among my fellow nominees I feel humble and perhaps not quite worthy –  this being typical (male?) timidity… Thank you Marina, your blog is a haven of sanity and calm in this hectic world! You were nominated by Pat Wood, and I must thank you also for allowing me to discover Pat’s wonderful blog.

I order, I will list my five currently most favourited novels, admit to what I am reading now, and, finally, risk nominating five innocent book lovers I admire…

I wrote “currently favourites” which shows what an unstable book lover this blogger is! It is a fact that favourites do change in time, as one reads, re-reads, and discovers new horizons…

At present (restricting myself to novels I read in the English language only, in so specific order):

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity Rainbow

James Ellroy, The Cold Six Thousand

Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire

Stephen King, The Stand

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood…

Currently reading: Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao…

As to my five nominees – trying hard not to nominate readers already in receipt!

Donna B. McNicol, who writes her life, and is the inventor of the marvellously named Napping Blogger Award!

John Lavan, wondrous poet and world observer… who does live in reality!

Louise Hastings, the Wings of Beauty and the Phases of the Moon

Diana Lee, who sees life through beautiful eyes

Ash N. Finn, writer and survivor, a friend from Dublin.