An author’s journey. Mindtravel is never restricted

Progress in completing the manuscript of the new adventure novel REBOUNCE was disappointing these two past weeks. Other obligations took time and effort: the marketing of TWO JOURNEYS (available e.g. as eBook $2.99, you can find it for instance at Apple Books) and FIELDS OF FIRE (available e.g. as paperback $19.99, for instance at amazon.com), needed urgent attention. In addition, I have been looking at ways to identify a publishing house and a literary agent; both of which take time. And I had a lot of other things to do too… taken together, all these distraction didn’t help to focus on corrections of the manuscript’s storyline. It still needs work; the flow and the action have to be smooth like silk.

So I have set up a rigid schedule, with specific times each a day (also weekends) dedicated to finalizing the corrections. After all, the aim is to publish five books in considerably less than five years… and that, to say it bluntly, is a challenge.

In any case, below is another tasty snippet from the new manuscript. Enjoy!

++++++++++REBOUNCE+++Draft+++Copyright+Clemens P. Suter+++++++++

We crossed the Swiss border and passed into the town of Basel. The road was four-lane, but soon we came to a traffic jam that disappeared into a tunnel underneath the northern site of the city. Like so many other tunnels, it had flooded with water shortly after the power-stations had shut down; most tunnels depended on continuously running pumps to stay dry. We had no other option than to maneuver through the narrow streets of the town, across the Rhine bridge, past the old city hall with its characteristic red façade, and from there in the direction of the railway station and the highway beyond. Francois insisted on getting some quality Swiss chocolate, so I parked the truck in an alleyway leading up to the Munster cathedral, a landmark of the town. I stood guard with the dogs, machine gun in my hand, pistols in my belt. Although the city seemed to be deserted, I still felt edgy and listened for sounds constantly.

Finally, Francois appeared again. I couldn’t help smiling, as he was lugging a cardboard box so heavy that the sweat was running down his face. “If I had known you were such a Luculus, we should have stayed in France.” He looked at me vacantly, clearly oblivious of the Roman dignitary famous for organizing lavish banquets. We boarded and continued towards the main station.

The curvy street had allowed only a single file of cars and only in one direction. Parked cars stood on the sides, many blocking the view of the sidewalks and the shops. I was driving slowly and both of us were checking our surroundings intently.

Suddenly a man appeared in the middle of the road. He wore army gear and a machine gun and raised his hand. I saw a couple of other men crouching down behind the parked cars. Although we had been expecting this to happen, we were still surprised, and Francois cursed underneath his breath.

With the bored air of a commanding officer, the man stepped up to our car and signaled me to lower the window. Francois and I had gone over possible scenarios, so it came as no surprise to see Francois steadying his machine gun towards the window. I quickly glanced back at the three dogs.

Je dois vous demander de sortir de la voiture.” Get out of the car, the man said.

“We have important information for your boss,” I said in English, “tell us where we can find him so that we can speak to him.”

“First get out of ze car. Leave your gunze in ze car.”

“I am not going to discuss this. We are not getting out of this vehicle, and we won’t disarm.” I looked ahead, pretending disinterest.

He seemed slightly astonished and considered his options. After a few seconds he spoke again. “Wher’ ar’ you ‘eading?”

“To your boss. Show us the way and we will talk to him.”

Silence followed. Without speaking, he turned around.

“There will shooting,” I said, “he seems to be in command, there is nobody he is going to ask for advice or commands. He will try to get us out of the truck.” Francois nodded. I checked the gas; the engine was still running. The officer withdrew behind the parked cars. We couldn’t see him or his companions. Somebody shouted. ”Get out of ze car, now!” To emphasize these words, one of the men fired a few shots at us, which cracked the windscreen. I would have been dead if the glass hadn’t been bulletproof. I opened the car door and grabbed Bo by the skin of his neck. “Show us what you can do, boy. Get them! Go! Go!” Enthusiastically, Bo clawed his way over my lap, his claws scratching my bare skin, and jumped to the ground. I didn’t have to say anything to the other two dogs, who immediately followed their leader. With their ears in their necks and low to the ground, the three dogs stormed forward and disappeared between the cars, silent and deadly like ghosts in the night. Francois and I jumped out of the vehicle too,  and staying low to the ground we quickly moved forward, one of us on one side of the street. A few shots were fired in our direction, but soon, shortly after a horrible growl, the shooting stopped.

Within seconds, we came upon the officer and two soldiers. The dogs had them pinned to the ground, snarling, holding their arms and necks. The officer tried to go for his pistol, but Lex released the man’s throat and went for his hand, his fangs closing on the man’s fingers. The officer’s face contorted from pain and panic. “Get him off, get him off!” he shrieked with an unnatural high-pitched voice.

Francois and I removed their guns and kicked them underneath the parked cars. I called the dogs back. Immediately they retreated and sat down beside me, liking their jowls. The officer held his bleeding hand close to his chest. “Wat ‘ave you dunn?” I kneeled next to him and took his hand. “You will need to get that hand taken care of, and your colleagues also need medical attention. Is there a doctor in your unit?”

He nodded.

“Get into your car and bring us to your medical staff.”

I helped him up, while Francois kept us covered with his gun. One of the men was still able to drive, and we put him in the driver’s seat of a small jeep they had parked around the corner. Francois got into the back with the officer. I took the dogs to our armored car.

A few minutes later we arrived at a hotel opposite of the central station. It was a stuffy, old fashioned place, with a guard just inside the door. He jumped to attention as I stepped in, and when he realized that I wasn’t a member of the staff, he attempted to raise his gun. I pulled the officer forward and the guard lowered his gun again, but he stared at the injuries of his comrades with considerable shock.

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Apple Books Reviews for TWO JOURNEYS

Rattle my Cage (a Poem)

Rattle my cage /

Rock my chair /

Open my door /

Pull my chain /

Don’t tell a lie /

Don’t harm a fly /

Don’t feed the dog /

Don’t spank the hog /

Empty my mind /

Leave me behind /

Let me be /

Just let me be.

 

 

 

Originally posted 2019-02-16 22:14:00.

Endless (a poem)

Horizon a long line running left to right

last star signing off

sunrise with all its might

cold morning air with all sounds subdued

desert mountains and sky bluest hued

engine starts with a roar

pedal to the metal

motel disappears behind

the endless road forever on my mind

 

 

Originally posted 2019-02-02 20:38:00.

Party time! Are YOU on the list of people invited to my birthday party? If not, drop me a note!

Poem: “My Birthday Invitees

Harry, Dean and Maren /

Susie, Susette and Bret /

Georgina, Walter and Karen /

James, Jimmy and Ted /

Tilda Swinton, Ganesh, Paris and Klaus /

George Kennedy, Filippe and his mouse /

Jenny and Fran  /

Luc and Dan /

Jimbo, Claude-Ulrich and Hans /

And that lesbian couple we met on vacation in France /

That woman from the telly /

That fat guy with the belly /

Carol and Freddie /

Maria and Eddy /

Jenny, Tim, Nathalie and their dog /

Donald, Denise, little Kevin and his frog /

Ivanka and Melania for good measure /

Let’s not forget Grandma the old treasure /

Paulie and Pauline /

Bernie and Sien /

Angela, Angelina, Angel and the Devil /

Benjamin Britten and Axel Rose /

The loudspeaker inventor Bose /

Barbara, Marni and Cynthia Nixon /

Schubert, Schumann and Pi /

And let’s not forget the neighbors… and me /

***************

Top Tip. Get Great Adventure eBooks on Your iPhone. Hey, presto!

Originally posted 2019-01-26 22:32:00.

REBOUNCE teaser – sixty second read

REBOUNCE will be the final installment in the TWO JOURNEYS trilogy. An adventure story set in a post-pandemic, dystopian world.

*********************  Sample **********************

Large numbers of birds nested in the trees and their song was deafening. There was no farming in this area anymore, and the live animals that roamed the plains, or their corpses that rotted in the open air, led to an explosive increase in the numbers of insects. We had to remove the dead bugs from the car’s windshield twice a day, something that I only remembered my father talking about. Depending on our location, mosquitos and flies were so abundant that at times they overwhelmed us, getting into our nostrils and ears by the dozens. We constantly suffered bites and stings and the resulting itching drove us mad. The insects drove the animals wild too. The abundance of insects positively affected the numbers of birds and bats. I imagined that the world was now returning to the wildlife situation prior to the  nineteenth century – naturally without the species that mankind had eradicated in the interim. I wondered about climate change too. With the pandemic, the release of carbon-dioxide caused by humankind’s activities had come to a sudden stop. At the same time, most of the land that had been used for agriculture before the pandemic was now being reconquered by bushes and trees. This rich vegetation tied carbon-dioxide down in the form of biomass. Although it was too early to tell any difference, I suspected that the Earth’s average temperature would slowly start to decrease, leading to colder winters, the refreezing of the polar caps, the reappearance of the large glaciers, lowering of the sea levels and an end to desertification.

The first two novels of the TWO JOURNEYS trilogy. Get you copy in any internet bookstore, in any format.

How to prepare during the Corona Covid19 virus epidemic, or any flu-like outbreak or pandemic.

[Originally posted in February 2020]. Corona virus is a new flu-like virus. A number of challenges are associated with such new types of viruses:

  • Like with any virus, antibiotics will not help.
  • There are no vaccinations available for such new viruses as they appear.
  • Especially people with weakened immune systems are at risk (elderly, children or people with health conditions). But anyone can become sick, and also a source of infection (even before any symptoms occur).

Simple measures can reduce your risk of contracting such viruses, and will help stem the spread. These tips are common practice even in the absence of a new virus: the common flu causes ~400,000 deaths each year (source).

  • Frequently wash hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or warm water and soap (my extra tip: don’t shake hands with anyone)
  • Cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing. Don’t sneeze in your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough
  • Seek early medical help if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share travel history with healthcare providers
  • Avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals when visiting live markets in affected areas
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products and exercise care when handling raw meat, milk or animal organs to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods. My extra tip: revisit your shopping, cooking, and eating habits – these viruses stem from animals like pigs and poultry. E.g. Corona virus originated from a fish market.
  • Lead a healthy life. Eat vitamin rich foods, don’t drink alcohol, don’t  smoke, get sufficient sleep, and spend time outdoors.
  • keep surfaces clean (use alcohol, bleach or soap). Viruses may survive on surfaces for days, so cleaning will help to protect you. Also regularly open the windows to replace the air.

Part of this information originates from this article in the Guardian.
It is advisable to stay up to date on the epidemic: how is your area affected, what do your local health authorities communicate? Best is to select a reliable, down to earth news channel – not a gossipy scaremonger: panic and half truths don’t help. Official government sites are good sources, most good media will use that information. Regularly check the Corona site from the World Health Organization, which explains in detail the best way to act and most up to date status www.who.int/COVID-19.Diseases such as the flu are seasonal, peaking (in the northern hemisphere) in February. The passing of time supports eradication and there is some chance this may be in our favor – although at this stage this is not completely confirmed for corona (SARS-CoV, Covid-19 or 2019-nCoV).

At this moment, the mid and long term economic impact of the epidemic is hard to determine. Listen to the CNBC interview with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. She cautioned against comparing this outbreak to the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s. Not only is COVID-19 different than SARS, but eg China and the world economy has changed (China only represented 8% of the world economy in the early 2000s and now makes up a 19% share). Corona may turn out to be very disruptive for investors, reflected in my advice here.

It makes sense to check whether you still have enough emergency supplies in your home – which you should do regularly anyway. After all, during an epidemic you may be forced to spend considerable time indoors. Here’s a list that I find useful. I try to add some variation in my emergency stocks; eating peanut butter three times a day for two weeks can get on your nerves. I have enough space, so I stock dozens of cans with food and sufficient water; enough to last us two weeks. Think about your pet as well.
A stock is created slowly over time. Stocking of food and panic buying are NOT the same. Panic buying ironically creates shortages and empty shelves. In any situation, panic is a poor advisor, so keep your cool. Consider the wellbeing of others.

C lick here for information about my adventure novels Two Journeys and Fields of Fire, which deal with a global pandemic.

 

Originally posted 2020-02-15 22:18:54.