Work in Progress: World Without Work

I’m just getting started on a novel classified as speculative fiction or sci fi, with a tinge of medical thriller.

Synopsis: In the near future, we no longer need to work. Artificial Intelligence systems have integrated fully, relieving humanity from all burdens:  farming, medicine, childcare, everything. Until a new disease creeps into Taylor’s city. The AIs fail to act and human physicians haven’t existed for generations. To save her sister from this unknown plague, Taylor must solve this medical mystery by reviving the old traditions of learning, investigating, and experimenting.

Here’s how I envision Taylor:

A bit of inspiration for this future world:

And some background research on what we can expect in the near future:

If you had unlimited free time, what would you do with it? And how long could you do it before you’d get bored?

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Work in Progress: Emmeline’s Spellbook

I’ve always wanted a beautiful old spellbook, a truly magical one, with spells that would solve the problems I face every day. Maybe if an owl had brought me a Hogwarts invitation,  I would believe enough in magic to look for it. Alas, he must have gotten lost, and my belief in magic waned. But my longing for this book still remained.

I took Toni Morrison’s advice: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I compiled the life lessons I have learned (most of them the hard way), combined them with magical creatures and language to create tangible visuals, and wrote my own spellbook full of techniques that really work.

“Emmeline’s Spellbook: Banishing Demons and Nurturing Your Magic” is a new adult self-help book with a supernatural glow. The book tackles familiar issues, such as letting go of old embarrassments, dealing with social parasites, and handling anxiety.

For example, Should Wraiths are those nagging thoughts of where you should be in life by now. You can quiet them using the My Own Drum spell, which blends the act of drumming with a simple incantation. Each resolution includes sound advice paired with concrete actions. The magical language of demons and spells allows the advice to be more fun than demeaning, more quirky than preachy.

The book is structured around Emmeline’s journey in magic and in life. She first learns to wield her internal powers, speaking with authority and presenting herself well. As she progresses, she collects spells on dealing with others. During a rest period, she learns to honor her Web of Instinct. The spells address deeper issues as Emmeline’s magic matures.

Professional illustrations blend with the 30,000 words to create a spell book that is both beautiful and insightful.

Here’s a bit of my inspiration for Emmeline’s Spellbook:

 

What regular plague do you wish could be solved with a magic spell? Let me know in a comment.

Work in Progress: Lilly in South America

I have a new adult novel in progress. It would probably be classified as chick lit.

Synopsis:

 

Lilly’s world is lacking. She lacks money, time, and the ability to seek anything better for herself. At age 20, her future looks as bleak as her mother’s. In an effort to shake up her stalled out life, Lilly jumps at the opportunity to go to South America with her new boyfriend. In Argentina, Lilly meets a cast of characters who teach her how much she has to offer the world.

Faye wants more for her daughter, Lilly, but is wrapped in her own anxiety and depression. Clutching tightly to her meager possessions and to Lilly, she cannot see the damage her unresolved issues create.  While Lilly is away, Faye confronts the past when it knocks on her door.

Here’s Lilly’s character board:

Faye also has a character board:

And Rex, Lilly’s boyfriend, deserves a board of his own:

This novel doesn’t have a name yet. Ideas?

 

Am Reading: Neuromancer

I had to take a break from Atlas Shrugged. The story is fantastic, but the constant waves of despair were taking a toll.

I tried On the Road for a bit. Kerouac left me speaking in a smooth jazz-cat rhythm for a few days, but the words alone were not enough to hold me captive. I want the rich, complex story that I can dissolve into.

I re-read an old favorite: Island of the Blue Dolphins.

And now, another classic that I missed along the way: Neuromancer. The cyberpunk original created a vocabulary that helped us see the world in a new way: cyberspace, the Matrix…

I’m taking notes on the complex future world-building. Gibson pulled this off beautifully. I’m filing this one as “inspiration of effective techno world building for my novel.”

Am Reading: Getting to Know John Galt

I’m still catching up on some classics that I missed along the way. Like The Picture of Dorian Gray, I should have read Atlas Shrugged ages ago. It’s awesome. The characters have such depth, and the plot holds the right amount of mystery versus disclosure. I’m loving it. But no spoilers, please. I’m smack in the middle of it right now.

I don’t need to reach the end to know this book belongs on my Books I Love list. Adding it now.