The Internet Bill of Rights

1) If I do this thing I’m considering, will I make lots of money?

2) If it’s illegal, will I be able to avoid getting caught?

3) If I get caught, will my attorneys get me out of trouble for less money than I will make doing this thing I’m considering?

4) If it costs me a lot to get caught, can I somehow turn the scandal into some other profitable venture, like a book or a movie?

5) Will any of this negative or positive press help me get elected or re-elected?

6) If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then yours must be a darned good idea. Do it.


It sure feels true. If you can grow a company to be completely faceless, soulless, heartless, inhumane; then you can be stinking rotting rich.


Traditional versus Moral

A friend is getting married this weekend; a glorious life together awaits them. Only it’s not really waiting. They’ve known each other for several years, dated, co-habitated, learned each other’s foibles. In fact, they probably know everything about each other; how the other spends, saves, eats, cleans up, what their favorite TV shows are, buzz words that piss them off. Living together for a few years will do that. So now there won’t be any surprises when they are married.

This is a good thing.

Decades and centuries ago, when the modern traditions of marriage were formed, girls were often underage (by today’s standards) when they became married, so of course they were unaccustomed to living with a man, and knew nothing about adult stuff. Boys were typically older when they got married, maybe several years older than their new wives. I’m sure someone could get more specific than I am being, but the point is that the tradition of “waiting until you’re married” comes from a very different time.

Those times are gone. Girls don’t get hitched at 13 anymore (for the most part, I hope).  Men aren’t typically 12 years older than their new wives (but it does happen sometimes).  And with so much emphasis on me me me these days, a person never knows what a prospective spouse will act like until they are co-habitating. So it seems wiser, more moral, in our culture today to try things out for a period before getting married.

Maybe if more people tried that, the divorce rate would be lower. And maybe fewer children would be born into broken or soon to be broken homes.

Writing Assignment (Unwanted Gift)

If you dare, write a story or a scene where your character receives yet another gift from someone close to them, but it’s something your character does not want and cannot use. They have to either spend an inordinate amount of time planning what they will say to the gift giver, and be surprised at the response when they finally address the issue. Or the discussion about the gift with the gift giver goes terribly sideways, in a way that is either amusing or revealing of your character’s, er, character.

Let me know how it turns out!

Virtual Silence Character Profile: California Dream Wilson-Cox

Callie is probably the most complex character in Virtual Silence. She has to go on a long journey to find herself, to discovery who she really is. And when she comes to some conclusions about herself, she takes an even longer journey back home; gets lost, faces a monster, and gets rescued by a pistol-packing older lady.

Harry Bones thinks Callie is his girlfriend, but Callie isn’t even sure she’s straight. She mixes drinks at a sleazy bar in Oakland, but somehow feels at home there, at least temporarily.

The novel is about human beings finding their spot in a difficult world, but Callie’s story is perhaps the fractal microcosm of the bigger story. Too bad about her parents being total drug snorfs. Doink that!

Who is in Charge

I was listening to Fresh Air on National Public Radio again last night, as I am wont to do on my long commutes home. And they were interviewing a Roman Catholic bishop who was investigating a group of nuns regarding their national organization and yada yada yada. The politics of it was beyond me, as I am not a member of a church. But this bishop repeated over and over (in different terms each time, because he had a very nice vocabulary), that the Church does what it does because that’s what it has always done.

So I started thinking, do you have a right to believe what you want to believe? The bishop said you can leave and join another religion. He was trying really hard not to bash any other religions. But what if they are all kind of pig-headed? What if they are all stuck in their first century?

I do believe religions are strongly influenced by the culture of the time when they were created. But should they be flexible as times change?

In the time of Abraham, of Pilate, of Martin Luther (even Joseph Smith), women didn’t have the right to vote. Most religions were completely male-dominated. Now women can vote. They can be Prime Minister of England, US Secretary of State, maybe President of the US one day. Should old school religions continue keeping women out of the highest leadership roles?

Maybe women should start their own religion.

I’m curious to read your comments on this.

Fugue Update

My next novel, Fugue in C Minor, is almost to 38,000 words. My goal is 100,000 (so it’s easy to figure the percent to completion).

I have mentioned before that I keep a spreadsheet of events, timelines, characters. I noticed a loose end today and resolved it. It was a character who was important at one point in the book, and I never made a note regarding their fate. I fated them today.

Feeling . . . godlike.

Virtual Silence Character Profile: Simon DeMont

Simon was the first character I imagined for this book. In fact, the dream he has toward the end of the story is from a dream I had years ago.

Simon is the Key Screening Person (HR Director) for the Amalgamate United Corporate, which does so many things, for some many people (yada yada yada). He does the hiring, orientation, personnel reviews and firings. It’s his job to hold everyone’s professional fate in his hands and stand aloof, like he could not care less. But that’s just not his personality.

He’s also in love with Morgan Vale, but too scared to say anything, in case she thinks he’s gross or evil. Or worse, she could discover that he really does like Air Supply and Neil Diamond.