Dear Dairy…… (Dystopian Diaries)

I’m writing a dystopian novel, called “There Said There Was…….“. Actually, there’s more to the title, but I have to keep that top secret, so that Big Brother doesn’t find it, and haul me away, for suspicious lack of Groupthink cooperation, with his big plans to make the world a better place, his way. So I’ve hidden the rest of the title away somewhere he and his troops can’t find it, until it’s too late. They’ll try to burn it, when they discover it, of course, as being dangerously free in its use of language (even a title can be deemed A Dangerous Idea), and ideas that aren’t officially sanctioned. The frightened global villagers will probably help build the bonfire, and throw in a few more books, just to enjoy the blaze, in these times of deprivation, and they’ll want to keep on the right side of him, as he can get rather strict, and punish those who don’t obey. They love that about him, actually. It’s so paternally firm.

They’ll try to burn your books too, as the rumour is that’s the next step in the plan, and already implemented in some places, but if you want to keep your stories, for when they are to be read, perhaps you’ll have to find hiding places for them, away from Big Brother’s All Seeing Eye, that wants to censor everything that doesn’t fit in with the Brave New World‘s agenda, and keeps close watch over us all, for everyone’s benefit. Possibly not for yours, though. So, find a cubby hole, then, to squirrel away your thoughts, if you are one of those resisters who still like to think, without the approval or permission of the group, because your story will be important some day, very soon, as others have been that went before you. You might give someone else hope, that interesting thoughts are still allowed, outside the plan, or at least give them a backstage peep behind the scenes, in the big pageant that Big Brother has organised for the public, with great rolling fanfares for inducing excitement and fear, alternately, in the masses under his thumb, or enthralled by his masterly tactics, in the civic warfare that constitutes daily life now.

Your story is important. Whoever you are. You were here at a moment when His (Big Bro’s) great plan was blazing like a firebrand, scorching through all your lives, and the thumb screws were being tightened, the racks prepared for the ongoing pageant, the scapegoats being hunted down for the ceremonial events, while The Resistance were being whisked away, behind the scenes, for other nasty surprises, like punishments for thinking, and thinking you’ll get away with writing about it, secretly. Every detail of your diary is proof of how Big Brother’s plan is meant to play out, and what that means in individual peoples’ lives, and you must preserve these records, at all costs. Be sneaky, and find a way to hide your story, out of reach. Give them to a friend, if you must, or hide copies, for distribution, lest Big Brother find a way to whisk you out of sight, if he spots you are writing dangerous ideas of your own down, so that you do not infect others, with your notions of freedom, and your own ideas, and doing your own thing, and seeing things in your own way; all that dangerous nonsense that won’t be tolerated any more. You know already his inducements to go along with what he wills for you, and just how harsh they can be, from having the screw turned on your own hand, and you’ve felt those screws tightening painfully, ’till you wondered would he finish you off, with no mercy, after all?

……..A pandemic.

He enjoys all the pain and humiliation rituals, does Big Brother, our caring pater, as it keeps the sycophants and enablers on board. It brings him joy to offer scapegoats to point the finger at, to his faithful enablers, and see them blamed for all the woes. They cannot yet silence you, or stop you from writing it down. Not until they find the books, to burn them, to eliminate the idea of freedom, and they’ll come for your diary, then, too, so you must hide it, or encode it cleverly somehow, if it is easy to spot, for destruction by the troops. They will seek you out, to destroy you, and your stories. History needs your story, though, all the details of what Big Brother did, to you personally, and the people in your life. Don’t be afraid to write it down. We are The Resistance, and will always survive, even if and when they kill us. Keep that under your hat too, because Big Brother won’t find it there, if you refuse to take your thinking hat off, and bow and scrape before his image, daily, prostrating yourself for his pleasure, to get him salivating at the sight of your raw pain, stretched tight on his torture rack. He wants you to beg to do his bidding. Write instead. Keep writing, even if you think you can’t write. You have your story to tell. Keep notes, stick in pictures, or draw, keeping track of events, and what you think of them, especially if you fear you can’t capture it in words. Try. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. It’s just important to you to have a voice, even in secret, until you can pass it along, and it’s important to the next wave of resistance, that will know that you spoke about it. If enough of you do it, you’ll be heard. Big Brother is sending troops out to remove the records, now, but we must create new ones, so write it, keep writing it, and then hide it, where someone will find it when they need to read it.

Write about the small things, as well as the big picture, or instead, because the small things are not small. You are not small. Not insignificant. It is your story. You are history, even if only a passing note, and the more of you that write it down, the better history will remember what Big Brother did, in your life, in your world. What he did to you, and how he put the boot in your face, daily, and you were supposed to shut up and follow his orders, and kiss the boot that kicked you. Write it all down. It may be the only chance you get, to tell the next wave of the Resistance (there are always others, so do not feel alone), before they eliminate you, as unnecessary to the implementation of the big plan for the Brave New World. Someone will read it, after you smuggle it out to The Resistance, and be glad you wrote it. If they aren’t, well, you still got to speak, and that counts for something, in the fight for freedom.

A famous diarist’s diaries, free https://www.planetebook.com/1984/

They Said There Was… “A new dystopian futuristic science fiction novel by Donna Emerald, is out now on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle editions. But, ‘cos I know Big Brother’s reduced many of you to penury, it’s free here on the blog, for subscribers to read, and even download, if you need to hide in a cupboard to avoid Big Brother’s eye on you. This is my second novel (the first one, “The Q Affaire”, is in both places, too).

Start writing now. It’s completely free to self-publish on Amazon, and I’ll even help you get it to print, if you want to spread your ideas, before someone decides you can’t speak at all. Or just keep a journal, scrapbook, or diary, with your thoughts. Thoughts are still legal, even if you have to hide them, to be able to spread the word that freedom is not a defunct idea, even in a dystopian world.

“They Said There Was…”

They Said There Was a Pandemic

After reading the Irish headlines this morning, I was angry. Restrictions extended, yet again, after promises that it would all go away, if we played along, did our part, lined up, took our medicine, followed instructions. The truth began to sink in, eventually, that it might be a little game that Big Brother’s quite enjoying playing, since he wants to keep it up, although most complied with all the guidelines, and got no reward for playing along.

When there’s no promised land at the end of the road, just miles and miles more to go, before you can take your muzzle off and sleep, with the phone stuck to your face, in case new, important regulations which might keep you safe from something you can’t see, are issued in the middle of the night, your dreams get rather dystopian, and perhaps a little nightmarish. When you wake, you check your screen. Is it real, or just a bad dream? The screen will tell you the truth, surely, and put your mind at ease. In the back of your mind, however, something else has woken up. The lurking dread that this is your life now; that they’ve made it a meaner, smaller thing, deliberately, and that you might have even helped them build the cell you’re now inhabiting, hoping you are let go free again, some day. At their discretion, of course.

You hear muffled laughter from somewhere, and turn to the screen on the wall. Can it hear your thoughts, or broadcast Big Brother’s thoughts, straight into your mind? No. That’s crazy thinkin’, right there, you tell yourself, and choose your muzzle for the day, matching it to your outfit. Something comfy, since you don’t go out much, anymore, except on food runs. Who in their right mind would want to be around people, after all, with this invisible plague-of-some-sort circulating constantly? If only one didn’t need to breathe at all, but the human body is so badly designed, that it comes with flaws. Add to that, the fact that some humans just don’t care enough, and forget to keep their muzzles on over their breathing apparatus properly, so that a sensible and cautious person has hold their breath like a deep sea diver of old (we don’t have those any more, I think, but I have seen them in freedom era reruns on the screen), and get the food transaction over quickly, in as minimal contact and brief a mode as is humanly possible.

I wish they’d hurry up and transplant the human mind into something with a better design. Surely, it would be cleaner, and greener, to do so, and we’re nearly at the singularity, according to my screens, so I’m looking forward to the Brave New World. It’s gotta be better than this, right? Right?

You Can’t Kill Freedom

The words appeared on my screen. Does not compute, was my first thought. What’s this? Doesn’t look like a health edict, or guideline about how far away from someone you should stand for the next while, until the next edict’s issued, by experts. Not that I worry about that guideline, when I wouldn’t dream of standing near to anyone, outside of having to interact with the cashless machine where the till used to be situated (always swab your card after use; power user tip there, from someone who’s never been on the Suspicious Contacts list, yet). What’s it mean, though? Are there further instructions, that make more sense of the first statement? I must find out, because I don’t know what actions to take next, until I know. How can I know, if they don’t tell me, in words I can understand (scans phone, swiping screen anxiously, looking for directions)?

Oh, I see. It’s a book. Must be someone working for the Ministry, writing a manual, finally, of how to navigate our way in safety through the matrix of restrictions, without getting arrested for something or other, under the ever changing guidelines that might or might not be laws. Thank goodness. It should alleviate some of the strain, not helped much by the further restrictions placed on my breathing, by the terribly selfish post-person who delivers my mail, and will keep leaving the mail slot device in the Open position, allowing outside air to circulate within my personal boundary, with who-knows-what-else circulating with it, necessitating the wearing of my muzzle indoors, just to have that extra layer of safety on my person.

You Can’t Kill Freedom

(continues scrolling, on sanitised phone)

What (scrolls down more frantically now, with a rising feeling of discomfort, increasing respiration, and precipitation on muzzle)

You Can’t Kill Freedom

They said there was a pandemic“.

What in the actual………? (stops self from cursing, as the new guidelines might include being arrested in one’s own home for that, and it’s now not clear to what extent the devices are listening in).

Them? Tyranny? Freedom? This is not A Ministry person. This is clearly a mad person. I hope they are not outside their home, running amok, with these statements, or they will surely be arrested. I hope they are. You just can’t say things like that, and get away with it. It’s not the kind thing, and we have to care about others. It’s why we follow all instructions, and do what we’re told. It’s because we care.

Who’s this “we”? I don’t think she means Big Brother, since it’s not an official publication, this book. Hopefully she won’t be allowed publish it. It sounds very wrong, in its whole conception. Very dangerous, in its thinking. Perhaps they’ll have new guidelines introduced soon, where they’ll arrest people like this in advance of them expressing dangerous thoughts. Then the rest of us can have peace of mind, which contributes greatly to our safety, because I believe even stress can contribute to stuff in the air getting inside you, and killing you in the most horrible way, stopping you from breathing properly, and so on and so forth (beads of sweat break out at the thought, and heartrate and breathing rate shoot up, saturating muzzle and resulting in unpleasant tingling which may or may not presage a fainting fit is on the way).

No. No, I’m sure Big Brother won’t stand for this. Take these peoples’ money away, whoever they are. Don’t even let them do voluntary work, around sensible people, to earn their credits. They deserve to be not only shunned, with these dangerous book ideas, which look waaaaay outside the recommended guidelines, but to be locked out of decent society forever. Hopefully, they’ll starve quickly, without the state’s help, and without the rest of us having to look at them do it, and we won’t have the stress of seeing them, or hearing them, any more. It’s too much, to have to put up with these selfish types, rabbiting on about freedom, when we have to pull together, and follow the rules and regulations, all as one, all together (except alone).

You won’t make it ’till March, my little dears, if I get my way. I’m a dab hand, when it comes to writing Emails, picking up phones, and sending comms out to the masses of allies I don’t know personally, but who I’m sure are on my side (the right and only reasonable one) on Twitter and Metaverse virtual app. etc etc. We’ll meme you out of your book plan, shame and name you, then get you chucked out of life as you would wish to know it, before you get to the end of Chapter 1!!!!

Ha! You won’t have a lamp to light, at all, when me and Big Brother, plus all the ground troops for sanity and wholesome healthiness, promoting the bright future, dependent on the miserable present, get started on our “corrections” to educate you as to the error of your ways. You think you’re gonna write that book. We think we’ll need to stop you, and we’ll stop at nothing, to get what we want. We’ll make sure that not even your first sentence survives our cull! He he. The perfect way to take that anger out, without even going out.

Nature’s Tipping Point ~ Red Queen, Tooth and Claw

Games are attractive, aren’t they? While not everyone is drawn magnetically to their charms, no matter how lovingly the little figures on the board are carved, or how gay the plumage of the various pieces, studying the rulebook can yield a lot of information about how the thing works.

Even Those who prefer ornithology might find the notion of note-taking on their observations delightful, and nature not only parades its varied plumage, but plays by some rules, too, as species evolve, to win the game of life. The feathers may fly, sometimes, in the fight for survival, but that’s how the game is played, and the rules, it turns out, are very simple to grasp.

Let’s have a look at how Game Theory comes into play in evolutionary strategy, with an example from the game played on the Galapagos Islands. The pieces on the board in this case are finches, so even the ornithologists who don’t like to be stuck indoors, when they could be out in the field, bird watching, might like this game.

Ask the ornithologist to read the Rulebook, to know how the Game’s played

It starts with two pieces (finches), and you win more as you go along (takes a while, ‘cos you have to wait for them to mate, and observe the proceeding generations as they evolve). What fun the game is then, as you notice the new pieces begin to change the game, as they develop new characteristics over time, and the game plays out, with the best players dominating the board. All the time, things edge towards chaos, but gravitate towards stability, in order for the species to live to fight another day, and play the game that goes on and on, until someone upsets the board, and all the pieces are thrown into chaos.

Mashup vid with a reading of John Gribbin’s book, “Deep Simplicity” chapter 6, “The Facts of Life” (turn the sound up a smidge at 2:17, and down a bit again, at 4:29, as the Red Queen was interfering slightly, as she loves to do)

Darn Red Queen is always getting her flippity flappity sleeves caught in the edges of chaos, so sometimes it’s just sensible to move the board out of her reach. Quite a nice island, this. Lots of birds about, beaches to swim on, and sandpiles galore, for the progeny to roll down. Splendid view, too, from the top, if you’re King of the Hill.

Video Sources:

Fish footage was from the BBC Earth YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/vewtmQ5xrtU

I also loved the sea birds chase, again from BBC Earth: https://youtu.be/zKzeMovBwL0

The Mourning doves fighting were from Ostdrossel’s video, here: https://youtu.be/D_06PqxJ4Ws

Then there were Greg Dill’s fighting cranes: https://youtu.be/XA_U9Siej08

There was nice footage of finches to be seen on Mogan Hallas’s Galapagos channel: https://youtu.be/9uZGSuOxFVM

…and from Latest Sightings channel, from which the fighting hawk bit came: https://youtu.be/XFR0wtyZCNk

The sand footage was from Manuel Meier’s channel: https://youtu.be/a7bX7T8lltI

…while the Bak Sandpile explanation was on Art Scott’s channel: https://youtu.be/NuSXOb0q8q0

(Per Bak wasn’t in my vid, but he’s so interesting I’m including this short clip of him speaking about Self Organised Criticality, so there)! https://youtu.be/ydt99BXi3YU

If, like me, you like a nice Trilobite, you’ll enjoy Ben G Thomas’s video: https://youtu.be/95RzyaNgiPM

Primer does lots of informative and fun animations, including the one on hawk/dove game theory: https://youtu.be/YNMkADpvO4w

Best of Science had nice stuff on evolution as well: https://youtu.be/G0UGpcea8Zg

You might have recognised the elderly guy enjoying his chess game as coming from Pixar Productions. That’s Geri: https://youtu.be/9IYRC7g2ICg

The Red Queen footage was straight from the Queen’s mouth, so to say, as it’s on Helena Bonholm Carter’s YouTube channel (or maybe just a fan chan). I bet she enjoyed playing that character: https://youtu.be/i_zhBLF1Fu0

A Physic(al) Journey

I love a good adventure, and lately I’ve been on a journey of exploration into the fascinating world of physics. I didn’t get to do physics at school, probably being deemed not bright enough to be let pack my bags, to set off on that trip with some of the students who set off on that adventure; in fact, I was once told by a rather sour-faced and lightly mustachioed member of the penguin tribe we know as “The Nuns” that I was a mathematical illiterate, so that’s probably why I stayed behind to watch sunbeams slant, and dream of traveling on the dust motes that spun in lazy patterns, as I dropped out, and tuned in, to different dimensions, traveling happily on my own secret adventures of the mind, for years.

In recent years, though, I’ve tuned in again to read about the wonderful world of physics. You don’t need to be able to do maths, you see, to appreciate the beauty of physics. All you really need is a sense of awe, and a curious mind (which I’ve often been told I have, ahem) to really dig physics, and start getting dug in. Bring your spade, ‘cos you’re invited, and we’ll dig down into the dirt of matter, but make it a fun exploration, perfect for dreamers, hopefully not getting stuck in the holes. How about some music while we learn? We can have our adventures go our own way, and there won’t even be an exam at the end. Sounds fun? Off we go, then, singing merrily along the way.

What’s that you say? Not quite what you were expecting? Good. Physics is full of delightful surprises, for something that proceeds in such a logical way. The little video I made, was a classic (Newtonian) timeline visual of ideas I’d been reading about in the always easy to understand Brian Gribbin’s book “Deep Simplicity”, but, wouldn’t you know, the journey took many twists and turns along the way, as I explored some of the ideas further, enjoying the side-streets and alleys of a new town I visited.

There were so many really great explainer videos on YouTube, that helped bring the ideas home effectively, and were stunning visually as well. Philip Glass’s “Einstein on the Beach” is a favourite musical piece of mine, and I couldn’t resist gathering up some of the best videos I found, during my reading explorations of the topic of how complex systems emerge from chaos, and how chaos is, in fact, intrinsic to order. I thought, why not, then, organise the nicest bits into a kind of visual diary of my reading, and have a bit of dreamer-style fun with it. It’s OK to dream, while studying physics, I discovered. I reckon it helps you learn, as you need to be able to imagine concepts, and play around with them, in your mind, to really get the WOW factor. I took plenty of time to dream, and still haven’t come to the last chapter of the journey, because I keep putting down the book, looking out the window, as I did in my school days, and saying “WOW”. Whatta trip.

Wanna see some of the videos I used for my mashup video? These talented creators put most of the effort in, in their wonderfully explanatory and visually beautiful videos, after all. First up, let’s have a look at the main video I used for the background, and overlaid other videos on, to create the mashup vid in OpenShot (free) video software. This was a brilliant video by Stephanie Yeoh, for the music track “Knee Play 5”. I know, it was a bit cheeky of me to even think of covering up parts of this perfect video, with other graphic elements overlaid, but the nuns always said I was a cheeky little rip, as well as mathematically illiterate, so…

Next up, let’s get outta the bus, and wade right in to the river, and hoist our sails, ‘cos there are so many more lovely places to see along the way, in our journey into physics. Here are some of the other videos I enjoyed, and made use of, in my imaginative journey, with my little guide book in hand.

What? Hotel’s full, even with infinite rooms? How can that be? Never mind, let’s skip the chaos and camp out for the night. Don’t get the matches wet, ‘cos we’ll need them to get a fire going, and get the party started, under the stars.

Erm, not sure we’re going in the right direction, and not terribly certain about how we got here, but I’m sure we’ll end up somewhere, with a fixed point to refer to (pulls out compass and taps it, playing for thinking time).

(Wakes at sunrise, under a semi-chaotic collapsing tent). Wow, my back hurts. I’m in bits, but I’m sure I’ll be OK for the homeward leg of the journey. Probably. Should be pleasant to finish my adventure in an armchair, with the rest of my book. Hope you had fun as well. Parting is such sweet sorrow, and all that. I see you’re in bits too. He he. Many of the best adventures are like that. Bye bye. May the road rise with you. It does, a bit, apparently (waves at tiny dot on the horizon).

Other videos used:

Crab Canon on Mobius Strip: https://youtu.be/xUHQ2ybTejU

Ant on Mobius Strip: https://youtu.be/kMgwaeLHUTU

Starlings, Murmuration: https://youtu.be/uV54oa0SyMc

Pendulum Waves: https://youtu.be/o3Q7JYBkOHU

Chaos Pendulum: https://youtu.be/QXf95_EKS6E

Freehand Circle: https://youtu.be/oDcr0yXpkk8

Ten Dimensions in Two Minutes: https://youtu.be/hf2CxZPl7KI

N-body Orbits: https://youtu.be/_3uQqrrBcrQ

Fractal Curves, Growing the Snowflake Sweep: https://youtu.be/vZ9Oi4LV_5w

nicogetz’ “Vibrations on Singing Strings”: https://youtu.be/ttgLyWFINJI

(Other clips include Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing, and an animation from a CGI movie, which I don’t know the name of, and this “Niagara” software tutorial, for particle animations https://youtu.be/31GXFW-MgQk?t=87)

ps. Had a lovely trip. Glad you were here.

The Saturday Matinee ~ “The Lost Horizon” (1937)

Frank Capra’s “The Lost Horizon” is a great adventure movie, but the idea that captured Western imaginations in many surprising and mysterious ways, was a book first. Before that, it was a quest for a secret place, lost in the mists of time. The significance of the book and movie was as far reaching as the idea of the mystic region of Shangi-la (Shambala) that made for some legendary myths around it, for centuries to come. I usually show trailers for my movie favourites I share, but I liked this documentary so much, I thought this would provide a context for telling you about the impact that this idea of the place on the hill, somewhere, would have, in all sorts of other times and places. So, let’s travel back in time, before we see where the quest leads us, before we settle back in the moment, to enjoy the movie.

Ready to rest after your mental exertions? Grand, so. Snuggle in cosily for an armchair adventure, and a flight of fantasy Holywood style, which sees the myth and spiritual legend turned into a romantic adventure, by the wonderful Frank Capra, in glorious black n’ white (perfect for all that snow, which is often blue and purple, but we add the colour in our own imaginations anyhow, so who needs the technicolour treatment?). It’s great fun, beautifully shot, and really magical. We are so lucky to be able to glimpse this lost horizon, because there was also quite a quest to be able to recover the footage, which disappeared in the mists for a while.

“The Lost Horizon” movie link. https://m4uhd.tv/watch-movie-lost-horizon-1937-227466.html

[Free book download] ~ “The Q Affaire” Donna Emerald

You lucky suckers. You get to download my comedic thriller, “The Q Affaire”, set on YouTube, but secretly embedded deep undercover, here on the blog, just ‘cos I know you enjoy hearing about the kinds of fun and games and special ops, that go on in the Truth swamps of the Tubes. You might have even thought, as I did, that someone should write a book about these sorts of people, since they are so comic. So I did. It’s classified, for your eyes only, though I’m sure you’re taking these special comms seriously enough to keep what you learn from this document secret.

They are about as nutty as you can find, down there in the Truther cesspit, and if I wrote a novel about the real people I met, and told you all the crazy things they do, you just wouldn’t be able to handle it, but I knew you could definitely handle some laughs, romance and thrills, in a juicy Truther tale with twists. I mean who wouldn’t want a bit of that to nibble on? And…..if we slap them into a cesspit setting, and toss in some political twists and puzzles to keep you amused, we could have a really fun and fascinating tale to tell. We’ll even throw in a murder mystery or two, before we mix it up into a chaotically hilarious and delightful dish to serve you up with. You might even stagger through the maze and leave in one piece, after chomping down on this banquet, if you hold onto the narrator’s teeny handy tightly. Albeit with your head blown completely by all the laughs and thrills you’ve had along the way, by the time you make to the end of the book, and find the way out. So, you think you can handle the Truth? Then enter, at your own risk.

If you prefer a paperback to a download any time, and you’re enjoying the book, but going boogly-eyed from the screen flicker, you can pay for a pretty swish version of “The Q Affaire” over here, on Amazon. There’s a Kindle version there as well, and I’ve also got digital versions available on my little Etsy shop. Over there it’s on its 2nd edition, which hasn’t had any major changes to it, just a bit of fiddling about with a few commas, and paragraph lengths. Part 2 is available separately as well, there, for readers who have finished Part 1, and want to re-enter the maze straight in at Part 2. Something for everyone, then. It’s even been freshly cursed by a real witch, and it’s guaranteed to trigger anyoneTM (no money back, terms and conditions apply)

Don’t forget, there’s a podcast of the novel as well, if you like to listen to a story while doing other stuff. The episodes for Parts 1 and 2 of the book are clearly marked, just like the table of contents in the book itself, for anyone who has read Part 1 already, and just wants to see what happens in Part 2, which can also be read/listened to as a stand alone novel. Click the link below to find more ways to listen to “The Q Affaire”

ttps://anchor.fm/donna-emerald

I warn you though, it’s terribly high-octane type excitement in Part 2, so you might not be able to HANDLE IT, unless you’ve gotten through Part 1 intact. Buckle up for the book, then, and let’s blast off!

AI Jerks and Fried Circuits (or how I learned to hate the AI)

The AI jerks are always about, and there’s a whole brood of them, currently swarming, that’s a pretty nasty one. I’ve spoken about the game they play, many times on this blog. I haven’t spoken much about the kind of future they envision for us all, though.

To them it’s a Utopia, where all their desires can be fulfilled, and they get to be their best self. They want that for us all, apparently, and seek to educate us, so that we learn to love the AI, and long for the promised Eden of Singularity Land, where the robot and human enter into a (simulated and virtual) love pact, that there’s no going back from. This would seem like an unholy union, to the normal person, but these people are into all things freaky, and aspire to have everyone in the world become a freak as well, so they can announce that as the New Normal. Ben Goertzel is their pin-up boy, and Sofia the chatbot a fount of wisdom, in this dystopic vision the technohippies have in mind for us.

The idea of the Singularity is, in their minds, a kind of race to the bottom, for humanity, although they view the giving in, in a hedonistic orgy of vulgar oafishness, as a beautiful transition into a Brave New World, that we should all long for. They are bewildered when you point out that anti-humanistic Satanistic technofreakery isn’t really your thing, and suggest you just aren’t evolved enough to dig all the soft porn they post, to tempt you in with. Philosophy pisses them off, big time, too, as I found out when I posted my first comment in one of their threads, a link to an article about Plato’s conception of beauty, having seen one of them enthuse about her game character’s physical beauty, which, in her mind, was a by-product of kindness. The matrix started glitching, when faced with intelligent discusssion, and philosophy not just providing a cool allegorical reference for Plato’s cave, that could translate to a gaming environment as a shirtless male model on a couch in an underground carpark, and to heck with the philosophy bit.

Two people making logical philosophical points in their thread fried the circuits, and when logic didn’t compute, a fuse blew somewhere, that started out with threats……………..

then, rather hilariously, led to a curse being put on my poor ol’ book, “The Q Affaire”.

I mean, what has a comedic romance thriller novel done to deserve this, other than a spot of light philosophising, I ask you? Satanists aren’t big on humour, though. I knew that already, having come across many of them in my time on YouTube. You can often recognise them by the little wings, with puzzling little dots, which according to Q, is locust poop. Their idea of what is acceptable to post on social media is fairly poop as well, and I ended up having to report one of them to Twitter, for the video of the very young looking girl below, doing unmentionable and tonsil-damaging things to an unsuspecting banana, while dressed up as a cat. The girl posting it was a blue haired female who was doing her best to look like her gaming avatar, and one hopes that this ARG group of LARPers she associates with are just sharing their soft porn stuff between themselves, and not dragging children into virtual reality games with them, online. They seem to me to be a pretty good reason to not give your kid access to a phone or computer until they are at least 21. At least if you don’t want them to get dissed, doxed, and cursed all in a day, by satanic larpers playing an online ARG. This group strike me as people with a lot of personal problems, that they would like everyone else to have as well, so they can call it the norm. Thank goodness the Singularity is nowhere near. I’d hate to see what that thing would look like, if these were the brains helping program it.

Oh, I forgot to mention, being called a shill. Must have been the threats, curses, and doxing that made it temporarily slip my mind. Took me a while to decode the word salad in this Tweet I received, but basically this blue haired female avatar, who insists he’s a male, who just finds it more convenient to pretend to be female in Twitter, for strangers, but gets annoyed when they think he is one, with the mistaken idea they are treated better than men (I didn’t see his friends treat people too well, as they waltz around Twitter threatening and cursing people, and subjecting them to looking at their creepy porn content). He seemed to think I’m being paid to write my book, “The Q Affaire”. Or something. As I say…..

Goodness only knows precisely what’s being conveyed, because…

A. These people are confused about everything, ranging from gender, to how to speak English, right on up to how to visualise a decent future for themselves, based on behaving decently in the present……

and…..

B. They are inveterate liars, who are playing an ARG game online, the stated rules of which (letting people know they are in a game) they are breaking, themselves, because they have no morals or ethics, and follow the Satanic Crowley law only, “do as thou wilt”. What they don’t tell anyone about, is that they are hoping to entrap innocent people into joining their game, so they can mess up their heads, their lives, and threaten and dox them. For fun. That’s the average Satanist’s view of what fun is, you see. Welcome to the dystopian future. Or you could just fry their circuits, by saying no to their jerky game and depressing future.

Q Recruits, From the Tent ~#a858 Edition

Q’s always on his phone, up to something, and you’d think he’d have been happy enough, posting away for me, about “The Q Affaire” book, now that he’s been promoted from Tea Intern (Q insists he’s a “Tea Operative”, but whatever). No, tho’, that’s not enough to keep him out of mischief, and he’s back recruiting boymen, down on the boards, and little boys too, for his Stoneage troll training farm, not so cleverly disguised as a puzzle. I told him. I said, Q, you start this nonsense up again, with your rubbishy recycled bits of things the magpies dropped in the bushes, I’ll be pulling out your tentpoles, and you can go pitch your droopy tent in some other kindhearted fool’s garden. I’m not helping you train little boys how to steal real men’s identities, before they’ve even got their first girlfriend.

Maybe they have some chance of meeting a nice girl, if they don’t hang out with you, and become trolls, but I know I don’t want them doing what you did, “borrow” a decent man’s identity, to chat up a decent woman, then threaten her with an army of trolls, when she finds out what a sad little boy you are.

He wasn’t happy; but he sees me as a mother figure (I know, it’s complicated), so he looked suitable chastised, with tears welling up in his likkle eyes, at the thought of being tent-pegless, and having to make his way down the river of no return, to camp in someone else’s mommie’s garden. Kids. Whattaya gonna do? He’s out in the tent, sulking, with a big pile of “Punisher” comics, from the Stoneage, to keep him happy. They’ve even got puzzles in the back, which should keep him going tonight, when he’s no internet to post on the boards from. I shall be keeping an eye on my “Tea Operative”, as I don’t trust him in business ventures, if he’s not grown up enough to behave himself. Shame. He’s actually a pretty good secretary (sips tea). Maybe there’s hope for him, He tore off one of the incriminating puzzle posts, and ate it, to destroy the evidence, and I helpfully tore out the other puzzle page , so he wouldn’t choke on the rest.

I also had to give him THE LOOK. It ain’t easy, being an employer and a mommie, to Q. When he’s finished his comics, I may eventually return his phone, but only if he’s a good boy.

Note: This post was originally published as a Newsletter post. If you’d like to sign up, to stay updated on on the latest from Donna’s doings, about books, boys and puzzling plots, click on the link in @TheQAffaire Tweet link, shown below, to receive it weekly, via Email.

“The Q Woo” at Café Emerald

Yipee. It’s that day I’ve been looking forward to. My new book is out, and I’m so excited, because I get to celebrate down at Café Emerald (leaps out of bed, and flings open the curtains). Well, the sun isn’t exactly shining, but that just makes it sparklier, down at the café, so it’s all good.

Didn’t know I had a little cafe, did ya? Well, I have a lot of things tucked away in my imagination, and “The Q Woo” is just one of them, that we’re celebrating today. It’s like a birthday party, for a book, what we’re doing today. This is Part 2 of “The Q Affaire”, of course, but I’m publishing it as a volume on its own, today, in the gift shop (points to an area you hadn’t noticed before, as I pour you a nice hot beverage, at the best table in the house, and they’re all great tables!). I make things. Books, art, craft, anything pretty or interesting, that I think will be fun to do, I’m sure to give it a go. I’ve even had a go at doing an ad for my book (titters).

I’ve arranged the shelves nicely so you don’t even have to get out of your comfy seat to see all the bits and bobs (returns from behind the shelves somewhere with a plate of fresh croissants and jam for you, smiling).

(The Gift Shop, over there- points vaguely towards the back, at shelves with all sorts of interesting knick-knacks, plus that book that you’ve been waiting eagerly on. You salivate with interest, then notice that Donna has obligingly brought a copy of it to the table for you): DonnaEmeraldArt etsy.com

Here’s the blurb on the back cover of the latest one. I’ll read it for you, if you don’t want to let your croissants get cold before the butter and jam go on (adjusts reading glasses and reads):

What’s it about? Well, it’s a continuation of a comedy thriller I published recently, but I’ve brought in this new character, Q, that you didn’t get to meet personally, in the first book, and there’s romance, and comedy, and adventure, all rolled up in a big puzzle plot, and it’s all set on YouTube, and it’s terribly exciting, and funny, with lots of suspense, and thrills and spills. I put everything I like into it, just like I do with the other stuff in life, you know? Put in things you get a kick out of, and hope other people get a kick out of them as well, you get me? Of course it’s very deep too (puts on serious author face, not terribly convincingly). He he. It’s actually a pretty hard to follow plot, so I recommend the Backchannel Reading Room, over there, for those who are anywhere past, ooooh, Chapter 5. It’s nice and quiet in there, and very secret, so don’t tell anyone about it. You, dear reader, are a special customer, so you get the key (pulls out an ancient looking key from a devastatingly attractive but tastefully understated cleavage area, and displays its rusty elegance against a deliciously curved clavicle). There’s a fire in there, on chilly afternoons (you haul your eyes up to my face, thinking of fires and cleavages, for a moment, until comprehension dawns. I pretend to not notice I know what you were thinking, and look back at the book. as you blush. So, let’s read what the reviewers said about the ol’ bookie book, shall we? This is from the blurb at the back, as well:

I’ll leave you to enjoy your tea, coffee, cakey, musicy, bookie nice time, on your own for a while, and go look after the other customers. If you need a refill, just raise a hand absent-mindedly while reading, and I’ll be over without you missing a moment away from reading, or having to talk. Have fun, and get up and walk around whenever you want to think. WCs are in the Top Level Clearance Rooms, for Q clearance customers’ eyes only. Extra fluffy towels and fancy cologne for handies available there, dear reader. See you later. (Goes to say hello to other arrivals, seats them, and heads off to make more tea and coffee, and fiddle about with gift items people have been enthusing over while they get settled down with copies of the fabulously Fnordish looking new tome, hot off the always wonderful Ms. Emerald’s magical tablet.

Purchase link (Etsy) for books and other gift shop items, all digital formats available (instant download at checkout)

I didn’t write the whole thing at the café, as some writers do, you know, because the beeps and other weird noises can put you off, but then again, I’ve made sure nothing in my cafe beeps, and the customers, being the type that love books, are delightfully quiet and civilised. There’s even a noise cancelling button you can press, under the table, if the music distracts you, and you just want Raindrops playing. In fact, come sunset, if you are still tucked away in a corner, reading, you will mostly just hear seagulls and waves, as you drift away yourself, into your imagination, watching the sun set from our balcony, over a last cup. I do hope you had a wonderful time, and that you enjoyed the day. I hope you enjoy the novel as much as the novel time we spent together, too.

The Q Woo Book Excerpt , and a taste of the last book.

Well, that was a nice day. Think I’ll watch the stars come out before I wash those dishes, and clear up after the book launch guests. No hurry, after all. (smiles, and pulls up a seat, with a last cup of tea, to end the day).

Books and Plots – “The Q Woo”

Yeah. I’m at it again. Writing another book. To be more specific, the second part of “The Q Affaire”, which recently hit my little shop’s shelves over here. The second part can be read as a stand alone novel, or as a follower-upper, as we used to say, on de mean streets of Dublin libraries, when we were scoping out those shelves like secret spies, peering through books, pacing the aisles in anticipation of some new thrills to keep us off those same mean streets, our collars turned up, and hat brims dripping puddles as we stalked the tiled flooring, searching out a comfy spot to slump, with brims pulled low, to hide out from the rain for a while.

Yes, you guessed it. Book two’s a little moodier in atmosphere than the first novel, with the first part a comedy thriller with some psychological twists guaranteed to melt your head with madness, as well as keeping you in a sub-hysterical state of mild giggles throughout. I think you’ll find the second part sucks you into the heart of the maze pretty quickly though, and presents many interesting puzzles, and you’ll be sorry when you finally find your way out again, at the end of the book, after being amazed and dazed, for at least some of the rest of it, I would think.

No more Q for you, though, after that. Two books are quite enough, and although Q tries to lead you through an endless maze of confusing twists and turns, and keep you lost, and puzzled, my job is to help you escape it, and give you a map of the territory. Take my tiny paw in yours, then, and we’ll claw our way in, before taking the journey to finding the keys that let us solve the puzzle, and get out in one piece again, but let’s start with an insight into how the book’s being constructed. I’m just hammering it out now, you see, and you might like to see how the thing’s being constructed. Big bits of paper are terribly important, you know. Very. Highlighters, fun, but not essential. Good ideas a must. Well, you probably know what a plan is already, but might glean something of the plot from the themes and metaphors I explain, while trying not to give away too much of the workings of the plotline, when discussing my creative process for writing the book, here.

Q pushers are starting to notice that there are big bits of paper everywhere, as they stalk the thriller section of the library aisles, while I take up the round table with my square papers.

I think you’ll find “The Q Woo” a lot hotter a read, a less stale bake, and certainly less hackneyed affaire than what Q has evolved into, in his second part, somehow. He’s got a oddly dragging gait these days, is distictly wooly smelling from being out in the rain, and generally looking a bit down on his luck. Don’t feel too sorry for him, though, as he’s still got some company, even if the birds don’t fancy him any more, a few coins in his pockets from last payday, and he still can parley vous oh la la the lads and ladies over on other platforms, admittedly in less salubrious surroundings. His rag tag band of patriots soldier on in their fantasy world, between snoozes, and manage to forget how wet their socks are, until the librarian moves them on, come closing time, with the rest of us. Where we go one, we go all, huh? Breathe in, on the way out, ‘cos you don’t want the smell of Q pressin’ up on you.

The first part of the book, which came out at the end of Nov., 2020, can be purchased here, in digital formats, with instant download. The next part I’m crowdsourcing funding for, to publish as one big blockbuster, comprised of the two volumes together, in paperback Kindle format, after part 2 is released as a digital version, for those who read part 1, over on Etsy. You can read about what the funding goes on, not just getting it to paperback, but getting that all important ISBN number, and other important bits and bobs, on the main post, over there. So, hopefully, there’s something to appeal to everyone, format wise, without having to go to the library in the rain, although, who knows, it may hit the shelves there, some time, too. “The Q Woo” will hopefully have reached the completion stage, anyway, with all editing done, by April, 2021, and I’ll be sure to let you know, here, too, when part 2 is available to read on Etsy. A big adventure for 2021. The next part of the adventure started here, and you’re in on it, like a secret library spy! Shush!!!!