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May 27, 2013
Posted at 2:33 am
 

New AotF

As I mentioned a few days ago, I have completed the latest chapter for Anomaly of the Fates. My outside editor finally finished the read-through and so I submitted it for your enjoyment tonight. It should be available sometime tomorrow.

I have also reposted the Prologue for AotF to include an Author's Note. Said note is my foray into local political editorialism and comments on my alma mater's recent name change. As the note says, if this really interests you, you can use the internet to peruse the coverage of this idiocy.

Additionally, I will warn readers that I used this latest chapter to vent some irritation and frustration on my current locale. Since the protagonist comes from a similar place as far as his setting changes goes, I think my ire and his are fairly compatible within the framework of the story. I am sure many, many people find the Augusta, GA area pleasant and a nice place to move to from northern cities. I, however, grew up in West Germany in my formative years and aside from my sojourn in Georgia, New Jersey is the place I have lived the longest in the United States. This makes Georgia, particularly in the summer, unbearable. Those of you from the South, please forgive my venting on this subject in this chapter.

And finally, I have also used this chapter to highlight a part of Southern life that caught not only myself but many other Northern transplants to the region by surprise: race. In this chapter you will find my clumsy way to express some of my irritations, confusion, and fatigue about how consuming race/racism is in the South. Nobody in my family was on this continent during the Civil War, not having arrived until around the turn of the twentieth century or later. As such, we don't really have much stake in the issues fought over with such fervor over the first century and a half of this nation's history. We have only had to deal with its aftermath. Growing up in the military as I did, it was not until I came back to the United States shortly before high school that I realized there was a Deal about race in America. My first best friend that I have memories of was a kid named Quincy. The fact that he was black never really registered to me. He was just Quincy, the dude I spent most of my days with until I left West Germany for New Jersey. My best friend when I got settled in New Jersey was a kid named Eric Valera. I am pretty sure he was Hispanic, but again, since it never registered that I should care, I really can't recall. My best friends when I moved back to West Germany a couple of years later were a good ol' boy from South Carolina named TJ and an Indian kid named Michael. Indian as in Native American or Indian as in subcontinent I really couldn't tell you because he was just Michael. Looking back, based on my memories of his father's features (my memory of him is sort of like a younger, more Indian Pervez Musharaf), I would guess subcontinental Indian. All of this is a long winded way of saying it wasn't until my teen years, when I moved to Missouri for a year and then to Georgia that racism became a pervasive enough force in the society in which I lived that I took note of it. I was shocked to learn the KKK was still around. Not only still around, it had an office down the street from the high school I attended in Missouri and marched down what was called main street the year before I got there. It struck me as somewhat anachronistic the way people in Georgia dealt with race in the modern world. But then I guess I have not only lived a rather sheltered life growing up in the military, but my perception of the world is viewed through lenses that don't see what is really there. I look at a "brown" Hispanic man and see someone with green skin or a "black" African man and see purple or dark, dark green or a "yellow" Oriental man and see orange or brown or green. Nothing most other people see. Even my own supposedly very pale white skin looks pink and orange to my sight. So hating someone because of what they "look" like has always somewhat confused me. My philosophy has always been that there are far better reasons to hate someone, just give them a chance and they will give you one if that is what you are looking for. Or if you are a more tolerant sort, they will give you a reason to like them. More than anything else, the ignorance that surrounds race in America, not just on the side of the bigots but on the side of those who pander and race-bait, make me sad and weary. Sad that such energy and inventiveness is not used for more constructive purposes that will advance us further together, and weary at trying to carry people who want nothing more than to either stay where we are or are trying to drag us backward. Bigots and race profiteers both.

Anyway, sorry for the soapbox performance this time around but I thought this latest chapter of AotF needed some explanation as to my thinking on it. I welcome your thoughts, as always, so long as they are constructive and don't include examples of what I was talking about above.