dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
Writing NANOWRIMO 2012 by hand = Victory!
Typing NANOWRIMO 2012 = OH GOD NOOOOOOO WHY SO HARD?!

But, upshot, I have four scenes typed into Scrivner (Awesome Program is Awesome!) that were not typed before. So, go me!
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
Just for bragging purposes, I want to mention that as of today I have reached 49,348 words in my Nanowrimo project for this year. I need to write another 652 words to reach my 50,000 word goal.

The project for this year is the post-apocalyptic universe that I worked on last year. Technically, I 'cheated' this year by incorporating stuff that I wrote last year but I also added a LOT of stuff that I didn't have last year and have actually come up with a plot, of all things!

I did something different this year: I wrote the entire project by hand. I haven't typed anything up yet (that starts in December, I am thinking), since doing so usually leads to me spending writing time backtracking by typing. I now have 160+ handwritten pages (in a 180 page notebook) and dozens upon dozens of sticky notes that make the notebook somewhat resemble a football.

But, and here's the important thing: I'm DOING IT this year! I'm actually doing it! And I'm going to finish this damn project and then move on to the damn project from 2007 because this writing thing is kinda/sorta becoming a habit now!

Yay!
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
Quotes from “The Biological Consequences of Nuclear War” by Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, from The Cold and the Dark.

I've been reading this book for research purposes and some of the assumptions about society/survival below the equator are rubbing me the wrong way. Here's a couple examples with the bits I'm most particularly side-eyeing bolded:

Even without cold and darkness, the dependence of tropical [Southern Hemisphere] populations on imported food and fertilizer would lead to severe problems. Large numbers of people would be forced to leave the cities and attempt to cultivate remaining areas of tropical rainforests, accelerating their destruction as the systems were taken far beyond their carrying capacity.

# # #


Society in the Northern Hemisphere would be highly unlikely to persist. In the Southern Hemisphere tropics, events post-war would depend in large art on the degree of propagation of the atmospheric effects from North to South.

ETA: Edited to fix a comma error.

Even if there weren’t a spread of atmospheric effects, people living in those areas [the Southern Hemisphere] would be very, very strongly impacted by the effects of the war, just by being cut off from the Northern Hemisphere.


What I'm curious about in these two quotes is just how accurate this portrayal of the Southern Hemisphere as dependent on the North is?

# # #


In response to a question about how long it would take to reestablish a civilization comparable to one today (circa 1983):

What would replace it and what would be the course of social and biological evolution is a matter of guesswork and would primarily depend on how many of the artifacts and how much knowledge survive. […] If, however, some major centers of learning were preserved and if some organized cities in the Southern Hemisphere persisted, then human culture might return to ‘higher’ levels much more rapidly. But I would say there is an awful lot of hubris and personal attitude in that. I have lived with the Eskimos and I could argue that in many ways their culture is a lot higher than the one we have today.

This one bugs me because of a) the assumption that 'centers of learning' aren't in the Southern Hemisphere and b) the idea that rebuilding society means returning to the old, pre-war model of how things were done.

So, um, thoughts?
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
I created character pictures for some of my Defcon 'Verse characters: http://pics.livejournal.com/dunmurderin/gallery/00010wyg
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
Nicked From: [personal profile] hellkitty by way of [personal profile] ultharkitty:

Post the first sentence (or three) from every WIP you're currently working on, even if it's very short. Then invite people to ask questions about your WIPs. With any luck, you'll get talking about writing, and the motivation to take that WIP one step closer to completion will appear as if by magic!

Excerpts Under Cut )
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
I signed up today! I'm dunmurderin over there (big shock, I know) for anybody who wants to link up.

I have been working on the Defcon 'verse -- unfortunately, most of the working has not been much in the way of the 'interesting for others to read' variety. But hopefully, this will change in December, if not before.
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
General Post-Apocalyptic rambling about some ideas I want to explore in my fiction:

The ugly side of life continues. Abortion and contraception are likely to be highly illegal. We MUST have those babies. There will be more than enough parents who have lost their own (or have received too high a radiation dose to chance the FLK problem) to look after any that are unwanted. Women are enslaved by their reproductive systems again. Don't like that but there is nothing we can do about it. The social pressure on women to have children will be immense in both material and moral senses. Women who can have children get the best of everything, the cleanest and best food, the most comfortable housing, the most careful protection. Women who can have children but refuse to do so will be social outcasts (and in this sort of society to be an outcast is virtually a death sentence). We're likely to see a situation where women of childbearing age are "protected" by severe restrictions ("don't go outside the house, the radiation may harm your babies" gets abbreviated to "don't go outside") . This is a grim and disturbing picture; we take an old woman out of her house and throw her in the snow to provide shelter for a pregnant mother and her children - then lock her in. Newborn babies obviously damaged by radiation are likely to be killed on the spot. That may or may not be justifiable but I think its inevitable.

Source: Nuclear Warfare 103

In the course of goofing off under the pretext of researching nuclear war (my chosen method of ending the world as we know it), I found this article through TV Tropes. It's the last of a series of articles about Nuclear War that cover everything from how possessing nuclear weapons affects a company's policies through to the aftermath of a nuclear war (go here for Nuclear Warfare 101 and Nuclear Warfare 102). The above quote is about the need to repopulate a country (specifically the U.S.) after a nuclear war.

Now, it's not like this essay is the first place I've seen this idea -- it's a pretty common post-apocalyptic trope -- but for some reason reading this article got me thinking. Probably because the dismissiveness of "Don't like that but there is nothing we can do about it" just emphasized that this was yet another post-apocalyptic scenario being envisioned by a man (the name of the author listed on the article is Stuart Slade) without considering the impact or even the input of the women who might survive.

Before I start going through this point by point, I want to start off by saying that I don't think the author was trying to ignore women or to put forth some kind of male fantasy playground where women exist simply as sex toys and brood mares. I think this was just a case of wanting to give a quick and dirty overview of a topic and not thinking about the unfortunate implications of what was being said. Also, please be warned that I'm going to touch on a few trigger-y topics throughout this essay.

Point by Point Ramblings, possible Trigger Warnings for rape, abuse, abortions and injury/death of children )
dunmurderin: icon of Cold War Reenactment Society -- more here: http://pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com/20930.html   (cold war reenactment society logo)
To test the filter, here's a look at the events leading up to World War III in the Defcon 'Verse: A lot of this is a bit choppy because it's notes taken from other sources and fitted in to what I'm wanting. I apologize for the roughness.

January 20, 1981 – Ronald Reagan is sworn in as the 40th president of the United States.

March 1981 – Reagan authorizes a psychological warfare operation against the Soviet Union. The operation involves near maritime approaches by US ships in Soviet waters. These exercises, and a later set performed in 1983, were meant to show the Soviet Union that their borders were vulnerable to sneak attacks by US/NATO forces.

May 1981 – KGB director Yuri Andropov initiates Operation RYAN, an intelligence operation intended to uncover possible US/NATO plans for a surprise, first-strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. Because of a loss of détente, US/Soviet relations are at their lowest point since the Cuban Missile Crisis, leading to increased tensions.

November 1982 -- General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev dies and is replaced by Andropov as General Secretary.

January 4, 1983 – Andropov gives a speech in Prauge, to the Political Consultative Committee, the controlling organ of the Warsaw Pact countreis. He speaks almost exclusively about the West's nuclear capability and their escalation in weapons design.

February 2, 1983 – The KGB's London office recieves a telegram instructing them to try to uncover any possible NATO preparations for a nuclear first-strike on the USSR.

March 23, 1983 – President Reagan authorizes the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), colloquially known as “Star Wars.” This is done despite the fact that a joint study considered the program “not technically feasilble” and advised that it should “not be funded as proposed, nor modified and funded.” It is also done despite the fact that it will only increase the Soviet Union's fears of a first-strike.

April-May 1983 – The US Pacific Fleet engages in the largest naval exercises, to date, in the Northwest Pacific near the Kamchatka Penninsula and Petropavlovsk. Further increasing Soviet paranoia.

June 2, 1983 – Andropov meets with former US ambassador Harriman. During the meeting, Andropov referred to nuclear war four times during his first address and specifically mentioned his fears that the US might be moving toward the “red line.”

September 1, 1983 – Soviet jet fighters accidentally shoot down KAL flight 007, having mistaken it for a US PC-135 recon plane.

September 26, 1983 – Soviet OXO satellite detects incoming Minuteman ICBMs in route from the United States. On-duty officer, Col. Stanislav Petrov realizes it is a false alert and, under his own authority, stops the nuclear alert, narrowly avoiding nuclear war.

October 19, 1983 – Military coup in Grenada puts the US and UK on alert.

October 23, 1983 – US Marine barracks in Beirut are bombed; leads to increased security on US military bases around the world which further alarms the Soviets.

October 25, 1983 – US invades Grenada; secret ciphered communications between US and UK prior to this invasion also add to Soviet fears of US and/or NATO first strike.

November 2-11, 1983 – US and NATO begin ABLE ARCHER 83 exercises. The exercises include, among other things, a simulated DEFCON 1 nuclear alert.

November 5, 1983 – Soviet KGB HQ instructs KGB agents in London to begin collecting information regarding an imminent nuclear first strike by the US and/or its allies. While some KGB agents in the West were skeptical of US/NATO plans for a first strike, they were required to report only their findings, not their observations. This did little to soothe fears back in the USSR.

November 8 or 9, 1983 – Telegram sent to KGB residence in London incorrectly reporting an alert on US bases and asking for further info on US first strike.

November 10-13 1983 – An unexpected asteroid strike in the 27 Megaton explosion on the Kamchatka Penninsula sends a panic through the Soviet military and is falsely interpreted as a US first strike. The Soviet retaliation leads to a thirty-six hour long nuclear exchange between the two superpowers and their allies that totals 5,000 megatons.
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
I've mentioned in the past that I'm working on a post-apocalyptic world/story setting. Lately, I've been doing a lot of noodling off-line and I'd like to start posting stuff and getting feedback. So far, it's mostly ideas about the world and/or characters, not so much actual story stuff.

So, I'm considering setting up a filter to post stuff and let folks who are interested read along and/or offer suggestions/feedback etc. If you're interested, either post or PM me. For convenience, I'll be posting on DW and LJ under the same filter name (not sure how filters work with DW's crosspost function) so you can apply to one or both if you'd like.

ETA: Having thought about it, I'm going to make these entries open for the time being 'cause I'm afraid of missing out on some very useful feedback otherwise. Defcon entries will be marked with the Cold War Reenactment Society icon and under a cut 'cause some of them will be long.
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
As I mentioned in an earlier post, back in December 2009, I stumbled across some reprints of the first few books in the Endworld series. This rekindled my interest in post-apocalyptic stories, particularly the cheesy men's adventure stories (like Endworld) written back in the 1980s. And I got it in my head that I wanted to write my own homage/parody/riff on such books, putting my own particular spin on the tropes they used and feature characters who weren't straight, white, cisgendered American men with 1980s-style middle-class, conservative values (even guys who were born into a world 100+ years after 1980s-style, middle-class, conservative values got nuked into dust).

So, I went on the hunt for examples of the genre, figuring that I should have a nice sampling of what was out there to better be able to parody/riff on things. Since, y'know, nothing is more annoying than a parody written by someone who only thinks they know what they're talking about. I set my mind to collecting 10 series, preferably all the first books of each, to get a good sampling. I've ended up with...more than 10 series. Some are surprisingly good but most are...problematic, to say the least.

To be honest, a lot of this was cat-vaccuming since it was a lot easier to read novels and take notes and think thinky thoughts than it was to actually write something. I'm hoping to change this by posting during Three Weeks For Dreamwidth. What I'll be posting will be some background materials – what amounts to a story bible for my world. Because I'm finding that I need to have the history/setting of the world down before my brain is going to let me move ahead and start playing with my characters. I'm planning on posting some snippets of story ideas that are fiction rather than meta – or at least of posting some background stuff that's fictionalized meta.

Here's the least amount you need to know in order to follow along: the Defcon verse is a post-apocalyptic alternate history set in 2083, one hundred years after a series of mishaps and misunderstandings started a nuclear war that devestated the planet. The main setting is the United States of America, which is now a balkanized country still struggling toward recovery. Some areas are better off than others – specifically, Las Vegas is now the new headquarters for what is the recognized continuation of the pre-war US government and is the staging area for attempts at assisting the rest of the country in recovery. Some areas are more receptive to this assistance than others, especially since a lot of the help is coming from the newest incarnation of the UN – which is dominated by nations from the Southern Hemisphere as well as some former Third World nations in the Northern Hemisphere that managed to bounce back faster than the former superpowers. And there are transgenic artificially engineered humans because any good 1980s-style post-apocalyptic adventure novel needs mutants and super-science.

Some of this may be subject to change as I start getting my thoughts written down and posted, but for now, this is where my head's at. Please feel free to post questions, comments, critiques or suggestions.

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