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Thursday, August 11, 2011

(Late) Wednesday Wibbles

I got no new followers this week, so I don’t have anyone to shout at. Spread the word, folks, I’d like to have 100 followers about the time I publish White Pickups so I’ll have a good excuse for a giveaway.

Not much writing got done while on vacation… but hey, it was a vacation, right? I really do need to get cracking on Pickups and Pestilence though. Other things, that will take a lot of effort, are beginning to draw my attention. I just may have to start serializing the thing to get the incentive-to-finish going.

Speaking of vacation, here’s a cute anecdote: Mason was very comfortable at Dad’s place — comfortable enough that he’d go explore odd corners on his own, well out of sight of the adults. We slept downstairs, where there was also a large TV. So one morning, we were minding our own business; Mason slipped up the stairs, into the kitchen, pulled a quart of blueberries off the counter (fortunately a snap-top container), then carried them back down the stairs. He came walking up to us: “Berries?” That kid could just about live off fruit and cheese… and meatballs. He loves him some meatballs.

I mentioned having a “crisis of confidence” about the Friday Flash that I didn’t post week before last. I thought of it at first as a Vacationlanders fan-fic, but that isn’t right either. After watching both parts of the first episode, which are all that have been posted so far, I found myself objecting to some of the key points.

First off, while I could see the feds cutting off services to regions — or entire states, as was done to Maine in Vacationlanders — I don’t think that what comes after is quite so drastic as is depicted in the first episode. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD On the other hand, I have to wonder if the film crew has been set up from the get-go. If the UTM were as lawless and dangerous as it seems, I would think they’d have heard about it and gone in prepared. END SPOILERS

Even if the Feds cut off the power grid and fuel deliveries at the border, 1) any local hydro and alternative facilities would still be available; 2) state and local governments would attempt to function and preserve order as much as possible, just to justify their continued existence; 3) you couldn’t cut off chunks of the country without some kind of quid pro quo for the affected citizenry or civil suits, probably both; 4) politics would exclude wealthy citizens from the Unincorporated Areas; 5) there would almost certainly be commerce along the border, perhaps even people continuing to commute from Unincorporated Outer Suburbia into Atlanta.

Back in 2009–2010 when there was a lot of talk from the right-wing losers about secession, I concluded that Planet Georgia could secede without hurting the rest of the country much, if at all. Seriously: what do we have here that can’t be produced somewhere else? No oil reserves, the gold was mined out decades ago, and the only strategic industrial pieces we have are concentrated in specific locations. So I created this map (click to enlarge), designating the Georgia Quadrangle where there are still full services, and Unincorporated Georgia. The corners of the quadrangle are the primary cities, with Columbus as a separate enclave, and a largeish rural “heartland” to supply food.

So here’s the writing prompt: think about your own area and whether it would still be “incorporated” or not, and conflicts should be many and obvious. Post links to your stories here so I’ll see them. If you use the graphics, copy them to your own blog so they stay available. I’ll post one of the flash pieces I’ve written on this theme on Friday.

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