Listen to Pilot Light

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Anarchapulco 2018

So I'm at the Princess Mundo Imperial Hotel in Acapulco, Mexico talking to anarchists, freethinkers of various passions, crypto people... an amazing cross-section of people who are basically united and talking about taking back individual liberty--from governments, from a lifetime of bad habits, from anything that constrains them. It's all fodder for the books and our own minds. These people are a cast of characters that don't come together often. Even Dr. Ron Paul was here, and a lot of people aren't convinced the major earthquake that struck just before his speech was a coincidence. (Joke).

Here the earthquake had the buildings swinging but there didn't seem to be any serious damage.

It's a beautiful venue and heady talks are taking place. We've been talking to people about our book series (the first one comes out in May) and hearing enthusiasm for the project. It will be in preorder for a time before that launch and I'll let you know when we get to that point.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Medellin, Colombia

I've talked about the research we did in Colombia and shared some photos, but I might not have said much about how impressive Medellin is. It's a clean and incredibly modern city. The traffic sucks, but they have an efficient metro system and plentiful taxis that aren't expensive.

Much of the time we stayed a section of the city called Laureles that was a wonderfully walkable part of town. There were shops of all sorts, from small tiendas to large malls -- all within a few blocks of us. Better yet, we frequented a delightful Cuban restaurant that offered five-year old Cuban rum.

The hotel we stayed in had a nice breakfast area in the picture below. Often I would set up my computer in the morning and work on our short story INVISIBLE FORTUNE that came out of the days we spent in Cartagena. My coauthor J. Lee Porter and I would pass the drafts back and forth until we were happy with them.

As both of us tend to be early risers, we could often have a story conference over breakfast. Get the work stuff out of the way and explore. If you aren't a writer, chatting about the plot of a crime story might not seem the stuff of breakfast conversation, but it worked well for us. And we needed to make sure that the story fits in, in terms of tone and style, with the Bitpats novel series we are writing. The first book, CRYPTO SHRUGGED is coming in May and you can read about the series at Nomadic Giant.

As you can see, this neighborhood is tree-lined and pleasant. Every morning the shopkeepers were out sweeping the sidewalks and keeping everything nice. And given that this picture was taken in January, you can see that it's a perfect place for escaping snow and ice. We understand that the temperature doesn't vary that much year round.

Medellin is above 5000 feet and in a valley surrounded by mountains. Rather idyllic. We will certainly be tempted to return there.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A new short story -- a new fiction genre

Remember that picture of Cartagena, Colombia that I showed in my last post? Well, now it is the cover photo for a short story that J. Lee Porter and I wrote. The idea came to us while exploring the walled city and we wrote most of it right there in Colombia, although I'll confess we wrote a lot of it in Medellin, then I went back to Cartagena to double check some important details.

"Invisible Fortune" is a crime (short) story. It's a story about expats in South America. It's a story about cryptocurrency. In fact, we think it's the first crime story that involves cryptocurrency. And now it's on pre-order on Amazon. It will be in the Kindle Unlimited program and available for 99 cents. For less than a buck (free if you are in KU) you can get a little over 10,000 words of suspense, intrigue, technological mayhem, and sheer fun in a brand new genre.

Just click on the book cover below and order it for delivery on February 9th--soon!
What could be easier?

This story will give you a taste, just a morsel of what is in store for you when we unleash CRYPTO SHRUGGED in May of this year (that's 2018 in case you don't have a calendar handy.) The novel will be more political, more incendiary, more technology, more of everything. It's a cyber, crypto, thriller.

Stay in touch with our efforts here, and at Nomadic Giant Publishing. Just follow the friendly nomadic giant wherever he goes and you will get to a lot of interesting places... promise. Here he is.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Story from Cartagena

This is part of the old Spanish wall that was built around the city of Cartagena, Colombia between the late 1500 and 1796. It was intended to keep the Caribbean pirates out--and Johnny Depp wasn't even born yet.

When J. Lee Porter and I were visiting Cartagena this month (Jan 2018) it inspired us as a location for a story about an expat. The character we came up with is not a typical expat, nor a good person, but sometimes justice prevails. It's also a story within the theme of cryptocurrency that we are using for the novels in progress. We are looking at the disruptive nature of the technology, not just on finance, but on people's lives. Change, disruption, brings good and bad, and you don't get to choose which parts you want and which you can ignore. It's a complete package.

A number of institutions and moralists will (and are) argue that cryptocurrency is a spawn of the devil because bad people use it. That's quite true. Any innovation gets used and the intentions of the inventor don't necessarily get taken into account. That doesn't make the invention bad. Henry Ford wasn't a serial hit and run artist, to the best of my knowledge.

At any rate, this story will be out soon (published by Nomadic Giant Besides the fact that we got inspired and just started writing the story in Colombia--it just came bursting out, we love the idea that we will have something tangible to give you a taste of where we are going with the Bitpats series. Just a taste, mind. The scope of a short story is far different than that of a novel, and even further removed from that of a series of books.

We will be in Mexico next month, at the Anarchapulco Conference -- yup, it's a real thing (, where issues around cryptocurrency and personal freedom are bandied about. It should be a great deal of fun and education as well. Should be grist for the mill.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hunting Locations

A sense of place is important to my stories. Incorporating the textures, sounds, essences of a place is part of my writing process. I'm in Medellin Colombia this week, with my coauthor J. Lee Porter, learning all we can for the series of techno-thrillers we have in the works.

Yesterday we took a trip up to Santo Domingo, high above the city.

While it might not seem the most interesting area for tourists, when we got off the areal tram ride, and even going over it, the clusters of homes, the personalization visible even among similar places, made me think of the people living there. Now there is no way I can put myself in their shoes, but being here made me realize that it was a great place for the action in Book two of our work in progress. So I'll be going back to learn more.

The cable run is 4000 meters long with four stations dotting the run as it comes up from the metro station.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The different faces of fishing

The photo above is one I took in Vietnam. We were there a short time, in 2012 and didn't get much chance to hang out with the fishermen. I regret that.

I'm intrigued by the similarities and differences of rural peoples, and in particular, fishermen, which is curious, because I'm lousy at fishing. Fishing villages and the fishing folk are far more interesting to me than tourist destinations. 

Dagny (who catches far more fish than I) and I spent one of our years in Venezuela, a little more than that, actually, living among the scattered fishing villages along the north coast of the Golfo de Carriaco. We became friends with the fishing families and learned to respect their craft, their lives. 

The picture below is me (at the motor) and T-Bone Fisher out in my penero on the Golfo... on the way back from making a beer run to Cumana. I bought a 40HP Suzuki, much to the disdain of the fishermen who are big Yamaha fans. Although we left long ago, and T-Bone is (I think) dead now, the boat and motor are still there.

On the trip to Colombia that starts next week, I intend to visit a fishing village. I expect it will similar to the ones in Venezuela, but there will be differences. Those differences will be important to Book Two in the series I'm writing with J. Lee Porter, as some of the story will take place there. I'm looking forward to the adventure and brushing up on my fisherman Spanish.

I'm excited about that. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Headed South to Stare at the Future

On the first of January, I'll be getting on a place for Cartagena, Colombia, by way of Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale. After a few days there I'll be going to Medellin for a couple of weeks before retracing my steps. This trip has three objectives. The first one is that I'll meet up with J. Lee Porter for our first face-to-face meeting. He and I are working on an exciting project--a series of novels about the way Cryptocurrency is changing the world, focusing on the ways people, governments, and institutions (regulators, banks, law enforcement agencies...) respond to its benefits and threats. It's also about how people who are unwilling to relinquish their freedoms fight back.

It's been going along well, but it's going to be great to sit down and talk over some facets. The world is changing faster than we could imagine and much of what we thought would come to pass soon is happening already.

We've got a great team helping us with the books... a pro cover designer (Elizabeth Mackey) and interior designer (Domini Dragoone) will make the books even better. Elizabeth has already done the ebook cover for the first book: CRYPTO SHRUGGED which will be ready for preorder in Q1 of next year (toward the end, don't get too impatient). When we get closer, I'll post the cover so you can get as excited as we are.

We will also be researching Colombia as the locale for one of the upcoming books. The feel of a place, the way it strikes you, is more important than facts about it. What it smells and sounds like stay with you. We want to capture some of that.

The third reason for looking forward to this trip is simply that I've never been to Colombia. I've been in Venezuela and Ecuador and now I'm looking forward to Colombia.

I'll post some photos from the trip and keep you advised of our progress. As I said, this is an exciting project.