writing

Gothic, Science-Fantasy, Time-Travel, Narcissism, Purity Culture–Doctor von Bismarck: A Tale of Obsession

Gothic, Science-Fantasy, Time-Travel, Narcissism, Purity Culture--Doctor von Bismarck: A Tale of Obsession 1

Madge the beautiful geek is in love with the handsome, noble, narcissistic time traveler who may or may not be a Nazi. Doctor Heinrich von Bismarck is driven to invent time travel and avenge his wife and children, who were killed in an Allied bombing raid. He has grown used to controlling minds through hypnotism. He pulls Madge into his Svengali trap, until she is addicted and starts turning a blind eye to red flags. But she also pulls him into a trap which could be his downfall–or his salvation.

Doctor von Bismarck: A Tale of Obsession is a Gothic Science Fantasy with twisted and obsessive romance, social commentary, and deconstruction from fundamentalist religion.

My book is now available for sale as paperback and e-book.

CLICK HERE for links to buy

Typing An Unwilling Time-Traveler, a novella I wrote in high school, onto my main website, revived my old passion for that story.  Ever since October 2015, I have worked on a full revision, finally publishing it on August 26, 2023.  The original was about a teenage girl abducted to Nazi Germany by a time-traveler; the new version has become far more complex.  Now woven in are various themes such as narcissism, authoritarian religion, deconstructing from Fundamentalism/Evangelicalism, purity culture, and falling for a Svengali figure.  The themes of a Christian society falling for the lies of an authoritarian state, and how warfare is conducted, are also increasingly relevant to our times.  There are Gothic tropes as well as science fantasy.  Doctor von Bismarck is also loosely inspired by an ex-friend (Richard) and an ex-husband (Phil), both narcissists.  You can read about my revisions in my writing blog.

For now, the book is only available on Amazon, but I hope to make it more widely available in December.

I have put together a playlist of songs that appear in, or helped to inspire, Doctor von Bismarck:

Work in Progress: Ending finally worked

So I read the ending of my work-in-progress the other night in Writer’s Club.  And they loved it.  It worked.  Our published poet especially loved the final paragraph.

I’ve struggled with that ending for years.  I had trouble working out how it should go, what happened, how much to reveal, when it happened, etc. etc.  I’ve deleted things and changed things and rewritten it a bunch of times.  A while back, I showed a reader three different endings and asked which one she liked best.

This one finally worked.

Now, I’m finishing up the research, basically German culture and language.  I spent several years reading all about Nazi Germany and the decades leading up to it and how people thought; I think at this point I know all I need to know.

I’m bogged down in editing, though, because I struggle to find time to do it, and I’m working on Heinrich’s speech patterns.  I hear Germans all the time on the radio because I listen to Goth/Industrial, but I still have trouble getting it right.  I think next book everybody will be a native English speaker.  argh

In revising my first two books to get them ready for a new platform, the writing of my youth surprised me.  There were amazing passages I’d forgotten all about.  But with “Bismarck” I feel like I’m at the peak of my powers, as they say.  It’s probably because I’ve been running a website and blogging for some 18 years, writing all sorts of things, from political pieces to memoirs, while also reading all sorts of things.

It’s getting there, people.  It’s getting there…..

Description of my work-in-progress: Typing An Unwilling Time-Traveler, a novella I wrote in high school, onto my main website, revived my old passion for that story.  Ever since October 2015, I have been working on a full revision.  The original was about a teenage girl abducted to Nazi Germany by a time-traveler; the new version has become far more complex.  Now woven in are various themes such as narcissism, authoritarian religion, deconstructing from Fundamentalism/Evangelicalism, purity culture, and falling for a Svengali figure.  The themes of a Christian society falling for the lies of an authoritarian state, and how warfare is conducted, are also increasingly relevant to our times.  There are Gothic tropes as well as science fantasy.  You can read about my revisions in my writing blog.

I found someone like me who records memories for future self

I was reading a blog on NVLD when I came across a comment by Shava Nerad which read, in part,

My episodic memory is pretty good, but spotty. I can remember things going back to my toddler years. I started trying to remember events of my life when I was about eight years old when I realized that most adults didn’t remember what it was like to be a child anymore, and had the foresight as a gifted kid to try to “record” my memories for my future self so this wouldn’t be my fate (it worked!). My idea of my unfathomably ancient future self, in my mind at the time, was me-at-forty, lol, and here I am at nearly 60, still quite easily remembering my internal states as a kid.

I did this, too: When I was maybe ten, I read the Little House books, assumed they were all based on memory (not knowing that Wilder did some fictionalizing), and wanted to be able to do the same thing when I got older.  So I asked my psychologist to hypnotize me to remember everything.  I also started writing down everything, in diaries and letters and journals, and then backing them up: typing them, copying them, saving them on computers, locking them in fireproof vaults.  As I got older, saving e-mails became a new way of remembering.  Nowadays, I do my saving electronically, which is much easier to find room for and access at will.

So just like Nerad, I can remember many things from as far back as age one because I was determined to remember them.  I wrote down many old memories into Word Perfect; there are many things I’ve forgotten which I remember by looking back through these journals.  They are valuable to me, no matter if anybody else cares about the things I write about.  Even if nobody reads much of the memoirs I’ve posted here on my website, they are there for me to re-read and search through whenever I want to remember something.

And yes, I remember vividly what it was like to be a kid, to be a teenager, even at the ripe old age of 47.  😉  So when I see somebody my age post a comment online like, “Back in MY day, we didn’t act up in class/disrespect our parents/act like today’s spoiled rotten kids/etc. etc.,” I can say, “Um, yes, you did.  You were just as bad.  Spanking didn’t stop you.”

Too bad I can’t post a reply to Nerad.  I mean, I could, but this person’s comment was posted two and a half years ago….

New revision and buy links for my book Tojet

After April’s fiasco on the Lulu website–after a disastrous “upgrade” which screwed up thousands of people’s projects–I’m in the process of moving my books over to Draft2Digital.  You will still see links for the Lulu version of Tojet around the Net, but I retired the Lulu project, so they should disappear soon.  The link you need to find Tojet is here.  It leads you to different vendors.  Not Amazon yet, because my old links have to disappear first so Amazon doesn’t blacklist my new links.  Amazon’s rules are draconian….. But you can find a MOBI formatted book for your Kindle here.

It’s taking so long to move my books over because the files are 12-15 years old and need extensive formatting fixes to work with modern ebooks.  The days of using your print book’s PDF as an ebook are long over.  Not only that, but I’ve also been skimming through looking for stuff I want to change.

So Tojet has been revised for 2020, and I’m about to start the process with The Lighthouse.  I really look forward to updating Lighthouse because–even though it seems like everybody else prefers Tojet–The Lighthouse is my favorite of the two, with its Gothic themes and–I think–superior writing.  Yet everybody likes Tojet better.  Go figure.  😉  [Update: Lighthouse is done; see here for links.]