Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The flow starts up again in 'The Devil's Pipeline'

POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - After several fits and starts (more fits than starts) today I banged out a chapter in The Devil's Pipeline, chapter 3 in the final segment of the book.

The title of the last segment has been changed  from The Big Short to Standing Rock - quite appropriate, all things considered. And tomorrow another chapter should follow as a wrongful death lawsuit unfolds in the book, under the steady eye of an Iowa judge named Roy Bean. (Who can makes this stuff up? Oh, yeah. OK...)

As the late Norman Mailer once opined, writing fiction can be heavy lifting given the incredible weirdness of real life. If any novelist had fictionalized a novel containing details like those we witnessed in the last year of presidential politics, he or she would have been summarily thrown out of their publisher's office with strict instructions to never, ever return.

And so it was that when it was time to complete the balance of The Devil's Pipeline in mid to late September, I had just returned from my cross-county driving sojourn, from New York City to San Francisco.

Writing (at least novel writing) was out of the question.

My trip was rife with evidence that Trump might win the presidential election. I didn't meet a Democratic voter - or anyone who would admit to being a Democratic voter - anywhere west of the Hudson River until I came into California. I barely whispered to anyone what I had seen and heard from Bloomsburg, PA,  and all across the country. I stopped often and talked with local folks in restaurants, stores, gas stations and a few bars. Maybe not enough bars.

And Standing Rock? My God! Sworn law enforcement officers spraying water cannons, firing tear gas and percussion grenades - and dousing defenseless water protectors with pepper spray, all so a vast array of energy companies and banks could push a pipeline under a lake.

What in the name-of-God has the country come to?

But out of all that - Trump, the brave Native American water protectors, Standing Rock - the fictional characters in The Devil's Pipeline were all waiting for me when I picked up their storyline this morning with a smoking' hot column by Jack Stafford.

Tomorrow, (I'm told) the head of the energy conglomerate building The Devil's Pipeline will put his extremely tiny foot in a pile of shit up right up to his ankle. Yes, he has tiny feet. You will have to wait until the book comes out next year to find out about how big his hands might be.

You already guessed, I bet.