I’ve debated whether or not I should write this post, in part because many of the sources I’ll list are religious in nature, and I’m trying to keep my posts as "factual" as possible (complete with citations and what not). Even moreso because I’ve been getting strong "feelings" about this topic that seem to grow upon one another…
How it all started
I started having recurring dreams several years back… end of the world type dreams. Typically with my dreams they’ll be few and far between (that I remember, at least); and they usually don’t follow any set patterns, just my subconscious mind sorting and filing away all the miscellanea of my daily experiences.
These dreams were typically of the same events, or of the same theme, which is unusual in my dreams. They also had a degree of realism to them that I was previously unaware of in dreams.
I remember (from high school) how period authors would write novels (fiction) about real-world events of their day to draw attention to problems and invoke action by persons, governments, industries, etc. Examples that come to mind are The Jungle (1906) by Upton Sinclair; and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher.
For whatever reason, it’s easier for us to believe fiction than it is truth. That’s when it came to me… I can prepare all I can for my family and I… but the promptings that I’ve been getting have included sharing my premonitions with others, but not directly, which caused much confusion. I started getting the urge to fictionalize my dreams — to expound upon them — and to write them in novel format.
I started asking a co-worker (published) about any tips or templates that she uses in her writing. She provided a few resources. After asking for more information a few days later she introduced me to NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, and its corresponding website: http://www.nanowrimo.org.
NaNoWriMo.org is a web community that enables and encourages authors to write a 50,000+ word novel from beginning to end in the month of November (December is for editing).
I decided this was yet another sign that I was meant to write this novel.
I started forming "scenes" in my mind without really trying… bits and pieces that will soon become segments of chapters.
Fuel on the Fire
I knew my book was to be about the end of the world… no so grandiose as Revelations or Steven King’s The Stand, but common, every day life while the events leading to the Apocalypse are happening around us. Some more subtle than others — so subtle that if one could only remove themselves from their daily grind and look at the bigger picture they’d be shocked at what they saw… that’s the void this novel will serve to fill.
A question that remain in my mind: what was the catalyst that was to begin or accelerate the process of events that would ultimately lead us to the end… Almost in answer to that question I got an email on October 25h 2007 which contained links about the LDS Church and other others preparing their organizations for a pandemic flu.
- LDS Church Links: http://www.providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,6631-1-3415-1,00.html
- Dr. Susan Puls (LDS Church PowerPoint Presentation, PDF): http://www.byucemedia.org/cw/saftey/2007/ChurchPandemicPlanningEfforts-SusanPuls.pdf
- BYU Provo, Department of Health Sciences: http://hs.byu.edu/dept/newsletter/November%20Issue.pdf
- BYU Provo, Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bulletin: http://sas.byu.edu/training/bulletins/nov2006.doc
- BYU-I Pandemic Preparedness Page: http://www.byui.edu/safety/Pandemic_Web_Page.htm
- BYU-I, Flu Pandemic Video Presentation (short): http://streaming.byui.edu/safetyoffice/flu.wmv
- Science Channel Special on Flu Pandemic (long): http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7443717071229476088&hl=en
- Utah Flu Pandemic: http://www.pandemicflu.utah.gov/
- US Government Flu Pandemic Page: http://www.pandemicflu.gov/
- Citizen’s Guide to Influenza Pandemic (68 pages): http://www.newfluwiki2.com/upload/flu%20manual%20_v1-3_web.pdf
I’d found my catalyst — or one of them.
I always thought November was an odd time of year to start writing a novel — then more pieces started coming in to play.
Autumn always signals the beginning of the cold and flu (influenza) season, but it’s also a time where we spend less time outdoors, and more time in confined spaces, re-circulating used air to preserve heat. It’s also a migratory season for birds, and we’ve got some of the only wetlands that migratory foul use between Canada and Mexico right here around the Great Salt Lake, just a few miles from my home and place of work. It also signifies a time when family, friends, and relatives spend time together, often traveling great distances (which we rarely do by car or train anymore) to facilitate those visits. Airplanes can carry people (and their germs) across the globe in a matter of hours.
- Bubonic Plague (The Black Death) found in Denver Zoo, May 22 2007
- We still immunize our children against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
- We no longer immunize against smallpox (which can be weaponized), and the CDC officially declared the disease eradicated in 1980
- Cold and flu medicines are being pulled from the shelves and we are being advised to NOT give them to children
- The price of wheat is expected to double within the next few months and is already becoming hard to buy in quantity
- For the first time in recent history, the LDS Church is no longer advising its members to obtain a one year supply of food; rather, it is now advising a 90 day supply — as quickly as possible
- The supply of silver is dwindling, with relatively no new sources; silver is used in almost every piece of electronics that we buy today; today’s spot price for silver is USD$14.40/oz, many annalists predict this could soar past $50… possibly even 3 or 4 times that
Maybe November isn’t such a bad time to be writing a novel.
In any event, I’m not prophesying anything. I’m not telling you to do anything. I’m just sharing with you feelings and experiences that I’ve had. What you decide to do with this information is up to you.