Writer’s Block. We are warned that we all get it, that the solution is to, well, write. Put the words on the page, even if it feels like a slog. The advice often sounds as if writer’s block is like “the wall” in a marathon. By mile ten, most people have used their circulating blood sugar and have to dig into reserves in the liver. By mile twenty, “the wall,” the liver’s depleted, and we get into the ineffable, gauzy advice about reaching deeply into one’s self for the last 6.2 miles.
All of which makes sense for marathons. At least for the ones I did. I mention this because I came to a halt, a standstill, in my novel #5, which I’m calling Cyberstorm. I tried the forging ahead thing, and it didn’t work. It took me a while to realize that I needed to understand my characters and my plot ideas better than I did. Once I settled on some details I’d overlooked, the words began to flow again.
So much for similes.
I read this article in the New York Times and spent a morning gloating. After all, back in 2011, I built my first novel, Fatal Score, around the likelihood that there would be a cyber war and groups of good (white hat) and bad (black hat) hackers would be roiling cyberspace. How clever of me.
Then I spent the afternoon of that day thinking, Holy Shibbit—if an ordinary citizen could come so close to reality, why haven’t we been building that national firewall I predicted in Fatal Score? We apparently have known for years that security is weak, or at least uncoordinated and sporadic. Now, here we are.
And then there’s the Russian oligarch thing. We’re surprised at this vague force involving itself in cyber warfare? Really? It seemed an obvious evolution in Fail Deadly, which I’m currently sending out to agents. (sidebar: if anyone would like to be an advance reader, let me know through the ‘Contact’ tab.)
Am I clever? I’d like to think so. Of course, there is the fact that I can’t install a disposal and Google Drive won’t give me back the files I put there. But the cyberwar that’s coming is also an obvious development. I can only hope that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes involving huge resources and people at least as clever as the hackers.