Train journeys can be so useful

Sitting on the train as it left Edinburgh Waverley en route to London to celebrate the birthday of the Love Of My Life, LOML.  We had planned to visit a number of places, The Cabinet War Rooms, museums, have great meals, y’know, the kind of thing you do when in a city.  

The ride is smooth, it’s fast and you can stare at the countryside, thinking about how beautiful it is as it glides past, take photographs of each station that you stop at as you travel on your way.  It also allows you to mull over things, personal, whatever, just where your mind takes you.  

Looking out, you see people going about their business.  Cars travelling down a motorway.  Where could they be going?  What’s their story?  Let’s make up a story…  Time drifts by.  Thinking.  

A thread develops.  Thinking about the Cabinet War Rooms, the war, the reasons for the war.  The number of people who were killed, wounded, wounded psychologically.  The heroes and heroines on all sides.  Thinking about my next book, current title, ‘Kold Kronicles 3:  Deliverance.’  What can I use as a driver?  Well, there has to be conflict of some kind.  The cause?  How about religion?  People have written about religion and wars.  

I admit that history is full of wars of religion; but on this point we must be very careful; it is not the multiplicity of religions that produced these wars, but the spirit of intolerance animating the religion that believed itself to be dominant.

(Letter 83) Persian Letters, (Montesquieu)  

So, use intolerance as the basis for the conflict rather than religion, but what kind of intolerance?  Perhaps race?  There again, what head of state would use race to push his own toxic agenda?  I need to keep in mind that even though I’m writing fiction, it has to have some semblance of reality underpinning it.  So that might have to be worked on a bit but the world I’m creating is  now becoming toxic.  Great!  

Okay, let’s just stay with hate and intolerance.  Why do people cling to  hate so vehemently.  

‘I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.’  (James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time.)  

Okay, that might be worth keeping in mind.  Let’s develop it further.  I need to work around that a bit.  

So what I need is a faction that feels / is fed hate, wants a war and will use whatever they can to make an external enemy that is easy to identify.  Okay, what do I mean by faction?  Well this one works:  

‘a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community’.  (The Federalist Papers, James Madison)

adverse to the rights of other citizens…  Works for me.  

Right, now that’s sorted, what is the delivery system?  I know, let’s weaponise the internet.  That’ll work, after all it’s being used as a weapon already.  Not fantasy then…  

I now have my structure for the third Kold Kronicles.  It’ll be about bad guys who comprise a faction that use hate and intolerance against those whom they consider different;  utilising a weaponised internet;  led by a bigot who appears to want a war.  

What to call them?  How about, ‘the Myrmidon.’  (A follower or subordinate of a powerful person, typically one who is unscrupulous or carries out orders unquestioningly.)  Hitler had quite a few of them, as did / do other autocrats. 

Yes, the bad guy’s followers shall be called the Myrmidon.  

How’s that for fiction, eh?  Donchajustloveit?  

Train journeys can be so useful.  

J J Mitchell

‘Never leave anyone behind’ 

6 thoughts on “Train journeys can be so useful

  • 29th October 2018 at 12:19 pm
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    According to Greek legend, the Myrmidon were created by Zeus from a colony of ants and therefore took their name from the Greek word for ant, myrmex

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  • 29th October 2018 at 1:10 pm
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    That is really useful to know, thank you. Am now wondering how I can bring that into Book 3 – and rest assured, I will.

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  • 29th October 2018 at 7:37 pm
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    Interesting you mention Hitler. Are we in the 30’s again riven between factions here and in Europe; with people like Junkers and Tusk bending everything to suit themselves regardless of the mayhem it causes?
    Did you know some older cloggies firmly believe a united Europe can rival China and the States as a super-power though wholly dependent on others for all their energy needs? How can this illusion happen without the British knowing? Or is it because we chose to send idiots like Farage to help ignore the European plot? Now we are coming to a lose lose situation without even a serious discussion with our European partners as to what is wrong…divorce by indifference! Blah…

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    • 29th October 2018 at 8:20 pm
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      It surprises me that we have so many who hark back to the ‘golden era’ of their fantasy Britain. Farage is merely an example of that ‘little Englander’ attitude. As is Rees-Mogg. Populism is raising its head again, (Brazil for example.) How such beliefs will play out we shall have to see.

      However, it’s what damage is done in the meantime before the pendulum swings back that concerns many.

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  • 29th October 2018 at 8:38 pm
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    I’ve sat here now for over twenty minutes, writing, deleting and writing again. And all I can conclude from reading your musings is that In a world where it seems to me that even the ludicrous is deemed as acceptable, perhaps you’re not writing fantasy after all…just an insightful prediction of things to come?

    I do hope not.

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    • 29th October 2018 at 11:17 pm
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      You raise good points with which I agree. As for your final point, I also hope not.

      Reply

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