It wasn’t easy. I had to materialize at my Great-Grandmother Shirley’s bedside one night to convince her to extend her novel into the future. The Desk should be more than a family history, I told her. It’s a story of women’s power to work within the larger arc of past, present and future as advocates for the earth.
I’ve been feeding her bits and pieces of my world as she writes. Since she’s going to be introducing me at the Women’s Writing Salon April 27th, I thought I’d use her blog to tell you more about my world – some familiar, some the unchecked progress of bad ideas.
I enter the story as Dr. Amisha Hoplin, a 50 years old Pediatrician working at the University Medical Center in San Francisco. In poor health myself, I’ve just received devastating news for my patients. I’ve also been haunted by memories of the old family homestead and whispers of an old desk . . . .
By 2088, Corporations have become a third branch of the Federal Legislature with the same vote as the Senate and House. Nothing gets through the impenetrable Corporate Coalition. Water, power, food, are controlled by HumanaCorps, and now everything’s falling apart. Medical research has stopped altogether. Forget finding cures–just find something to market that patients will need. Like PharmFood, designed for the rampant increase of food intolerances brought on by genetic-tinkering.
No more electronic devices. Pebble-sized gel Chips, inserted behind the ear of every baby replace computers, i-phones, touch pads, GPS, televisions, etc. Their fine micro-rootlets form neural attachments with the brain. So much easier than carting around personal devises. HumanaCorps monitors your interests and whereabouts to instantly inform you of consumables you should want. In a nearly paperless world, search requests are fed to you through Insta.Info, while transmissions of personal creativity are discouraged.
San Francisco has been re-arranged as people frantically respond to the rising sea and changing weather. Here’s a excerpt from the novel.
As the Pedi-Cab entered Golden Gate Park at 19th Avenue though a thin perimeter of trees, a subdued silence and oily saltiness permeated the air. Submerged structures at the end of the avenues made it hazardous to sail or row close to the shoreline, so the city had cut down a swath of trees through the park so boats could access the new city center. The Golden Gate Channel. Hah! Two solar buoys marked the entrance. Amisha closed her eyes to avoid seeing the fallen trees, and drifted into a light sleep. When the pedi-cab cyclist pulled up to her faded pink stucco house on 25th Avenue, he paused for a trembler, then nudged her shoulder and helped her up the front steps.
If you’re around on Saturday, April 27th at 4 pm, come by Tome’s Bookstore in Grass Valley for the Women’s Writing Salon. Shirley will be reading along with Pat Miller, Sands Hall, Jan Fischler, Eleanor MacDonald and Jean Varda.
© All materials copyright Shirley DicKard, 2012 – 2013, except as otherwise noted.