Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I've been brainstorming an idea for a prequel and some short stories. The prequel idea is actually really strong, so I'll lay it out here. If enough folks (say 10) respond with comments, I can keep it going and add some chapter sketches.

Title: Anna Mariko and the Singularity

Plot: Anna and her father are on a camping trip with other scouts and a neighbor's mom & dad when the singularity occurs. They get cut off from civilization, but as society reboots while they are hiking back to the city, they learn what is happening. The neighbors are survivalists, but the dad loves technology (and is worried about why he cannot reach his wife). I think you all may know that this one has a sad ending ...

A large number of the scouts are taken by the Mind of Man, which happens when the link into the Internet. They are all strongly tempted by loved ones to join -- Anna's father is tempted, of course, by her mother. Even the survivalist parents - who teach the girls many things on the hike about living without tech - are tempted to be with their son. Maybe in the end the only two who remain are Anna and her best friend (neighbor, named "Cookie"). Or maybe it is Anna and her dad. They are trying to escape to Camp David, and do they make it?

First and last line (an echo) is Anna's dad, saying, "You will be okay. Better than okay. Trust me, Anna."

Probably will write this in the first person. I love that vantage point. Powerful for a kids book. But wait ... shouldn't there be some boys in this if it is YA? Hmm.

Please tell me what you think!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I was inspired to write The Guarden by accident. When my daughter Naomi was a kid, I loved to tuck her into bed and tell her a bedtime story. In fact, Hiromi (my wife) would yell up after 30 minutes that I should leave her alone and let her fall asleep, but Naomi begged me to tell more.

The stories were alswasy ad hoc one-evening narratives, with a happy ending. But at some point, she wanted the story to last longer than one night. She asked for a longer tale. I think it was four years ago when Naomi was 9 years old that she asked for a new story "about what the future will really be like." That was a fun challenge! But she said it shouldn't about spaceships and aliens unless I thought that was realistic. Which I didn't. So what would it REALLY be like?

Well. I've always thought the most insightful fiction was BRAVE NEW WORLD, so that was an inspiration. And I also believe the best young adult story of all time is WIZARD OF OZ, which has wonderful mini-stories contained inside, what you might think of as cliffhangers. Even though my memory of Oz is a happy, colorful story (movie), it is actually driven by some really scary settings. Remember that both Oz and the Witch are terrifying figures to young Dorothy. I think a final inspiration was Neil Gaiman. It was about that time that Naomi and I read CORALINE, which we loved.

So I took those threads and wove them into a story about a girl and her friends. I tried to imagine what motivates girls ( a desire for freedom?) and how the future of technology might unfold. I have to admit, that is a future I find plausible and daunting.

Even then, I didn't mean for it to be a novel. It was just a bedtime story that got out of hand.

First Three Chapters Free PDF

Visit to read or download a free PDF of the first three chapters. I am hopeful that these three chapters are shared widely to generate interest in the book. They say word of mouth is the most effective advertising. We'll see if the book is good enough to generate enough enthusiasm for friends to share it with one another!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Free chapters from the Guarden

The first three chapters of the novel, The Guarden, will be available here soon.