Finding Time

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Finding time to write this blog has been a challenge.  It’s not that I don’t want to do, it is because I am usually busy with a lot of things all simultaneously.  Work takes up most of my time.  If I could only be as famous as Stephen King and write full time?  But, alas, I cannot.  I usually get here at 7:00 in the morning then put in a ten hour day while I work at my desk through lunch.  Then I need to find time to write on my newest novel. And I have to find time to write this blog.  Plus I still need to take time to receive chemotherapy but I admit that chemotherapy is kind of a big deal for me.  I am still at a loss as to how to market myself.

The last several weeks have been especially busy.  Last month the company I work for had their National Sales Kickoff in Cancun.  Everyone in the office was excited!  Free vacation!  WOOT!  But, sadly, they are not experienced in the ways of company travel.  If our company was paying for everyone from the northernmost wilds of Canada to the southern tip of Chile to go to Cancun it was not for the drinks and fun in the sun.  I have experienced work conferences and I already knew what to expect.  We started at 7:00 AM everyday (8:00 if you wanted to skip breakfast) and went on until 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon.  Then it was a work sponsored event of some sort until 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening.  In the meanwhile we had to keep up with our normal work.  Kudos to the kids who managed to keep the schedule and still take advantage of the drinks at the all inclusive resort.

After we came back I had to spend time catching up from the work I fell behind on while going through my tenth round of chemo.

And then I attended publisher training earlier this month while fighting nausea from that round of chemo.

Busy!

Today I just finished my thirteenth round of chemotherapy.   I still manage to keep perspective in all this through a simple equation –

Work = Health Insurance = Survival

See how that works?  😀

The Challenge of Writing Future Tech

For those of you who only follow this blog and not my author page or my personal page (I post funny stuff) I wrote a novel last year called “One Nation.”  It is a dystopian novel set in during the fall of 2041 into winter of 2041/2042.  The democratic and republican parties have been replaced by the fascist Freedom Party.  An affluent woman finds herself under investigation by the National Police.  As she and her husband find themselves shunned by their friends and colleagues they have to decide if they if they can salvage their life in America or if they should run.

Since this novel is set twenty-four years in the future one of the challenges I had in writing this was trying to anticipate what the technology would be in the future.  Was I right or wrong?  We’ll know for sure in twenty-four years.

I will only be discussing the future tech from my novel.  If there is any other future tech anyone wants to discuss feel free to comment.  I can research further and comment back.  And if anyone hasn’t read “One Nation” yet rest assured that this post shouldn’t serve as a spoiler.

Joltvee

When I wrote the rough draft I had littered the landscape with Humvees.  Then it occurred to me that much like the Humvee had replaced the iconic Jeep from World War II something newer would have to replace the Humvee.  After some research I found the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.  It isn’t officially called the Joltvee.  I hope the name catches on.

joint-light-tactical-vehicle-contract

Dents

I actually got the idea of the Orwellian identity chips from an episode of CSI: Miami I saw ten years ago.  If you are familiar with the show’s format a dead body turns up and they use SCIENCE to solve the mystery.  In the episode I remember a girl had an RFID chip implanted under her skin that held all her personal information.  Farfetched?  Not as much as you would think.

rfid-image

iGlasses

Google glasses are a very real thing but I don’t think they have taken off like Google hoped it would.  Likely we will need Apple to make the idea popular… because until Apple makes it we ignore it.  Regardless, we are going to have some augmented VR system that we will use in our environment.  The Google glass overlay or something like it makes sense.  I had to find a way to ditch the iGlasses midway through the story.  The idea of wearing something with a camera and a microphone would have impeded my characters escape from their peril.

google-glass

OLED walls

This is simple in concept.  We watch programs through OLED TVs now.  What if we can wallpaper our entire houses with flexible OLED screens?  I can see that happening in the future.  Every wall covered with screens that will feed your images from programming or just simple scenery like bucolic meadows or golden beach sunsets.  Even more, with transparent OLED displaying information on your car windshield.

lg-super-thin-oled-wallpaper-tv

Self Driving Cars

These are coming pretty soon (and, given my commute in the Dallas area, can’t come soon enough).  The Teslas can already drive themselves with minimal input from the driver and Google has been working on a self driving prototype.  Uber is experimenting with their own self driving cabs (and getting pushback from the California legislature).  The cars will get smarter and pretty soon everyone will have one.

google-self-driving-car

Artificial Intelligence

Last week I bought a Google Home.  It serves as a personal assistant and at some point I can have it control aspects of my home.  I probably need to write a separate blog post on AIs and how much they have advanced in the last ten years alone.  Even now between my smartphone, Google Chrome and other connected devices all the tech is doing a good job of managing my life.  I’ve noticed that if I forward a flight itinerary to my Gmail account Google will keep me up to date on my flight status.  Some people are frightened by the Orwellian nature of this but I am fine with it.  Tech is everywhere and unless I am fleeing the country like Jennifer Hanson does in “One Nation” it’s easier to have an AI assisting me in life.

When I was interacting with Google Home this week she surprised me with a question.  She said, “By the way, that reminds me… what is your favorite animal?”  I was shocked for a moment.  I said “Cats?”

adorable-cats-cats-18082766-500-375

The State of Karnes Address 2017

new-year

It is totally like me to start a blog and then abandon it for a couple of months.  But I have a good excuse, I swear.  I was busy.  Like, really busy.  My grown up job is a licensing solution professional for a global software reseller.  That’s quite a mouthful.  To put it in layman’s terms I manage publisher relationships for my company.  I do quite a bit of management so it keeps me busy.  An apt analogy would be the dude at the carnival who is spinning plates to entertain you.

spinning-plates

I spent the last two months completing certifications for one of my publisher lines and trying to close as much business for the year.  My sales year was iffy but those certifications are done.

I continue my treatment for cancer.  My eighth round of chemo was completed last week and I have a ninth round scheduled the first week of February.  Additionally, I had another CT scan.  It looks like chemotherapy is going to be an integral part of my life during 2017.  That’s okay because I am not quitting.

Back when I was in my twenties I used to buy the whole “new year, new you” thing.  It is easy to fall into that trap.  You have a bad year, blame it on fate, the stars, global warming or Hare Krishnas then declare that the next year was going to be TOTALLY different.  But I am older and wiser now.  There is no such thing as a “new year, new you.”  You are still the same you.  You are the sum total of every experience you have ever had.  You can make the choice to learn and grow from those experiences or you can stew in self-doubt and complain that the world is against you.

I don’t have have the perfect life by any means but I have more things going right than wrong.  Well, I have cancer so that is a big negative, but I don’t let it define everything about me as a person.  I still feel like I have a good life and take advantage of it at every opportunity.  Even with every bad thing that is going on personally and in the world I find a reason to laugh everyday.

Still, there is nothing wrong with having goals for the new year and I have them.  My writing has fallen by the wayside for the last couple of months (busy, remember?).  I am writing the sequel to One Nation and hope to have the rough draft completed by the end of spring.  Also, I need to open more distribution channels for One Nation (like iTunes, Google and Goodreads).  And, for the life of me, I need to figure out how to market myself better.

So what are your plans for the year?

 

The First Post

This is the post excerpt.

thefirstpost
Consider this a work in progress.  Not that I am unfamiliar with blogs.  I have written them before although it has admittedly been awhile.  I have had blogs off and on since 2003 but they were hidden from most prying eyes and posted quite anonymously.  Can I tell a good story?  Only you, the reader, can judge.  Regardless, I do have stories to tell.

What prompted me to write another blog (is this the fourth or fifth now?  I have lost count) is that I self published a book earlier this year.  My book “One Nation” is available on Amazon and I encourage everyone to buy a copy.  I also need to learn more about marketing strategies.  I thought I was well armed with marketing knowledge based on my few experiences in the corporate world but that turned out not to be the case.

So here I sit at my local bar in Plano, Texas writing my first blog post on a WordPress account I created just a few minutes ago.  This bar has been crazy all day about the Texas-OU game (spoiler alert – Texas lost).  While everyone is engaged in the game I have spent the day here writing, researching and now blogging.  Believe it or not I can concentrate easier in this surrounding chaos than I can at home.

What about me?  I have spent the last sixteen years in the corporate reseller industry (the first two in computer hardware and the lastfourteen in software).  In 2013 I was dissatisfied with work and where it was going and decided to make a change.  I have been writing on and off since I was a kid.  I enjoy telling stories and decided that I could write and self-publish my own book.  That was how “One Nation” was born.

I was watching the news three years ago when someone opined that the the next president who would be elected would be the most hated president in history.  I thought long and hard about that.  We have never been so divided than we are right now.  I imagined an America where we want to give up so many of our freedoms and seek to be taken care of by our political masters.  I conceived of a tumultuous 2016 election that leads to a Second American Revolution and the rise of the fascist Freedom Party.  The Trump and Clinton candidacies only help reinforce my predictions.

My book was released in May and I have been struggling with marketing since then.  I have gotten good feedback from my readers who have been surprised that I can actually write and tell a story.

I have also had other struggles this year as well.  My “day job” keeps me busy.  I am working a lot having to manage several security product lines.  I had a breakup with a girlfriend earlier this year who I am still very fond of.  We are still friendly to one another and she has been somewhat supportive from afar.  The biggest struggle has been since mid-summer.  In July I was admitted to the hospital for persistent nausea and lack of appetite.  I had lost ten pounds in the space of a week.  It turned out that the CT scan revealed tumors in my pancreas and liver.  I was diagnosed with stage two endocrine pancreatic cancer.  I started chemotherapy almost immediately and will continue through the end of the year.  This, along with diabetes, severely complicates my health.  I am very well aware that I have a foreseeable expiration date.  Rather than letting it get me down it motivates me instead.  I feel like I need to get everything done.

Despite everything that has occurred this year I still feel good about things.  When people ask how I deal with cancer I tell them with action plans.  I know I have cancer, I need a plan to combat it, I will follow the plan and if something changes I will revise the plan.  In the meantime I am going to keep doing everything I need to do to with that ever present expiration date well in mind.

This post was meant to be quick and dirty.  I wanted to get something up quickly.  Please forgive me if you see any typos or misspellings.  And remember, this is a learning process for me.  I have to get used to Word Press. 🙂