Category Archives: Cambodia students

The Novel I’m Having Trouble With

Later this month I’m off to the Southern California Writers Conference at San Diego to try to sell my first novel ( a spy thriller.) (Their website is

www.writersconference.com).

In the meantime I’m trying to write a second one about a woman on the first manned mission to mars who keeps getting messages on her computer from someone who is able to predict what will happen on the ship. The trouble is, the messages keep disappearing, leaving her with now proof that she ever got them. She doesn’t know whether to tell anyone about them, and the sender urges her not to. Unfortunately, she had two uncles with schizophrenia, and she begins to worry that these messages aren’t real. The novel will revolve around “what do you do on a ship in deep space if you begin to doubt your own sanity?” Who do you turn to for advice when the very people you depend on for cooperation – and who will depend on you – need to feel they can trust you to act rationally, given all the difficult things they’ll have to do  when they do get to Mars. (There’s going to be a twist at the end when we learn who the sender of the messages is.) But it’s turning out to be a lot harder than I expected. Writing the spy novel was a hard, slow process, despite several professional manuscript appraisals. It took 5 years before I put it away ad recently pulled it out again. This one is beginning to feel much harder.

Any readers who have suggestions: if you intentionally wanted to drive someone insane on a space ship, how would you it?

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On the Edge of the Lake (scroll down for life on the lake.)

Here are some more pictures of people who live on Tonle Sap lake, in Cambodia, at the end of the lake  near Siem Reap
Houses on the edge of the lake. When the lake fills, the water will come almost to floor level. On the opposite side of the house (where you can't see) steps lead down to the road level.
Housing on the edge of the lake.
In the midst of poverty, a mobile phone tower.