Richard e Hill - a Writer's Journal

On My Writing Desk

Use a new word daily; I do. An oldie that enhances your writing would suffice as well.

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11:28 in TJ  A novel or telenovela (written in Spanish)

 A young gambler from San Diego inspecting his local offshore sports betting operation sees his family massacred while they were under witness protection in Costa Rica. The patriarch of the family was a convicted embezzler and money launderer who gave prison saving information to the FBI in its mission to destroy a Los Angeles druglord. The patriarch was a respected environmentalist with a sultry super-model, aspiring actress girlfriend, Solana dubbed the “Mexican Marilyn Monroe”. The gambler narrowly misses extermination and seeks to avenge the deaths. Joined by a long time friend, Black hustler from LA and a teenage Mexican former concubine met en route, they begin a journey in a birthday gift Cadillac Escalade from San Jose, Costa Rica to Tijuana, Mexico. Thru illicit connections they attempt to unravel the mysteries. Potential illegal immigrants, economic-political situations, preying road bandits, and an infamous assassin are encountered along the way.

 The erudite former concubine relates the story of Yanga, the leader of the ancient slave revolution as they pass little known historic sites thru the mountains near Vera Cruz.

Breakfast in TJ

11:28, the extrapolated time depicted by the Roman numerals on the face of the old analog clock standing near the beginning of the winding walkway thru the La Voz del Pueblo market place entering Tijuana, Baja California , Mexico. The open window restaurants, stands, craft shops and kiosks with fast talking, hawking bi-lingual merchants, and artisans, with baggy subfusc and low rider shapely staffs along the trail to the towering silver arch at the entrance to Revolucion Blvd, the main drag to the bustling, dusty city of two million people. Most of who only want to leave.  Turistas learn quickly not to accept the “first unmarked price” for anything except food and beverage. Though these commodities too are often subject to haggling negotiations as well as sex, drugs, taxi fares and knock-off merchandise. The arch has been nicknamed the Mexican McDonald where one may dine al fresco on nearby benches with their own fare free in contrast to a meal at the golden arched namesake where a meal consisting of a Big Mac, French fries, and soda costs more than most of the populace earns in a day.

 11:28. Does the time commemorate a special occasion or portend an event yet to come? Or is it just time standing still mimicking the cult film Ground Hog Day, going no where cramped, muy pronto existence of so many? Is it no more than a reference point for seekers who move casually and oft times surreptitiously down the arterial lanes to the main trail to barter and arrange for goods and services?

 There is something for everyone in the colonies comprising TJ --- dumps, dives, SRO’s, modest apartments, simple homes, majestic houses, high-rise beachfront condominiums; gambling, discothèques, night clubs with nude dancers, precious metals, vice, and bargain rate merchandise among the array.

 You have to be broke or stupid to go jail in inner city TJ. Most offenses can be settled ‘out of court’ instantly by the graft laden policia. There are other penalties though for the free wheeling lifestyles; STD, robbery,, and violent street gangs. People of evil deeds with specific needs, the hustlers circle and stalk vulnerable distracted tourists to procure, connive or use any means necessary to achieve ill gotten gains. If you survive six months in TJ, you can survive forever for the criminal element will deduce either you are too poor to have anything of value, you are accepted, protected, connected, or very dangerous also.

 Novel - Guides for the Blind

Biographies or excerpts from the lives of three Black men who history has turned “blind eyes” towards, hence the working title, “Guides for the Blind”. Undecided as whether to create a historical anthology or “drop these stories” into the background of a non-fictional work.

1. Gaspar Yanga – a 16th century African prince is sold into bondage to work the plantations of Southern Mexico. He escapes with other slaves to the mountains of Veracruz and allies with the indigenous populace to revolt against Spain. They become the “first free people of the Americas” after reaching a truce with the occupying Spaniards.
2. York – The lifelong body servant for Meriwether Lewis becomes the scout for the Lewis and Clark expedition. So historically obscured that he is only known by one name, York.
3. Matthew Henshaw – The guide for the Admiral Peary in the exploration and search for the North Pole. After Peary falls ill, he reaches a destination closer to the Pole than Peary. Neither actually, despite publicity and financing by the National Geographic Society reaches the acclaimed destination. (Cook has been recognized as the “true discoverer” after years of historical slight.)


(Format undecided i.e. non-fiction historical novel or enclosure within a fictional novel)



Correct and Recompile (The development and implementation of a landmark computer application)

CORRECT AND RECOMPILE. The dreaded, but usual error message culminating a two hour wait as a computer program had failed to generate the necessary codes for execution. The Common Business Oriented Language aka COBOL source codes written by a computer programmer would have to be corrected; tried again, again and again before successful compilation would be achieved. A successful compilation on initial submission or in the vernacular “golden” was rare ---- difficulty level of the program notwithstanding. In this embryonic age of accelerated automation nearly every program was a customized creation for utility programs and data development tools were few as project development to a great extent mimicked the arcane, comparatively tedious Hollerith 80 column card procedures. “Correct and recompile” ---- All "old school" programmers and developers have been there and done that.



Moonlighter - The Last Consultant Standing

(Things they never told you in Grad School)

There have always been consultants. Whenever anything was built or bartered, someone with mercenary intentions would appear and for a price would tell you a better way to realize your objective. They were called business advisors, management consultants, varying types of engineers, or efficiency experts. The information technology a.k.a. data processing explosion of the 1960’s created a different type of consultant. One who could move data through computers more efficaciously. Many of these data processing experts from consulting firms would be called less endearing terms ---- temp workers, contract programmers, vultures, gunslingers, or whores, just to name a few. The self-employed independent data processing consultants were called “moonlighters” as many had other occupational pursuits during the day.  



Junk Food Friday

A bon vivant and a lesbian become best friends and mutual wingmen before beginning a dysfunctional romance.

Novel, Harlem Germany

There has been a relationship between Blacks in America and Germany dating to the Revolutionary War where free Blacks and runaway slaves were employed by the Hessian forces utilized by the Patriots. After the War many of these Blacks were transported to Germany and repatriated into ethnic conclaves. There were 25,000 Black citizens in Germany during the Adolph Hitler regime. Some were banished, some were placed in concentration camps to perform menial and horrific tasks, some had surgical procedures including sterilization performed, and others served in the German Army. This novel chronicles a group of Black Germans and one family’s ultimate immigration to America via France.


Novel - ИiGGer, Kansas... Population 0 (rise/fall of a town settled by Blacks after the Civil War)

-- fled across the sprawling plains to the hills, strewing their belongings behind. All they could carry; all they could drag. The livestock that was not slaughtered by the marauders ran wild and frightened scattering in every direction away from the burning town and farms. Only dreams were left. But those lofty visions too were perishing in the kerosene aided flames. A hooded horseman threw a rope over the proud sign gracing the arch over Front Street. After several tugs, it dragged behind him attached to the saddle of his charging horse. A henchman sat down his bounty of whiskey cases, signaling frantically for the horseman to stop. The rider complied by reining his horse to a rearing stop. Another raider advanced carrying a burning piece of the wooden sidewalk. "Gonna give this here town a proper name" he drawled looking at Charlie Whittler's handicraft, the sign bearing the words 'New Freedom, Kansas Population 177'. A line was drawn through 'New Freedom' and scratched above it were the letters 'ИiGGer'. Another line was drawn through '177', written above it was '0'. "Think they're coming back?" ---


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