Visioning Dystopia, A Mental Exercise

I have a mental exercise I do as I’m driving down the interstate, rather than simply enduring that all too familiar, all too painful, commute.

As I drive I look around me―at the landscape, at the other cars and trucks, at the people, especially the people―and I wonder, as they move through their self-absorbed lives, if they see themselves as they really are, dead.  Dead, perhaps not in this here and this now, but most certainly in some where and when, they are dead.

And in that where and when they are not moving through the ash-gray landscape, but rather sit rotting in the rusted and burned out hulks that were their vehicles and their lives.  At some point, of course, they were moving, clinging in vain to the hope of salvation, but at some point they stopped, in fact everything stopped, never to move again.

But I move past them―well, not me exactly, but some other me―careful not to breath in the horror that was their end and despairing that I was not among them, rather than cursed to meet my destiny in terrible solitude.

Sometimes the exercise is just that, an exercise in envisioning another where and when.  But on good days the memory of the vision stays with me and grows to be added to the half a million or so words I’ve written over the past few years.  Slowly those visions and words are morphing from a trilogy into a cycle of, so far, five novels, a novelette, and several short stories.  So far only the Any Tomorrow trilogy has been published, but the others will hopefully be released sometime in the near future.

What about you?  How do you morph your reality into your fiction?


About Kevin_Fraleigh

I am a novelist, and much of my writing is predicated on the concept that within each of us is a hole. For some of us, the hole is a divot, shallow and insignificant. But for many of us the hole is a cavern, deep and expansive. We try to fill it with sex or drugs or religion, but the cavern has an insatiable appetite. This is where the dark things live―the things that fill our nightmares. The things that claw at our minds. The things that inspire the stories of horror, madness, and twisted realities. From the depths of that cavern come the seeds of my stories. Won’t you join me in the dark edges of reality? Learn more about me from my blog at You can find my novels at,, and most eBook retailers. You can also read some of my full length short stories at
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3 Responses to Visioning Dystopia, A Mental Exercise

  1. alice says:

    I only just ran across this post while I try to get my rss feed caught up after a week’s worth of neglect. And I wonder how the blogging is working out for you. I’ve been blogging for years and lately, I don’t really see much traffic to my blog unless I share links to my posts on facebook. Now, I’m certain part of that is due to the fact that I’m a wildly erratic blogger these days. But it also seems like people get on facebook and then behave as though that’s the sum and entirety of the internet — they just don’t venture off on their own. Maybe they don’t have time for anything else? (Facebook certainly does suck away too much of my time!)

    Anyway, happy Sunday morning. I’ve been pondering your mental exercise since I saw the post on facebook… will post more later (I’m about to hop on the bike for a trip to our Sunday market)!

    • Hi Alice – It’s hard to really judge how much of an impact this blog has directly. On this blog my numbers are fairly low, but constant. What the blog does for me is to give me a starting point to jump off a discussion. I’ll often post the same material to Google+, FB, Gather, Goodreads, and a number of other sites. This gives me the possibility of reaching several thousand readers. But there’s no way to know how many readers take it the next step which is to Google me, find the blog, find my author’s page, etc., and hopefully buy my books.

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