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Just another nobody trying to save the world


Neil Lynch:
Hi all.

About me:

I'm a 49-year old man from the UK with 5 sisters and one bro.  As a child, I fell in love with football (Liverpool FC in particular) and by playing it every day at school, I was soon to see the value of getting an education.  With time, I developed a most wholesome fascination with nature and that's where my academic studies terminated - I got myself a degree in zoology.  Not bad for someone who spent his childhood well beneath the poverty line?

Following my graduation, I bought my first computer (an Amiga 1200) and learnt to type on it.  I just didn't know back then where being able to type at a respectable 40 wpm was going to take me...

Around the end of the last millennium, I tried my hand at teaching English as a foreign language which took me to both Athens, Greece and Tokyo, Japan.  Seven incredible years I could never ever possibly regret.  By 2002, I was appreciating free tickets to the Japan / S Korea world cup!   The ex-gf was a hero, there!  :clap:

Thankfully, I was out of Japan by the time of the tsunamis.  It's just I was having so much trouble resettling in the UK.  Jobs came, jobs went.  My career kind of stagnated.  So I took up writing...

The UK went into a Covid 19 lockdown early in 2020.  That's when I started work on the existential novel, Zen And The Art Of Saving Life On Earth.   The most incredible thing I've ever done / will do (probably).  It just needs an audience ready to hear the scariest of truths.  Pussyfooting around won't address the ecocide any time soon, will it, now?

Questions?   >:D

Hi Neil. Congrats on FA Cup. YNWA.

Would you describe your novel as a pandemic/lockdown story? Or said another way, do you think you could have written this pre-March 2020, or only could have written it post-March 2020?

Neil Lynch:

Hi mpf004 and thanks for the reply.  It sure is a great time to be a Liverpool fan, eh! 

The book could really have been written years back - it was just I was so bored of being trapped at home 24/7 with the girlfriend and that pushed me into action.

The year before lockdown, my girlfriend had a teaching conference in Belfast and she said I was welcome to tag along.  A place I'd never been, never had any desire to go, in fact it's a place I actually positively thought I'd never want to go.  It turned out, though, I had a great time there.  So much so, that's where I base the first 3 of the 8 chapters.

Nothing I saw in Belfast was particularly crucial to the story but whilst there I took the opportunity to visit the fabulous RMS Titanic museum built next to the infamous slipway it launched from.  And a seed was sewn there.

There were parallels I could draw between the story of the Titanic and the nature of the ecocide:  The volume of ice out of view beneath the waves / elements of the ecocide not obvious to the layman - how they really need taking seriously.  Complacency & arrogance leading to the sinking of the vessel - just as it could, humankind's existence on the planet.

Then there's the fact you never hear of icebergs anymore, these days.  Quite the opposite, we now know the devastating effect climate change has had on the Arctic's ice.   Whilst knowing the crucial role that ice plays in fresh water storage, oceanic salinity levels and sea level rises.

I like to think I'm still fairly knowledgeable on the nature of the ecocide and what we should be doing to address it properly.  My thoughts just needed a vehicle, though.  Why not a piece of quality fiction?  A story that - if well written - could be the difference where popularising my views is concerned.

So, and apologies for the long answer  :) , it was Belfast I needed, ultimately, I'd say.  Otherwise, I'd probably be back at XR getting locked up, just not really taking the issue seriously enough.

And the book would still probably just be nothing more than a twinkle in my eye.


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