`Amanda's War'

`Amanda's War' gives readers mystery, romance, intrigue and adventure: a 12-year-old girl makes some mistakes and is then forced to run from the police. More
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Words: 45,320
Language: English
ISBN: 9781476312347
About Bill Etem

Bill Etem - ex-math teacher, ex restaurant server, ex-busboy, ex department store clerk, ex semi truck driver, ex fork-lift driver, ex legal coder, which is different than medical coding, ex-lot of other stuff. Protestant ex-Football Coach at Notre Dame - the High School in Los Angeles not the University in South Bend, IN, not a head coach at Notre Dame either, just an assistant. B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota. I'm living in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area. Before Minneapolis I was in Mexico for 20 months. Before that I was in L.A. for three years. I've traveled all round France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Austria, Switzerland... Canada...most of the 50 states in of the USA. As for living for 20 months in Mexico it was mostly in Oaxaca.

My most recent book is `The Rock Island Symposium on the Satanic Protestant Cults'. I was driving down I-80 a few years back and I saw the turnoff for the town of Atalissa, IA, which I find an interesting name. It was originally the name of a princess - I finally got round to Googling 'Atalissa' in August of 2015 - and then I threw a lot of 'The Rock Island Symposium on the Satanic Protestant Cults' together, in one week, after I learned what happened there. I amend the beginning of the book from time time. I'm finding it rather exhausting just fixing up the first 30 pages, so I'll probably never polish up the whole thing. It's just a whole lot easier to start a new book rather than perfect the old book. 'The Rock Island Symposium on the Satanic Protestant Cults' looks at some big problems with the Protestant sects under the sign of the cross. For instance, the Protestants don't excommunicate anyone! They don't excommunicate Sabbath violators, pro-choice people, pro-gay marriage people, they more or less give the Eucharist to anyone who asks to receive it, and 1 Corinthians 11. 27, and 2 Thess 1. 8, and John 15. 6, and Luke 13. 3 etc., etc., say what they say. Jeremiah 31. 31-34 tells Christians that Christianity is supposed to be simple enough and concise enough to be inscribed on the hearts of God's people, but, nevertheless, things get a little complicated, and you need to know where to draw the line between everything which is anti-Christian and everything which isn't. For instance, when does art become anti-Christian art? Or suppose a bishop decrees that two men playing grab-ass not only don't have to spend a night in the box, but they are not to be excomunicated, then you have to determine if this bishop upholds Christianity or if he corrupts it. And you can find no end of dilemmas which are a million times tougher to resolve than that example. So much pertains to the question: how does a bishop discipline his flock? How long does he excommunicate sinners for sins X, Y, Z? And when does one determine that a bishop / priest / lay person has fallen away from the True Faith? It helps to know what the True Faith is when one tries to determine if someone has fallen away from it. 2 Thess 2, which deals with the Antichrist and a 'falling away', is an important scripture. If a church never excommunicates anyone, then it doesn't have any standards, save perhaps for some pathetically low standards. Such a state of affairs in Protestantism is shocking indeed! Besides Sabbath violation, another obvious way that 99% of all Christians have fallen away from the True Faith pertains to money matters. The New Testament is crammed with scriptures which damn the rich, e.g. all of Revelation 18.

'The Rock Island Symposium on the Satanic Protestant Cults' makes an excellent starting place, but 'Protestantism' or 'Constitutional History of the Western World' or 'Some Practice in Learning to Recognize Satanic Cults' are also fine places to begin, unless you want to start with my fiction not my non-fiction, which is sort of like starting dinner with the Twinkies rather than with the Banquet Fried Chicken, but to each his own.

`Single Moms' is my most recent novel. It's the sequel to `Warrior Girls' and was written in June and July of 2015.

I wrote `Warrior Girls' in January of 2014, with quite a few later edits.

`Warrior Girls' and `Single Moms' aim at humor at least as much as drama, whereas `Amanda's War' is much more about drama than humor.

`Amanda's War', which took me years to write, introduces a character named Haakon Sovant who changes after a traumatic incident. The theme of people changing after trauma is the theme of Robert Altman's `3 Women', starring Sissy Spacek and Shelly Duval. The symbolism in it is not terribly subtle but I've watched `3 Women' 3 times now, and I really think it is something special. Anyway, in `Amanda's War', where a character named Haakon Sovant changes after a traumatic incident, readers are left to wonder if he changes because of benevolent forces or because of malevolent forces. The setting is the north shore of Lake Superior, which is the best part of Minnesota, though Lake Calhoun is also nice. I once drove up to the Canadian line when the late summer sun was getting lower in the afternoon. Isle Royale was a big golden rock rising out of the big blue inland sea. Mt. Josephine was wonderfully lush and green. Hopefully people familiar with Grand Marais can forgive the liberties I've taken with their town.

The 427,000 word `Constitutional History of the Western World' took me roughly 25 years to finish. Aside from a recent revision in 2016, I pretty much gave up trying to revise it back in 2014. It has been really tough to polish to perfection. A pattern has developed: I'll find some energy to make revisions, then fatigue sets in. In a few more months I get some more energy, then more fatigue sets in, then, after the elapse of more time, I get some more energy to revise it, followed by more fatigue, then more energy to write and then more fatigue....so the cycle goes on ad infinitum. When I felt I had to clarify something during times of fatigue I began a new book, and when I got tired of revising that book I began yet another book. Sometimes I wonder if my versions of 'Constitutional History of the Western World' back in 2004, 2005 etc., might be better in some ways than the more recent versions. Anyway, I started writing paraphrases of 'Constitutional History of the Western World'. I also added new material in these books which I felt needed to be said, though the energy and the inspiration to polish these abridgments to perfection is not omnipresent with me, especially when the fatigue gets to be unbearable. I had been working hard to produce a presentable draft of 'Introduction to Dumb-Ass Theory' but then I was distracted by 'Single Moms'. As I say, I threw the novels 'Warrior Girls' and 'Single Moms' together rather quickly, but it took me years and years to get the plot right in 'Amanda's War', and that novel is another example where some of my earlier drafts might have been better, in some ways at least, than my later drafts.

I know I ought to talk in this Personal Information, Bio Section about the jobs I've had and whether or not I'm in a relationship, and what she's like, and if she's as crazy about me as I am about her and what color her eyes are and what sort of highlights she puts in her hair and whether she wants a big house in the city or a big house in the suburbs etc. I don't get how some people find the time to write and do research, and also work at a job to pay the bills and provide for a family, and also find the time to exercise to stay in shape. You have to pump iron for 5 hours a day if you want to look like some comic book superhero, and just to maintain a reasonably powerful physique you have to pump iron for at least 2 hours every day - I mean if you don't want to revert back into a weakling - if you don't want to just let the muscles atrophy, just let the body go back to being soft, flabby and weak. And then to keep your explosivesness you'll need to maintain a decent time in the 40 - which I suppose is 4.59 seconds or less - so you got to do your sprints for another hour every day, warm-ups and stretching included, so that's 3 hours right there on top of the 9 hours you already spent in the commute and at the job. So I suppose you're thinking that if a guy is going to spend a lot of time pumping iron he might as well do it right, he might as well spend the full 5 hours pumping iron. I don't buy that, it's crazy to spend more than 2 or 3 hours per day working out. It's already 2 hours on top of the 9 hours of work and commute every day, that's if I don't do any sprinting, but if i just pump iron for 2 hours every day. And then i also got to find the time to keep up with world and national and local news so i can stay informed, so i can enliven my conversation, and then a serious writer like myself needs to find the time to stay abreast of literature and the cinema, music and the visual arts. Any person who wants to write thoughtfully about World History really needs to read quite a few great historians, people like: Gibbon, Graetz, Guizot, Gregorovius, Prescott, Pastor, Michelet, Lord Acton, Lea, Lecky, Buckle, Tocqueville, Tuchman, Ranke, Durant, Eusebius, Herodotus, Thucidides, Burckhardt, Bury, Baron, Sachar, G. G. Coulton etc., etc. And if you want to understand the scriptures you have to find the time to study them intently. And u gotta watch your football, your baseball, your hockey, your buckets, your English Premier League, your La Liga, your Italian Serie A, your game day threads, your video games, your ESPN line up of sports talk radio, and do your fantasy football leagues etc. And we all need to find the time to stay in touch with old friends, and find the time for making new friends, such as by staying active in civic organizations, social clubs, professional societies etc., and then no one can neglect to visit prisoners in their captivity as well as befriending the impoverished and the downtrodden, as Christ commanded in his famous oration of Matthew 25. 31- 46. I haven't even said anything about fixing dinner, taking out the trash, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, shopping, getting the oil changed etc. So, to recap, that's 2 hours of pumping iron on top of the 9 hours of work and commuting, on top of 2 hours of serious study, on top of 1 hour of running errands, on top of another hour of reading the newspapers, on top of another hour of actual writing, on top of another hour of Netflix or YouTube - i suppose you would go crazy if you never got a break for some entertainment. For awhile there I was trying to learn French, applying myself for 30 minutes per day for a few years. I was inspired to learn French by reading Michelet. I own his 19 volume Histoire de France. I also like those classic French films, the old ones directed by guys like Melville, Rohmer, Truffaut, Chabrol etc., with stars like Jean Gabin, Lino Ventura, Alain Delon, Nathalie Delon, Yves Montand, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Catherine Deneuve, Paul Meurisse, Depardieu, Belmondo, Moreau, Audran, Bardot etc. But I still need everything dubbed into English to understand anything. Well listen to me ramble on. I only pumped iron for an hour today so I got to get busy on that 2nd hour. Every now and then I get inspired to re-learn the math and physics I learned in college. I say re-learn because i forget lots of stuff i once understood, not that everything I learn goes in one ear and out the other, but a lot of it does. I've been all through lots of Schaum's outlines: Murray R. Spiegels's 'Theoretical Mechanics,' his 'Advanced Mathematics,' his 'Vector Analysis,' his 'Probability and Statistics,' Wells' 'Lagrangian Dynamics,' Bronson's 'Differential Equations,' Kay's 'Tensor Calculus,' Lipshutz's 'Differential Geometry.' I got tons of these books. You can buy them used for a dollar online, e.g., some other titles I read or skim over are 'Quantum Mechanics,' 'Modern Physics,' 'College Physics,' 'Electromagnetics,' 'Partial Differential Equations' etc. Math and physics give you lots of practice with abstract thinking. Math might not help your memory much, i don't know, anyway, people think math is dull but so much of science especially theoretical physics is more or less synonymous with advanced math, and advanced economics and finance are just sub-categories of math. People say American history is dull but that's because they never get to the heart of American history, which is the struggle for power between the three branches of the federal government: the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, the Equity Clause of Article 3, Yellow Dog Contracts, 'Miranda v Arizona', 'Roe v. Wade', 'Bush v. Gore' etc., and the fact that all high federal officials take an oath to defend the Constitution, therefore, if one branch is usurping authority and corrupting the Constitution, then those who have sworn to defend the Constitution must spring into action and defend it. No doubt Jesus had excellent reasons for saying taking oaths is from the devil. I need to get back into reading history and Constitutional Law, and daily Bible study, and I need to do a much much better job keeping up with current events, because so much of my life just revolves round working at the job, and lifting weights, and getting in some anaerobic work, and getting in some aerobic work too, and writing, and watching movies on YouTube or Netflix, and I got to do a better job with reading history - both religious and secular history - and I got to do better at keeping up with the news, especially with North American and European news, but also Asiatic, African and Latin American news. How will Merkle handle the turbulent Germanic factions? The right-wing is getting stronger in France, so you wonder what this will lead to. I see Mourihno got canned by Chelsea, it's december of 2015 as i write, so you wonder where he will land next. I know you're thinking that all this pumping iron stuff is just a lot of vanity on my part, but look at Michaelangelo's Last Judgement, St. Paul looks like he can bench 500 lbs, and in Florence there's a huge statue of David, perhaps you've seen it, and he's real lean and muscular, and even the aged Moses is super muscular in various works of Renaissance art I could cite to you. I just think that if you're a dude, especially if you're a Biblical character, though i suppose everyone is a Biblical character to some extent - i mean you're either a member of the elect or else you're a member of the damned, and both of these very distinct and very mutually exclusive groups are comprised of Biblical characters, at least in an implicit sort of way, anyway, it's best for a male Biblical character to have muscles bulging out of his shirt, so you're all lean and muscular and ripped like Moses, David and Paul. I mean, suppose you're a saint - and you have to be a saint to escape perdition and attain heaven - I mean, that's the definition of a saint, you know? - so, say you're a saint, say you're numbered among the elect, and let's say some artist, some modern Michaelangelo, wants to sculpt your likeness in marble, then you're gonna want to look good, you don't want to be fat or weak or in any way be out of shape. Well this is just common sense, you say. Yes, but a lot of things which are just common sense need to be emphasized or else a lot of people will not understand that it is just common sense... 2 of my 3 novels, 'Warrior Girls' and 'Single Moms', try to be funny, though these books also pertain to some degree to Christianity. I try to be comical in parts of 'Introduction to Dumb-Ass Theory', as u might have guessed, but that's mostly a serious book. My next book might be a Travel book, but I haven't decided on the exotic place I want to travel to. I love reading books about mountain climbing: Herzog's 'Annapurna', Terray's 'Conquistadors' of the Useless', Buhl's 'Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage', Wibberley's 'Epics of Everest' etc. I think climbers love the adrenaline highs they get from flirting with disaster, but I wouldn't say climbing a mountain where there is a significant risk of getting killed is a very rational endeavor. Indeed no! Well i suppose i better wrap this up. Perhaps it won't be the smoothest of all possible wrap ups, and it might be rather anticlimactic as far as wrap-ups go. Not everything ends climactically, you know.. If you want big loud bangs and lots of gaudy fireworks in your culminations then I guess you have come to the wrong bio page here at Smashwords. You won't get those sorts of smarmy cheap thrills out of me. With me it's just business, it's just, that's it, I'm done, gotta go, got no time for any more chatting, no time for any infinite gab-a-thons, it's just bye. That's the way I like it, just make a clean break, just end it, just exit and go, like those co-workers u will be talking to one minute and then the next minute the buzzer sounds at quitting time and they just get up and leave without so much as a 'bye' or a 'later', they just turn around and walk away and then they drive back to somewhere where who knows where they go. And you're like, 'can't u even be polite, u jackass, I mean, crap, can't u even fake being polite for one frickin' second? I just hate that when I'm talking to some chick or some dude and they just walk away without even a grunt. Some people! It's like they were reared by apes, like Tarzan....Well let's see, what else is there to say? Try not to beat yourself up over what u could have done differently, and how things would have turned out wonderfully if only u hadn't blown it those times when u blew it. I sit around sometimes saying to myself 'if only i got better grades, if only i studied a more marketable major at Gopher College, but i wonder how productive such speculations are? u got to count ur blessings. Look how tough Paul Newman had it in 'Cool Hand Luke' - that's where the line 'two men playin grab-ass spend a night in the box' came from. Or look at Alain Delon in 'M. Klein', he plays a Gentile who the Nazis think is a Jew, and he ends up in a concentration camp, or look at Lisa Kudrow and those other women in 'Clockwatchers' stuck in those boring jobs, though '3 Women' is the definitive work, the supreme masterpiece in the genre of films about women stuck in boring jobs. Well I got get some sleep. I'm looking at 9 hours of commuting and working the boring job tomorrow, then I gotta go to Target for some stuff -Wal-Mart is cheaper but the Super Target in Chaska is super convienient for me unlike the Wal-Mart in Eden Praire - then there's 2 hours of lifting, then I want to look over the Drudge Report, then I want to do some cardio, then I gotta fix dinner, which is nothing elaborate but still it takes some effort, and then maybe i'll rent a movie. I haven't finished watching all of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay'. Or maybe I'll watch 'Tread Softly Stranger' again. It's free on YouTube. Diana Dors plays this beautiful femme fatale and these two more or less ordinary guys get busted for murder because of her. Talk about destroying your life because u insist on chasing after some super hot chick who will never love u! Write me if u got questions / comments: Bill Etem, 133 Crosstown Boulevard, Apt. 305, Chaska, MN 55318, USA.

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