A SCARY STORY: when imagination becomes reality

A Scary story about reality and imagination, or what does a Texas sheriff and The CleanSweep Conspiracy have in common?

Okay, writers just make stuff up, right? We use our imagination, sometimes straying into some rather unique cerebral neighborhoods. I’ll admit there are times I like to paraphrase that Las Vegas adage, what happens in my imagination stays in my imagination. I do understand there is often a bleeding between fantasy and reality. I don’t worry so much about reality bleeding into imagination, but when it’s the other way around . . .

I think we have enough on our hands dealing with the real. It’s when we have to deal with someone’s imagination it gets scary for me. It seems to happen a lot during this current U.S. presidential campaign.

But I digress from my original thought for this blog.

I began my notes for The CleanSweep Conspiracy almost ten years ago. I read and heard all the speculation about the rioting that took place in Toronto during the 2010 G20 conference. Millions went into security, hoping to prevent rioting that occurred in previous G20 conferences in other cities. Intense police presence and citizens needing identity cards to go to and from work in the designated zone in the core of the city.

The surveillance was increased, even allowing the United States agencies unprecedented access to keep a watch on Canadian soil.

Once called Toronto the Good, I wondered if the nickname still applied.

My novel isn’t about the G20 conference, it was the launching pad for my imagination, the story simply took over. What if a similar conference in the future could be manipulated to impose someone’s view of the way the world should be. There would need to be a conspiracy after all, could one person alone do such a thing. The people involved had to have power, financial and government.

But wait, that couldn’t happen today. After all, there are checks and balances in our two great North American countries to prevent dictators and conspirators, right?

Lies and deception just can’t influence actual governance. We all have recourse to the law. Every vote counts.

Those thoughts seemed to ricochet around my imagination until The CleanSweep Conspiracy was finished.

So, let me get back to what influenced this blog. In my story, a rogue militia was used by the conspirators to instigate rioting and worse. They were trained at a secret camp somewhere in western Canada or the United States, take your pick. It was all in my imagination.

That story I began to imagine back then came to life yesterday. I was reading articles in The Washington Post online. “How a high-profile Texas sheriff is tied to a rogue Navy unit facing a criminal probe. A new wrinkle in the case…”

Apparently, a rogue Navy intelligence unit led by a civilian is under criminal investigation for the past three years and is facing federal conspiracy charges. One of their aims was to “funnel military equipment to rural Hudspeth County and set up a secret training base near the Mexican border.”

I was just making stuff up, thinking it might make a good story. But, with the assault on truth and our civil liberties today, that good yarn I had in mind is turning into more of a cautionary tale, like the canary in the mine.

I’m a proud citizen of both countries. I think the United States and Canada have never, I repeat, never, stopped being great.

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