Friday, December 31, 2010

Wow, Writing for 2011

This is crazy. It's so hard to imagine tomorrow is a whole new year. When I was a kid in the 80s I imagined 2010 being a lot different than it turned out to be. No flying car. No space colony. No exploration beyond our system.

But there is one thing I imagined as a kid in the 80s. There in my color striped socks, cuffed and ripped jeans, mousy brown hair and big blue rimmed glasses. I'd just come off the disappointment of not being able to become an astronaut due to my eyesight. I was just over the dream of becoming Optimus Prime or Bruce Lee.

What was left was FBI Agent and writing. Writing was something I just did. It's cliche, I know. I won my first writing contest in 2nd grade and knew I wanted people to read my imaginations on paper.

And now look. Here I am all grown up. Not an FBI Agent though my interrogation skills are excellent due to parenting, but I am an author. People have read my work. Some have hated it and some have liked it, but they've read my imaginations on paper.

So what's my plan for 2011? "We're going to take over the world, Pinkie."...heehee. Okay, not really (not yet). There are a couple writerly things I want to do in 2011.
  1. I just finished the rough draft of my second book in the Telomere Trilogy so I have to gussy that up.
  2. I have completed the outline and done a few thousand words of the last book in the Telomere Trilogy and have to complete that manuscript this year.
  3. I want to complete Damarion's Voyage. It's about 60% done, but I put it on hold to complete this series.
  4. I have two short stories, one in rough draft form and the other almost complete. I'd like to finish those up and get them out into some magazines. One I think is going to be an Asimov submission. (One of my life goals is to get something printed in the Asimov magazine.)
  5. I have a new series idea that I've been formulating. I'd like to outline the series and then start breaking down the books.
  6. And of course, I've got ideas I'd like to brainstorm and dozen of brainstorms I'd like to outline.

Overall, like any other writer, I have too many things I want to do and probably won't get it all done. But there's always 2012 and beyond.

What are some of your 2011 goals?

Happy New Year and good writing all!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Science Update

I've got some pretty cool stuff up today. Well, I think they're cool.

First up, bandages that change color to let you know your wound is becoming infected. How cool is this futuristic medical treatment? Expand this and you'll have patches, gauze, and medical tape that indicates...whatever. Maybe even blood pressure, heart rate, healing progress...It goes on. I've used some things similar in my current trilogy manuscripts. I've got the Med Patch that monitors a patients standard health points. I have a spray that sterilizes and preps torn skin for nano repair. And closest to this article, I've got liquid gauze used in the field that sprays on clear then whitens and tightens hold over a wound and changes color if the wound starts to go South during transport.

Next, the sad news that chocolate is going the way of the dinosaurs. Don't fret, it's not anytime soon but still, it gives pause for thought. When you're writing, what of today's commodities will not be around, in proximity, or evolved into something else? To tell the truth, I haven't really explored this concept in many of my works but it has intrigued by the ideas and will definitely infuse some of this in my next works. Thinking beyond just the fact that a yummy treat will be going away, we need to think of the full implications. Cocoa beans are a commodity that hold up several small countries, makes a living for thousands of business owners and workers. Anything going away can cause an infrastructure meltdown at many levels. This concept could be the basic setting for a story, backgrounds for characters, and drivers for conflict between antagonist and protagonist. OH! It could also be the barrier between love interests and/or friends. The ideas are limitless!

Okay, I'm starting to get too excited so I better hurry and get to the most exciting find. What we Sci-Fi geeks have been waiting for...Light bending camouflage. 'Nuff said. Check it out. I'm struck speechless and typeless yet again at this news. There's been work on military flight camouflage but this new metamaterial research is going to open up doors for all kinds of smaller scale ideas and more field battle uses. I imagine a futurist Patton play. Not just creating a false military site, but hiding our military posts, our men in the field, our ground vehicles, and our small reconnaissance flyers. My debut novel is set primarily is space and in military outpost planets, so my military concepts did not include the need to hide. It's just so easy in the vastness of space without camouflage technology. However, my current trilogy might benefit from this. I will have to explore it and see if it would fit without being one of those SF tech overkills. I like to make sure my SF tech blends into the background like one puzzle piece in the whole picture.

So that's my quick science update. I hope you enjoyed them. What have you all seen in the new lately that would impact the future and the way we SFRers write?

Good writing all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Quickie: Writer's Moment

Out into the main battle of the holiday shopping season we went this last weekend. Hubby and I were geared up with our list and our patience. What does this have to do with writing you're asking?

Well, I went out for Christmas shopping and met a couple of my characters in my upcoming manuscript. (The one I'm starting next month, not this one I'm finishing).

I ran into the Essence Overseer in the coloring book area. She was wonderfully beautiful, radiating a maternal aura. Her skin was the rich color of dark chocolate and she had these beautiful tear drop earrings of brushed nickle and bronze. When she smiled at us and we spoke about the books I saw the excitement and love she had picking out dozens of coloring books. I imaged they were for her classroom children, who she was nurturing to become productive and caring adults.

At another store I met the introverted, secretive Genetic Research Physician. My first sight was her long, pen straight dark hair. When she turned, my breath was taken away at the sheer beauty of her naturally bronze skin and long, almond-shaped eyes. I thought Dr. Nequam would have light brown eyes. However, when I met her, she looked on me with these beautiful foggy blue eyes lined with a silver. Her smile was wide and long and showed the inner happiness and joy she tries to keep locked away from all but her adoptive son.

So, fighting the traffic and crowds -- which weren't as bad as last year -- I felt like not only did we conquer the main part of the kids wish lists...I succeeded in getting out into the world and drawing from it for my imaginative world. I guess that's part of being a writer. No matter whether you write fiction or non fiction, westerns or thrillers, you want to exude part of ourselves and our experiences into it. To draw our own outlook on who we are as people and as a community.

Good writing all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Where Do You Write?

It's such a simple question. First it's, "Oh, you write. That's cool." Then it's, "What kind of books do you write?" and "Are you published?"

These are easily answered: "Thank you." "Speculative and Sci-Fi." "Yes."

I've even laid out my plan for speaking about my upcoming debut novel. (See Fumbled It for details on that "AR Moment".) But, what do you say when someone flips a 180 on you and asks, "Where do you write?"'s a great question. One that shows interest and not just the polite reply. I know some writers are very rigid about the where, when, and how they write. I had to think about it before I realized....anywhere.

I'm truly not picky. I do try to have two "writing sessions" a week where I lock myself in the backroom and write uninterrupted. Uninterrupted in my household is defined as less than 4 knocks on the door for something or another. (Trust me, this is an amazing definition considering I'm married with 4 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat.)

Other than that I spend the hour to hour and a half in the evening putting the kids to bed writing. They lay in my bed watching their calm down show while I sit with the laptop and write. I sit at the couch and write while the 4 kids are playing by themselves, their friends, or each other. And I'll write on my lunch break if a scene is giving me problems. I've even jotted down things waiting in the car while my husband runs into the store for something.

150 words, 300 word, 1000 words. It doesn't matter in those mini sessions. The important thing is it's 150, 300, or 1000 I wouldn't have had if I'd only stuck with my formal writing sessions. The important thing is that I'm writing.

So, where do all you writers write? Are there just scenarios where you can't focus?

Good writing all (not matter where or when)!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Enjoying the Details

The last two weeks I've been wading in the Revision/Editing Phase...more the Revision and not yet the pure editing. Part of me would like to say that I'm battling it out and struggling with creative restraints, or otherwise not enjoying what some can see as the "boring" part of the writing process. True, it can be boring. This is especially true the more you get to the Edit side.

But, there's a creative skill that happens in this part of it too. Imagine the clay artist. He takes his chunk of clay and molds it into the general form of his vision. This to me is the straight writing phase. Getting it on paper. The Revision phase puts the details in. The curves, the depth, and the texture. No, it may not be that free, open session...but it refines the vision in a way only your creative mind can do. It add your writing "signature" that can only be you. Anyone can dump a rough draft if they have enough time and interest to do so. It takes a true artist to emote something from the basic form.

So, I'm busy refining my mold. I'm taking the dragging scenes and parring them with my molding knife to be the reflective moment of the character to his/her surroundings and journey. I'm taking the 4 chapters of straight action and adding depth to showcase the character dynamics and emotions developing through the chase. I'm taking that heated scene and adding texture to allow the characters to fall in love and not just lust.

Now, I'm not claiming to be a Salvador Dali...but I think I can be a pretty successful Street Artist. We'll have to wait and see what you all think in June when the debut novel comes out.

Good writing (and refining) all!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fumbled It

Now that my pride as settled a bit, I can tell you a writing related story that happened to me about a week ago. It was a bit embarrassing, but taught me a valuable training-wheels lesson before the big release of Duty and Devotion next June.

Hubby and I were at a coworkers house, dropping off some holiday crab we'd caught at the beach that morning, when she turned to her son and daughter in-law and told them about my upcoming books being published.

Well, her son turns to me and asks, "I love to read, what's the first one about?"

And here my brain stopped working. Completely stalled and died. Sucked into a black hole never to be seen again. I blushed and tried to think of my blurb, my themes, my concepts. Nope. Nada. Nothing.

Absolutely NOTHING.

I fumbled it completely, stuttering something about two sisters, a war, difficulties...oh, a bunch of nonsense blubber. Finally my coworker and Hubby stepped in and filled in the babble with some semblance of the story and made it sound like the interesting story it was...but I fumbled it big time.

Then it hit me. Beside my few close friends -- who've been sounding boards as I've developed my story -- I haven't really promoted my book in person. Here yes. Of course I've got edits, revisions, and privacy to put together legible discussion here. Forums? Chat groups? Facebook? Yes, there too, but all are the same set up.

So, after my big fall from my promotion training bike, I sat with Hubby and developed a plan to be ready the next time...because there will be a next time. Here's the action items I did:

Reviewed the Synopsis
Reviewed the blurb

Wrote 2 sentences on the major theme of the book
Wrote 2 sentences per sister on their story
Wrote 3 cool SF technologies I used in the book
Wrote 1 sentence why my book is important to read for both SF nuts and Romance nuts I wish someone would ask me about my book, because I would WOW them. (Yes, all in caps kind of WOW.)

Good writing all! (And watch those promotion bumps along the way.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some Perspective on the Journey

Hi all.

I just read a wonderful post by a blog friend, Michelle Davidson, titled Taking Offense at Others' Success on her blog The Innocent Flower. Knowing I feel this way sometimes and that many of us do at some time or another, I thought I'd pass it along.

I've been following Michelle's blog for a while now and am always pleasantly entertained by her insightful posts and outlook on life. If you have a moment, stop by and read. It'll put you in a great frame of mind.

Good writing all!