Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Writer Limits: Mother/Daughter Relationships in Writing

Hi all...don't worry I haven't forgotten about my promise to blog on series without info dumps, but today is my contributing day over at The Writer Limits. Over there I'm chit chatting about the mother/daughter relationship and how I used a contentious one as a subplot in my next book.

Stop by if you have a chance.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Keeping the Tech in Sync

I'm rounding the last bend on my Telomere Trilogy. I know some people don't consider a trilogy a series, but I do. A finite series. There are just too many similarities, comparables, pitfalls, whatnot.

Now, before we get started it's confession time. Welcome to AR's Confession Corner. Ready?

"Hello, my name is AR and...I'm an adulterous writer. Disloyal, two-timing, faithless, fickle. Yes, all those things and more."

This is probably why I don't write contemporary or Earth-based SF. The world is what the world is and crowds my creativity.

I didn't completely know this until halfway through book 2. Here I was, outline finished, base of the story kicked off, and me wanting to explore new SF concepts that'd been catching my attention.

Let's flashback to, oh, almost a year ago. Went something like this:

AR rubs her hands together in anticipative glee, puts her fingers on the keyboard...

Noah tisks. "No, no, my writer. That doesn't fit the world you've built for me and my crew."

"But, but--Captain! It's so exciting! Popular science published this article, MIT completed this new study...and, and--"

"Ah, ah. I repeat, doesn't fit. My world has a conceptual boundary."

*ugh* "OK. FINE!"

What is a SF geek to do? Well, in a series (at least this kind of series), the developed world supersedes. I've had to tuck away all those fantastical ideas and live in the predefined world -- one I was uber excited about at the time might I add -- to complete Noah's story as envisioned.

Oddly enough, once I clarified those borders I got juiced about it again. And even though I understand now that it would take another unique story like Noah's for me to restrict myself to one "world" and one set of characters for several books, I'm glad I tackled this writing challenge. I do have another series, technically, but I've created it where I can change out 80 to 90 percent of the tech at will. The only constant will be the agent's "gift".

So, because it's top of mind, I'm going to keep in the same theme and the next post will be another requirement of series, continuing the story already in progress without overloading the reader.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Meeting to Plan a Meeting??

Stop by Seeing is Believing, where I have my monthly Fun Friday post up. And make sure to share your office quotes and any office stories you might have.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blood Tells...What?

I'm over at The Writer Limits blog today talking about the symbolism of blood in society and writing. I think as we continue our scientific evolution, the tie between blood and life will transition to gene and life, but for now the vampires, zombies, and werewolves have it. And don't get me wrong, it's pretty cool writing when done right.

Stop by if you have a chance and weigh in on the topic.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Automated Highway System

Join the AR geek fest with me. I was chit-chatting with my non-SF geek the other day on the way to lunch. (She is a very patient friend who tolerates my trips to la-la land.)

I don't even remember how we got to the specific topic, but next thing I knew I was sharing my automated highway idea. Oddly enough, she got on the bandwagon. I think this is because she's a commuter and it takes her FOREVER to get to work in the morning.

My idea is simple. A magnetic highway system that is compatible without needed "robocars".

Robocar concepts are pretty common in the tech talk world. Electric cars that basically take over and autopilot you on your way. Don't get me wrong, I think that's ultimately where we'll end up... but it just seems so un-American. Come on, for the most part we're free spirited cowboys with a heavy independent streak. We honor our cars and roads so much that we covet Route 66.

You US of A ers know what I'm talkin' about. One of the main reasons why our transportation systems haven't taken on as well as in other countries is that the majority of us love of the car and driving ourselves where we need to go. (Not to mention our sheer size compared to other countries.)

Okay...let's travel back to "Topic land"... where was I?

Oh yeah, Robocars.

Robocars just give me an image of Stepford Wives but with cars...or worse, a Twilight episode.

Magnetic highway systems have also been talked about, which is exciting. But again, it's in terms of swapping out your unique vehicle with a compatible one (aka robocars/A.I. vehicles).

My idea -- which, who knows, may not be new. I read tons of research papers and articles and don't always remember I read something until a commenter links me in -- involves:

  1. Magnetic infrastructure built into current highways

  2. GPS road mapping system integrated into the magnetic network

  3. "Highway System Package" available for purchase at the auto store or dealership. (Includes magnetic installation kit for your vehicle and autopilot software to link to your car's GPS)
It'd have to be like the Fast Track program, where it's optional to participate. But, as you can see, Fast Track has exploded. There are only 1 or 2 cash lanes anymore. Start off with dedicated lanes and then expand as the volume of Highway System users increases.

Imagine, you can commute and instead of cursing traffic jambs or the crazy ass driver beside you, you could be leaning back and surfing the net or eating breakfast. Whatever you want...even catching another hour of zzz's until you get to your exit.

Now, I know I'm totally simplifying this. I'm not and never claimed to be 1) a scientist nor 2) an engineer. I'm just letting my mind go a-wandering.

What are your thoughts for automated highway systems? Any cool ideas you've been reading?