Saturday, August 25, 2012

Procrastination Marathon...Join Me

Because I'm in a marathon episode of procrastination - which I'm totally winning y'all - I thought I'd bring you what I'm finding in my Internet route. (NOTE: Because the recent copy right chaos for images, I'm not including any, but the links have great photos.)

*rubs hands*

Quantum Teleportation Race in full gear
We are well on our way folks! They are slowly breaking records. Today it's a single proton, tomorrow large masses of information, long time future who knows...people.

"Beam me up, Scottie." (Which was actually never said if I remember right. Correct me if I'm wrong blogger buddies.)

Now, I know the irony of titling it "Quantum TELEportation". I really hope they can come up with something more appropriate. I did in my new series: Quantaportation. Researchers, feel fee to take the term if you wish. It's all yours if you want it.

Organic memory material
Until the quantaportation technology is zipping info around the world, we can at least look forward to storing information on computers with less electricity usage thanks to this discovery of an organic crystalline compound that is ferroelectric. (This keeps flipping me a little bit back to Stargate Atlantis and the crystal technology on there.)

Goodbye RAM maybe, which uses buckos of energy to keep running due to its volatility.

Superhero Sutures
And because I can't search through science discoveries without checking out the latest and greatest in health and medicine (the industry to which I work in) I'm super excited about this new suture that is coated with sensors to detect infection. Not only does it detect it, but when it does, it heats up to aid in healing and fighting off the infection. Pretty cool, huh?

Okay, that's all I got right now. Anything new you guys have been reading about?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

World Building Coolness: I created my own folklore!

Oh my goodness! Has it already been a week since I last posted? Where did the time fly? Where did the days sneak off to?

Hmm...I know where they went, as most of you writers know. Off into the lala land of the imagination. I have been so absorbed with my new manuscript that everything else has faded away into Nowhereville.

I was really excited because last week I created my own folklore for the story! Cool huh? I know! So, since I really can't think of anything super smart or witty to write about today, I thought I'd share the "myth" I created.


(Just remember, this is off the cuff...not even through to the first editing phase.)

*     *     *     *     *     *

"First, you have to understand our existance belief. The Naga people believe in an invisible land, known as Zerzura, which is between the living and the dead. Or, as our ancestors call them, the Known Here and the Hidden Beyond. There, in Zerzura, two spirits stand guard. Siwa and Andelik."

Dane didn't known whether it was Enola's quiet, storytelling voice or the exhaustion of the last day, but a chill danced down his spine.

"When a new soul enters, the two battle for it, using the recent dead's energy for power. If the person lived a good life, and therefore had good energy, Andelik wins. But, if the person lived a bad life, it would have more evil energy and Siwa wins.

"The great Sun gifted shape shifters with the ability to transform and appreciate all creatures by living in their skin. But all gifts come with a catch."

Sadness weighed down on Dane and tears stung at his eyes. He made sure to stay facing away from them, at the water tank. Painful memories ached in his heart. All gifts come with a catch, so true. If he turned, would there be the same sadness in Becka? He didn't dare, but knew Becka enough to know she at least remembered that heartbreak they shared, when they still loved each other.

"Shape shifters, in the midst of transformation, exist on this plane here and Zerzura," Enola continued without realizing the undercurrents she agitated. "This provides a loophole for Siwa, but only if that shape shifter has not lived a good enough life. During transformation, Siwa grabs them. Picking them up in an evil wind of ice as he whistles a dark tune, he drags them straight to the underworld, the devil's domain."

Enola tapped her handheld on the desk lightly, breaking the mood she'd set in the room. "And that, Agent, is the myth of the Siwa."

*      *      *      *      *      *

Well, I hoped you liked it. It probably will be tweaked a little bit during revisions and edits, but I really like the core of it.

Soooo, snooping moment: What has been your favorite world building moment?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Emoting Emotion

How do you get a character to show dimension when that character's culture and characteristic build is the lack of emotion?

No, no, I'm not going Vulcan on you all.

In my newest manuscript (started just a couple weeks ago) my main female character comes from a world where the people don't have the expressive facial, verbal tone modulation and body cues that normal humans do. So, the emotions are all on the inside but they don't come through and express themselves to the other characters.

I can't believe I did this to myself, people. I really can't.

Okay, truthfully I didn't get to choose her. She came popping up from my Muse (aka Subconscious). This is her story and there's no way around it. But I'm finding it a challenge to get her right. I mean, a character doesn't "tell" their feelings to others, it is shown usually through their body language and facial cues.

That route has been stripped from me. Thankfully this isn't a romance, but it's a woman's fictional story so I want her to exhibit some of those trials and tribulations that woman face and have faced throughout time.

When I'm in her POV it kind of works, because she's responding to the situation, but when I'm in the other main character's POV it's nearly impossible.

I think I'm going to pull from the corporate world a bit. What do I mean by this? Well, it is common for females in the corporate world to hide and suppress their emotional responses, or otherwise be seen as a fluff woman. This leads to them not being taken seriously and they lose credibility.

It's not exactly like it, but it's a start. I guess.

I might also research those cases of traumatic injury where people cannot express their emotions, but often it's because the emotion button is switched off, so I'm not sure how helpful it'll be.

Wish me luck folks!

What writing struggles are you all facing right now? Anything I can help with?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Short Story Memory Lane: The Patient

I was cruising through memory lane (otherwise known as procrastinating) and came across some of those old shorts and flashes that kick started my publication journey. One caught my attention. It's a couple years old and was published in a college literary magazine.

This one was an odd ball. First, it's literary. Second its not speculative or science fiction. Third, and most intruiging to me, it stemmed off an experience my mentor had when she was still an OR nurse.

So, because it seemed to call to me, I thought I'd share it with you all today. It's very short, so a quick read.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

The Patient

Victoria adjusted her position in the seat, but never let go. Not like she could even if she wanted too. The patient held her hand like a vice. The clock ticked, filling what would be silence.

Two hours she'd been sitting there.

She’d planned to take her husband out for a surprise dinner, then relax at home with a glass of red wine and a book. “It’s okay. I don’t mind really,” Victoria said and meant it.

The hospital sitter for their unit had called in sick, so her supervisor had asked Victoria to stay with the patient after the surgery ended. Ten-hour shifts were hard, but worth it for three days off a week. Besides, Victoria was grateful she’d been around for this case.

“Where is his family?” she’d asked, glancing at the young man on the bed.

“Out of town. They are on their way in,” Gina, her supervisor had replied.

Victoria looked at the patient now and wondered what color his eyes were. With her free hand, she lightly moved the hair off his face. The wound on his forehead had darkened to a deep purple. Peeking from under the gown, the skin bulged through the suture gaps.

You look so pale, Sweetie. “Poor thing.”

The surgery had started with a rush several hours before, breaking what had been a slow night.

“One coming by airlift. ETA fifteen minutes. Prepare room five.” Gina had sounded like a roman commander readying for battle.

It was very much like combat. The enemy was Death. Some battles they won, and some they lost, but the war itself never ended.

“You battled hard, young man.” Victoria eyed at the clock. Two and a half hours. “It’s been a long wait, but they should be arriving soon. Don’t worry.” She double-checked the snugness of the hospital blanket.

She wondered again about the color of his eyes under those closed lids. That’s the thing about being a surgery nurse. You never get to see the color of their eyes. With blond hair, she knew they’d most likely be blue or green. She supposed they could be brown but she had a feeling they weren’t .

“My son’s a little older than you. Just starting college.”

She wondered if the young man had started college yet. She’d been lucky her son picked a school in the area. Daniel came home every weekend and break. The patient’s family lived three states over.

“They must be out of their heads with worry.” She rubbed her thumbs along his. “I’d be worried if you were my son.”

She wondered if he went home for school breaks and how often he called home. I bet you call at least once a week. His warm hand tightened around hers and she squeezed back.

“I know. It’ll be okay.”

She looked up at the clock. Almost three hours. Muffled conversation on the other side of the door broke the silence. Moments later, Gina entered with the surgery director. The director smiled down at the hands locked together and then at Victoria.

“Thank you so much for keeping him company. The family has arrived and would like to visit with him now.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful.” Victoria stood and started to let go, but the patient wouldn’t loosen his grip. Sadly, she looked down at him and squeezed one more time. It’s time. She smiled at the director. “It’s been a while. Rigor mortis as set in.”

With tender care, she grabbed the young man’s forearm, ice cold from being dead so many hours, his hand only kept warmed from her touch. She stretched the hand that held his, felt the crack of his stiffened fingers against her skin, then slipped free and petted his blond hair once more before leaving.

The hallway filled with the noise of busy workers in green scrubs. Everything went on as if a soul hadn’t been lost. Victoria knew; she’d never forget him. That peaceful young man who’d died so tragically. Years of hardened nursing kept her from crying, but she grieved.

Turning left towards the lockers, she spotted a blond couple pass by. Through the redness of grief, both had eyes of dark green.