National Novel Writing Month…

If you follow me and glance over ThisWoldAndOthers you will realize, I hope, that I write SciFi, not for a living but for relaxation and as an outlet. I have mentioned NaNoWriMo before but forgot to mention it this year, just in case someone passing by might be interested but not know about it. November is/was the month and I have participated in (and become a winner once more!)

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel. Here’s a little more about how it all works.

National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes your story matters. You know how writing makes the world a more creative, vibrant place. Through NaNoWriMo—as well as our Young Writers Program, the Come Write In program, and Camp NaNoWriMo—we work hard to empower and encourage that vibrant creativity around the world. We can’t do it without writers like you.

NaNoWriMo 2012 at a Glance

341,375 participants started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

648 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 586 regions on six continents.

82,554 students and educators created worlds with the Young Writers Program.

615 libraries opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.

And in 2013, 44,919 Campers participated in Camp NaNoWriMo’s online writing retreat.

The novels not done even at 50k+ words its about 1/2 way, but here is the draft cover….and synopsis…20131201-100915.jpg

War of the Worlds?

It’s a Black Swan event, a disaster no one was looking for, despite decades of discussion. A killer asteroid slingshots around the sun and is heading straight for the heart of the US.

A desperate shot with an experimental space plane and obsolete nation killer bomb may save the day. Except worse turns to weird when it becomes obvious that the incoming hundred thousand tons is not an asteroid but a derelict starship.

Weird turns to near certain war when the ‘derelict’ starts spinning out landing craft, does the President destroy it, do the aliens come in peace?

The story of the men and woman who get to put the answers together and live…if they survive…with the consequences.

20131201-100934.jpg

Falling behind….NaNoWriMo 2012 | Day 14

Catching the Watcher:

I need to catch some time with the keyboard … I have the basic story line in my head, need to get it out. But too many distractions, like work, life, Thanksgiving, construction delays, daughters wedding … Yeehaa …

  • Words Written Today 1,655
  • Target Word Count 50,000 Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • Current Day 14
  • Total Words Written 23,426
  • Your Average Per Day 1,673
  • Words Remaining 26,574
  • Days Remaining 17
  • At This Rate I might Finish On November 29, 2012
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,564

Catching the Watcher | NaNoWriMo 2012 | Day 11

Onwards and upwards into the black!

  • Target Word Count 50,000 Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • Words Written Today 2,701
  • Total Words Written 21,771
  • Current Day 11
  • Average Per Day 1,979
  • Words Remaining 28,229
  • Days Remaining 20
  • At This Rate I Will Finish On November 25, 2012
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,412

So someone might ask what is the world like in the 2060’s and how do I know? To which I reply I obviously cannot know, look at what the smart futurists in 1960 thought the world would be like in the 21st century…for example 2001 (still the best(only) ‘hard’ sci fi movie ever.)

Turn the question around, what was the world like in 1960, transistor just invented, first men in space.  But those who were adults in the think of it had grown up during an incredible step change in technology over twenty years and they expected it to continue.. Of course many of the technologies that had gone through that step change had pretty much peaked out (the 737 flew first time only a few years later, the B52 was in service.) But technology they thought was peaking (computers, radios, etc) were really only on the ramp towards immense changes. Then if you look twenty years on 1980 and twenty years on again 2000, you get some idea of the ramps of change in tech and society. You also get the randomization of events in the real world; tsunami’s, revolutions, wars, demagogues, political movements, etc.

What I try to do is pick the tech, economic social and political ramps looking at 10,15,20 year slices and wrap that all up and come up with a history that makes some sense of the background of the story I am telling.  It’s not perfect and I do not expect any of my predictions to come true, but its fun and interesting to think about.

Catching the Watcher | NaNoWriMo 2012 | Day 10

So Progress continues and today was a good one. Space battles always get the blood flowing. Anyway here are the stats for the day:

  • Words Written Today 3,275
  • Target Word Count 50,000 Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • Current Day 10
  • Total Words Written 19,070
  • Average Per Day 1,907
  • Words Remaining 30,930
  • Days Remaining 21
  • At This Rate I Will Finish On November 26, 2012
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,473

I am setting the story in the 2060’s after a half century of banal and horrific events. A smallish nuclear war, the collapse of the old Middle East and the rise of a new Caliphate, but that’s all (important) background to the story. I try to focus on characters, on the story of their lives as it interacts with great events and how those things interact with their environment, which in many ways is much more fantastical than any fantasy.

Catching the Watcher | NaNoWriMo 2012, Day 9

  • Target Word Count 50,000 Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • Words Written Today 2,737
  • Total Words Written 15,795
  • Current Day 9
  • Average Per Day 1,755
  • Words Remaining 34,205
  • Days Remaining 22
  • At This Rate I Will Finish On November 28, 2012
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,555

Ah sweet progress, not much yesterday (its rolled into today’s count.) I should have gotten more done today but I kept on hitting blocks and getting the urge to get up and go do something else. Hopefully I can get another good stint tomorrow and Sunday, fortunately for NaNoWriMo progress and very unfortunately for my real life the work I am having done on my house is taking longer than expected, this time the coating for the new cork flooring needs to harden for 72 hours before I can start moving furniture in so another damned weekend down the drain!

Catching the Watcher, Update | NaNoWriMo day 4

  • Words Written Today 2,281
  • Total Words Written 10,103<
  • Current Day 4
  • Your Average Per Day 2,525
  • Target Word Count 50,000, Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • Words Remaining 39,897
  • Days Remaining 27
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,478
  • At This Rate You Will Finish On November 19, 2012

National Novel Writing Month…its here…first update

Catching the Watcher…I’ll post the in process cover art later.

Probably not Young Adult though the story is largely told from the perspective of a young woman, who starts out the story a few days shy of 18, but the majority of the story takes place some years later.

All space, all the time, no fantasy (except the fiction part of the science of course.) Hopefully semi hard, adventure fiction with some interesting characters, situations and background.

Started on the first, did post progress yesterday, and did a lot more today.  But its going to slow down again as the initial rush of ideas fueled by all my prep thinking and doodling founders in the reality of actually having to write all those fun ideas down.   (and for there is an ‘event’ coming that may cause me to crash out…but who knows what the future holds.)

  • Current Day 3
  • Days Remaining 28
  • <Words Written Today 5,351
  • Total Words Written 7,822
  • Average Per Day 2,607
  • Target Word Count 50,000 Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • <Words Remaining 42,178
  • At This Rate You Will Finish On November 19, 2012
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,507

Elgin : what the heck is QuantPunk?

I have always loved Science Fiction, especially the ‘Hard’ sub genre (think Arthur C. Clark, Larry Niven, etc), as well as military and some adventure.  I’ve also liked ‘Hard’ Fantasy and books that in some senses combine SciFi & Fantasy. I started out writing SciFi, relatively old-fashioned Hard SciFi (which I really think should be more common than it is) and semi military SciFi, but I’ve always played a bit with Fantasy.

And to be honest I find it impossible to write good Fantasy even though some of my favorite authors have easily spanned the gap.  What I ended up writing every time was really SciFi in an Urban Fantasy or Steam Punk setting…and I kind of like the results though Elgin is the first that’s been completed.  But this isn’t SciFi in the ‘Hard’ sense, nor is it SteamPunk, RetroPunk, Urban pr Contemporary Fantasy.  It’s at an angle to all of those, I like to think of it as a type of SciFi, what I call Quantum Punk or QuantPunk based on the mind (and imagination) bending possibilities our quantum universe opens as a basis for something that is at once Science Fiction and Urban/Contemporary Fantasy.

Let me know what you think….its free try it.

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Elgin’s new life is….complicated.

Elgin’s old life was nothing much, Beauty Wyoming was as beautiful and remote as one could get, a town of cowboys and Indians, in a setting of rangeland, mountains and lakes. Elgin Chalmer’s was a cowboy and a part breed black-sheep slacker living with his huge Siamese cat Humph in a forty-year old trailer. Life was OK for Elgin, he didn’t want much and didn’t get any more. Then one raw snowy day he made the mistake of heading into the mountains with a gut full of whiskey and a head muddled by rotten drugs…death came easily considering.

And that was when things started to get really messy. A world of alien dangers and powers were waking up after two thousand years in hibernation and humanity’s protector needed a new helper. Now Elgin found himself dealing with flesh-eating lizard girls, ancient spider monsters, along with werewolves and vampires who didn’t always play by the rules. And on top of it all he had to get used to eating sharks, raw and still fighting.

But now of course he had a chance to meet up with the cool girls; The Wiccan proprietor of the local New-Age gift shop, with an ancient Indian totem in her basement, the pistol packing deputy with a secret, and the beautiful Russian spy with a heart of gold and the killer instincts of a she wolf.

This book was started as a submission for the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, (www.nanowrimo.org) is run by a tiny nonprofit called he Office of Letters and Light, an organization that promotes writing in all its glorious permutations among the young, young at heart, and not so young (among whom I fall in the right hand distribution tail these days.) I wrote the first 60,000 words or so of Elgin in November 2011 and finished the remaining half by February 2012, since then, among many other things, my father and I have been editing so I can submit it for publication at Smashwords, iBooks, B&N, etc.

New Book Published at Smashwords | Exotic Contraband: The Road Past Home

The universe is infinite in extent and the Compact large beyond simple measurement. But the Starship Bostonian has found a road home for the few humans stolen from their home world. But the Compact has strict non interference rules and while returning the humans is allowed, contact beyond that is forbidden. The crew of an Air Force recon jet, kidnapped and sold as creature show exhibits want to go home though their commander, Major Sandra Sebastianii, might have made another decision if she had been alone.

The ancient human commander of the Compact Cartographic Cruiser Bostonian is less sure of his road home, because his birth world is an utterly unrecognizable and all he had once known is dust. Now his place and his friends all reside in the vastness of the Compact, all except for the one person he can’t live without.

Everyone starts out following the rules. But rules are meant to be bent especially when a civilization is on the edge of a war it does not understand the reason for. And while the Qang Smugglers might look cute and cuddly their ruthless arrogance is about to get them into deadly danger, and their stupidity may be the trigger needed to start an interstellar war of unthinkable destructiveness.

  • Science Fiction
  • Adventure
  • Hard Science Fiction
  • Romance

Exotic Contraband – Lost among the stars…now on Smashwords and soon to be at iBooks, Nook Books, and more

The blade Stonewall approaching the spindle Athena making for a sungate

The blade Stonewall approaching the spindle Athena while making for a sungate jump point

Exotic Contraband:  Lost among the stars:  Aliens are real and they’re here. Unfortunately they aren’t here for intellectual stimulation, they’re here to make cold hard cash. And they aren’t interested in letting the authorities, theirs or ours, in on their racket.

This is the story of survivors lost in a universe that they hadn’t imagined, and the story of their rescue and return.

It’s only 99cents and a steal at many times the price if you enjoy a good read with a mix of hard and space opera sci fi with a little action and romance thrown in.  And why is that ship called the Stonewall?

See it all at Smashwords.