Monday, August 26, 2019

The Real Thing

I am preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a 30 day challenge to write a 50K word novella. It's too short a time to write anything good, nothing more than a first draft, but I suppose agents and publishers will want to know that I can crank out a lot of words under a tight deadline. It can't hurt.

The story I have in mind is a continuation of a recent sci-fi short story which has not yet been published (or even sent out for consideration). Set in a distant future, it's an interesting world and I'm not yet done with it; the ramifications of events in the short story need to be told. So now, I'm developing characters and creating an outline to follow multiple sub-plots; a science fiction love story with freedom, oppression … and submarines. All I need is inspiration.

Do you ever look to movies for inspiration? My NaNoWriMo novella will deal with themes of coming of age, loss of innocence, changing times, and of course, love. I re-watched The Big Chill. Got little from it. I re-watched St. Elmo's Fire. Garbage. I didn't like it then and I still don't; none of the characters are likable. I turned to a Tom Stoppard play, one I saw years ago, The Real Thing. Watching videos of interviews with Stoppard and lectures about the play, I made copious notes on the nature of love as ideas came to me; in particular, love in a virtual reality world in conflict with love in the real world. Each of my main characters will have a different take on the nature of love, as well as a different take on the events of the preceding short story and the benevolence of the A.I. controlling their undersea paradise.

NaNoWriMo will be a grueling ordeal, but the story is worth it.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

First Horror Submission

Sunday morning:
Not long ago, I joined a local writer's association. There's a meeting this afternoon and I dread going. My dread stems from a horror story. I came across a horror magazine accepting submissions for an anthology and I happened to have a story that was the right subject and length that they wanted, but it was over a decade old. I dusted off the story and rewrote several parts, everything was good. Then I submitted it to a few critique partners.

I can't help it. My college career didn't include a major in english or creative writing. There's a part of my brain that expects the worst from critiques, that part that tells me I'm a hack and have no business writing anything. I write science fiction that has so far been well received; is this the story that will expose me for the talentless poseur my brain says I am? Will my critique partners shake their heads in pity, wondering why my meager growth has taken such a giant leap backwards?

What is Indravati?

Indravati is a novel of character driven science fiction adventure. It's a novel of space freighters; colonies on distant worlds; alien encounters; and, most importantly, one big fat moral dilemma. Have you ever made a choice, a decision you were sure was the correct one even though everyone around you said otherwise? The captain of the starship Indravati makes such a decision. If he's wrong, he has condemned the human race to an alien war.

Paperback and Kindle ebook.

Too many novels today are set in dystopian futures. I have the feeling things will turn out for the better, and this is reflected in my work. I've tried to create a universe in which people can see themselves, a universe where you would want to live, filled with characters you would want to sit down and have beer with. If this appeals to you, visit my website and have a look at a sample of my work.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Microwaves and Hammers

The other day my microwave oven started acting up. For reasons I won't go into, let me just say that this was the wrong day for it to do this. So I bashed the controls with a hammer.

This might seem unreasonable, or that frustration had gotten the better of me, but no. This was the logical end of a rational and well thought out chain of action taken on my part. First, the thing was old…upwards of twenty years, and I bought it used. Lately, some of the buttons on the touch screen didn't work like they should. Sometimes I had to press hard on those buttons. Sometimes I had to press the handle of a scrub brush against the panel to find the sweet spot the finicky button would respond to.

On this particular night I resorted to an empty beer bottle, setting the lip on the button and pounding the base with my palm. When this accomplished nothing, what else could I do? If the buttons could still be activated, it would be wasteful to throw the machine out, right? I did what any rational, responsible man would do. I got a hammer. It's called good citizenship.

In mere moments I felt better, the buttons worked no better or worse than before I smashed them, and the next morning I got a new microwave.



Held captive on an unknown world, Gideon Serrano has time to ponder the wisdom of his recent decisions. With damage inflicted upon the star-freighter Indravati and conditions worsening outside the sphere of Terran Alliance space, the orders Gideon received when he assumed command of Indravati were to return to home port. Gideon considered the orders open to interpretation.

A wary peace is unraveling along the border stars. Fleets of warships have gathered on both sides. Gideon had every intention of following his orders … eventually. First he chose to embark on a quest which took him deep into reaches of space where human presence is unwelcome, throwing his career away for answers that may be impossible to obtain. If he can't find the relation between recent events and the one man surely behind it all, millions will die.

Held captive, Gideon Serrano has time to ponder … are those millions already dead? Has he unknowingly made a mistake which has condemned the human race to an alien war?

Find it on Amazon:

The Real Thing

I am preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a 30 day challenge to write a 50K word novella. It's too short a time to wr...