Tag: Writing

FREE BOOKS!

I just joined the Smashwords week of free epubs! This is your chance to get a couple of my best-sellers for free.

Multiplarity is a hundred and seventy thousand word Space Opera that includes the following books.
Book One covers the development of Omniphage and the subsequent collapse of civilization. When beauty and health are no longer concerns, ignorance and greed may destroy humanity.
Book Two follows the development of a couple avenues of escape with the founding of a lunar colony and a transhumanist world. Even so, perfect health and longevity may not be enough against vacuum, radiation, and terrorism.
Book Three follows the founding of another world and finally meeting aliens. That is if religious intolerance and political expedience don’t condemn us once more.

Multiplarity is normally $8.99, but is free for the rest of the week.

Turkey Creek Ghost is a tale involving witches, ghosts, and a wolf. A psychotic ex-boyfriend threatens Dani and Ranger Rick in the lush beauty of a state park. Can Abinormal and Grandma Lupe save them?

Turkey Creek Ghost is normally $3.99, but is free for the rest of the week.

Both of these are great reads. Don’t miss out on this promotion.

Road Trip Discussion

While on the way home from an event, the teenagers and I were bouncing odd books we’d read recently. I came up with the following setup for a novel. 

An Asian Cajun is working as a Luchador for a travelling wrestling act in England. After a show, he’s abducted by the gay first mate of a steam-powered UFO piloted by a lesbian captain and her transgender girlfriend. Oh! And the UFO is haunted by the ghost of a torch singer, killed by her jazz saxaphonist lover, who is still chasing her.

Well? Should I jump right on this idea? What y’all think?

The I Dare You Tag

Last week I was tagged by Emma over at bluchickenninja to do the I Dare You book tag and here it is. You should go check out her blog, it’s really cool.

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

“Time Enough for Love” by Robert Heinlein. I got the paperback when it first came out and it is still on my shelf. Unless you count comix. I still have The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers from the late 60s.

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

Current read is “Halting State” by Charles Stross. Last read was “The Hot Gate” by John Ringo. Next read is “The Magicians” by Live Grossman.

3. What book(s) did everyone like and you hated?

Just about anything from Nora Roberts.

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Behind the Creation Part 4

  • Software Tools

Other than the physical hardware of my desktop computer system, I have no financial investment. All of my software is Free and Open Source. The following is a list of what I used to create the Multiplarity trilogy.

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Behind the Creation Part 3

  • Spacecraft

The Multiplarity trilogy mentions several different spacecraft. It might be interesting to see the real-world examples that inspired these craft.

The first is, of course, the US Space Shuttle. While there are many good reasons why it never fully achieved its potential, the fundamental shape was the result of more than twenty-five years of airframe development. The Shuttle was such a good basic shape that the USSR copied it with their Buran Shuttle. A great deal has been written on both designs.

https://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/the_shuttle/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft)

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Behind the Creation Part 2

  1. Worldbuilding

Behind the Creation Part 1 can be found here.

When I pause to consider it, Multiplarity not only has multiple plot lines with dozens of characters, but it required the detailed creation of four different fictional worlds. The first third of the book deals with a near future version of our world. The second part follows the founding of a lunar colony called Port Heinlein. The last part involves the reader with a rapidly maturing lunar colony and the colonization of two alien worlds. One is virtual and the other circles another sun.

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Behind the Creation Part 1

 

Multiplarity

What the heck am I talking about?

Ray Kurzweil and Vernor Vinge’ have written a great deal about the ‘Singularity’, but few have paid much attention. It has been called “the rapture of the nerds”. While the Singularity makes for interesting reading and conjecture, I don’t see it as totally transforming the entire human species.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

At this writing, there are naked humans walking jungle trails and smearing frog snot on arrowheads. Within a few thousand kilometers, there are laptop computers, cellphones, aircraft carriers, and rockets able to lob men into orbit.

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Happy Holidaze!

The last few months have been hectic and, in some ways, depressing. Depressing because the writing challenge I issued back in September garnered zero… that’s right, ZERO responses.

I spent the last month or so spinning my wheels and catching up on some TV series. Earlier this week I read this blog post by Dean Wesley Smith.

I realized I have been writing quite a bit the past few years, but haven’t really published anything. Thanks for the kick in the ass, Dean!

The Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) recognize the following story categories:

  • Novels 40,000 to 100,000 words
  • Omnibus more than 100,000 words
  • Novellas 17,500 to 40,000 words
  • Novelettes 7,500 to 17,500 words
  • Short stories less than 7,500 words

In order to get the ball rolling, I dug through my folders and found more than a dozen tales that were either ready to go, or just needed another couple of edit passes. I’ll be posting links to them in the next few days.

It took a few minutes to cruise the website to realize it needs a complete makeover as well. I’m off to do that, now.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope the season is kind to you and yours.

Time to Write

Rachel Poli is a blogger I’ve been following for some time now. She’s a fine writer and I wanted to thank her for a recent post. In it, she challenged other writers to create a story using a first line she supplied. The line is… “The doorbell rang at one-o’clock in the morning.”

It seemed like a fun little project, so I spent about an hour on a short tale. You can read it here.

Take a moment to read some of her stuff. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

Self-Publishing Tools

Here’s a list of some of the common tools that you’ll need to create your own ebook. I’ll be exploring each category in more detail, in a later post.

Word Processor

This is what is used to actually write the story. Some of the more popular choices are:

  • MicroSoft Word (Part of the MS Office suite of programs)
  • LibreOffice (Free and Open Source Software)
  • WordPad (An unadvertised part of Windows 10)

A quick tip: Do NOT use tabs! Use styles, instead.

Text Editor

At first glance, a text editor looks like a word processor, the difference is that it only handles the raw text. There are no fancy typefaces, headers, footers, notes, page numbers, etc. It is useful to strip all the extraneous code from a document prior to final formatting. The most common are Notepad for Windows and TexEdit for Macs.

Image Editor

This type of software is used for internal graphics as well as cover art.

  • Adobe PhotoShop (commercial industry standard)
  • GIMP (Free and Open Source Software)

Web Browser

A web browser is used for your email, research, backing up your Work in Progress (WiP), and eventual publication.

There are dozens of programs used for web browsing. The most popular are:

  • Internet Explorer (IE)
  • Chrome
  • FireFox
  • Safari.

These four account for most of the browsers in use, worldwide.