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poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘Meniscus’ Category

get your free copy of Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

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The first book in my science fiction series is available free in Kindle format from now until October 8th.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1542342635

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What lives in the grell burrows?

Why does the Slain carry an ivory button with him?

Who gave Odymn her purple running shoes?

What plants are good to eat in the Meniscus woods?

How do Odymn and the Slain get water in the Darn’el desert?

How did Odymn get her name?

Does the Slain speak English?

What is the Slain’s occupation?

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Just a few questions you’ll be able to answer if you read Meniscus: Crossing The Churn.

 

 

Written by jane tims

October 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

free book … Meniscus Science Fiction Series

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Do you like to read? Would you like to start a new series, one with adventure and a good love story? The Meniscus Series follows the adventures of two Humans trying to build a life together on a rather nasty alien planet. The first book in the Meniscus Series, “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn” will be free on Amazon Kindle today until October 8, 2017. A good chance to give it a try.  To order, just click here.

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2017 has been a productive year for me. I completed three of the Science Fiction Series “Meniscus”. By the end of the year, I will add a forth book to the Series … “Meniscus: One Point Five”. This is a short book, intended to tell the story of the six months between the first and second books. The writing is almost done and I am about to begin the illustrations. In January, I will be publishing number four in the Series … “Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill”.

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I am biased, of course, but I think the books tell a great story. On Meniscus, Humans have lost all the progress they have made and are slaves to the ruling Dock-winders. My books tell the tale of one Human’s search for freedom and relationship.  Against all odds, Odymn finds a partner and builds a new life in the dangerous Meniscus landscape. The books are full of romance and adventure, and the Meniscus world is packed with interesting plants and animals. Some are good to eat; some want to eat you!

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If you haven’t read “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn”, try it out. It tells the story of how Odymn meets the Slain. He is a trader and his motives are not at all consistent with his kindness. But Odymn is beautiful and capable. In the end, love is sure to win out over the Slain’s desire to keep his good reputation as a trader.

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To help introduce you to the story of Odymn and the Slain (eight books are planned for the Series), I am running a Free Book Promotion on Amazon Kindle from October 4, 2017 to October 8, 2017. You can get a Kindle version of “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn” for free. Discover what Odymn finds hidden away in the Slain’s backpack!

To order “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn”, just click here!

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Written by jane tims

October 4, 2017 at 7:00 am

from a first drawing to a final cover

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This month I completed publication of the third book in my science fiction series. I published my books with CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform and have loved the outcome. I also chose to use one of the CreateSpace templates for my covers, an efficient choice but one that let me easily download my own painting image for each cover.

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As a sort of retrospective, I think it is interesting to see the progression of the three covers, from drawing to painting to cover (all paintings are photography of J.D.R. Beaudoin):

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The next book in the series, Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill, will come out in January 2018. Seems a ways away, but time to start working on the cover. This cover may change in overall design but will feature the moons in the background with poor Odymn tumbling through the trees. This is the black and white drawing I will work from.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Out Soon – the next book in the Meniscus Series!

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Within the next couple of days, my new book in the sci-fi series Meniscus will be out on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle versions.

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This book, Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, continues the love story of Odymn and the silent Slain, and follows a ragtag group of humans as they try to survive winter on the planet of Meniscus. New characters are introduced to the story and Odymn discovers a secret way to the Themble Wood.

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The book includes 21 of my drawings, an updated Map, a Glossary, a Gel-speak Dictionary and (New!) a guide to the Characters (as suggested by one of my beta-readers)!

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To buy the first two books in the Series, click here for Meniscus: Crossing The Churn and here for Meniscus: South from Sintha.  They are also available from Westminster Books, Fredericton.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

a map to go with a story

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Since I began to read, I have loved to have a map included in the book – the more detailed the better!

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The maps that come to mind include the five maps of Middle Earth and the detailed map of the Shire in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings (Methuen Publications), the maps of Great Britain and Wales inside the front cover of Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave (William Morrow and Company, Inc.), and the map of Martha’s Vineyard accompanying all of the books in Philip R. Craig’s Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries (Scribner). Although books in the mystery and fantasy genres often have maps, almost any book can include a guide to the geography of the book.

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the completed GIMP map for Meniscus: South from Sintha … every feature has its own layer so I can add a tree, delete a path, or add a house to a village!

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When I began my Meniscus series, I knew a map was needed. I needed it, to help me plot the story and action!

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At first I thought I would do a hand-drawn map and make changes as needed. Foolish girl! I would have been drawing maps forever. I have included a new map with each book, showing the path taken by the characters and any new features they find in the landscape. Fortunately I chose GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a free on-line app similar to Photoshop Pro. I had never worked with GIMP before, so I took the time to learn the system and I still have trouble with those ‘paths’. The system produces maps in layers. I can have a map for each kind of tree in the forest, a map for the grasslands, one for the villages and cities and so on.

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This week I started plotting for the seventh book in the series (two are now published and the third is expected out next week). I have told all the stories I care to (for now) for the first map (Map of Prell-nan South District, Meniscus), so I have been working on the landscape of Prell-nan North District.

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I first designed this map at the laundromat. Laundromats are the best place to read and write and think. No one bothers you and there is a set time to work. Many of the details of the map will change but it shows the basics of the portion of planet Meniscus I am building.

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a very draft map of Prell-nan North District, Meniscus … the features on this map will be continuous with the map of the South District … the original map is 4″ by 3″  … I drew on what I could find!

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I have now finished most of the layers on GIMP. I still need to label the various features and tidy up some of the layers. Now I can use the map to help me plot the journey of my characters and their actions!

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the first draft of the map on GIMP … I love creating all those little trees!

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Be watching for the next book in the Meniscus series! Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb tells the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain, and gets them through a brutal winter on planet Meniscus! Their love story and adventures continue with some new characters.

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

 

my eraser is my friend

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I spent a quiet morning drawing a new image for the fourth book in my science fiction series.

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Meniscus: Crossing The Churn and Meniscus: South from Sintha have been published. I am now waiting for editing and a proof of Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb (to be published in July). In the meanwhile, I have some time to continue work on the fourth book, Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill.

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The Village at Themble Hill is the most tragic of the four books to date. Odymn, sometimes reckless, breaks her leg and then falls from a tree. How did she get in that tree and will she survive?

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I am the first to admit my drawings are not perfect. I have no specific training and my hand does all the work so it takes all the blame. However, I love to draw. It is engrossing and being able to illustrate my own books has helped me tell my stories.

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I begin by reading the text of the story to choose a scene I want to illustrate. I usually have the composition of the scene securely in my head as a result of the writing. Then I pose my little wooden model, find some photos to help me with the human form, and get to work. I have decided to show you the stages for a particular drawing.

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In this scene, Odymn and the Slain have decided to explore The Fault, to make sure there are no unknown ways for the Gel-heads to gain access to the new Human settlement. The Gel-heads have invaded before, carrying off prisoners and trying to murder those they leave behind.

 

The Slain pulls his map from his pack.

Yellowed vellum. Corners worn.

Ink marks gloss the edges.

The Slain’s finger follows The Fault.

 

“We’ll go scouting,”

he says. “Make certain

there are no other stair-steps

carved in rock.”

 

“No other water-climbs,” says Odymn.

 

She hears what the Slain does not say.

He tires of life in Garth —

rules, duty rosters

and expected conversation.

 

“When do we leave?” says Odymn.

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I begin with a quick sketch to establish the position of my characters. I use a 2B pencil and eraser. I think the eraser is the most useful of my drawing tools!

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Then I start to consolidate the lines and sketch in some background.

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The next step is to establish some of the shadow in the drawing. As you can see, a Q-tip is almost as important to me as the eraser!

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Odymn is always the easiest to draw. She is a bit quirky, so her facial expressions mask her beauty. The main challenges are her hair and her nose which always tries to develop a hook.

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The last thing I draw is the Slain’s head. He is a most difficult character/subject. I always get him too young or too old, too dark or too light. Sometimes he insists on looking a bit like a caveman!

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The final drawing is almost exactly the scene I saw in my head. Odymn and the Slain look a little uncertain about what they will find on their adventure. As you can see, when you use an eraser, you also need a brush to shoo the eraser bits away without smudging the drawing.

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With a few minor edits, this drawing will accompany this part of the story in The Village at Themble Hill. The Slain and Odymn will have some dangerous adventures as they travel along The Fault.

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What do you think of my process and my final drawing?

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

 

new book in the Meniscus Series

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My new book in the Meniscus series … Meniscus: South from Sintha … is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats! The book follows the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain as they head out on a new adventure and build their relationship with one-another. To purchase the book click here for the paperback and here for the Kindle edition.

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On a planet where Humans are slaves, Odymn is free. Her companion, the Slain, was once a trader in sentient beings. Now, for love of Odymn, he has agreed to change his ways and to return his former captives to their homes. Together, he and Odymn travel the urban alleyways and wilderness woodlands of the Southern District of Prell-nan, risking everything. They must battle wild life, outsmart power-hungry Dock-winders and dodge the grasp of ruthless Gel-heads. But in spite of good intentions, will the Slain be able to right the wrongs of the past? Or will the consequences of his actions outweigh the good he and Odymn want to do?

 

In the second of the Meniscus series, South from Sintha tells the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain. Odymn loves her silent companion, but trying to help his former captives may be a challenge she did not anticipate.

 

You can try to mend the broken, to right the wrongs of the past, but sometimes you can`t go back.

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Copyright 2017 Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) Tims

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