nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘off-planet’ Category

Next book in the Meniscus Series!!!

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It’s the dead of winter. It’s bitterly cold and food is scarce. Just surviving until next morning is all you can think about. But no matter. There are just the two of you.

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Then your boyfriend declares he is going on his version of ‘walkabout’ for three months. And seven strangers, survivors of a spaceship crash, land on your doorstep. The trials of winter just went critical.

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Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, the third book of the Meniscus Series, follows the continuing story of Odymn and the silent Slain. If you enjoyed Crossing The Churn (the story of the meeting of Odymn and the Slain) and South from Sintha (the story of the Slain’s attempt at redemption), you will love the third story. There are lots of new characters and Odymn’s parkour and foraging skills are put to the test. The book includes new drawings, a map, a glossary, a list of characters and a guide to Gel-speak.

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Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb is now available in paperback and ebook at Amazon.com.  A quick read, written as a narrative poem. The paperback is $11.99 (US) here and the Kindle version is $4.96 here .

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An except from the story:

Odymn measures the gap.

Not far.

Perhaps two metres.

Just beyond her comfort zone.

 

Odymn considers

surface of the stack.

Icy, slippery.

Bubbles ooze across rock.

 

The En’ast wood,

a hundred metres below.

 

Odymn tosses a chunk of stone.

It lands,

skids to a stop.

 

Rubs her hands on the dusty rocks.

Needs dry fingers to cling to edge

if her feet keep going.

 

Crouches. Arms behind her.

Launches and leans.

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I hope you will take a leap with Odymn and explore the strange world of Meniscus.

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Copyright Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) 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

 

thank you!

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A huge thank you to purchasers of my books. From June 1 -5 I ran a free book promotion on Amazon for the Kindle edition of South from Sintha. I gave away 41 free ebooks and sold a few Kindle editions of the first book Crossing The Churn. Also, thanks to anyone who bought ebooks or paperbacks! I am so pleased to know my stories and words and characters are getting out there!

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my concept of the Meniscus planet’s solar system

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I have found my audience for the Meniscus series is unique … people who love science fiction are most interested. For this reason, I have decided to run a new blog, dedicated to my interests in science fiction and fantasy. I will also put updates about my Meniscus books there.

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Anyone who likes science fiction and would like to follow my new blog, have a look at www.offplanet.blog. I would be happy to see you there! I will still publish the highlights about my Meniscus books here and, of course, continue to post about my interests in prose and poetry, and in natural and community history.

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This week I am working on edits for the next two Meniscus books: Winter at the Water-climb and The Village at Themble Hill. Here are a few drawings for these new books! The books will follow the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain, but new characters arrive, as the result of a transport crash.

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Copyright Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) 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

Reading at Westminster Books, Fredericton

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Looking for something interesting to do on Thursday evening this week? Bring your imaginations and curiosity to enjoy an hour of readings and refreshments at Westminster Books.

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I will be reading from my new book “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn”, a science-fiction adventure. And Zach Hapeman will read his quirky, sometimes sinister, poems for the young at heart. Zach is the author of the poetry collection “A Crack in the Door”.

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At the reading we will have:

Gel-head punch – green like the transparent aliens on the planet Meniscus!

Life-sized stand-ups of a Gel-head and a Dock-winder, another alien on Meniscus.

A bit of ‘beelwort’ to ‘slip into your pocket’ (don’t worry, it’s only cardboard!!!) – these will be used for three prize draws during the evening.

Prizes include a small but charming painting called “alien moons” and an adventure game called “Forbidden Desert”.

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Hoping to see you there!

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

making stand-ups for my book launch

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On Thursday evening at 7PM, I will be reading at Westminster Books in Fredericton, with Zach Hapeman, poet-for-the-young-at-heart and author of ‘A Crack in the Door’ (Amazon books).

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I’ll read from my new book ‘Meniscus: Crossing The Churn’. I have a few surprises for my audience, including life-sized stand-up cardboard aliens.  I also did a set of smaller aliens to include in the Westminster Books display window.

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First step: Obtain the cardboard. My very helpful husband brought home two big cardboard boxes from Leons Furniture in Fredericton. A big thank you to Leons! The boxes, originally used to protect table tops were the perfect size (6′ by 4′)!

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Second step: Select a couple of drawings of the Gel-head and Dock-winder aliens from my book. Gel-heads are named since their skin is a transparent green gel – muscles, skeleton bits and even some organs can be seen through their skin! The Dock-winders have very long necks, tattooed to keep track of their exploits. They are called Dock-winders because when they invaded earth, they attacked from the sea and their necks resembled the dock piers sailors use to tie up their boats!

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Third step: Transfer the drawing outlines to the cardboard. To do this I created a grid on the drawing and a scaled grid on the cardboard. Then I just drew a scaled outline using the grid-lines.

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Fourth step: Paint the cardboard figures. Manipulating the cardboard during painting was the hard part. I just used my exercise ball to elevate and steady the figure. I was afraid the cardboard would bend, but no mishaps occurred!

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had to add pants to my Gel-head alien … even on planet Meniscus, you need clothing!

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Fifth step: Cut out the figure. I used a skill knife and carved away small segments at a time. Then I touched up the edges with black paint.

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Sixth step: Reinforce the back of the figure, especially bendy parts like arms legs and necks, with wooden skewers and glue.

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The Results: Here is a photo of the smaller stand-ups in the window of our local bookstore Westminster Books, Fredericton. Janet North (owner) and staff have been so good to me. The store is hosting the launch of my book on Thursday May 18, 2017 at 7 PM. If you live in the Fredericton area, Zach Hapeman and I would love to see you there!!!! My aliens would love to see you too!!!!

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

book launch – Westminster Books, Fredericton

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I am so grateful to Westminster Books in Fredericton for hosting the launch of my new book ‘Meniscus: Crossing The Churn’. The launch will be at the bookstore on May 18, 2017, Thursday evening, at 7 PM. As I drove by today, I saw my book on display in the bookstore window!

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I am having a lot of fun setting up the launch.

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The evening will feature readings from my book as well as a reading from another Fredericton writer Zach Hapeman. Zach will read from his book ‘A Crack in the Door’, a collection of delightful and sometimes sinister poetry. Zach also illustrates his books and, although we aim for different audiences, we think the two readings will make a great combination.

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The evening will also feature two life-sized cardboard stand-ups of my two alien characters – a Gel-head and a Dock-winder. I am mid-way through creating these and I think these fellows will be reading with me at many events to come!

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During the evening, I will hand out cardboard tokens of ‘beelwort’ to the audience members and ask them to ‘slip the token in a pocket’. At some point in the evening we will award a prize to the person with the correct ‘beelwort’ token. You may recall that ‘beelwort’ is the mysterious plant that is put into the pockets of patrons of the Gel-head bar.

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The prizes for this part of the evening will include a small painting I have done of the two moons in my book. The painting is small, but I think it is quite charming.

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‘alien moons’, acrylic, unframed, gallery edges, 5″ by 7″, by Jane Tims

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For refreshments we will have Gel-head punch (green of course)!

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The evening will be a lot of fun.  If you live in the Fredericton area, I hope you will be able to come!

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Copyright  Jane Tims 2017

 

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