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poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘off-planet’ Category

new book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series available today!

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The next book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series is out today in paperback! The e-book will be available within the week.

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Meniscus: The Struggle continues the story of Abra who is trying to decipher a mysterious Dock-winder document. Abra believes the information in the manuscript will enable Humans to overcome their nasty alien overlords. Abra continues her work with the help of old friends from Themble Hill: Odymn, Tagret, Zachary and, yes, the annoying Dock-winder child, Don’est. And we learn more about her new friend, Drag’on of the Hooplore, who will be at her side through the adventure.

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Meniscus: The Struggle is available in paperback form at Amazon today (just click here). And I will have copies by the end of August. I will be launching the book at Dog-Eared Books in Oromocto: just watch for announcements. Dog-Eared Books and Westminster Books in Fredericton have copies of other books in the Series if you’d like to catch up. Book One (Crossing The Churn), Book Six (Oral Traditions) and Book Ten (Rosetta Stone) are good places to dive in to the story.

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Read on!

All my best!

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

July 31, 2022 at 11:06 am

next book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series

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The editing and formatting always takes time, but I am aiming to publish my new science fiction book in July. Meniscus: The Struggle will be number eleven in the Meniscus Series and number two in the trilogy begun with book number ten, Meniscus: Rosetta Stone.

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Life on the planet Meniscus is interesting and challenging. But for a Human, life can be dangerous, deadly. And Humans are below the lower rung of the social ladder, treated as chattels and slaves by the alien Dock-winders. Humans are not allowed to have families, not allowed to chose their own pathways in life.

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In Meniscus: Rosetta Stone, we meet Abra, a translator and historian who thinks she has found a secret to change the Dock-winder control over Human destiny. With the help of her irresponsible husband, Trath, she must recover a manuscript written in both Gel-speak and Dock-winder. They find the manuscript but during the effort, Trath falls into a chasm and certain death.

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In the next book, Meniscus: The Struggle, Abra must forget Trath and begin the arduous task of translating the manuscript. In the community of Hath’men, centre of the Human resistance movement, she discovers there may be help far to the south, in the Village of Themble Hill. But how will she bring the assistance she needs to Hath’men? And how will she fend off the advances of James, now that Trath is no longer in his way? If you have read other books in the Meniscus Series, you will be happy to know that Don’est, the Dock-winder child, will be there to thwart Abra’s progress.

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All my best,

Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane)

Next Meniscus: The Struggle

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In the Meniscus Science Fiction Series, I am now working on Meniscus: The Struggle, the sequel to Meniscus: Rosetta Stone.

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Meniscus: Rosetta Stone introduced us to Abra, a translator who has discovered a manuscript containing the mysterious Dock-winder language. As Abra works on the manuscript, she begins to think the words will hold the secret to the downfall of the cruel Dock-winders.

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In the sequel, Meniscus: The Struggle, Abra will enlist the help of Tagret, a chemist, to decipher the symbols in the manuscript. She will also try to get the help of Don’est, the Dock-winder child adopted by the Humans of Themble Hill. But will peculiar Don’est be a help or a hindrance?

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Meniscus: The Struggle will be available in June, 2022. Next post, I’ll show you some of my work on the cover of the book.

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

April 25, 2022 at 1:58 pm

A Milestone: Ten Books in the Meniscus Series

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With the publication of Meniscus: Rosetta Stone, there are now ten books in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series. Well, since I always make life difficult for myself, there are actually eleven books (if you count Meniscus: 1.5 and you should – it’s a great little book).

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In any case, this is a milestone in another way. Rosetta Stone is the first book of a Trilogy aimed at ending the oppressive rule of the Dock-winders, overlords of planet Meniscus.

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The Meniscus Science Fiction Series tells:

  • the story of abducted Humans and their fight for freedom

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  • the love stories of memorable characters:

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  • the adventures of characters pitted against the wilds of planet Meniscus:

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The stories are told in free-verse poetry (do not be afraid) and illustrated. Each book includes maps, character backgrounds, a glossary and a Gel-speak dictionary.

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Try them, you’ll like them. Click on any of the covers to the right to see the book for sale on Amazon.

All my best!

Jane

Written by jane tims

November 5, 2021 at 11:34 am

Meniscus: Rosetta Stone – now available

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The tenth book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series is now available:

at Westminster Books in Fredericton,

at Amazon (click here) as an ebook or paperback,

at the Fredericton Public Library,

and from me.

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Even if you haven’t read any of the Meniscus stories to date, this book will introduce new main characters and begin a new story.

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Abra, translator and historian, has found a previously unknown Dock-winder manuscript. She thinks it may contain a clue to overcoming the evil Dock-winders but first, she will make a hazardous journey to Hath-men, the centre of the Resistance movement. Join her as she faces dangers in the Meniscus woods and capture by the disgusting Gel-heads.

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All my best

Jane

(a.k.a. Alexandra)

planet meniscus: the strangest character of them all

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In my new book, Meniscus: Rosetta Stone, there are several new characters. Perhaps the most unusual is Drag-on, one of the Hooplore.

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The Hooplore is a species native to planet Meniscus:

sentient, telepathic; resemble nests of cooked spaghetti; roll and bounce like tumbleweeds; rather aloof from other Meniscus aliens and helpful to Humans.

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The Hooplore do not eat but gather nutrients as they roll across the substrate.

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Drag-on is known by the broken strand of ‘spaghetti’ he drags behind him.

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Drag-on is a friend to James, who lives in the village of Hath-men. When James was first brought to Meniscus as a child, Drag-on rescued him, and raised him to be the leader of The Resistance. When Abra arrives at the village, Drag-on becomes her friend and protector.

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Drag-on communicates telepathically. Touch his strands and his thoughts will fill your head.

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Hope you enjoy reading more about Drag-on!

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Copies of the book Meniscus: Rosetta Stone are now available from:

Westminster Books in Fredericton ( York Street)

The Fredericton Public Library

Amazon (click here)

the author – contact me and I will make certain you get your copy.

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All my best,

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Alexandra

(a.k.a. Jane)

how much for a trip to space?

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Yesterday, October 13, 2021, will be part of Star Trek history since William Shatner (a.k.a. Captain James T. Kirk) took a real journey into space, on board the space tourism ship, Blue Origin’s New Shepard. The cost of a ticket is variable, but in the range of hundreds of thousands into the millions. I said to my husband, “I’ll pass. I’ll just let the Dock-winders come and get me, and ‘take’ me to Meniscus.”

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So, if you are a reader of the Meniscus Science Fiction Series, you will know that the Dock-winders of Meniscus have visited (or will visit Earth) seven times: 1982, 1988, 1995, 2008, 2013, 2020 and 2023 (two years from now). Each time, they harvest Humans for transport to their planet. In every Meniscus book, there is a list of characters and the years they were taken. Next year, I will be publishing three novellas, short urban mysteries, in the Meniscus Peripherals Series. In each book, set on Earth, there will be a mention of a Dock-winder abduction and a connection to a Meniscus Science Fiction Series story.

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If you are not fussy about being ‘taken’ to Meniscus, for free, you can still be transported to the Meniscus world, for the small price of a paperback or e-book. There are now nine Meniscus adventures (ten if you include 1.5), and the tenth in the series, Meniscus: Rosetta Stone, will be released tomorrow, Friday!

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The books in the series are:

Book One – Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Book 1.5 – Meniscus: One Point FiveBook One – Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Book 1.5 – Meniscus: One Point Five

Book Two – Meniscus: South from Sintha

Book Three – Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

Book Four – Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

Book Five – Meniscus: Karst Topography

Book Six – Meniscus: Oral Traditions

Book Seven – Meniscus: Encounter with the Emenpod

Book Eight – Meniscus: The Knife

Book Nine – Meniscus: Meeting of Minds

Book Ten – Meniscus: Rosetta Stone

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Reading will transport you to Meniscus, second planet in the solar system of Tathlet-Amblyn, a double sun. Meniscus is a world of woodlands, deserts and mountains and the cities of Prell District, North and South. The plants and animals are peculiar and sometimes dangerous. And water moves upward, not down. Rivers do not flow and water is hard to swallow. The Humans who find themselves on Meniscus are the slaves of the Dock-winder system. But sometimes they are able to escape and, with other Humans, build relationships and communities and have exciting adventures.

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Meniscus: Rosetta Stone will introduce two new characters, Abra and Trath. Abra, an historian, finds a manuscript written in both Dock-winder and Gel-speak. Abra believes translation of the document may reveal a secret to overthrow the Dock-winders. She sets out for Hath-men, a village where The Resistance is centred. But traveling alone on Meniscus can be very dangerous.

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Meniscus: Rosetta Stone will be available on Friday, October 15, in both paperback and e-book versions. Once I get copies, it will be available from me or at Westminster Books in Fredericton.

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All my best.

(The Dock-winders are fictional.

You don’t have to worry about them!)

Jane

(a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

October 13, 2021 at 5:24 pm

new in the Meniscus Series: Meeting of Minds

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For your summer read, visit another planet. The plants and animals are strange, the aliens are evil. But some things don’t change. Good memories. Love and friendship. Family.

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But sometimes memories, love and family are lost. When Odymn is captured by the Dock-winders, they erase ten years of her memory. There are two moons in the night sky. Her husband, Daniel, is a stranger. Food and even water are unfamiliar.

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Follow Odymn and Daniel as they get to know one another again. And when the Dock-winders capture Daniel, how will Odymn rescue him?

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Meniscus: Meeting of Minds is available now on Amazon, here, in paperback and ebook. By the end of June, you will find the paperback at Westminster Books in Fredericton. This is the ninth book in the Meniscus Series … time to introduce yourself to the series by reading Volume 1, here, or Volume 6, here. Lots of love and adventure.

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All my best,

Jane

next book in the Meniscus Series: the Cast of Characters

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Other writers often ask me about the use of a beta reader. Of course, I value their input and listen carefully to any suggestions about the book they have just read for me. In a series like Meniscus, the suggestions of the beta reader often help me more with the next book. Sometimes the suggestion has to do with the storyline or a particular character. Sometimes it is a suggestion that becomes integral to the whole series.

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When she read Book Two of the Series, Meniscus: South from Sintha, my beta reader Carol suggested adding a short description of each character in a compendium at the end of each book. I began to do this for the next book and now every book has a Cast of Characters.

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Since some of my characters are aliens, I group the characters as Humans, Argenops (benevolent furry creatures), Dock-winders (self-serving overlords), Gel-heads (unlikeable minions), and Others (animal companions and other sentient aliens).

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In the Cast of Characters I include information on the character’s role in the story, the character’s age, where the character lived on Earth, what they were doing when the Dock-winders harvested them, what Earth year they were taken, their occupation on Earth, their occupation on Meniscus and sometimes their motivation, faults or wants.

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Here is an example, a character description of Zachary, a carpenter and an important citizen of Themble Hill:

Zachary – survivor of the transport crash; 46 one-suns old; harvested by the Dock-winders in 2008 when he worked as a carpenter with his father’s company in Fargo, North Dakota; educated as an engineer; harvested as he made repairs to a roof during a wind storm; used by the Dock-winders as the laser-sawyer in a grammid mill; spent most of grad school playing Sonic the Hedgehog ™ and eating pickled eggs in the campus grad house.

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Sometimes I wish I could change the character description a bit to suit the story, but I try not to do that. I also include all of the characters mentioned in all of the books to date although they may not appear in the current book. So far, I have 41 characters, major and minor, who have appeared in the various books.

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All my best,

staying home and keeping in my two-family bubble,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 8, 2020 at 7:00 am

next book in the Meniscus Series

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May 1 has arrived. With my new poetry books at the ‘proof’ stage, I have shifted gears to work on revisions of the next book in my science fiction series.

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Meniscus: The Knife is the eighth book in the Meniscus Series and continues with the love story of Tagret and Rist. I haven’t looked at the manuscript for two months, so I hope to see it with a new eye.

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When we left them in the last book, Meniscus: Encounter with the Emenpod, Tagret and Rist are parting company for a while. Rist, after the manner of all Slain, is going to his home to hibernate for the winter. Tagret will pass the winter months in the community of Themble Hill where she will have company and things to do.

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In Meniscus: The Knife, Tagret will go on a quest to save Rist from the dangerous Brotherhood.

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I think ‘The Knife’ is a great title for the book.

First, The Knife is the name of Rist’s home, the first step in Tagret’s quest.

Second, a knife is a metaphor for anything cut in two, a broken vow, a broken trust, a severed relationship.

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knife romance split

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Third, there are no knives on the planet Meniscus. The reason for this is the mythological interpretation of the geological fault that physically separated the gentle Argenops from the oppressive Dock-winders and their Gel-head minions. Long ago, says the mythology, the Themble area was cut from the En’ast area by a magical knife and since then, no knives have been allowed on the planet Meniscus.

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knife culture split

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I have a few steps to do before the book is done:

  • Read the manuscript and make adjustments to storylines;
  • Do line by line revisions (word choice and poetic structure);
  • Add front matter, character descriptions, glossary and gel-speak dictionary;
  • Submit the manuscript to my editor;
  • Incorporate editorial suggestions;
  • Format text;
  • Finish drawings and maps, scan, scale and insert into text.
  • Create cover painting and photograph;
  • Scale photo and create cover;
  • Submit to Kindle Direct Publishing and request Proof;
  • Review and revise Proof;
  • Resubmit and finalize;
  • Push publish!

Then I begin the formatting process for the second time, to create an e-book.

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Sounds daunting but I have done this so often, I have worked out all (well, most) of the bugs. I am helped in this by my ‘little black books’ where I write out the revision and formatting steps, font sizes, image dimensions, Word settings and KDP requirements.

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I’ll keep you up to date on my progress.

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All my best,

staying safe and in my two-household bubble,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 4, 2020 at 7:00 am

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