nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Meniscus: Crossing the Churn

Writing a Series – continuity

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With the publication of the first in the Meniscus series — Meniscus: Crossing The Churn (CreateSpace, 2017), I am now working to publish the second – Meniscus: South from Sintha.

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A poor photo of the painting I did for the cover of Book Two – Meniscus: South from Sintha

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I have completed the text and all of the drawings. I have even finished the painting for the book cover! The book is now with my editor (Lee Thompson Editing +) who will give me advice on story arc, characters, poetic line and word choice.

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Back to those final edits!!!!

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The story for South from Sintha continues the tale begun in Book One — in this book, Odymn wants the Slain to fix some of the wrongs he has done in the past. South from Sintha is the story of a journey to return some of the Slain’s former captives to their homes. But can you really ‘go back’?

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The cover painting for Meniscus: South from Sintha is based on one of the drawings I created for the story … the drawing is called ‘release of the feather’ … after returning each captive to his or her home, the Slain and Odymn release a token to celebrate the ‘return’

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As I prepare the second in the series, I have to make a couple of continuity decisions. One had to do with maps. I have taken the advice of my nephew and altered the map to reflect the landscape changes revealed in Book Two, as well as the path followed by the major characters.

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The West Half of the map in the story South from Sintha … drawing the map in GIMP makes additions/changes so easy!

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Another continuity decision concerns the common language on the planet Meniscus: Gel-speak. As I write, new words are added to the Gel-speak vocabulary. I have included a Glossary with a Gel-speak Dictionary at the back of each book. But, do I keep the Book One words in the Book Two Dictionary, even though some words are not used in Book Two? Or do I include the vocabulary from both Book One and Book Two? Perhaps you would help me make a decision by responding to the poll.

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If you want to read Book One in the series, Meniscus: Crossing The Churn is now available at Amazon, in both Paperback and Kindle versions. Be sure to look under my first name Alexandra TimsOf course I want you to buy the book and read the story of how the Slain and Odymn meet! Meeting the furry, purry Argenop in the story is worth the read!!!!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

March 24, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn … on Kindle soon!

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I have had a frustrating week. However, I have accomplished what I set out to do. I have pressed the publish button on the Kindle edition of my book. It should be available in a couple of days.

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Say hello to Odymn and the Slain. My big problem was to get them from postage-stamp size to fill-the-page size.

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What an effort! My main challenge was putting my 25 drawings into the various types of e-book at a proper size.

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I googled for help for almost two weeks and tried every suggestion without luck. And at last I found the answer. I purchased a book by Aaron Shepard ( Pictures on Kindle – Self-Publishing Your Kindle Book with Photos, Art, or Graphics, or Tips on Formatting Your Ebook’s Images to Make Them Look Great (Shepard Publications, Friday Harbor, Washington, 2013-2016) available as an e-book from Amazon for $4.03 … the key was to switch on and off all the right boxes in Word ! You have no idea how deep the Word rabbit-hole goes!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

A contest ! What is ‘beelwort’?

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In writing my science-fiction book Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, I had a lot of fun inventing plant and animal species to populate the planet Meniscus. I also enjoyed thinking of the various common items a traveller on the planet might encounter. I include a Glossary at the end of the book, to help the reader. However, one item is not identified, on purpose. I thought it might be fun to keep readers guessing about the identity of this item …  “beelwort” …

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What is ‘beelwort’ ???

 

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When we first meet Odymn, the book’s protagonist, she is a slave in the city of Prell. She puts in her days at a bar, waiting tables. Being a waitress in Prell is no fun. As the book says, every day has its challenges: boiling coffee thrown, the brutal behavior of the Gel-head customers, and, worst of all —

 

Slices of beelwort slipped into a pocket …

 

The “wort” in “beelwort” suggests a plant or plant product. The only other thing I know about “beelwort” is now part of my draft of Book Four — Meniscus: The Town at Themble Hill.  Odymn talks about her cooking:

 

‘When we return to Garth,” she says,

“I refuse to take another turn at cooking.

No one likes what I make.”

 

“I like what you make,” says the Slain.

 

“You’d eat beelwort on a stick,”

says Odymn.

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So what is “beelwort”?

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For example, a slice of “beelwort” in a pocket might be like having a slice of orange put into your pocket …

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I am running a contest. The winner of the contest will recieve a copy of my poetry book within easy reach, a book about edible wild plants … not a beelwort among them!

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To enter the contest, let me know what you think “beelwort” is — the answer can go in my Blog or Facebook comments. Describe it in one sentence (nothing obscene is allowed and I reserve the right to edit or not allow the comment).  I will run the answers by the members of my writing group and have them select one winner. I’ll announce the winner by March 31, 2017 and arrange to send him or her a copy of within easy reach, postage paid.

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Put on your thinking caps! What is “beelwort”?

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

 

 

 

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn …. published!

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I am so proud to announce that my new science-fiction book Meniscus: Crossing The Churn is now available in paperback through Amazon.  The book is written in the form of a long poem and includes my pencil drawings.

 

 

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To quote the book cover:

On the alien planet Meniscus, Humans are slaves. Every twilight, Odymn runs through the forests of Meniscus, practicing the art of parkour. Her runs give her strength, flexibility and endurance, and a way to survive a life of servitude under the oppressive Dock-winders. When the silent Slain rescues her from a brutal encounter with a gang of Gel-heads, Odymn believes she has reached the end of her search for freedom. In their travels through the Prell’nan District of Meniscus, she and the Slain encounter dangerous woodlands, dramatic water-climbs and an impassable water churn. Odymn and the Slain work together to evade the Gel-heads and overcome the dangers of the landscape. But is Odymn really free or is she caught in a cycle of trying to escape the inevitable?

In the first of the Meniscus series, Crossing the Churn tells the story of the meeting of a young woman and a genetically-engineered Slain whose kindness may not be consistent with his purpose.

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This is the first book in a series of five, all in various stages of completion. I aim to publish a new book in the series every couple of months during 2017.

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I have published this book under my first name Alexandra so be sure to look for it under Alexandra Tims. Hope you will come with me for a run through the landscapes of the planet Meniscus.

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https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=meniscus%3A+Crossing+the+Churn

or for Canadian customers:

https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Meniscus%3A+Crossing+The+Churn

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If you buy my book, please leave a short review on Amazon!!!

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True to my botany training, part of the story reveals how to stay fed on an alien planet with no grocery store nearby! If you want to stay fed on this planet, have a look at the poems in my other book within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2016), also available on Amazon.

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Odymn and the Slain

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

The “proof” arrives!

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A knock on the door yesterday afternoon brought the “proof” of my new book Meniscus: Crossing The Churn”. So exciting!

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carton
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The proofing with CreateSpace takes a while if you follow their process. At the suggestion of one of my blog readers, I sent for the hard copy “proof” and I am so glad I did! I am also reviewing a virtual book and a PDF version, both provided by CreateSpace.

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I know from my read of the virtual book, there are several things I want to fix. But having the proof makes publication of the book more “real”.  Also, a read of the real pages will probably point out other edits … there always seems to be a difference between my perception of paper and screen versions!

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It will take a few hours to read the “proof”, make any changes and go through the process of downloading the new version to CreateSpace. Then, a repeat of the proofing process. Nevertheless, I am that much closer to the publication of my book on Amazon!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

March 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm

A muse takes over – final edits

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This week I am working towards final publication of my first sci-fi novel on CreateSpace – Meniscus: Crossing The Churn.

I have incorporated the comments of my editor ( Lee Thompson Editing + https://leethompsonediting.com/ ) into my final draft.

I have sent my beta-version to my six beta-readers and will make a few edits based on their comments.

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A glimpse of the book in final editing. The blue paper was a gift from my husband who thought he was buying white paper! The yellow tabs are just a few last minute changes. The white frame is my way of seeing how the book will look on the final page size!

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At the last minute I decided my font was too small and switched from Garamond 12 to Garamond 14. It took a while to get all those drawings back to the left hand page!

Now, I have printed out a final version to have one last view before I load the cover, text and other information into CreateSpace.

A comment about independent versus traditional publishing:

I realize how patient the publisher was with all the edits for my poetry book within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2017).

I also realize that my publisher made the final call and ‘pushed the button ‘ regarding the final, final, final draft. Left to my own, I realize I am a bit nervous about this last step and find myself procrastinating, just a little.

To that end, I spent all morning, not working on Meniscus:Crossing The Churn, but on the early draft of the fifth book in the series!

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

 



Written by jane tims

February 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

a muse takes over – structuring a project

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When I wrote the first ‘book’ for my sci-fi series about enslaved humans on the planet Meniscus, I really didn’t know where the series was headed. The characters were clear to me and my focus was the building of a relationship between the main two characters, Odymn and the Slain. However, as I neared completion of the first story, I discovered: the first book needs the guidance of the second to set the stage for a book series.

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book-cover

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By the time I completed the draft of my second ‘book’, I knew where the series was headed. This is a story of how a small group of human beings overcome all odds and challenging enemies to rebuild a social structure stolen from them.

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vicki

Vicki, Odymn’s friend in Prell-nan, plays a very minor role in the first two ‘books’ and a major role as the story progresses.

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In the end, the project will be five books, telling the story in sequence. I thought I would begin this series of posts near the middle of the creative process, when I am deciding how to frame and present my five books and the one over-arching story.

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Each book in the series will tell one part of the over-arching story, in the form of a long poem. This will be accessible poetry, written in short lines and stanzas. The less-accessible part of the story will be the vocabulary and strangeness of the planet and the characters.

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Each book will have its own story arc and these stories will build on one another. Each story will feature recurring characters and a few new characters. All of the stories occur in a particular area of the planet Meniscus, known as the Prell-nan South District (Prell-nan is the main urban area in the story). This allows me to expand on the original five books, if the muse continues to inspire me, into the North District!

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a map to go with the story

a map to go with the story

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Presently, the five stories are in different stages of completion. Book 1 (Crossing The Churn) is in final draft and with my editor for comment. Book II (South from Sintha) is in final draft. The story arcs and drafting of Book III (Winter by the Water-climb) are mostly complete. Book Four (The Town at Themble Hill) is experiencing the agony of story arc resolution. Book Five ( ?????) is in early, early draft.

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At this point, I am trying to make sure the five stories are balanced in their presentation. To do this, I keep in mind the length of each story, measured in terms of the number of words,  ‘chapters’, pages and characters.

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To present this in a table:

number in series book title number of words number of pages number of chapters number of main characters
1

 

Crossing The Churn 9,821 147 33  

4

 

2

 

South to Sintha 8,648 104 31 7
3

 

Winter by the Water-climb 12,877 147 53 13
4

 

The Town at Themble Hill 11,389 108 47 16
5

 

???? 761+ 10+ 11 so far ??

 

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As you can see, these will be short ‘books’, probably readable in about 2-3 hours, allowing for the poetry and a bit of challenging alien vocabulary.

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This post’s bit of advice:

if you are writing a series, knowing the content and story arcs of the subsequent book(s) will help inform the story and content of the previous book(s).

This worked well for me in writing the “Saving the Landing Church” series (see https://janetims.com/2015/07/03/writing-a-novel-draft-by-draft/ ).

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

 

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