nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Meniscus Series

nom de plume

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When I decided to write and publish the science fiction Meniscus Series, I thought it might be a good idea to take on a pen name, just for the Series. I chose to use my first name Alexandra. A pretty name, but always my unused first name and therefore not familiar. But now that everything is electronic, Alexandra is the name I encounter more and more often in my daily life.

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DSCN0008

name of this boat is Alex

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When I was a child, starting school, my parents warned me I might hear the name Alexandra when people addressed me. On the first day of school we all sat on the floor of the gymnasium and listened for our names to be read. I listened extra hard, terrified I would not recognize the unfamiliar name. At last the gymnasium was empty and my name, Jane or Alexandra, had not been called. As it turned out, my parents had sent me to the wrong school!

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Using the pen name Alexandra has been a little strange. When registering for things like Access Copyright and Public Lending Rights I have to remember to register both names.  I show up at launches and behave as Jane since that is the name most people know me by. I started a special blog www.offplanet.blog for posts about my science fiction series but recently I sign “All my best, Alexandra (a.k.a.Jane).” I sign books in the Meniscus series with Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane). I guess I am always going to be Jane.

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five books.jpg

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Do you have a pen name and what has been your experience with using a nom de plume?

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All my best,

Jane (a.k.a.Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

September 24, 2018 at 7:00 am

Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

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Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

by Alexandra Tims

an illustrated long poem

fourth in the Meniscus Series

science fiction – romance – adventure

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Follow the adventures of Odymn and the Slain!

 

 

 

 

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Meniscus: The Town at Themble Hill

 

… On the alien planet Meniscus, against all odds, a small group of Humans works to forge a new life together. When a Dock-winder drone pays them a visit, Odymn and the Slain trek along the heights of The Fault, to make certain the community is not in danger of invasion. They find a new way to scale The Fault and a perfect location for building a new village. Matters are complicated when Odymn is injured on a parkour run and the Slain’s former girlfriend joins the group. Faced with a dangerous journey through the Themble Wood and the hardships of building a new community, are the Humans in more danger from themselves, the alien landscape, or their Doc-winder overlords?

 

… In the fourth book of the Meniscus series, The Village at Themble Hill chronicles the first days of community life on a planet where Humans are not allowed to associate and freedom is always at risk.

 

   home is the safest place … so build a home …

 

www.amazon.com/Meniscus-Village-Themble-Alexandra-Tims/dp/1546475982

 

Excerpt

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“What is that sound?”

says Odymn.

Looks north-west.

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Green light creeps

towards zenith,

blinking its way.

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The Slain rolls to standing.

Grabs Odymn’s arm.

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“Hide,”

he says.

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Slips over the limb of banyan.

Pulls Odymn after him.

Covers her with his body.

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Tugs at his armour,

five snaps per side

(its electric current

detectable, trackable).

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The armour detaches.

A grid of inert copper

between them.

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Above, the drone

nudges sideways,

sinks among the trees.

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Odymn holds her breath.

The Slain lays his mouth on hers

but she peeks around him,

wants to see.

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The drone hovers

a minute or more.

It blinks, effortless

on its cushion of air.

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Then it rises.

Swoops

to the north-east.

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The Slain lifts Odymn to her feet.

Finds a path

through banyan,

in the direction of Garth.

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Flawless navigation in dark

and Odymn wonders

what amethyst eyes see

in places where light

does not shine.

~

 

 

 

About the Author

Alexandra Tims is a botanist, writer and artist living in rural New Brunswick, Canada. Her first five books in the Meniscus series, Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, Meniscus: South from Sintha, Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, and Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill were published with CreateSpace in 2017 and 2018. She has also published two books of poetry, within easy reach (2106) and in the shelter of the covered bridge (2017), under the name Jane Spavold Tims (both with Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock). In 2016 she won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition for her manuscript of poems about bird calls. She is a fan of science fiction – books, television and film, including Star Trek, Stargate and Firefly. Her websites feature her drawings, paintings and poetry.

 

www.offplanet.blog

www.janetims.com

 

Other books in the Meniscus Series

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Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days

Meniscus: South from Sintha

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

 

Copyright Jane Tims 2018

 

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

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Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

by Alexandra Tims

an illustrated long poem

first in the Meniscus Series

science fiction – romance – adventure

 

~

Follow the adventures of Odymn and the Slain!

 

 

On the alien planet Meniscus, Humans are slaves. Every twilight, Odymn runs through the forests outside the city, 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.

 

try …. fail … repeat …

sometimes no matter how hard you run, the past grabs at your heels …

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1542342635

 

Excerpt

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The sky congeals,

coughs up churning darkness,

and the air moves.

 

Reminder of home, on Earth.

The creaking weathervane

above the hay barn door.

 

The wind tosses sparse droplets.

Plucks handfuls of dust.

Pebbles like sleet.

 

The broken hills kilometres away.

Obscured by a looming sandstorm.

 

The Slain walks faster.

Distance widens between them.

She stumbles, falls to her knees.

 

“Why should I follow?” she whispers.

 

His hand grips her arm, drags her to standing.

Forward in uneven strides.

Leaning into wind.

 

About the Author

Alexandra Tims is a botanist, writer and artist living in rural New Brunswick, Canada. Her first four books in the Meniscus series, Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, Meniscus: South from Sintha and Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, were published with CreateSpace in 2017 and 2018. She has also published two books of poetry, within easy reach (2106) and in the shelter of the covered bridge (2017), under the name Jane Spavold Tims (both with Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock). In 2016 she won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition for her manuscript of poems about bird calls. She is a fan of science fiction – books, television and film, including Star Trek, Stargate and Firefly. Her websites feature her drawings, paintings and poetry.

 

www.offplanet.blog

www.janetims.com

 

Other books in the Meniscus Series

~

Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days

Meniscus: South from Sintha

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

 

 

New Maryland Fall Show – Jane’s books and paintings for sale!!!

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Last year I tried selling my books and paintings at a local craft fair. I had so many ‘fears’. I wondered if I would sell anything. I wondered how it would feel, sitting there waiting for someone to be interested in my wares. I wondered if I would have any money when I went home (I saw so many things at the fair I wanted to buy)!

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I was pleasantly surprised. I sold both books and paintings. Sitting, watching the vendors and browsers, was very relaxing. And I loved meeting the other vendors and bought some items I still love!

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This Saturday November 4, 9AM – 2PM, I will be at the New Maryland Fall Show (held at the Faith Baptist Church, 525 New Maryland Highway, New Maryland, New Brunswick). I will be selling copies of my books and some of my paintings.

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my books:

‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ (Chapel Street Editions, 2017) – my new book of poems about plants and animals living in and around some of the covered bridges in New Brunswick (if the book doesn’t arrive from the printers in time, I will be taking pre-orders)

‘within easy reach’ (Chapel Street Editions, 2016) – poems about wild edibles and other local foods

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three books in my science-fiction series (CreateSpace, 2017):

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Meniscus: South from Sintha

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

some of my paintings:

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I am getting close to my 500th follower! If you leave a comment on this post (WordPress or Facebook), you will be entered into a draw for a free, postage-paid paperback copy of my new book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’! One entry per commenter per post.

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If you live in the New Maryland area of New Brunswick, I hope I will see you on Saturday November 3, 2017 at the New Maryland Fall Show!

at the Faith Baptist Church on the new Maryland Highway, 9 AM to 2 PM.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

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

 

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

 

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