nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Meniscus Series

Starting a new book 3

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So the first draft of my new Meniscus book is written. I have completed a Table to help me through revisions. Now I will do a series of scans to make certain the book is the best it can be.

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Revision 1: Refinements. I read through the draft, making edits and adjustments. This includes alterations to punctuation, alternative word selections, re-phrasing to refine the cadence, spelling, suiting of dialogue to character and so on. Of all the revision stages, this step takes the most time and effort.

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Revision 2. Continuity. Because my book is part of a series, I have to consider the action that occurs in previous books and in books-yet-to-come. I have thought through and written drafts for each future story in the series, so I can ‘see into the future’ and include small set-ups for future actions. I also have to make certain settings, characters and actions are consistent with respect to previous books. For example, today I found a place where a character with three brothers has only two in a past story. I also like repetition in series I read, so I have certain things I mention in every book: the scar on Odymn’s forehead, the moons, the tattoos on the Dock-winder’s necks, and so on. I keep a checklist of these in a writing compendium for the series.

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Revision 3. Conflict. Using my Table, I make sure each chapter includes a conflict. This could be an internal conflict, played out in the thoughts and actions of a single character, a conflict between two or more characters, or a conflict between character and setting (for example, a character wakes in a dangerous setting where breathing is difficult). I summarize each conflict in my Table.

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Revision 4. Change. I want each of my characters, major and minor, to have a want and a need, and show change during the book. For example, Odymn wants to return to her home on Earth, but to be happy, she needs to make a home for herself, even on an alien planet. By the end of the book, she will realize she will never return to Earth, but that home is where you find those you love.

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Revisions take time. The re-reading can make a writer bored with his/her own ideas. But every revision pays its own way in terms of improving the story for both the writer and reader.

After revisions, editing remains to be done. This includes conceptual, structural, substantive and line edits.

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Hoping you are making progress with your own writing,

and staying safe,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

December 10, 2020 at 7:00 am

Reminder, free e-book promotion

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Get your free e-book Meniscus: Oral Traditions on Amazon.com from December 7 (Monday) to December 11 (Friday). The book is written in narrative poetry and is illustrated with my drawings. It is a quick read and includes maps, a glossary and a Gel-speak dictionary. Just click here.

This is a story about Tagret who is waking on the alien planet Meniscus for the first time. Perhaps strangest of all her encounters is with the Slain, Rist, who saves her from an unsavory attack by a Gel-head. Rist is likeable and someone Tagret thinks she could make a life with. But Rist has a secret.

Written by jane tims

December 7, 2020 at 2:00 am

Free e-Book Promotion: Break into the Meniscus Science Fiction Series

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Want to give yourself a free gift during this Christmas season? If you are staying at home and would love some down-time with a good book, here is your opportunity.

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The Meniscus Science Fiction Series follows the adventures of humans trying to build a life and a community in an alien, dystopian world. The first five books focus on Odymn and Daniel the Slain as they flee from the Dock-winders and find love in the strange Meniscus landscapes. Book 6 … Meniscus: Oral Traditions … introduces two new characters and the unique problem they encounter as they get to know one another in the streets of the alien city Sintha.

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The story focuses on Tagret, newly kidnapped from Earth, as she opens her eyes on Meniscus and tries to understand the weird world she discovers. A world where taking a drink of water is a challenge and the local sentients are purple Dock-winders and transparent green Gel-heads. Then she meets the Slain, Rist, and comes to understand what those tattoos on his arms really mean.

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Get your free e-ook copy of Meniscus: Oral Traditions on Amazon.com from December 7 (Monday) to December 11 (Friday). The book is written in narrative poetry and is illustrated with my drawings. It is a quick read and includes maps, a glossary and a Gel-speak dictionary. Just click here.

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Enjoy your reading!

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All my best,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

December 5, 2020 at 7:00 am

Meniscus: The Knife

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If you have been waiting to get a paperback copy of Meniscus: The Knife and find out all about Tagret’s quest to find Rist, the book is available now at Westminster Books, Fredericton. Signed copies! Both paperback and ebook are also available through Amazon, just click here.

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All my best!

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) Tims

Written by jane tims

December 1, 2020 at 7:59 pm

starting a new book

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I love working on multiple writing projects at once. So it is no surprise to me that I have books and projects at all stages in development:

  • The next book in my Kaye Eliot Mysteries is in final draft (‘Land Between the Furrows,’ release date March 2021)
  • The next of my poetry books (‘niche‘) is in proof stage (release December 2020)
  • I have just released the next book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series (Meniscus: The Knife) and the next is in final Draft (‘Meniscus: Meeting of Minds,’ release date May 2021).

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So, this week, in the narrow crack between revisions, I have started to draft another in the Meniscus Series. Tentatively entitled ‘Meniscus: Resistance,‘ this will be the last in the Meniscus Series (she says).

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It has been so long since I started a new book, I have forgotten how the process unfolds.

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1. A long time thinking, while doing other things, about the theme … how this book will connect with the last, who the characters will be, where the action will occur and so on.

2. A few sleepless nights, staring at the ceiling, thinking about opening scenes, how my characters are feeling and precipitating events.

3. Eventually I am ready to start the first drafting. For this, I need a relaxing, familiar space. I like to sit on the sofa in my living room, so most of the drafting will be on my iPad in the Word app. At some points, I may shift my focus and do some writing in longhand.

4. Even during drafting, I start revising. I go back and forth, moving details around, gleaning from earlier books to avoid inconsistencies, refining ideas. Some days I turn to the main computer to do a read-through and correct spelling and syntax, and to start to refine the poetry of the story-telling.

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Of all the parts of the writing process, the early drafting is my favourite. It is also (for me) the quickest. By starting a new project, I have resolved to follow through with later revision work, illustration (including the cover art), formatting and marketing.

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So, here I am in happy land, pushing my characters around, and sometimes trying to catch up to them …

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

November 12, 2020 at 7:00 am

Meniscus: The Knife … now in paperback and e-book

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If you have been reading my Meniscus Series (science fiction adventure), you will be wondering what happened to Tagret and Rist after they said goodbye in Meniscus: Encounter with the Emenpod.

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The sequel is now available! Meniscus: The Knife tells the story of Tagret’s quest to find Rist before he is captured and killed by the Brotherhood.

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The book is available at Amazon (click here) as both paperback and e-book. If you live in the Fredericton area, I will have author copies in a week, so contact me to arrange delivery!

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Every story in the Meniscus Series takes the reader to new places and introduces new characters. The books also take the Humans of Themble Hill a little further in their journey. Every book has a glossary, a dictionary of Gel-Speak words, a description of characters, maps to follow the characters in their adventures and my original illustrations.

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Here is a map showing Tagret’s journey to The Knife and the city of Nebul-nan:

And a view of the strange, half-inundated city of Nebul-nan:

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Hope you enjoy my book!

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All my best,

stay safe!

Alexandra Tims (a.k.a. Jane)

Written by jane tims

November 6, 2020 at 10:39 pm

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

Kindle Free Book Deal: Intro to the Meniscus Sci-Fi Series

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Meniscus — a planet far from Earth. When humans are taken there, they face a life of hardship and servitude. But humans are resilient. Follow the story of the humans who struggle to escape from the oppressive Dock-winders and build a home in an alien world.

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Rist and Tagret foreground.jpg

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In the sixth book of the Meniscus series, Meniscus: Oral Traditions, meet Tagret. The Dock-winders have taken her from Earth and deposited her on the streets of the alien city of Sintha. Tagret feels helpless, but she soon meets other humans who will help her get along in this strange and dangerous place.

One of these is Rist, a Slain, a genetically modified human who has forged a life for himself. He does not want or need a tag-along to burden his days. But when Tagret is sold at a Dock-winder auction, Rist uses all his tickets to save her from a terrible fate. Tagret feels safe with Rist and makes plans for the future.

But Rist has a secret …

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Meniscus: Oral Traditions is a great entry point for readers who think they’d like to find out more about the humans on Meniscus. Each Meniscus book is written as a readable long poem and is illustrated by the author. The books are a quick read, and include both adventure and romance.

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For five days next week (August 5 to 9, 2019), I will be running a Kindle Free Book Deal and the e-version of Meniscus: Oral Traditions will be free at Amazon.  here

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Oral Traditions cover blue (5)

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I will be sending reminders during the Kindle Free Book Deal, so stay tuned!!!!!

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All my best,

Alexandra Tims

(a.k.a. Jane)  

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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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.

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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

 

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