nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘science fiction

my eraser is my friend

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I spent a quiet morning drawing a new image for the fourth book in my science fiction series.

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Meniscus: Crossing The Churn and Meniscus: South from Sintha have been published. I am now waiting for editing and a proof of Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb (to be published in July). In the meanwhile, I have some time to continue work on the fourth book, Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill.

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The Village at Themble Hill is the most tragic of the four books to date. Odymn, sometimes reckless, breaks her leg and then falls from a tree. How did she get in that tree and will she survive?

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I am the first to admit my drawings are not perfect. I have no specific training and my hand does all the work so it takes all the blame. However, I love to draw. It is engrossing and being able to illustrate my own books has helped me tell my stories.

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I begin by reading the text of the story to choose a scene I want to illustrate. I usually have the composition of the scene securely in my head as a result of the writing. Then I pose my little wooden model, find some photos to help me with the human form, and get to work. I have decided to show you the stages for a particular drawing.

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In this scene, Odymn and the Slain have decided to explore The Fault, to make sure there are no unknown ways for the Gel-heads to gain access to the new Human settlement. The Gel-heads have invaded before, carrying off prisoners and trying to murder those they leave behind.

 

The Slain pulls his map from his pack.

Yellowed vellum. Corners worn.

Ink marks gloss the edges.

The Slain’s finger follows The Fault.

 

“We’ll go scouting,”

he says. “Make certain

there are no other stair-steps

carved in rock.”

 

“No other water-climbs,” says Odymn.

 

She hears what the Slain does not say.

He tires of life in Garth —

rules, duty rosters

and expected conversation.

 

“When do we leave?” says Odymn.

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I begin with a quick sketch to establish the position of my characters. I use a 2B pencil and eraser. I think the eraser is the most useful of my drawing tools!

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Then I start to consolidate the lines and sketch in some background.

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The next step is to establish some of the shadow in the drawing. As you can see, a Q-tip is almost as important to me as the eraser!

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Odymn is always the easiest to draw. She is a bit quirky, so her facial expressions mask her beauty. The main challenges are her hair and her nose which always tries to develop a hook.

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The last thing I draw is the Slain’s head. He is a most difficult character/subject. I always get him too young or too old, too dark or too light. Sometimes he insists on looking a bit like a caveman!

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The final drawing is almost exactly the scene I saw in my head. Odymn and the Slain look a little uncertain about what they will find on their adventure. As you can see, when you use an eraser, you also need a brush to shoo the eraser bits away without smudging the drawing.

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With a few minor edits, this drawing will accompany this part of the story in The Village at Themble Hill. The Slain and Odymn will have some dangerous adventures as they travel along The Fault.

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What do you think of my process and my final drawing?

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

 

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

Free Book

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Meniscus: South from Sintha is FREE on Amazon (worldwide) for the next five days (June 1 to June 5). Odymn wants the Slain to return his ‘acquisitions’ (a wolf-like Kotildi, a Grell-swallow chick, a beautiful human woman, a Dock-winder child and another genetically-enhanced Slain) to their homes. The Slain wants to try, to make Odymn happy, but the task might not be so easy!

 

South from Sintha

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544103018

 

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Copyright Jane Tims (aka Alexandra) 2017

Written by jane tims

June 1, 2017 at 2:58 pm

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

reflections on a book launch

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The Event: my book launch!

When? a week ago Thursday evening (May 18, 2017) at 7 PM.

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reading with a Dock-winder (one of the aliens in my book) … he doesn’t seem happy to be the bad guy in the book!

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What? 90 minutes of introductions, readings, prize give-aways and explanations. Some by Zachary Hapeman and his very funny poems about the weird and the wacky; some by me, Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane) Tims, about the planet Meniscus and the skills of my very capable female protagonist Odymn.

We gave out three prizes during the evening:

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Zach shows one of the prizes given out during the evening … a framed copy of some of his illustrations!

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Where? At Westminster Books on King Street in Fredericton, New Brunswick ( have a look at their site here, a great local bookstore).  What better place to read than surrounded by books? And helped through the evening by those who love books (Janet North and staff). The day was the hottest of the spring (33 degrees) and I was absolutely dripping by the end of the evening. Some of that is due to my age and lack of stamina. The space is quite comfortable, transformed by chairs into theatre seating for a dozen or more. We had Gel-head punch to drink with lots of ice cubes (green apple, lime juice and gingerale), and three kinds of cookies from the Goody Shop in Fredericton.

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Who? There were twenty-six there to listen, plus Zach and I. Most were friends from my work and church. There were also members of the writing groups where I am a member (‘Fictional Friends’ and ‘Wolf Tree Writers’). Also, one young lady I didn’t know and a woman who was visiting Fredericton and browsing at the bookshop. I suppose we would count my two stand-up life-sized cardboard aliens, a Dock-winder and a Gel-head. And a stand-up life sized ginger-bread man from Zach! It is always wonderful to see my friends and to meet new people. Some of my friends are having a hard time believing I have taken a side-wind into science-fiction.

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the Gel-head stand-up figure … surrounded by all these books, I hope he can read! I think he ate the gingerbread man stand-up figure

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Why? This was the launch of the first book in my Meniscus series — ‘Meniscus: Crossing The Churn’. I wanted to introduce my friends to the world I have built. And get them interested in where the story is going. I hoped to provide some entertainment and to assure them I am doing well in this retirement world. And, of course, I want to sell some books.

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The evening will stick with me for some time. There were many memorable moments. Among others:

  • Zack gave out a little squishy animal to an audience member and told how he often sends these little fellows flying into the audience when he is reading.
  • A member of one of my writing groups, asked to draw for one of the prizes, wondered what would happen if he drew his own name and won the prize … and proceeded to actually win!!!!
  • The out-of-town visitor, browsing the shelves, found my first book ‘within easy reach’ … she was surprised to find the author present and eager to sign her book … my brain had a time switching from Alexandra Tims to Jane Spavold Tims (author of ‘within easy reach’) and signing correctly.  And remembering I usually embellish ‘within easy reach’ with a line from one of the poems.
  • As we left the store at the end of the evening, a group of five young men asked to pose for a photo with the two aliens. They left with a copy of my book so they would know the names of the cardboard stand-ups!

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I show another of the prizes given … a game of ‘Forbidden Desert’ from my son’s store Meta GameZ

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I have a couple of upcoming readings, one at the New Brunswick Writers Federation WordSpring event in a few day’s time. And two at the Alexandria and Goderich libraries in Ontario in September. Meanwhile I can turn my attention to the next book in the series ‘Meniscus: South from Sintha’.

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

 

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

 

Winner … what is ‘beelwort’?

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I am happy to announce the winner of my contest ‘What is beelwort?’ Beelwort is a mysterious item mentioned in the first book of my Meniscus sci-fi series — Meniscus: Crossing The Churn. My books give only small hints about the nature of beelwort: it get slipped into pockets as a joke and, although edible, is not very palatable.

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The winner of the contest is Allan Hudson. Allan is the editor of the South Branch Scribbler, an on-line blog exploring the arts. Every week Allan posts an article, guest blog or question and answer session about an author, musician or artist.  Have a look at http://allanhudson.blogspot.ca/ The blog includes some interesting insights into the process of writing and the methods of some well-known authors.

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Allan’s answer to the contest defined beelwort as ‘… an edible, hallucinogenic fungus only found on Meniscus …’  To this, I will only add ‘rather squishy’. Beelwort will finally be defined, using Allan’s definition, in Book Five of the Meniscus series — Meniscus: Karst Topography. Also, Allan will receive a postage-paid copy of my first poetry book within easy reach, poems about eating wild edible plants (available at http://www.chapelstreeteditions.com or on Amazon).

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Meniscus: Karst Topography (I took geology as a minor in university) is in draft form at present. However, the first book in the series — Meniscus: Crossing The Churn — is now available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XPPNCGF/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn is a science-fiction adventure/romance describing the meeting of Odymn and the Slain. Written as a long poem, it is a book about loss, freedom and relationship. The remaining books in the series will bring new characters into the mix and tell a story about building companionship, family and community on a dystrophic planet where even casual contact between humans is discouraged.  Don’t let the poetry format put you off! The tale is told in short lines, written as concisely as is possible to tell a story!

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Thank you to Allan for entering the contest! Your book within easy reach is in the mail!

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Belnar, one of the characters from Book Two is into the honey mead, but he could be eating beelwort!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

 

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