nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘science fiction

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

2021 writing plans

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I am a planner by nature and so I have plans for my writing life in 2021. My main writing work will be to publish the third in my Kaye Eliot Mysteries: Land Between the Furrows and the ninth and tenth books in my science fiction series: Meniscus: Meeting of Minds and Meniscus: Rosetta Stone. These books are all in final draft, so my work will be to revise and format for publication. For creative work, I will begin drafting the fourth Kaye Eliot Mystery: Stained Glass.

I also want to continue with publication of my older poems. In 2020, I completed three books of these: ghosts are lonely here; niche; and blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm.

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I have plans to repeat this in 2021. I have three poetry books in mind.

  • waterfall : this manuscript won Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Federation Competition for the Alfred Bailey Poetry Prize in 2012; it includes poems about waterfalls in New Brunswick, about waterfalls inspired by Dante’s Inferno and about waterfalls as metaphors for struggles with relationship.
  • mystery: poems about the mystery in my life. These would include whimsical interpretations of space and time, ghost stories, my approach to urban legend and nature myth, and perhaps my observations of the night sky.
  • a glimpse of sickle moon: this manuscript won Third Place in the Writers’ Federation Competition for the Alfred Bailey Poetry Prize in 2020. These are poems about the natural world as it moves from season to season; deciding how to group the poems will be the biggest challenge.

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To complete these books, I will have to review/revise some of the poems, draw any associated illustrations and do the formatting.

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The agenda I set for myself may sound daunting, but I am driven by goals and I am retired, meaning I have lots of time to spend on this part of my life.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 6, 2021 at 7:00 am

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

Book Review: ‘Deficiency’ by S. C. Eston

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Deficiency by S. C. Eston, December 2, 2020

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How far would you go to keep your dreams alive?

Reading this book is your ticket to another world. You will be able to explore its layers, its technology and the characters who live there. From the start, you will wonder where Detel has gone, the identity of the secret leading to her downfall and whether her brother, Artenz, and his wife, Keidi, will be able to escape the forces that brought Detel to her knees. This book will draw you in. You will love the code-speak, the intricacy of the technology, the time/ date markers and the characters. The pace is fast with moments of reflection. Even the antagonists are complex, with motivations of their own. The author does not disappoint, taking each character through his or her own story arc. This book has all the sci-fi extras: a character guide, a glossary, a map, intricate technologies and relics of dystopia. You will enjoy this book!

Deficiency will be available December 2, 2020 and is available for pre-order! Just click here! I am a lucky reader of an advance copy. If you enjoy this book, you will also like S. C. Eston’s other books: The Conclave and The Burden of the Protector.

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All my best,

stay safe,

Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 29, 2020 at 8:03 pm

Starting a new book 2

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Today, I finished the rough draft of my new book in the Meniscus Series. This book will deal with discovery of a secret that will bring down the nasty Dock-winders.

The working title of the book is Meniscus: Resistance.

Before you become amazed at my productivity, remember that my Meniscus stories are in narrative poetry and are a quick read. At this early stage, this book has 11,600 words.

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The next step in my process is tedious, but very helpful.

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I create a Table of Chapters. Each ‘Chapter’ in the table is described by ‘What happens,’ ‘Setting.’ ‘Point of view,’ ‘Characters,’ and ‘Theme Progress.’ I can work through my entire document:

  • change all the place holders to actual Chapter numbers;
  • make certain the setting is described in detail;
  • ensure point of view in each chapter is clear and does not waver;
  • list the characters in the chapter and ensure everyone has a role to play; and,
  • check on progress made towards resolution of the story.

Table of Chapters for Meniscus: of Resistance

ChapterWhat happensSettingPoint of ViewCharactersTheme Progress
PrologueJames escapesSpace dockJamesJames, D, DW, GH, Drag’onIntroduce  antagonists
1.Trath crawls from minebase of Flame MtnTrathTrathTrath escapes
2.Abra finds six glyphsobelisk at The TipAbraAbraAbra finds glyphs
3.Evening meal at Hath’menVillage of Hath’menOmniscientJames, Drag’on villagersDrag-on set apart
etc.     

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If the story is missing an ending, or has continuity issues, this building of the table helps me to focus on the story progress and, by the time the table is completed, the story is more complete.

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Once these tasks have been done, the Table of Chapters can be set aside and used later for any stage of the revision process. For example, I can check each chapter for phases of the moon, so the full moon doesn’t occur two days before the crescent moon! I also use the table to make certain the illustrations are evenly distributed throughout the text.

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Off I go, to fill out the Table of Chapters and to find an ending for my book.

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All my best!

Stay safe.

Jane

Written by jane tims

November 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm

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

Pareidolia

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pareidolia: the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern

(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

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When you look at marble, or at clouds in the sky, or bubbles in a glass of milk, do you see faces? Can you see The Man in the Moon? Pareidolia refers to the seeing of human faces or other images where they don’t exist. Pareidolia is a normal human tendency.

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I often see images in the marble patterns of our flooring. It can be quite entertaining. Mostly, I see animals. I think it is the biologist in me!

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Perhaps aliens also have pareidolia. In my upcoming book Meniscus: The Knife, I devote a chapter to this phenomenon. On planet Meniscus, there is a dirth of paper. One of my early characters, Ning, made paper from plant fibres for her girlfriend Kathryn, an artist. By Meniscus: The Knife, Book 8 in the series, (spoiler alert) only three sheets of Ning’s paper remain. Don-est, the alien child, wants to draw, so Kathryn shows her how to draw on the marble walls of the dwellings in the Village.

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Vicki sets her laundry

on the marble floor.

Tries to see

what Don’est is doing.

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As her eyes adjust

to smoky light,

she sees markings on the walls.

Drawings of bug-eyed evernells

and fuzzy elginards.

A slear-snake

with myriad eyes.

A cardoth moon,

slim sickle

of glowing white

in marble green.

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Don’est feels eyes on her.

Swivels her neck.

“What do you think

of my drawings?”

she says.

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“What are you doing?”

says Vicki.

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“I asked Kathryn for paper

but she has only a sheet or two

of the paper Ning made.

“So she showed me

an idea she had.

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“The marble walls,

you see,

have hidden secrets.

Lines and shadows

look like evernells

and Humans and slear-snakes

and grammid trees.”

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Vicki looks

at faint green lines on the walls.

Sees an old man in the pattern.

A thready waterfall.

A leaf-bare tree,

branches reaching for sky.

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“But what are you using to draw?”

she says.

Eyebrow pencil.

Kathryn and Ning

found it on a transport

long ago.”

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All my best,

staying at home,

drawing on the floors and walls,

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 5, 2020 at 7:00 am

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