nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘series

writing life,

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This summer I have been taking a break from writing science fiction. I have my next science-fiction book Meniscus: Karst Topography ready to publish so I can take some time to think about other writing projects.

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In 1997, I wrote a long mystery novel. I thought it would be interesting to read it through and see how much my writing style has changed. It has changed a lot, as you will see below. But the story was good and I had spent a decent amount of time on characters, story arcs, and point of view, so I decided to work on the draft.

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The story is titled HHGG (big reveal later in the year) and was 162,500 words. Yikes.

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This is my first draft of an eventual cover blurb …

Kaye Eliot comes to Acadia Creek to spend a quiet summer with her two children. But instead of passing stress-free days of swimming and hiking, she finds herself embedded in mystery after mystery. A missing vagrant and a gang of thieves have the community worried. Neighbours seem determined to occupy all of Kaye’s time and energy in restoration of an old flower garden. Meanwhile, she and her kids have stumbled on a century-old legend of a treasure buried on the property, a packet of old letters and an old map of the garden. And they dig up a sinister sea shell. A sea shell who looks like a grinning skull and who will not stay where he is put. Can Kaye recover her calm or will she be victim of neighbors, vagrants, thieves and a shell called the Grinning Tun?

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jane1 (2016_12_30 00_28_35 utc)

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the Grinning Tun (about 25 cm or 10 inches across)

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My work on the book has been on several fronts. I have ‘tweeted’ daily about my process  since May 28, 2018 (@TimsJane):

  • Reduce the number of words. I lost a lot of words through editing and style changes. I took out the dream sequences, all the ‘ly’ adverbs, a lot of thinking and feeling, and a raft of ‘that’s. I went from 162,561 words on April 13, 2018 to 148,999 words today on July 15, 2018. It is still a little long but a good read (in my opinion).
  • I did a lot of thinking about whether to keep the setting in 1994 or modernize it to 2018. With some advice, I have decided to keep it in 1994. In fact, the story would not unfold as it does with cell phones and computers at hand. So my characters drive down to the community phone booth almost every day and look for clues in whirring reels of microfiche.
  • Leaving the action in 1994 provided an opportunity to explore the culture of the 1990s. Besides the missing cell phones and computers, people collected Canadian Tire Money, waitresses smoked in restaurants and POGs were a fad among kids. In the summer of 1994, the song ‘I Swear‘ held the Canadian single charts for three weeks and the American charts for seven weeks. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon was a thing. The slang interjection ‘like’ punctuated speaking (still does).
  • Part of the text is in Spanish so I asked my friend Roger Moore to help me proof-read the Spanish text.
  • I spent a lot of time with my Grinning Tun … I bought him on line in 2010. The more you look at it, the more it looks like a skull.
  • I spent a stupid amount of time designing a curlicue for announcing a change in sections. I am glad I did, because this new novel will include ‘Drop caps’ at the beginning of every chapter and said curlicue.

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design

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It will take me a few more weeks to proof the draft. To do this, I order a Proof from CreateSpace and do my edits as a way of passing the time effectively on my stationary cycle. Once I have the Proof, I’ll be able to concentrate on painting the cover for HHGG. This is the rough outlay for the cover, tacked together from various photos …

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HHGG cover (2).jpg

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Now you know everything about HHGG except its title!

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All my best,

Jane 

Written by jane tims

July 18, 2018 at 7:00 am

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

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

 

 

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

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