nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘space

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

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

a muse takes over – character arcs

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Every character in a novel needs a background and a story arc of their own, in order to make them interesting and realistic. This creates challenges as I proceed through the drafts of the five books of my sci-fi series ‘Meniscus’.

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In Book One (Crossing the Churn), I have only two main characters, Odymn and the Slain.

In Book Two (South from Sintha), they rescue three new characters from servitude under the Dock-winder aliens and a simple community begins to take shape.

In Book Three (Winter by the Water-climb), a transport crash brings six more humans to the settlement.

By Book Four (The Town at Themble Hill), the settlers  are actively seeking new recruits to the community and there are sixteen characters for the writer (me) to manage.

At the end of Book Five, even I don’t know how many characters will survive/be added!

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Character arcs assist with the forward motion of the entire story. Each character’s story arc contributes to the whole and is usually connected in some way to the main story arc.

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I express my character story arcs in a three-part sentence — what the character wants, the obstacles he or she encounters, and the resolution.

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For example, one of the new recruits in Book Four (The Town at Themble Hill) is Edward, a medical doctor. Although the settlers can get the help of an alien elder, a doctor who has actually treated human illness will be a great asset to the community. When he enters the story, he has been a Dock-winder slave, used to treat the ailments of other human slaves.

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In the Dock-winder city of Prell, Edward has been able to work with complex technologies. But in the new human settlement, deep in the Themble Woods, even simple tools like stethoscopes or standard pharmaceuticals don’t exist. Edward has to reinvent his approach to medicine, developing his own methods with available tools and embracing alien natural medicines and techniques he previously belittled.

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So, Edward’s story arc is expressed as follows:

Edward wants to help his patients but when technology is no longer available, he has to learn to embrace alien methods and natural herbal medicines.

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This sentence, once written, can help determine the mood of the character, his attitude towards other characters, his response in various situations and the risks he is willing to take.  Now I can revise my draft to make it consistent with Edward’s story arc.

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There are often three ‘bumps’ to move the character’s story arc along. Edward’s three ‘bumps’ are consistent with his story arc:

  • Edward is skeptical of the Argenop methods (the Argenops are primitive aliens, cute and furry)
  • He encounters a medical challenge that, with technology, could be easily resolved
  • He tries an alien, herbal treatment and learns to trust new methods

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Back to work!

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 9, 2017 at 8:32 pm

a muse takes over – telling a story through the seasons

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In New Brunswick, the passage of time is measured in part by the seasons. Right now we are in winter, in the midst of another snow storm and taking a lot of care when walking on all the ice. Soon it will be spring with crocuses blooming on the lawn and water in every hollow. Then summer, days on the deck and keeping cool. Finally, my favourite season, autumn, colourful leaves and starry nights.

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Since I am a writer embedded in the winter-spring-summer-fall cycle, it’s natural that changing seasons are an important part of my sci-fi novel. Although weather is often a factor in story telling, I find many books ignore the changing of the seasons.

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Seasons on planet Meniscus occur in a cycle of four, as in the northern and southern latitudes of Earth. On Meniscus the seasons are the result of a changing heat regime as once per ‘year’ one of the twinned suns slips behind the other. Whether the physics of this makes much sense, I can’t say. “I’m a biologist, Jim, not a physicist!”

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Book One, Crossing the Churn, begins in summer. Foraging for food is easy. As the days pass, leaves begin to fall and soon the characters wade rather than walk through the forest.

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Book Two, South from Sintha, finishes in autumn, as the days grow colder.  New characters in Book Two are looking for a home before winter sets in.
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Book Three, Winter at the Water-climb, takes place in a world of ice. The plot focuses on the coming of cold weather and shorter days. Foraging for food is difficult since everything is hidden under snow drifts.  Survival depends on what has been put into storage.

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Book Four, The Town in the Themble Wood, celebrates the coming of spring and the vibrancy of summer. The Slain and Odymn scout the Themble Wood for a town-site and help the other Humans establish a new community.

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Book Five, so new it has no name, will take the characters back into autumn. In many ways this book will be a race against time as winter approaches and the Slain must find Odymn and other characters who have been lost after a crisis.

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Including seasons in my story adds to the possibilities for describing setting. The cinnamon scent of trees in the autumn Themble Wood, tracks in the snow of the new town, and melting water-springs add to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes my writing can explore.

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The progress of getting my first book into CreateSpace has been hampered this week by the appearance of ‘The Blue Screen of Death’ on my computer. It is fixed now, but I am sure the folks on Meniscus have never faced such a challenge!!!

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 8, 2017 at 7:04 am

sounds in my space

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How would you describe the space where you spend most of your time?  Is it cold or warm?  Spacious or cramped? Colorful or monochromatic?

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What does your space sound like?  Is it noisy or quiet?  Do you play music in the background, or do you prefer the white noise of everyday life?

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In my home, where I spend most of my time, the sounds are so familiar, I hardly hear them anymore.  As I sit here, if I listen carefully, I can hear:

  • the ticking of the clock
  • the hum of the computer
  • the purring of the refrigerator
  • a car passing by on the road outside
  • chickadees at the feeder just beyond the window
  • the rumble of the well water pump in the basement
  • two branches in our big maple, rubbing together in the slightest wind
  • the creaking of floor boards – the house is almost 35 years old and the living room floorboards squeak
  • our cat Zoë, galloping from room to room upstairs – how can 7 pounds of cat sound like a herd of elephants?
  • the sound of our string of livestock bells, a remnant of Christmas not yet put away, as someone opens the outside door

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What sounds do you hear, in the space where you are?

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

January 14, 2015 at 7:19 am

snowflakes

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I woke on Saturday morning to the easy fall of snowflakes.  A good day to write Christmas cards.  Amazing how a frail curtain of flakes can create a personal, comforting space.

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

December 8, 2014 at 7:44 am

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