Tag Archives: science fiction

Science Fiction or Fantasy? Depends on Where You’re Looking

PA_SEO_095_Are_Fairies_Mythical-624x245I never used to understand why bookstores had a section called Sci-Fi/Fantasy.  They seemed so completely different.  Then again, I read neither.

I read spy novels (Jean le Carre, Nelson DeMille), straight fiction (Sydney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer), and later, action/adventure (Stuart Woods, Clive Cussler).

As I write Dragon Core, I can’t help but notice elements that could find a home in either genre.

Multiple dimensions, time travel, parallel universes, mystical/fantastical creatures, unexplainable phenomenon.

And now I know why.  It depends on whether you are looking forward or backward.

Forward:  If you took a cell phone and traveled back in time, depending on how far back you went you would…

  • Be ignored
  • Be attacked
  • Be mobbed
  • Be embraced

I left off burned at the stake but that is definitely on the roulette wheel.

This suggests that technological advancement would be considered science fiction as opposed to fantasy if you were backward in time.

I’m simplifying in order to make a point.

Backward: If you were backward in time and saw the use of pyrotechnics (gun powder – a technological advancement) as brought from Asia to Europe, you would likely consider it “magick” and therefore in the realm of fantasy.

Cauldron of the Gods.  I was using a spell as a plot device earlier today and recalled a similar use in a science fiction series I’d seen years earlier – though it wasn’t accomplished by way of a spell.  It made me see how a person’s view – sci-fi or fantasy – would change depending whether they were looking forward or backward.

As I wrote this, I recalled a confrontation in Star Wars IV: A New Hope between Darth Vader and Motti.

“Don’t try to frighten us with your sorceror’s ways, Lord Vader.  Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels’ hidden fort…”

Another example of the two genres coexisting within one framework.

Much as Lucas’ unseen until then special effects technology brought an uneducated audience into the future of cinema.

I’ve always found it ironic that I have never been a big fantasy or science fiction reader, though I have read a variety of books classified under those genres throughout my life.

One of my very favorites is a short story I read in 8th grade.  Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed by Ray Bradbury.

In the end I just accepted that what I am is a storyteller and though my settings may vary, my art does not.

The art of telling a good story.

Looking Forward.  If all goes as scheduled I should have the first draft of  Cauldron of the Gods, – first in the Dragon Core series – finished within the next week.  In the meantime, Metatron’s Legacy, a science fiction story, is set for release in late 2019.

Stay tuned…

Advertisements

Work in Progress

24E8972600000578-2920453-image-a-28_1421869300828.jpgThe October 1 release of Adjudication: Book 13 in the Metatron’s Army Series signifies the end of a chapter in my writing career.

 

Though I have multiple books [read projects] open.

I came to really love the sci-fi project that was 35 + years in the making.  I learned so much about myself as a writer including what it is I really love about being a writer.

Hint:  Fiction!

Progress:  As one chapter ends, another begins.

I have several fiction projects in various stages of completion

  • Metatron’s Legacy

Science Fiction.  Single title that takes place 20 years after Metatron’s Army ends.  Will be available late autumn/ early winter 2019.

  • Dragon Core

Urban Fantasy.  The first installment, Cauldron of the Gods, is in progress.  Estimated release winter 2020.

  • Ghost Games

Action/Adventure.  Work in progress.  No estimate for initial release at this time.  Stay tuned.

  • Paranormal Journeys/Port Gallatan

Paranormal Romance.  A number of books in various stages of completion will fall under this banner.  Blue Skye, the next in the series, is in progress.  No estimate for release at this time.  Stay tuned.

More Progress.  My writing career continues to evolve.

I will be focusing on fiction full-time.

In the coming days and weeks readers will see changes to my online presence that reflect this.

Stay tuned!

 

 

Up and Running

finish.jpgWell, that was a short trip into Writer’s Limbo.

I don’t think creators ever really take breaks.

As usual , lots going on.

This is the final installment in the Metatron’s Army saga.**

The trailer is on this page.

  • Work on Dragon Core is going well. I actually have the entire plot for the second book completed even though Cauldron of the Gods is still under construction.

At this rate, book 2 will be written before book 1 which is about 1/3 completed for first draft.

  • Enjoying music from the Dragon Core playlist.

Includes music from Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Muse, and one of my all-time favorites, Silversun Pickups.

The best part of breaks is how productive they are!

Adjudication will be available for pre-order.

Release date October 1, 2019.

**Metatron’s Legacy, which will be under the Metatron’s Universe family, is a single title albeit related novel.

Release date December 1, 2019.

Stay tuned…

Bringing a Story to Life: The Rhythm of Writing

frtwice

This morning called for a second double shot espresso.

I’m ripping apart a paragraph in Cauldron of the Gods, first in the Dragon Core adventure for the fourth time.

Dragon Core is part of the Metatron’s Universe project.

It’s amazing how many different ways you can arrange a sentence and get the same meaning even as some just sound better than others.

And how many times you can change your mind about what sounds better.

It was while working on this novel that I came to see there is a rhythm to my writing.

It’s been some time since I’ve worked on something totally new.  The Metatron’s Army installments follow one to the next so in many respects it’s like one long novel.

Which is why it’s an Epic.

Soothsayer is connected to Port in a Storm and even though Blue Skye, the next Paranormal Journeys story is separate with new characters, all these novels and others in the queue fall under the P J umbrella.  Cauldron of the Gods– Dragon Core – I’m starting from scratch for the first time in years.

The Ingredients. The concept for Dragon Core, an urban fantasy, took root last fall as I was in the midst of the Metatron’s Army series and pondering what to do with Soothsayer. 

Actually, I was pondering what to do with my writing career.

Intrigued by the concept for this new series I set up a folder and began taking notes and doing research.

As the story has roots in real incidents that took place centuries ago, I quickly saw that research would not only be a big part of the up-front work, it would be a time-consuming part. I needed to factor that in when working out release dates for various projects in the queue.

By the New Year I had all the pieces in place

  • iTunes playlist for the project
  • Photographic images that represent the hero of the story
  • Files containing links to relevant historical data
  • Sample of academic work on relevant subject
  • Solid feel for the story arc that would carry not only Cauldron of the Gods but the follow-on stories in the Dragon Core series

Content I’d done everything I could given I had other priorities – aka other novels to finish and release – I set Cauldron aside and returned to finishing MA and Soothsayer

I trusted that in the ensuing months, as is typical, I would give time to the story while sitting outside observing nature, playing Free Cell and listening to music, or lying awake in the middle of the night.

The Sauce.  I’ve come to see that every book I write has its own pace and style of development.

It had been awhile since I’d worked on something completely new.

Cauldron is spaghetti sauce style.

This means I start at page one and write straight through, getting the main story arc in place, before going back and adding spice – intrigues and subplots – as appropriate.

I coined the spaghetti sauce descriptor  to describe this style of writing early in my career though not every story follows this pattern.

Only the first in the MA series – Advantage– fit that writing style profile.

This style of writing is the most energy intensive because it’s a slower paced style and requires intense focus that can be and often is cyclical.

I alternate rapid free-flowing sessions wherein I’ll get 3 – 6K words in one sitting with methodical and more time-consuming sessions which may yield 2K if I’m lucky.

Another characteristic of this style is the need to go back and reread what I’ve written in the previous session to regain momentum before continuing on.

This style is also cognitively draining relative to the rapid free-flow style that carried most of the Metatron’s Army works.

Free flow is a style where I’m simply the physical go-between for the muse, my fingers typing before I even think what it is I want/need to write.  It’s like being in a trance state, what some refer to as being “in the Zone.”

Understanding the rhythm (or not) has big time repercussions because the variability of the pacing can result in frustration.

It’s been years since I’ve dealt with a spaghetti sauce novel.  I’ve had to repeatedly remind my runaway train of a writing brain to slow down and relax – that it will all come out [right] in the end.

I have no idea at this point when Cauldron of the Gods will be ready for release but I’m enjoying the interesting path it’s taking to get there.

 

When Art Mimics Life Mimics Art

500_F_203412141_0ZifkTsqTVfi0LzLTiYELkwhzWtrB0r2Done – Or Not?  So, the “first draft” of the Metatron’s Army series is finished but…

There’s a lot more work to be done.

  • Promotion: Book 11 is with the beta reader.
  • Promotion  Cover artwork is more or less finished
  • Promotion: Back of Book  in progress
  • Promotion: Book  Trailer in progress
  • Analysis: Book 12 is in review/re-edit.

To that end:

Something about Book 12 has been bugging me though I hadn’t been able to put my finger on it.

Until today…

Ghost in the Machine?  Normally, once I reopen a Word document I’ve been working on, I get a prompt to the right.  If I click on it, I’m taken to the location I was working on the last time I was in the document.

For Book 12 this was last night.

For whatever reason, the prompt didn’t show up.

I checked to make sure I’d clicked on the correct document. 

I’ve had kind of a – mentally draining past few weeks – with the accompanying lack of sleep – so I was in no mood to play games with the gremlin messin with my novel.

In point of fact, I was – well – upset.

For whatever reason – probably because it’s “my life” I’m dealing with – I was inspired to focus on the exact location the document did open up to.

The opening, where I define Analysis which is the title for Book 12.

As I read through the definition, I couldn’t help but smirk.

Like I said, this is my life we’re talking about.  Paranormal might as well be my middle name.

Analysis:  The study of a game or a position in order to evaluate the quality of the moves and various other aspects of the game or position.

In other words, taking stock, which is exactly where I am in this series and in my career.

You could almost liken it to New Year’s when people evaluate and decide on resolutions.

Though I have no need for resolutions I do need to evaluate in order to see if I’m on track, which means…

Am I on the path?  There is a blessing from hell in wrapping up a series that has been in the making for 35 plus years and in the works for 3.  Once it’s over…where do I go?

I have an idea but before I can move along – I need to finish what’s in front of me.

The finish is close yet there is much work to be done.

I have to make sure I don’t get so distracted laying the foundation for upcoming projects I get off track finishing what is before me.

The list or the heart?  Knowing this milestone was imminent and thinking I was clever, I came up with a list of to-do’s several days ago.

Over a week.

I was enthusiastic and excited and felt so accomplished as I went over the list with various team members.

Well, the joke was on me…

My mind may have been on track but my heart was conflicted.

Just as Shane reflects at the end of Book 10, it was as if someone had thrown a metal implement into the gears and everything came to a grinding halt.

Along with productivity.

I took as much time as I could mentally stand to work on the situation and realized that productivity can be a double-edged sword.  It can mask unresolved problems.

Like driving on a tire that has a nail in it.  You may not realize you’re losing air.

If it wasn’t for a gremlin putting a kink in my software, I might still be driving on that tire, but like a good Samaritan gesturing frantically that I needed to roll down my window so he can tell me I have a low tire, the fact the software refused to perform alerted me to a problem.  I needed to evaluate.

No.  I needed to stop.

This is more than just Am I on track? for the series.  Am I on track for my career?  Am I on track for my goals?

And who or what remaining nails might be impediments?

Let’s just say a few individuals had thrown tacks on the path in front of me; tacks I may not have seen had MS Word not taken me to an alternate location.

After some serious work I concluded that not only am I clearer on things, I now see that I have a couple of new and unexpected … helpers along the path.

People who make my day better.

It isn’t simply acknowledging how the people who do the little things – that are in no way little – help me – it’s realizing what an integral part of the process they have become.

And that’s life – and art – at its finest…