The Other World

Going solo with spelling errors

IWSG: What are my pet peeves when reading/writing/editing? — August 2, 2017

IWSG: What are my pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Good morning everything, it is the first Wednesday of August which means it is time for another Insecure Writers Support Group blog post. It is a very friendly site with very friendly people: you can find them here: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

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I feel like I answered the first question before. I go it easy when I see grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Not everyone can afford an editor and even the best editors can mist stuff. It doesn’t matter how many eyes are on it, it will be missed. As long as the story is good, I will keep reading. I have a hard time reading on a computer screen so I prefer a kindle. It is easy on the eyes like paper. I can read for longer on those screens than a computer, tablet or phone screen.

Writing: That one is pretty simple: music and chai tea followed by copious amounts of other caffeine sources. Preferably, some peace and quiet too but that isn’t always possible.

Editing: That is a hard one. Persistence. That is the best practice for me. Just be persistent and keep working at it.

That’s it; see you next month!

 

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IWSG: What is one valuable lesson I learned since I started writing — July 5, 2017

IWSG: What is one valuable lesson I learned since I started writing

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This month’s question: What is one valuable lesson I learned since I started writing?

The first thing that comes to mind is that we each have our own different writing styles and that style can make some people fall in love with our world and our writing and it can grate on someone else’s nerves.

A good example of this is me and my best friend. She is a fellow writer. We have different writing styles. She could like my work, she does like what i put into my world but how I write, my writing style, drives her nuts. During the re-write of Templar: Order and Chaos, I was having a wording problem with a sentence. My wife didn’t have an idea how to fix it. My mother in law, an English major, was not available. I turned to the next best person for help; my friend and fellow writer. She told me how to re-write the sentence and naturally, she fell into her own style when she told me how to re-write the sentence.

I shook my head and told her “that doesn’t work, it doesn’t fit with the entire paragraph, the tense is different, the flow is different. there isn’t one shred of me in that sentence.”

She read the paragraph and told me how to re write the paragraph. Again, she fell into her own style with it. I shook my head and said that doesn’t work, “We write so differently that anyone reading this would be able to tell that someone different wrote that paragraph.”

All she could do at that point was shrug and say, “I tried. You are on your own.”

God bless the editors. I don’t know how they can edit other people’s work and keep their own individuality out of editing other people’s work but they do it well! I just hope that I will make enough money someday to put a professional editor on retainer.

Now my wife likes my work. I have heard from friends of my writer friend that they love my character development. It seems to be the biggest stumbling block is my formal written language. an English major friend of mine said it was actually refreshing to see that in writing but it could drive some people nuts.

As for my wife; what is driving her nuts right now is GPFriday is only dropping one chapter at a time of Children of Legend; the Serial about the main characters of Templar: Order and Chaos before they grew up.

IWSG: June: Did I ever say “I Quit?” and what made me come back to writing… — June 7, 2017

IWSG: June: Did I ever say “I Quit?” and what made me come back to writing…

It is the first Wednesday of June and hopefully summer is around the corner. Welcome new writers and if you haven’t been to the site yet, be sure to visit the IWSG support group

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The June question is: Did we ever say “I quit?” If so, what made us come back to writing.

Well…

Since I go insane if I don’t write and my mother proved that this is a life long thing by pulling out a picture book i drew and wrote when I was 3, I never said I quit per se.

I am ashamed to admit it but I am a former smoker. I have been vaping since 2009 (since before it was infamous, before it was cool, before it was trendy, before it was weird, before it was awkward, before a lot of people knew about it). that was the best way i knew of to put down tobacco for good. I have made many attempts to quit smoking

chantix… If you are like me DON’T TRY CHANTIX!!

the patch, doesnt seem to work if you STILL SMOKE WHILE WEARING IT

the gum, DOESNT WORK IF YOU SMOKE WHILE CHEWING IT

They resorted to other anti depressants. One worked but it also took away that link in my brain between my creative writing and my hands. It’s called Wellbutron. I didn’t smoke, i didnt crave, didn’t even think about smoking for 3 weeks. I also couldn’t put pen to paper in a creative way for 3 weeks. I couldn’t type a limerick or prose, let alone work on a novel during that time.

This is how my wife learned I really do go crazy if I don’t write. before, she thought I was making it up, i just really wanted to write and just used my mental health as an excuse. Nope, something goes wrong with my thought process if I cannot write. I can try to go without writing but sooner or later I am COMPELLED to write. if something blocks me from it then it is like normal people without sleep. I go BANANAS!

At the end of the 3 weeks me and my wife came to a critical decision. throw the wellbutron away and if I go back to smoking we will find something else. If i have to try anything that messes with my brain chemestry we have to make sure it is nothing like wellbutron, we want that 3 week period to be nothing more than a fuzzy reminder.

at least a few days after the last dose I was able to write again.

 

IWSG: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story? — May 3, 2017

IWSG: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

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The may question is: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

I am going to put a disclaimer here now: this may reveal some plot points for 2 novels that I have published and one that is coming out in 2018. if you have an interest in reading the two that are out or plan on reading the third novel when it comes out then read beyond at your own risk.

Any science fiction writer (and historical fiction writer for that matter) will tell you that you have to do a lot of research to write credible science fiction. it is one thing to pull something extraordinary out of hammer space but another thing to not have that object or plot point with the object ripped apart by anyone who knows a little bit about science and physics. It only gets worse when you factor in that most people now carry instant access to the internet in their pocket, Gene Roddenberry would be so proud and horrified by the smart phone. It makes his tricorder look more like an old palm pilot than a piece of sophisticated equipment.

You might be confused if you have read the first 2 templar novels, they are more urban fantasy than science fiction. Let me introduce you to an interesting fact about myself. I am an open minded skeptic (sounds like an oxymoron like military intelligence but it’s not i assure you). I am a Druid, i believe a lot in spirituality but I am also a technophille in the worst way. I once referred to the data center i work in as a silicon forest, i may not be that far off the mark, after all I work in R&D and there are some problems and solutions where even the architects and technologists (people who know WAY more about this stuff than me) don’t understand. In short I tend to write science fiction as well as urban fantasy.

In one novel, soon to be published, I was working on a propulsion system, a faster than light system. We all know about warp drive, thank you star trek, and there are several equations floating around the theoretical physics word showing that warp is possible. The one i gravitate to most is the one where it creates a field of negative gravity behind the ship and a field of positive gravity in front of the ship. The ship “falls” through space reaching faster than light speeds. the ship itself never really moves but the space around the ship does; hence the term warp.

That isn’t the cool part, that is coming up. The power demands set by those equations are enormous. There are generally 2 ways to get around this. the first one is to use the star trek method; a matter and anti-matter reaction, the second is to use fusion, create an artificial star and harvest the radiation from the reaction. Believe it or not, the technology exists on earth, NOW, to create anti matter and to initiate fusion.

Science fiction always relies on the author researching the current technology and physics. Take the science and understand it. The FICTION is usually making it smaller and readily available. Carbon batteries is a good example of science fiction that is slowly becoming fact. The theory is there but the technology is a good 30-50 years away, at best, from making it affordable. if you don’t know what carbon batteries are, they will be a game changer in everything powered by batteries once the technology is affordable and reliable.

In space, safety is important. I always took an issue with the star trek way of powering their FTL engines. You have to use magnetic containment to keep anti matter from reacting in the worst way with its surroundings, they make up problems with the core, heck, the core having an issue is a plot point for episodes. In my universe, my characters don’t want to deal with an engine breakdown unless they do something that is going to break the engine or neglect to take care of it (thank you firefly). I chose fusion as their powersource.

The fusion core is fairly simple; you have 192 lasers targeting the center of a sphere, at the center of that sphere is a small amount of hydrogen (could be protium-the hydrogen we are used to dealing with, deuterium, or tritium-the unstable neutron dense form of hydrogen). The pressure of the lasers pushes the hydrogen atoms together, overcoming the weak electromagnetic force and exciting the strong nuclear force resulting in fusing the atoms together. You need to have a cluster of atoms for a self sustaining reaction, you will create beryllium and helium and some other trace compounds, they will quickly split back into hydrogen and back into helium under the pressure; essentially the fusion cycle. I over simplified the fusion cycle but that isn’t as important.

The cool part is where i got the 192 lasers from. in California there is a research center where they actually do this. Now their facility is larger than the building I work in (the fiction is the fusion engine in the book is about the size of a small medicine ball). When I saw a picture of the facility I realized I saw part of the device before.

WarpCore1.jpg

Yes that picture above is part of the device. It was featured in Startek: Into Darkness. That is a real life fusion plant. Those large pylons sticking off of the central sphere are the specialized Fiber optics that direct the laser beams to the firing chamber. I wonder how many people thought that was just props?

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