Star Citizen: What Is It All About?

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Origin Jumpworks 325a Starfighter – Screenshot while alpha testing inside the self-land hangar system.

Star Citizen – Crowd-Funded Development And Currently In Alpha

Pioneered by Chris Roberts (no relation to me) who designed the Wing Commander based games over the last 20 years, he is taking a new approach to making this AAA+ style MMO known as Star Citizen.  By using the crowd-funding community, he dropped the insane world of bottom-line business trumps creativity to take the time and resources to bring a serious world into existence.  Having explained this, if you’re just hearing about Star Citizen for the very first time, or found this blog while looking for more information, you’ve come to the right place.

As most of you know, I write Science Fiction.  A game of this magnitude is mighty attractive to a guy like me, and as always, when I learn details about this kind of universe, I’m always keen to share some of the fun stuff.

What Star Citizen Is Not: As Of Today – 5/19/2015

Far from finished, this epic adventure is currently in an Alpha testing phase, well before Beta Testing, which means there is limited access, limited play and bug smashing left and right.  Star Citizen is not a complete game as of this time.  Yet, some new people on the scene are wondering what they are paying for,  as there is a dollar value to some assets and the limited alpha-status access.

Chris Roberts was always unhappy with the real life corporate mind-set when developing the popular early computer flight space simulation series called Wing Commander.  He was always told to chop that feature, cut out another feature, because of the time constraints and the bottom dollar that executives wanted to see, damned be the quality of the game itself.  Given what time and development there was, Chris has more than demonstrated his ability to produce a quality game for the time period it was created in.

Everything spent by you or me today on Star Citizen is considered ‘development’ funds. The money I spent has earned me the ‘Backer’ label.  Instead of some corporate machine, I and some hundreds of thousands of people are funding the creation of this game, from start to release day.  That is what the money is for right now.  Not to buy the game, not to pay to win, not to pre-play a nearly complete game, but to fund the creation and production of a high class MMO.  With our support, Star Citizen will change the way people game on the Internet, with more than a couple of supported play-styles being made available.

What Star Citizen Is Going To Become

  • Piloting – Love dog fighting enemy pilots?  This is one aspect of the game.  Like to race starships instead?  There is a flyable obstacle course to prove your piloting skills with, especially when racing other pilots.
  • First Person Shooter – Another element of play within this universe.  As expected in any well-done MMO, both PvP and PvE options will be well defined.
  • Hangar – It’s kind of like housing.  Your hangar can house your ships, store your cool stuff and bling, including fish tanks and other interesting stuff.  Invite people over.  Give them a grand tour.
  • Squadron 42 – A story-line arc that leads a player from a mere nobody to earning citizenship through missions and service.  It will teach you how to fly a starship, among other things, so you’re not floating home all the time with little to no oxygen in your spacesuit.
  • Planetside – Having an MMO also means having some form of trade.  From hauling missions to working for other players, there will be a robust economy and being able to land on a planet with your cargo, see the sights, do quests, meet the local ship jockeys with a bet that they can beat you in a ship-to-ship race, will all be possible in the future with this game.
  • Persistent Universe – Exactly what it means.  This will be bigger than most other MMOs out there, as what you do in one solar system can really tick off the pirates in another solar system, and vice versa.

Where Do I Get More Info?

First of all, you can go to the Roberts Space Industries website.  Click and read everything. There is a ton of content to catch up on, including videos that shows just how transparent the development is, a level never witnessed before when it comes to internal game creation.

If you want to help develop this game, want to do some Alpha Testing, by all means, knock yourself out.  However, you don’t have to do that.  You can also choose to wait for the game to release.  You can wait to buy it, just like everyone else, and get to play the one fully functioning ultra-cool space MMO that you will ever need from there on out.  The Sci-Fi sweet-tooth will be long satisfied after this one is developed and released.

One thing you can be assured of.  This won’t release until it’s truly ready.  There aren’t any corporate moguls breathing down the necks of techies and code jockeys in an effort to speed produce their next positive stock-market index.  This is a game developed by gamers, for gamers, and financially backed by We The Players.  Once you explore the entire website, watch several hours of video from their producers, code writers and artists, you’ll begin to understand just how big this is really going to be.

Be a backer or not, when this game releases, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for you in the ‘Verse when exploring, trading and adventuring in the deepest sections of space.  It’s one thing to write Science Fiction novels, but quite another to actually fly a starfighter craft to destroy bad guys with my two wingmen.

*Upon Edit – When I made the video, the in-game sounds were easily audible and just as loud as my voice.  Upon translation to Youtube, that changed to reducing the game sounds as background noise while leaving my voice volume intact.  Apologies.  Youtube can be weird like that at times.

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Top 10 Things You Need To Consider If You Want To Write Comedy

comedy

I’ve been asked numerous times (less than 3) on how do I get in the mood to write comedy. Only on rare occasions (more than 390 times a year) do these answers haunt the back of my mind.  This is not a winning formula or a how to episode, but more along the lines of ten things we must do in order to write comedy.

1.  Don’t try to be funny.  Be serious first.

Some of the best comedy on planet Earth is done in a most serious mind-set.  Sometimes, that alone can lead to some highly humorous moments.  What makes an event funny more often than not, isn’t the content of what’s happening, but the results of what has been done.  Hench the term, a punch line.  Not because some ninja comes out of the woodwork and punches people, but because a punch isn’t actually seen until it’s too late.  The moment that makes a situation funny shouldn’t be seen coming, until the last possible second.

2.  Location is everything.  Consider the landscape, the area, what is going on all around your character.

Some of the funniest things to ever tickle a funny bone happen because of the location, with little regard to the building plot.  Consider the character who is lost, looking for a specific location, trying to decide which of the surely characters in the background to ask for directions.  Your protagonist finally pulls off the road, locates the most decent looking person among the motorcycle gang, and timidly asks the question about where to find the closest Walmart.  That’s when it’s revealed the character is actually asking while parked next to the Walmart in question.

3.  Contradiction can be a dangerously funny tool.  Use it, but not too often.

Contradictions can happen on many different levels.  Consider the contradiction I used to start this article in the first paragraph.  Numerous being less than 3 and rarely up to 390 times per year actually sets the stage for comedic expectation, and may have gotten a smile before reading further.  When you get to the end of the article and find it more informative than funny, is another brand of contradiction that may amuse the more wise among us.  Or I can just share the image of the tough, gritty warrior who is forced to battle the forces of evil with a giant pink bow tied up on top of his head.  Either way, it wouldn’t normally happen because it contradicts itself, and if used right, can be rather hilarious.

4.  A Clumsy Move

Ever since Bob Denver played Gilligan, we’ve found many reasons for comedy within the elements of being clumsy.  However, you don’t need a clumsy personality to pull off the rare slip-up.  Witnessing a sure footed, purposeful character take a turn into a lamp post because they were distracted by the opposite sex, or something similar, can be a hit for laughs when you want to lighten a dark situation.  It works, but like all things in comedy, too often takes away from the gift of giggle… unless you’re writing a Gilligan type of character, and it’s expected.  Then again, anything that’s expected isn’t near half as funny.

5.  Word Play In English

The English language is loaded with words that are written differently but sound the same. It’s an avenue some don’t exploit, but can be done rather well, if kept in context.  Like an electrician trying to explain to a non-electrician about how electricity works.  “What?” says the student.  The teacher counters with, “Not what, watt.”  Or better yet, right versus write versus wright.  You can make your own classic “Who’s on first?” round of terminology, and once again, in the right place within a story, can be killer funny.

6.  Unexpected Body Functions

Again, properly placed and rarely done, a good old-fashioned fart can be a good belly buster.  Heck, the fart-giver doesn’t even have to be human.  An android can cover his butt while appearing embarrassed.  “I’m sorry folks, my compressor sprang a momentary leak.” What’s important here isn’t just to have a fart just because you want it.  Make it part of the plot.  Make the fart a distraction for the antagonist to get away with poisoning a victim, or to help the protagonist escape a dangerous situation.  But there are more to body functions than farting.  Consider the all-powerful belch.  Or the run-for-the-bathroom marathon due to a diarrhea attack.  Or in our android’s case, the grease pan seal just popped, and it needs to run for the maintenance room.  You get the idea.

7.  Smart vs Dumb

Having an intelligent character pull off a pretty dumb move, but makes it work to resolve a situation, can lead to some pretty interesting laughs.  Or vice versa.  Having a not-so-bright character make an intelligent decision, but for the wrong reasons, and have it resolve a conflict in the manner the author intends, can also bring some humor to the table.  An example would be the Space Marine named Biff in my novel, Rulers of Valinthia. He encounters Jasra and the changeling copy of Jasra.  He even admits to being confused, which one should he shoot?  The changeling messes up, saying she’ll kiss Biff, even go out on a date, if he shoots the ‘other’ Jasra.  So our not-so-smart guard shoots the changeling, but not because the real Jasra convinced him of her true identity.  He shot the right target because a pretty women would never want to kiss an ugly cuss like himself.  In context with the story, it worked like a champ, and I’ve been told by more than one reader how they busted out laughing over that one.

8.  Articulate Dominance Gets Spanked

You know whom I speak of.  There are those out there who take pride in being articulate, especially some of the smarter villains in my novels.  Pushing the envelope, giving a mini-monologue at the height of their victory, just to have the victim turn on him with a good kick to the groin, stops the articulate monster on the spot.  Any situation where the know-it-all is showing off just to get physically stopped, in a hard core fashion, has its own brand of humor that never goes away.

9.  An Ego Balloon Meets The Needle of Irony

Characters don’t have to be the main antagonist in order to have an inflated ego.  The needle of irony doesn’t always have to come from the protagonist, or any of their immediate companions.  Having one of the many characters in the background that comprises a crowd, or just a bunch of passersby one would expect in the environment, make an offhand comment, or point out something important to the story, and popping somebody’s ego balloon can be quite funny.  Like the blue denarian woman in Rulers of Valinthia.  She discovers the puppy that is actually an evil changeling trying to flee from Jack, and Jack’s notable skill at pursuit is part of his still slightly inflated ego.  She physically trips Jack before going off stage left in the novel, never to be seen or heard from again, and that is enough of a message that allows that type of humor to bite into a funny bone.

10.  Characters In The Background

Most novels take place in a populated city, country side, or any kind of environment where there are normal folks, revolving around your central characters, all doing there own thing.  The chances for comedy goes up when you don’t discount their ability to witness an event between your characters, and react accordingly.  In Rulers of Valinthia, Jack chases a changeling in the shape of a mop, where it is hopping like a pogo stick, the mop head acting like hair, and Jack is trying to shoot it as the mop makes a thumping escape from the inside of the restaurant.  The chase scene is funny enough, but the restaurant’s janitor watched it happen from across the street.  His reaction?  He took off his work badge and tossed it in the garbage, walking away from that place for good.  It’s three sentences in the right spot, and it makes perfect sense.  On the up-side, it’s also highly funny.

In closing, there is no direct formula to make a comedy actually work.  These ten things to consider is actually a rough guide, something to mentally play with as you’re writing. Feeling stumped by writer’s block, come back here and re-read this article.  Visiting some basic situations can actually form a touch of inspiration, and before you know it, the writing is taking off once again.

Keep in touch, I’ll be posting again before a few weeks is up.  That will be update time on my current projects.  ^_^

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Wandering Among Various Worlds

The human mind is a curious thing.  It can be horrifically dark, or wonderfully light.  Our imagination can be immense, or it can focus like a magnifying glass, making one point in time incredibly intense.  We are only limited by what we can create for ourselves, and the world we currently occupy.  Everything else in between becomes possible in more ways than one.

Some people express it through art.  Painting, or digital media.  Other folks use words to create a mental image with the intent to bring it all to life.  There are a few of us on planet Earth who casually sit back, observing all while interacting with none.

Among all of that, there is you.  Nobody sees the world through your eyes the same way your own mind processes reality.  We all wander among various worlds, sometimes judging, sometimes loving, but always in some form or other, completely living.

When you look into somebody else’s eyes, an invisible bridge forms.  There is a measure of contact that we expect, but the deeper levels of communication between two distinct worlds go much deeper than we realize.  In sharing our reality with somebody we know and trust versus somebody we never met before, all kinds of expectations are added to the equation.

Thus begins my own journey.  I’ve wandered the worlds my own mind creates on many different levels.  Passing thoughts can have the same measurable substance as organized imagery, but not developed within the same manner.  It can be a curse to think in this way, but if regarded from a different angle, it can also be a valuable asset.

Imagine a living rose.  Now imagine it as an ivory statue.  Turn that statue into a gold pendant.  Now imagine that same rose as living once again.  In your mind, you used your force of imagination and creativity to change the essence of a living rose.  It’s something we don’t have the power to do within our own physical realm, but we can do inside the immaterial realm that only you can see.

One day, mankind may learn to connect those two realities, and when that happens, Science Fiction and Fantasy will no longer be a work of fiction, but an incredible way of life.

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A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To Dollar General

I got up this morning, expecting a completely easy day, when the unimaginable happened.  Now I understand that what I consider as ‘unimaginable’ must be pretty epic, because I have this imagination that sucked in some explorer team once, and I never heard back from them again… but I digress.  Apologies!

A time portal opened up and sucked me far, far into the future.  Seriously.  I know a temporal displacement when I see one, and that sucker made a direct jump at me.  Well, I arrived at my destination, and I met two people who want to discuss the fate of the Earth with me.  Good thing I had my camera with me!

futuristic man and woman with globe hologram

I of course, asked why me?  I’m just some overweight, Science Fiction author from the twenty-first century!  They said I actually saved the galaxy before, and around a dozen planets, but that will be in another five years from when they grabbed me.  I nearly panicked.  They believed their hyperbole!

Anyways, I went ahead and asked what the problem was, and how in the world can a guy with no skills or physical powers save anyone, let alone Earth.  Well, you can color me surprised.  They whipped out a couple of gadgets we all know and use even today.  They warned me that they will turn people into ‘gadget zombies’ by 2017, who will walk around with blue glowing faces.  They will afflict other people with free gadgets, and they will become a gadget zombie too!

futuristic man and woman working with gadgets

Since I was actually standing in the future and not a victim to one of my own novels after licking an old LSD stamp by accident, I decided to help them.  I asked what, “What should I do?”

They told me that I must write a series of novels starting with Defenders of Valinthia.  That the trilogy will get people to laugh so hard, they’ll start breaking the gadget zombie infection, as it is easy dispelled by a good laugh or two.

I told them, and quite seriously, that I had already written the darned Valinthia Trilogy, and it’s on the internet for all kinds of gadgets to access!  That it’s time to go back to the drawing board!

They applauded me, saying that I saved the Earth, and they were right, I was the guy for the job.  Then they took me literally!  They electronically conjured a drawing board in a giant holographic demonstration, changed clothes with the snap of their digitally sparking fingers, and that is when I decided to get the hell out of there!

man and woman working with virtual screen

While they were starting to draw something, I went to the table and called up their time portal controls.  I set it, and don’t ask me how I knew what to do, because I didn’t, and I jumped into the temporal disturbance.

Now I said that I didn’t know how to use future technology.  I was easily six or seven hundred years ahead.  Because of my haste, I typed in the wrong digits, and viola, I ended up in some tavern in the distant past!

Serious Woman with Dagger

As you can see from my camera that I used with a touch of stealth by pretending it was a pocket tin of cigarettes that I ran out of, they weren’t too happy to see me.  They said something about my clothes and accent being funny, and they didn’t have any mead yet, which means they have no use for funny.

Before they could run me through, I asked if they wanted me to buy them some mead.  Well, that calmed a couple of them down, but the big guy didn’t trust my word for anything!

Intimidating Middle Ages Group

I got another picture off with him making a point about some huge fat guy with funny stuff not paying for mead, so I reached into my pocket and pulled out a handful of coins.  Oops!  They don’t take my paper money in that century, where ever it was!

They said the silver and copper coins looked like quality stuff, so I used it to buy all three some mead.  They asked why I didn’t want any, and I told them I was allergic to it.  The guy with the hat got in my face, and told me that was a mighty big word coming out of the mouth of some weird man who popped out of nowhere.

Angry Swordsman Attacking

Even after the free drinks, I didn’t know how I was going to get out of this one.  I was a goner.  Going to be run through, and probably buried in some forgotten grave.

It’s a good thing the people from the future started looking for me, knowing I goofed up on the time settings.  So I vanished and popped back into the future!  I groaned because I wanted to go home… but it was the same woman.  But different clothes and the future tech was different too.  The man was gone, and she didn’t know who I was talking about. Because I bought three ruffians in the distant past some beer with twenty-first century coins, I was responsible for a robot invasion, because all the future robots didn’t get free quarts of oil anymore.  I altered the future, and she was pouring the proof at me through her holographic drawing board.

woman working with virtual touchscreens

So I was charged with stopping the robot invasion and to save Earth yet again.  Man, I was getting hungry too!  I mentioned it, she looked right at my big gut and told me I won’t starve.  The nerve!  But I understood her plight.  Robots were kicking the human’s butts and I needed to undo the damage.

She told me the best way to fix it was to write another trilogy starting with Darya Rising, with the final book ending with battle droids being used to fool a future bad guy into thinking a fleet of battleships was attacking, and he gets killed by a heroic anti-hero.  That would influence future designers away from using androids… but I told her I already wrote that series!  She gave a big sigh, took a look into the future one more time to see what became of the evil robots, and it worked.  My novels became popular enough for folks to write in proper safe-guards, and the future evil robots were far too lost to do anything to invade and take over Earth.

Robots Are Lost

The future girl, who actually broke down and told me she was my future grand-daughter by 32 generations, gave me a quick hug and asked me if I wanted anything before being sent back to my original time.

I said I want the future’s weight loss pill that cured obesity.  Done and swallowed.  Then I wanted a digital holographic drawing board of my own.  She warned me to hide it and finally destroy it after I start saving the Earth again in my own near future, or I’ll muck up the time stream again.

So I agreed.  Now I am back home, uploading all the pictures I took on my journey, and another one of me looking into my fancy new toy, contemplating all of the new books I am going to write starting the day after tomorrow.

Skinny Dan Playing With Future Big Screen

Yeah, at least my hair is still curly!  Playing with my future holographic drawing board starting the day after tomorrow will be kind of cool!  Why day after tomorrow, which is today by now?

It’s my 26th Wedding Anniversary.  Plus, it’s a fine day to win an award, not just for saving the Earth, but for tickling you pink with my adventures.  In case you don’t know, only one thing in my entire post is 100% true.  Now let’s see who can guess it correctly!

April Fool's Day

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Creating A Plot – Creativity 101

Time to create

It’s not too hard to run a Google or Yahoo search to find templates on how to create a good plot.  Most can be formulaic in nature, other plots can vary, so as to stand out on their own.  The basic premise of them all is even more simple.  You have a good character (Protagonist) and a bad character (Antagonist) and it’s the conflict between them that leads to an eventual resolution.

Breaking away from that pattern can be dangerous, because certain readers are expecting the story to end in a certain way.  An example is the Romance genre.  The story must have s happy ending, or it’s not considered a Romance at all.

Science Fiction and Fantasy has no such restrictive formula.  There are certain things that are required to make the genre Science Fiction and Fantasy.  One of course, is to have science as part of the /galaxy/solar system/world/plot/discussion within the story. Fantasy can have the same things, but have elements that use magic or have anything to do with fantastical creatures/character types.

Readers of Science Fiction and Fantasy are more forgiving when it comes to the format of the story.  It can have a bad ending where evil wins, or a good ending, where good wins. Thus we can further break down the plot of most books.  Good versus evil.

For a time, publishing houses in the mid-90s wanted to break away from the good versus evil cycle.  Plus if you wrote about unicorns, forget making any submissions.  They were being unicorn saturated, with the bulk of fantasy stories had something to do with a girl, child to teen, and a unicorn.  I’ve heard stories where some intake editors who got to page one and found it to be one of those types of novels would shred the book before returning it to the author who wrote it.

Today, it would be easy to stick with formula plots and make the book work out very well. However, I don’t want a good plot.  I want an exceptional, fantastic and well-rounded plot that will grab my readers by the seat of their pants and squeeze for extra thrills!  I want a plot that will cause shivers to go down a reader’s back, delivering a sense of wonder.

It’s what I strive for, and to do that properly, I can’t use the same-old regular stuff most people expect and merely get through to the last expected page.  I’ve developed a multiple-staged process to developing an exceptional plot, and this is how I generally start out.

I create the Antagonist and their back story first.  That very back story will have an attachment to the not-yet invented Protagonist.  What is important about my evil characters is they don’t see themselves as evil.  They see their goals as good, and ultimately important for survival not just for them, but other people they care about.

I invent the Protagonist and write their back story, and have it related to the Antagonist in some way.  Be they a sibling, or a neighbor, or a childhood sweetheart, some type of connection must be there.  It’s what draws them together, or keeps them apart, but it’s a key piece of the novel.  The Protagonist may see the actions of the Antagonist as evil, or they may sympathize at first, only to realize the true depth of the problem later on.

Next I invent the victims.  Be they unnamed people, soldiers, side characters, whoever they are, I have them predestined as a target of the Antagonist.  Some may die, others may live, but there they are, and I put down a mention as to their need to be in the novel.  Say a novel about a war, we need soldiers, some of which will die in combat.  That helps keep the common sense in, and the plot holes out.

It’s here that I invent the location the story takes place in.  It doesn’t have to be earth.  It can be anywhere in the universe.

Once that is done, I ask out loud, “Who benefits and who doesn’t gain anything in this kind of story?”

1d6Once I have that, I ask myself, does my Protagonist and Antagonist have a flaw I can exploit?  I roll a six-sided dice for that.  1 or a 2, no flaws.  3 or a 4, one flaw for the Antagonist.  5 or a 6,  one flaw for the Protagonist.

Next, I create a list of twenty flaws.  Then I roll a twenty sided dice and assign it.  Those flaws can be but not limited to:  Fear of falling.  Lactose intolerant.  Can’t stand the sight of blood.  (Can you imagine a vampire who faints at the sight of blood?)  Fear of clowns. Frequent nightmares.  Insecure around the opposite sex.  Clumsy.  Always getting lost in public places.  Stutters.  On and on I can go with these.  d20

What I roll up, I stick with and make it reasonable within the story.  Before I know it, the plot is no longer an expected map, and thus starts the immersion within the comedy, or the serious moments that make writing a novel so much darn fun.

^_^

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The Idea That Lives Under The Bed

I’m not trying to creep anybody out here.  Now that we have the intent clarified, please allow me to further explain so I can creep you out.

We all sleep in a bed.  It’s the comfort zone where dreams and nightmares circle the human mind, wrestling over who gets to have their way with your unconscious but highly fragile inner-child.

Some of us tend to dream up our ideas.  However, there is an idea that resides not over your mind when you sleep, but under your bed.  When you get up, it sees your ankles and chooses not to grab it.  When you walk away, the idea pays keen interest in when you’re going to return.  Make no doubt about it.  This idea isn’t mine.  It’s yours.  It’s looking for the right moment to grab you.

Thinking about your ideas from the ground up is harder than most people realize.  When you’re thinking, your eyes tend to wander slightly upwards.  Creativity, intelligence, experience and wisdom all conspire to drive your focus away from the floor.  That is why you haven’t discovered your best idea yet.  You’re looking in the wrong spot.

All ground floor ideas start with the basics.  A foundation to grow that idea on starts with a solid base.  A floor, if you can imagine it.  Floors serve only one function.  To support.  So now we have support for that undiscovered idea, and that floor can be assigned your years of experience as a start.

We live on a planet where everything is built from the ground up.  Plants grow from the ground up.  Yet, when we think and process information, we look upwards for inspiration, rather than downwards.

Okay, just where in the fruit-cake bent mind-scramble am I going with this?

I don’t need an idea.  I’ve got dozens of them crowding the front of my brain, looking for some kind of spoiled-brat type of attention.

If you need an idea, you know where to check for it.  Under the bed.  Where you sleep.  If you see it staring back at you with tiny glittering eyes, don’t yell.  Don’t scream.  Just calmly regard it, and with a small, crooked grin, own it.  Accept what you see and make use of that idea to change your role in the world.

I was only 9 when I told my mother that I have no idea what to do.  That I was bored.  She told me to go look under my bed for an idea.  So I did.  I found an old book, printed in 1905 of a story about King Arthur that was originally written in 1890.  How it got there, I don’t know.  I think it was left behind when my Uncle Ralph visited once.

I read it, got hooked, and read more books.

Not long after, I wanted to write books.  Look at where I am today.

Now go look under your bed.  If you find an interesting idea, come back here and tell me about it in the comments section.  It’ll be fun to talk about, I promise.  ^_^

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March 2, 2015 and it’s almost 3am

March has arrived at Mach 3, in my opinion, because February is always so blasted short.  I’m getting ready to process another novel, which I’m keeping on the low-down right now, because I’m not certain if I can finish it.

It’s one of those flashes a writer can get.  Like being hit by lightning.  Ka-Zap.

Those insights can either soar from beginning to end, or fizzle halfway through.  My previous lightning strike was a novel called Defenders of Valinthia, which I wrote carefully in the hopes of sharing a universe of fun-filled moments along with some serious stories tossed in.

I will know by the end of March if this is going to fly or not.  If the infusion fizzles and the drama dies, I’ll bury it in the back yard somewhere.  However, if this takes off from beginning to end, then it will be featured, right along with a call for beta readers.  As of right now, I’m not sure.

I still have The Muliebral Order and One Unlucky Knight to work on, as well as an actual screenplay I’ve been having fun with.  Right in the middle of a chapter for Muliebral Order, Ka-Zap!  So I started on that, and produced the first three chapters in the time it took me to write half of a chapter for the other story I am itching to tell and share.

Most writers have writer’s block.  I have a curse that’s just the opposite.  I’ve got all of these universes spinning around in my mental theater, they’re fighting each other to get told.  I must focus, I tell myself, and I go write something up that’s crazy fun and not even related to my current goals.  How’s that for a twist?  ^_^

Mr. Spock

By now everyone knows.  Leonard Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015) was a great influence in the world of Science Fiction.  Playing the part of Mr. Spock, he became the role and filled it with distinction.  As a Thespian, I applaud his performance, and I really can’t process the fact that he’s dead.  I don’t like to think in those terms.  I would like to say that Leonard Nimoy moved on to fight evil in a different dimension, and given time, the rest of us will catch up to help him out.

Spock, you’ll be missed.  I hope you and Scotty (James Doohan,  March 3, 1920 – July 20, 2005) are off somewhere in a space station, sharing memories while grinning at the entrance to see who comes through next.

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