Archive for February, 2009

February Newsletter

Posted in Newsletter, Website on February 28, 2009 by oneoveralpha

See what I’ve done this month.


The Invisible Cliff further explained

Posted in Writing on February 27, 2009 by oneoveralpha

The Invisible Cliff is a scifi tway (Twitter play) I’m working on. What am I planning on doing? Over the next few months I will try to get as many people as I can to follow my InvisibleCliff Twitter profile. Once I have everything ready, I’ll announce when the tway will begin, probably a Saturday afternoon. People who follow InvisibleCliff will see him narrating a story – using tweets – about an event going on in his world. Some of the tweets will be retweets from other profiles I’ll set up and some will be links to YouTube clips I need to con some of my friends into making. It could even be interactive, depending on what my followers tweet about. Probably about two hours after it begins, the truth will be revealed and as part of it InvisibleCliff will link to a a fake, news webpage I’ve started designing that will have the full story.

Basically, to anyone watching InvisibleCliff’s profile, the first twenty-thirty minutes will be kinda boring, as there will only be three or four tweets that will just let you know that something odd is going on in his world. Then there will be links to YouTube videos which will give some background material, leading up to a flood of tweets with people speculating about what is going on – this is where there could be participation from the audience. And then there will be the reveal, which I hope will be interesting and thought provoking.

If this sounds weird, well, it is. But I think it could work, I just have to sit down and hammer out all the writing. Joy.

The Invisible Cliff

Posted in Writing on February 25, 2009 by oneoveralpha

Last night while I was trying to fall asleep, I had an idea for a scifi story. As I thought about it I realized that it could be written in tweet-form. So I set up a Twitter account for The Invisible Cliff, and at first I thought I would set a day and post the story – live. The more I thought about it, I figured I should also have some webpages and maybe even con some of my friends into making YouTube videos. So this is a big project and when I get this Twitter play (“tway?”) all figured out I’ll let you know.

I is for “I dare you”

Posted in Alphabet, Website, Writing on February 22, 2009 by oneoveralpha

I was going to do “I is for Insomnia” but then I realized I wanted to do an I dare you post, and since the Insomnia wasn’t really working for me, here you go.

There are two pages on my website that haven’t done too well. The first is my 5 Word Challenge, which is where I give you five random words and you have to write a short story (<150 words) that uses all five. Several people have told me that it’s a good idea, but I have a hard time getting entries – I think the last one I got was almost a year ago. It’s something I would like to keep going, but that requires people to accept my 5 Word Challenge. Are you game?

The other page, while it isn’t a contest, it is a challenge. The Six Shooter has six word stories. Difficult, but doable, yet I can’t remember the last time I got an entry for it.

So I dare you to try your hand at one, or both. What do you have to lose?

H is for Handwriting

Posted in Alphabet, Writing on February 22, 2009 by oneoveralpha


My handwriting sucks, as the above photo – the handwritten version of what you are now reading – shows. The biggest reason I believe is speed. If I take my time, I can form fairly legible letters. The problem is that my brain thinks faster than I can write. Also, what I write (even things like this) I usually think out ahead so I can have a good idea what the next several sentences or paragraphs will be, and I push my hand to get it all down before I forget it.

For very brief periods of time I’ve thought about those programs that turn speech into printed words, but there’s several problems with that. For one, I hate people who talk on their cell phones in public. If I started dictating stories, I’d deserve to be drug through the streets. Plus, what if I was writing a story about robots taking over the world. Can you imagine the looks I’d get if I was sitting in a quiet bookstore screaming, “Kill all humans” into a microphone? Besides, my speaking voice is akin to my handwriting; quiet, mumbled, flummoxed.

I guess I’ll stick with my almost illegible handwriting. For now at least it won’t get me drug off to a padded room.

G is for Grandiose Plans

Posted in Alphabet, Writing with tags on February 21, 2009 by oneoveralpha

A project I’ve just started – and I don’t know when I’ll finished it – is to go through all of my notebooks and see how many ideas for novels I’ve had. I would be very surprised if the number is less than 100. (Most have – at best – a one page outline.) I know I’ll never be able to write all of them. Therefore, some years ago I picked three that I would work on as my first three novels. Last year I bumped it up to ten. These were picked to demonstrate my range. I think if I could write these ten, I’d be able to die happy. Though I’d prefer to write all 100. 😛

#1 – None of Them Knew the Color of the Sky
I’m almost half done with this one. I set up a MySpace profile for this, but I haven’t really done much with it. I can sum this novel up in one sentence: “Will a treasure from the past be enough to unite the survivors of a nuclear war; or, are arrogance, mistrust, and hatred too akin to cockroaches?”

#2 – Damocles
Remember the asteroid impact movie craze of the late 90’s? Asteroid and comet impacts are a threat to the long term survival of humanity, so it was nice to see movies about it, but did they have to be so scientifically … wrong? Damocles is my “as scientifically accurate as I can make it” tale of a small piece of a comet that will impact the western Pacific … in about a week. It won’t wipe out humanity, but there isn’t time to deflect it, so it will hit. The main story is about the evacuation of Hawaii which will be devastated when the impact tsunami reaches it.

#3 – Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.)
I started writing this, but I set it aside to focus on Color of the Sky. This novel is set in my Human Republic Universe. It follows René Pomeroy from ensign to admiral, from his graduation from Tsiolkovskiy to leading the fleet in The Battle of GDI, the final battle in The Milk Wars. (The Milk Wars are a big event in the history of the Human Republic and were key in turning the Human Republic Navy into an effective fighting force.)

#4 – By Petep’s Boulder
Long ago there was an alien monk named Petep. The monastery where he lived was near a large sinkhole. One evening as he meditated, Petep reached such a state of perfect being that all the evil in him split out. Petep pushed this evil being into the sinkhole and rolled a boulder on top of it so it could never escape. For generations, his followers came to the sinkhole to toss away their sins by writing them on a piece of paper and wrapping it around a rock. The world would end once the hole was filled with their sins. At least, that’s the story.
The novel starts with a team of archeologists excavating the sinkhole filled with rocks and the occasional skeleton. The novel contains, maybe ten parts, each set a few centuries before the previous one so the story of the religion made by Petep’s followers is written backwards. Part 1 deals with the “end of the world” while Part 10 tells what really happened to Petep that evening.

#5 – Mediocre Insanity
I started writing this novel in college, but I realized I was biting off more than I could chew at the time so I set it aside. The basic plot is this down on his luck writer inherits a house in the middle of nowhere from an uncle he doesn’t remember ever meeting. The story is him dealing with all the strange people he meets and his slow descent into madness. I put every strange thought I could into this, so it is filled with dream elements, things drunk people have said, and things I thought of when I had too little sleep. Case in point, one of the major sub-plots is that alarm clocks are trying to take over the world and their main base is this house. “Looking down upon its pitiful victim, the alarm clock barked out its vile laugh.”

#6,7,8 – The Mysterious Fleet, Spreading Cracks, Fall Into Darkness
This trilogy is my response to the Star Wars Prequels. I – like most people – was extremely disappointed in them. Sometime between the second and third one, I started wondering how I would have done the prequels. I came up with what I thought was a better story, but what to do with it? Well, change some details and write a trilogy. Instead of Jedi I have telepaths, and instead of clones there’s … well, you’ll have to read to find out.
For centuries, the telepaths have kept the peace by going into the minds of evil doers and making them stop. The navy is little more than glorified taxies for the telepaths. But then this fleet of pirates starts attacking and when the telepaths go out to stop them, they can’t break into the mind of whoever is commanding the fleet. Since the telepaths can’t do anything, the navy gets a huge influx of funds to start building up.
There are then incidents where it looks like the telepaths overstep their bounds, and the public begins turning on them. This leads into the subplot of a young telepath who turns against the others as well as a mysterious person who seems to be pulling all the strings. In the end the pirates are defeated, the telepaths are disbanded and mostly wiped out, and there is a very strong navy who only follow the orders of one person.

#9 – Cup of Joe’s
While Mediocre Insanity isn’t scifi, it is weird. But Cup of Joe’s is just standard, run of the mill fiction. It’s the story of a guy named Joe who opens up a coffee shop not far from a university. He tries to make it very student friendly, holding poetry readings or having a band play almost every night. There is a love interest – the President of the Poetry Club who he hires to be his event coordinator – and there is a secret which he keeps out of fear it could ruin any chance he has of finding true love.

#10 – Self Defense
I came up with this idea during one of my astronomy classes in college. The professor was talking about asteroid impacts. There are some groups that want to develop the technology to deflect asteroids, but there are others who fear some Bond villain could use the technology to deflect an asteroid towards Earth. The professor said that was just silly. Twenty minutes later, I had this idea worked out.
A small asteroid hits somewhere and kills a few thousand people. A massive effort is set up to find and deflect any other asteroids and for decades the people who do this are heroes. Go forward about a century. All potential dangers have already been deflected, all the equipment is fifty-sixty years old, and the people who now work there are misfits who can’t find better jobs. So this guy thinks of a way to regain the spotlight, to make them heroes again. Everything that could hit Earth in the next thousand years has already been taken care of, but not so for Mars. So he and some accomplices divert a small asteroid to hit Mars. They’ll discover it – just in time – and save the colony. Everyone will cheer, they’ll get more funding, everything will be good.
Then the Martians declare independence. The guy – way ahead of schedule – goes to his superiors telling them there is an asteroid heading towards Mars. His superiors just shrug and say, “Sucks to be them.” Does he tell everyone what he has done, or stay quiet?

#11 – Extra, title TBD
As an extra bonus, here’s maybe my eleventh novel. As I said I want to demonstrate my range, so this one is my stab at YA fantasy.
For several cold, winter nights, this kid hears a hammering coming from his bedroom wall. When he goes into the bathroom next door, he hears nothing, but the hammering in his room gets louder and louder until the wall collapses revealing a stone tunnel and several men. The men run away, and the kid follows them and comes out of the side of a hill. As he walks around the spring meadow, the men – who didn’t see him – dynamite the cave so he can’t return home. When they see him they run in fear. The kid wanders around, runs into a wizard, a love interest, maybe a few others.
The people of this land are being terrorized by Erds. These flying beasts used to only be found in the deep forests, but they have been spreading. Whenever an Erd senses fire, it lands and lets out a mist which puts out the fire and kills anyone too near. When the Erds come to an area, the people can’t cook or heat their homes without an Erd crashing through their roofs. And the people can’t do anything because it is against Tel law to harm an Erd. Tels are the very tall, flawlessly beautiful people who “benevolently” rule the land, even though they are rarely seen.
The kid things it’s stupid not to harm the Erds, so he takes a bow and starts hunting them. Whenever he hits one with an arrow, it explodes. He becomes an outlaw hero, and after many adventures, makes it to the Tel city where he discovers the Tel’s terrible secret.

40,000 words!

Posted in Writing with tags on February 11, 2009 by oneoveralpha

I just hit the 40,000 word mark for my novel None of Them Knew the Color of the Sky. Just, 50-60,000 more to go. 😀

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