The Gears Were Turning This Week!

So much accomplished this week!

Finished the first draft of my next short story.  Now it sits for three days before I start the rewrite/edit.

And, I also finished the outline for my next novel.  As promised last post it is a steampunk adventure story, and if it works as expected it will combine a rousing good yarn with the basics of my role-playing game.  That is, what happens in the book could happen  in the game, especially if the players were seriously into the role-playing and the DM had fed them the right information about their characters beforehand.  I’m trying to make it read more like a novel and less like a journal of a DM’s die rolls.  Which is pretty easy, because I’m not rolling anything.  Just telling the story while making sure that the things that do happen are reasonably possible in the game.  So, no deus ex machina, and no double zero die rolls!

I’m also looking at some short stories I can post up on this site, and working on a couple of ideas for novella sized fiction that could be published through Amazon for 99 cents.  It’s kind of interesting.  I was looking at the approximate size of the “novella sized” books that they have now for 99 cents and they seem pretty much the size of the old paperback books before some publisher decided that fantasy and science fiction novels must be 400 page long tomes in a 12 volume series.

Don’t get me wrong — I like a good series.  But, I don’t think every book should be a series.  I like the continuity of a good background setting.  However, I don’t need my hero/heroine to keep getting dragged back through all kinds of hell, book after book, until you have to kill them off just so you can drag their children through varieties of the same old nonsense.

Sometimes the good guys should get the happy ending they earned.

 

 

 

 

Starting on World Building for Steampunk Universe

A couple weeks ago I went  to TempleCon, a sci-fi convention held annually in Warwick, RI.  I had a great time and I met some very nice people.    TempleCon has a wonderful Steampunk flavor to it.  There were  costume booths, and a huge room with hundreds of people playing miniatures games. There was music, period dancing, and even period martial arts courses.

I like Steampunk, The artwork, music, and costumes are interesting and fun.  The people are intelligent and friendly.

I’d like to do a number of things in the Steampunk genre.  I’ve noticed that there aren’t many role-playing games, board games, computer games, comics,  short stories, or novels in the steampunk genre — compared to other types of fantasy/science fiction. To be sure, there is some really great stuff out there – just not as much as in other branches of science fiction..

I think it could be a fun arena to work in.  So, I’m looking at putting together several areas where I have interests and personal strengths and building a comprehensive Steampunk Universe where I can do all of the above.

So for the next couple of weeks I’m going to gather materials, organize them and begin working on the foundations for a Steampunk role-playing game, a Steampunk board game, and a small Steampunk computer game.  In parallel I’ll be doing some short stories to introduce people to the world, and gathering feedback on what people would like to see.

For now, it will be mostly research work, not a lot to show.  But, as it progresses I’ll probably modify this site a bit and add things.

Of course, when things do get rolling some of these things will have to be free.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth your while to follow along until all your friends were doing it too.  I like getting free stuff and I actually enjoy giving free stuff away.  So, expect to get some neat swag as I build.

You can drop ideas and comments here if you would like.

That’s enough for now.  I should have more to say later in the week.

First Draft of Novel Finished

Well, it has been just slightly less than a year since I set out to finish the sci-fi novel.  It was a pretty tough haul.  But in the end I got it done.  A least the first draft is done.  Along the way I also finished two short stories which have been accepted for publication and started rewrites on a half dozen more that were shoved in the closet.

I’ll let it rest for a day, then do a brief edit for typos and stupid grammar mistakes. Next I will turn it over to my new proofreader, Daphne, and a group of persons who will review it for mistakes, inconsistencies, and dull spots.  I’ll give them two weeks for feedback,  Then I will read all their suggestions and begin the polish rewrite.

If I can stick to the schedule, it should be completed by the end of February.  I have the glimmerings of a sequel in mind.  However, I also have three other books in various stages of completeness vying for my attention.

I think it might be a good idea to post more frequently on this site as well, especially since I’m paying for it.  I might even drop a sample or two in here for people to look at.  Seems reasonable to me for people to get an idea what I’m writing, especially since I’d like them to eventually buy it.

So, for this year, there will be more focus on writing and on my software consulting and dance businesses.  I have a couple of projects that should end this year and I hope to handoff a couple of things to people who are waiting for me to finish up.

But those are topics for other posts… this one is done.

Progress on the new novel

Well, made a bit of a push this week and finished the first section of my new novel.  Since it also happens to lay most of the groundwork for the tale it means I have also passed the halfway point in the story.  Yay!

I have sent it to several persons for review and I hope to get responses, good and bad, in the future, but I need to keep writing.  Interestingly, I find starting the next section in many ways as difficult in getting started on the book in the first place.

A few of the characters have strayed a bit from how I initially envisioned them acting.  Characters do that sometimes.  The overall plot is still moving in the right direction, but I can see that some sections will have to change – a lot.

Still, it is a lot of fun doing a story where you let the characters wander through their own lives in a world where major events are happening and they are actually influencing them.

As I get closer to the end and have a chance to polish the opening I think I’ll see about posting up the first couple of chapters here so people can see if it is something they might want to read or pass on to a friend.

Writing Progress

Well I have not progressed as much as I had planned to, but in spite of the entanglements of Deb’s passing I have still completed two more chapters of my novel.  Things have settled a bit and I hope to be able to do more, but there are a number of other tasks still vying for my attention.

At this moment I should be coming back from the Arisia convention in Boston, but my car had other ideas.  I’ve been given a warning about the water pump needing replacement – a task I need to take care of in the coming weeks, especially since I will also be resuming teaching college at Bristol in just a few days.

I like the way the story itself is going.  The characters seem to be doing what they think is best, and the arc of the story seems to be staying on the general outline I had envisioned.  With luck I should be past the first major section in about four more chapters.

Life continues.

Deborah Nash 1950 – 2012

 

Deborah Nash, beloved wife

Nash, Deborah A., 62, of Exeter, passed away November 16th , 2012 at her home with her husband and members of her immediate family at her side.  She was the beloved wife of David Dougher.

Born in Crystal Lake, Ohio, her family moved to Columbus, Ohio and Orono, Maine before finally settling in Kingston, Rhode Island.  She was the eldest daughter of Charles and Frances (Agar) Nash.

She was a graduate of South Kingstown High School and the University of Rhode Island.  In her early career she championed women’s rights and was asked by the authors, G. Kass-Simon and Patricia Farnes  to be the Associate Editor of “Women of Science – Righting the Record.”  Considered a seminal work in the women’s movement, it has remained in print since its initial publication in 1990, and continues to be used as a textbook by colleges and universities.

An avid reader and writer, herself, she continued to assist others with their work.  Her final editing project was for the just released young adult novel, “The Marble Game”, by Sarah Sloane.  The book was dedicated to her by the author.  Her interest in writing led her to publish her own poetry and the hobby of creating miniature books.  She created several books, with each double sided page being smaller than a postage stamp.  Many included carefully reduced illustrations.

Deborah was an ardent believer in animal rights and a strict vegetarian.  She was an accomplished equestrian and engaged in many outdoor sports including ice skating, swimming, hiking, biking, and kayaking.

She worked for a period of time in the corporate travel industry, specializing in complicated travel itineraries for business professionals, and travelled widely herself.

In 1990 she left corporate work and turned her interest to dance.  It was a transformative experience. She trained as a ballroom dance instructor at Paris Academy in Massachusetts and went on to create riDance.com, one of the largest dance websites in the country.  She focused on older adult students, believing that too much attention was being directed to young and competitive dancers.  She worked constantly to improve her teaching technique and taught hundreds of couples and individuals in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.  She never stopped her own education, and loved all kinds of dance.  She took dozens of classes from experts in jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, lindy, and blues dance, as well as regular training to improve her understanding of ballroom technique.

Recognized by her peers for her work on riDance.com and the dance field in general, she was elected to be President of Dance Alliance, the Rhode Island organization representing the interests of the professional dance community from 2004 to 2009.  She was a frequent attendee of dance events:  high school recitals, college performances, ballroom events such as K&S and Dancing Feeling, modern performances by Fusionworks, and classical performances by the Providence Ballet.  She would promote these events and often personally review them on the website to give them additional exposure.

Besides her husband and parents, she leaves two brothers, Jonathan Nash and Eric Nash; and a sister, Susan Nash, and many, many friends from all walks of life.

A Graveside Service will be held Saturday, 11:00 am December 1st 2012 at New Fernwood Cemetery, Kingstown Road, Kingston. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Dance Alliance Scholarship Fund,P.O. Box 372, East Greenwich, RI 02818 or Farm Sanctuary at http://www.farmsanctuary.org/ would be appreciated. For information and condolences visit: www.FaganQuinnFuneralHome.com.  Fagan-Quinn Funeral Home  401-295-5603

There will be a reception at the Busy Bodies Dance Studio, in Wakefield, RI after the graveside service for those who are interested.

Can I have your vote for a bunch of empty promises?

As a registered independent I’m getting a lot of phone calls right now – as you can imagine.  Even though I am not in anything remotely resembling a battleground state.  The phone rings with both Democrats and Republicans seeking my vote.  Usually I’m pretty quiet about who I vote for and why, but this year I think I would like to say a few things.

I have pointed out my feeling on the Republican theme of “helping the wealth creators” in a different post.  But after carefully looking at the rest of the Republican platform and promises I can say one thing.

Bullshit.

I have worked in the computer industry for a long, long time, and one thing you learn to recognize when dealing with new product offerings is how to spot vaporware. And, plain and simple the Republican platform is vaporware.  It will not work, and it is filled with vague promises that cannot be kept. It shows no fiscal responsibility, nor any understanding of the depth of our economic problems.  It is a advertising campaign focused on saying that things are tough and the guy who is fixing them isn’t doing it fast enough.

The policies that put us in this mess are primarily the result of the previous Republican administration spending money it didn’t have, removing regulations on companies that then gouged our country for billions of dollars, and then going to those same companies and saying, put a trillion dollars into our Super Pack and we will keep the gravy train rolling.

With all the money that has been poured into the Republican Super Pack you could probably fund all the social saftey net programs that the Republicans say they want to cut for the next decade. Bit it doesn’t end there…

Mr. Romney says he wants to strengthen our military, and his Republican colleagues actually tried to appropriate MORE money for the military than they asked for!  And what does he plan on doing with all that extra military spending?  The previous Republican administration went into a foreign country based on bad intelligence and mired us in a war that cost us thousands of lives, and billions of dollars before we got out.  And the guy they were after was in a completely different country!

Mr Romney says he has a plan to create 12 million new jobs for Americans.  He will not reveal the details of his incredible job creation plan. I would like to suggest that his plan is really, really simple.

He is going to reintroduce compulsory military service, for both men and women.  In simple words – he’s going to bring back the draft folks.  He’s going to dump billions into military spending, he’s going to stimulate the economy by making guns, uniforms, tanks, warships, and jet planes.  And when he is finished creating his new bright shiny army,  He’s going to threaten to use it on Syria and Iran.

Now maybe you think it would be great to send your sons and daughters over to Iran, and Syria.  Maybe you think it would be good to sacrifice all our progress in rebuilding the infrastructure of this country to support a 21st century economy and let us become a third world nation.  Maybe you would like to see the poor and the lower income classes drift into true poverty, and watch as the crime rates across the country soar when people go into the streets to loot for food, clothing and basic necessities for their families. Not me.

Yes I am aware that the unemployment rate is high.  I am also aware that major corporations are keeping it high by not hiring to see if they can tip the election in favor of the man who will give them carte blanche to ride roughshod over our democracy.

I would rather see four more years of a dead stalemate in Congress than see what this country will become if the Republicans give it to the major corporations to run (or should I say loot?).

But I don’t think that is what will happen.  All the economic indicators say that the country is improving in spite of corporate efforts to slow progress.  And the Republicans would like to prey on that turnaround and claim it for there own, even as they sabotage it for the future with more fiscal irresponsibility.

So, for this year.  It is no to EVERY Republican.  When they get back to a fiscally responsible moderate platform I will consider giving them back my vote.  But the nonsense they are spewing now is just like watching Big Time Wrestling – it’s an entertaining spectacle… but it isn’t real.