Friday, 28 September 2018

Ghost Dog Cover Teaser Two

It has been a tough week for me, and the technical edits are still a work in progress on Ghost Dog, so here's another teaser for the cover.

This last week I've spent time working through The Bureau, which is weird. I'm re-reading my unfinished first novel with the intention of finishing what I started. Heinlein's rules of writing; finish what you start. Having written three other novels in the meantime, I can truly say it’s like reading another authors work.

I'm also evaluating a writing technique that was brought to my attention on this blog, called deep third POV. I'm still mulling it over. It could be the best thing since sliced bread, or just another tool to be used as and when.

Serendipitously, I began reading Dare to be a Great Writer by Leonard Bishop. And guess what, I found him discussing the pros and cons of using deep third POV, except he addresses under the title: the false limitations on first person narrators.

So, I learnt something new.

At the weekend I met up with some friends. The son of one of them was a song writer, and we had an interesting discussion on writing, comparing song writing process to novel writing. One thing that came out of it was that it made me think about grammar.

Grammar is the glue, not the work. The work is made of words that convey meaning, and grammar is just the glue that holds the story telling together. That may not be the worlds best metaphor, and probably only means something if you're at the stage where your ready for it.

And another observation from talking about how to write a novel.

The advice a beginner needs to hear is not the same as someone who has written a few novels, and is again not the same as a professional author who makes a living at writing.

My insight in all this comes from is the fact that as a former cognitive behavioural therapist my job was rooted in learning theory. Therapy is how do you get people to change habits that aren't working for them.

But like a lot of things in life, knowing something has to change is not the same as knowing what or how to change.

Friday, 21 September 2018

MorpHex MKI part 3

Thanks to David Barrow for finding this. We were talking about RollaBots, which appear in my novels and what they look like. Back here I posted my inspiration for my RollaBots. Here's another variant.

This week I finished the revision/edits for Mission Two, which my Alpha reader is now reading. My plan then is to talk to my artist about a cover for the story.

I've also been revising Ghost Dog. Technical edits to make sure I don't overdo the Moto-Marine thing. And, make sure my poor Japanese is up to snuff. Thanks to all the parties involved for helping me.

And I found some time to start working on The Bureau. Technically my first novel, with caveats on how one counts works in progress or that never get finished. But in this case, I'm determined to finish what I started.

The biggest problem is coming back to a story that I started writing so long ago is I can't remember what I've written.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Ghost Dog Cover Teaser

And here's a sketch to tease while you all wait for Ghost Dog to arrive. Copy edits are done, and I'm just waiting back on my Beta reader's technical edits (so far one omission found, a couple of technical edits, and no doubt more to come).

This week has been another one occupied by copy editing. This time on Mission Two, and it's taking me longer to do as I'm thinking about how I want to market the series, and how many episodes I want to write.

But the good news is that after some hard reflection on my failings, I'm still managing to produce new words in what some people might describe as difficult circumstances. I shall take that as a win.

However, half of my day today was taken with a hospital visit, which left me exhausted. I also have a series of blood tests to go to over the next three and a bit months too. So, onwards because words don't write themselves.

Friday, 7 September 2018


This is cute: Death rides a pale horse.

I have a new slogan to motivate me.
Inspiration just called to tell you he’s not coming today, so start without him.
It made me laugh. But I'm funny like that. Also this one I made up.
You're sick, suck it up, the words won't write themselves.
Speaking of adversity this piece by Sarah A. Hoyt moved me. TL:DR: traditional publishing's promises are not worth the paper they're printed on. Speaking statistically, this outcome fits the definition of a confounding variable: something that can't be easily accounted for.

Moving on, it has been one of those weeks. Hell of a week. Because, copy editing is Hell. All I've been doing is copy editing Mission Two, which came back from my Beta reader Brian. He also added a lot of constructive questions that needed answering.

This is a good thing, but the amount of work, and therefore time that has been sucked up is beyond belief. It's also good because it has motivated me, despite how I'm feeling from my new medication regime. And regime is the word.

I was talking to my pharmacist about how anxious I was and whether or not this was because of the side-effects of the medication, or the fact that as a former health care professional I understood my diagnosis and what the long term effects of taking the medication were.

I made her laugh. I laughed. Medical profession sense of humour. Side-effects are another of life's confounding variables.

I also got a virus on my computer.

Nothing too serious, but it had to be dealt with. Can't remember the last time I got infected. Still, it meant redoing all my back up to make sure I hadn't backed up the virus. Ended up with a bunch of Time Machine files in the trash that couldn't be deleted.

Partly my fault because High Sierra requires you to go through the Time Machine app to delete its files. Whereas I just dragged them to the trash. Ended up having to start Terminal and go the whole cd /Volumes then ls and individually delete the files using sudo rm -rf 501/.

What a drag that was. Though I will admit to punching the air and uttering a jubilant expression of self-esteem when I finished.

So that's it for another week. So see you all on the bounce.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Magnetic Anomaly Project

I was talking with one of my readers about the things that got left out of my Bad Dog novel and its sequel Strike Dog. Things like risk mitigation etc. Also, why planet One-Nine-Six was chosen, and what about alien pathogens?

I had in an earlier draft of Strike Dog a whole chapter on atmosphere analysis and the reason for choosing to go to One-Nine-Six. While I imagine I could've found a way to make the chapter more interesting, the main problem was that it had people telling other people what they already knew. In short, classic info dump.

So it had to go.

Besides Tachikoma is a Marine, and there remains a few lines that refers to the outcome of all the discussions where she says,
"After weeks of arguments over which of the three worlds to go to, One-Nine-Six won. Mostly on the basis that a desert environment would be easier to drive out onto. That, and the fact that we could retrieve our robot teams that had either broken down, gotten lost, or fallen into a hole."
Which I judged as being all she would care about the things discussed in said meeting.

Anyway, meetings implies some sort of hierarchical structure. Here's what I wrote for my series bible:
The Magnetic Anomaly Project is the name I've given to the organization that discovers two alien pillars beneath a mountain in the Cascades. By the second book MAP has morphed into MAPCOM, a unified combatant command as a subsidiary of the North American Confederation Special Operations Command.

The organization for MAP was inspired by NASAs The Mars Science Laboratory.  So like them, I have five groups as follows:
Organic Geochemistry & Bio-Signatures 
Inorganic Geochemistry & Mineralogy
Atmosphere & Environment
Mathematics & Physics
As part of the backstory I created the Strategic Science Operations Team consists of the five following people, one of whom goes onto play a larger part in the storyline.
Dr. Carlyle: Organic Geochemistry & Bio-Signatures
Dr. John Cameron: Inorganic Geochemistry & Mineralogy
Dr. Carpenter: Atmosphere & Environment
Dr. Samantha Emmerich: Geology (alpha science team leader)
Dr. Linda Scott: Mathematics & Physics
At the end of the first three novels  I still have a lot of story to tell.


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