When you title a blog post with the name of the day of the week make sure that you get the right day.
It has been shown that cat's purring will heal humans bones.
So alien cats that purr.
Humans meet alien cats.
Any thoughts on how that would go?
Alien Kittehs in nurse uniforms?
When an author is engaged in world building it is common, and to some degree necessary, to build the world as a series of static scenes. There is a great manor house with trees of just such a diameter lining the drive. The leaves on the trees are just so dense. The bark has just such a texture. But the moment the story begins things begin to change. Leaves fall, bark roughens, branches die, whole trees need to be replaced. In the manor house; windows break, carpets must be replaced, and bread is avaliable or not. In a great, or even a good, story everything must be in flux. An author can begin by building a static scene, but that scene must move. This is perhaps one of the most critical elements of "write what you know". No matter how well an author can see any individual scene only intimate, personal knowledge will answer the ever present question, "What happens next?".
Humans Are Weird – Persistence
By Betty Adams
“Are you sure you don’t require aid?” Quilx’tch asked uneasily.
The nutritional anthropologist was clinging to the underside of the damaged cargo transport easily enough. The steel bar that supported his six motile legs was more than strong enough to hold his slight weight. No, the unease came from flecks of iron rich blood that he could smell scattered on the underside of the frame.
“I have this Quick,” the human mechanic snapped.
Quilc’tch fell silent but didn’t leave. The human was writhing around in a most disconcerting way. Granted the odd movements of human joints were usually a little disturbing to any species with a proper exoskeleton but Quilx’tch was fairly certain that human arms were not supposed to bend like that. The pain filled grunts the human was letting out confirmed his suspicions.
“I know I could not be of use in a task that requires such raw strength,” Quilx’tch began uneasily. “It would really be no trouble for me to fetch another human to aid you.”
“I can do this myself!” The human growled. “I don’t need any help.”
Quilx’tch wondered at the hostility in the normally friendly human’s voice. What possible benefit could the human gain by insisting on performing a non-critical maintenance operation that clearly was meant to be done in pairs? Especially as there were many other humans close to aid him? A loud snap coincided with a triumphant crow from the human.
“See!” The human called out. “I told you I could do it myself.”
“You did,” Quilx’tch replied. “Though I do not know why you make a point of that, as I never expressed doubt that you could.”
The human stared at him blankly for a moment and then burst into laughter. He rolled out from under the transport and sprang to his feet. Quilx’tch followed him and climbed up on the proffered hand. The skin on the hand was torn in several places though the humans’ remarkable healing factor had already stopped the bleeding.
“Yeah I got a stubborn streak I guess,” the human said shrugging his shoulders as Quilx’tch climbed up his arm. “Sorry I snapped at you.”
“Apology accepted,” Quilx’tch replied. He wanted to pursue the matter but the human stretched and bent to pick up his tools.
“Come on, let’s get lunch,” the human said. “I get even more bull-headed when I’m hungry.”
Some flowers look like ephemeral collections of dew that will disperse if you so much as look at them too closely.
Some flowers, of equally delicate color and material, look like ribbed, steel contraptions that were crafted to be gears in some fragrant machine.
After a hard day of eating and cooking what comes next? Well for many it's right back to work. Write that blog, pack that box, fix that power line. Ect and so on. Here's to all those who put their turkey down and get right back to work. Be careful, it's cold out there.
Hush! We are hunting for turkeys! Tell me if you sees one!
Fun fact, "Jingle Bells" was originally written to be a Thanksgiving song, not a Christmas song.
There is something a bit magical about a public library.
Things live in the trees around them. Libraries are full of books, books are full of knowledge, libraries and great concentration of knowledge.
Philosophy tells us....
Knowledge is power.
Physics tells us....
Power = (Force*Displacement)/Time
Math tells us....
Therefore, given enough Time, and breaking up that Time and Knowledge with a little Force, reality can be a bit Displaced around a library.
Be Careful In The Stacks.
On the days when the roof blows off you don't get writing, you get old pictures of daisies.
PS the roof was a tarp.
After a long drive into Portland, Oregon (this author did not get lost thankyouverymuch I took a less that perfectly efficient vector set) I checked in at Orycon 39 and met the author of “Thrawn”, “Pawn,” and a host of some of the best Science Fiction books to come out in the last forty years. While not a formal interview. (Someone may have forgotten her notepad.) We had a wonderful, hour-long conversation in-between people coming up looking for autographs and good books.
During the course of the conversation Zahn was inspired to drop a few dad-jokes, including the one in the title. When asked why he started writing Zahn laughed and said that he had been watching a lot of badly written sci-fi shows and thought he could do better. With such offerings as “Space Patrol” and “Captain Video and his Video Rangers” on the air who can find fault with that outlook?
Zhan’s first published story appeared in Analog Magazine in the mid 1970’s. I got a quick look at the cover art, a young man in black and white, when a fan brought the bookmarked magazine in for Zhan to sign. He continued to write as a freelance author until his agent contacted him saying that Lucas Films was interested in his work and would he be interested in writing for the Star Wars universe? Thus were born some of the most iconic characters of the Extended (now Legends) Universe.
When it came time to write his central character for the original books Zhan said that he was looking to write a character that fit seamlessly into the existing universe, one that felt right in that context, but that hadn’t been done yet. Vader ruled through fear and raw power, Palpatine ruled through political machinations, what else was there to make an Imperial officer who was a real threat to the growing New Republic? Zahn envisioned a commander who maintained his rule through loyalty; a tactical genius who inspired respect, one who valued the lives of his men and would not waste them needlessly, someone the men would continue to fight for and obey even if he was not breathing terrifyingly down their necks. Thrawn took shape and his officers fell into place around him, including Pealleaon to serve as a Watson to Thrawn’s Sherlock.
For the new books however Zahn needed a new Watson. Pealleaon, the established Imperial officer, had already been done. Also Zahn had learned that the powers-that-be were shifting away from the concept of the Empire as being plagued with xenophobia to the concept (as originally developed by Lucas) of the Empire as being plagued with cultural elitism. Coruscant and the Core Worlds look down with distain on the Outer Rim and Wild Space, something like the view of Flyover Country from the New York and L. A. sets. Such uncultured planets, full of uneducated rubes, hardly count as proper Imperial planets at all. They might pay their taxes but that is all they are good for, if that. For this new Watson Zahn created Eli Vanto, an honest, hardworking kid from Wild Space. His family hopes that the Imperial Academy will give his chances in life a boost. In part to illustrate Vanto’s position the voice actor for the “Thrawn” audio book gave Vanto an American southern drawl. This placed both the Sherlock and Watson of this new pair solidly on the bottom of the cultural pecking order; one from Wild Space and one from beyond that in the Unknown Regions.
As my time with Timothy Zahn came to an end I wrapped up the meeting and left with a few signed books and a wish that I could stay longer. Zahn is an engaging conversationalist and has been in the writing industry long enough to watch an author’s problem solving methods go from avoiding the typewriter till it’s time to compose the final draft, to making sure to always keep a backup flash drive in your pocket. The man has some stories to tell.
From the looks of it his next published story, the sequel to “Thrawn”, will be released around the same time as the San Diego Comic-Con. The rough draft is done and has been sent into get comments from the overlords at Disney/Lucas Films. Zahn estimates that he might need to add no more than five-thousand words at this point. But we authors know how those estimates go.
Here’s looking forward to the next book and hoping for a Thrawn movie!
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.