Ancient News (WIP) and Nano Counts

The Silence of Ancient Light, continued

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…heat wave inundates most northern (tribes / communities / cities) today, while in the southern (land / island / continent) fierce storms lash the eastern coast. Storm surge overtopped the inner seawall in Ka-Voniss, flooding the second ring of the city, forcing millions of residents (Li-Estl’s note: this number cannot be right; there are no more than several tens of thousands of Kwakitl in the entire world today) to flee the city and seek higher ground. The (elder / leader / mayor) promised to build a higher wall and install pumps. Elections are in two (unknown).

Read more at

Ancient News

(630 words; 2 min 31 sec reading time)


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Yes, this is a short one. Not so much a standalone scene, but the translation of the ancient broadcast which Anna and Laxmi now are reading for the first time, with interpretation from Jaci and Li-Estl.

A news broadcast from 1200 years ago!

Some of the ancient terminology is unfamiliar to Li-Estl, as they don’t have concepts like cities or mayors anymore, so the translation includes rough English approximations.

What do you think the news broadcast reveals? What does it tie to that we’ve seen in earlier scenes?

In other news, this represents my first words for 2019’s NanoWrimo, so I am now 630 words in for the month. Not that far for what is technically the 2nd day, but I’m good with it, and I’m also not necessarily done yet for today. It’s early still! Who knows, I might even post another scene this weekend, breaking my usual once a week (or once a month) habit.


header image credit: Annalise Batista / pixabay.com under Pixabay License

Notes in the Dark (WIP)

(The Silence of Ancient Light, continued)

They’re coming.

I don’t know if you will find this or not. I don’t know if you’ve survived. Moments after your warning about the storm, it hit, and it hit with the ferocity of a caged tiger suddenly sprung loose. Not that I’ve ever seen a tiger, of course; they went extinct long before I was born.

Visibility immediately went to zero, with so much water and debris filling the air. I’ve never seen a hurricane start so quickly! I did the only thing I could, which was to drop into the fire pit and hope the shallow depression would provide some protection. Even so, several branches hit me, and I suspect I’ll bear the bruises for many days to come. Thankfully, no more broken bones, however.

I lost track of time, but the storm lasted for some hours, then it died away almost as quickly as it arrived. The weather on this planet is weird.

Read more at…

Notes in the Dark


So begins the handwritten note left for Anna to find in the dark confines of their ruined shuttle’s maintenance access. Yet, where is Jaci, the note’s author? Abducted by aliens seems likely, in this case! And if so, how will Laxmi and Anna find him?

Yes, you’re right, it didn’t take me another week to put out another scene. It has only been a day. I assure you, I’m not likely to keep up this pace, but who knows?

So what do you think of the direction the story is heading? Is it going where you expected, when you started? Is it surprising you? Is it disappointing you? Let me know what you think!

Until the next scene…


Header image credit: Johannes Plenio / pixabay.com via Pixabay License

WIP: Lagoon, and Alpha/Beta Readers

Yes, it has been more than 24 hours since I published the latest scene from The Silence of Ancient Light, and yet I’m only now getting around to announcing it! What can I say, I had to run off to watch Solo with my daughter — which I quite enjoyed, thank you very much — but I’m back to do the needful.

And, in the interim, I’ve also done a little cleaning up of the organization of the scenes. After all, that menu was getting long, and unwieldy, especially for those using a smaller laptop (like I do when I’m writing all this). So, astute readers will notice that the scenes are now grouped into chapters, and this latest scene marks the start of Chapter 3. I hope this makes everything a little easier.

Before jumping into it, I want to talk a little about alpha readers and beta readers. The concept of beta readers is pretty familiar to anyone who hangs around writers much, and indeed is drawn directly from the software development world. Beta readers are “average” readers (meaning not usually other writers, nor industry professionals) who agree to read works prior to publication in order to provide feedback to the author for improvement. Typically it’s a nearly-finished work, having gone through a round or two of editing, and the purpose is to gauge emotional impact and determine if scenes and characters are hitting their marks.

Alpha readers, on the other hand, provide the same service, but at a much earlier stage in the process. Works in alpha are usually still first drafts, and thus potentially quite rough, and often alpha reading is done as scenes or chapters are written, so that the ending isn’t necessarily available yet. In “realtime,” in other words.

Does that seem familiar? It should. If you’ve been reading along with my progress here, you’ve been alpha reading.

And I’d really love some feedback. I know it’s rough, and there are plot holes, and technical issues. But there may be more holes and issues than I’m aware of, so I’d love it if you point them out. And I may be hitting the wrong notes with my characterization: is Anna relatable? Is she sympathetic? Is there something she should be more of, or less of, to be a stronger lead character? And what about the others? What about my pacing? Is the tension ok, or too much, or am I putting you to sleep?

If you’ve got suggestions, but are uncomfortable making them publicly, that’s ok. Just hit that “Contact” page and send me a message. But otherwise, feel free to comment right on the pages! My ego won’t be bruised… much. Let’s start a discussion!

And with that, allow me to unveil the latest story development: Anna, Jaci, and Laxmi have crash-landed on the alien world Kepler 62f, and, well, they could really use a break. They won’t get much of one, of course, as they are in pretty dire straits, so they immediately set about determining whether this planet is going to kill them, or sustain them. And… why is the sky green?

 

Lagoon


image credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech

Writing for the Holidays

Merry Christmas, everyone! Although you may not have heard much from me lately, rest assured that I have indeed been busy, plotting character arcs and so forth, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to share some material with you. Indeed, here it is Christmas morning, and I #amwriting (as we say on Twitter!). And in between all that writing, I’ve been getting in a little cross-country skiing.

How are you spending your holidays?


–image credit: nasa.gov