Archive | science-fiction RSS for this section

Life with school and writing and poor time management and jobs and….

Indulge me for a bit. Please.

I know I haven’t written here in a while. I don’t have a good reason except that, for some reason, when I’m at college I can’t remember to or think of things to write about related to writing.

That doesn’t mean I’m not writing. in fact, this year has been a very productive year so far.

  • I’ve written two short stories (that I consider complete),
  • i severely edited one to make it more concise.
  • I have three others in various stages of completion. (Well, sort of. Perhaps I’ll explain the problems I had with one of them later this week.)
  •  I’ve also been working hard on my mermaid novel, which I haven’t written from August until December, and I’m really excited about that. This past week I really focused on that and have edited four or five chapters. (Okay, they’re little chapters, but that is real progress.)

I think what ends up happening with almost all the novels is that I get stuck at a point, don’t really know how to move on, and I think (falsely) that by waiting I’ll figure it all out.

On top of all this, I have actually been reading as well. (Well, and listening. Librovox is wonderful for that.) So far I’ve listened to

  • some Sherlock Holmes (I got addicted to the TV show Sherlock, which is awesome I might add, so I wanted to read the books. Unfortuantly, I think the show is better than the books. (Please don’t kill me Holmes fans.))
  • Dicken’s Oliver Twist
  • And am currently listen to A Princess of Mars, which may also been known as John Carter in movie form (I have not seen the movie at all though.). My dad told me he wouldn’t recommend it because it was a guy book. I’m quite annoyed by that, but I’m enjoying it a lot too.

That isn’t including the variety of other books I’ve read, mostly modern YA books, including Across the Universe, A Million SunsArticle 5, Deliurium and Ship Breaker within the past month. (If you want some awesome world building, read Ship Breaker.)

And yet with all these seeming time on my hands, I can’t manage to write a blog post. Bad Abigail. Bad bad bad.

But, see, I’ve also been scheming. Mwhaha. (< = little evil laugh) And this scheming hasn’t included just characters. It’s actually included my life.

You know you're curious.

Click to download my awesome short story for free.

First thing first. I began looking into making ebooks. It didn’t seem that hard and no, I didn’t do all the research that I should, but I did it anyway. Why? Two reasons. One is that I really do want to share my stories. I write so people can read them. That’s always been my goal. So why not? Also, my goal originally was to just charge, say, $.99 per story to see if I can make a little bit of money on the side. I don’t know if I will actually do that though. I’ve only gotten 70 downloads in a little less than two weeks. (Then again, I’m not in Ibookstore or on B&N, so that may help once that happens.) It probably also doesn’t help someone bashed it ( :( ) because of bad grammar and gave it two stars. (So if you want to be really, really nice to me, reviewing it nicely would be sweet.)

This is part of the reason why I said to indulge me, because I’m taking this as a moment to promote my story that you should download and tell your friends about.  My page is here, but as of right now, I’ve only uploaded one story. (I planned on uploading another one on Wednesday, but I think I’ll wait until this story goes into all the bookstores before I release the next one.

The other thing that I want to do is to actually teach English. Now, I’m know; I’m in college going for an elementary education degree, but hear me out.

First of all, I learn things best by doing them. This would give me amazing teaching experience. But beyond that, I was homeschooled. My sister is also still being homeschooled and she’s in highschool. When it comes to her English, my mom gets stuck. She doesn’t know what to do or how to do it well. An example is that they struggled for a while to come up with words describing a sunrise and, in passing, mention it to me. I come up with more words than the two of them came up together. I also know what sounds good and what doesn’t and why it doesn’t.

If I taught this English program, I would develop it from the ground up. (Which I already have started working on.) I would then submit assignments, grade papers and provide parents with grades. It helps everyone involved because there are more people than just my mom who wants their child to have a good education but struggle with English. Oh, and best of all is that it’s a creative writing based. I would have jumped at the chance to do something like this in highschool, so why not?

The problem I’m having is how to start it. I have the idea. I have lesson for the whole year outlined, with plans for about two months developed. But I don’t have any clue how to put this out there to say I want to actually teach people. So if you know anyone, have them e-mail me. (Yes, I finally got an e-mail address too.)

Now this one, although I am promoting my own business, will actually benefit you as well because one thing I think I’ll be doing is posting some of my lessons from that on here, especially during the summer as I film the videos.

So, that’s pretty much my life, beyond the normal stuff of I need a summer job, I’m taking three college classes, I’m helping out at home and trying not to get too frustrated with my sister’s laziness. But, I am at home, so I should be able to write more at least over the summer and hopefully get a good stockpile of posts as well for the school year. (See, I might get ideas about what to write but I feel bad popping on here, writing something really quick, and then popping off for another couple weeks. It doesn’t seem that fair to ya’ll for some reason. And yes, I just used ya’ll.)

And if anyone remembers or wonders about the book I sent off to a publisher, no, I have not heard back on that at all, either positively or negatively.

(BTW, I really don’t like this new formatting on WordPress. It rather took me by surprise. :P)

Advertisements

I read a book.

I know; that isn’t a good thing to say as a writer. But with college and my own writing,  my fear of not having a good book, and the sad lack of books we have available at the library in South Dakota, I haven’t picked up one in possibly a year.

Wow!  I forgot how good it is to just read a good book.

I read Imager, by Modesitt. It sounded pretty good, so I asked to borrow it from a friend. I didn’t start it for almost a week. Once I did though, and I actually got passed page 60, I started finding it incredibly interesting. I almost literally couldn’t put it down and would bribe myself to clean a section of the house, read a chapter, clean, read, clean, read. (I had to clean; I wanted to read.)

Now, don’t mistake this for a review of the book. I actually think it was a little slow and a little confusing, and I wished I had a map. But I’m more focusing on the fact that I read a book and leave my reviews for amazon.

I actually did it based on someone’s advice. I didn’t want to write and all I could think about was reading. I just wanted to be swept away into a story.

And suddenly, I want to write again. It’s like after seeing a beautiful world created and put to right, with fun characters, plots and intrigue, I wanted to put that kind of magic on paper. For really, in many ways, it is magic. Think about it in that we as writers get to sweep someone up in a world of our own creating, and hide them in it for a while.

I’m now ready to write again. In fact, since Saturday night, I wrote 5000 words, which tallies out to about three or four chapters. Yes, I’m writing small chapters. I like doing it better that way.

So now I’m looking for more books to read, and I want to soon modify this website and include a page on my recommended books in sci-fi and fantasy. I don’t have a lot right now, but hopefully they’ll grow.

The New Addicts.

So apparently, this new study shows that teenagers suffer from withdraw symptoms without any type of media device for 24 hours. Wow. Guess I have now proved I am not addicted to social media. (I don’t use electronics one day a week.)

A little bit more about metal.

My chemistry teacher has some awesome stories.

Potassium is highly reactive with water and air, as I discussed last week, a scientist must conduct experiments in a highly controlled environment. Well, he knows someone who took a can of potassium, tossed into the lake, and then shot it with a gun.

This caused a bunch of repeat explosions, for lack of better words, because the little bit of potassium would react with the air, explode, and show more potassium and that would explode, and so on and so forth.

Another experiment that they would show is  take a cube of potassium and I’m not sure how they did this exactly, but the cube is probably covered with potassium oxide of sorts. They would take this cube of potassium, cut all six sides of it very quickly, and then wait a few minutes. After a few minutes, they would snip off the corner of the cube and pour out liquid potassium. This would happen because the reaction of the air with the fresh potassium would cause it to heat up so much, it melted the potassium on the inside.

Yeah. Wow.

Now, we can discuss magnesium. Magnesium isn’t reactive, and it’s light, so it makes perfect sense to make ships out of in. In fact, that is exactly what Britain did during a war with Argentina. This didn’t go too well however, since fires on the ships could not be put out once started.

Strontium is another fun metal. A certain isotope of strontium, Sr-90, is used in atomic bombs. Well, Strontium can also be used to replace calcium in our bones. Our body needs calcium though, not strontium so this leads to anemia,  and leukemia. If it can replace the calcium in our muscles as well, then we are in serious trouble, because our muscles need calcium to contract.

Every spaceship is made out of metal.

I’m going to discuss some characteristics of metals and gases, based on the periodic table. One thing you must understand about the periodic table is that as you go down each row, the elements share common characteristics. This discussion will actually be a two part series, as next week I will share with you some interesting stories related to specific metals.

Yes, this actually makes sense.

We’ll start with Row 1A

1A metals are called the Alkaline metals.

This is the gray row on my table. These metals are generally shiny when fresh, but quickly tarnish when exposed to air. All of these metals react violently with water to produce hydrogen gas. These metals are so reactive that they are never found in pure forms in nature.

2A Elements: Alkaline Earth:

This is the green row. They are less reactive than Alkali metals (1A). The metallic character increases from top to bottom. Their reactivity in water varies a lot. Berylium (Be) does not react in water. Magnesium (Mg) reacts slowly with steam. Calcium (Ca), Strontium (Sr), and Barium (Ba) are reactive enough to attack cold water.

Group 3A:

Here we are jumping across to the column with one blue and the rest as pink. We’ll skip the yellow transition metals because they are funky. Boron (B) is actually a metalloid, meaning that it has characteristics of a metal and a nonmetal.  Boron is unreactive  towards oxygen and water. Aluminum is a fun metal however because when it reacts with air (namely oxygen), it forms aluminum oxide, which covers the rest of the aluminum metal with a sticky layer and prevents further breakdown. That is why aluminum doesn’t rust.

4A:

The only thing worth mentioning here is that lead and tin do not react with water, but they do react with acids.

5A

There is nothing of particular interest in this group.

6A

The only thing of interesting is we are now getting to the point where it is difficult to study Po, At and Rn, because they are so rare that it is difficult to find enough of it to study.

7A: Halogens.

All of these are generally found in a diatomic form, meaning that the two elements are joined together to get X2 naturally . They are also highly reactive and as such, never found in elementally form.

These also look pretty. Fluorine (F) is a green gas. Chlorine (Cl) is a yellow gas and it is also yellow as a liquid. Bromine (Br) is a red gas with a dark red liquid. Lastly Iodine (I) will condense without passing through the liquid phase and looks brownish. You can easily buy iodine actually. (At least, we have almost always had it on hand.)

8A: Noble Gases

All of these are gases. Most of them almost hardly react at all. Helium (He), Neon (Ne) and Argon (Ar) have not been induced to react with anything. The rest of them have reacted, but the product is oftentimes unstable. The number of compounds formed thus far can also be counted, whereas many other compounds formed from other elements cannot be.

The other fun things with these gases is that if you send energy through them, they produce light in many pretty colors, which should probably be a separate post completely.

 

As a side note: You guys are awesome! We broke 4000 views last night. Thanks everyone for that.

What is science fiction?

Besides questioning the “what if” of our world today, science fiction apparently has a lot of other things to offer.

Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art.

— Susan Sontag

But it’s not all hopeless.

Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.

— Isaac Asimov

Some random possibilities.

I’m just throwing out some random things that you may find useful when writing.

Excessive yawning can be a symptom of a brain tumor.

A side effect of hypothyroidism in babies is they become very small and mentally retarded. (I’m not sure why I thought that to be of note, but I wrote it down when I heard it.)

When a plant exploded, what happened was that the water erupted from wherever it was stored, flash-vaporized into steam, and then reacted with the metal to cause the whole building to come down.

People with Aspergers have problems with overstimulation.

People’s short term memory lasts about thirty seconds. After that, it goes into the long term memory. We don’t always remember it because some memories become little deer trails in words and others become superhighways, based on how often we’ve accessed the information. But, theoretically, if someone could speed up their short term memory, could they then have a better memory?

Cultural crossovers almost always start with food. And therefore, food is the backbone of cultural diversity.

Calcium is the means by which all muscles in the body contract, from the finger muscles for typing to the heart. So if someone removes all calcium from a body, or inhibits all the calcium, that person dies. (I know, morbid. Sorry.)

Global flooding.

We always talk about how the cities will be wiped out in global warming. What about how the tall ships will pass under bridges?

Ship barely passes under a bridge because of weather conditions and swells.

A future of genetic testing.

I’ve said many times before, I’m a science fiction writer. My biggest question in life is “What happens if…?”

I read an article earlier this week that gave the suggestion of a mommy gene, and the physical possibility of it. She had an interesting line in it.

“More Mommy genes!” the headlines raved. Mice and humans share many of the same genes, so these genes may influence women’s nurturing instincts, too. Perhaps we can test every wannabe mom to see if she has working copies of FosB, Peg1/ Mest, and Peg3. [The mommy genes identified in mice.] Then we’ll know who can soothe babies into submission and who thinks it’s a good idea to leave them to cry under the stars.

So, this started me thinking, What if a place did test women to see if they were able to be nurturing or not? What if they started tying this into the adoption process? What if they didn’t let anyone have a baby who didn’t have this gene?

So there’s a thought for you. You can find out more about mommy genes here.

when the future interweaves with the now

I have been wanting to write a post for several days on heath care and the health care reform. Why when this is a writing blog? Because I believe that with the politicians in WAshing trying for universal health care, there is a lot to be written about. (I say trying due to the fact that there are too many lawsuits out there and that this SHOULD go to the Supreme Court  and probably be overturned there, if the judges have any guts to follow the constitution.) I am going to try not to get political.

See, Universal Health Care in American (which I shall now abbreviate as UHCA) can take so many routes depending on what we think the outcome of this bill will be. Will this mean that everyone is now going to live in peace in happiness to the ripe old age of 90? Will this mean that the government will start forcing mandatory exercise programs, like in “1984,” so that people can be better and healthier and then the government doesn’t have to fund so much?

What about the corruption of the politicians? This bill is 3000 pages long! Surely they can slip somewhere between the pages that all congressmen get their own private doctor and a spa built into their own to “promote health.” Nearly every time in history, when a socialist government was tried, it actually resulted in two groups of people. The every day people that were poor and then politicians, that are rich.

HOw does this effect the everyday person? How would a person go to the doctor now? Is it going to end up like Canada, where any serious diagnostic test takes years to have done, any operation weeks to years?

Or maybe it will be bliss. Maybe everyone will be flocking to working in the health care industry now because of how great it is, everyone will be healthy now, America will be the pride of the world and the leader and healthy reformations. [would insert sarcastic remark here but promised she would try to avoid political commentary]  Maybe it will be what Obama really thinks it is.

Or what does Obama thinks it is? I’m sorry, but too many people have said that having UHC is a bad idea for a country to do, England included. So maybe it is more of a way to manipulate “stupid” Americans into controlling them. Maybe it will be what Obama wants but it will not be what the people who think it is good wants.

We, as science fiction writers, have just had a door open. We no longer have to explain how UHCA was passed because it has been. If we want to get technical, and depending on what picture we are going to pain, the sudden deaths of a bunch of Supreme Court justices would explain why the bill never was overturned by the Supreme Court. Now, we can let our imagination run wild, free, and do as it wishes.

This sudden change really causes me problems, though, because I have been toying for a while about a story that may take place thirty years from now. The story did involve the results of health care, if it passed, and you can probably guess they were not pretty. Since I have been thinking about what story to write next, I’ve been toying between that one and another one that really doesn’t have a whole lot to say. (It’s based off of a song.) I honestly wonder if this should be the time to write that one.

No matter. Although on some levels, this is bad for writers because they are taxing royalties, this is also good for writers because suddenly we are put in a situation that asks, “What if….”

What if health care is good?

What if Obama is a robot from Mars and is going to posion us all thorugh this health care? (That would explain why he doesn’t want his birth certificate shown.)

What if this becomes like “The Giver”, where the old are terminated as soon as they become “not useful”?

What if the election was rigged in 2008?

What if people are only treated for non-preventable diseases?

What if… the question of a science fiction writer.

I was going to put a link to an awesome youtube video but it doesn’t work as well as I thought.