Testing Testing- XFlare Coming Our Way?

I’ve been interested in solar flare activity recently.  Solar flares, and solar radiation, actually have a much bigger effect on people than most realize.  I’m starting to notice patterns about my creative process and solar flares.  *Puts on tinfoil hat.*  *Considers getting more cats, a rocking chair, and a shotgun.*

Just thought I’d attempt to add a little monitor here and see how it works…  seeing as there’s a 10% chance of an xflare coming our way (from a mega-huge sunspot!).

Discussion here: http://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/190z68/giant_sunspot_thats_six_times_the_diameter_of/

Solar X-rays:

Geomagnetic Field:

>

Status
Status

From n3kl.org

One of the projects on my back-burner(s) is about solar flares.  😀

Heh.

Also, got a full manuscript request today!  I am elated.  Just when I get a bit down in the dumps, something great like this happens.  I hope they like it enough to represent it, and then maybe we can really get this show on the road.

And, just to leave you with a couple of pictures:


…larger version here…

…and BOOBIES!

Heh.  That’s all for now folks.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

The Nicholl Fellowship, Google Glass

I was really pleased to see sci-fi becoming a reality, as it tends to do.  In my latest novel and screenplay, I take Google Glass to limits, exploring such a devices purposes and practical uses.  Today they showed off the preliminary interface.  I’ll be interested to see, as the years tick on, if I got it right in my work.

Also, one of my test readers got back to me (with some very good feedback, useful edits, and much welcomed praise) about my screenplay.  He suggested I submit it to the Academy Awards Nicholl Fellowship.  Apparently they actually *pay* five writers for a year to write a screenplay!  This would be a dream.  Getting paid to write, and exposure for my work?  Maybe it would get “Luka and Iso” picked up for production.

If you’re interested, you can check out the Nicholl Fellowship here.

I am ensconced in the Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer.  As ever, he strings me along at a good clip, with wonderful characters and a great hook.  Sentient dinosaurs advancing their culture from the bronze age onwards?  What’s not to love!  I can hardly put it down.

Also recently, my friend Brie and I have teamed up; she asked me to write something for a comic she was making, and I did.  I’m excited to see the inks next week.  Hopefully we can have further collaborations in the future; her art is mega, mega cool, and being on a writer-artist team with her would just kick so much butt.

That’s all for now, folks!  I’ll keep on tightening up my script, and let you know how the process goes with applying for the Nicholl Fellowship.

…And if you know of anyone looking for a sci-fi screenplay/novel combo about the first genetically engineered dragon, would you point me in their direction?

Cheers.

Heidi out.

THE END.

Well, the first draft of my screenplay is finished!  My latest novel, Luka and Iso, is adapted for the silver screen.  I have editing to do still of course, and actually quite a large chunk that I need to compress…  But the bulk is done.

Typing those two words, “THE END.” at the finish was actually far more satisfying than I thought it would be.   After all, I’ve written three books and dozens of short stories… but none of them actually have the words “THE END.” at the end.  They just sort of- stop.

But with the screenplay, it’s customary to put “THE END.” at the end.  And it felt good.

And now, as is my custom, I will take a break from it for two weeks, and work on a short story.  I’ll come back to it fresh, wielding my axe in one hand and my scalpel in the other.  Both help me cut away, in broad, messy chunks, followed up with precise, delicate cuts.

So good readers, Happy New Year.  I wish you the best of luck with all your creative endeavours!

Cheers,

Heidi

Good News Everyone!

Hello all.  So glad to be able to share some more good news with you today: a short story of mine, “Mirror Twenty-Two” has been published!  It’s part of the online portion of the Haunted Waters Press ‘From the Depths’ magazine.

…And you can read it for free!  It’s a paranormal-military-action-horror.

“For our purposes, that little girl is no longer a little girl,” he said with measured calm.

I want to thank everyone that has subscribed to my blog.  It’s really nice to have a few people interested in my work.  I’m so, so grateful for your readership, and it’s nice that I can share some nifty things with you.  🙂

“Mirror Twenty-Two” by H.G. Bleackley

Hopefully I’ll have something more in this universe to share in the new year; I’m working with an artist to adapt another story into comic form.  I’m really excited about that one… And I really dig the world I’m building using short stories.  I think there might be something more there, something bigger.

Also, I’m adapting my latest novel into a screenplay, which I will start shopping around in January/February.  My screenplay chops are a little rusty, but it’s coming along.

So I’ll keep writing, and submitting, and sharing.

Thanks once again for reading.

Heidi out.

Pals of the Pen Variety

I got myself some pen pals!  So far I’ve written two letters (hand written) on the topics of the destruction of mankind, and the colonization of space.  I’m expecting the first letters from two others, for a total of four pen pals!  I’m excited.

Well, the hunt for an agent is… happening.  I want to say going well, in that I’ve found several agents who I feel would really dig my book, AND who I’d like to work with.  So yes, in that regard, it’s going well.  As ever, the rejection letters are trickling in.  I had my fastest one ever today; 24 minutes!  It seems fast, but then, if it’s not right for someone, I’d rather know sooner rather than later.  🙂

I’ve been trying to get to know the agents I’m submitting to a little more before I contact them.  For some, it’s a bit hard if they don’t have a big internet presence.  They best ones so far have been agents with blogs, and that have done interviews.  My favourite has been Eddie Schneider, who did this fantasic AMA on Reddit a while ago.  That was really great to read, not just to get to know more about him as an agent!

Also happening on Reddit right now, is an AMA by author Michael J. Sullivan.  I have great respect for him; everywhere he shows up in r/writing he imparts so much wisdom, so many useful tidbits.  He answered a lengthy question of mine today! Thanks Michael.

On the non-writing front, The Walking Dead.  Is.  Fantastic.  I haven’t cried that hard during a TV show in quite a while; this last episode, “Killer Within” had me bawling my eyes out.  MAN.  What excellent acting.

I participated in the Reddit Halloween exchange.  My gifter sent me this:

Fun!  I sent my match some interesting candy, including White Rabbits, a Double Decker bar, and a few other yummies.  Oh, and a big fake spider.  >:)

DELICIOUS.

This years Reddit Secret Santa is live!  Sure to be a record breaker.

…You know what else is delicious?  Pizza.  I’m making a meat lovers tonight, from scratch.  Using sausage I made myself.  I’m excited.  And then tomorrow, a Hawaiian.  Then the next day, Veggie Mediterranean.  Gosh, pizza is awesome.

Pics to follow.  🙂

Cheers guys.  Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Weekly Top Lists and Polls!

Hey guys.  Sorry I’ve been bad about updating; it just feels like I can only post “I’m working on it” so many times.  😉  But yeah, the manuscript is done.  I’m now waiting for my beta readers to get back to me, and their notes are trickling in.

I met with a high school book club on Monday, which garnered me 10 contacts in my target audience!  I’m extremely pleased but also nervous as butts.  Writing it is one thing, having other people read it is entirely another.  Good ol’ Alot of Doubts rearing his stupid ugly head again…

Onwards!  I have decided, to keep my posts regular, that I shall post a Top 5 list every week, with an accompanying poll for all you awesome readers to take part in.  I’m hoping this can get us all thinking and talking about our favourite whatevers!

Why top 5?  Well, top 10 seems overdone, and much too easy.  I tried to just do top 3, but that was far too hard!  I ended up with runners up, which defeats the purpose.  So, I have settled on a top 5.  Each choice pertains to my ‘elemental’ theme, with each selection relating to the ‘element’ I pair it with, if only esoterically, and often without explanation  Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and, sort of the runner-up category, Heart.

I was going to call it the EFWWH List, but that felt like tripping at the finish line.  So I’m going to go with “The Captain’s Five”.  Aside from the obvious Captain Planet reference, it sounds cooler, and more sci-fi.

So I give you, without much further ado, the first “The Captain’s Five” List and Poll!

The Captain’s Five:

Top Sci-Fi Novels

“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

This is a quintessential Sci-Fi read.  Compelling and extremely well written, it has characters that get under your skin, that get inside your head.  The story follows a boy bred for Battle School who must take charge and lead the other children as they prepare for another war with the alien “buggers”.  The whole series, and the shadow series from another character’s perspective, is at the top of the sci-fi food-group pyramid.

“The Hyperion Cantos” by Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion” and “The Fall of Hyperion” are just, absolutely, stunning.  Sci-fi at its best.  Set in the far future, the first book contains the stories of the pilgrims sent on the suicidal Shrike Pilgrimage to face a terrible being who contorts time and breathes death.  Beautiful and terrifying, it is full of wonder.
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

It may have been the timing of me reading this one, namely in the formative grade 8 adventures into more ‘adult’ lit, but this one really struck home.  I think my English teacher was rather horrified when I championed some of the ideas in the book.  Eugenics to steer the future of the human race?  What’s not to love!  Oh, maybe not the way they taylor the classes, people bred to be stupid, you know, for slaves.  0_O
“Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus” by Orson Scott Card

I know I know, two OS Card’s on the list?  Well, he *is* my favourite author.  And the two I picked are knight and day different.  Pastwatch goes about the business of studying humanity by peering back through time, literally spying on people as they go about their lives, unaware they’re being watched by the future’s anthropologists.  But when the earth reaches the tipping point where we’ll be unable to survive on it, Pastwatch embarks on a mission to save it by sending people back in time, to strategic places, to try and correct the mistakes of our past.  Absolutely fantastic.  This is my most lent, and most bought-as-a-gift book.
“WWW” (“Wake”, “Watch”, and “Wonder”) by Robert J. Sawyer

I think Robert J. Sawyer is brilliant at seeing the world, and telling us how it’s going to be.  Or rather, how it’s going to be if just this one thing happened.  In WWW, that one thing is a sentient being coming into existence in cyberspace.  It’s gripping, and asks some truly important questions on what it means to be human, and what our reaction to such a scenario is likely to be.

So, thus concludes the first ever Captain’s Five!  I hope you enjoyed it.  Mayhaps I’ve left you with a new book or two to find and read?  🙂

Now: take the poll!  Let everyone know what *your* favourite sci-fi book is.  Results published along with next week’s “Captain’s Five”!

…Please ignore “Sample Question 2″…  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  >_<

Well, the bulk of the writing is done.

Three and a half months.  60k words.  Not bad.

Now comes the hard part… the part where I can see all the things wrong with it and have to fix them.  Even worse is seeing things wrong with it that aren’t actually wrong.  This is when the crushing doubt threatens to kick in and trip me up.

I’m taking a bit of a break.  I’ll let it ruminate for a week before I even begin fixing the things I know about, and it’ll be a month of thinking about things from all angles.

In the mean time, I’m looking forward to VCON, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention that begins tomorrow.  I’ve never been!  There are a ton of great events for writers.  Really looking forward to it.

But today, Doctor Who and Minecraft, while I try and shake my brain free of the Alot of Doubts.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Writing Styles: A Kind of Method Writing

I had a very interesting day on Thursday.

I’ve been getting caught up on the climax of my novel.  Imagining the future is *hard*.  Writing about it in a way that makes sense, not only within the context of the plot, but also just as background noise, is extremely challenging.

I’m finding it difficult to weave all my pieces together in the final stages of the book.

I had the idea to go to where the rising action takes me, and head to the location I’ve set the ending of my book.  I think it’s a kind of Method Writing.

The Vancouver Art Gallery.

At sunrise.

So I woke up super early and caught the first train downtown.  I made tons of notes.  Trying to see what it was like, and then see what it will be like.  And not only that, I had to imagine it from the air.

I spent several hours watching downtown lighten in the dawn, watched all the people go about their lives, and went back and forth from the North and Sound steps of the VAG, making notes all the while.

It was extremely helpful.  I actually changed which side of the VAG the climax will take place; the light was all wrong, and landing from the air will be much easier on the South steps.

It really helped put me there, in the future- I went over each building an imagined how it would look.  What would have changed, what would still be the same.

If you’re getting stuck on something, go out into the world.  Make notes.  It might help you.

…It certainly helped me.

Now, onwards!  The final 10k words beckon!

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Good News Everyone!

Hah, so soon after my last announcement, I’m extremely pleased to tell you that I’ve had another acceptance.  This one is for a short story entitled “Mirror Twenty-Two”, and it will be published by Haunted Waters Press.

This one is ‘for the love’, meaning, non-paying, but another credit, none-the-less.  🙂

Best of all, it will be available online, and you can read it for free!  I will include the link when it’s up.

“Mirror Twenty-Two” is part of an ongoing project of mine, wherein the Canadian Artefact Recovery and Containment organisation sends teams of Recovery/Containment officers on mission to secure paranormal objects.

“Mirror Twenty-Two” is an extremely dangerous artifact in a farmhouse, and CARC Team Alpha must recover it at all costs.

…though there’s a little girl in the attic with it.

I look forward to sharing it with you.

In other news, work on the novel is going swimmingly.  I cracked the 40k word mark the other day, and the end is actually coming soon than I expected; I think it will cap off at around 65k or 70k, depending on how things go.  Nearly there!  I feel a limit break coming on…

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Writing Styles: Limit Break Writing

Sorry for the lack of updates.  It’s been a busy summer.  Lots of writing, lots of summer stuff, lots of trips, and probably far too much Minecraft.

Today I wanted to share about a writing style that I’ve discovered works really well for me.  My husband Aaron gave it the name “Limit Break Writing” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The term Limit Break, if you’re not familiar with it, comes from the game Final Fantasy VII.  While you’re in combat, damage you take builds up your ‘limit’ bar, and when that bar is full you get to do a special move, your “Limit Break”.

These special moves punctuate the regular moves you’re able to do, and usually swing the battle in your favour, as they are quite powerful.

I’ve been writing in a new and fabulous way.  I plan first.  I plan and think and ask questions and do research.  I do all my regular moves.  And then one morning my limit bar is full and I go to the cafe and write like the Dickens.  I write for four, five, even six hours, straight.  And I mean I write, like, fingers flying on the keys, words pouring out at a solid one thousand words an hour.

It’s invigorating.  It’s encouraging.  It’s gettin’ shit done.

I feel like a writer when I’ve finished one of these sessions.

I’m now just over 34,000 words, of around 80,000.  This has all been written in Limit Breaks, in 3000 and 4000 words chunks, sitting in the JJ Bean near my house on Commercial Drive.

I edit a bit before and after the Limit Break hits, but mostly it’s just pounding the keys at break neck speed.

It feels damn good.  It makes me plan and get all my ducks in a row, so I actually know where I’m going with things.  And when I can hold it in my mind, see the characters and plot and the next unfolding of events, I can channel this amazing force of concentration and productivity, and get a book written.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.