Remove Head from Sand

I get so focused on writing that I forget to see what else is going on.  There’s a ton of great blogs out there, and I don’t read them as much as I should (if you’re reading mine, you have my deepest thanks).

So I was doing some catching up, and found the following:

Robert J. Sawyer is doing a book tour.

Query Letter FAQs!

Patrick Rothfuss had a good video to post about Ira Glass on art (get well soon Mr. Rothfuss!).

And as for me, well, I’ve spent the last three days reading over my first novel, book one in the Spell Carriers series, a fantasy epic.  I am so pleased that it is not terrible!  My writing has evolved, for sure, but it still flows, and holds me in a way that surprises me- to not be able to put down a book that I wrote?  What is this fresh narcissism?  I genuinely enjoy it, and am really relieved to see that it holds up against my newer works.

And it’s the first time I’ve read it in my new program, Scrivener.  I had to teach it all the new words, all the new names.  And that first time I right click a name and say “learn spelling” is rather magical; for I can see into the future of the characters, and know what a journey they have to come, and it’s wonderful.

Characters I introduce in book one go on to have major parts in book two, and to see their conception, when I didn’t even know how great they would become, leaves me glowing.

So yes, reviewing, and removing one’s head from the sand.  I will try and do this more; there’s a lot of great stuff being posted about this great and mad endeavour of writing.

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.

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.  >_<