Science Fiction vs. Science


This is an opinion piece that, I believe, is a long time in coming. Written by James Davis Nicoll, he discusses the necessary evolution of science fiction based on science facts. He does a great job of explaining, why writers need to adjust their stories the more we learn about other planets. His focus was on the pulp stories of the early to mid 20th century and the writer’s depictions of the other planets in our system.

I skimmed over some of the comments, They seem to be close in line with what James states in his piece. It’s my opinion that writers working on science fiction have a much better chance of successful sales if they’re work is based in science fact.

What’s Missing From My Planner

I’ve noticed something is missing from my writer’s planner. Through all the suggestions of encouragement, positive reinforcement and identifying the negative internal dialogue, there’s no mention of how to deal with the external negativity.

How does one deal with the discouragement, anti-support, negative comments, and sabotage from other people? This is my biggest problem, not the internal dialogue but the negative influence of others.

I recognize the reality of those who treat me with this negativity. Often they are those who have either failed in their own plans and dreams or ended up giving up, quitting on themselves. It’s not personal towards me, they treat everyone this way.

So far the worst has been people discouraging me with my writing, having never read anything I wrote- AND – people who think I should give up my dream of a college education. How dare they! Just because they, themselves, didn’t do it, or they flunked out of one college or another- does NOT give them the right to sway others to join them in their pool of misery.

I would be grateful for suggestions from others.

Contemplating A Title Change

As many know, I’ve been working on my series The Zodiac Chronicles for a number of years. The first piece being written back in 1998- True Family, which featured Jeff (Aries) and TJ (Taurus),

Why it hasn’t been published yet is a different issue, It’s probably a good thing at this point. In the last few years, I’ve discovered and been shown other works of the same title. Needless to, but I will, yes it’s feeling a bit crowded under this title.

The first one I discovered on after someone suggested I Google the title. I found The Zodiac Chronicles: The Gifts by Sasha D. Oliver

— She weaves an interesting story around vampire clans.

In 2011  I was shown an Amazon page by Inde Finfew –

The title of the book is New Beginnings (The Zodiac Chronicles Book 1)

– I’m not sure what this one is about, just that it takes place in the future and involves an ancient prophecy.

Amazon Link

Today I discovered:

In 2015 Stan Lee, yes, that Stan Lee has collaborated with others to bring us The Zodiac Legacy.

I also discovered Arya Karin’s Zodiac Binding: A Reverse Harem Novel (The Zodiac Chronicles)

– Hers is a story of magical shape-shifters

Amazon Link

Black Ties and Yellow Roses: The Zodiac Chronicles by Vivien Sass

– a classic romance story

Barnes and Noble

So, with the number of writers using The Zodiac Chronicles as part the titles to their books- question I am contemplating is- should I stick it out or change the title to my own series?

Reverse Mary Sue

So, according to the ‘Mary Sue’ litmus tests I’ve seen online- depicting your lead character as receiving a priceless, or very personal memento from another lead character (or two) is a no-no. So, I decided to do the opposite and have my lead give a gift. It’s actually something that means a great deal, sentimentally, to both her and her BFF. My logic in this- take what’s mentioned in those ‘tests’ and do the opposite. Yeah, that’ll work, right? We’ll see.

Check out this link, given to me by one of my friend Karla. Of all the Mary Sue litmus tests I’ve seen online, I prefer this one.


The Anthology Update 1

I have made copies of all the papers, as not to disrupt the order of their original folders, placing the copies into a folder titled “Anthology”. I now know that I have 36 files / papers to sort. The next step is to sort through them- ‘use’ or ‘don’t use’.

It’s almost hard to believe that I’ve written 36 papers, between Long Ridge and WITCC. I’m not even 1/4 of the way through my Associates Degree, there’s still so much more to go. Perhaps my friend is right and I should consider a potential sequel, that’s a long way up the road though. For now, I’m focusing on The Long Ridge.

The Anthology

It began with an idea, a way to share my works that’s easier than a clump of files in a digital folder. My sister took one look at the list and couldn’t decide which to open first.

Another incident reinforced the idea, this one from the internet. One of the sites I’m a member has a feature that serves as a profile. Members can share their works in a nicely organized fashion. The features of this profile are determined by the level of membership. Paid members can opt to set their works in individual folders- such as poetry, novels, or school papers. It’s really nice of them to have this.

These and a few others notions or events lead to the birth of this project, an anthology of my written works. I’m titling it The Long Ridge, an Anthology. It will consist of my writings from Long Ridge Writers Group and Western Iowa Tech Community College. Some of the papers did double duty, I submitted to both schools. Of course, this was with teacher or school permission.

There are twelve lessons with the Long Ridge course, two are revision exercises so by the end, I’ll have ten original pieces. As of now, I have four more lessons to go before I finish the Breaking Into Print course. Of these four, one is the second revision. One piece I know will not be included is Truth is Stranger Than Fiction, to this day it is still incomplete.

Two of the pieces submitted to LR also went to instructors at Western Iowa Tech Community College. The first is Patching Things Up… Kicking the Habit, I originally wrote this for LR. At WIT, I spoke with my instructor about the piece and she wanted to see it. The other piece is The Future’s Fathers, I first wrote this as a research paper for English Composition at WIT, having trouble coming up with a new idea I asked the ladies at LR if I could submit this piece as it fit the scope of the assignment. One responded with ‘that would be fine’. It does pay to ask.

Dating A Writer

I saw a link on Facebook for a dating site. Being a writer this sparked an idea, so for fun, I used my search engine to find ‘Date a Writer’. (No, I don’t Google, I use another engine.)

I found a few sites that are plus and minus POV’s on dating a writer- no actual site / club for writers looking to date. Still, it’s a fun post. Some of the reasons either for or against are very true, some are humorous, and others well… I’ll let you read and spark your own imagination.

Buzz Feed: 10 Essential Tips For Dating A Writer (link)

E-Harmony: 15 Reasons to Date a Writer (link)

Thought Catalog: Things You Should Know Before You Date A Writer (link)

Thought Catalog: What It’s Like To Date A Writer (link)

NY Mag The Cut: Never Date a Writer. You’ll End Up As Material. (link)

Blog: Never Date a Writer

Writer Access: 10 Reasons to Date a Writer (link)

Writers: Twitter Parody Accounts

I discovered these gems, on twitter, today through Kristin Nelson @agentkristinNLA (a publishing agent in Denver Co.) These parody accounts are a chuckle a post. Follow or just read- trust us, you will enjoy them.

Aspiring Author – @AspireYAAuthor

Brooding YA Hero – @broodingYAhero

Typical YA Heroine – @TypicalYAHero

YA Best Friend – @TheYABestFriend

Token YA Sidekick –  @TokenYASidekick

New Adult Hero – @TypicalNAHero

Neurotic Writer – @writerneuroses

Clueless YA Dad – @AverageYADad

So, you say I’m not a writer

There seems to be a stigma in our culture that dictates ‘if you’re not published then you’re not a writer’. This is only through traditional means of publishing houses and agents- forget self published- they don’t count.

Here’s my thing- it’s my opinion, and as a writer I do have a valid one, this is akin to narrow-minded thinking. You are dismissing someone’s potential because it doesn’t meet your concept of what a writer is.

I speak from personal experience and I have many friends who have taken the route of self-publishing. Many are much happier with this decision than having gone with an agent / publishing house.

If you have the passion, the determination, and the fortitude to write- not to mention the imagination it takes- then become a writer. If it’s all you can think about, not just the mechanics but the vision, that over-active imagination that creates countless characters and seemingly endless scenarios- then, my friend, take a shot at being a writer.

Don’t worry about those people who tell you to give it up, that unless you’re published you’re not a writer. If you’re self-published then you’re not really published. These are the folk who- on the subject of your writing- first ask: “what have you published?” Then if you admit that you haven’t been yet, they get a scowl on their face. Some are brazen enough to say “then you’re not a writer.” Sometimes I want to smack these people up the backside of their head (Gibbs smack) or pull a Stephanie Tanner- with a huff, saying “how rude.”

Never let someone discount you because you have yet to see your work published or chose to go with self-publishing. If you have a story (or stories) to tell and you have been working on them- then you are a writer.

I mentioned earlier that I speak from experience. I have had several people in my lifetime tell me “you’re not a writer” because I wasn’t published or was considering self-publishing.

At this point, I have over 60 works in progress, have a count of 500,000+ words written among various projects- this includes novels, fan-fiction, fan-lit, blog posts, and academic papers. Writing is my passion, it’s what drives me. There have been times when my imagination was in overdrive that I could not sleep until the muse was done with me.

No, I’m not published- YET. The day is coming and for the moment I’m undecided if I’ll go with a publishing house, an agent, or self-publish. I just know that it will happen.

The day will come when people will walk by a major bookstore and see my book, or yours, or someone else’s one of us knows – and we’ll smile. Not because it’s there but because we’ll remember the asshole who said “you’re not a writer.”