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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Writer's Tip #14

olleh, ydobyreve!

So no real book news this week, other than we're starting to plan the unveiling party for the book (still need to figure out the proper date for it). You know what that means: a Writer's Tip! I actually managed to think up another one (but I seriously wasn't kidding when I said I'm running low on them; if you have an idea, please share it!).

This tip considers the error of inconsistent technology! Huh? Basically, for all those fantasy/ sci writers out there, don't mix different eras of technology together unless you have a good reason to. I'll actually post from the source I got this tip from (user MetalMagpie at

"If the people of your fantasy world have invented the hand-axe, then they have technology. And if they have technology, then you need to worry about keeping it consistent.

This doesn't mean you have to accurately represent a particular historical time and place in your alternate-world sword-and-sorcery yarn. (Although that's a good start if you're not sure.) It just means paying attention to the rough order that various technologies tend to be invented in.

A possible place to start: In your fantasy world, have black powder weapons (cannons, muskets, etc.) been invented yet? Well, cannons first reached Europe (having been used in China for ages) in the 1200s. So if they haven't appeared in your fantasy world yet, then that puts down a rough marker of the sort of technology level you're talking about.

For example, it would be highly surprising for a world without black powder to have hay bales in its fields, as the hay-baler wasn't invented until the 1850s (over six-hundred years after the appearance of cannons). That would be a civilisation that has invented heavy machinery, but has completely failed to discover that a rough mix of charcoal and saltpetre (a chemical easily extractable from human urine) will explode violently when lit."

So as she said, watch out for the way technology works in your story world to make sure everything makes sense (unless your story world is completely out there, then I think you're safe). It basically also describes how smart your people are and also on what sort of technology they focus on (because really? Heavy machinery over simple gunpowder?). Of course, if you're writing historical fiction, than technology DOES matter and you have to pay closer attention. Not so with fantasy, and maybe even less with sci-fi, because there you can actually make stuff up! Which could lead to another tip, but I'll save that for the next time I don't have news to report.

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1. Learning to use Photoshop in Photojournalism. It's so cool! Kinda hard to remember what does what, but our professor's nice enough to give out instruction sheets, we have a very detailed textbook, and there's work time/help sessions Sunday nights.

Like 2. That IRONSIDE show coming out. Saw the previews and it looks like it's worth a shot. How many other shows feature a cop in a wheelchair?

Like 3. My iPhone. I forgot to say, but before I went back to school and got an iPhone 4 (goodbye flip top!). I love it very much, and have already loaded a bunch of apps on it and have used to phone home. I'm glad to have it.

Dislike 1: Apparently the building where the digital photo lab is is locked on the weekends, so unless I go for the Sunday night help sessions, I basically can't do my Photojournalism homework over the weekend. Not that that's too bad; I only have one class Mon Wed Fri, so I can fit the hours in then, but still! :P

And quote!

"Do not go gentle into that good night, 
but Rage, rage against the dying of the light." -Dylan Thomas


Sunday, September 22, 2013

What's to Say?

Jambo jam! (I'm running out of greetings again.)

Hi Internet. It's been another week since last post. And I'm afraid not much has happened since then. One interesting bit is that the owner from one of the independent bookstores contacted me about a possible event. Haven't made anything official, but I will keep Mysteryscape in mind, and make an event as soon as I can.

Not much else. What do you write about on a blog when you have nothing to write about? (This is a serious question; go ahead and respond through the comment box). Because I don't know. I would actually put a a Writer's Tip if I had no news to share, but I'm running out of those too. (Another thing you can supply me with!)

Did I ever tell you guys how SA came about, by the way? It came to me through a song title from the band Story of the Year. I'd gotten it as an early present back when I was in high school, and I was listening to it, and their song 'Angel in the Swamp' came on. If you listen to the lyrics, you'll hear it's a song about an abusive relationship, but it was the title that got me. I was thinking, "What would a real swamp angel be like?" And after some more thinking, I cracked open my laptop and started banging out the first few words.

Five years later, here we are. :)

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Talking to myself. People think you're crazy if you do this, but frankly I think you're crazy if you DON'T do this.

Like 2: Getting through my first full week of college. Nine more to go!

Like 3: Snuggling under my blankets on a cold morning. Did this today; it was fabulous.

Like 4: Pope Francis' epic speech about abortion and gay rights. I knew there was a reason I liked the guy!

Dislike 1: Not having enough time during the day. There's so much to do, so much Internet to surf and Youtube to watch!



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back to School

Hi everybody!

Again, a two week break, but it was an important break! The reason I couldn't post was because I was moving back to college for my senior year. There was stuff to move and do, and I really didn't have the time to post anything (not that anything exciting had happened in the first place). But now I do, and now I have time, and considering I'm taking easier classes this term than last, I shouldn't have to put this on hold again. :)

So, for news, I've officially distributed most of the bookmarks SHP sent me. The majority was sent to Joseph Keehn, who's the library's go-to person for authors and promotions for all the libraries of Johnson County. So if you want one (and you're still in Kansas), go to your local library. Some other bookmarks were given to my grandmother to send to a friend of hers out of state. Apparently she has some kind of book club, and this is a good way to spread publicity that's not at home. Go Grandma!

Some other news is an email I received from Angela Parks, the teen librarian for the Olathe Public Library. She actually offered some book review and author websites where I can look over and request reviews and advice from. Haven't gotten any responses yet, but for the big site,, Rich says we can spare two copies of SA for them to look over. Haven't received anything back from the authors yet, but will tell you what they say.

Bi-Weekly (Dis)Likes

Like 1: I'm back at Knox. My home away from home!

Like 2: My classes. I'm taking a religious study course (I already like my professor for that class), Digital Photojournalism, and Modern Fiction. All very interesting, and all together not as difficult sounding as last term.

Like 3: My roommate. Her name's Lara, and though we haven't talked a lot because we're both quiet people, we get along just fine.


Dislike 1: The return of homework, assignments, and general stress. Like I said, the classes aren't as difficult as last term, so there shouldn't be as much stress,  but you can't help worrying. :P

Dislike 2: There's no bike rack around my dorm, so now my poor bike's down in the basement because apparently it's hurting someone to keep it in the front room, and I have to drag it up the stairs every time I want to use it. -_-

And quote:

Bye for now,