Six Sentence Sunday – revised Father Ismay

December 4, 2011

Hi, everybody!

Now that November is over, I’m not immediately continuing my Star Patrol Nanowrimo project for Six Sentence Sunday. Instead, I’ll pick on another blogisode topic that I’ve rewritten more recently – the tale of Father Ismay. I hope that you like it.

Ismay was lighting candles on the Sanctuary prayer table when he heard someone pounding on the chapel doors. He blew out the tinder light and hurried into the dark antechamber as quickly as he could, but before he could get to the door, it was opening from outside and a tall, powerful man was carrying a slighter figure across the threshold. Once his eyes adjusted to the brightness of the noon sun spilling inside, he recognized the man as Flynn, the local butcher. “Saints above, Flynn – what’s wrong – is that Ian?”

“He collapsed in the middle of helping a customer in the market square, Father,” Flynn muttered. “Blasted fool still wanted his stewing shanks handed over, no matter what had happened to my own flesh and blood…”

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Star Patrol to the critters

May 17, 2011

I didn’t really get a chance to send the Star Patrol blogisodes over to the CSSF as a novel workshop sample – applications to the novel workshop have been closed for two months now. But I had a window of about a day and a half when I was seriously considering that, editing and proofreading the writing that I’d done so far, putting together an outline for the rest of the novel, and now I’m seriously wondering if I can get the entire book written this year.

So I decided to do something a bit new, and send the story so far to the critters workshop, along with the outline, and inviting critiques on that. Part of the way the critters structure works is that there’s very little downside in having something waiting in the queue to be sent out, (or out) all the time, if you actually have stuff that you want opinions on. You’re expected to do your weekly duty of critiques, (whether on the shorter pieces that are sent out weekly, or amortized on longer novel-length manuscripts) whether you have something waiting to be sent out or not.

My second short story for the critters, ‘Harry and Mars’, was sent out last Wednesday and critiques for it are due tomorrow, so I put together the revised Blogisodes, reformatted as chapters 1-2 of a novel manuscript tentatively titled “First Discovery”, and added the brief one-page synopsis of the novel’s plot. I’m not quite sure what kind of feedback I’ll get back from the critters, but hopefully it won’t be hard to wait to find out. It looks like if I’m lucky, I’ll get in at the end of the batch of stories sent out June 1st.


Sunday Blogisode Twelve

February 20, 2011

Blogisodes Index

“That’s alright,” Exec told him. “Are any of us feeling the worse for the extra oxygen in the air? Remember the symptoms that Peterson listed.”

“With respect, sir,” Jody replied. “I don’t recall you and Ensign Peterson discussing symptoms for hyperoxia, just treatment.”

“No?” Exec turned to Archer, who nodded a slow confirmation. “My mistake. As well as I can remember, you’ll want to be watching out for tunnel vision, ringing in your ears, nausea, severe anxiety, dizziness, or a frequent cough.”

Jody froze in her tracks. “Sir, then it might be hard for me to determine if I’m suffering from hyperoxia in time to receive treatment. I was already experiencing several of those symptoms before we landed. I ascribed them to Kane syndrome – the hyperspace sickness.”

Exec considered this. “Then you should probably go back inside the yacht, just as a precaution.”

“But what about when you find the natives? I can’t do my job if I can’t talk to them.”

“There’s the intercom,” Archer suggested. “Or we could bring them inside through the airlock.”

“I’m not a xenobiologist, but I think it’s a bad idea to bring a native of this planet into a lower-oxygen environment than they’re accustomed to,” I said.

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Sunday Blogisode Eleven

February 13, 2011

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The airlock was quite cramped with the Exec, Colin Archer, Jody and I crammed inside, but I was glad enough that nobody was being left out – especially because I didn’t want to be the one waiting behind – even if Melissa was staying back in the shuttle for now.

Lieutenant Archer hit one of the control buttons on the wall. There was a hissing sound and I felt a noticeable pressure building in my ears. After a moment, Archer turned to Exec and actually saluted, which in the tight quarters made that he was step closer to Jody, to avoid putting his elbow through the wall. “External pressure has equalized, sir. I do not see any need to equalize atmospheric composition with the outside.”

“By no means, Lieutenant. Let’s take a look outside.”

So Archer opened up the external door, and I could feel the planet’s breeze blowing in, smelling exotic but fresh. I wasn’t quite sure if I could really feel the increased oxygen content, or if I was imagining that part.

The sun was at a high angle from behind the shuttle, so that the shadow stretched for about a meter and a half in front of the door. The sun was just a trace bluer than the sun of Earth was, and I wondered if that spectral difference was what made the sky seem slightly greenish and the shadows a kind of a muddy brown.

“I think that we’ve been noticed,” Archer said, pointing out the door. “If I’m right, he’s making tracks for the center of the base.”

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Sunday Blogisode Ten

February 6, 2011

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“The space habitats could be regressing too,” Archer argued back. “That’s why they don’t communicate with each other or… or use spaceships. Except for that one Walker saw.”

I did my best to ignore the bickering and started scanning for something more useful on the planet, like where would be a good place to land.

“I’m picking up a lot of useful data,” I admitted once there was a lull in the conversation about the space habitats and personnel shuttles. “The sensors on this ship are really good, and we’re getting close to the planet. I see a fair bit of wilderness of all biomes, climates, and terrains… plenty of cultivated land and small settlements, but only a few gatherings that could be described as – well, even as small towns, really.”

“That figures,” Jody grumbled. “Planet of the hick farmers. It’s of a piece with everything else we’ve found in this double-damned solar system.” There was a pause. “Sorry, Brett, but I think – just a suspicion, mind you, that my pain meds might be wearing off.”

“Probably right, but I can’t spare the time to recheck you just now,” Gary told her. “And we’re going to be coming in for a landing pretty soon, which will probably increase the stress on your system. Umm, Melissa, do you think that you could possibly…”

“I’ll check on Ensign Quinton,” Exec snapped. “I might not have ever taken the time for a formal field medic certification, but I’ve had to pitch in for a doctor under desperate circumstances before, and I saw what you were doing earlier, pilot Peterson. It’s not exactly rocket science.”

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Sunday Blogisode Nine

January 30, 2011

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As we drew close to the planet, I was actually on full-time duty as navigator while Gary piloted – it was my job to observe and find out more information about the natives as we approached the space that they were occupying.

“The space habitats are definitely viable and inhabited,” was the first report I made. “I don’t have quite enough resolution to catch a clear look of the inhabitants, but they look… well, they seem to be walking upright, like humans, but I’m not so sure about ‘biped.’ Might be three or four legs each, in addition to arm-like appendages. And there’s some other living creatures that might be livestock, or… well, it’s probably pointless to guess without more information.”

“Why didn’t we plan to go to one of the habitats?” Jody asked crossly. I could tell that she was really getting tired of the acceleration couch, and maybe the pain drugs that Gary had given her were wearing off.

“A few reasons,” the exec put in when nobody else volunteered. “Mostly we had no idea if they’d have a dock facility that would fit this ship. Especially since we couldn’t observe one of their own ships in flight…”

“Hey, I think one’s launching!” I exclaimed. Exec grunted doubtfully. “Just let me capture the video… sheesh, it’s a fast little bugger!”

When it was all done, I played the footage on the screen in the passenger compartment, so that the rest of the team could see it – a somewhat shaky re-enactment of a tiny little capsule speeding through space towards a distant space habitat. I’d have loved to get a clear look at the docking procedure, but the end of the trip was extreme range, and the capsule flew behind the destination habit just at the end.

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Time to break out of the word count slump.

December 17, 2010

I haven’t written many new words since Nanowrimo ended. For a while there, I didn’t feel like I really could – writing seventy thousand words in thirty days is a bit draining on that creative faculty, so I needed time to recharge, and I’ve been working on other facets of my writing like critiquing other people’s stuff and proofreading.

But I put down 16,000 words as my December total on Stringing Words, and my grand total so far is fifteen hundred and fifteen – from the two Star Patrol blogisodes I’ve already posted. Nine and a half percent of my target, with fifty three percent of the month gone. Time to get moving a bit.

Hopefully, it shouldn’t be that hard to get the words to start flowing. 14.5k in two weeks isn’t that much for a Nano-er, after all. I picked the word count goal based on how much I’d figure to do four blogisodes, and write chapter updates for two of my Roswell crossovers.

So time to stop blogging and actually WRITE, if you know what I mean!


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