Monday Musings: New Fiction Coming, What Happened to the Weekend?, and the Great Outdoors (or at least, My Yard).
I’ve not been doing a very good job of getting the news out that I have new fiction coming out later this month (I hope!), but it is coming still. It’s a science fiction story, and could be called either a long short story or a short novelette, depending on where you draw your word count lines. Whichever way you go, it is a short, not novel length. It is called “Survival of the Fittest,” and it’s a bit dystopian, although it does have hope, since I am not the full-on gloom and doom type. Here’s the description:
A hundred years after Earth’s final environmental collapse, the human population is scattered, living in deep caves or underground to escape the heat and radiation that still ravage the planet. But some species adapted better to the changes. Sam, a genetically engineered lizard, is part of an ongoing program to discover what allowed his kind to evolve so quickly. Intelligent, able to communicate, and make decisions, is Sam a person or an experiment? When another survivor of the devastation threatens the promising food crops being developed, Sam may be given the chance to prove himself.
“Survival of the Fittest” is a short novelette, set in a future dystopian Earth, where humans have caused the destruction of much of the climate. It will be available from the finest e-book retailers soon.
Again, it should be available as an e-book toward the end of the month.
This past weekend was a good one, but I realized this morning it seemed to go by awfully fast. Not that this is surprising. Most weekends seem to fly by. Thing is, I’m not really sure what went on over those two days. Saturday was pretty much a lay-back and do nothing much day, and Sunday, we went on the pack walk with Lambeau, and the BaldMan mowed the lawn, but again, it was a quiet, slow sort of day. We did sit on the deck for a bit in the evening, having a snack and drinks, while we waited for the grill to get up to temperature. It’s nice to be able to do that again. At least until the mosquitoes show up.
We did not get out for a bike ride this weekend. Both of us were having some uncomfortableness, so we decided not to push it. I was kind of glad. I mean, I certainly could use the exercise, but this was just a weird sort of weekend and I had no enegy at all.
The garden is beginning to grow, finally. The pea vines are getting bigger every day, the beans are sprouting, and there are radish, lettuce, and greens shoots poking through. The tomato, pepper, and other seeds I started indoors are growing and waiting for their turn to be added to the garden proper. I planted flower seeds this year in the deck boxes and the front planter. They are growing, also. I transplanted the chives from the porch into one of the deck boxes. We have chives growing indoors, but I think the purple flowers of the chive plants are pretty, so I put them in the box to let them flower. The birds are at the feeders and the birdbath all the time. Glad to see both male and female oriole back this year. And the cardinal pair, also. I have also seen hummingbirds at the feeders occasionally, so they are back, also. We are getting red-winged blackbirds this year, as well. I also have the usual chickadees, blue jays, nuthatches, titmice, purple finches, and goldfinches, as well as sparrows and wrens. I like having the birds around. They add color and sound to the yard.
The pond is up and running now. I trimmed the dead stalks from the reeds, and they are greening up nicely. The Siberian iris at the edge of the pond are coming nicely, and, I think, will need splitting this year. I’ll just put in a few more bunches around the pond edge. I do like the color of those, and the yellow flag iris that are mixed in.
It’s really nice to see all the green and color out there now. After a long, tiring Winter, it is a welcome sight, at least to me!
Today, I am doing an interview with Ryan Nelson, a California writer whose YA novel, Gravity+, is available now for pre-order on Amazon, with versions for Nook, Kobo, and other readers to follow. The pre-order link is below.
Ryan T. Nelson lives, primarily, in his own little world. One filled with Goblins, Ghouls, Monsters, and the Fantastic. But don’t worry, they know him there. When he isn’t creating monsters and fantasy creatures or building worlds and advanced civilizations in his head, Ryan lives in Southern California with his wife and children. He is a lover of books, fountain pens, pockets watches, and motorcycles.
When the ship landed we shouldn’t have gone near it. We really should have run away, called the police, the media, the FBI, anything other than what we actually did.
We were ten high school kids. Six friends and four bullies.
Now, after the ship, we’re so much more.
More than Human.
But the other four are dangerous, and unless my friends and I learn to control the powers that we have been given the others are going to hurt so many innocent people.
I don’t want to be a hero. I don’t want to risk my family and my friends. But the police won’t be able to handle what’s coming their way. If we don’t stop him, then no one else on Earth can.
A new species of the human race has begun.
The Human+ have arrived.
Gravity+ is available now for pre-order order on Amazon Kindle at the following link.
1) Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Ryan Nelson. I’m a husband, father, writer, and motorcycle enthusiast. I’ve lived my entire life in Southern California and couldn’t really imagine living anywhere else.
2) Where did you get the idea for your story?
That’s a little difficult to define. I was thinking about some old series from when I was younger in books and cartoons and I wanted to do something with superheroes. I’ve loved comic books my entire life so the story just gradually grew out of that love of the genre.
3) What was your favorite part to write?
Definitely the climactic fight sequence. That was a lot of fun and I loved the interaction between Richard and Carlos as they were coming up with their plan of attack.
4) The biggie (LOL): Planner or discovery writer?
A little bit of both actually. I outline chapters and individual scenes as ideas come to me. But when I actually get to writing, I rather quickly go off script and start making things up as I go.
5) Who are some of your favorite writers? Why?
Piers Anthony, Tolkien, Bruce Coville, Neil Gaiman, Patricia C. Wrede, Dean Koontz, Anne McCaffrey and more.
The common link is their rich imaginations. They create whole worlds and civilizations with structure and rules that make sense even in a made up world where the rules don’t HAVE to make sense.
That always inspired me when I was younger, and they are among the examples that I strive to reach.
Went to see the D.O. at our doctor’s office on Monday for my knee. He thinks it is an arthritis flare, not the bursitis my doctor thought. He said he didn’t detect any bursitis or ligament or tendon issues. But there definitely is swelling and discomfort. He gave me a steroid injection, and, Holy Drug Test Failure, Batman, has it ever helped! For the first time in a long time, my knee does not hurt when I walk the dog. I even managed to kneel on it for a while outside today, and it feels pretty good right now. I am pleased. I just hope it lasts until I go back in a few weeks.
I will finally get to see Age of Ultron this week. Stephanie and I are going on Thursday afternoon. I like the fact that my Marvel movie partner has days off during the week. Afternoon show, nice quiet theater. Ah, yes!
Saturday was yard work day. The BaldMan did some fallen branch clean-up, put the mower deck on the tractor, and mowed the lawn. I planted a lot of stuff in the garden and watered it in, planted the container for the front porch and the back deck (I am starting a mix of flowers from seed this year), and did the first clean-up of the pond and got the filter and waterfall running. I need to wait until the filter cleans up some of the stirred-up muck off the bottom to see what else needs to be scooped out. I also transplanted some chives to a box planter on the porch. In the evening, I sat down with a nice drink and some chips, salsa, and guacomole, followed by steak, rice pilaf, and asparagus. It was a good day.
Sunday was another walk day for Lambeau with the group of dogs we’ve been walking with. It will be interesting to see how this week goes. I put him in a prong collar. Yeah, I know. I was reluctant to do it, too. But he is just too darned strong for me to be effective controlling him when he gets overexcited and wants to go. We were not really making much progress on teaching him to be calm around other dogs. We’ve been working with it for a week now, and he is responding to very light corrections, even with other dogs around. I hope it works to remind him to listen to me, and not lose control and try to take off.
And after the walk, we are hoping to get out on the bikes for the first time this year. That should feel good. It won’t be a long ride this time, since we haven’t been on them for months, and will most likely need to build up some strength and endurance. Still, I’m looking forward to it. Our trikes are fun!
For Mother’s Day dinner, the menu included sangria, smoked ribs, and potato salad. Mmmmmmmm!
If you follow my Facebook author page, you have seen this already. I am going to try to get more stuff out on the ebook sale sites from now on. Most of it will be shorter: long(ish) short stories, novelettes, maybe a novella. I want to try to get something out every month or so. And still work on the novel length stories, of course. With a goal of at least one every year. The first is (right now) scheduled for later this summer- maybe July or August. And the first short piece should be out at the end of this month. If all goes according to plan. If I figure out what I want for covers. If I finish the edits and revisions. Gah! That sounds like too many ifs!
(Picture is the pond from last year- all cleaned up and running, which it will look like again, soon.)
We were in Somers, CT for the 30th annual New England Regional Chili Cook Off this weekend. We did not cook. I was scorekeeper and the BaldMan was Chief Judge for one of the cook offs. Yes, I said “one of.” There were two cook offs, both on Saturday. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. It was… interesting. It was also hectic, sometimes confusing, exhausting, and one hell of a lot of work. But it was also a gorgeous day, got a good crowd, and we qualified some really good cooks for the World’s Championship Cook Off. We got to CT on Friday and came home on Sunday. I am still brain dead, and physically tired. Even so, it was a great weekend. Although I have to say, I don’t think I ever want to do a two-fer again!
Spring is in full force here now. The forsythia at the back door is in all its glory, and tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are popping up everywhere. The weather has warmed up nicely and I have a few things planted in the garden already. The asparagus is starting to get tall enough to cut. The grass is green and the birds are nesting. Yes, I think Spring is finally here!
Today is Star Wars Day. So when you see all the postings of May the Fourth Be With You, you will know why. I am looking forward to the new movie. So far, it seems like it is going to be pretty decent. I know a lot of people didn’t like the last set of films, but I found things to like in all of them. Perfect? No, but what is? And just because something doesn’t fit your headcannon, doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong. Now, if it doesn’t fit MY headcannon that is another story altogether. (Just kidding. You can do what you want. I’ll just fanfic it to fit my idea of how the story should go. :) )
I think that is about it for this week. My brain is tired, and I can’t think of anything else I need to say. Have a good week! May the Fourth Be With You!
If you are considering self-publishing, read this. And beware.
Originally posted on David Gaughran:
Author Solutions has forged partnerships with a long list of famous names in publishing – from Simon & Schuster and Hay House to Barnes & Noble and Reader’s Digest.
Recent disclosures in various lawsuits, along with information sent to me by a Penguin Random House source, detail for the very first time exactly how these partnerships work and the damage they are causing.
Since a second suit was filed at the end of March, Author Solutions is now facing two class actions, with the new complaint alleging unjust enrichment and exploitation of seniors on top of the usual claims of fraud and deceptive practices. It also has a wonderfully precise summary of Author Solutions’ operations:
Author Solutions operates more like a telemarketing company whose customer base is the Authors themselves. In other words, unlike a traditional publisher, Author Solutions makes money from its Authors, not for them. It does so…
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