Posts tagged as “The Dresanians”
2020 Dragon Con Writer's Track Virtual Mentoring Guests We have 30 established authors and other publishing pros who've generously donated their time and expertise to host 15-minute, one-on-one mentoring sessions with aspiring authors. If you're signing up for an acquiring editor or publisher, you are welcome to pitch your completed book! If you are meeting with an established author, the door is pretty wide open. You can ask about craft. If you're struggling with something specific, you can ask them about it. We have a number of indie authors, so if you're interested in self-publishing, you can pick their brains. Think about what you want to get out of this dedicated one-on-one session and choose your mentor accordingly.So, who am I in all of this, if you're just encountering this link and haven't read my books or this blog?
If you're interested in talking with me about writing science fiction, urban fantasy, or steampunk, or would like to talk about a new book proposal of interest to Thinking Ink Press, the signup sheet for sessions is here: https://form.jotform.com/202435857025050. This is the first time we've done this virtually, but I've participated before in the live events (on the mentee end, rather than mentor :-D) and found it very valuable. So come on board, ask your questions, and help us make Virtual Dragon Con a success! Virtual Dragon Con is already running - and I've been on two recorded panels already for the Writer's Track, though I don't know when they'll air yet, just figuring that out myself - but please go check it out and help the world have fun in the face of the zombie apocalypse! -the Centaur
Anthony Francis - Thinking Ink Press & Author
Session schedule: Friday - 4:30, 4:50, 5:10, 5:30Secret origin: By day, Anthony Francis teaches robots to learn; by night, he writes the Dakota Frost urban fantasy series (FROST MOON, BLOOD ROCK and LIQUID FIRE) and the steampunk Jeremiah Willstone series (THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE). He's also an editor, and co-founded Thinking Ink Press. Genres & expertise: I'm a science fiction, urban fantasy and steampunk author with experience in space travel, general physics, artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive science, fictional magic and myth, and real and fictional military systems. Acquisition wishlist: we're looking for fresh voices in science fiction accessible to new audiences. We've recently published YA military science fiction and humorous cyberpunk novels featuring LGBTQIA characters, and have also published a series of steampunk anthologies.
I stand corrected. I thought I'd succeeded at Nanowrimo eleven times, and technically that's true. But it turns out that I've taken on a Nano challenge thirteen times and succeeded at it twelve - because of Script Frenzy.
Script Frenzy was the event that predated Camp Nanowrimo in April - a challenge to write 100 pages of a script in the month of April. I took on Script Frenzy once, in 2012 - I think that may have been the last year that it ran. Since 2014, I've been doing Camp Nanowrimo, and won at that twice. So every time I've taken on an official Nano challenge, I succeeded.
That's a little over a half a million words. Wow.
But I took on Nano one more time, on my own - in August of 2014. Perhaps because I lacked the support of the community - this was an "unofficial" Nano on my part - or perhaps because the book needed more editing than writing, I only got 10,000 words into the challenge that month. But I'm still very happy how it turned out.
So, to confirm: viiictory, twelve times.
… and not just because I sold 22 copies of my books at Clockwork Alchemy. Though that was a big part of it, the sales themselves aren't what really mattered to me; it was that 22 copies of my books are in people's hands, and they were in people's hands because for the very first time, I had an author's table.
For the four days that I sat behind that author's table, behind a fort of my books and my postcards and my wife's steampunk gears and shelves and even a small tiger, I became part of a community of people - and not just even the wonderful people at the Clockwork Alchemy author's alley, whom I hope to see again for years and years to come.
No, I became a part of the broader community of science fiction authors, connecting with their readers through science fiction conventions, the way I myself first really connected with the science fiction community, after many years of reading alone. I've been a published author for years, and written in a small community for longer, but now I feel connected as never before.
This is a new level of interaction, a new level of connection, a new opportunity for a whole family to create an author's delight by buying their books and holding them over their heads like mouse ears. Somehow, everything feels more real to me, and I am more inspired than ever before to keep writing and to get the ideas in my head out … and into yours.
I hope we both enjoy it! God bless,
For the 8th time, I have won National Novel Writing Month! This year, I knuckled down early, focusing on getting as much ahead as possible so I could coast early in the month. This really worked because my story soon started turning in unexpected directions as I mined the emotional relationships of the characters, rather than the overarching plot. And I think it worked well! Look at that:
I was successfully able to stay ahead of the game essentially for the whole month, enabling me to finish several days early. I hope to keep writing, to core dump the ideas I've had about the story, as while it is wonderful to find unexpected elements of the story (including a shout-out to one of my oldest childhood toys and the origin of the Dresanian universe) there's more to write.
But now I can take a more leisurely pace, read the giant stack of books I've accumulated to help me flesh out the plot ideas, and turn it all into something more interesting. For example, here's an interesting combination of plot and emotional interaction, none of which I ever really expected:
The mammoth city-sized collection of globules drifted by. Some were firm and puffy like gasbags; some soft like pillows, some trailing and drifting like punctured balloons. So many tentacles fell down from it that it looked like it was raining beneath. Slowly, the globules crested a ridge and began to sink.
Leonid’s mouth parted, but he maintained his firm, watchful, captain on deck boots-wide stance on the window, even though his legs had begun to cramp. Then the city slowly settled to the earth in a cloud of dust.
“It is a city,” Serendipity said. “Or something very much like one.”
“I’m not willing to give it that yet,” Leonid said, as the globules settled and burst, gas streaming up from some, gasbags lifting tentacles up from others, remarkably like towers. “But my mind is open to the possibility. Spores, your grandmother said.”
“Yes,” Serendipity said. “Perhaps the gasbags make the cities, and the spores that they release inhabit the cities. I don’t know—like she said, it appears most of the records of Halfway were sealed after the war. Damnit. And Greatgramma Clarice led me straight into this—”
“Sounds like a dick move,” Leonid said, “but you and your family are all geniuses. Let’s not give up on her just yet. Maybe she thought you were your grandmother’s granddaughter, that you were the right person to deal with Halfway.”
“Maybe,” Serendipity said uncertainly.
“One thing for certain,” Leonid said, smiling down at her, legs still firmly planted on the rail, cutting as heroic a pose as he could, “black sun or no, Halfway is a beautiful world—and we’re going to make the best of it.”
Then something slammed into the ship so hard it knocked him backwards into the soup.
So, my Nanowrimo winner's t-shirt is on it's way, I've "won" … but I've got a lot more to go to get this novel done.
At some point over the past weekend, I broke 40,000 words on Nano. This is no time to get complacent: even though I'm a few days ahead now - only 6200 words from the end - and I'm supposedly on vacation, I may need to go back to work tomorrow to deal with a minor, well, not crisis, but something that demands my attention.
So while that mountain above has impressive height and slope, it ends in a plateau, because the month of November is not done. And if you don't retain focus, you can end on that plateau, because the end of November is friends and family and Thanksgiving and Black Friday and the year-end scramble at work, if you have one.
SO while I have a lead, I'm going to do what I can to keep it. Speaking of which … I wrote 375 words between what I wrote above and the end of this article. Here's an excerpt:
“So, still thinking Halfway was a steal?” Sirius asked. “Was it worth it to spend your inheritance on the hideout of a war criminal, no doubt on her way back here?”
“She’s not a war criminal, and she’s not coming back,” Serendipity said. “She’s a prolific and nurturing mother. She would never have left her grandchild behind, much less her own daughter. Same rules as Norylan’s parents: if she could have come back, she would have—”
“Nurturing mother doesn’t mean,” Sirius said, “she wasn’t a war criminal.”
“A few hard choices don’t a monster make,” Serendipity said. “She led the First Contact mission between Dresan and Murra. For all practical intents and purposes, she founded the Dresan-Murran Alliance, the most harmonious grouping of aliens in the universe—”
“Founded on annihilating everyone who didn’t fit that mold?” Sirius said quietly.
For a moment, Serendipity didn’t say anything.
“I can’t take responsibility for the sins of someone who wasn’t even my ancestor,” Serendipity said, “but I’ll defend the values they bequeathed to me, values they developed trying to learn from their mistakes. When my grandmother came, I could have had her kill you all—”
“Hey!” Sirius said. Then he punched her arm. “Ass!”
“Hey!” Serendipity said back, feeling her arm. “Ow—”
“No, you couldn’t have had her kill us,” Sirius said. “She would have sliced up that blaster, and maybe lopped a few arms, or perhaps just gut checked a few of Toren’s goons with the back end of her scythe blades. Your back was turned. She took the room in an instant—”
“She’s a killer,” Serendipity said. “You don’t know her—”
“She’s a First Contact Engineer and a pregnant mother,” Sirius said. “I saw her face. Yes, she’s scary—I’ve never seen anyone that scary—but I could also see relief when she saw we were children. I refuse to believe she would just windmill through us all, rolling heads.”
Serendipity stared at him.
“I’m not sure I agree with you,” she said, “but I think you’re also making my point.”
Back to work.
In only tangentially related Nano news, the beta copies of LIQUID FIRE are on their way to beta readers, and signed copies of DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME are on their way to the winners! Huzzah. I hope you enjoy them!
Not that things are going poorly. They're actually going quite well… UPDATE:
Quite well indeed.
One of the great things about National Novel Writing Month is that it takes you into places you never anticipated. Well, for most of this month I've been working on Section 2 of MAROONED, "Conflicted", but much of what I've written today comes from Section 3, which I've alternately called "Determined" or "Galvanized". And the following section logically follows from the setup of the story … but I had no idea that it was going to happen. No idea at all:
“Buck up, spacer,” Eslyca said. “We’re at war. We have to make hard choices.”
“Like Toren said,” Kyrnal said. He shook his head. “Doesn’t mean I don’t regret it.”
They watched, from behind the cargo bay lights, as Leonid's crew kept punching. After a while, Eslyca got uncomfortable and shifted; then Kyrnal did the same thing, setting his hands and shifting his boots. But the crew below kept punching … and punching … and punching.
“How long are they going to keep this up?” Eslyca said. “Did she just say five hundred?”
“How long can they keep this up?” Kyrnal said. “And I thought they’d gone soft—”
“YOU THOUGHT WRONG,” boomed a deep mechanical voice behind them, and Kyrnal and Eslyca whirled to see the huge fox-like head of a robot the size of a cargo loader loom behind them, two scorpion-like pincers rising from its tail. “DON’T MOVE!”
Kyrnal whirled and tried to reach for his gun, but the scorpion-pincer shocked him. Eslyca dove aside, but a giant mechanical paw scooped her back up, then Kyrnal too, bringing both of them together—and in range of those darting pincers.
The paws spun them about, and Krynal felt the pincer snap tight on the upper safety harness attachment of his softsuit—the hardest to reach. He tried to grab for it and release himself, but when his hand touched the pincer, he got shocked again.
Then the robot shoved them both out into empty space.
Wait … who are Kyrnal and Eslyca? What do they regret? Why are they spying on Leonid's camp? What is Leonid's camp training for? Who's the robot? And will our intrepid young heroes or villains survive getting thrown out into space by this mechanical monster?
A day or so ahead now, taking a break to run errands. Onward!