Tag Archives: Science fiction

Reviving the barely living blog.

West Hall, Valdosta State University

West Hall, Valdosta State University (Photo credit: jadjadjad)

In a couple more months it will have been almost a year since I have written a blog. In the interim, however, not all of my writing has gone half so wrong. And much has happened, although not all of it is of note.  But before I get into everything else, allow me to apologize for my absence. I had to sink myself wholly into my graduate studies, and if I didn’t I may not have continued. I seem to be slightly obsessive compulsive when it comes to doing one thing. I can do that one thing fully and completely, but then everything else falls by the wayside. While it may not be o/c, this is not the first time I’ve noticed this tendency in myself. I hope that when I have a full-time librarianship, and hopefully more time, it means I’ll throw myself into my writing with abandon.

And here’s the important news, I’m just about half-way through my graduate studies. When I first started in the MLIS program, I had no idea what APA, let alone how to use it. I’d never taken a fully online class. And to be honest, I felt like I was drowning. I’m quite afraid if I hadn’t given up everything, for a little while at least, I was going to fail. I very nearly did barely scraping the two “B”s that I needed to continue my studies. Since then, my grades have gotten better. I can at least understand APA, even if I am still wrestling with how to arrange my time in fully online classes.

As things with my online classes have gotten better, my writing has improved. I have a new best friend: Google Drive. Yep. I save almost everything in Google now. From ideas, to bits of inspiration, to excerpts from stories, and full short stories. The only thing not on there, my novels. Google Drive is the most accessible, travel-ready storage in the universe beyond the human brain. And for some reason, my brain can’t always keep what I “write” in my head especially when I’m awake. Gradually, as I’ve become more accustomed to my studies, new home (almost one year here), and job, I’ve been able to “find” more time for writing. Something for which I’ve been grateful as life without writing is a drag.

But it also seems that my interest has shifted from fantasy towards speculative and science fiction. My husband says I’ve been watching too many movies, he made that comment an hour ago when I told him of my dream that I had to write down before I forgot. But the most recent movie I’ve seen in the theater is Les Miserables, and the most recent at home is Brave. In fact, I haven’t watched a science fiction movie since…I’m not really sure as I don’t watch many movies anymore. Even my TV watching is more geared toward fantasy and/or contemporary fiction rather than science fiction (Once Upon A Time, Monk, and a few oldies that I grew up with thanks to Netflix).

I now have a new project. Thanks to my acid dreams that I’ve come to welcome as inspiration. My most recent short stories have all been inspired by dreams. I have one complete short story, roughly 5K words, that was started at the end of January. I finished it a few days ago is about humans becoming the abducting aliens causing terror among other beings. That was quite fun to write. But now that I have wasted enough time babbling to everyone who will listen, perhaps I will spend my next hour or so before sunrise to start hashing out last night’s dream into a real story.

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Filed under Graduate School, The Writing Life, Writing

Writing for the Paranormal: Part One

So, I’ve been MIA, actually I had a couple of nephews  over for a while and was unable to blog when I wanted to.  While I’m still trying to keep up with the 30 Days of writing, I happened upon a rather interesting exercise. Since the genre that I’m writing is in the paranormal/fantasy genres, I thought that finding genre related exercises would be more productive towards my writing goals. 

Today’s challenge: create a paranormal object.

Pick an ordinary object and infuse it with some kind of power (eg shoes that make you invisible). Now describe its physical appearance in minute detail: How big is it? Color? Shape? Texture? Etc.  Then give it a background. Where/when/who made the object? Everything you can think of. How did the object get to where it is now? What is this supernatural power? The object must have rules: strengths and limitations. How and who can access these powers? Ready? Go!

So here’s what I came up with: “sunglasses” that can let the wearer see souls, living and dead. Creepy? Now put it in the hands of a psychologist. Picture this: small, round spectacles with a gold-toned metal frame. The top half lens is light blue, and the bottom half is a slightly darker blue. They look much like the bifocals of Benjamin Franklin’s time.

It was made by an optician, Stephen Louis Walker, in the 1840s on the same day he died. They were meant to be bifocals that would also protect against the sun for the mayor’s wife. However, Stephen Walker died before getting these bifocals to the intended recipient, and his son-in-law, a pastor, found the bifocals and sent them to the mayor. However, when the mayor’s wife placed them on her face she saw the living and the dead. She fainted, and returned them to Walker’s son-in-law demanding repayment. The pastor gave the money back and soon realized why they had been returned. He exorcised them, thinking them of the devil, locked them in a box and threw them into a river.

The box lay at the bottom of the river for some time, until one day it was found by a psychiatrist on a fishing trip. At first she was just going to throw away the box, but something about it called to her. She took it home as a souvenir and eventually opened it. She took them to the appraiser, who had never seen anything quite like them. When the appraiser looked through the glasses, the psychiatrist seemed a greyish-green, and there was someone else there as well. Someone who was not really in the store. Thinking that they were defective, but still old, the appraiser gave it a smaller value. And that is the story of how the glasses got to where they are now. 🙂

As for powers: The glasses help you see the true souls of the living and the dead. But in addition, the souls’ appearance changes on whether they lean towards good or bad, and health or death. The more translucent the soul, the better the person. The color of the soul shifts depending on the health of the person, black is dying, white is dead, green is perfect health, while reddish/brownish spots indicate problem areas, and yellow is sickly (something that cannot be located in just one part of the body, like the flu). There is no way to communicate to those already dead through the glasses. It is unable to tell what it was that made the person good or bad.

So there you are, a pair of old, and rather odd-looking, sunglasses that let you see into someone’s soul. What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Would you like to see into another’s soul, their essence? What powers would you imbue upon an ordinary object?

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Filed under Writer's Digest 30 Day Challenge, Writing