Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Speakeasy is out.

Hi, all.

My name is Dawn, I write under the name of D. L. Jackson. I’m a RR writer and thrilled to be able to share space with such a talented and fantastic group. I have three shorts in the anthologies, Men in Shorts, Sex and Shoes and the new Hot Dads or DILF Anthology. I also have a fourth short published as a stand-alone, Speakeasy. Which I’d love to tell you about.

Here’s a brief blurb:

You hauling anything illegal, Miss?

The roaring 20’s, guys and dolls, gangsters and prohibition. Leah is an outlaw, smuggling liquor to the speakeasies in New Orleans in a time when getting caught meant you might not see the outside of a cell again. In a chance encounter with Max on Christmas Eve, she learns there’s a bigger adrenaline high than transporting booze across state lines. Getting Max to chase her. Better yet—getting caught.

I’ve often been asked where I come up for the inspiration for the stories I write. Honestly? Life. When writing Speakeasy, the inspiration came from two sources. The first is this elderly woman who comes into the bank every week where I work. She has a walker and usually a cookie or muffin wrapped in a napkin, tucked away in her pocket to share with the teller who waits on her. We’ll call her Mary. Mary is in her nineties, a hunched back from weak bones, pale skin, almost translucent with age. Her once clear blue eyes are now hazed over with cataracts and her hair is pure white. I never realized how beautiful Mary was, until a gentleman stepped up to my window one day as she was leaving. “There goes the most beautiful doll in the world.”

He smiled as if he held a great secret. In fact he did.

“You should have seen her in her glory days. She used to sit on the piano and sing. There wasn’t a man in town that wasn’t in love with her. She’d walk down the street and they’d all stop to stare.” It got me to thinking…

I pulled out an old photo of my grandparents, when they were young. They were standing beside an old car, my grandfather’s foot on the running board, a rose in my grandmother’s mouth. Just like Bonnie and Clyde, wanting to look wild and reckless. My grandparents recently celebrated their 75th anniversary. I asked my grandfather. “What was grandma like in her youth?”

“The first time I saw her, I couldn’t speak. She was all I saw and the clocks stopped ticking.” Poetic for an old cowboy in his nineties. Who were the passionate hearts of generations past? Who were those women that sat on the pianos, worked as nurses when the profession was a questionable choice for a single woman, the cowgirls that inspired the cowboy’s songs and poetry. Who were the women who made the clocks stop ticking? What were their stories?

Have you ever asked your grandmother, your mother the tales of her youth? You might be surprised at the passionate tales they have and sometimes questionable things they did. Were they the beauties that set the county’s hearts aflame or the quiet girl who stole your grandfather’s every thought with one look?

Here’s to the woman who weren’t afraid to love and take chances. Here’s to Mary, Opal and Marjory. May your stories live on in your posterity and in our hearts. May I do them justice when I tell them.

Now go on, dig out those old photos. I know you want to.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Anna in the Middle - out today!!

The blurb
Anna is in the middle of a mess. She's being stalked by a manipulative guy who's about to marry her sister and has everyone convinced Anna is jealous. Her luck changes when she meets tall, blond and gorgeous Jax. But after a scorching night of sex, Anna discovers something that makes her think he's married.

Jax is in the middle of a dilemma. He's torn between the man he loves and a woman he's just met. Tracking her down means risking what he already has—but he wants them both. Jax is desperate to find her, but will she understand what he has to tell her?

Will is in the middle of heartache. He knows Jax loves him, though he's never said it. He also knows Jax has found a woman. Torn between being a good friend and Jax's lover, Will's not sure their relationship will survive. The only way to find out is to locate Anna for Jax. But when Will finds her, he discovers the reason Jax has fallen so hard.

available now from Ellora's Cave


Enigma of the Industry: Arlene

I wish I can verbalize reality as well as I can make believe, but seeing as I can't, I went ahead and stole the following from Nathan Bransfords blog.

Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer

Writers aren't generally known as the happiest lot. As a recent Guardian survey of some top writers shows, even the best ones don't particularly enjoy it all that much. And in case you think this is a new development, an 1842 letter from Edgar Allen Poe to his publisher recently surfaced in which he was found apologizing for drinking so much and begging for money.

But believe it or not, writing and happiness can, in fact, go together. For our Thursday entry in Positivity Week, here are ten ways for a writer to stay positive:

1. Enjoy the present. Writers are dreamers, and dreamers tend to daydream about the future while concocting wildly optimistic scenarios that involve bestsellordom, riches, and interviews with Ryan Seacrest. In doing so they forget to enjoy the present. I call this the "if only" game. You know how it goes: if only I could find an agent, then I'll be happy. When you have an agent, then it becomes: if only I could get published, then I'll be happy. And so on. The only way to stay sane in the business is to enjoy every step as you're actually experiencing it. Happiness is not around the bend. It's found in the present. Because writing is pretty great — otherwise why are you doing it?

2. Maintain your integrity. With frustration comes temptation. It's tempting to try and beat the system, whether that's by having someone else write your query, lying to the people you work with, or, you know, concocting the occasional fake memoir. This may even work in the short term, but unless you are Satan incarnate (and I hope you're not) it will steadily chip away at your happiness and confidence, and your heart will shrivel and blacken into something they show kids in health class to scare them away from smoking. Don't do it.

3. Recognize the forces that are outside of your control. While it's tempting to think that it's all your fault if your book doesn't sell, or your agent's fault or the industry's fault or the fault of a public that just doesn't recognize your genius, a lot of times it's just luck not going your way. Chance is BIG in this business. Huge. Gambling has nothing on the incredibly delicate and complex calculus that results in a book taking off. Bow before the whims of fate, because chance is more powerful than you and your agent combined.

4. Don't neglect your friends and family. No book is worth losing a friend, losing a spouse, losing crucial time with your children. Hear me? NO book is worth it. Not one. Not a bestseller, not a passion project, nothing. Friends and family first. THEN writing. Writing is not an excuse to neglect your friends and family. Unless you don't like them very much.

5. Don't Quit Your Day Job. Quitting a job you need to pay the bills in order to write a novel is like selling your house and putting the proceeds into a lottery ticket. You don't have to quit your job to write. There is time in the day. You may have to sacrifice your relaxation time or sleep time or reality television habit, but there is time. You just have to do it.

6. Keep up with publishing industry news. It may seem counterintuitive to follow the news of a business in which layoffs currently constitute the bulk of headlines. But it behooves you to keep yourself informed. You'll be happier (and more successful) if you know what you're doing.

7. Reach out to fellow writers. No one knows how hard it is to write other than other people who have tried to do it themselves. Their company is golden. If you're reading this it means you have an Internet connection. Reach out and touch a writer. And plus, the Internet allows you to reach out to writers without smelling anyone's coffee breath.

8. Park your jealousy at the door. Writing can turn ordinary people into raving lunatics when they start to believe that another author's success is undeserved. Do not begrudge other writers their success. They've earned it. Even if they suck.

9. Be thankful for what you have. If you have the time to write you're doing pretty well. There are millions of starving people around the world, and they're not writing because they're starving. If you're writing: you're doing just fine. Appreciate it.

10. Keep writing. Didn't find an agent? Keep writing. Book didn't sell? Keep writing. Book sold? Keep writing. OMG an asteroid is going to crash into Earth and enshroud the planet in ten feet of ash? Keep writing. People will need something to read in the resulting permanent winter.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Enigma of the Industry: Arlene

Frustration....writing at work and getting interrupted every two minutes.

Frustration...something up with Microsoft word and it's taking too long between clicks to load unless I reboot every couple hours.

Frustration....my problems with writing stem from writing a tome, 3 book series, without learning how to write first so rewrites are sooooo boring.

The editor at Tor publishing would not have misunderstood me if he hadn't been exhausted and I hadn't stalked and approached him without the ten minute time slot which I would have had if I'd booked before he filled up.

If I wasn't such a timid dreb, the social skills of a wall flower, I'd have slept the night before and could have engaged the thought in my head, 'new age is hippy-angel religious stuff, right?' But my photon is evil out of my mouth, and he'd have laughed and listened further.

So, my words of wisdom are: It's not always the agent-publisher, but the writer who thinks they have something, and they do, but they can't or won't or don't take the time to get it out of their head correctly.

And, conferences are alot of fun, but sign up for the entire thing in case you do want a chance to talk with someone further and never listen to an older sister who think it's a matter of image. Dress presentable, but comfortable. You're selling yourself, not a polished version that isn't really you and sneakers make your brain work better than borrowed heels.

This is an ego thing--Your Baby--and if the real world doesn't fall all over it, or you can't present it right, there's a zillion others out there willing to do the work, so you either write something else to open a door, or keep trying with rewrites and other publishers/agents until finally you draw the longer straw and someone in the business strikes a spark with you.

An update on me in this moment in time? I'm in family counseling with the series, but leaning toward divorce. I'm pushing a teenager stand-alone out the door and, yippee, I'm trying to get pregnant with something I don't have a clue what it'll turn out to be and I'm boggled down with crits maintaining a lovely symbiotic relationship with people who understand.

Enigma of the Industry: Laurie

Arlene—we're missing your words of wisdom. Maybe you'd like to comment on your frustrations with SE, like the editor you pitched who dismissed it as "new age" because he keyed in on certain words and assumed it was about angels, when it's really SF with a basis in physics. Do agents and editors really take the time to listen? Maybe they just don't have the time to listen--another enigma in itself. I recently heard a story of how one agent lamented that she'd wished she'd had a shot at a particular best selling novel, and the writer just smirked and (to her credit) said nothing , because she in fact HAD queried her and been rejected.

Also, I'd like to challenge some never do this advice often given to pre-published authors:

"You should never write additional books in the series until your first novel has sold and done well."

I beg to differ. Why not write a series if that's what inspires you? A waste of time? Writing is never a waste of time when you're churning out work that pleases you. If you're pleased, chances are your potential fans will be too. Maybe more than pleased. And wouldn't this solve the enigma if your first novel does go gangbusters and the reading public comes back with the demand of more, more, MORE! You already have it, have it, HAVE IT! and you know it's not going to be a disappointment because you and your muse had time to collaborate on a great story and work out the kinks without the dread deadline thundercloud looming on the horizon.

Let's face it, most of us don't write for the money, we write to tell a great tale that we want to share with the world. So if the inspiration keeps you writing with enthusiasm for three or four novels, then more power to ya! You aren't wasting your time, and you may just be building your future dynasty with a solid backlist of offerings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Enigma of the Industry: Barbara

I think the author who has a stockpile ready once the first is accepted - is pretty much par for the course. Another CC member - who writes MM BDSM has had that happen to her. One novella accepted and they leapt on the others she'd already written.

I think for epublishers - there is less pressure on authors. I had a few chatty emails from one editor asking when she could expect my next but there was no pressure. Its different for the print guys who have to work to tight schedules and plan things years in advance. The epublishers don't have to do much more than space out their author's releases.

The fact that I had several in my pocket has taken off the pressure - in that even if I had a book accepted today - it wouldn't be put out for several months. So technically, I need to keep writing to keep up a reasonable publishing schedule - and that is more to keep in the reader's mind than anything else. I have heard of writers pushed by readers to write faster, write more of the same, etc. - not happened to me yet!

The other interesting thing is with more than one publisher to write for (the case for ebooks and not print) - how do you decide who to write for next?? You're usually tied in to one publisher for certain types of book. The contracts mean you have to submit each subsequent work to them. I feel now it would be tricky for me to write paranormal for EC - even in a different series.

But I think all this is easily handled by writers without agents. It's in the print world that you need their help. But with that help comes pressure.

Enigma of the Industry: Laurie

An author who is just about to publish her third book (and at least so far seems to be turning out utterly fantastic sequels) covered this issue on her blog and said that the editors and agents expect writers to be professionals. Okay, understandable, but a muse is a many splendored thing, but it's hard to pound your round muse into a square hole when it comes to having a flash of brilliant inspiration, or knowing just how to "fix" a scene or element that isn't working, or kick out a product by a specific date. You can't send a memo saying, "Muse, I have a project for you. I want you to write a 100,000 word, utterly brillaint, take-reader's-breath-away story with a can't-put-it-down plot, characters and premise, and I want it to be perfected and ready to go to press by this date." And your muse will laugh and say, "Oh reaaaaally? You want it WHEN?"

On the flip side, agents, editors and publishing houses need you on some sort of a schedule if they are going to be partners in building your career and making you a success. They can't except an answer like, "Hmmm, well, I dunno. Counting muse vacation time, plot development sabbaticals, research vacations and negotiating detours around potential plot roadblocks...I should get back to you in two or three years with a novel that will knock your socks off." Not gonna fly.

So how do you avoid getting in a jam? I think Barbara had the right idea, or maybe just the PERFECT TIMING (sorry, couldn't resist the plug) by completing a score of novels before her first sale. (A situation I think Dawn is also going to be in with her myriad of projects.) Of course, Barbara also writes at warp speed (compared to my impulse power), but it took her years to develop the system that works for her and results in a saleable product in a relatively short time. Even so, now that her stockpile of novels has been pretty much sold out, she'll be in the situation of producing on demand.

Barbara, any thoughts you'd like to share on that?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Enigma of the Industry: Dawn

As for deadlines, I think more writers need to be up front with their publishers. The publisher asks, can you do it in six months. Can you? If you're not sure you better speak up. Nothing like locking yourself into a three book deal and not keeping up on your end. If you rush, will it be substandard? I've heard horror stories. When you sign that contract, you better be damn sure you can do it. If not, you're putting your career and name on the line. What can happen is you turn out a great first novel, the next one sucks and then not only are you out money and time, you're out readers who had faith in your work. The third ends up dropped by your publisher and you're lucky if they don't drop you.

Yes it's damn hard getting published, harder yet staying there. You have to be honest, with yourself and your publisher. I've waited a year for a book to come out and I survived the wait. Fans waited for Harry Potter, they wait for Jim Butcher, Karen Marie Moning. Writers can say "No, I need longer." Especially if the book you deliver lives up to expectations.

So are ya'll asking me to pity these successful authors because they don't know how to say "No, I need more time than you're suggesting?"

Beginning authors get crucified for less.

Enigma of the Industry: Laurie

Dawn, you hit the nail on the head (amen, amen and amen!) with that. Let me add my two cents worth:

Personally, I think deadlines kill creativity. I've said that many times, and I acknowledge it's a viscous cycle. You write a book that's inspired, entertaining, popular and a huge success, and suddenly the world wants more...more...more...now...now!...NOW! How can anyone create good work under that kind of pressure, let alone a sequel that's half what it could be, or what fans expect it to be?

A blog I frequent recently posted a link to another author's blog who is in such a situation. He's had to push back the deadline on his next novel, and apparently his "fans" are getting downright homicidal about it, and putting him under tremendous pressure. He wrote a bit of a rant just to vent on his frustration at the situation, and I completely relate to his feelings. Why would fans do this to a writer? Personally, I give him credit for sticking to his principles and refusing to kick out something by the required deadline when he knows it's going to be a disappointment. And of course the irony is, if he did cave to pressure and turn out a second rate piece of work (as, unfortunately IMHO many authors do because they are trying to force their muse to meet the demands of their budding career) then the same fans clambering for the sequel would probably crucify him. It's a Catch-22 if ever there was one.

But there's the dilemma. How do you build a career if you don't do what's demanded of you by fans, editors, publishing houses? The wheels of the industry turn on the ability to supply on demand. When you're dealing with all of life's other priorities and deadlines (like, most of us have to work for a living, because let's face it, few authors make enough to support themselves) how do you produce quality work when the pressure makes your muse dry up? What's the answer? Is there an answer? Maybe not, judging by the state of so many sequels I've read.

John Scalzi posted this on his blog. I think it frames some of these issues from a popular authors's POV.

Now we're on a roll.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Enigma of the Industry: Barbara

Maybe they're lazy and their editors are either lazy or scared to criticise. I think pressure does get to these names though - the need to keep grinding books out is intense so they write with little author-editing. Maybe they expect the editor to do it and they don't because they think - hey , this author sells - who am I to point out too much use of 'was' - too much head-hopping, etc.

Maybe I'm unusual in that I love editing. I love going over and over a story and making tweaks and changes to improve it. Because I'm not a forward thinker - I don't have the plot mapped out in my head so I need to backtrack all the time to stick stuff in. Case in point with the WIP - Outcasts. I really shouldn't have posted it so soon. I'm not ready yet and I can see there is more that needs to go in these first two chapters.

But it's easy to see some of the big names have gone off!! Even smaller names who I've enjoyed - their later books have disapointed. I really need to reread the earlier work to see if it's me! Have my standards raised because I now know what to do and what not to do? If I see mid-paragraph head-hopping in a story I go wild, but my first stories were full of it.

The Enigma of the Industry: Dawn

I picked up a book the other day and wanted to throw it against the wall. (No, I'm not mentioning the name). The same example of bad writing that I've mentioned before stared back at me from this NY Times bestseller's novel. Cliches, wordiness, excessive use of modifiers and the first paragraph had at least, wait, let me count... 10 inactive "was". This is the writer's latest release. They have 61 published novels to their credit, so it's not like they're a beginner.

In three years, you can see the difference in my writing. So why do I see this in a well-seasoned writer's work? To me it's like they aren't even making a conscience effort to write "well," let alone good or great. Since when was it more important to get the story out, than to write a great story? Where do writers cross the line to writing because they need to tell a damn good story and writing because they have deadlines?

Does this happen to every sucessful writer? Why? Damn it. You know they didn't start that way. Is the pressure so high, we can't take a moment to think about what we're penning to paper? Okay, I know that they have deadlines, but come on. We rookies are expected to tighten, control the inactive voice and modifiers. Getting into print demands it. Shouldn't staying in print demand it as well? And don't give me some sappy story about deadlines. Phttttthhhp. You want me to continue buying your books, make a conscience effort to write well like every beginner must.

How do writers who do the above maintain their place as NY Times Bestsellers???

Somebody please explain.

Tell me, Barbara. You know. You have the pressure of the deadline.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Topic for this Week: Enigma of the Industry

This week we'll be presenting our views on the Enigma of the Industry. Does the publishing industry set many writers up to fail? Why are sequels so often a disappointment? Why does the work of some seasoned authors seem to decline in both quality and substance as they make a name for themselves? What elements, in our humble opinions, cause this?

This is simply a discussion--how we see things, what our take is--based on our various experiences and opinions. What do you think? Are we hitting the cruxt of the matter? Totally off the mark? We may not even agree among ourselves on some points. Feel free to jump into the discussion with your own comments, perceptions, and arguments. We're all ears.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Aspiring Author Alert!

Here's an informative LiveJournal post on What (Samhain) Editors are Looking For.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blog Chat: Science and Star Travel

We're a bit excited that Barbara's current WIP is a Science Fiction Romance/Erotica. A couple of months ago, we got into a discussion on some of the scientific vrs. fictional influences of the niche subgenre.

For your entertainment, here's an edited version of our discussion...

Flick - 15. Jan at 03:08
I need a hand with some sci fi stuff - In Lucy in the sky - Three has to tell her his job and where he - or his ship - is from. I'd put “I’m not a terrorist. I’m a supplies officer for the SS Beagle, out of Ventura 5, Eexon solar system, Bowman galaxy.”

But several critters felt it was too tame. That Beagle didn't work. I did have my reasons for using Beagle - Darwin being one and it sort of links to the origin of the bigger ship his shuttle takes them to but do you - or Arlene or Dawn - any help is welcome - have a better idea for how I can put this? Do I need to use strange words for example?

I'm a supply officer for the Xenothik, out of Deltan Solar System - is that any better? I've already explained how Three can speak English - the translation chip - not trying to invent the wheel there though there is more to that than meets the eye, but apart from throwing in the odd phrase like - Legolian snakes or Jeepon balls - is there more I should do?

Dawn - 15. Jan at 03:59
Quarter Master, Barbara. He's the the Quarter Master. But you can twist that around a bit and make it your own unique position. Quarters Officer. Provisions Master...

I have a ship called the Mobius, inspired by science. One called the Martian Destiny. Another called Baby. So if you want to call it the Beagle, do. The Mobius comes from the Mobius strip that you twist and attach to itself to make it one continuous piece. Now that I come to think of it, I don't have a name for the blasted ship in IGBH inc. Oh damn. Now that's going to bug me.

If I had my dang atlas of the universe, I'd help you out with some names. But alas, it's still packed, hanging out at my MIL's. I used the Andromeda as it's massive and one of the closest galaxies to Earth. But, Laurie may have a better one.

Ya know, Laurie's going to get after you for outer galaxy to galaxy travels. LOL.

I still keep my stand on science. That all science has is roots in fantasy and that what we say is impossible, only becomes science when we prove that we can, and make it so. Many things deemed fantasy or impossible a hundred years ago, are now science.

Ooooh something to blog about on RR.

Okay, off to work.


Laurie - 15. Jan at 08:15

Whew...okay, reallll quick. LOL

Dawn said: "Quarter Master, Barbara. He's the the Quarter Master. But you can twist that around a bit and make it your own unique position. Quarters Officer. Provisions Master... I think that's one word: Quartermaster, but, with land troops its correct, but in naval terms it means navigator. I love Dawn's suggestion of Provisions officer. An alien culture wouldn't necessarily use these terms, but still might use terms that are similar concepts in English."

As for Beagle, ta heck wif the critters, Barbara, especially if you have a purpose for the ship's name. Who says they don't have a word like "Beagle" that means something else, or he's using a term in English that's close to the true name of the ship. I think what's important is that it's an easy to pronounce name that when the reader sees it is going to know "that's his ship." Some of these SciFi writers who come up with outlandish names just because they look weird are shooting themselves in the foot, IMHO.

As for coming from another galaxy, yeah, you're going to get my spiel. I think it has taken something like 30 years for one of our robot research ships (Voyager, I think) just to reach the edge of our own solar system—our nine or so planets and sun. Imagine the time frame needed at today's speeds with today's conventional propulsion systems to reach just the next solar system, not to mention deeper into our own galaxy or across it. There are so many stars and so many solar systems right here in our own galaxy (I think it's like...I don't know 300 billion stars or more) that if you took just a tiny fraction of all the stars and said they had solar systems with planets, and then just a tiny fraction of those planets and said odds are they would probably have conditions similar to Earth to support life, you are talking about 30 MILLION inhabitable planets in our galaxy alone. Why have your alien originate from another galaxy (which is so impossibly distant from our own galaxy it's mind boggling). The nearest is what...something like a million years away traveling at the speed of light? So in other words, if you could travel at the speed of light, which Einstein's theory says is the fastest you can travel under the laws of physics, it would take a million years just to get there. Would your space voyagers even be human in that huge span of time or would they evolve under these conditions into something else? That's just about the entire span of human existence since human-like bipeds came to be. Now, that isn't to say there might be other forms of travel discovered, such as the use of wormholes (I use something like this in Draxis), but again, it's believed wormholes connect point to point within our galaxy because of the forces of gravity and the nature of space, dark matter, black holes, white holes, etc, but I don't think I've ever heard of it applied to traveling to other galaxies. Even Star Trek had a situation where the Enterprise was thrown out of our galaxy on course for another, and the crew acknowledged the distances were so vast even at "warp drive 10" they'd never reach it. But, all that said, this is Science Fiction, so if it's important for your characters to come from another galaxy then go for it (but again, why not this one with 30 million odd planets to choose from?) then you can create your own transport system. Maybe they slingshot from galaxy center to galaxy center using some as-yet-unknown energy source generated by the dense stars and gases at the center of the spiral, but then they still have to travel the enormous distances across our galaxy to where our tiny little solar system is out near one of the arms. I'm throwing out stuff from the top of my head, but you can go Google "distance to next galaxy" or "number of suns in the Milky Way" or "life on other planets" to get more detailed, precise info.

*puff, puff* LOL

So there you have it. Remember, though, I'm lean much more toward the realist side of Sci Fi than the fantasy side, and so far I haven't even incorporated aliens into my SFR, only human subspecies that colonized and evolved specific traits on other inhabitable planets (subspecies in P2PC and the genetically-fixed Malibu beach boy race of Draxis) within our own galaxy. Dawn's characters do come from another galaxy. It is Science Fiction, so you can take whatever liberties you like from generally accepted physics, but don't forget I'm on a campaign to put the science back in science fiction. LOL I like to keep things as plausible as possible, though my drive systems in both P2PC and Draxis are really a stretch of the imagination.

Whew...see what happens when you get me started? LOL

Oh..one thing though. For centuries man considered Earth at the center of the universe, until that got tossed on its ear. (Very insignificant planet circling an insignificant star in some insignificant galaxy. It's humbling, isn't it?) so would he refer to his own system as Ventura 5? Wouldn't it be Ventura 1 or just Ventura. ORRRR, has his race been colonizing? If so, then Ventura 5 works, but he might refer to his home world or even system, at some point.

OK, make me stop.
*pulls hands from keys and forces herself to hit "enter"* hehe


Flick - 15. Jan at 08:35
hehe - Thanks Laurie. Well I hadn't even thought about the galaxy implications. It doesn't need to be a different galaxy. I can take that out. I won't be going into the detail that you have about the sci fi stuff - for a start - I'm less interested than you - I just need to create a world that works - well it will all be on a space ship I think BUT I don't want to put my foot in it or do something stupid to make it seem silly rather than fun. So galaxy can go. Its not important.

The issue of the supply officer - quartermaster etc - its hard when you only use English language in these - yet you need to describe alien culture - to find the right balance of how to use English. Swearing and basic sex words are a case in point. Even with a translation chip - using f—- and c—- feels completely wrong to me but what else can I use? Once Lucy has used them - Three can pick them up but its still tricky.

Thanks for all that input Laurie - boy I lit a fuse there!

Laurie - 15. Jan at 09:54
OK, I just HAD to go look a couple things up. LOL In naval terms (which Star Trek and most of the other Sci Fi series have adopted as the logical military branch to adapt to space) a quartermaster is called a purser. They have quartermasters but in the Navy it applies to a navigator. (I still use Nav in P2PC because it makes more sense than Quartermaster which the non-military readers may not understand).

And since I hate spewing info without verifying it first (which I just HAD to go do LOL!)...

The nearest galaxy is Andromeda at 2 million to 2.2 million light years away. Whew!

The Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across, with 200 to 400 billion stars. The nearest possible planet now "discovered" (jury is still out if it meets habitable criteria, but possibly) is 20 light years away (sounds close in comparison, but see below on light speed verses conventional speeds). The nearest star is Proxima Centauri, and it would take Voyager (there are actually twin Voyagers launched in 1977, Voyager I and II heading out on different paths), now leaving our solar system after about 30 years, another 73,000 years to reach it with its propulsion system (because its traveling no where near the speed of light, and those speeds may not even be possible). If Voyager could travel at the speed of light, it would still take over four years to reach the nearest star at those speeds (over 186,000 MILES per SECOND which would take a little over 1 second to reach the Moon from Earth—okay, a second and a quarter to travel the 238,900 miles). And of course, the stars don't stay in one place, either, so Proxima Centauri will move a bit in 4 years and move a lot in 73,000! The logistics are boggling.

I think the estimates on 30 million inhabitable planets came from Carl Sagan, but can't locate the info right now. Many, many scientists agree that the chances of life elsewhere in our galaxy, statistically, are anywhere from very probable to 99.99% certain. Finding them, however, would be like finding a needle in a haystack that covers the landmass of the Western Hemisphere. The sheer enormity of space is something we have a lot of trouble grasping.


I may have to copy and paste some of this to Spacefreighters. LOL

Flick - 15. Jan at 11:55
Stop - I'm drowning!!!!!! LOL Thanks Laurie

Laurie - 15. Jan at 14:56
LOL...had to post today's quote.

Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
- Jules de Gaultier

Yeah, that's my motto.


Dawn - 15. Jan at 16:39
I could have told you Andromeda is the closest at 2.2, since I researched the heck out of that spiral galaxy for BioM. LOL

Laurie, you're still thinking in terms of Earth technology for propulsion systems. Ya know, like I said, how do you know we don't have advanced civs on other worlds that have propulsion systems that make ours look like they're prehistoric???

LOL Oh, I do so love to goad you into these little discussions. When you open up, you really open up.

There's a fine border between Sci Fi and Fantasy. It all boils down to if time can be manipulated. If time can be manipulated, anything is possible. And can matter be manipulated? The human body "beamed" from one location to the other? Don't restrict yourself to a physical plane when thinking of space travel. IMHO Our bodies may be solid, but that doesn't mean someone else from another worlds is. Their molecules may move faster.

I still say you'd have gotten burned at the stake two hundred years ago for using a cell phone or flying on a plane. Science's roots is in fantasy. All science was fantasy, until it became proven theory. Therefore, outer galactic travel may not be as impossible as scientists believe.

Takes a deep breath.

But I have to say, I love your purist tech, Laurie. It's the bomb.


Laurie - 15. Jan at 16:58
LOL Dawn. Yeah, not like I didn't push the envelop on physics with both P2PC and Draxis. I'm fascinated with the science behind astrophysics, but only to a point. Start talking about complex mathematical theories and formulas and my eyes cross and my brain wanders off to play alone. LOL

But my points isn't so much that other life forms positively couldn't come from other galaxies, but that there's SOOOO much room for civilizations in individual galaxy neighborhoods why would they need to cross ginornous voids to find other life? I think we originally got into this discussion over Darius being from another galaxy?

And as for fantasy and technology crossovers, a lot of the technology we have today came from people who grew up on Star Trek as kids and got excited about the "fantasy" technology on the original series, so became engineers and scientists and pursued making it real technology. So I still say, if you can imagine it, there's probably a way, somehow, that it can be made to become reality. I've never much liked the word impossible.

OMG, I'm so scienced out today.

OK, better run and try to get at least one crit done.


Flick - 16. Jan at 02:14
You two ought to post this discussion on the blog!!!

Laurie - 16. Jan at 05:11
LOL Barbara. I never thought of that. Good idea.

Editors Note: And here it is. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PERFECT TIMING Released in Print

We're very excited to announce that Barbara Elsborg's PERFECT TIMING is now in print!

Click here to view, read the excerpt and/or order.

Congratulations to Barbara on entering a new medium. :)

Support this Group.

If you're a writer please take a moment, go to this site and join this loop.
Writers make very little for the blood, sweat and tears we pour into our manuscripts. So you can imagine what it's like to see something we've spent months working on, popping up on an illegal site and being downloaded for free. E-book publishing is on the rise, but so are unscrupulous pirates. This group of authors has banded together to go after these book pirates and their sites to shut them down. If you know of a site, share the link and keep writers, writing.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

To the Stars Soundtrack

If all is working well, by the time you read this--and if your speakers are on--you'll know our site now has sound courtesy of Playlists.com. Yes, we have a soundtrack!

It begins with a short clip from a famous movie, and a bit of dialogue that was one of the inspirations for our blog title. Do you recognize it?

To introduce this new feature, we chose romantic music from some of the classic soundtracks like Titanic, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and even Crosby, Stills & Nash singing the very haunting Guinnevere. Great heroines in fiction is the theme, so you may recognize tunes written to define the characters of Princess Leia, Arwyn Evenstar, Rose and of course, Queen Guinnevere of Camelot.

We'll be changing our tunes on occasion to match a new theme. We hope you enjoy this new feature. Drop us a comment to let us know your thoughts.