Ah, the weekend. That transitional period where you go from one miserable week to another, usually stressed out from catching up on all the stuff you didn’t get to do during the week. Mine are like that from time to time, and then there are moments when it’s all about relaxing and playing with something new.
First off, there was this writing thing I do, and what I was going to do next. I thought and thought and thought–okay, maybe I only thought a little, but drama, people–we gotta have it. I’ve decided that my story Replacements, which I wrote for consumption on another site, is a good little project to edit, then format, for self-publishing. The last thing I had published was back in May, and I should get something else out and up before the end of the year.
Since Replacements isn’t a novel in search of a home, or something that’s a continuation of one of a couple of series that are ongoing, it’s made a good candidate for finding a home at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, as well a some points in-between. It’s also twelve thousand words, so there’s room to expand the story, maybe go into a little more detail on some areas–like how the new Olivia fell into her role as mistress–and not blow this up into another novel.
It seems to be the best way to go: editing, with a little rewriting, as well as getting something new out in the end. All for the low price of $2.99!
But wait! There’s more!
I’ve been playing with some 3D modeling programs the last week. Blender has been one, Hexagon has been the other. Mostly I’ve been playing with things in Hexagon, which is an easy program for one to learn the basics, then trying to create the same things in Blender, which is far more powerful a program, but–as everyone tells me–has a extensive learning curve.
One of the things I’ve played with is modeling space ships–in particular, one I ran for a game called Diaspora. The ship my players “owned” was named The Divine Comedy, and the idea was to make the ship look as “realistic” as possible. I knew what I wanted it to look like, but all I had, up until now, were sketches and a few notes.
But now, I have this:
What do we have here? Up front you have the main docking port. The big round thing is a centrifuge, and inside are modules that change position depending on which way “Down” is for any given moment–meaning, if the drive is burning, down is towards the back towards the engine, and if they are coasting, down is towards the short, outer wall of the centrifuge casing. On top you have the comm tower. There are two cargo doors between the centrifuge and the radiators–those wings on either side of the ship, which are used to get rid of heat. On the girders you have the fuel tanks, then a large and thin shadow shield to keep pesky radiation away from the crew. Then you have the reactor, and the engine nozzle. Not how we often think of space ships in science fiction, but this is a lot closer to reality than anything you will see on television, or in the movies.
After that, I wanted to try my hand at something else from another story idea. It’s sort of a alternate history/future history that could end up being very Rocketpunkish (you can look that up here), and one that’s been bouncing about for a few months. One of the key moments in the story is involves the construction of a very large space station which acts as a transfer station to the Moon and points beyond, and what my characters do to make this happen.
What does this station–which I have imaginatively named Station One for now–look like once it’s built? Like this:
It’s a huge assembly. From one docking center to the other, it’s 210 meters long, or 688 feet if you’re not into the whole metric thing (even though you should be), and from one set of solar panels to the other it’s 170 meters, or 558 feet high. This thing would need a couple of football stadiums to sit inside, and even then it’d pop out of whatever sort of roof you have over those joints.
At the one end are a couple of very rough models of ships that I’d use in the story. At the center, before the solar panel towers, are four living modules, each one 38 meters high by 16 meters in diameter, set upon a centrifuge producing .3g gravity. About the only thing missing are circular tunnels that allow people to walk from one module to the other without needing to climb up to the center, then head down to another module.
To give you a sense of scale, there is something below the station that looks like a fat goose flying in formation. That’s Skylab, the one and only. As big as it was, it’s miniscule compared to what I’m thinking of creating in my story. Actually, one of the ideas in my story is that Skylab is saved and used as a work shack for the people putting Station One together–at least until they can get large living modules in place.
One of the things that’s nice about doing this sort of thing is being able to take a vision you have for something that could end up in a story, and give it a sort of physical presence. Yes, it’s still fantasy, but now it’s a fantasy that one day may just show up as an illustration inside a story.
Just give me time, ’cause neither of us knows where this is going.
That’s always fun.