Cake or History

When you have little to do, your nights get a lot longer.  I ran into that last night, while I looked for something to occupy my time while I had . . . nothing to . . . write.  *sigh*

There was some good news, however:  the woman looking at the full manuscript for Her Demonic Majesty told me she found one typo per page for the first few pages, then didn’t see anything for like a full chapter.  After all the freaking out about how I was a total failure at getting my editing done, this made me feel a hell of a lot better.  At this point I just wait for her to finish her reading, and her markings, and do what is needed when the manuscript comes back.

So I played around.  One half of my mind was trying to figure out how to import images into Scrivener, and the other was working on an idea for a story.  It helped that I was in my Story Ideas project, where I jot down ideas when they come to me, and try to flesh them out little by little when the mood strikes.  So I was in the right place to mull over two ideas . . .

One of the ideas has to do with a . . . lets call it “fantasy smut” story I wanted to write for Camp NaNo July.  It all came about during a discussion with another writer, where we were making fun of some of the stories that show up on Smashwords–you know, stories about incestuous stepkids, werewolf breeding, and horny unicorns looking for wimmin.  It was during one of those discussions that I went, “Screw these losers:  I can write something like this, only it’ll be Better!” and then my mind started working.

I used to write strange, fetishy fiction, so coming up with something that would involve sex and fantasy shouldn’t be a problem.  I have the characters in my mind–borrowing liberally from friends I know, and who have already been told they’ll be in a story–I have the location set, I have the sex ready to roll.  I do need a title, though, and a set up, which is what I was thinking about last night.  And a little bit this morning when birds woke me at four AM.

I’m considering just “doing it” and writing the story the month of May.  It shouldn’t take much to do, and shouldn’t be that long.  Actually, I’m going to keep it short, or as short as possible.  It’s going to be all about Teh Sexy, so character development is out.  Okay, maybe a little development, because I don’t write smut.

The other thing I was working on was a time line for another story idea.  I posted it on my Facebook wall last night, because I do things like that.  What I was plotting out was a “What If?” sort of alternate history of space from the 1960’s through the 1970’s.  I didn’t include everything in the time line; I was mostly adding missions that never flew but could have, so that I could establish a different history for those who grew up in that time–namely, the characters in my possible story.

I love doing alternate history, and while it might not be something that a few people would consider realistic–hey, it’s my universe!  Get your own alternate space history!

Don’t you just love having an imagination?

Future Warping

As the rain falls outside–something we don’t have in December very often, let me tell you–I have to make a correction.  Yesterday my post was about some of the stuff I’ve played with in a 3D modeling program, and one of the pictures I placed inside the post was of a ship I’d dreamed up for a ship that had been used in a game I ran.  The name I’d given for that ship was The Divine Comedy, but last night one of the player, who is also a friend, popped up and said he’d seen the ship, thought it was pretty good . . . but the name he used for it was completely different–

It struck me then that the name for that ship had been The Wayward Jezebel, and that The Divine Comedy was the name of the ship I’d used for the Serenity/Firefly game I’d run.  Jeez, you’d think I could keep track of all these ships.  But there you go:  Divine Comedy, no–Wayward Jezebel, yes.

Now that I’ve put that to the side . . .

While yesterday found me getting back into the editing of my story, Replacements, I didn’t get very far.  That’s what happens when you have distractions coming at you left and right.  I will say this about the story–it needs work.  It’s not a complete wreck, but I feel I’ve written better.  It’s probably because this is the first time I’ve looked at the story since I wrote it a few months ago.  Don’t worry:  I’ll save it.  There’s something there that can be told, and I’ve already thought about some of the things I can add to the story to fill it out and show a little more of the live of Olivia.

But my mind was also on something else yesterday:  the story that led me to model the orbital station I displayed in the same post as The Wayward Jezebel.  The station that’s part of an alternate history, where certain parts of the space race went a little differently, and the reason the NASA of the mid-1980’s becomes the way it is in my story is do to a few things happening in the previous decade.

The change actually comes about because of the Apollo moon landings, but not exactly where you might believe it to occur.  Because, as with a lot of things in my life, I remember something from my past . . .

I was a huge space travel geek, and after Apollo 11 landed, I picked up a very large paperback that presented the written history of the space program up to that point.  Most of it I already knew, because–geek.

There was something else, however:  a couple of short paragraphs about Apollos 12 through 20, and where they were going to land.  Yeah, that’s right:  at one time we were going up to Apollo 20, which would have landed in the Tycho crater near Surveyor VII.  (Never mind the “theories” that Apollo 20 was “secretly” launched 1976 so it could study an alien spacecraft found on the moon by an earlier mission.  If you’ve ever seen a Saturn V lift-off, you’d know there was nothing “secret” about that, since it was only as big as a football field, and could be heard for twenty miles in every direction once it was off the ground.  Yeah, I know:  they launched it from Russia.  Because we were all about launching from Baikonur in 1976.)

The more I thought about what might have been, that if Apollo 20 wasn’t canceled in 1970, and if 18 and 19 hadn’t followed into the Memory Hole of History, the more I understood how it would affect my story–should I ever get around to writing.  Cause and effect, and never mind the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff:  I’m already doing that by creating an alternate history, so I’m hard at work juggling that ball.

This means research and time lining, and looking up the phases of the moon to know when the best dates were to land.  Getting crew names together, and throwing in a fictional person or two.  I already know the event that will change my history, so no big deal there, but there are a few things that need to be adjusted upstream of that event–  Why do I put myself through this stuff?

Because I love it.  Why else do this?

At Home in the Darkness

Things are moving along, plans are coming into focus.  With a long weekend ahead–well, three days, which is almost long enough, especially since there are Daleks on Saturday–this is giving me some time to really get into my ideas.

Those ideas are kicking around now, coming from a lot of different directions.  I spent some time chatting with people yesterday afternoon and evening, but at the same time, I was running one idea through my mind . . . which is either an indication of how much it’s grabbing me, or that the conversation was sorely lacking.

The idea for one of the stories The Muse is pushing on me–if by “pushing on me”, you mean, “shoving a USB data stick in one ear while muttering, ‘What’s my name?  What’s my name?  Say it!'”–concerns an alternate past where there was never a space race–or, at least, it never got to the point where either side decided going to the Moon was a worthwhile endeavor.  Enter into the vacuum left by a lack of interest in flying into the Big Black a person who has dreams about rising above it all . . . well, you can guess the rest.

One of the things I was thinking over last night was how one would, if you had the sort of ships that I’d use for the story, go about establishing a permanent presence in Earth orbit.  Putting my mind to work, I sort of figured out what I would need to do, or my characters would need to do–or maybe I was bored with the conversation, and my mind mine was trying to conjure up images of my Muse dressed like Black Widow.

Funny how that happens.

It was a very gratifying exercise, because I spent about ninety minutes running numbers and ideas and concepts, and was even visualizing some of these things.  This is where I need to get a better understanding of using a modeling tool like Blender, because I could actually make these images become real, and perhaps even do a little movie of the events.

The flow of the scene, the imagery . . . it was great.  There wasn’t a sense of struggling as I’ve had in the last few months.  Rather, it was point, click, go:  I was off and running.  It felt good to know I was back in business.

Now, to do the same with my other stories . . .

The only issue I run into with this story I was thinking upon yesterday is that it will involve a lot of–here it comes, drum roll, please–research!  I already knew this, but it’s the sort of research I love.  It will likely drive me nuts, but I still love this.  But there it is; I’m setting myself up for some work.

I need to begin making notes; I need to get this stuff sorted.  I said that yesterday, but my Muse flashed me with visions of space ships and low Earth orbit, so I was distracted.  Blame her, the crazy wench!

It’s gonna be fun enjoying writing again.