Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween is upon us

Let's get in the mood with a little creepy music.


Had to delete several hundred words.  That's what I get for not thinking through the scene before I start writing it.  You'd think after all that time I spent on the outline that I'd actually pay some attention to the thing.

We all make mistakes, but this was a stupid mistake, and I hate feeling stupid.

Rant over.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Progress report

I'm over 11,000 words so far for Mercury.  Not as much as I'd hoped, but not terrible.  Still hope to complete the first draft by Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 19, 2015

100th blog post

For my 100th post, I would like to announce that I've begun writing Mercury.

Already about 1500 words in.

I'd love to finish the first draft before Thanksgiving.  The first draft of Venus took five weeks, so I think it's a doable goal.  We'll see, I guess.

My long-term goal is to get the trilogy published by midsummer.  That may be too ambitious, though.  Again: we'll see.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


I'm working on the outline for Mercury, the second book of the Terrestrial Planets trilogy.

So far, it's up to 4863 words.  Not bad for an outline, right?  I'm hoping that the more details I use to describe each scene, the easier and faster it will be be to write the story.  Basically, I just want to "fill in the blanks" when I start writing.  Sort of like painting by numbers.

I hadn't planned to do NaNoWriMo, but I may accidentally do it.  I'll be starting the first draft soon, so we'll see.  I may cheat and start it in October.  We'll see.  I won't start it until I'm completely satisfied with the outline.

My plan for the trilogy is to publish all three books on consecutive days.  That way, all three will be on the "hot new releases" list at the same time.  Will this make a difference?  Who knows...

I have no idea when the whole trilogy will be finished.  I'll go as fast as I can.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The future... envisioned in the 1920s.

They got the "streamlining" thing right, at least as far as modern yachts go.  And the man carrying a telephone on his person is a fact of life today.  They totally whiffed on all those propeller-driven aircraft, though.  The jet engine was an early concept in the 1920s, but the ideas and theories were there, and the extrapolation could have been made by the futurists of that era.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The children in the woods

I had a strange dream last night.  In my dream, I was in some sort of urban setting--a library, perhaps, or some other building one might find on a college campus.  I remembered hearing about the tunnel nearby that others had explored before, and I decided to give it a try.  I descended the stairs into the building's lower level and entered the door to the tunnel.

The tunnel wasn't exactly a tunnel.  It was more of a half-pipe kind of thing--a tunnel with the top half removed.  There was a bank on each side, and trees and brush visible over the lip of each bank.  The floor of the tunnel was granite, but it had strange patterns in it, flowing, organic tool marks, almost like Art Nouveau.  They were too regular to be natural, and I could only conclude they must have been made by men.  There was sparse grass mixed in with the granite, like weeds sprouting up between paving stones.  The surface was hard and unforgiving, and I was thankful I wore tennis shoes instead of something less cushiony.

I walked down the tunnel, which wasn't a tunnel, and remembered (at that point) that it used to be a rail line.  The rails were gone; recycled for some other purpose, I supposed.  (Remember: this was a dream.  It doesn't have to make sense.) 

I eventually came to a fork and took the proverbial "path less traveled."  The banks on each side declined until they no longer existed, and I was on a mostly dirt path in the woods.  I say "mostly" because there were still bits of granite popping up here and there.  To my left was a creek, and the path ran alongside it.  I continued on into the woods, leaving the tunnel behind.

A log cabin soon appeared on my right.  It was very small, like one of those one-room dwellings the early American frontiersmen used to build.  It had a door, but no windows that I could see.  I was curious, so I left the path and approached it. 

I was a little hesitant to just go barging in.  After all, it might be someone's home, right?  You never know.  So I stood just outside the door and poked my head in.

And that's when something grabbed me.

It locked on to my right arm and pulled it inside.  I grabbed the door frame with my left hand to keep from being yanked all the way in.  I couldn't actually see anyone in the cabin--it was empty as far as my lying eyes could tell--but there was definitely a presence there.  Two presences, actually, in the form of children.  I could "see" them in my mind.  At least one was a boy--I never really focused on the other one.  But they were covered in dirt, absolutely filthy, and had the strength of chimpanzees.  They laughed and tried to pull me inside.  I resisted.  Even thought it was just a dream, I still knew something bad was brewing.

Another presence began to make itself known.  This one was adult.  It wasn't quite inside the cabin yet, as if it took a lot of time and effort for it to conjure itself.  I knew this new guy was bad news.  I had to get away before it was completely "there."  It was a terrifying feeling, and it gave me the motivation I needed.

I managed to get my right hand on the door frame too, and pulled as hard as I could.  The kids grips were strong, but my adrenaline was in charge now, and I jerked free of them.  I ran down the path as fast as I could towards the tunnel.  I glanced back once, but nothing followed.  I thought I heard the faint sound of children's laughter coming from the cabin.  Then I entered the tunnel again, and I knew I was safe.  I slowed my pace and walked back.  And that was it--the dream ended.

I usually don't remember my dreams.  This one was a rare exception.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fun fact about Mercury

It suffers from magnetic tornadoes:

During its second flyby of the planet on October 6, 2008, MESSENGER discovered that Mercury’s magnetic field can be extremely leaky indeed. The spacecraft encountered magnetic "tornadoes" – twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting the planetary magnetic field to interplanetary space – that were up to 500 miles wide or a third of the radius of the planet.

Pretty cool, huh?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Amazon recommends...

Buddy and Mr. Wilson.  How 'bout that.

I wasn't expecting to see this in my email:

I wonder if anyone else was recommended my stuff.