Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Projects

What is an aspiring writer?  Let me check my dictionary.

    as·pir·ing writ·er (noun) \ˈən-pə-blish-ed drē-mər\ : a person who imagines thousands of ideas but whether due to a complicated life, a demanding day job, or an inability to get around gatekeepers, has no hope whatsoever of writing more than five of these ideas down on paper.

Hey, that's me!  Does that describe you as well?  Do you have thousands of ideas bursting to get out?  Are you frustrated that you never have enough time to write down the stuff that comes from these ideas?  Well, join the club!  You may have what it takes to be an author.

(Note - an author is someone who's published.  That's what aspiring writings grow up to be - kind of like that song "I'm just an aspiring writer sitting here on Capitol Hill" or something like that.)

Today, I will continue my introductions by listing projects I'm working on and some ideas sitting in the rafters.  In a perfect world, I would do nothing but push out my ideas; publishers would publish them; and I just keep on going until I run out of ideas.  <Yeah, right!>


Escape From the Planet Justice - This book is the closest to getting published, meaning I've written a 3rd draft, I've been sending query packages to publishers, and I'm getting rejection letters.  Click on the link and you can read the first three chapters.  See what you think.

It's your typical space opera, meaning a sci-fi action thriller with guns, robots, spaceships - well you get the picture.  Thomlin Hywater is stuck on the Prison Planet justice for a crime he didn't commit.  No one has ever escaped.  Thomlin wants to return to his former life and get revenge.

The Silver Lining - This is the first book I finished and I tried to get it published a couple of years ago.  I sent it to one publisher and got rejected.  I thought it was the end of the world, and I quit.  Boy, did I have a lot to learn.  The book is a 2nd draft.  Over the next few months, I'm going to revise and make a 3rd draft and send it out again - this time to more publishers.

This book is religious sci-fi.  It depicts the interactions between angels and humans seen from both sides.  One angel (who used to be a human) watches over his living family and tries to protect them from evil spirits, etc.  The sci-fi comes in the description of the heavenly world.  I personally like this book better than the "Justice" book above, as it has much more interesting characters and development - and is much more of a tear jerker.

<< Super - hero >>  - This book is a collaboration with a friend.  I've been given specific instructions not to divulge the character's identity until we're closer to having a book finished.  I only have six chapters in 1st draft.  You can read the first chapter by clicking on the link.

This book tells the story of a poor black disfigured boy who becomes a super-hero.  My friend created the character and the back stories.  I'm filling in the holes and making it a compelling read.  This isn't the story where once you're a super-hero, everything's fine and dandy.  This character has his struggles.  There are people who wrong him, and he must learn to use his powers for good and resist temptations, etc.

"Time Sleuths" - This is a relatively new idea of mine.  I'll probably use it for NaNoWriMo this coming November (that is, I must write 50,000 words during the month of November).  It's sci-fi humor about a group of detectives from the future who use time machines to help solve cases.  Of course, these sleuths must follow rules.  That's where the humor comes in.

"How Tall Does Your Grass Grow in Space?" - I really hate HOAs.  I'm thinking about taking real life HOA experiences and fictionalizing them in space.  I'm going to place this family on a Rama-like colonization rotating cylindrical spaceship, and some of the communities are going to have HOAs.  Eventually, I'll get to this gem.

"Justice - books 2 and 3" - yes, I have sequels planned already for my flagship book.  I can't say anything without ruining how book 1 turns out.  I'm not even starting these books until I get #1 published.  Oh - and all these books are going to be turned into movies (except for the Grass in Space epic).  I'm keeping the movie rights!

"Darkness" - needs a better title, but in this book, a race of people live on a deserted island.  They're all blind - but since the book is written from their point of view, they don't have words for seeing or blindness, etc.  So it takes the reader awhile to realize that these aborigines are blind.  The gods send a child who can see, and lots of fun things ensue during this child's life.  I already have the first sentence written: "The gods often made sound in the Warmth."  Oooh - can't wait to write this one.  But first I have to practice with these other books.

"Space Cadets" - in this book I take actual events from the 70s in my life and fictionalize them into a fun story.  It tells of struggles with life during the 6th - 8th grade period.  I guess this is more of a human interest story.


A Turn-screw tlhImqaH - I mentioned this one in yesterday's blog.  It's "Clockwork Orange" meets "Star Trek".  I entered this into the 2009 Actuarial Speculative Fiction Contest.  I'd love to see this story meet a bigger audience.  I may try to get it published in a magazine or something.

Sam McAtry - This was my entry in the 2007 Actuarial Speculative Fiction Contest.  Sam McAtry is an actuary turned detective.  This is one of my noir humor pieces.  If I can get away with it, I'll use this style in "Time Sleuths" mentioned above.

"When Time Flows West" - a story I just now finished and will start sending out this week.  It tells of a teenager who learns how to control the pace of his time line.  When he goes backward in time, lots of fun things happen!

"The Depths of Inner Space" - I have a 1st draft of this done, and will edit it sometime next year for publication.  In this story, three people embark on a journey into the earth.  The crew consists of a Russian, an American (two opposing sides), and the neutral Englishman scientist who created the technology to make the trip possible.  The Englishman's plan is to unite the two superpowers prior to giving the world access to his technology.  Little do they know what waits for them in the center of the earth...

"The World's Smartest Actuary" - my future entry for the 2011 Actuarial Speculative Fiction Contest.  I can't give any details (possible competition reading this very blog), but I'll say this much: it involves a direct descendant of Sholom Feldblum (famous actuary - ever heard of him?).  This time, I'm going for serious, as the judges basically told me last time that parodies don't win.

"Generational Communication" - needs a better title.  In this story, a scientist devises a machine that can send his consciousness forward in time through his genes.  Going through a line of descendants, he learns about the far future, and in some cases even helps his progeny remember things that were forgotten throughout the years.

"Time Shifting" - again needs a better title.  This tells of a guy who because of an accident experiences time shifts.  For example, when he crosses the road, he thinks there's no cars there, but he's seeing what happened a few seconds ago.  When he crosses - there's really a car there.  This story needs a little working out.

Well - I suppose I should stop now.  I have more ideas, but they're going to have to wait.  I'll be lucky if I only get through all these ideas in this lifetime!  Okay - now I'm depressed again.  I'm going to sleep.  I'm sure I'll dream up some crazy idea and maybe it'll trigger another thought I'll never get to.  (Last night was the idea of a man who cons people into taking his money.  Funny idea, but really?)

Aspiring writers, I'll meet up with you later.  Good luck in your projects, and may you get your ideas out before you die.

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