Saturday Einstein!

albert_einstein_quote

I can relate very well to this quote – The illusion of reality always gets in the way of the illusion of my writing worlds  🙂

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Six Writing Productivity Lessons I learnt from Star Trek…

Spock
Lenard Nimoy – TOS
Spock_(alternate_reality)
Zachary Quinto – Movie Reboot

 

 

 

 

 

I love Star Trek, so I thought I would make a post centered entirely around my favourite character – Mr Spock!  The tips are the same you can find anywhere else, they have just been dressed up to make them more memorable 🙂

1)  Vulcan Nerve Pinch One Person at a Time

Spock knew that if he tried to Nerve Pinch multiple people at once, he would fail.  If he did not multi-task, why should you?

2)  Spend Time in Rest

Spock rested and meditated to renew himself and find his ‘centre’.  He knew to rest and recuperate, so should you.

3)  Focus on Your ‘Fascinating’

Solving scientific conundrums and mission priorities was always at the top of Mr Spock’s to-do list, nothing could distract him.  Be as focussed as Mr Spock.

4)  Discipline Lt. Valeris

When people you rely on let you down, you must take them to task to make sure that it does not happen again.

5)  Find a Starship Captain to keep you accountable

Mr Spock was accountable to Captain Kirk, and that kept him focussed.  Find someone who will hold you accountable in the same way.

6)  Find your Centre

Just as Mr Spock’s Strength’s and mental quickness flowed from his calmness, his centre, so should you learn to trust your instincts and work with your strengths.

Adapt these tips above to your writing – or to any work/project to have in mind, and you may find your output increase more than you could have hoped.

 

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Kindle Countdown for ‘The Enclave’

Hello SciFi Fans!

Just a note to tell everyone that ‘The Enclave’ is going to be on a Kindle Countdown Deal on both Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

Dates for Amazon.com are

20th October 2014 – $0.99

22nd October 2014 – $1.99

24th October 2014 – $2.99 and then on

27th October 2014 – $3.99 (back to the Recommended Retail Price)

Dates for Amazon UK are

20th October 2014 – 99p

27th October 2014 – Back to Recommended Retail Price

Now is the perfect time to grab a kindle copy of ‘The Enclave’.

Get your copy now! 🙂

Amazon.com

Amazon UK

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Keep going! Persistence pays off in the publishing world

Dune: Frank Herbert's classic was rejected 20 timesTired of being rejected by publishers? Remember Frank Herbert

An Article by Chris Robley

I was listening to the Writer’s Almanac Podcast this morning and heard that it’s the birthday of Frank Herbert, author of the science fiction masterpiece Dune

Herbert is just one name on a long list of writers who found success after being repeatedly rejected.

Nearly twenty publishers told Frank Herbert “no thanks” after he’d submitted the manuscript for Dune.

Eventually Dune was accepted by Chilton, a publisher of auto repair manuals and an unlikely launching pad for a book that would go on to define an entire genre, sell over 12 million copies, and get made into a movie (twice).

So, if you’re feeling down, rejected, unsupported, or otherwise low about where you’re at in your writing life, try to remember that plenty of famous writers established their careers only after years of beating their heads against closed doors.

If you’re passionate about the craft of writing, it’s best to heed the advice of poet Todd Boss: “Never Give Up.”

How do you stay motivated and inspired in the face of literary rejection or “failure” (a dangerous word!)? Please let me know in the comments below.

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Verge Short Story in Progress

Hayley - workHello everyone!

Today I’m sharing a short story that I have started which is set in the ‘Verge’ universe.  It has not been edited or any of the usual stuff – and it is not finished.  It doesn’t even have a title yet.  I just wanted to post it here and get people’s opinions on what I have so far.  I’ve not written many short stories and I would like to get some practice in 🙂

Please, tell me what you think of it so far in the comments below.

Thanks – Now here is the story so far!

 

The look on the doctor’s face only confirmed what John already knew.

He was dying.

He had known for months, he could feel it happening in the marrow of his bones, he thought he could feel his body decaying around him.  Now, lying in a hospital bed, he was faced with the confirmation.

John did not listen as the doctor explained the diagnoses.  Instead he began to plan.  The ‘officialness’ of the news seemed to trigger something in John, something that had been lying dormant inside him for many months – perhaps even years.  Something that was hungry for revenge.

John was barely aware of the Doctor leaving the room; his mind was too caught up in the whirling of his thoughts and desires.  Being told you are about to die is a very liberating experience.  And the one thing that John truly wanted to do now became possible.

He needed to kill a man.

But not just any man.  No. John just wanted to eliminate one certain man; the man who had caused this ‘thing’ to happen to him.  Anger flared within John as it always did when his thoughts turned in this direction, but now he could direct it; manipulate it to achieve what he truly wanted.

And not worry about the consequences.

But the first thing he needed to do was get back planetside.  Get back to true civilisation, to the true heart of University power.  That was where his quarry lurked.

Decision made, John acted quickly.  He did not want his sub-conscious to talk him out of this.

John threw the covers off and swung himself out of bed.  The sterile cold of the room hit him straight away, causing goose bumps to break out over his bare skin.  All that clothed him was a pair of silk boxer shorts that a friend had given him years ago.  He did not remember putting them on.

Crossing the room, John then opened the stainless steel locker that should have held his clothes and belongings.  It did not.  All that hung in the locker was a white orderly’s uniform with a pair of white leather lace ups sitting discarded in the back.  He must have been moved from his original room while he was still under from the anaesthetic to a recovery room.  John’s belongings had not arrived yet to join him.  But John could not wait; the beast inside of him urged him to hurry.

The orderly uniform will do.  Pulling it off the clothes hook, John quickly dressed.  Buttoning up the side of the shirt, he could not help but look at himself in the mirror.  The uniform was a size to big but it will do.  John looked a little thinner than he remembered and a little greyer but his eyes still stared back at him blue and clear.  He rubbed his fingers through the peppered stubble that populated his chin.  How long had he been under?

The sound of footsteps echoing along the corridor made John turn from the mirror.  Outside he could hear two people and they were in no hurry.  He moved to the door and slowly cracked it open as the sound of the footsteps passed him.

John saw the retreating white backs of a male and female nurse.  Their heads were close together, talking quietly so as not to disturb their patients.  There was no one else in the hallway.  This was his chance to get out.

As the two nurses disappeared around the corner, John slipped out of his room and headed in the opposite direction.  With his current intentions he did not wish to be seen or recognised or detained as a runaway patient.

John walked quickly down the corridor, passed the empty nurses station and headed towards the elevators.  There he saw two patients talking, their biospheres hovering quietly above their heads.

John did not know them so he stepped forward and pressed the button for down.  The two old men barely battered an eyelid at him and they continued their quiet conversation.  John stood a little away from the two but he kept an eye on them.

As he watched John thought he recognised something in the two old men.  One was at least in his nineties and was bent low over his old fashioned cane.  His face was wrinkled and pale but he still had a good head of iron-grey hair.  The other man looked much older.  He too had iron-grey hair and had his share of wrinkles and age spots and had skin that looked not to have seen the sun in years.  Around his chest was a hover band that whirred to itself as it kept the man upright and on his feet.  There were similarities between the two that made John think they were related to each other.  Maybe they were brothers.

Then the elevator doors opened and John stepped quickly inside.  He did not see that the eyes of the two old men followed him in.  They smiled to his retreating back.

Once inside, he pressed the control pad to take him down to the Hanger level.  John felt the falling sensation in his stomach as the lift dropped the five floors to reach the Hanger Docks.  This is where things start to get difficult.  He shoved his hands in his trouser pockets in an effort to calm himself.  His hands unexpectedly came in contact with something hard in the right pocket.  John pulled it out and revealed a plain white plastic access card complete with pocket clip.  John thought it strange that there was no photo ID impregnated in the plastic.  Perhaps it used biometrics instead?  John clipped it to his shirt pocket anyway.  He could still get a Drop Shuttle without Hospital ID.  But he might need it to leave the hospital without alerting his doctor.  John wanted no delays. He would have to chance it.

The sinking feeling in his stomach told him that the lift was slowing.  The control panel told him that he was nearly on the Hanger Level.  John readied himself as the lift came to a stop.  The elevator doors opened to reveal yet another corridor, but this one had signs indicating directions.  He immediately turned left, following the Drop Shuttle sign without really looking at it.  The shock of seeing this design of signs John kept contained within him.  He was not in his local hospital – he was in the University facility.  How did he get here?  This is a problem for him to nut out later on.  John gave himself a brief smile, being here just made his task easier.

John moved quickly through the hallways that gradually filled with technicians, hospital staff and numerous other University employees who rushed through the corridors about their own business.  He became one in a sea of nameless faces as he came closer to the hanger bay.  John now knew exactly where he was and he hoped, as a high-level research technician of the University, had the correct biometrics to gain the security clearance to drop to the surface.

Suddenly the corridor opened into a large service hanger where several drop ships were docked and waiting, their pilots were either talking together or relaxing in the lunchroom that was just off the main hanger.  The main hanger itself was a very large open area with its far end open to the sky, an invisible static barrier the only protection for the unwary falling to the earth below.  Nested to one side of the passenger bay was a security cubicle where five armed men were either sitting at a desk doing paperwork or quietly observing the chaos around them.

Flowing over the floor of the hanger were the shuttle technicians whose orange jumpsuits seemed to swirl in a constant movement of colour about the docked shuttles and approaches.  They were continuously going through the common routine of the shuttles twelve-point checks, refuelling and traffic clearance for the hanger bay.

The stark whiteness of the shuttle bay contrasted sharply with the scrap of night sky that could be seen through the Hanger Gateway, John stood still a moment to stare at it.  He felt as if he was viewing the sky for the first time, somehow he could feel it calling to him, encouraging him.

Shaking his head, John quickly marched himself over to the nearest Drop Shuttle and lined up behind the people waiting to board.  As the line inched forward John felt a tingle creep up his spine and he felt the small hairs on the back of his neck raise on end.

Nervously, he rubbed a sweaty palm against the rough fabric of the orderlies’ uniform and glanced causally around him.  Others had lined up behind him and the people in front of him had their white plastic cards out ready to be authenticated by the Drop Shuttle computer while chatting companionably with each other.

Stepping ahead as the line moved forward, John glanced up at the Drop Shuttle doors and stopped stock still at what he saw.  Mounted in the centre of the doors was a Genetic Decoder.  John could see the small sphere bob over the head of the next person in line to read the closest bit of genetic material to it as they scanned their card through the reader.  He saw both reader and sphere flash green at the same time and the Drop Shuttle attendant ushered them through into the shuttle.

John knew that his DNA and the information stored on the card he held would not match – for a start his card was a photo ident blue which contained a copy of his biometrics. But why this high a level security in a hospital?

John would have to find another way to get planet side.

Quickly stepping out of the shuttle line, John headed back in the direction he came.  He needed somewhere quiet to think and he needed to get more information on this place for now, as he really looked carefully around he saw subtle differences to the University Hospital that he remembered.  The big difference he now realised was that the view of the bright lights of the Adelaide Hills that could usually be seen on the planet below was missing which implied that this was a different hospital.  But the University did not have a different Hospital.

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False Awakening by Callum McLaughlin

A Guest Post by Callum McLaughlin

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I’m so happy to be able to say that my new book, False Awakening, is now officially available to purchase for both Kindle and as a paperback. I had an absolute blast writing it and I hope that if you choose to read it, you like it too. Here’s a little about the story to whet your appetite.

Synopsis

When teenager Abi Watson wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of the incident that put her there, she must begin the long and difficult process of piecing her life back together, but unfortunately, her search for answers will merely give rise to further questions. Frayed relationships and haunting revelations soon come into play, leading Abi to discover that some things are best left forgotten.

With a past that is unwilling to let go, her only option is to delve into the depths of her own mind so that she can uncover the truth and finally awaken from her living nightmare.

Excerpt

As she leant forward and slowly stretched out a hand to try and tempt the timid animal, it reeled back and darted towards the hedgerows, disappearing from sight, a distant rustle of leaves all that remained. For a brief instant, Abi was hit by a feeling that rose in her stomach and threatened to erupt as tears. It was jealousy; jealousy at the creature’s ability to flee; to fade away into darkness and conceal itself from the world when things got tough. Abi had never been the kind of teenager to consider running away from home. Her mother may have been hard work but the comfortable lifestyle, the trusted friends, the loving father; they had been more than enough to keep her content within the realms of her own existence.

Now, for the first time in all her years, she wanted to escape; to abandon this life in search of another; an uninterrupted state of survival without police interviews, therapy sessions and forgotten memories.

Where to find it

The book is available to buy on Amazon UK (click here) and Amazon USA (click here). It should also by now be live on Amazon’s other international channels.

You can also add it to your ‘to read’ list on Goodreads (click here).

If you do choose to check out False Awakening, I just want you to know how grateful I am. These characters have been mine for a long time, but now I want to share them with you all. If you enjoy the story, please let me know by leaving a review, tweeting me, or coming back here to leave a comment; it really would make my dayweek… life.

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Things to Read….My Book Recommendations – Ta – Da!

Hello Everyone – I hope you are all doing well?

Here is my list of books to take a look at for October.  I tried to aim for a bit of a mixed bag, but it did not turn out that way.  Two books have dragons in them, one is fantasy with a touch of dragons and the last…well, Jack Irish could be considered a dragon in his own right. (If anyone has a chance to hear a talk by Peter Temple, grab it.  He is a brilliant public speaker.  I heard him talk at the Adelaide Writer’s Festival.)

Enjoy this month’s selection

-Hayley

NB:Genre’s will vary each month depending on what spine catches my eye in my library when I go to chose books….Also depends on my mood, the phase of the moon, and how much sugar and caffeine is in my blood stream 🙂

October’s Books – Just click on the book image to check them out on Amazon.

FANTASY

Magician by Raymond Feist – I have a signed copy of this book.  It is one of my favourites.

The world had changed even before I discovered the foreign ship wrecked on the shore below Crydee Castle, but it was the harbinger of the chaos and death that was coming to our door.

War had come to the Kingdom of the Isles, and in the years that followed it would scatter my friends across the world. I longed to train as a warrior and fight alongside our duke like my foster-brother, but when the time came, I was not offered that choice. My fate would be shaped by other forces.

My name is Pug. I was once an orphaned kitchen boy, with no family and no prospects, but I am destined to become a master magician…

Magician is the first book in Raymond E. Feist’s acclaimed Riftwar Saga. The trilogy continues with book two, Silverthorn.
CHILDREN


Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning – I have the 1957 first edition of this book.  I’ve loved it since I was a kid.

It was just under the cliff walk from Constantine Bay to Treyarnon, in a little secret cove, that Susan discovered something quite different from anything that she had ever seen before. Perhaps “something” is not quite the correct word, “someone” would be more polite. His name was R. Dragon, he was 1,500 years old, and he had a great partiality for almond buns.

He was a dragon with impeccable manners, who was far too polite to eat people, and avoided meeting them because he did not like to frighten them. He could also tell stories and Sue heard about the Cornish giants and faries, and of King Arthur whom he had known very well. He taught Sue songs and took her on trips to Tintagel Castle and the Pool of Excalibur, and once to have tea with a mermaid, who told her about the country under the sea.

SCIENCE FICTION

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey – I absolutely love these books and I love Anne McCaffrey

The men who rode the dragons were a breed apart. Chosen when the dragons were first hatched, they became soulmates for life with the huge, magnificent beasts they controlled – the green, blue, brown and bronzes – beautiful – terrible – the only creatures who could defend the planet Pern from the blood-red star. But without the Queen, the dragons would become extinct. Only the gigantic, golden Queen could breed the new flights. And the Queen was fading . . . dying . . . leaving behind one last, huge, golden egg.

CRIME

Bad Debts by Peter Temple – This has now been made into a telemovie

A phone message from ex-client Danny McKillop doesn’t ring any bells for Jack Irish. Life is hard enough without having to dredge up old problems: His beloved football team continues to lose, the odds on his latest plunge at the track seem far too long, and he’s still cooking for one. When Danny turns up dead, Jack is forced to take a walk back into the dark and dangerous past.

With suspenseful prose and black humor, Peter Temple builds an unforgettable character in Jack Irish and brings the reader on a journey that is as intelligent as it is exciting.

Enjoy!

H. M. Clarke

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Book Review: Black Hawk Day Rewind

Black Hawk Day Rewind

by Dominick Fencer and Baibin Nighthawk

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The Cast

Mark Savannah, aka Barnett Cooper.  And Turner Cooper (dead father but still a strong influence on our star.)

The Vague Description (trying not to give plot spoilers)

Barnett, who did not have a good family life growing up (his father was killed in action when he was thirteen) grew up wanting to make his mark in the medical sciences.  Except his past (and his father’s), comes back to stop him when he is trying to finish his PHD in London.

He is co-opted into MI6 and through various missions Barnett begins to uncover more of his father’s past and death, as well as uncovering a deadly programme using mind control experiments on transplant patients through the facade of a company called BioSketch Technologies.

This is a fast paced book, though I did not really care for Barnett Cooper, I did begin to warm to him when he became Mark Savannah.  This is an action driven plot laced with global conspiracies where you will be rooting for this unlikable underdog to win!

Takeaway

Never take anything in your life at face value.  Make it your business to find out more!

End Thought

I want to learn to fly, be it a plane or helicopter, it doesn’t matter. Though, unlike Barnett, I AM scared of gravity.

This is a perfect read for a long weekend where you will not be rushed or continually on the go.  This is a book where you will bite the head off anyone who interrupts you while reading it.

-HMC

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Saturday Einstein!

Einstein-Quotes-1

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