Up Again? Idea for My Expected Downtime

It appears my web browsers are working fine today.  That’s strange.  Yesterday, I couldn’t get a thing done with them freezing no matter what I did.  But I can’t expect it to continue to run normally for long. So, I had an idea.

My idea deals with two of my hobbies at the same time.  For each day that I can’t use a web browser on my computer, I’ll take a picture with my iPhone, then post it here with a short scene written  based on the photo.  I’m thinking of calling it “A Picture is Worth Ten Sentences.”  I’ll be able to continue posting daily, and it’ll be an interesting writing exercise for me.

What do you think?

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Computerless for the Foreseeable Future

I’m writing this from my phone, as I can’t get any of my computer’s web browsers to work without locking up. This means I’m restricted to my phone for the Internet. Not the best thing for typing up blog posts. So, I won’t be able to make long blog posts without tiring myself out, because typing on an iPhone takes far too long.

So, what should I do now? I’ll be reading a lot more. I’ll be writing on paper, both for my book and book reviews. Everything will get typed up once my computer is replaced, whenever that will be.

As for this blog, I’ll try blog often from my phone, hopefully generating some discussion from you in the comments. That means it’s your turn to talk a lot on this blog. So please leave comments often!

The unfortunate thing is that my Coursera courses are being put on hold for now. One course I won’t be able to finish at all because it’s done this month. I can’t watch anything. I don’t have iOS 7, so I can’t get the Coursera app. I tried.

Anyway, please bear with me until I get a new computer. When I’m fully up and running, I’ll have plenty to say.

Another Book Idea

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been developing another idea for a novel.  In fact, it’s four novels.  Why would I be developing another series of books when I haven’t even finished my current one, you may ask?  Well, this idea was just too good to let it be pushed aside and risk being forgotten.  I have absolutely no intentions to start writing them while I’m working on Ariadne.

So, what is my idea?  It’s fantasy.  And while Ariadne is science fiction with a strong element of realism, this new idea is a somewhat dark fantasy.  My previous post was about violence.  Well, this series will involve violence, which is a very central theme of the story.  It’s quite important to the story, but it does not glorify violence.

The people of this story are basically all the same race, but there is a cultural and geographical separation which makes them all very unique.  Not only will I have to develop a common origin for the different groups, but I will also have to create different interpretations of their shared mythology.  Different environments and resources will lead to totally different societies.  It just makes me anxious to develop it more.

But don’t worry, I’ll be working on Ariadne as much as possible so I can finish the first book, hopefully by the end of this year.

Now, all I have to do is get over this cold so I can resume my regular blog posting schedule.  I’ve been feeling quite fatigued.

How Much Violence Is too Much in Fiction?

A recent discussion on a Facebook group I’m a member of asked a similar question to this.  I saw a variety of answers.

The typical answers said that as long as it contributes to the story, any amount is fine.  Other people said that they didn’t like violence and avoided it like the plague.  They couldn’t bare to read it.

Novels like A Game of Thrones shows an incredible amount of violent and graphic violence and deaths.  Is it necessary?  Well, considering that the world is similar to the medieval world, and that was a violent time with wars involving swords and gruesome deaths, it’s completely justified.  War is not pretty.  It’s very graphic.

I’m currently reading Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind, and while it started off like a typical fantasy story, it soon proved to have an incredibly sadistic antagonist.  Some of the things he does is sickening.  Is it necessary?  I think so.  It shows how insane he is and what he’s willing to do to win.

Those are only two examples.  My opinion is that violence is often quite justified.  That includes extreme violence.  It doesn’t turn me away from a novel, unless it’s completely out of place and makes no sense.

What do you think?  Do you have a problem with violence in novels, or are you fine with it?  Please leave a comment.

Your Voice Was Heard

I recently posted a couple of polls so I could find out what my readers thought.  So, four days later, I have my response to the poll results so far.

The first poll asked, “What would you like to see more of on this blog?”

The top answer so far is writing advice. Now, as I’m not a professional writer, nor am I the most experienced at writing fiction, I can’t give seasoned advice.  I can give advice from the point of view of someone who is learning the craft.  And so, I will.

The next four answers were tied.  First up is writing progress. I intend to do this, and I am basically posting my first draft on my official website.  And yes, more parts are coming soon.

Next up is space science news. I may not be posting about a lot of the news, but I will post some things that are of personal interest or may be interesting to you.  Although I have a degree in physics and astronomy, I don’t always write about it.  But I’ll try to do some more, especially with next year’s encounters with Ceres and Pluto.

Next is interesting facts (Encyclopedia Entries). This will be roughly a weekly series.  So far, I have three done.

And then it’s author interviews. This is something I want to continue, and I will likely interview indie authors as I finish reading their books.  That is if they want to be interviewed.  If I’m lucky, I’ll interview a traditionally published author (already have with Michael J. Sullivan).

Going to the lower end of the votes, we have library architecture. Although this is a new project, I won’t always be going to libraries.  However, I will try to regularly gather some library photos to post.

Even lower down is book reviews.  Since this is a main feature, it’s a given that I’ll continue it.  But as I asked what people would like to see more of, I’ll continue reviewing at my usual pace.

And finally with no votes at all is restaurant reviews. Well, I haven’t done one in months.

Our second poll asked, “What new things would you like to see on this blog?”  These are things that I don’t have on my blog right now, but am considering adding.

Top vote goes to…a tie!  First is my writing. Wow, you want to see my writing?  Consider it done.  I’m planning to do some flash fiction and other short fiction and post them here.  I hope you enjoy it.

The other top vote-getter is sci-fi and fantasy TV and movie reviews. I’ve been hoping to do this for quite some time now.  In particular, I want to review Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek (individual episodes), Doctor Who (individual episodes), Star Wars, and more.

The other three options in the poll are also tied.  First is posts about nature. As you know, I love science, and I’m a nature lover.  I really enjoy being out in nature, especially hiking in the forest.  So, I may do some posts about animals and plants that are in the news.  In fact, I’m planning on starting a new blog for art and photography that will feature nature, among other things.

Next is guest posts. I’m interested in having other bloggers write posts for this blog, and it’ll help promote both their blogs and this blog.  It’ll also give you another person’s opinions that may differ from mine.

Finally is opinions about current events.  This isn’t a high priority, but I may touch on one or two topics from time to time.

Thanks to everyone who voted.  The polls are going to remain open, so you can still vote if you like.  As always, comments are very welcome.