Wednesday, September 18, 2019

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop Put the Science in the SF

Welcome to the September version of the Author Toolbox Blog Hop created by Raimey Gallant. You can find the list of participants here and learn lots of ways to improve all aspects of your writing career.

I write fantasy and love reading it. But I have more than 20 science fiction romances published by a small press over the last twelve years. My educational background is science and I try to make sure even my science fiction still has the science part though not so much that I overwhelm my readers with too many dry facts.

My very first romance series was a post-apocalyptic Earth. The science part came into the apocalypse part. I was teaching health to high school students at the time and I always had one lesson on steroid usage. A wasting illness spread among humanity and consumption of a natural form of testosterone-laden berry gave people superior strength and stamina. It also carried exaggerated side effects of steroid use. Uncontrollable rage, infertility, and basically turned them into something less than human and very dangerous. I took a known fact about of the health risks of steroids and fictioned it up.

In another post-apocalyptic series, I took the futuristic hope of a universal vaccine and turned it into the near-end of humanity. The universal vaccine shut off the immune system of anyone who took it so a simple cold meant death. Hand the trait down to future generations, and the only survivors were those living in a domed city. EXCEPT, for the rugged individuals who lived off the grid and never received the vaccine. Vaccines and their supposed dangers are always in the news as is the search for vaccines for various ills. Again, I took known facts and fears and fictioned them up.

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." H.G. Wells

I've used genetic engineering in one series, and again, this is a science issue sometimes making news headlines. Science learns more about human genetics every day. How far away from making super beings like the genetically engineered marines are in my Recon Marine Series. Yes, I fictioned it up.

Though I have a strong background in biology, I'm not a biologist. I know enough to be dangerous and incorporate those light facts into my writing in a way anyone can understand. Then I weave the fiction with the facts. Science fiction is born.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."  Mark Twain

I think I invented a new word. Fictioned means to take some facts, exaggerate a little or a lot until the facts have morphed into fiction. 

Ho much science do you like in your science fiction? Does your educational background or life experience help you in creating stories? Don't forget to visit more #Author Toolbox Blog Hop.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

IWSG: September 2019

It's the month when fall will sneak up on us and it's the first Wednesday so it's time for Insecure Writer's Support Group. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his awesome comrades in arms, this group blogs once a month and shares wisdom and support. Find the entire group participating in this blog hop on this list.

This month's optional question:
If you could pick one place in the world to sit and right your next story, where would it be and why?

That is a tough question. First of all, I have an awesome office at home and I have it all to myself on evenings and weekends. It's pretty much perfect and I shouldn't be greedy and wish for something better. That being said, I would love to spend a week at a dude ranch in Montana where I could horseback ride in the morning and evening, walk for miles and enjoy the big sky and write in between being outdoors.

My daughter moved to Boston this past weekend to begin her PhD program. I'm not a city person but I appreciate the history of Boston and its many lovely spots to have a seat in a coffee shop and write. Harvard Square is one of my favorite. Yes, I could spend a week writing there.

The question for me, could I stay on task in those beautiful places? I'd like to find out.

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Labor speech, 1903, Theodore Roosevelt

Work on my next book is going slow as I dealt with knee replacement and helping my daughter move. This time her move isn't simply going back to college. It's a real move that will last 5-7 years. Those are my excuses for writing only about 15K words the past two months.

I'm back to watching my granddaughter five days per week as her teacher parents go back to school. Such a little bundle of joy. She's speaking in full sentences and knows all her letters. (Her dad taught her the alphabet by watching Wheel of Fortune) She's only 2 and a half as of today. On our agenda, more library programs and swimming once per week to start. She loves learning and trying new things. Play doh last week.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."  Chinese proverb

I'm also back to exercising 5 or more days per week. Since I have my knee fixed, I can actually do downhills again and use the elliptical more than one day in a row. I feel younger with my bionic parts. LOL

I have a writers' meeting tonight, so I'll try to visit as many blogs as I can before and after. I seem to keep volunteering for things I don't have time for.

"Experience is what enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again." Earl Wilson

I'm enjoying the last season of Killjoys. Only a few episodes left. I'll really miss those characters. The last season of Poldark starts later this month. I'm looking forward to the last season of Supernatural starting up in October. There's a new show this fall called Evil that looks interesting. Not sure anything else will catch my interest. Seems I'm depending more and more on Netflix and Amazon when I have the urge for a little screen time.

Do you have an ideal writing spot in all the world? Do you get yourself in trouble by too much volunteering? Do you like the coming of fall?