Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Broken Records, Oak Trees, and Oranges- Picture Your Setting.

A broken record and orange peel
Here are some photos the kids and I took on a hike one day to the open space, called Lime Ridge, near our house.

Sometimes we find weird stuff like broken records amid dozens of orange rinds. There's a story there, just don't know what it is. There's a writing prompt for you. Write a story explaining who left them there.

But typically we just enjoy the view, the plants, and wildlife.
Our house is down there. See it? To the right of the palm trees with a gray roof.
Fiona and Daphne under the oak

Oak Tree

looking up at the tree
That exact spot with the oak tree is in my W.I.P., Twelve Keys. I put a character under that tree when we first meet him. Does everyone use places from real life for their stories? Of course I often add or subtract elements. In place of a city, I put a river, but it helps me to picture the scene if I've been to a similar place. I guess that's why I'm writing a story set in California. Much of my first book was set in California too.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How to Draw or Write About Steampunk Gizmos

From "The Steam House" by Jules Verne

You've got your steampunk, cyberpunk, dieselpunk, and cattle punk. How about photovoltaic punk or solar punk? That is, a story set in olden times (say, Victorian 1837-1901) or the old west (about 1849-1920ish), which are basically within the same time period, but solar energy running everything from gold mining equipment to horseless carriages. Hmm, maybe, maybe not.

The photovoltaic effect was discovered in 1839. In 1883 the first solar cell was built. Check out the Wiki article for the history of the solar cell.

I'm playing around with solar power in my time-spliced fantasy, Twelve Keys. I've got clockwork guns, steam powered engines, but a few solar powered things make sense in the world I'm building. Just can't figure how they will make photovoltaic cells without silicon. Maybe gold-coated selenium? I think I need more research.

Whether you're writing about a steam powered society or a solar powered society, it's helpful to know something about that technology. Sure, you may be writing fantasy, but that doesn't mean your air pirates' flying machine can't be believable. I've blogged before about my passion for steam power, particularly steambikes. Here are two posts you might find helpful.

Now I'd like to share this article I found. How to DrawSteampunk Machines. This artist actually builds steam powered gizmos, so he knows how they work and how to design convincing pictures of them. For us writers, it's a convenient explanation of how steam power works. We are designing with words instead of drawings, but what he has to say and show you is a marvelously help. It's nearly a tutorial on how to write steampunk- at least the gadget portion.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Revising over at Laura's Blog

I've been kind of revising as I write my fantasy work in progress. But I'm about ready to get down and dirty with some serious revising. Laura Diamond's post today on revising and chocolate will be insanely helpful in figuring out what to watch out for. Plus, she gives us permission to consume mass quanitities of chocolate, which I may need as I kill my darlings- those awesome, yet un-needed scenes and phrases. So, get your tail over to Laura Diamond's blog so you can see what I mean. :)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Harry Potter Oscar Nomination? and Playing "Hedwig's Theme"

It will be interesting to see if Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Part 2 gets an Oscar nomination. The movie series hasn't been up for any major awards. I think it's about time one gets Best Picture or Best Director. But that's just my opinion. Read more on this at Mugglenet.

The Art Directors Guild nominated Deathly Hallows 2 in the Fantasy Film category. According to an article at Mugglenet, this isn't a good sign as far as the Oscars go. Apparently the Oscars don't usually pick from the ADG's fantasy category.

Oh well, I don't generally watch award shows. I just like what I like.

Premiere photo

Sorry. Slow blog day for me. "Hedwig's Theme" is seeping into my brain. Both of my 10 yr olds have been practicing it on the piano. If you've watched any of the movies, you know this song. It's heard over and over. John Williams composed this brilliant tune. If you google on YouTube you can take a listen, but in case you want a quick link, I found "Hedwig's Theme" being played on the ocarina.
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