tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-46290107214058235792021-12-24T00:38:11.375-08:00The Man Who Loved Alien LandscapesAlbert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.comBlogger65125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-16463917526281628412020-06-12T14:59:00.001-07:002020-06-12T15:08:10.216-07:00Structuring a Collection of Poetry <br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing">Whenever I decided to write a collection of poems supposedly written by the protagonist of my last two science-fiction novels, <a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days/"><i><span style="color: blue;">Temporary Planets for Transitory Days</span></i></a>, I knew that organization would be a big challenge.</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">First, I had a lot of poems I had already written over the years. But ever since I started writing novels I had gotten away from poetry. (Poetry was my “creative escape” during my busiest years of teaching.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But I much prefer writing novels now.) These were poems on a number of topics, and I felt that I could easily adapt them to this new project. I based my protagonist, Mykol Ranglen, a lot on myself, so I didn’t think it would be difficult to make them fit this new persona. But the poems did go in many different directions, and I needed a few organizational subjects to group them under.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">Second, I also knew I’d be writing a lot more poems directly connected to Ranglen’s futuristic world of space exploration and planetary adventures. Would these be separate or hooked up with the others? How would I manage to blend all of them together?&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">Third, I also had the two novels published now and I wanted direct connections to incidents or characters in both of them. This involved both writing new poems or adapting old ones to fit the situations.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">This sent me off on a binge of creating organizational schemes, several lists of sub-topics under which I could put the poems. The task involved a lot of “pondering” time—and a large number of repeated attempts to come up with just the right “list.” My desk was littered with various approaches on flurries of scrap paper, and one file on my computer was nothing but wildly off-beat phrases for the headings.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">Finally, I came up with the following, and it wasn’t easy. Indeed, the list kept changing during much of the writing of the new poems and the editing of the old. So, out of the 90-100 poems I finally aimed for and selected, here’s the ultimate list of seven categories: </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family: Cambria;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">1.<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->“Nights on Alchera” – poems related to the people, places, and events of the planetary setting from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1947879057/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=rawdogscrea05-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1947879057&amp;linkId=2769ca5fd7d1eed8f6d7e829017a719c"><span style="color: blue;">In a Suspect Universe</span></a></i>, my last novel written. Reading that novel isn’t required to understand the poems, but someone who <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">has</i> read the book will probably see some connections (or maybe not, for they are sometimes obscure).</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family: Cambria;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">2.<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->“Rocket Punk” – where Ranglen delights in the imagined outer space created by the popular science fiction of the past. He makes comparisons between the hopes for space travel as seen in the SF of the twentieth&nbsp;century and the attitudes toward space in his own day. (I had a great time writing these—“Loving the Spaceport” is a real favorite.)</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family: Cambria;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">3.<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->“Planetary Romance” – poems about Ranglen’s past loves, especially Mylia from <i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1947879057/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=rawdogscrea05-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1947879057&amp;linkId=2769ca5fd7d1eed8f6d7e829017a719c"><span style="color: blue;">In a Suspect Universe</span>&nbsp;</a></i>and Mileen from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406292476&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes"><span style="color: blue;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</span></a></i>(though you might not be sure which poems refer to whom). One long poem dealing with Mylia originally was meant as a chapter in the novel. Feelings for other characters too, some obvious, some not so, and some purely “fictional” (in this world which is already fictional).</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family: Cambria;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">4.<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->“Tales of Old Earth” – the forsaken and yet beautiful planet of humanity’s birth, its legends, its stories, its settings, its myths. Some of these are based on my own travels and interests, but I imagined Ranglen as growing up on Earth and loving its landscapes, as well as its history of popular culture. (You can tell he loves figures from old comic books.)</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family: Cambria;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">5.<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->“Riley’s World” – an imagined life for an admired character, now lost to him, from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="color: blue;"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1947879057/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=rawdogscrea05-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1947879057&amp;linkId=2769ca5fd7d1eed8f6d7e829017a719c"><span style="color: blue;">In a Suspect Universe</span></a>,</span> </i>especially creating (or maybe imitating, it’s hard to tell) a possible child she gets to watch grow up. These poems suggest strange connections between multiple universes, since Ranglen’s imaginary life for Riley oddly mirrors what really happened. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family: Cambria;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">6.<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->“Dark Galaxy” – frightening secrets and imagined scenarios of the stellar past, of the warring civilizations in the galactic dawn, and the dark hints of current interstellar doings. These were meant to be Ranglen’s commentary on the present state of his galaxy, and especially of how its earlier races have influenced it, for better or worse. It’s the most cynical, and biting, part of the book.</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family: Cambria;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">7.<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->“Sanctuary” – an autobiographical self-regard, with personal hopes revealed, longings expressed, and a final somewhat settled conclusion: Ranglen in his most sensitive and revealing mood, about his hopes and fears for himself and his future. A fitting closure to the entire book. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .25in;">As said, this particular choice of topics did not come easily, and it went through many variations. Among the headings that were discarded are:&nbsp; “Adventures on Other Planets,” “Nightsounds,” “The Man From Reality Maintenance,” “Borderlines,” “Solitudes,”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>“Suspended Revelations,” “Exiles of Space,” “Safehouse,” “Existential Aloneness,” “Nights and the Galaxy,”“In Border Spaces,” and “The Affected Earth.” (Hmm, I think I can make a poem out of just these phrases alone.) In writing, you often discard as much as you gain. But these titles give you some idea of the moods and directions of the poems themselves.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .25in;">Know that I was very happy with this final assembly. In some ways, an entire collection of poems makes for one long poem itself, arranged with structure and cadence, development and suspense. And I think this carefully wrought organization provides an almost latent “plot” to the book, or at least a “movement” or “arc,” from recent events he’s still dealing with, to a final calm acceptance of his past.</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .25in;">I hope you enjoy it. Pre-orders are available <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days/"><span style="color: blue;">here</span></a></i>, and not only will they come early but they’ll have a free insert that points out a connection between a prose segment in the novels and a specific poem in this book.</div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-36400650905071007532020-06-04T12:46:00.001-07:002020-06-04T12:46:59.693-07:00The "Notebook" -- From One Work of Fiction to AnotherIn my science-fiction novel, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1947879057/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=rawdogscrea05-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=1947879057&amp;linkId=2769ca5fd7d1eed8f6d7e829017a719c"><i>In a Suspect Universe</i></a>, Mykol Ranglen, the protagonist, often had with him a small notebook. <br /><br />He showed it to no one. <br /><br />But during the story, another character named Riley snuck a peak into the book when it fell out of Ranglen’s pocket while he was sleeping. She didn’t trust him at the time, so she was looking for information about any secret plans or plots she felt he might have, or “dirt” about him. But she found in the notebook only poems. And the revelations there were either more personal or more oblique than what she wanted. Since she was in a bad mood at the time, and very suspicious about Ranglen, she was neither ready for, nor appreciative of, any poetry. So she quickly put the notebook back.<br /><br />Throughout the novel, the two characters never spoke of the notebook or the incident, and Ranglen never indicated what it might contain or what it meant to him. <br /><br />But <a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days"><i>Temporary Planets for Transitory Days</i></a>, a work soon to be released by Dog Star Press (and available <a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days"><i>here</i></a> for preorder), IS that notebook. <br /><br />It’s a collection of the private poetic statements of Mykol Ranglen: comments about his world, his adventures, his past, his dreams, his regrets, his longings—the wonders he’s seen and the heartbreak he’s felt. And except for Riley’s sneak peak, only he has ever seen these personal jottings. <br /><br />Until now. <br /><br />In this new published collection, the poems are revealed for the first time. Ranglen apparently decided, through a sudden impulsive move that was maybe based on a further feeling of loss and longing, that it was time to discard them, to let them go, to not belabor them or hide them away—maybe in order to free himself so he could move on with his life. He stopped writing in the book and then passed it over to a publisher—like a spy bestowing secret knowledge. <br /><br />How that happened is summarized in the editor’s introduction to the collection—which I wrote, speaking in the voice of an imagined editor from at least a century in the future. (And, by the way, it was great fun writing the introduction to one’s own written book, in the voice of a careful and restrained editor who doesn’t want to impose his own “interpretation” onto the work, or to lead any of his readers into how to accept it.) <br /><br />The things we see then in this collection are all the topics that fascinated Ranglen. And no matter how big—or small—some of them might be, like the grand vistas and galaxy-wide subjects of science fiction, they are described here from a strictly personal viewpoint, through the eyes of a character who’s lived through two novels already (and who will appear in at least two more). These poems are links to his deep past, to old planet Earth, to the worlds of his present, to the planets he’s visited, to the stories we’ve seen, to the people he’s loved, and to the tales yet to be told. Secrets are revealed, known characters explored, settings opened, and mysteries explained—or, in some cases, made more complex. <br /><br />It’s been a great thrill creating this book. I’ve been on a writer’s new kind of adventure—presenting an imagined world through equally imagined eyes, or placing a fictional science fiction into an equally science-fictional frame. <br /><br />Leaping from one work of fiction to another! It’s been heady stuff.&nbsp;<div><br /></div><div>To summarize, and conclude, I’ll quote the last lines of my own faux editor:&nbsp;<div><br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; . . . I present to you the contents of “the notebook” as it was given to me, with its assigned title, structure, and sub-headings, exactly as Mykol Ranglen wanted them. I added no footnotes, since I have no authority to write them. My own speculation is no more valid than any other reader’s. <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; But be aware—or “beware”—the works are inconclusive. They tease. They absorb as much light as they shed. <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Which, given our troubled and contrary times, is maybe appropriate. <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; I hope you enjoy them. </div></div>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-44585778078994669852020-05-18T14:11:00.000-07:002020-05-18T14:20:20.356-07:00"Protagonist Poetry" <br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing">A project that has fascinated me ever since I first got the idea for it is soon to be released by Dog Star Books (on June 20, but it’s available for <i><u><a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days"><span style="color: blue;">pre-order</span></a></u></i>now with a special offer for a free insert—see my previous blog post or click on the link.)</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days"><span style="color: blue;">Temporary Planets for Transitory Days</span></a> </i>is an anthology of poems supposedly written by Mykol Ranglen, the main character from my two science-fiction novels, <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406292476&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes"><span style="color: blue;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</span></a></i> and <i><a href="https://amzn.to/2Kb5R5D"><span style="color: blue;">In a Suspect Universe</span></a></i> (he’ll be the protagonist of at least two more books, one of which I have in draft already).</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">The poems relate to his experiences, some of which can be seen in the novels, biographical details of his life, his thoughts on what’s happening in his 22</span><sup style="text-indent: 0.5in;">nd</sup><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"> century,his feelings, his adventures, and the many wonders he’s seen in outer space.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">This concept was exciting to me because, in the novels, Ranglen has always been tight-lipped about his emotions and his past.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">He’s not very revealing in either his dialogue or his private thoughts. Whenever I wanted to open him up a little, he seemed, uncannily, to shut me down, saying, “No, sorry, not yet.” So maybe these very personal poems were waiting inside both of us, brewing, cooking.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">And now, about to be published, they are ready to be viewed, and thus to reveal more of </span><i style="text-indent: 0.5in;">him</i><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">.</span><br /><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9VoXvQ8I8H0/XsL77TN5IBI/AAAAAAAABjc/ac3uZx5pbak_oygHPOe4yUseCvvGFemRwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Cover%252C%2BTemporary%2BPlanets%2Bfor%2BTransitory%2BDays%2Bdetail.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="1600" height="200" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9VoXvQ8I8H0/XsL77TN5IBI/AAAAAAAABjc/ac3uZx5pbak_oygHPOe4yUseCvvGFemRwCLcBGAsYHQ/s400/Cover%252C%2BTemporary%2BPlanets%2Bfor%2BTransitory%2BDays%2Bdetail.jpeg" width="400" /></a></div><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">And here’s the clincher:</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">I found that revealing him in poetry was much easier than in prose. (Or maybe, rather, </span><i style="text-indent: 0.5in;">he’s</i><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"> more revealing in poetry than in prose. It does get peculiar at times, as if you’re dialoging with your own created character.)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">But do be aware that he still can be obstinate. He maintains a number of mysteries, and he maybe even adds to them. Yet a reader will know a lot more about Ranglen and his interstellar worlds after reading the collection, his ties to different planets, his reactions to the past, his hidden interests, the deeper parts of his personality, his emotions, doubts, dreams, fears, and his loves. Many notions raised in the previous books are clarified—and a number of further questions are introduced. Some poems, seen only in fragments in the two books, are here presented in their complete forms. So aninteresting and stimulating connection among all three works can sometimes be seen (and I even made a few ties to the novel I’m writing now). You don’t need to have read the first two books to follow the poems since the anthology stands completely on its own. But the works do enrich each other and thus give the reader a deeper view of Ranglen himself.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">Incidentally, the preorder giveaway deals with these connections between the books, illustrating a particular tie by showing both a passage from the novel and several lines from the poem.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">So, all in all, I do recommend trying this experiment. If your main character is a bit too reticent and tight-lipped with you, then maybe write some poems from that character’s point of view. It unearths and stimulates the viewpoints the character might not want to share, and you might then even learn the reasons why the person is so reluctant.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">The anthology was a true pleasure to write, an exploration, a creative quest. I’ve never felt so close to, or so lost in, a created character. It’s been intriguingto plot out the byways of the man’s past—and how he’s dealt with it—as well as his longings and hopes for his future. And equally intriguing how he would express them, what he would say, the words he’d use.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">I can’t wait to share it!</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">The book will be released by Dog Star on June 20, but you can </span><i style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><u><a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days"><span style="color: blue;">pre-order</span></a></u></i><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">it now and receive a copy sooner.</span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-52391812296599915012020-05-15T13:50:00.002-07:002020-05-18T14:15:31.683-07:00The "Preorder Extra"--Linking Book to Book, Prose to Poem<div class="MsoNoSpacing">Even though COVID-19 has banned face-to-face book signings for a while, Dog Star Books still has a special treat for those who preorder a newly released text, and it’s a gift unique to the book itself.</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">My anthology of poetry, <a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days"><i><span style="color: blue;">Temporary Planets for Transitory Days</span></i></a>, will be released on June 20 with a special online reading and interview. But it’s available now for <a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days/"><i><span style="color: blue;">pre-order</span></i></a>and it comes with a special giveaway treat. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">The poems are supposedly written by Mykol Ranglen, the main character from my two science-fiction novels, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406292476&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes"><i style="background-color: white;"><span style="color: blue;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</span></i></a>and <i><a href="https://amzn.to/2Kb5R5D" style="background-color: white;"><span style="color: blue;">In a Suspect Universe</span></a>&nbsp;</i>(he’ll be the protagonist of at least two more books, one of which is drafted already).<span style="color: blue;"><i><u> </u></i></span>The poems relate to his experiences, the details of his life, thoughts on what’s happening in his 22<sup>nd</sup> century, his personal adventures, the worlds he’s visited, the people he’s loved, his “triumphs, sorrows, regrets, joys, and the sheer wonder and terror of his universe.”</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">But some of the incidents and people he writes about are from the two earlier novels, connected directly, or tangentially, or very obscurely, to them. So I thought it would be enlightening and entertaining to see how the creative process works and to provide an “insider’s view” of how several poems came about. Therefore, each preordered text will include an insert giving the passage from the novel that inspired a particular poem, and it will be followed with several lines from the poem itself so the poem can be found in the anthology. The inserts will look like this (the faux-snowflake shape is appropriate for the subject, by the way): <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YHw2gEp9Sww/Xr7-ctEXJLI/AAAAAAAABic/-I_BUCZbDJYVUrEtmG11O-uO1OvhlJttQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/IMG_2463.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1440" data-original-width="1157" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YHw2gEp9Sww/Xr7-ctEXJLI/AAAAAAAABic/-I_BUCZbDJYVUrEtmG11O-uO1OvhlJttQCLcBGAsYHQ/s640/IMG_2463.jpg" width="513" /></a></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">Some of the connections between the passages in the novels and the poems will be obvious (several poems are actually referred to in the two books), but others are not so straightforward, and even with the two alongside each other, the connection might not be immediately clear. So there’s also an element of mystery and puzzle-solving with several of them, and you’ll need to read the full poem to see more of the actual tie. And, though you’re given the title of the novel, you’re not given the title of the poem, so some reader-friendly exploration might be needed if you want to find it immediately. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">So I hope you enjoy these “extras.” I’d say “Collect them all!” but that might be extravagant. However, I will identify here one of the poems that was used—it’s the last in the collection, and <i>that</i> tie is a very interesting one.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">Just trying to tantalize you a bit.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;">Hope you like the collection.&nbsp; The book , with the insert, can be preordered <a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/temporary-planets-for-transitory-days"><i><span style="color: blue;">here</span></i></a>.&nbsp;</span>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-77459403781132622502020-03-17T12:31:00.000-07:002020-05-18T14:05:04.343-07:00What Makes a Good Cover for a Novel?<div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; font-family: cambria, serif; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; font-family: cambria, serif; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; font-family: cambria, serif; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; font-family: cambria, serif; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; font-family: cambria, serif; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"></span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">How do you react when you see the cover of your new novel for the first time? And what if you’re a stickler for what you feel should be&nbsp;<i>good&nbsp;</i>covers, exceptional covers?</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">All cover artists are usually fantastic at what they do, producing a stimulating and informative image. But not&nbsp;<i>always</i>. I won’t give examples, but I’ve seen a few that would cause a reader to be disappointed, even angry, at&nbsp;<i>not</i>&nbsp;finding in the book the mood, situation, or characters implied by the packaging.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">But I’ve been very fortunate for my own books, because all my covers have been produced by the excellent <a href="http://dogstarbooks.blogspot.com/p/cover-artist.html">Bradley Sharp</a>. I still remember how hesitant I was when I got the email showing the cover for my first book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes&amp;qid=1584449458&amp;s=books&amp;sr=1-1"><i>The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i></a>, because I hadn’t seen Brad’s covers yet, so I was pretty terrified. My experience with art (and I’ve had some) actually made me more nervous—I felt too qualified, that I surely would nitpick it or judge it to death.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">But I opened the file, and . . . I was delighted! And now, after two more books, I’m still impressed. Indeed, this third cover is maybe the best:</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Cambria, serif; margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GNemnrohBHM/XnDFulOvnDI/AAAAAAAABhU/pB91_A4loOQ3xBFM3EBTSPntD93ssd0nACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Temporary%2BPlanets-Lightened-lr.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="737" data-original-width="497" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GNemnrohBHM/XnDFulOvnDI/AAAAAAAABhU/pB91_A4loOQ3xBFM3EBTSPntD93ssd0nACLcBGAsYHQ/s400/Temporary%2BPlanets-Lightened-lr.jpg" width="268" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Cambria, serif; margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">Before talking about it, let’s ask:&nbsp;&nbsp;what’s needed in general for a cover to be “good”?&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"></div><br /><ol><li><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><b>Accuracy of subject matter</b>. It should not mislead the reader. The visuals do not have to be exact (it’s almost impossible to depict precisely what’s in the author’s mind, and often those mental pictures are much more vague than one assumes). An artist should be allowed to go in the best creative direction to make an appealing image, which an overly-exact rendition might not be. But the cover still should be tied to the subject matter. The spaceship shown does not need to be the same as the one described by the writer, but it still should be a spaceship.&nbsp;</span></li><li><b style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Accuracy of mood.&nbsp;</b><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Even more important is the accuracy of the book’s emotion. The cover for a horror novel should not be “cheery.” An adventure story should have adventure. And a romance book should be . . . romantic. The cover should suggest what the reader will&nbsp;</span><i style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">feel</i><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">, the primary emotion and mood of the story. And if there’s a whole assortment of contradictory moods instead, then that too should be suggested. Artists can play and tease with expectations—sometimes the shock of surprise is useful. But then the idea of contrast itself should be expressed, like the pleasant yellow smiley face on the front of&nbsp;</span><i style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Watchmen—</i><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">with a streak of blood slashed across it.</span></li><li><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><b>Visual appeal.&nbsp;</b>Some aspect of the cover needs to stand out to catch attention, to grab someone perusing the bookshelves or browsing online, an item or detail that calls quick attention to itself. The call can be subtle—a visual whisper instead of a klaxon shout, a hint of a breeze instead of a hurricane—but the call still needs to be there. You want to look again, to be sucked in, by the single red leaf in a field of green, or by the baby doll that has the expression of a murderer.&nbsp;</span></li><li><b style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">A creative spark, a difference, a uniqueness</b><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">. Even when the cover seems to be doing exactly what it should, there still should be something that’s new, that has maybe never been seen before, a surprise, the unexpected, a hint that “You’ll get a different experience in this book.” It's hard to define, and you might not notice it at first:&nbsp;&nbsp;a subtle visual surprise, a raised question, a hint of difference, a promise of a reading adventure. It’s the odd reflection in a perfect eye, the use of black-and-white in a world of color, or a playful visual connection with the words of the title itself.&nbsp;</span></li></ol><ol></ol><ol></ol><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><a href="https://www.blogger.com/u/1/blogger.g?blogID=4629010721405823579" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="https://www.blogger.com/u/1/blogger.g?blogID=4629010721405823579" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="https://www.blogger.com/u/1/blogger.g?blogID=4629010721405823579" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="data:image/jpeg;base64,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%20" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wBDAAoHBwgHBgoICAgLCgoLDhgQDg0NDh0VFhEYIx8lJCIfIiEmKzcvJik0KSEiMEExNDk7Pj4+JS5ESUM8SDc9Pjv/2wBDAQoLCw4NDhwQEBw7KCIoOzs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozs7Ozv/wAARCAEEAQQDASIAAhEBAxEB/8QAHAAAAgMBAQEBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUDBAYHAgEI/8QARRAAAgEDAwIDBAgEBAQFBAMAAQIDBAURABIhBjETIkEUUWFxBxUyNHOBkbEjQlKhM2KS0SRTVMEWQ3Lw8UaisuFjgqP/xAAaAQADAQEBAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAQIDBAUG/8QALxEAAgIBBAECBAUFAQEAAAAAAAECEQMEEiExQSJRBRMUYYGRobHRIzJx4fCC8f/aAAwDAQACEQMRAD8A65TU0DUsRMEZJQEkoOeNSey03/Txf6BopfukP4a/tqbQBD7LTf8ATxf6Bo9lpv8Ap4v9A1No0AQ+y03/AE8X+gaq3KBYqN3ghpw4xgONoPwyBx88H5aYaqXM7bfM3gmbCk+EMZf4ckDntycaENCiOqpHkELqIZv+VKoVj8vRvmCde6mejowpqHij3sFQEcuScAAdyfgNZ63VtdLb6me5WpLTRxkBYbhOrxsO3BwCgzjuCPcNULXYjLUNPS1VrKrc2rV9lnL+Gu0qqcAZ5OSMgcY4ydWWaWsvFtt83g1eIZDGJApTOckjAx68f31eiEUsKSiIAOobDKMjPv1kLPZq6r6orKm7J4iwtkP/ACuf5dvw2445x8M86O2XWlu6zVNJUJNFDK0I2NwCMZz/AGx8Me86EBf8KP8A5a/po8KP/lr+mvLTqkJlIbC/aAGSPfrNXTqWalqxTWXbdXyXkiplaokj5B2nbnaDk4J4+WAC+A4NP4Uf/LX9NeXWFFLOqKo7kgaoQv1LWoDFZYKDgbjXVQJB+Cxhs/mw1K3Td2rNvt/UBRQQ2yhpEj5Hxk3/APbStCtFhGppF3R+GwyV4weR3Hz1J4cf9C/pqmnQdmMpmqXrqqUsGLyVsi7iO2QhUH8xq0vRnTQOWstJMf8A+ePxf/yzpWLcRtNRp9t4UPuZlGNCz0LHCy07H4Mp1ZXpTpxPsdP2xflRxj/tr63S3TrfasNsPzo4/wDbRYWRCOMjIRSPkNffDjAzsX9NeX6M6Zb7NioYj74YRGf/ALcahn6KtUkTxwT3KkDjB8C4TAAfBSxUfpo3BuEFy64slDIIoUNU7Z2mMAIT7t3v+AyeRqWs6ngFvpKq2UfthqZNmzAGw/0k/wBRyMehHIJGM0az6H4C7yUF6nBbllrIlmDn4ldpPzOTnn359UVhvPTkDU8lraqpcBmloZhJJkHIB3BXx3OFDMMnB50WFmkNZSlkEcLSs6hyqR5KKfVvd8u59AcaguV3t9to0qnCyJI+1QgGfify9f00iiuVHXUMsDRbnhKO1GiFJ1dmwQ8ZLOcZyWKg8ZGfSzU2sXWMi4R7NtQC4SXeUYhUClefL9k5yCe+BnGmUXqHqOyV0YZJ44mLBSsy7cMf5c9ifgCe2m/hR/8ALX9Nc/rek7hFUvJHCRGWKoYioIBOOfXkcfLv9okUrf1bf7dXvDNA8lNE/hmKdvMD8WPIOBkZ45Pu4V+4rOm+FH/y1/TTP2Wn/wCni/0DWbs/UFFeS6028MncMP8A3g9jg88jWq0SFIh9lpv+ni/0DR7LTf8ATxf6BqbRqSSH2Wm/6eL/AEDR7LTf9PF/oGptGgBHdo0jqlEaKg2A4UY9To16vP3tPwx+50aQxpS/dIfw1/bU2oaX7pD+Gv7am0xBo0aNABqpchmglHimHK/4i4ynxGQRx8QRq3qhekeW1Txx43Ou0ZGRz+uga7MPRQ/+IKmsoauvrXCxgxyBlBAJKsCu3ZkjH8ufMR217oelunqKZo0mS5zbdns1S8bhmBOGZQvcZIzjgZ41k62822O5zxyVNGjRbYQammlkcYySV2oQCS2PTtnHOtZQGn6dsjXepjSeqqPJSxwQqjzluUjVVRSWbGeRkD5HVIosdT0tyg6TqKLpxYlqFXDhCFZFPJ2jsDj5YHb01zr6NbV1ibh7XZqZVoZBsnkrMrDIoz+bEZOMdu2eTroPTv0fTzV0976qnNRV1Z3NQo58FB6K+Dh8YAx9kY9e+t8qpGgRFCqowABgAaTZLZnYekVqPPe66W4k96dcxU/fOCgOXHwkLf3On1NSU1HTpTUtPFBDGMJHEgVVHuAHA1LkaNIQa+6NfMj36APujXnOqv1rbzNUwiupzLSLuqE8VcwjGcsM+UY550AXNGsjL9I9mEX8GOommLeWAKquyf18kYX05wc+mqXUn0jLRRUi2hYpJqikNY3joSI0BxtIBHm3bgeeNp41O5FrHJuqN3rKdU9WC2XJLRBUJTztB48szAEohJVdoPGcgnJyAB2OeNPE7SQo7LtLKCR7tZ7rKyWWptFfeK+201TU0dDKY5ZYwxUKrMO/uOTpvlcExaTtmSrOoDJDFUT3O4VJXhXgndd+T/RDtDfpp3bL+LBQyT3VKiNqtg9LQgZl2gAFtpIEYPuOOR7yRrHfR8zfX9ihXJEKMW+QgcfuRr105PH191W0tzZxBVrLN4QkKkxqcJECuCMA5OMZwx9TrCLdX5O/Jjintqklb9zaw3vp3q+sit1dbnSo5ameYAMCBk+HIp3I2Bngg8cHjUM/Tl06diQWdvbrfFJ4ngSLmoi4x5WyBIAuQA3PxbAGsHbrc1u+kIWe2yyTU8F3i8AF8sqKytIM+oUBx+R13LGtYSbuzmywUKcfKsxFtraa409RX0sTjLrD47HbOCD5t+7G0LwdvbhuPTXu42K3X6VJ4Z/Clh3eaMe/jJB78dj6/Eav9RdNGoqY7za4UNwgYO9Ox2pWAAja3oHwSFb0zg5B1VWp9uo57pFUP4bR/wACJMq4YAja4/qD7ht9/BHHGydmadkdjsy2qseM1bSusQIiWMqkaknJz6sSO/fj3a2estaq9auaZY/4p3MZZUbKKcgIAe3K84GcevcZ1OkxSPujRo1JIaNGjQAlvP3tPwx+50aLz97T8MfudGkMaUv3SH8Nf21NqGl+6Q/hr+2ptMQaNGjQAarV+72R9hAfHl3DIz8dWdVbg5SlZgpY5AAAPcnHp6fH0012NdnNLZQ2Whu1xrPqqoiiocNPW1qHe5wP8NTzuc5JPfkADzDG0sNnmeo+u7sn/HSLiCA8iijP8g/zn+ZvU8dgNUUhjuXU1Nbd4ljoFFdV47NKTiEHk+5mx6bE1rtDGw1zWs6gguyVNVW0T1yGqaCnogBIuFk8NcIfKWLDdk8jOM410l2CIzHgAZOuJ/RzOZq6xU83mMsju2fUgPID+oGssjqka4Ybtz9kNIOoaOullko6N7bcaNvDO+ARTQnuAQP5TjlTwfXTu6fSUIaOJ6NKeNvZ4paiWoJZIWdQwTaMEnDLzkdx35xkuoqyKu62udZbSKgVJhghMfPjMqhcj35Y7Qfh7tZ+SYW+rr6KonBEdc9Ir4GHEYEY79shNZbmro6o4VPba5ab/g6z0v1vJdHnS4tShI6ZqpaiAFU8NSN2QWPbcDnPv93OSHW9ZUXmO6y1k0KK6StS+Iwjjpy3YoDgtsDZJBO7t2GE0VyoKLpOpooHK3CulWmePGBFSr5jt94bG09u+PQEpKiKWhqEudVRV8ENYBGk88LJC4xkYLYzwPz503KTSoqOCCm93CuuTTXDqmtousLpdWjSoraGtlp6cZ48MgpGv/p8wYj1IJ76USVsvsstPTymV5lNNVysxyVZleQk+pYqM/8AqOvslrvUvUqUv1dUtWV9HDKsZjIPlHh72JHlztBJOME86fVH0XX2n6kelt6Rm21EcbGsaQARyBAJCyk7iSwJwMjkDI5wOM23QQlgjFKfnh/h/JlqqVqK5S1xUlnoRJtP/rYL+qqp/PRAUudSksdQ5SqjFOik52bmOce7lice8k+uunVH0aSVHV8Ff7VDHaqeCnjWAKWkbwsAKfQAj15Pw9dMKL6Men6DqN7xCkwRnEqUe4CGOQHO4Dv3AIGcD9AH8rkhauKVNX3+ZsBgDA1nfpBkki6AvbRqWY0jrgDPBGD/AGJ1osaCARg9tbnnnJfomo56m6vdFgY0KUrRpMwIVnLLwM9+A2cdtUav6I7/AEVZJS21qKstpctAaiQo8YJzhvKc4947/Dtrs6oqKFUBQOABxjX3UKCSo6JanI8nzFwzI9GdB0/TIFXUyLU3Apt3quI4h6hB/bJ/tkjWv18191SSXRjKcpu5PkNYm60iW3qKejiPs1NeAKsyIQvhyRlRKf8A+w8P8yx1ttYb6RrXPeqm02+lq1pqiRZyrsCQwCqSpx6Hj3/LTQkX7VV0E1VNHT1iTzhFyFAACAYAUe4HP5t8hrVa5j0RRXKlvNYtzpmhnhj2sSAQ24ggq38wOCeOAc9tdO02Nho0aNIkNGjRoAS3n72n4Y/c6NF5+9p+GP3OjSGNKX7pD+Gv7am1DS/dIfw1/bU2mINGjRoANL73UzUlpnnp6V6uZFzHBGQC7Z4GT2+fpphpT1I1EtnkNe8ywb0B8AyB2YsAoHh+Y5JHA0IaMp9F1PcYqm/TXqJorpPPE8ocjOzadnb0zvA+Wug6xFqlW19QU1X7DPRUlxjWjcVDAsJAS0ROGOM7pF5OclR6622mwZWuYkNsqhEpaQwvtVRkk7Tga/PdptN1uVPBR09irp5IwFIanKqrAY5ZsKPzOv0boxrOUFLs2w55YW3HyYro3oIWWVLldHSavUfw405SDIwcH+Zvj8ePeacH0R22ee5SXmslrFq5pZIUjHh+DvYndnnLDJxnj3g66DpH1ZejZ7dAIiwmralKWN1x/DyCzPz7kViODzjjGmopImWSc5Nt8sVU/wBFnS0DUbvTTVElKDlppifGzj7foRx24HfjWluE1vpYYnrRGVWQeCpj3sXwcbFAJLYz2GcZ1mrbeaSmv1NBTTTmCrzFIJ6h5P4ndGBcnGcFeO5ZfdpXX9VNN1DV1UDgw02aWmOfcf4jj5sNvyjBHfUucUrKWLJOe19m+o6qCugFRTuWQkjzKVIIOCCCAQQQRg6n1lel7rFT9N3C6VkgSGKolmkbGcDAY6RWXri4VnUtL7VOqUlZJ4RpmVAIdwOzB+0WzsU84OTgDjD3rj7krDJ7q8HR8gd/TUNTW0tHTGqqamKGBcZlkcKoycDk6431f1FVXO9XWKQRPHRTyQU8ErHwyI1yTjBy5IYDj1A1n5qysijo6iKF4KAVASoRP8ITtG2wccFgN3I9CM+mpeTmqNY6ZuKk33X6nd7r1DQWi3R100nixzECEQkMZSRkbeQDwCc57DWXr/pQo1jD26njliKAmeeYIisQDjjOSM4PI5BGeNc/Nzquoqm0WenBR6NDSRMwJAeR/tfJUEf/AN2kdG8VbCkMMMSI8sskaNOkKRjeceZ2UDAYAc6Tm30aw0yT9f3/AHo6TX/SXcPq+niRIaWrlV5zMEyjQqQFZQT6ncMnPCHHcY6ZGWKKWADEcgHsdfnm/Ry/Wa081xS4vFb0iM8MvirhnkbaGPJxnHPu9Ndn6a6yoOqJ6mGkpqqBqYKx8dVG4EkcbWPu9caqMuabMsuKsamlxz+5otGjRrQ5Q1y3rm21HV90aWnnFJR2ljGtczHETrzKVAwWOdij4xtznGtJ1ff7n4FVZuloBVXgRgyvvVVpFbsSTxvP8q/meMA5Doq39Q2y1rX3W+R0NtVR4cU+0qQeFJJI2gkg98k/qWkNIYdC3TqaSYW/qCA+CYHkpaicBJ5QrKPMucjhh3GfiddN1jbN7Fc6836neKeWSI07ulQJBDtIOxdvBB5bJOe3HPGx02Nn3Ro0akkNGjRoAS3n72n4Y/c6NF5+9p+GP3OjSGNKX7pD+Gv7am1DS/dIfw1/bU2mINGjRoANVbh4nsreEV35GN3Y/D/96tazXXsFZU9LzQ25JXrGkj8AQybGD7gQQ3pjufgD20IEL7hQpdKasW5lVdUYwxMx2QgD/EBHdvXcOV7DBzmx0v1Ws7x2a7Tx/WAyIZwSErFHquQPOPUY+I47I7FcrxPSy0XVlFTmJEz7QkyFgGJUKwB5YjJBXuPjphdKGq9iZYBDcKVxGnhTZOGBwH3LypHB3D3fyYLapqy2rNzo1hrdfb1Z5/ZKiEXakGdhjqY2qkQdjyR4gP5MPXcdae1dQ2m9h/q6tjmeMkSRHKyRkHB3I2GXn3gakgZa5h9KFwQdS2ej8Rg1NTzVDIDxliqKSPkJP1107XFfpAepuP0mzUEFLLJUClhigREJMo8zEj0xliCewwcng6jJe10dGmUXmjufAjgvb1qThZWjlhmISRe6kHKsPiOD+WoJqyenmoUiUrRt4kSnPdkVTj38Bl/1a1d8+jW9R3qgNppUmhmoYYamQyKixyxqE3H1wQB2BPfTnqD6Mq2stVhpLVV0we2GUztUblEpk2lmGAfUHAPpgZ41j8l2zu+rx7YvzfP+EzMVV+8PoOO1K4D1le7y/CKNUJ/Vio+WdZOjrGirpZoq0NLI4miO3hCvYg9jjA/TXXKP6I7dFcaaqqrjPUxRQhZacxhVlfcTk98Lzjb34HOtfX9PWm6VNHU11BDUSUJJp965EecZ47HsO44xrT5baMfqoRb2xu23+Z+efa7hdWrrpR0kk++olq6lIxuMSM5JJ+RI1u7X07duoPosr6BqUqFkFVazImyRn+0e4HByQCf6j6Aa6pSW6ioFdaOkgphI5kcQxhNzHuTjufjqxjVKCTswnqZTgoeFX6HNPo76LuFJVi83imNLIsbLBA5y6sRgucduMgDv5j240qtX0PX2ONIK66W+GOM4DQo8rFfz2gH9ddgxr7o2RqhPU5XNzvlmBk+h+wvVLOtfcolCKrpHKo3kZOSdvrk9sfDGtZZbBbOn6T2a20wiUnLsSWdz72Y8n8+2mOl9Jf7RXVjUdJdKOoqUyTFFOrMMd+AfT192qpGLlJqmy+7rGjO7BVUZLMcADWIv/WVRVwPD0+CIApaW4nABUA8QBvtkkY3cgdxu9FXXF9q5esqW0VCKLPHhZI2Rm8ad0LRblH213AAL2JVs9hh3JPAaSOsFMxppCkcaOmdhMgUMRkhe+eQCMc88CkhJC3pWgI6ZjgWdYq2pKSzVCtuaUb9xJJzlsFgSfXOsf9INnvtZcHMFHUVNHRqiRBSCc4+0EB4BCkZAAyPTka2Vs6nqIrr9VVsEbNUvI1HMD4QJyW2SKwDK3K8hTnOccHTGOlpqWlrKqCSWk8EFzHKy7YCoJxx/Lg9s4APG3VeCjnX0OVNSL/W0rTOYHpTK0eTt37kG7Hvxru+uZ9C9U2nqKqbZbo6W6RwEyvHCFVkDAYBznA8vB/LXS9SyWfdGjRpCDRo0aAEt5+9p+GP3OjRefvafhj9zo0hjSl+6Q/hr+2ptQ0v3SH8Nf21NpiDRo0aADVC8MFtkxZogu3zeKMqV9Qfyz/8AvV/Sbqm3pc7K9PJkLvR8q5QjawI8w5HI7jQNCC5ossCQT3aLwCd251ZXA5VtxRlGMFuTgDHr31LSTSzXWRYLnTEqMyReDjeeeQN3bG0ZOTx3xxpHI8P1pUwVzTeHCiyhSzNK8aLsKcjBySCSDg7j8Tqm0kMkKzLNWb2bYbjHCXjlTILbQMsjkEZwCMqSDjJ1dlmjltNFcpUqaeSWimZizpE+2Ofnk47E8d8bh66pXew0W52FPDBMW9qlqgq+MDwAsZzkMdvJBHPIIJ15l6ktdReIaI1Jq7nzF4cNMdiuQCAcnKnue/AU55AOrHUHVHTturqax3qcmWdcvLtwsJP2SzA5XPOMdvXA50AVrLV9VewzVFFeEnenOGt9ZAZfj5Zd+85HbJPII06g6qua0aVs9ljrIT5fEoKgF85xgxyBSGzwVycHWY6npbzbBDdbA4ej9nxM9KMtJtyY2IH2h5u4+JPGtB09crTd1FQnsklapLO6oAx5ZAwPc5Axn3H0zjSomkNB1jQou6robrSYGT4lDI4HzMYYf317XrbpoqGa8U8QIz/GJj//ACA0tuMKVNyiauEEdJTHesk0Q78DhySoBzjBweOAeCPFTWUQpUZpCLeiYWCniJyB2Jx6AADaB6gckgaKDaOB1n0sf/qO1D51kY/76D1p0sP/AKjtZ+VXGf8AvrK1NfHdunkrIJctWJCHjQfaRpEwpJ5BG8r8csQPdTuNFeK+vpKe3V9TSLUBN8sQC+JAgAaUuM5c+XHwAHqdKg2mzbrfptVyt2ilGcDwQ0mT2/lB0vrvpO6ZoHRJJawtJ9gexSqW5I43KM8gjjVKHqS3nqr/AMNQpO8tJGMuCGAYjndzuPBHOCMnnUtX07BW1VU9XQxy0zIoSPflmI54BACZPpuIPwJOSg2lqu60q6aFZo+mq4RMcGWolijRR72Ks5UfEgY1A906ouUEiU09st0wXIhCPO/5M21cfHaRpPa7JeOnnq5Ka7GsoVU76acs7wYw21Wx5vKSPTGc4PYukW3XAMtuulPNJhWRY5VYJgd128jIHy78Htp0FCups8dwpBH1TVVcsk7HZ41VlBj1MaYQceuD37gnReKaey2R3pYYCKGb22ldMoEIO5lXAP2ssuDjh8ZOM6qyW+svk1zgrbskyQylKV4h4LggkNGxHHBIxkN3VuRwfdFJLS9GXGZp5/ZoqaQ76t3kaQlMnl8HOSRkBQc/ZB4AMtdeUtLW1ltqJCTQ3KBopipI8QqVkizgZGB4hz8fjr5Yqyx0SzwNdJDuUKyVE25FHPAbJGc59c/AamvC1k1ws1ooKmCOttdGJ3WQ8bztQKfXlBN25+zyM51SFbT3CvjtVVDPaq2bx1kp1z5gcvvVxjI3AsMY5JHzEJElTVW2QmKmpIXiglE1KXzGiSqDhlCrkjzHgZz5sDWA6irurupXqopZQsNL/BlgpXKxSHcee/m+yec9l1vKWSWolp6hGnWmlCEyuyIySNO6qCGLA4z2ySSqaJOq7TWSuaO7UwqgYopIagFEkC7iwLbTwQx5x3AHqNAyn9GfSkVjhermkMtfKjRShT5acBh5CO5YkZz8P16rrK2WJqGlSmqJYmqZQZdqLtLAYBJzyTyuT8hrVaGJho0aNSSGjRo0AJbz97T8MfudGi8/e0/DH7nRpDGlL90h/DX9tTahpfukP4a/tqbTEGjRo0AGll/kMVpldUZ3GNqjHJz2ySMD450z0vve0WqdnYqqruYhyuAOScgjH6jQNdnPJoK+rqXqKGA0lVFkxtuEiSqVUHP8vbnknkDPZcVWtV0S2vhwHhZ5oz7KgQFlAyVQ4yAM55yHYEYORppY3WWWkpJQsyxtIZZC5wAQE3ZPPlZhnOTs7gjy0+n6WCqRWXxWUKpeokY72UDGdx9G8427VIGT5fLqiij7NauiLXUdS1ErVk4i8Knlm275mY5JBAz5mJOSTgDvjjXNorfeuqKi4yVM8W5J/GrJC4ILEMqLx3HDAY7Btbm8U1R1zdEmijZrVTsyUzFCsflOHkYkbSDjAA9B6EnWitnSllpKiCWmYM8chO5uJHxgKCOAQAp9O2MeuSgoo/R5ZLnaLTOHrN8DOPAhZiy4Gc4PoDxyPdnnV2bpq0Vl4appGelrY231FNBL4Ydj2YgevP2h7/QnV+U3F+nTFA4SsmLLHgcopY9iMcqvr2yPXWJqLJerZ1MlTRUVZKzgTSMjqRhRsZgT9pyGzyc859TgH0a6vt1MZoainkgpTG6iSOZApY7gTlyQcsFIJ82RnHc580DW2hgWOqrDUVVLuTw4pHkKqQoPlHOPKDk9jkjGpkvNDJRrNUV6lY8xtWBfCMTZ2ksDwAWx7wT6cZ1Sr4bNRM7S19HTVFS5lDy1BKujeoQuNuTyMHBKqe4ADYD1qShit8i+WCAoPMCBsUcgg+mO/wA9UfEa0WhCZd00vljHoi54AHpgHtzg4HYcYu9XqlqZrXQTVcdVRRO1T4VIUmYFcFUJK4A8xHpxnJ9BFX3egYpHH0vF4W458Cs8BxxzlYxyeTwCe59+sZ54wdG2PBkyK4omtFFR3HraaWoD73ozt/ilGBVlU4K4IK+Yd84x79aGppqqxxNVUvUMsUeeYbjIJYmP9IY+dfyJ+WszZeoum7QzTUlkrBI4x4m9ZSo/pDO+QMknGvtf1G3VFypLctHJBD4pfa+NzKActuVvKcFuMcHHm5xrBzbnd0jR4JQhc48EF86mrb3TU1JJTLDBC5kqngO1ZmI7hXwRyTwfXBzrxWWvpe61kNSl0W3Sx7dzyYhl3EksxOcO2RwVOOee3LeA9NVdPMz0tPBHSOpmMqBApB8uX7Nz8T8dLbs9JaKuiulsWKoppd+YxJujc8qQO/fec4/p1UNVGb27WmcsJQm9qTsp2yWCOtuFp6gr45aWsiJeqZhgzJJkMD6thj2+1wNO+przC9stts6epllt8QilVmJWMxqAwBJ5x2BB5OT686VdOQeJ1HZ5niiAeWaQoi7UUskjDavpjI+WBqolHHb66vttJEyww127MT71VN2MH1yFUD+bk84IxohnW12dOpwyxyr7L9h1HS1kc4rq6eaJp5leWYPiaZiwGcfyjkeuQBjAIGGlWtMRPT16NXUSwB5FeR2khGT/ABEY5JJGcjPO0a9VXg1ex6fwqsA/4RcEHIHIPocc5+Y9dehUHyvG4cMdzsg4AzhYxn1JIH69uNed9TlclL9DzN8rsST9C2y3wPdI1rr7SN9gQSZZFAPcAgkg45HbngaudLWrpauV7/FanoYKFy5ecsFyqg8Au2QO+ff/AGpDqSfpyOSsp42WBpnRBtIicbmK4Ax3A+1g4BA4GnMHU1F1hQxUEMy2q47kqBRVaZjqOQwGeNynvxg+uCO/tRdpM6EfOj7tFf8ArGuuNTLVxVhpytLRyxFEWl3LhwccksP7n3a6lrDWeGvrOpqu5XW3ChmpqcUsPhuHSZC24tv4J5UYBAx+fG40MGfdGjRpEho0aNACW8/e0/DH7nRovP3tPwx+50aQxpS/dIfw1/bU2oaX7pD+Gv7am0xBo0aNABqhenljtU7Qhy4GRsGT39Bg5+WDnV/VauQSUjo2cNwcMQfyI5GhDXZhKKiRdyyostSTwkgYOvbBBIID4Kk92AxljjIeMkMcbQTSL4K+eqlkJAYnspPbHbIJ7YByDqKur4rfSvXvkjiOmj+1vPPPHfPz7D3kjRC31lb4UWmqIj4qSuJ8K6lZA/mGcgnb2HHOO2rLKUl8tcM62gVNHFHLIYEhjyrIuMHIHA5DY7DtrxTePab0lA6vVJVs7lpAAMDlSpwBnJIKg8YyAAdXayw2dKl7tVxAtETM7SHeB68ZyQMjOBjPrnVKepr7zSCWrt8VJQN5hFK48eVcE5GQQrY/lxnv5hjkAZC70LpPVxyFhTRHKbCGx38o7HPHb4appcrdVRS1UiM1ZCvmjdXXacrxkqCq52buMDgn36oXKljYNWE08FO0figbAryqcNjYFznPck8HnAGQc31HUxW4qKKueGe4q61cQxKCjAHyn3sWAzjJ2kgjB3KUqVlQi5SSRSr+prxPHUUsphpIGYeHJRzEoAQpKAplT9kcnsSw5ydIXO+R3Jcl2LMXYsSx7kk99WILfWXCle4QU8cVDEjsZ5HCoipxwvLcnjGO/wCutJYOgzX26Orulc8bSeZEo2Qrs9CWIbn5HGuKbk+ZHq456fCqjyzHxCRC5Vthc8le5APGvMiKo7yF3bgKxyTj/wB/DTTda6SSeFIzUmOV0z9sMATg7iccgZ41SSBPHaoaKNHcY2ooAUe7j99ZKXL4PRjjUorbzf6EMCTQTZkIKPwfMTtPpyf04+GtN0i0f1zIhGJTFuU57qOCMenJHx0imDNEwUAse2TjTSwUtMZ45pK6SKsj4UrGAEYZHv8AMD2IxnsPjqMnMWcnxCG3TuC/ya2WopajKywp7O0hhd5QVG7H2SDjnJGMZzpD1fHBvoqGKIxlf8PacKAe/H+UL/caaU9ZepjG0lLRIHXPtJkLAADk7R+XG7WWvsYa+zuWmk3KoLyKBuAGOMcEHBP6eudc2KNT4PE0GF5c6S8ck1LfoKF6qejPiViQtBRrjCqTjdKSRjAwAB3PPoc6LFPBS1AglkMFLPhXYIQMg8DPu57+86V4VC7sRhiOT6D/AN5/XVSe7+B/w9KBLI+VIK9s+oP5a6ZY98NiPpMkIQ3Tyvl/8qN1d6CkpBT3GnamCK/87KYXBHJIP2e/cHGeSNWaWgr7naPbayoVYp6bxvDQFiqbA4GeAGIPfbkayVos1VfBVTp4EfssZZoF88shxkIAGBwcYzxz2Oc63FHd2eKjprvS1Ntnny9RJOsaU5yACikydxgADk4zx3xel08Yqsjtng6rHj3+lEt6stum6auVKlR7BDDly5VSCF3KAcj1ZT257Y74OC+kynuTVNuq1oBTUEFMkNO0RJVCCcAkgFTjHHw411upjopqyGmlAnEytUJBnKybcZJycEAuCByMnPoCE3VlguE1hjtHT/scFNKWSWGcnBDEMCp55BBOP9telRzNGe+irq+8XiultFyl9oSGmMqSuP4nDKME+v2u5512XXJOguj5Oleoz7TULLUTUkqMqjy+VoTkeuPP6gdjrrWkyWfdGjRpCDRo0aAEt5+9p+GP3OjRefvafhj9zo0hjSl+6Q/hr+2ptQ0v3SH8Nf21NpiDRo0aADVS4xiakeNj5TjI45GeR8j21b1TubOtG3hlQxIALKWGTx2BH/xnQho43X9b0N86uWOp8X6tp32QCJtryHON/wAMn044xrpYq4qWmrqiUFIqd3dscnAUMTj48nWQqLJYuppp6uxmmo7qpxL/AA8pKcZPBGPX7QGff6adNK9WiUc04ttSsZHhNKQoPHmwjKzDgjO4Dn11aLIbqLndpwjVdLRW9WQ7y+SHVjxnsxBC8ZABHcnVSKkMlmkq5KmeVIiEpGRgXcD7BDem4bSApX7W3JOrEdllSaWZq2lkeOPYTPTOxZD3Ul5CSpORgngk+uNIWr5b3VimSCYxRkrBE4JjYkjLYy2Dt3LncfeAp40gCS8WyjTwpqSqWfwTuqBUNgyAE5EeQPiNwBJ4IznVu83GSWlguFPTUSPcPDgkWSFZn5DZIOT5VYZ24OSOwzprPYbdFA1TNRpMtDG0kmHyJX2HcPeMZ4z7+3Y6Wx9K013s3jwSSxvOzRQnexwhwDn4AhiPeOM4JGjkR46cpbhMUvt6uFNHRUFJ4aikAVHVR/Pt4IGCdo4z240nssNbcrebWyrRxpK09VFs8OWpLPnLL2XKkcYK+h9weUxj3yUsq7KekqHjgpVAWNdspUPtHckjdk9ieAPUudMlzkoYYJV3zSlVlC7wE2kt2I/pH5415ep1Dm/lQ4fuLHlSyJUZm/0FJR1yrRSr7PKmWjBJ8M4939wPnpG8VbKnh0EYkZMBmZsbT+frjXTJ+j7G9IPbklmEKEtK87Jn1JbYVB/TSSp6WutloI6h6NpKIoHBiTzwAgHbIg9Rk5KjHc8aiEZwx8epo+hwanHP+nke37mRtkpk85O2WIPvIONrKp5+HbI04o7ZLUA1QkgjExDeWMPg4x6/L3+/SmGOGC9STxTgxSSK7bTuBB79vz/LV+hqpqOvSJ2bYGKOoPGe2delpniuMpr/AJ0ceux55xl8urS882ld1+hde2tO7Qvc97ckptGR+h0suFFPSzL4kpkyu1GLEgAemCeNMbhW+w1zmGnTxHALSNk5GPQenb+2kNfWzSHl2klkwm/HC/H3D341eqjp43CEfVfgx+Fw1SrNN+ivKVt/ahPPWVNdMKaNcRsSp2jJ93/xq3S2dqd94gnzjklGP98DTi022NCs/h4RQPDB7n/N/wC/n7tOaalqrjVw0lMDCk5dRVuhKAqMkL/U3w9PX3a815m5bcaPY+njCPztRLnx/oz1DXy0U8dTRSiOSE+WRBkqPUYzgg+oOtjX9V0l26OrkqDFT1YRI5I2by+ZgN47krzkgc9x7iWTdA2V6cq/tL1JH3ozHxB7uPs4+GMa51JFJR1WAW2rK4pqkLgPtYqWAzweCCp9D8daRpuzz8koZrS4fj7nXhDSV18t1VPKEko6QyQxjCqTJ5SQO/AGCO3mH5tmMLPlZkEzgqjZBIOPQflnWG6YvkK2aOoqmiKQhllSQjCvvO0Dv/mAx3B+Q1eraW93GrmlpY7hS0rsssRjZUJOwKQVLoccZwfXHbkH0U7PL6dFTpys9r+kqrSNqho4Le8bCaMpiTxV3Yz3zjOfy9MDqmsV0pLHNTTMbjJWTxsIpVmTZJERnysuTg5J59RjvjJ2mpZDPujRo0iQ0aNGgBLefvafhj9zo0Xn72n4Y/c6NIY0pfukP4a/tqbUNL90h/DX9tTaYg0aNGgA1SutNDWUEkFQgeN8blJ7851d1BV/dz8xpoa7OW3ymo7fWrKKmVZY6jw0VCPFEjcgDtuHK+7AGrFg6s+soJ2vkQphb5hElexWMhzkY2k8HHcDI7541YqFp7xevbkUmrttbtCg7XEEYYEjPGGkzkjPB+Gq5tkj09Gn1bJVLDO9bWrLHzNUup2xjIPGW5Y8AY50yi51NcrhaqMVFPb1raSZMNUwSE4Ldm2cgDPfuDkds6yNo6upqWFZqkoJvFHlgiw5bPuHZSMccHg+Vh21fTtPfqc1tyqpIYKSQssNsVlkRMHAAZeF93GfeRxqCptXStdcIfZaanWtbxFihRArq4AJI/lYhSMK3Hu24OhgXbd1JR14kq1UEI7bVUcuc+XB7c8n44+GNNq250VAqzV1dDQyVOYqUz4G33cE+pAJ7egPbWdsPTMNBVz3CtqVMcCjfz5VUIQVbIGPtZIwMAdsHWbr7dU/SBdJL3X74rLErQ0ShxkM3lViuQcsxU/oCcDOnbAb1VirLaZpXkcVhPjeIoLpOQdzBgThR5R5jjHqRkAxfR9Pcq+vuk9ziVWpnFOgAAET5JkVcfHbn5D3ab9PUzW20C0Q10taw4iFTgiLKkqAQ27AxkFePQHudV7DFB0289LNbRTGWYePWJMrpvIyoccFB6AYxyME5yebNjVWlyVBLdbNFUwmqemoxtIqJ0Vw3ZkHmcfmqsPz1riONZOlaVLtQNUGLaJyAwyOSjgDB+YGn95ucNms9Vcp+Y6eMvtzjcfRR8ScD89Tg/sHltyo5j9KSW6C7wPSU8UcsMbe2NEgUksV2biO54Pxww9+sRLVMfDlKMWm5YrnIY8n++dT1dwqHqJ7lOytPIzSTZGVYH7Qx6jHGPcMdtNUstNc4UeCqkomPcFdyk54AI9Me/36UncXJLz/ACenGb0k1jyvw6/FrgTioNS7SFmZs8lvXTzpjpCt6qklmp5ooIaUqpaaMsHY84ABHYYJ+Y+OlclGtJGfHqknc5ASI9/j8Bn9f7jq/wBGkTL03JUMEAqKgsip2UKipj9VJ/PSjBuVy8mmo1n9FLD11dcf4/8AhDb/AKN6aOQPdK+StA/8qNPBjPz5LH9R+emfUdLFTpZY6aFIooa3CpGoVVXwJRgAdhrR6znVsil7ZTAM00k7OoAPYRspJPpjeDrVwjCDUVR5Ms2TLNObsgSVJQWjcMAcZGufdZ9Pe23tYbOp9sliaqmRpVWJVXuwyeGJ+GDkn3nWj6snr6CxRU9oDJUVVRHSpKOTHvONxPxPGfe2e+vNntFrelUy01uWCotaGqliY+0SN3clgclcEZJ5ORnWWDHfq8F5JVwZf6PLxafaXorpJHFLM6SUbOoGyUAhtrHsSAnzxj59Gu9ZW0VtmCQvLIRtjliA4yO5GRg+70JxyM8Ze99EQX6ZbpLP4gpqaRQIYADIwdiE2AZwq+Xjk4HOoKWsvvQT01BViW6WsQIzMRzS5JGxX/mxjgHHpjHr1xW1UZzk5Stjnp9AvUAnjZNtVRHxlwQVmjZA2M9gVZRj/KNdC1k7HJbqiDxLU0a0oHEKrtMTEliNuAVzkHHrwRj11ehmcj7o0aNIkNGjRoAS3n72n4Y/c6NF5+9p+GP3OjSGNKX7pD+Gv7am1DS/dIfw1/bU2mINGjRoANQVf+AfmNT6qXJpEoJXij8SRVyqbsbj6DPpoQ0cuMLVdFRXqKunpKmOoJqIopPKpkkBc8kgAFk8pH8vOdS3SjvsziV657nEhGKWR/CRlz2ZVwJD65LKOO2vkEdwnsRp6Skgp/aYQkre1N5uMchoiQQdx75BPOdPE3bFLgBscgds68HX/EHjnF4J37o78OFSTU0U4bpQ0FCKWFKahmlnLNTxhojtAyT5wM8gAsBgj9BVtluaWkqaqpciorpBL4igqYwP8PAOSCMA89jx6aaTwQ1MRiqIkljbukihgfXsde9cOq+KTz41FKnZrj06g77M/f668dUJB0zRxGN1Aa6ztlI9ozgbgOA+Cf0Hvw0VokssFosKqlLGAHqZFEkbDafsZxv5KnOAvHryNeqi2UVVVJUzwK8ipsyScMuQcEdmAIBGex5GrWt8nxmbxpQVS8v+CY6VbrfQotlkpKe61A8Od1FOgNQDuKMTIS2APtcADAH2jjk6j6hh9vpWoInxdatgqtuyZUBAcso4UDBOeRlMZJ0wAudPPVGlkpRDU43CVWLY2gYyCMdj+uk8by0HUeIKygmuM8exKOCk2+GPtM3+IAMgDJbkhQB2xr0NNrsbwxjuuVc9swnie5uqRrqkAR0+7cSKmAKR/V4q4/LOM/DU/wBI6l+iavvgSRE49f4i/wDfGl9upbhJdKBbnUxy76jf4MS4SPahYebuxDAc8D4a0fU9tN36arqFFLSSRZjUHGXXzKP9QGu3EvQyHJRyxb8UcBqkMlM8a938v5E4OrtJX19BTLHHGgpWLJHLIMneoXco55ADL8s49MD1b7fUXO5Q2+BGE0zhMFSSnOCSPcO5+WpvpAudMtXFZoaVqajtJenpkRl3Oc+eTPqWYc/EE986WGWSCbi6PY1/yMk4wmk/PPt/sVNVRCUqXy2Mk99d26Ktstq6SoKWcMs2wyujDBQuxfaR7xux+Wud/RL0za6m6VVxngZ5qMRmFZDlVY582PUjaMe4nPft2H01pCFer3PO1moc6xUko+wHWbqakV9c8+Mxx5jhOO4/mYcepHyIUEd9WLpcWqWkoqVysY8s8yHB+KKR6+8+nYc8qlul2p7NDGZKeomMhKpHTx7icDJ9wGACeSOx92ss079ETmxRr1MmuNH7fQS04k8JyA0UoXJjkUhkcD1wwBx8NZmGS83DqyBZpoqqOGcipo3CFqPIB4I5ZCpUhvXsQDxqQX6SpjqK25XM2SkgkSIJDCJHdmQOMuykZx6BePfrPt1h05RzVUVbX1V4nqHjY1EcaQrE6KR4isuCG57jPGBzjnTDCUOwyST6NtJ0zWUkU1Lba+VaSctI6tKfEVsNwh7AFioPY4HfOlXXdLcKvpg+2U+ah54kigpHLlyN/vHPfPA9NeenrtB1VXzJT3r/AIinIKy+CBI6gDDpu+xkcMoGM5PAONaG4rNXTVdtnVWVwHp45FGyZdoyp9QcgkHIPHuBz0mZhfo1qjN1tUp/GRltpWaOTIKyCRARj4fHnJPv123XE/o8uNXc/pEr5a9AtVHbzDKNpDEo6Lls8k8Yz8Nds1Pglho0aNIQaNGjQAlvP3tPwx+50aLz97T8MfudGkMaUv3SH8Nf21NqGl+6Q/hr+2ptMQaNGjQAao3esioLe9RP4mxSB/DiaRuT/SoJ/tq9pZf0le0zeE6oy4Ylo2fgHJGF5Jx7s/I6ibkotwVvwVGrVmCtf1ilyrEnpttG21opsgGR8YZtucjcfNgjglu+c6muEslZaqyO1zI9TtaFWSQDw37ckdiuc+/jUVur6i92iSeNfY2lUiGUEuO32wCF9c9++PdpfB0nJSUklJT3JvBl8TcJoQxO9UUnKlecK3OM+c+vOvj8jU80p5WoyvrtHrRtQSjyj41B1Db4DTW6VJFRBtdmGHJ7nzbiGHJ7kYxwSePFTL1LSxGaSrp4IUdlklqBGqKm5FVxg9yC7YJ9Mccaki6PWN4S1cXETKwzFy+xQqBjn0we2M5PxzbrOnUms9Hb6Wo9n9kYMj7CckKVyQCDnzbgQeCAdaPNi3K2n7vaTtlTr9yiJOp56dJ6aWCRGDuCjRsG8vlC+9Se3OcEEnuNMalL2trpo6aRHq2mxNIdvkj8xz2wT9kHA9+BqunTLwzRyRXFyY1jVTKhckJsOGO4ZGUzxjBZu+dQL0hICjG7ShlUglI9p3MNrkcnG4d/83mzpOeCVcpf+R1JeH+Y7tyViUv/AB0wkmLE8KF2jsBx645PxJ9NRT2i2Co+sGgjp548t7TGfDYe8lhjP56VjpEEMZrg8szbcStGAQVjZFI57jdnPfI1e+olSlpVFQ0k1JM00TSjKFixbzIMAgZ47EemNZeiM90clX7KiuWqaL1jqblL1BQGnlNVTMHUzVUYXIIyShXG44HB24OT5tdB7jWGp7uTUQO8RirKV/EaA8+ImCrlDxu4YkfHGQNbaGWOeFJoXWSORQyspyGB7HX1ela+WknZ5mZeo8JS08MjyxQRpJIcuyoAW+Z9dcivNBbavqGqtJpmqxFMwp3WMsW9SqlecqcqR38vPw7E+Qjbe+OPnrnPRcDXC8UlSN8i0qGZ5WOcsyFQD65O4n8jr0sD2qUjgz3Jxivz9hr0T03LbZTcHhalVofCSFhhiuc5YHkc+h55OdNK66yVoaGjdooc4ade8g/ye4f5u/fHodQdTdQUlJTSQPUtFCGCTzRgkjP8i7cncfXHIHuPIr0dVTVtJFU0kivBIoZGXgY+Xp8tcOozNvg7cGFJckiJHDEEQBEQcAdgNZq69XdLz0rwVFdIYmcqk8UEjLvXnKOFKkjjtnTDqzxG6VuMcQLSTQmFQO5L+UAfHnWLpahKR73W+xxAWnZT0SEK6QvkguQOA2Bnt6YJ4GccONT5ZvknXCKVX07VVUHj1lVUVPtNVFFQ05iMJqsdmO/BGA5Hr7uwB00ouip7fS+zQ9PW241VO49peWpILbgThRkcBSvLYOc4HbTyyVVvF0UyRI1UKYSx1kqtI7nYQ7bz2UbWUjjuMd86swUbUPUNQ6XZKiqq4hFEhkHlTGTwe5zjHfjJ9ddqRziKpobbdOmzcOnrX7BNCFklqI4hG2wZB2E5OeM8Ht6nUlD1it+sMvtdD49xtpO+KCRmkde29VUjeM4yN3oG92qfS1FQdM9T1PT9znmirKmIxxVcMvhrggkjOQQe2Pjql0/RQWb6RqunrJWrkp/Ef2gSbnBxzvPrnBUhvU/HlgS/RjPRVP0g3GehQxxyUTkx5yEPipwCcEj15APOOcZPdNcJ+jB45fpGu0sUUcKPSybY4woCDxE4wpIGu7aXglho0aNIQaNGjQAlvP3tPwx+50aLz97T8MfudGkMaUv3SH8Nf21NqGl+6Q/hr+2ptMQaNGjQAaT9UMoskqtVezI7KrPuCkgkZUH0z2yOeeMHnTjUFYM07D5amcXKLinVji6aZziS+W6jrILaVnjqJcLBD7LIu/0G0lQMfnjVqOWvlpTOtseLcMwrUTxqZzgnCbWbkgcZx89XVsSxzw0ayO1LFIaieSYKzzN6bmI5Occ8EBe5znUVdXCSZ69JmRIkKxbsLFz/AFN/mwAR6DB4OvMj8H00f7rf4nY9TkPkUqTwpNEweORQysOxB7HQZEV1Quods7VJ5OO+BrL2a419PSpR1YWJC5PtCAMQpJ4VeBnIJHYAFRtPbV2Do2WDqZrhJcnuNoq0xK00h8SBhyMYwBg5AIAK5OMHB15sPg2SUpbnS8fc2eqikqQ91HPUwUwQzzRxB2CLvcLuY+gz3PGoVgrqeWrEH/FUlM2Nkj/x0HPqeGGACM84Ock6pzTmsrWkp5N8NBEJKqFkYEedXXIxww8FuCP5seo1hH4XmWdY59PyW9RHZuRdr6CmuVKaepjV0yGGQDtYdiM6QW+1263XeeW81q0UKqFp0NY0UchJJZgePeBtJJX5bdMrZaoBRUlHTJJTTbRiSm3KC+ASzZIDA4z9hhg8E6s3C2VqTJDBVe1rGwIllQJIkmcAh1wo5OOFPqMHka9PDodRpnUWpRf5/gYSywny1TJo7RZ7lTCWkqpZo92UmirXk2sPVW3HB+WnNBJUWpv+HYzwscvDIcc+rKQMAnkkYwTzxkk5a001yp+paRKqlWlm9jc1TREFKkAqsZOOdw57898ca1LMqKWYhQBkkntrraeKVRIVTXJei6ieYEG01cDAZHjvEAT7sozH+2qPjVUsbJiKijc5eKk4yT3y+AT6cgKeNU5LzQIqskxqAwLf8MjTHA7nCA8DI18t94pblLLFD4iPGA22RCpZTnDDPcZBHwIIODqpZMjVkrHBMivltjrLBU0kSIjLEzQHO0RyAHawI7YOsnYOnKqo6cqK8OfArPCdKVUUPV7CWweRsLE4ODnAPoBrS3A1l7rXs1CRHSoypcajcAyqy52IPeRwW9N3GTnE88tPI2FhCxUqeHTwKgUqvA4U8c4GBxxtH8xx0YIPbcicj54MXZOs5LnWQ9P10b0dUKuEr7ST5CkqsyFjzyFOM8+mSTq49KbFRVHTNwojBDWSH2OpYq1Oj4yuWVV5LZByOBjjGrHUVkoeprdVSyUTy3CCEmBwyRSjjjfvIymeMkZHOO+ktBeeoelbeaLqO3pdLEkaKzOQdgPZVZsCTHuGcYAyNbKKj0ZNt9lqx2i/0MYjNnmlkpT4lNJHMqq2SpAY7trKSFJxnGz0znU9VdxHaad67pe6JUUU2+GSJPDUO5LDPPGec4HGcDHA1F9VtVUMV16FubVVJTnf9Xs/mhflh374POD3x3OqdZeuvnugpo6KdFnnLxqCWHDk7d3uByOccAe7VAfKWi6jvfWFNfLpBDbI4H3t7UAgZUIDgA8nCgn8u/GrHTsiXvrmq6ljk8ClTcJGDEDATBZGPLDI5UgMA4OPUK06Svd0ImustXA0+53AiLYJZm3HAwPMWzkqfNx8dfbYIumujWEdKtSlQZ2MaSZkdN7eGybtwK7Spwc/aJ5JIKQCP6M4ETriumWqik8Skk2xqSXQeImCw7LnPAzn367frhH0V1EVR13XmAyeEKJyFlUKwJkjzkAnJ+Pr7hwB3fR4JYaNGjSEGjRo0AJbz97T8MfudGi8/e0/DH7nRpDGlL90h/DX9tTahpfukP4a/tqbTEGjRo0AGoKv7uce8an1Sus4prfJKXiQjAUyvtUsThQT6ZJA/PTXY0Za61oSRLRHMhqqhd87jjA4GcHI7ZbBz5UI9c6o19tp3pUmpQEPiiORjhwkTHzMynAUhwGP+ZOcjI0spmq16hkjqKqRxPFO/irHsWdtg28NzgAOMDtj8wzttHEembZX3Pq6so2uMEU5XbTKC2A3GYs4BI/799Nuuy1bdIi+rKOvqhLSwfVtYTvZEQKFjJO3evA3bQGJ7qXX3jU9NXLSV1PDDVVLP5hMi0rMoI5O9jtPcgAgAHIAHIGrI6btxrGto6wrjUM3iND/AMNuJ7/8r3AHHuA9w15o7FbJB4lJ1lWlZHFONgptrNksEA8LHOSeO+luQbZexemEr0k9NBGEmeB8U7NgHIxlG+fpxjIztzzU6muNMKWOiikjaqrJY4jHwXK8vtZcg7WCsvOPtHX2os9EKWKGfra4CNJRChLU2RIvGN3hZyPnqS8dOU0EKSXbqyvSMuoUyxUuGYHcP/J5xj9/edG5BT6op09bHaaSSpCq5ILYxjYoUHYB6kYAPYAAcA8G1HHALnHPRVDEQlmenZpTwxLNIqlgGBJwCFI5OM9hH9T26prJ9vWdZ7RHETKyilVlTAySREMYGOe415SwW2sMVyj6zrmImWOOZTTDMnYLxFySCMj1GM5A0bkPbL2KNTXV1P1E81PSisFSgi3rIAit4m1PUsFGSGIU+b0Gl9cLpHeaFb4VmjqanwVgXaIoj5QrhCcyDccbnIwSDtB2jWppulI5KiqkpeqbgZQ5jneOOlyGwCRkRcHtqkLHZ7tVRsOsKioqIpUKOqUm8OMlcEQ5PY/31FQvd5D1NUkWIVNJdKlYbZTQCUKJZY4sNK2MDOM8du/YHPGq9VbpXrBUUscEUtFU7IHJI8SJ1UyBgO+WLHgfaUfHUsVnoFq6ZY+s641EwLQ4WmLOCef/ACuQSD+mpJ7FS2fwYajrCupjLKzxq60oLMzEseYv6mJ9wzqm01TBKV1XJmeqq2oslimtNAZpK6qR6i4VUceRToQSSTkBcnhRntnGTgGWz111lqoKS/0ztE8bS09axVKmKPc21ZUHBYqOQBxnnnJDJuirJWXeWFuq6+WuWVp3QtTlg+B5v8PggKMf0jtjnVun6boIoIxD1hXmKZGljyaZgVH2iMxcAfDjk/HRa8CqXsTUkFlrHheRIWnmQmKCYEMUHqUbG4+u4g9++lN6tNupJpYKxEltrU/ipTzPwGQ8kc5IXKkg5J3DBwoAtzdM2mtmgt8nVtY0sgV0iC0oZwF8ucRc+X36mrOmaKCspKat6wuPtHhmKBZvZizKxXPeLnJUDJ7/AJnT3IKfVGNtlFWVwrqy3WuKySUcax0lYkpTZt5JkBIVoyOT5T3zg84udP8A0h0tdURxXzbb6zLeFXKrLTVIztyQ2CBx6+48jtrVx2qmqKiShj60rXlpyZHiC0vlwckn+F6E/kdK6ro/p+/0i+09WVlZDC6RAk05wx4UE+Fknk4J0tyHtl7E9dR11Vd55XjMcT0+IpIpR/EIGQEOM7vtDngjuCAQc5W3Cnn6PtcSzb2ho0DBftKQCoZfQ4OQfQ5Knv5dHaOlrTboIrTbusLiYqgMIqdnp5QwGc7Q0ZwOD24ODrCXLoBobxd7f0/dPFq6KUEUVSyB5Y2hRiRgBe7sMYxjjj1d30S7XaPX0USrP1vcJCw8QUbKwwef4icjPP5HkcenbvGuGfRBRSU3Ul39tjeCtihCNFKMOMtlic8+i/rruWjwSz7o0aNIQaNGjQAlvP3tPwx+50aLz97T8MfudGkMaUv3SH8Nf21NqGl+6Q/hr+2ptMQaNGjQAaq3GMy0UkYkeMuNu9Mblz6jPrq1qCr+7n5jTXY0YWit9PRTx0xrJaycyPGHq1JdR4W04z2JMeQRgEE9++rHT3T3110709PVzsKOK0QoIYyVMhYKWDH+khVHHJ5/Op7BcEo7g1RULUVLPmWWKERvNEM4TAI5xnnPIAHx1atdwvtH0h01HZ7etRG9rDSyMpbYwjXwxjcO5Jzz2GlJJ8MtTlB3EtnpK4eHLEK6nKxtNLSt4ZEjSSBhukb4bvQeg+WoD0RXT2+jp5ayOB6RQYzE8jbJN6+Ybj6IuAO2Se2pZbj1wlEJhbaMy7MGHwyTuzGvcORjJlb14Ud86uw3DqVbHcqme3RNWI7LRQqu3eM4VmG48ep5B4PHbMbImq1WVdMp0vR1VSz25Y54I4KSZ5SyF/E8z52DnBUqFBzzxpxcrILpd6KqmkZYKNHKrHIyMXYrzkemAR+eq9FWdS/V1dUXCipxPDTqYIIB5pJfCVmGSxGN5Kj5frnLBN9IdHbQtTSJUSbJp3arYM5Phjwoxhhgl1JOc4Djt2D2oiWfJJ7m+f5L6dD1fhVjy10U1TOyyKZEJRW8Te6kZ+yxC59ePy17r+ja64oXkuEUdRJL7Q7RIVVZRsVMD1Cqr9z3bXqC69bPURxyWWmWNpwrSlsAReUbwN5Ocktg/wAoI78n5XP1I/Wxmpqau+raMRgokkYjqFKOWwGIyxZox6ACM88gFbIl/VZbuxx05Y/qKhnpvE8TxKh5d2SSQeBknucAZ+OlNT0dU1FFFEtaKeZXqKh3pyU3TufIc4zgAke/GvvVidQ1V0oKWzGrgiVDI9RCyBFfemPE3faUJv8AKBySO3ceI7j1xNTySi3UULgjbBIhJ4hLEZ3gcy4UEZ4JJ7ae1VRCz5FJyvllm0dMVNtvxqjJC1JHAkMQV3D+VAvKghSM7jznvq1PZq5+o2r45aR6WaONJUqIi7oEJOE5AAJOefXSuK59cNEBJaqWOYx5TybkLlRw58TygMTnAbIHGOdMKi59QRW+1yQ2kS1VTIjViAjbTREjcvLDLgNgeh2k49NG1Ceabdv2oXf+Dbi1J7M9fTAQCVIHSIhmEpw7uc8ttLAAeuOdQQfR/PTGdYq5fDkhkgTOSY0eQHaPhsz+bHV+y3LrCqucMN1tNNSU4yZXTzArtYDad/2t4Bxg+VvQjlPNJ1//AOIJZvZybWa3xkhjZRIY1EgWPOcBW8NGPxkHx0tkTT6rL1Zo7XZKy33SodpKN6N5mmj/AIJ8YEjAG7OAFHAx6ar1/TNXcOqkuctXGtLCIzGigl/Lk4I+z9pic8ngYxqnHdeunVnltFLCI4kDAL4jM/iDeVAkHAj3EDPJHfVqqm6ouHR5Q0i0F5qZ/CxFJlYEMuN24E9o/Uc57Aej2qqIWaalu81RUHRFZNQey1VfAvgQPDTNBEVPmILM5J5JAwR8Tr7XdGV9zhc1FdTwzzsrSCnjKooRCsaqPdlskn5DUXtvW9vZqKitUVbHAcLNPKSZQqAsCzNnLuSFPOAORxr2t4669i5sdN7RtBDY8py5AGN+QdpB57YOe/C2Iv6rLd2MqOwVkXUMVwklpooIIBGsdMrL4nlxhlJwApLYxzzri/0oiWn+ke6V9PNJBNHLCElXcNh8CM5BA4OutrdOuGudNGtlpPY5KgLPI7bWhj3AEgbzu8pyDxkg+XtrDde9GXC/X3qC50Egd6WpjU06qS7Yp4TlcHvz21SVdGMpym+Rj9GPVU3UvtIuUcUtfSIEFWseHkjJzhjgeoHz93GddX1yH6IbdVW+C5CqpZad5HTIkhZckZ43E/Ht8dde1T6JZ90aNGkINGjRoAS3n72n4Y/c6NF5+9p+GP3OjSGNKX7pD+Gv7am1DS/dIfw1/bU2mINGjRoANQVf+Ac+8an1BV/dz8xprsa7MxIsVHFMVXEMXkxtG1gx5AHvwAuPfjjWWsPU/UNu6fpKSSrs1NHTLFTxCandmdcfaz4ozgK3OAGIwucjWwuNqWvpfCL8hi4DjKsTnhgCMj079uPfpXW9O1M9NK7y+PUhSEJcjAIx5BwsfBIHBP8AmzyKaLaI36l6ngngpqmts0VTPDHJHCKGQli27co/jAHbt5Px17nv/VUVjqritwsErUit4scdJLtDLyV3GUc/l6jSijtFziuE0/1e1TOUCGSc4RHPPl3cuo5yxzkgHBwBq6Okrm9JT2qStp47aswnmSFCGbGNsYBBG0EAknJJ5PrlUKj2/VfVQllpY2t89dGwHs0NtkY7T2Yt4+EBXnzEe4ZI1BD1d1otxWjuCWekba7SEUsj+EqhSC38UDB3YyM4x7uRZvNJXUUi/VVXS2mOJWKuYjPNVMRkgr6jPqcnPPzy8FkttVUNcJYLneauV3M1Wi+GgkJG3gMcFSCMY9fgNFCo1Fm6m6rvJULPaIw6Fkb2GVgwBI/53w+fPpq5XXPrSmVPZ5LRVu7hAq0Tr6MTyZ/QL/fUNuNGaQo0UlHIxZ9oyvhSEFmGR27dvd89XSqU6+0xr4UnKASIN7s2OAcjnO3PfOMdxwUOkUl6g6qNxNB49sM2AQFtsvb1yfHwP10orevOrYOo5bLSCz1bxpuMi0zqvru/87gAjBJxzq7WwVwqaikt1VEZdoMx2+dyftA85IA/pHcjg+ieGw0tTcFkh20F1WFhDHC7BKpQzAsGOOfhx2J7HIVCoajrHqcNsea1F1O2Upb5mWM5IyT4oIGR6gH3A6YU166rqpZVjq7O6QOUkkjoJHUHAIxifnIPbuPdgg6zdjrpoGqo3pZGp6WVVkVY9oMgzhCT/mI49OPXgv6SmWpSOBK9o0hYiSnpUIcZPAYg8KSCQSOx4PcljpFlrl1k0lO1NWWGamnP+OKSXaFxkHiU5z88duecaipb51XPPPBJV2mKaA4KfV8pz/8A7fvjvrKdPW+79ISy1X1pTpYpJiy0srFxGhPl3McLG2CB35PodamKKnrhHcLNtSRc7FK4RxnOUOBuGT6HHmxkaKQUi4a/qwNGfrCzeHIBiT2CQrk9h/j+v6ak9o6v9oMZrrKF2hlb2CXnk5/8704/XVpSlZTneh3DyyJnHPqMH5559+vMzVXh+DDKPaEG9N+AJgPQ8cegJHbIPrjTpBSK71PVwkVFuFlJbJOaCUED3/43POP11BPcurYZEiFZaJZXfbtjtsxCjuSzeNheOcHv6Z1PcowlIGq/CnMksUYBUqoLOqggZ9CxOPXtnUxoZIaSKioyscCqFZtxDnkZxj1I3ZOc5P5goKRWlrerlilaOvspaNc/xbfMi9vVvF7e8jONLbhJNYrVc75X15mqJJ1nb2FfDQ/w441Xa5cchQcn38af01KCiyVUKGdSwBJL4G7PBOfgf/jUVRRvHNG9GrDxJlMw3kKF7sducZPy9fTvoodFfpq9Q362+2QySHnBSVoy6HGednA4PY861ulIAHAGNN9KRMg0aNGpJDRo0aAEt5+9p+GP3OjRefvafhj9zo0hnmO7TxxrGEjwoAGQf99evrmp/oi/Q/76NGgQfXNT/RF+h/30fXNT/RF+h/30aNAB9c1P9EX6H/fXiS6zyoVZI8H3A/76NGmMh9rk9y/po9sk9y/po0aqyg9rk/pX9NHtcnuX9NGjRYHk1BZ1do4yy/ZJXkfLVdoInJLxq38VZVyPsFSpG33DKg/mdGjQBNLIJiGeJCwBAcZDAHvgjkdhqJIYEq/axCpn27d7MzHH5nRo0ARTUNLNCY/ARGI/xEyHzzgk+pBJOTnnnvr69JTSxRxywq/hOHjblWUjtgrg8Dj8tGjQBCLXTrRyUkReKCTcCiHHDZJH6nOe/wAcca9fV8bPG00s0yoDujdz4chyCCyDC5GMDAGcnOTzo0akk9V1DS3HcamBJGKkKXUPsJGMqGyAcfl7wdeKa2wwSGaWSWqnOR4075YZ9wGAvzUA6NGmMYJUyKBnDHGCxHJ/TXr2pyQSqnHbjto0aYw9rk9y/po9rk9y6NGiwD2uT3L+mj2uT+lf00aNFgHtknuX9NWfrmo/oi/Q/wC+jRpMTD65qf6Iv0P++j65qf6Iv0P++jRqSQ+uan+iL9D/AL6Prmp/oi/Q/wC+jRoAq1NS9VIJJAoIGPLo0aNAz//Z%20" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">The cover by Bradley Sharp for my latest,&nbsp;<i>Temporary Planets for Transitory Days</i>, a collection of poetry “written” by the protagonist of my two earlier books, satisfies all four of these requirements.</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"></div><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">The&nbsp;<b>subject</b>&nbsp;is accurate. A poem in the book called “As It Fell” is based on a scene from&nbsp;<i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Suspect-Universe-Albert-Wendland/dp/1947879057/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=in+a+suspect+universe&amp;qid=1584449555&amp;s=books&amp;sr=1-4">In a Suspect Universe</a></i>&nbsp;(my previous novel) and Brad has used the description from the novel and not just from the poem as the landscape for the cover. The ice lake, the darkness of night, the overhead stars, are all part of the original scene in the novel and of how it’s presented in the poem.&nbsp;</span><br /><div><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">The&nbsp;<b>mood</b>&nbsp;is accurate. The poems in the book express many emotions—love, wonder, admiration, desire, fear, regret, pain—but the one I believe comes across the most is “longing.” And, oh, how this picture glows with that emotion. The book is science fiction, and you can see that a strong emotion is “wonder”—with the several worlds, the star-clouds in the sky, the spaceship landing on the ice, the distant exotic peaks. But more than anything, I see<i>&nbsp;longing</i>. That figure&nbsp;<i>wants</i>&nbsp;that sky, the night, the alien planet.&nbsp;</span></div><div><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">There’s&nbsp;<b>visual appeal</b>. The design of the picture, the symmetry, the receding perspective,&nbsp;&nbsp;pulls you in. You identify with the figure, placing you into the scene, and the figure being partially transparent allows you to see what&nbsp;<i>he</i>&nbsp;is seeing too, causing even more identification. But what really grabs attention is the very well-chosen green color of the first world. Its bright and rich tone contrasts well with the darker purple-pinks around it. That choice of color alone is perfect, and it sets up a gradual distancing effect with the less vividly colored worlds behind it.&nbsp;</span></div><div><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">And there’s a&nbsp;<b>creative spark</b>. After seeing the cover, you shouldn’t be surprised that&nbsp;&nbsp;a poem in the book is named, “Touching the Night Sky.” The image is a visual rendition of that very title. The figure reaches upward and figuratively touches the first planet. And then&nbsp;&nbsp;the&nbsp;shadows&nbsp;of the fingers also touch the&nbsp;<i>next</i>&nbsp;world.&nbsp;&nbsp;Subtle, and yet so obvious and appropriate.&nbsp;&nbsp;And, of course, these worlds mirror the “Temporary Planets” of the words in the title itself.&nbsp;</span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">So, all in all, an outstanding picture.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">If a novel conveys the experience of life, of actions, arcs, movements, and accomplishments, then the cover to a novel is a single act of magic, a crystallized “presto” image that distills the effect of the entire book.&nbsp;&nbsp;It’s a brief but eye-catching harbinger of what’s to come, a herald, a flag.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">Yeah, I liked it!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Cambria, serif; margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><o:p></o:p></div></div>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-70944452272204704022018-12-19T14:27:00.001-08:002018-12-19T14:28:23.401-08:00Writing Prompts From Classic Writers - The Ancient Greeks and Romans<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .25in;">Here’s another collection of “Writing Prompts From the Classics”—helpful inspiration from a phrase, a line, or a poetic twist by an ancient writer.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Covered here are several from the ancient Greeks and Romans:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Oedipus the King</i>&nbsp;and <i>Antigone</i> by the Greek Sophocles, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Lysistrata</i> by Aristophanes, then several from the Roman <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Aeneid</i> by Virgil, and finally Ovid’s <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Metamorphoses</i>. I hope these are helpful in providing you some imaginative ideas as they sink into your mind and onto your paper or screen. Have fun with them, and compose away. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .25in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .25in;"><o:p><br /></o:p></div><h2 style="background: white; line-height: 17.25pt; margin-bottom: 7.5pt; margin-left: 0in; margin-right: 0in; margin-top: 0in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif;"><span style="color: windowtext; font-size: 12.0pt; font-weight: normal; mso-bidi-font-size: 13.0pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;"><i><u>OEDIPUS THE KING:</u></i>&nbsp;</span></span></h2><div><ul><li>The griefs that punish us are those we've chosen for ourselves.</li></ul></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i><u><br /></u></i></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i><u>ANTIGONE:</u></i></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->you win all your battles! . . . cruising the oceans, invading homes deep in the wilds!</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->no home here on earth and none down with the dead, not quite alive, not yet a corpse.</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Nursed in caves among her father’s stormwinds, this daughter of the gods, this child of Boreas, rode swift horses over the mountains</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><o:p><br /></o:p></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i><u>LYSISTRATA:</u></i></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Drawing them diagrams for decadence</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Grannies on the go, mommies with mucho macho</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><o:p><br /></o:p></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i><u>THE AENEID:</u></i></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><u><br /></u></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->her phantom sifted through my fingers</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->the high sky bears witness to the wedding, nymphs on the mountaintops wail out the wedding hymn.</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->an eye that never sleeps and as many tongues as eyes and as many raucous mouths and ears pricked up for news. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->The earth was rich with blood of slaughtered herds and the temple doorways wreathed with riots of flowers. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->torrents coursed down from the old Titan’s chin</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Wasting time in Libya. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->who can delude a lover?</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->echoes round with maddened midnight cries</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->reaped with bronze sickles under the moonlight, dripping their milky black poison</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><o:p><br /></o:p></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i><u>THE METAMORPHOSES:</u></i></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo5; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Majestic power and erotic love do not get on together very well, nor do they linger long in the same place.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo5; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->why do you have the plumage of birds and the faces of virgins?</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo5; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->the tree groaned and bent over double</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo5; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font: 7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->thrice the funereal owl sings his poem of endings</div><br /><br /><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-9034251900677129292018-09-23T17:28:00.002-07:002018-09-23T17:28:52.555-07:00Writing Prompts from Classic Writers - "The Odyssey" <br /><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; In <i>The Odyssey</i>, I didn’t find as many stand-out prompts as I did in the <i>Epic of Gilgamesh</i>, but that’s probably because <i>The Odyssey</i> is much better known and has already been highly influential—segments of the story have become part of the Western heritage, like pretending to be “Noman,” avoiding the seductive call of the Sirens, fighting the temptation to become a Lotus-Eater, having to decide between Scylla and Charybdis, and falling for Circe who turns men into swine—all these have been used over and over. But some lines or scenes still stood out that could be used as prompts for situations, like:&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><br /><ul><li>Devise a story or scenario for:&nbsp;</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: .5in;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 2;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“she bound on her feet </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">The beautiful sandals, golden, immortal, </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">That carry her over landscape and seascape </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">On a puff of wind.” </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><ul><li>Create a character for the “Daughter of . . . the Old Man of the Sea”</li></ul><br /><ul><li>What situation and person could produce these lines:</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 3;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“He will try everything, </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And turn into everything that moves on the earth, </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And into water also, and a burning flame. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Just hang on and grip him all the more tightly.”</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><ul><li>Use the following to produce a story:</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“Shedding salt tears in the halls of Calypso”</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><ul><li>This one is haunting:</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“the phantom slipped through the keyhole and became a sigh in the air.” </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><ul><li>Imagine a background for this:</li></ul><o:p></o:p><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “the cry of the spirit women who hold the high peaks”<strike><o:p></o:p></strike></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><ul><li>An interesting setting:</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“a floating island surrounded by a wall of indestructible bronze set on sheer stone”</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><ul><li>Another setting:</li></ul><o:p></o:p><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “For night and day make one twilight there” <strike><o:p></o:p></strike></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><ul><li>What would lead to this situation:</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“The other ghosts crowded around in sorrow” </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"></div><br /><ul><li>Or this:</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“Most men die only once, but you twice.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"></div><br /><ul><li>And this last one, so simple, is one of my favorites:</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“The night is young—and magical.” </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"></div><br /><ul><li>Finally, just in case you’re thinking of <i>The Odyssey</i> as being much too “classic” for modern tastes, I give you the gory and well-detailed description of puncturing the Cyclops’ single eye, with a stake that’s been heated and sharpened in a fire.&nbsp; (Horror writers, take note of the great use of detail and simile):</li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">My men lifted up the olivewood stake </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">And drove the sharp point right into his eye, </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">While I, putting my weight behind it, spun it around </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">The way a man bores a ship’s beam with a drill, </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">Leaning down on it while other men beneath him </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">Keep it spinning and spinning with a leather strap. </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">That’s how we twirled the fiery-pointed stake </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">In the Cyclops’ eye. The blood formed a whirlpool </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">Around its searing tip. His lids and brow</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">Were all singed by the heat from the burning eyeball </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">And its roots crackled in the fire and hissed </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">Like an axe-head or adze a smith dips into water </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">When he wants to temper the iron—that’s how his eye </div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">Sizzled and hissed around the olivewood stake.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;">He screamed, and the rock walls rang with his voice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">Ugh!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing">All quotes are from the Stanley Lombardo translation, and were taken from:&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Norton Anthology of <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Western Literature</i>, 9<sup>th</sup> ed., vol. 1.</div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-58644572662132325132018-09-03T13:28:00.003-07:002018-09-23T17:18:35.203-07:00Writing Prompts From Classic Writers - "The Epic of Gilgamesh"<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; I’ll be teaching classics of European Literature throughout this academic year, and whenever I’ve dealt with such writers before, I’ve always been fascinated by a sudden twist of phrasing or a gem-like statement that makes me think, “Gosh, this would make such a great writing prompt.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They pop up anywhere in classic texts.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some meaningful, some obscure, and some so quirky or poetic or blunt that you feel—or hope—it could really stir the creative juices.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>So this is what I hope to do throughout the academic year:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Give brief quotes, on Twitter, label them as “Prompts from the Classics,” and throw them to all you busy, struggling, and devoted writers of fiction out there as possible goads to your inspiration, inventiveness, imagination.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>A few helpful words that might lead to an idea, a plot, a character, a theme, a mood.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>All of these lines I’ve found intriguing, so I just want to share them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And here’s my first batch. I was reading <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Epic of Gilgamesh</i>, one of the first major works of literature, from Sumeria or Mesopatamia (present-day Iraq).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It tells the story of a half-divine ancient king whose habits are so bad he’s given by the gods a half-animal friend—Enkidu—to keep him occupied. All’s well with them (together they go off to kill monsters) until his friend Enkidu dies.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>And then Gilgamesh encounters, for the first time, the fear of death.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He goes on a quest for immortality, and though he learns much during his travels (by following the sun beneath the earth, speaking with a bartender at the end of the world, and begging secrets from a survivor of the Flood), he does not gain immortality.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He returns home, much wiser, but still mortal. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>While reading the epic (in translation, of course, this one by Benjamin R. Foster), a few lines stood out, the shorter of which I’ll send out in Tweets for instant wide-open prompting.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Take from them what you will.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But I hope you get, from these brief but sometimes haunting phrases, a responding idea, a scenario, a character, a scene, a mood, a setting, anything at all.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Good luck!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>And let me know if it works.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><br /><ul><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">What kind of a person, or what would that person have to do, to see “the&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;wellspring, the foundations of the land”?</span></li><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">Who would have the label, and why, of “The Distant One”?</span></li><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">What would cause the following:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp;</span></li></ul><!--[if !supportLists]--></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 2;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span>Aghast, struck dumb, </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 2;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span>His heart in a turmoil, his face drawn, </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 2;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span>With woe in his vitals, </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 2;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span>His face like a traveler’s from afar . . .</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; text-indent: -.25in;"><ul><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">What situation would lead to: “Even the great gods are kept from sleeping at&nbsp; &nbsp;night!”</span></li><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">What kind of creature would this describe: “His maw is fire, his breath is death.” (Don’t make it a dragon.)</span></li><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">Imagine a landscape with thirteen winds:</span></li></ul><!--[if !supportLists]--></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 2;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span>South wind, north wind, east wind, west wind, moaning wind, </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 2;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Blasting wind, lashing wind, contrary wind, dust storm, </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 2;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Demon wind, freezing wind, storm wind, whirlwind . . .</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -.25in;"><ul><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">What would create this scenario:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">“Will he not share tiara and scepter with the&nbsp; &nbsp;moon?”</span></li><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">What would be the duties of this job:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">“meat carver of the netherworld”</span></li><li><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">And imagine the background for this:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; text-indent: -0.25in;">“The scorpion monster called to his wife”</span></li></ul><!--[if !supportLists]--></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Hope you get some ideas. All quotes are from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Norton Anthology of Western Literature</i>, 9<sup>th</sup> ed., vol. 1.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Next, <i>The Odyssey</i>.&nbsp; </span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-71551186855044883852018-08-16T17:58:00.001-07:002018-08-16T17:58:30.082-07:00The Up and Coming: After the Novel<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">What’s next?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Following&nbsp;<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="https://amzn.to/2Kb5R5D">In a Suspect Universe</a></i>, what books and stories will come after?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Or, what am I working on now?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The next book in the Mykol Ranglen series is a collection of poetry supposedly written by Ranglen himself, the notebook of poems referred to in the current novel and occasionally even quoted.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>That notebook will comprise the third book in the series, and it will be called <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Temporary Planets for Transitory Days: Poems by Mykol Ranglen</i>. All of the poems quoted briefly in the current novel will have their complete versions in that collection. And readers of both works will be able to play the interesting game of identifying passages and scenes from I<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">n a Suspect Universe </i>that are connected to or outgrowths of Ranglen’s poems.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I’m working on the book now and it’s developing very well. Indeed, I can even give a hint of what it covers by listing here what I believe will be the headings for each grouping of poems in the book (“Alchera” and “Riley” are references to a place and a character from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">In a Suspect Universe</i>):<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Nights on Alchera </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Rocket Punk </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Planetary Romance</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Tales of Old Earth </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Riley’s World</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Dark Galaxy </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Sanctuary</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And I think it’s safe to say here that a few of the poems might make a reader question<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>assumptions about the events from the novel.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>One might learn things are not what they seem.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>(But nothing more about that until both books come out. :-)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">After the poetry collection, I originally intended to do a sequel to the storyline from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i>, but I now have another Ranglen story to tell, so there should be at least two sequels.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">This happened because I wrote myself into a corner when working on <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">In a Suspect Universe </i>(which writers are wont to do).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I described in the first novel the story of how Clips were found.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Clips are tiny storage devices hidden throughout the galaxy by an ancient race called the Airafane. The first was found on Earth in the 21<sup>st</sup> century and provided the secret of faster-than-light travel.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The second was found on another planet and supplied the technology for anti-gravity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The third, discovered by Mykol Ranglen, contained the blueprints for a habitat in space, eventually built and called Annulus (which Ranglen likes to think of as “his” world).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The fourth Clip was also found by Ranglen, but no one knows this except a few high-placed people in government, and the Clip has been kept “under wraps” since being found. <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes </i>covered all of the above, in summary, then told the story of how the fifth Clip was sought, found, and fought over—and how Ranglen, at first reluctantly but then persistently, helped in that chase.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I planned <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">In a Suspect Universe</i> to go back and tell the story of how Ranglen found the fourth Clip, what happened to him in doing so, and how he turned it over to the government. But I created such a dangerous Clip in writing the story that I realized that Ranglen would <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">never </i>turn it over—indeed, he’d make certain all governments never got near it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">So I still had the story to tell of finding the “fourth” Clip.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And that’s what the next book, after the poetry book, will do.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This time it’ll <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">really</i> tell that story.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>That would technically make it another “prequel,” running right up to the start of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i>, but it’ll be written more in the style and format of that first novel. Indeed, it will be a fast-paced thriller—a chase, a revenge story, and then a rush to a dramatic conclusion.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>(Working title:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Contested Space</i>.)<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And finally, I’ll get to the actual sequel that’s been planned all along, the true follow-up to the first book, telling how Ranglen goes on a search for a missing person and discovers . . . well, I’ll say no more, except that some large questions get answered, and that Ranglen has to confront some very big and difficult issues.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>(Working title: <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Galaxy Time</i>.) </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And after that?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Who knows. I’m sure I could come up with more ideas for Ranglen books, but I also have at least one other novel in mind that’s not part of the Ranglen saga. A fantasy story, about floating cities.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But that’s way down the road.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">So, there you have it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I look forward to bringing all these plans to their conclusion. I’ve loved writing the books in the series already, so I’m eager and ready for more. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And, again, I hope you enjoy them.</span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-27647218132950639742018-08-15T15:36:00.002-07:002018-08-15T15:36:41.524-07:00A Different But Useful Format<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>This is for all the readers who truly liked the story of the first novel.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes </i>has a straight-forward linear plot.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It begins with a hook, sets up the motivation and conflict, builds to a crisis, accelerates to a brief interlude and then a bigger second crisis, followed by more build-up, bigger developments, more crises, then the really big crisis, falling action, and conclusion. A tried-and-true dependable plot structure, the standard for most stories. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">In a Suspect Universe </i>plays with that a little.First of all, it’s in three parts.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It begins with a confrontation and builds to a crisis at the end of Part I.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But then Part II goes back in time, shifts point of view, and shows what happened before the events that led up to the confrontation at the beginning of the book.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We follow that story in a typically accelerating linear structure that leads to a bigger crisis at the end of Part II.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Then Part III jumps ahead and we pick up the story from the end of Part I.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>And from there we develop, migrate, skip and scurry (time and space get a little unusual) to the last big crisis, then falling action, and conclusion.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>(I really liked the ending, by the way.)<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>So, it’s different, and I want loyal fans of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i> to know this. But I promise that this other format (it’s not really experimental, just the only way to tell the story) is both satisfying and in many ways more interesting than the original. I’ll return to typical straight-forward sequences when I get to the sequels (more about that in the next blog), but I think the unique structure here makes this book a stronger stand-alone novel, special for both its subject matter and its way of telling the story.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>That structure allows the author to give you more about the main character and the events in the first book than a standard “sequel” could. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>It’s a revelation of a buried past, a “prequel,” and thus it provides a picture of Mykol Ranglen that he probably would never share (as the beginning of the book indicates, he’s never told this story).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>And all that he refuses to divulge here will become essential to the later and real sequels, hinting that the Mykol Ranglen story is more complex than what the first book ever suggested.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So this book is crucial for the development of the whole series. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And, I confess, it’s very special to me.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I’ve had the idea for it for a long time, long before I wrote the first book.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So I was thrilled to tell it finally, and even more thrilled to make my main character a part of it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The story permitted me to take Ranglen to places he had never been before, to have him deal with emotions that the standard mystery-plot, the structure for the first novel, could not let me show.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Ranglen experiences here quite a range of feelings—hope, despair, longing, regret, desire, heartbreak, guilt, tragedy, and a final reconciling serenity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He becomes <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">what he is</i> in the course of this story, the Ranglen we know from the first book. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But we also get suggestions on what he will <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">become</i>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So this story prepares him for the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">rest</i> of his story.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And, as we learn from this book, his story has surprisingly deep and serpentine roots.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Ultimately, as said in the previous blog, I wanted the readers to feel they were getting a very privileged and private view of their hero.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The three-part structure allowed me to do that, to make the book a series of revelations, the unveiling of secrets, all seen through a very private observation port (both himself, and someone outside of him). Providing that exposure required a narrative that was non-linear and not always in Ranglen’s point of view. It resembled the solving of a 3D puzzle instead of the running of a 2D quest.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">All this discussion, of course, is no substitute for the book itself, and I think that all I’ve stated above will be obvious once the book is read.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It’s hard to talk about the arrangements of plot until the story is completed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">So come back after reading it and we’ll talk about the structure more.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-12705626948475084842018-08-14T17:49:00.000-07:002018-08-14T17:56:57.806-07:00A Poet and his Poetry<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">Experts on media publicity recommend that when a new novel is released, you should write in your blog about something “cool” concerning the novel, something that makes it different or special.&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Mykol Ranglen, the protagonist of my novel&nbsp;<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="https://amzn.to/2Kb5R5D">In a Suspect Universe</a>,</i> is a writer, explorer, space adventurer, loner, and . . . a poet.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some very brief poems of his appeared in the first book, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406292476&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes">TheMan Who Loved Alien Landscapes</a></i>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But for this second book, I wanted to use several more parts of his poems, not to “add” to the book, and certainly not to “prettify” or “decorate” it (like some poems or songs do), but to make them significant aspects of the plot and character development.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>They wouldn’t be quoted at the starts of chapters to act as epigraphs or headings—and thus be easily skipped.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Instead, they’d function as integral parts of the narrative, “secrets revealed.” Reading them would be like sneaking a look over someone’s shoulder, digging into an unknown past, or, as one character says, getting the lowdown and “dirt” on someone.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>They’re used sparingly (they fall mostly in just two chapters), and when they do appear they represent important plot points.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Indeed,&nbsp;some poems even <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">created </i>certain aspects of the plot.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>None of them are given entirely—only fragments—but they reveal parts of Ranglen’s character that people in the story get to see <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">only</i>through the poems.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Ranglen, as in the previous book, is still not too talkative or revealing of his past.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So the poems act as revelations of character, and a means of weaving even more mystery into the story. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>They also set up a tie to the next book in the series, which will be a collection of poems supposedly written by Ranglen himself (with an “editor’s introduction” by an alleged&nbsp;publisher in Ranglen’s future world).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>The full versions of all the poems quoted only briefly in the current book will be included there.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>The “notebook” referred to in this novel will purportedly become the collection that’s published.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I’m working on the volume now and it’s progressing very well—indeed, I’m in that ideal writer’s state where I prefer writing to pleasure reading—a wonderful “zone” to be in.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I won’t say much about how the pieces-of-poems used in the book contribute to the plot.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>That would be giving things away—which shows how much the poems are <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">not</i>simple “window-dressing.” The only quote that is used as a traditional epigraph is the one that appears at the start of the book, and its slightly ominous tone, leading up to the book’s title, is very intentional: </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">It’s annoying, alarming, </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">Sad, and perverse, </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">To learn one lives </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">In a suspect universe.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>--Mykol Ranglen, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Temporary Planets for Transitory Days</i></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">(Yes, that’s the title of the poetry collection being writing now.)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Including these poems and using them to advantage in the book was exciting. Though brief, they allowed for levels of plot development, subtle openings into the main character, hints of explanations and unknown events that could not be introduced in any other way, and even tiny “info-dumps” of necessary information to provide foreshadowing, suspense, possible threats, and privileged knowledge for the reader. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And I enjoyed writing brief reactions to them by one of my characters, which included exasperation, bemusement, impatience, when she didn’t understand what&nbsp;<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">really</i>&nbsp;was being revealed. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;helvetica neue&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So I invite you all to share in them,to see the practical benefits of using this device in writing a novel.&nbsp; It allows for aspects of story-telling generally out-of-bounds to a narrator, and it supplied pleasure, entertainment, and a new tool for a writer’s box of tricks.&nbsp; </span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-77433098614452880332018-08-13T17:29:00.000-07:002018-08-13T17:29:35.274-07:00The Elevator Pitch, the Blurb, the Descriptions<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: inherit;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; You’ve all heard them, and many of you have written them.&nbsp; Describing the story of your book in one line.&nbsp; “The Elevator Pitch”—so you can describe it to an editor you just happen to meet during a brief encounter.&nbsp; (Not an exaggeration. I once wound up in an elevator with Tom Doherty of TOR Books. Unfortunately I didn’t have a book to pitch.)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“High concept” is often part of it, taking a well-known idea, like the story of a popular film or novel, and marrying it to another idea.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Like “<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Lawrence of Arabia</i> on another planet” (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Dune</i>); “Marines in space” (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Aliens</i>); “a Disneyland where the visitors get eaten” (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Jurassic Park</i>); “<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Lord of the Rings</i> from the Orcs’ point of view” (<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Black Company</i>). </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And then there’s “the blurb.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The short-paragraph description that goes on the back cover or that's used for publicity. Not quite as hard to write as the synopsis, but close. Every word <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">really</i> counts.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>And finally,there are just the cute little quickie summaries that one plays with, maybe for fun, but good gems for conversation and interviews, and a creative way to come up with a new angle on a work you’re becoming too familiar with.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>So, here goes.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The novel is <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><a href="https://amzn.to/2Kb5R5D">In a Suspect Universe</a></i>, releasing on Aug. 15:</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">high concept</b>: “<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Adam Strange</i> meets <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The English Patient</i>, meets H. P. Lovecraft, meets Philip K. Dick.”</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>(Okay, that’s going overboard, but it’s darn accurate.)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">elevator pitch:</b></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“A space adventure of mystery and romance becomes a dark planetary noir.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>(Clever, but people might not understand what “planetary noir” means.)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“A jaded spaceman finds the world of his dreams but it then fades out of his reach.”</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>(More to the point, but too much a downer, and not representative of the pace and feeling of the story, which is more thriller than elegiac tragedy.)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“A solitary explorer of alien worlds has a dark secret in his past. It’s now revealed.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>(Not too informative, but I love the mood and the hook that's hanging at the end.)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">blurb</b>: </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>“In this planetary adventure of mystery and romance, Mykol Ranglen, the space-wanderer from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i>, finds the planet of his dreams and the future he desires. But he learns they come at too high a price. The terrors of a mysterious alien ‘Blight,’ the plots of ancient galactic civilizations, and the hidden surprises of a ‘suspect’ universe, conspire to stop him.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>From out of this buried tale in his past, the secrets revealed, and the chances lost, will haunt Mykol Ranglen forever.”</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I liked this, and it does have good specifics.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But, darn, it’s never the exact experience of reading the novel itself. It’s only a snapshot, of a preview of a preface.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Here’s an alternate approach, <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">breaking it down into the characteristics of fiction,</b> but keeping things simple and not too explanatory:</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The setting:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>two exotic alien worlds, with many glimpses of more.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The plot:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>in this order—a meeting, a suspicion, an escape, an adventure, a romance, a quest, a chase, a confrontation, and then a conclusion (slightly ambiguous).</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The characters:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>a man, a woman, another woman, another man, and one more woman.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The theme:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>so many, but I’ll pick the most lyrical—“saudade,” the deep yearning for wonders past.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The emotions:&nbsp; great hope, great disappointment, great longing, great loss.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The style:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>clipped, lush, accelerated, ominous, descriptive, terse, poetic, ironic—not all in the same paragraph but usually in the same chapter.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I’m not sure if that helped much.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So here are some <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">quickie descriptions</b>, a bit of play, but not entirely tongue-in-cheek:</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: 1.0in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Pulp adventure gets serious.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: 1.0in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->John Carter loses his way, but then finds it.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: 1.0in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->A planetary romance becomes interstellar tragedy, becomes . . . something more.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: 1.0in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->A happy life on another planet demands the loss of a reassuring universe.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: 1.0in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-size: 7pt; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Classic SF (the human colony on a distant world) confronts a multiple postmodern reality, or <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">un</i>reality, where Dreams walk, where the Dragon, the Spider, and the Serpent live, but only to torment the people who believe in them. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Okay, that’s enough.&nbsp; I think I’m getting too extreme now.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>As we used to say at the desperate endings to old high school “book reports,” where we just gave plot-summaries and ended half-way through the story, “You’ll just have to read the book.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sorry about that. But I do think you’ll enjoy it!</span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-33946852562491887592018-08-12T13:10:00.004-07:002018-08-14T17:58:06.518-07:00Why I Wrote This Novel<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">Since </span><a href="http://amzn.to/2Kb5R5D"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">In a Suspect Universe</i></span><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"></span></a><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"> is about to be released (August 15), I want to address here why I wrote this novel.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">When working on </span><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406292476&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i></span><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"></span></a><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"> (publ. 2014), I naturally thought of more books dealing with its protagonist, Mykol Ranglen.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">The story of the first novel is science fiction that takes place about 130 years in the future, and it concerns the finding of “Clips,” small storage-units of information hidden by an ancient galactic race that is now extinct. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Everyone seeks the Clips, because the new technological information brings great wealth to the finders. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Ranglen, an adventurer/writer/poet, who’s quite a loner, discovered the third Clip, which gave him many advantages and many problems (see the novel for details). The book told the story of how he got involved with the dangerous pursuit of the fifth Clip. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">After finishing that book, I knew I had an eventual sequel to the first story, and possibly more after that.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But I wanted to do something else than just tell the consequences of finding the fifth Clip, or just retell the original story but in a different way, which many sequels often do.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">And I felt that, in the first book, not enough was given about the background of my main character, who of course <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">is</i> the man<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i>. I purposely wanted him to be mysterious, reserved, romantic (some reviewers compared him to a classic noir detective), so I made him private, solitary, and a bit of an enigma to the other people in the book. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">And</i>to the reader. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">Though all this was intentional, I now wanted to say more about him in a second novel without compromising the mystery of who he was. I had a story idea from long ago (I won’t share details because it would reveal an important plot element), and I thought I could use it for an event in Ranglen’s past, deeply hidden and almost forgotten, that yet had a major influence on his later personality.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It would explain his actions in the first novel, why he was so private, why a loner, why he wants to “get away” and lose himself in alien worlds, why he’s paranoid—and why he has so much trouble with romantic relationships. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">It thus would be a prequel, taking place before the events of the first novel, but told almost as a sequel, as a further exploration of the protagonist in the first book.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">This was getting interesting. I could reveal secrets yet maintain them, show someone’s past but explain his future, tell of events no one knew about but create the beginnings for stories still to come—revelations behind reticence, why we are the way we are, digging into dirt, cuddling up to the reader and whispering, “Let me tell you a secret.” </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">Definitely interesting!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>What gets writers excited.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">And this one big “story of Ranglen” would be privileged information for <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">just</i>the reader.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Ranglen would have only a dim recollection of the whole event (for reasons to be explained in the novel), and yet the reader would get all the details, the real low-down. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>And thus the reader could form a special bond with the protagonist, feel a sense of “I wish I could tell you what I know, but maybe it’s right you <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">don’t</i> know”—a private sympathy, a silent compassion.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">I loved this!</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">And on top of that, I could tell more about events from that first book that were <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">un</i>related to Ranglen—the deep past of the galaxy, the one-time war between ancient races, the legacy of the Clips and the mysteries behind them. And I could <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">raise</i>questions too, build on the secrets, hint that more was going on than what anyone knew about, even the ancient races themselves. I wanted to suggest that the underlying story of all the intended Ranglen books was complex, tricky, enigmatic—more a “<a href="https://albertwendland.blogspot.com/2018/06/deep-story_12.html">Deep Story</a>.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Though I could provide many answers in this second book for standing questions, I also could introduce issues that would not be touched again until later in the series.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">Yeah, I was hooked. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>The story was getting bigger and better.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-indent: .5in;"><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;">So come along with me and let me tell it to you. </span><span style="mso-bookmark: _GoBack;"><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; mso-ascii-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-char-type: symbol; mso-hansi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-symbol-font-family: Wingdings;"><span style="mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family: Wingdings;">J</span></span></span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-78044198391229766392018-07-15T18:54:00.000-07:002018-07-15T18:54:22.866-07:00Planetary Romance Meets Planetary Noir<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">At one time, science fiction was referred to as “scientific romance.” This was the term applied to the stories of H. G. Wells. “Romance” meant, not love or relationships, but a narrative based mainly on adventure and entertainment, a tale of the “marvelous or uncommon incidents” (the term was first used to describe the long Medieval tales of knights and their fantastic adventures).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So a story with a <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">scientific</i> background or inspiration, like what happens to a traveler on a machine that can move through time, got the label “scientific romance.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Generalizing away from romance to any story or prose narrative (serious, comic, short, or long) and you get the more familiar “science fiction.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Then, a popular sub-genre of science fiction that started in the 1930s and 40s was “planetary romance,” in which, as Wikipedia&nbsp;says (bless its easily accessible heart) “</span><span style="background: white; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds.”&nbsp; And a strong characteristic of this sub-genre is that such “planetside adventures” are more the focus of the story than the mode of travel to get there, or the hard science of the planet, or its technology.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">The legacy examples are Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars and Venus novels, and Alex Raymond’s </span><i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">Flash Gordon</i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"> (when he was on Mongo). But these works are more credibly labeled now as “sword and planet,” where cultures use the sword as the basic weapon of force, and any technology included is just there to extend the adventures.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">Purer examples of “planetary romance”—adventurous, entertaining, and filled with sense of wonder—were those written by Jack Vance, Leigh Brackett, Poul Anderson (though he does include science), Andre Norton (her SF), David Lindsay (</span><i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">A Voyage to Arcturus</i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">), Anne McCaffrey (the Pern books), Frank Herbert (</span><i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">Dune</i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">), Dan Simmons (</span><i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">Hyperion</i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">), and selections from the old pulp magazine, </span><i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">Planet Stories</i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And, my latest novel, </span><a href="https://amzn.to/2Kb5R5D" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><i>In a Suspect Universe</i></a><span class="MsoHyperlink" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><i>.</i></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">The novel intentionally fits the planetary romance category, though it does add its own unique twists. I’ve described it—in “high concept” terms—as Adam Strange meets </span><i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">The English Patient </i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">meets H. P. Lovecraft.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">The story begins as obvious planetary romance:</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">a man’s desire for escapist adventure takes him to an exotic alien world where he encounters what he’s always wanted, a planet of wonder and mystery, and a woman he comes to love with whom he can experience it.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">But he discovers that this great scenario comes at a very high price, and the story then turns into “planetary noir” (my own term, I believe), a dark and highly emotional confrontation with dangerous surprises, with secrets out of the galactic past, and a realization that even the nature of the universe is not what it seems, that it’s a “suspect” universe. The protagonist—Mykol Ranglen, and this is the second book about him—finds that the world and its people have their hidden stories and frightening enigmas.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">Once having experienced his dream, he learns it can never be repeated and never returned to. </span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">Then H. P. Lovecraft encounters Philip K. Dick.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">So the best way to describe the book is “planetary romance meets planetary noir.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And I loved how these differences confronted each other, how they came together and evolved, how the varied traces of pulp fiction and classic SF coupled with the darker narratives of today, how the familiar tale of a space colony met contemporary post-human uncertainties, how the strong space heroes of the past (only male then but also female now) fared&nbsp;in entering today’s dangers and new physics.</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">It’s a heady brew of romance, adventure, tragedy, and longing.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">I loved writing it. Working on it was </span><i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">my </i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">own personal escape.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">And I hope it becomes yours too.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">Enjoy!</span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-63420774919708845192018-07-10T06:17:00.000-07:002018-07-10T11:56:13.560-07:00Cover Reveal: In a Suspect Universe<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">When I first saw the cover by Bradley Sharp for a book of mine about to be released (it was <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i>), I was in the hospital recovering from back surgery performed by three specialist surgeons. The surgery happened after&nbsp; months of inexplicable neck pains, frightful double vision, and signs of bizarre destructive activity in my spinal column. I was feeling better—the surgery was successful—but also realizing that the recovery would be long.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">And then came a sudden gift from the cloud. It was my best moment there in the hospital.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">I received, by email on my iPhone, the image of the cover for my upcoming book, which was my very first novel.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">I became sooooo happy!</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">I had been worried, not knowing what the cover would be like, and having recently seen several books (for a favorite author) with covers I felt were completely inappropriate (not by Brad).</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">But Brad’s rendition brought me not only a surge of relief but an uplift of joy. I was thrilled with it--with its suggestive accuracy, its emotional appeal, its symbolic rendition of the protagonist’s longings.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">I showed it to every nurse and physician who came into my room.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">I didn’t think a later reveal could match the euphoria felt on seeing the cover to my first novel for the first time (I wrote about it in an <a href="http://albertwendland.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-cover-book-and-day-to-remember.html"><span style="color: blue;">earlier blog entry</span></a>), but when Bradley Sharp is the artist, a second experience is just as exciting.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">See the official cover reveal from Dog Star Books&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><a href="http://rawdogscreaming.com/cover-reveal-in-a-suspect-universe/"><span style="color: blue;">here</span></a>.&nbsp; I reprint the cover below, but both covers can be seen in the column to the right of this entry.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="color: blue; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">I have only those two examples so far (I saw his other covers but I hadn't read the books), yet I can see in them characteristics that would make both writer and reader mighty grateful for what he can do.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">First, he obviously looks into the manuscript to get ideas. When a cover is commissioned, authors receive questionnaires sent by the publisher that ask for short paragraph descriptions of the protagonist, the antagonist, the setting, and recommendations for what the cover could show, which are then sent to the artist.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">Busy artists might use this material exclusively and never look at the actual manuscript at all. But Brad puts ideas into his covers that obviously come from his own examination of the manuscript--he </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">does his homework, and it shows.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">The first cover included specifics about the jungle setting, its layers of growth, the “underworld” of luminescent vegetation, none of which were included in the description I sent. And the second cover has details in the misty section (see the square-rigger?) that also were not part of my questionnaire and yet do appear in the book.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">Second, he can translate verbal ideas into visual images, making suggestions or even&nbsp; symbols of more abstract concepts from the story.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">In both novels, there’s a deep connection between the protagonist and the alien planets he visits.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">The spread arms of the figure in the first cover represents this idea perfectly, as does the contemplative stance of the person--the protagonist again--in the second cover. These images convey ideas unconsciously accepted by the viewer:&nbsp; the first figure “loves” the landscape, and the second is wary but fascinated, sensing a connection between himself and what he’s looking at, which could be threatening.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">And the way the whitish mist (with its mysterious objects) is aligned with the head of the person suggests that such a connection might be closer than he expects (which is a major plot point).</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">Third, the composition.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">Both covers use an overall symmetry (with necessary exceptions to it), which provides a sense of stasis or order in the midst of peculiar alien phenomena.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">The visual balance is like a pause, a moment of poised observation of an object that causes wonder and fear—with a notion that the wonder transcends the fear.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">(This kind of symmetry reminds me of the best of Stanley Kubrick, his use of balance in </span><i style="text-indent: 0.5in;">2001</i><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">, of course, but even </span><i style="text-indent: 0.5in;">The Shining</i><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">, to confront obscure and frightening phenomena.)</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">And fourth, the detail.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">I mentioned the minutiae of the jungle in the first cover but also, if you look closely, you can see a ring-shape lurking in the sky (this refers to Annulus, a habitat in space that’s a setting in the novel).</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">And in the second cover, the “illuminated forest” and its various colors are highlighted with a glowing mist in between the trees—depicting the shape of the boughs, but also suggestive of the strangeness of the growth.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">And note how the objects in the white mist—tentacles, arches, undefined structures—are different from the more natural ones around it, the forest and the cliffs.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">This contrast is&nbsp; part of the story.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">And the mound behind the mist, even taller than what I imagined in the novel, is appropriately overwhelming for the protagonist.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">(And, yes, those oval objects </span><i style="text-indent: 0.5in;">are</i><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"> eyes.)</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">So, if the point of a cover artist is to convey, in one stark and immediate image, the overall mood and idea of the novel, then both these covers succeed very well. The accuracy of the feelings conveyed might not be noticed on a first viewing (the novel must be read for that), but it’s still conveyed, and it reaches the visual part of the mind if not yet the verbal. But that's exactly what it should do--hit the brain immediately with a memorable impression.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">Hey, maybe I write these books just so I can see the cover Brad will produce for them.</span><span style="text-indent: 0.5in;">&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;">I thank him again. And I thank Dog Star Books for choosing him in the first place.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://amzn.to/2Kb5R5D"><img border="0" data-original-height="831" data-original-width="578" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-st73PKVhXmg/W0UAuslTd9I/AAAAAAAABdc/2ZXGR1LNvfgbalfM4lcsux3nsb8IK_xYgCLcBGAs/s640/In-A-Suspect-Universe-LIGHTER1-with-bleed%2Bb.jpg" width="443" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-60823378806603132612018-06-12T16:33:00.000-07:002018-07-10T11:57:21.177-07:00Deep Story<div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">In my latest novel,&nbsp;<i>In a Suspect Universe</i>, I mention the phrase, “Deep Story.”&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">In a series narrative, like a set of novels with the same protagonist (say a detective who solves murder mysteries), or a television program with the same characters who have a weekly task to perform (like a group of agents investigating peculiar phenomena), there’s the typical surface story that concludes at the end of each novel or episode. The murderer is found, the crime explained, the phenomenon identified (maybe not always fully “understood” but at least the incidents are brought to a closure).&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">But in some recurring series there’s also a story&nbsp;<i>beneath&nbsp;</i>the story, one that you only get hints of, one that’s never resolved at the end of any episode. We learn about it only in increments, providing an undercurrent that does not carry the promise of inevitable closure, a recurring mystery that might get further away from an ending even when the show’s approaching it. It has a different appeal from “resolution,” more like a knot that’s always being gathered but never quite tied.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">Deep Story!&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><i><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 18.4px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">T</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">he X Files&nbsp;</span></span></i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 18.4px;">was a perfect example.&nbsp;&nbsp;We got our weekly dose of bizarre local phenomena—yeti, vampires, bumps in the night—independent and self-contained episodes. But underneath them we kept returning to the deeper mystery:&nbsp;&nbsp;the cancer man, Mulder’s sister, government collusion with alien invasion.&nbsp;&nbsp;This is not like a traditional story with beginning, middle, and end. It has&nbsp;</span>only sporadic and non-linear hints of a vast amorphous undercurrent of events that happened, that are happening, and that will happen (if all very clandestine).&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot;;"><br /></span></span><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">It deals with conspiracies, covert associations, hidden secrets that “you don’t want to know,” that reek with the warning they’re “better left alone.” You want a traditional surface story to be laid out and examined, but a&nbsp;<i>deep&nbsp;</i>story you almost feel should be left untouched. It’s safer that way. It’s too big to be resolved, too out-of-control, too beyond rationality, too against the reassurance that all mysteries can be ultimately solved.&nbsp;&nbsp;Instead of us longing to get closer to the answer, we become more wary, or more frightened, or more confused the more we “understand.”&nbsp;It’s forever unwinding, unveiling yet one more secret but remaining just beyond our grasp.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">And&nbsp;&nbsp;it keeps us feeling there’s “mystery” in the world, leaving us with something always beyond—that the truth is even more “out there” than expected, that something haunting still exists to give spice to our otherwise sensible and “explained” lives. It promises more even when it delivers, and its “explanations” are usually just indicators of more to come.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">And somewhere while writing&nbsp;<i>In a Suspect Universe</i>, I realized that the story of Mykol Ranglen&nbsp;<i>is&nbsp;</i>part of a bigger story, a “Deep Story”—the phrase is even used in the book. The story’s incidents&nbsp;<i>do&nbsp;</i>get resolved; the conclusion pulls the novel’s incidents together (and I confess I love the ending). But I realized, while working the story, that more is going on, that a whole underside lurks beneath.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">I didn’t want to get into it too deeply in this novel, since too many questions would become frustrating, and this book wasn’t the right place for addressing the issues. But small hints that did come up I left in, little indicators that more-is-going-on than what the protagonists fully learn.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">Maybe it was just because I was watching the new version of&nbsp;<i>Twin Peaks&nbsp;</i>at the time, a series that lavishes in deep story. Indeed, in David Lynch’s work, the deep story almost drowns the surface story, infiltrates it and finally replaces it—making his work often baffling, since such a story only flirts with final clarification. I didn’t want to go that far in my book. And I have at least two more books in the Mykol Ranglen series (maybe three), so I have room to work on the deep story that’s been introduced and to move it forward.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">But then, in the end, is a deep story ever resolved?&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">Both yes and no.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">You learn more about it. Secrets&nbsp;<i>are&nbsp;</i>revealed. But in many ways the solving of some issues leads to even more questions. As one case is closed, another opens—and the world takes on its mysteries again.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">I don’t know yet how far I’ll go with this in the books. But a huge subterranean current, dark and weird, is flowing now through the connected plots, and it certainly will touch the later works.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">Oh, such&nbsp;<i>devious&nbsp;</i>fun fiction writers do have with their readers!&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif;">They torture us. Yet we come back for more.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></div>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-48639571387588582912018-05-22T04:06:00.003-07:002018-05-22T04:06:42.530-07:00Prequel or Sequel??<br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">When does a “prequel” become a “sequel”?&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">If the second book written in a series takes place before the first book, then obviously it’s a “prequel,” right?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But what if the story, though complete in itself and not dependent on the first book, tells the reader a lot more about the situations in the first book, the characters, the events?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>What if neither book is dependent on each other, but after reading the second story a reader gets a clearer understanding of things in the first story?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So isn’t that the classic definition of a “sequel”?—that it adds to and clarifies (through an indirect way) what happened in the first book?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I’m pondering this question because, all during the writing of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">In a Suspect Universe</i>, the second book after <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i> (the beginning of the “Mykol Ranglen” series) I’ve been telling people that it’s a prequel.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>And, true, the story <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">does</i> take place before the events of the first novel, and the story <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">is</i>complete in itself, and the events of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes </i>are not dependent on its events.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><o:p></o:p></i></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But it does take situations and concepts from the first book and, by showing another side to them, brings new light to aspects of the first story. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Especially, the second book explains the reactions and feelings of the main character Mykol Ranglen. Knowing Ranglen’s “backstory” helps the reader to see why he’s as secretive, quiet, and paranoid as he is in the first book—suspicious, careful, and very much a loner, not wanting to show much of himself to anyone, not even to his old “friends” Hatch Banner and Anne Montgomery (who we see briefly in the second work). I intentionally did not get too deeply into his character when writing the first book (and by “first” I refer to the order of how I wrote the books and how they were published) because the backstory that makes up <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">In a Suspect Universe</i> I already knew and had well in mind as I was writing the first book. </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The plot of the second novel is actually older (in terms of being imagined) than the plot of the first novel.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It’s a story idea I’ve had for a long time, whereas the plot for the first book I put together as I was writing it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I didn’t have the details worked out for the older story, but the basic plot and its consequences I knew long before I wrote the first book.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">So the “prequel,” though it didn’t exist yet, was very present in my mind, and it influenced the writing of the first book since it clarifies the reasons for how the protagonist thinks and behaves: why he keeps to himself, why he’s sensitive about relationships, why he longs to be away from people and yet at the same time wants to be with them, why he distrusts authority, why he feels guilty, why he’s so certain about some things and yet so uncertain about others, why he always feels a profound longing, and why deep down he knows he can never have what he wants.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">When you learn that much from the second book, then it sounds like a “sequel.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And the Clips, the great objects of information and power that everyone is looking for in the first book, we learn more about them too.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>And it’s a different kind of knowledge: <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>it’s not just “more,” it’s also “other”—it takes a different direction from the assumptions of the first book.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In the second book we’re not so sure about them, and in many ways we have more questions about them at the end of the “prequel” than we did in the first book. This second book opens up our wonder—and fear—about the Clips, the Airafane, the Moyocks, more than did the later-in-time events of the first book.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">So, doesn’t that sound then a bit like a sequel?</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And all this gets more complicated because what the reader learns and keeps from the earlier events are not the same things that the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">protagonist</i> gets to keep. Mykol Ranglen will not be privileged with what readers of his story take away from the second book—what he gets he’ll most likely lose, keeping only hints of it while the <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">reader</i> keeps all the secrets he has to abandon. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>(Why and how these things happens are major plot points of the story.)</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Several mysteries will haunt Ranglen in vaguely unconscious and sinister ways for the rest of his life. But only the reader will know why.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">So the question remains: <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>prequel or sequel?</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">In the end, I guess it has to be called a prequel simply because of the label’s basic definition—the second book’s story does occur <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">before</i> the first one.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But since these two books will be part of a “series” (two more books are certain, and one other is possible), then we can just say “Book 2” in the “Mykol Ranglen Series” and leave it at that.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But I’m still debating.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>And I think anyone who reads the book will see exactly what I mean.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-87667610475323197852018-05-16T08:57:00.000-07:002018-05-22T04:07:40.258-07:00The Obsession of Writing, or: Returning to a Blog<div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Okay, confession time:&nbsp;I’ve been uninvolved with this blog for a while.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But why?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Let’s go back to the reasons I started it.&nbsp;&nbsp;The “inciting incident” was to &nbsp;share my excitement behind the publication of my novel,&nbsp;<i>The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</i>, but I also wanted to express many long-held thoughts on writing, science fiction, popular culture, film, graphic novels, photography, travel—all topics I’m fascinated by.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">So what took me away?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Simple! I was writing a&nbsp;<i>second&nbsp;</i>novel.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And when my focus on it, my drive and my interest, all became intense, I sacrificed the time on the blog to stick with just the creation of the book.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I had little power over the choice. I was&nbsp;<i>hooked&nbsp;</i>on writing that novel, very much “in the groove”—rushing forward like a speedway—in deep point-of-view, deep story, Deep Creation.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Because of my teaching schedule at Seton Hill University, I usually restrict my writing to the summer months.&nbsp;&nbsp;I’m not good at writing just two hours a day and then “shutting it off,” going on to other things.&nbsp;&nbsp;I get possessed by it and then can’t let it go:&nbsp;&nbsp;I’ll write in the morning, write in the afternoon, write in the evening, then get up in the middle of the night and write some more. I’ll stop only to eat or go to the bathroom or if my muscles start cramping—and when I get up to move around, I think about the book.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I remember a story about Picasso who, once he really got into working on a painting, would sleep in front of it so it would be the first thing he’d see in the morning, and he then could attack it immediately. I used to think that was a conscious choice based on strong dedication and duty.&nbsp;&nbsp;But no. You have no choice. You get so obsessed, the work’s always on your mind. Even when you’re not actively thinking about it, it’s still cooking inside you, as if the novel takes over and starts <i>using</i> you—you’re just a laborer, a servile lackey, pure working class, and&nbsp;<i>it&nbsp;</i>writes&nbsp;<i>you</i>.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">You sneak away from conversations, wander off during television commercials, write notes on ragged scraps of paper, napkins, paper towels (Stendhal wrote on his fingernails).&nbsp;&nbsp;It sucks you in, like Poe’s maelstrom.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And you love it!&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Or, you’re beyond love. You’ve been deconstructed and rebuilt into a writing demon.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And when all that occurred last summer, for it certainly did, I simply had no mental room for a blog.&nbsp;&nbsp;Nor for taking trips, cutting the grass, doing home repairs, or maintaining connections with family and friends.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Well, okay . . . maybe it didn’t go&nbsp;<i>that</i>&nbsp;far, and I still performed my school duties (I needed the money).&nbsp;&nbsp;But otherwise, I was possessed.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And the great reward was that the novel kept getting better, deeper, fuller. I was completely caught up in its world, traveling along inside its story, viewing another planet through my characters’ eyes, struggling with weird alien threats, haunted by mysteries, driven by longings.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Remembering to sleep was like breaking off a love affair.&nbsp;&nbsp;And a blog?&nbsp;Sorry! Not now, not yet.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But I’m finally back, because—cheers and flag-waving!—the book,&nbsp;<i>In a Suspect Universe</i>, is done!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And accepted! At the publisher’s! With advance copies to be available at Seton Hill on June 22.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">More on that later.&nbsp;A&nbsp;<i>lot&nbsp;</i>more.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But for now, know, till the next creativity-wave knocks me over (and it’s already starting), and for now, the blog is back!&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: times new roman;"><o:p></o:p></span></div>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-51891497790586581862017-09-15T06:32:00.002-07:002018-05-22T04:09:20.010-07:00An Upcoming Presentation on the Sublime in Science Fiction<div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I’m giving a presentation on “<a href="http://uniontownlib.org/author-series/#wendland">Science Fiction Writing,and the Sublime</a>” in the <a href="http://uniontownlib.org/author-series/">Uniontown Public Library Author Series</a> on Saturday, September 16. So I want to give a quick preview here—a taste, a titillation, and an obvious come-on invitation. (The talk is open to the public.) I’ll be discussing what the sublime is, showing some classic examples of it in both art and interplanetary photography, then making links to science fiction, showing more visual art and reading from my own writing. I’ll include selections from <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406292476&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</a></i>, and possibly something from my upcoming <i>In a Suspect Universe</i>.&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">I’m still putting the lecture together, the slides, artwork, photographs, and readings, so all of this is tentative and might change.&nbsp; But I thought I’d include a few possible examples with just a line or two to indicate what I’ll be dealing with.&nbsp; Beware that the labels at the end might sound a bit odd and over-the-top . . . but that’s the nature of <i>The Sublime!</i>&nbsp; Hope you enjoy.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The sublime in photography:</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3VjWu-QIFRs/WbvR_3qnj7I/AAAAAAAABac/Wf83xkXjInE_--CWoNbiXPa9yIQTnNbDQCLcBGAs/s1600/DSC_0490%2Ba.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="997" data-original-width="1600" height="199" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3VjWu-QIFRs/WbvR_3qnj7I/AAAAAAAABac/Wf83xkXjInE_--CWoNbiXPa9yIQTnNbDQCLcBGAs/s320/DSC_0490%2Ba.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The sublime in art:&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-h9jZ0Bqe41Q/WbvSJ53aRWI/AAAAAAAABag/A58dJDoivVck0QG7k6o-fo6oWvX6-QhqQCEwYBhgL/s1600/JMW%2BTurner%2B-%2BSteam%2BBoat%2BOff%2Ba%2BHarbor%2527s%2BMouth.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1197" data-original-width="1600" height="239" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-h9jZ0Bqe41Q/WbvSJ53aRWI/AAAAAAAABag/A58dJDoivVck0QG7k6o-fo6oWvX6-QhqQCEwYBhgL/s320/JMW%2BTurner%2B-%2BSteam%2BBoat%2BOff%2Ba%2BHarbor%2527s%2BMouth.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The sublime in outer space:</span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8gmNdjROmhI/WbvQdfaj8rI/AAAAAAAABaM/RcZKGaRWh3wyY5DBvymbAyxCoTwVcbBWQCEwYBhgL/s1600/eagle%2Bnebula.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="617" data-original-width="592" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8gmNdjROmhI/WbvQdfaj8rI/AAAAAAAABaM/RcZKGaRWh3wyY5DBvymbAyxCoTwVcbBWQCEwYBhgL/s320/eagle%2Bnebula.jpg" width="307" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The sublime in science fiction:</span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m43iauJYuqw/WbvRmXY5HOI/AAAAAAAABak/NZgWb7gOWcAJ0cdXGGaO-ndAfJIMawP0gCEwYBhgL/s1600/Stanley%2BMeltzoff%2B%252810%2529c.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="709" data-original-width="612" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m43iauJYuqw/WbvRmXY5HOI/AAAAAAAABak/NZgWb7gOWcAJ0cdXGGaO-ndAfJIMawP0gCEwYBhgL/s320/Stanley%2BMeltzoff%2B%252810%2529c.jpg" width="276" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uDMWfuwcGSU/WbvRh_pCxQI/AAAAAAAABak/66xr7rPv_WQqHqaSixsuWoUCLirozpRgQCEwYBhgL/s1600/Stargate%2BCorridor%2B%25284%2529.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="900" data-original-width="1600" height="225" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uDMWfuwcGSU/WbvRh_pCxQI/AAAAAAAABak/66xr7rPv_WQqHqaSixsuWoUCLirozpRgQCEwYBhgL/s400/Stargate%2BCorridor%2B%25284%2529.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">And a few choice topics and quotes to think about:&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><ul><li><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The overwhelming</span></li><li><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The unexplainable&nbsp;</span></li><li><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The inexpressible&nbsp;</span></li><li><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The terrifying</span></li><li><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The "shock of imaginative expansion"</span></li><li><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The ego made "to feel small in the world"</span></li><li><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The "defeat" of apprehension, knowledge, and expression. &nbsp;</span></li></ul><div><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">(Hey, they didn't call it <i>Astounding Science Fiction</i> for nothing.)&nbsp;</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Hope to see you there.</span></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-85157495254757205392015-09-15T06:55:00.001-07:002015-09-15T07:00:13.815-07:00Deep Places: the Fascination of Caves<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://jv.gilead.org.il/rpaul/Voyage%20au%20centre%20de%20la%20terre/images/031.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><br /></a></div><br />I recently was asked to moderate a panel at <a href="http://parsec-sff.org/confluence/">Confluence</a> (Pittsburgh’s SF/fantasy convention) dealing with “Deep Places: Caves, Dungeons, Holes in the Ground.” It was a good discussion, with fellow panelists Gail Z. Martin, Christopher Pisano, Ken Chiacchia, and Tamora Pierce. We all had a fine time presenting our takes on the subject, from actual real-world spelunking to subterranean tunnels under modern cities. <br /><br />My own fascination with the subject of caves started long ago with a reading of Jules Verne’s <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Center-Earth-Jules-Verne-ebook/dp/B002J05GTY/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1438799784&amp;sr=1-2&amp;keywords=a+journey+to+the+center+of+the+earth">A Journey to the Center of the Earth</a>, which I read soon after seeing the film version made back in the 60s. There were radical differences between book and movie, but they both awoke a fascination with crystalline chambers inside the Earth, mushroom forests and living dinosaurs underground, a subterranean ocean that had to be crossed on a raft, and—in one of the most rousing climaxes you’ll find to a story—returning to the surface by riding up a volcano eruption. <br /><br />And being on the panel made me wonder exactly what characteristics of caves we find so captivating (since, too bad, I don’t think we’ll find any living dinosaurs). <br /><br />Here’s my list:<br /><br /><b> Absolute Darkness</b>: On the surface of the Earth, darkness is never completely dark. We’ve all experienced dark nights and dark interiors, but the blackness in a cave is absolute. It’s so overwhelming (where you truly can’t see the hand in front of your face) it can give you vertigo, a sense of choking, and a commanding fear of moving in any direction. Nevada Barr, in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Descent-Anna-Pigeon-Nevada/dp/0425230635/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1438800010&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=blind+descent+nevada+barr">Blind Descent</a> (an excellent novel detailing the experience of being in a cave) gives a frightening description of it: “the darkness began to harden around her. It was not a mere absence of light, it was a substance, an element, a suffocating miasma that filled her ears, clogged her nostrils, bore down on her shoulders and chest. . . . she could feel the black leaking like raw concrete into her brain . . .”<br /><br /><b> Disorienting Perception</b>. On the surface, you have a big sky naturally above you, a wide horizon encircling you, and a foundational ground beneath. Up and down are well defined, and clearly distinct. But not so in a cave. There the ceiling is often no different from the floor. They extend into each other through stalactites and stalagmites that often merge into towers and curtains. Both up and down are made of stone, and much of the cavity in between. And thus no defined reference points allow you to gauge distance. Objects are fractal: a ten-inch-wide nearby formation can look the same as a ten-foot structure further away. And the lack of distance-indicators can give you agoraphobia as strong as claustrophobia. Even lamps create as many shadows as illumination.<br /><br /><b> Imaginations Go Wild</b>. Caves are not usually experienced through devices like telescopes, deep-sea immersibles, or hovering remote cameras (though they can be). More often you go there, get up-close-and-personal to bare rock, uncharted and labyrinthine acid-carved non-linear chambers. And thus you get a greater sense of your self. The only sounds you hear are your own, the only light is what you bring, and the undefined nature of what you encounter makes your imagination quickly overactive. The imagery we use to describe caves— “yawning pits,” “gaping mouths”—can make you feel you’re being swallowed, that the Earth is hungry, seductive, and beckoning. The darkness gets filled with your own projections and irrational fears. What lurks in those shadows ahead? What lurks behind? What lurks beneath, above, alongside? You meet, in darkness and undefined space, some of your own hidden terrors.<br /><br /><b> The Uncanny.</b> Solid rock seems to behave in peculiar ways, creating unexpected formations. What appears to be lace is made of stone, snowflakes are composed of hard crystal, finely tinted translucent curtains are as solid as marble. The ceilings/walls/floors look melted, polished, decorated, poured, flowered, overgrown—and yet they are lifeless and motionless, unchanging in time. For example, Tolkien in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Rings-50th-Anniversary-Vol/dp/0618640150/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1438800354&amp;sr=1-3&amp;keywords=lord+of+the+rings">Lord of the Rings</a> has Gimli describing the abundant—yet beautiful—strangeness of the formations in the caves behind Helm’s Deep: “folded marbles, shell-like, translucent . . . fluted and twisted into dreamlike forms; they spring up from many-coloured floors to meet the glistening pendants of the roof: wings, ropes, curtains fine as frozen clouds; spears, banners, pinnacles of suspended palaces!” It’s all just rock, but the intricate surprises that the rock can manifest through age-long dissolving-and-deposits suggest plants, forests, cities, clouds, castles, animals, bones, and stars. <br /><br /><b> Deep Time.</b> To go down into the Earth is to go back into the past. No wonder the earth is where we place time capsules and buried treasure—they’ll be preserved. And it’s no surprise that Verne placed his mastodons and dinosaurs into deep caves. Caves feel incredibly old, like some ancient attic. They change imperceptively, but only over long-stretching periods of time—centuries and eons. Ursula LeGuin described the underground sense of time in her marvelous <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tombs-Atuan-Earthsea-Cycle-Book/dp/0689845367/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1438800199&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+tombs+of+atuan">The Tombs of Atuan</a> (where a good part of the book occurs in the total darkness of a subterranean labyrinth): “The dust was thick, thick, and every grain of it might be a day that had passed here where there was no time or light: days, months, years, ages all gone to dust. . . . No light; no life; no least stir of spider in the dust or worm in the cold earth. Rock, and dark, and time not passing.” <br /><br />I’m sure more characteristics can be added, but this list is a good start on just what makes caves fascinating. They’ve certainly held an attraction for me, especially in how they turn up so often in SF and fantasy stories. One of my favorite writers who developed my interest in science fiction was Andre Norton, and the middle section of many of her books took place “underground,” whether in caves, artificial tunnels, or labyrinthine ruins. And even now, in my own <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1438800248&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</a>, there’s a chapter called “The Underground,” where the protagonist awakes in the bottom of a forest which is so tall and thick that he thinks he’s under the earth, and he encounters all the disorientation, active imagination, sense of age, and uncanny beauty that go along with the experience of a cave. <br /><br />So maybe another characteristic of caverns should be “inspiration”—to write a story.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div>&nbsp; <br /><div><br /></div></div>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-86381068694791088402015-08-05T13:10:00.000-07:002015-09-15T07:15:19.812-07:00The Myth of Mastery, in Writing<style><!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-520092929 1073786111 9 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-style-next:"No Spacing"; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:blue; mso-themecolor:hyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} p.MsoNoSpacing, li.MsoNoSpacing, div.MsoNoSpacing {mso-style-priority:1; mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;} .MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; line-height:115%;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --></style> <br />At the <a href="http://www.setonhill.edu/academics/graduate_programs/fiction">Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction</a>at Seton Hill University, we have at each of our on-campus Residencies a central theme, something to provide focus for the workshops and discussions. In the past, these topics have been issues like, “Why do you write?” (see <a href="http://Why Do You Write?">blog #36</a> for that one), “On being an apprentice,” “What writers should read,” and “The emotional connection between genre fiction and its readers.” <br /><br /> For this summer’s residency, the topic decided was “The Myth of Mastery.” We wanted to show that there is no such thing as a mastery of writing, that standards, skills, and genres change too much and too quickly. And that writers change too. Interests, and even preferred genres and forms, can modify and adapt. So, to all beginning writers we wanted to say: You’re never done developing your craft; even after publishing many fine books, you’ll still be working for something better; and if you’ve written only one chapter, or a thousand of them, the next chapter should still be a challenge. <br /><br />Being the Director of the program at that time (I stepped down recently), I introduced this theme on the first night. And then, at graduation on the last day, I reminded the students of it in the introduction to Commencement. (Which is another role the theme provides; it forms a set of book-ends for the Residency, used at the start and then coming again at the end.) And thus, at that last graduation, here’s what I said about this theme (and I hope it provides some inspiration and thought): <br /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; If luck is with you, and if the Faculty and the Registrar agree, you graduates should receive soon your Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction. However, before you get too comfortable with that achievement, let me remind you that any so-called mastery is never complete, that your writing skills are never final, and that your learning curve never plateaus. You’ve worked hard to reach this point, writing, completing, and defending your book, and you deserve the reward of the degree. You are at a summit and you should enjoy it. But by the end of the day, and certainly by tomorrow morning, you should be asking: What now? What’s my next step? The last few years have allowed you to find much skill in yourself. But it also showed you what still can be developed and enhanced. <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Mastery is not an achievement, it’s a process. It never stops. What you’ve done today looks very good—it looks great—but, for your own sake, it should not look as good tomorrow. Soon you should ask yourself: How can the next novel be better? How can I reach, entertain, enlighten, and move my audience even more? <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; So keep looking for goals. Keep tuning up and empowering those sentences. Stay hungry. You’re not done yet. You never will be. There’s a writing assignment next week; it’s just not us who’s requiring it. <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; A writer is not someone who is. A writer is someone who does. A piece of writing might be completed, but a writer is never complete. So keep going, folks. We know about this novel. But now let us know about the next. And the next and the next and the next.Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-70166761345718891232015-05-24T06:05:00.000-07:002015-05-26T05:58:28.965-07:00More on Fables: Closer to the End.<br /><br />When I wrote my last blog on <i>Fables</i> I had yet to reread <em>Cubs In Toyland</em> and <em>Snow White</em> (volumes 18 and 19) and I had not read <em>Camelot</em> or <em>Happily Ever After</em> at all (20 and 21). Having now completed those, and still reeling from the experience, I’m compelled to write more, prior to the 150-page finale in July. <strong> ALERT</strong>: major doubleplus-ungood <strong>spoilers</strong> ahead. If you haven’t read the volumes mentioned don’t dare read further.<br /><br />The comments in the previous blog now seem pale in gauging the impact of the series, since it’s reached a higher level of seriousness and intricacy. <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Vol-18-Cubs-Toyland/dp/140123769X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432644721&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fables+cubs+in+toyland">Cubs In Toyland</a></em> was disturbing and almost painful to read, with Theresa’s fall into near bestiality, and then Darion’s suicide in order to replay the Fisher King scenario, the blood sacrifice to cleanse and restore the land. (The death of a child is bad enough, but to be self-impaled with a cue stick is a drastic way to satisfy a myth.) The volume ends with Theresa’s return home—she’s aged now, having lost both innocence and her childhood—to ask that ominous question, “Where’s Dad?” (A question vividly answered in<em> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Vol-19-Snow-White/dp/1401242480/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432644875&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fables+snow+white">Snow White</a></em>.) So the emotion in this volume was strong, the cost of sacrifice unbearably large, and the two-sidedness of “toys,” that can cause either fun—or death—will haunt any memories of play.<br /><br />The theme of <strong>redemption </strong>mentioned in the previous blog is even more strongly portrayed here, especially in <em>Camelot</em>, but it’s also more complex and ambiguous. The toys in Toyland (a place also called “Madland”) are redeemed, providing a host of second chances, but one has to wonder whether the price was too extreme (the lives of two children, one physically, one experientially). Theresa, so far, never seems to smile and always wears a cloak, as if draped in sorrow, or shame.<br /><br />Rose Red, the designated agent of Hope, states openly the theme of salvation—“I am the paladin of second chances”—and she rebuilds the Round Table and gathers knights for it, many of whom need a second chance (like Brump and Lancelot), and who supposedly will provide such chances to others. Also, the apparent death of Bigby seems, when it happens, to have an “out,” since Ozma and the 13th floor witches say immediately that a spell powerful enough can put him back together. But the restoration gets complicated when he’s then used as a tool of destruction—possibly even the death of his family. And Rose’s idealism creates a big disagreement with her sister Snow, when Rose decides to give Brandish, Bigby’s murderer, a choice of redemption. Snow utterly disagrees, and the bond between the sisters is broken.<br /><br />Every writer knows that “only trouble is interesting” and that the soul of any story is <strong>conflict</strong>. But a good story-teller has to be careful that the heroes and villains are not clichés, not overly good or overly “bad.” The point of a conflict is to make it realistic, where no one does anything out of simplistic “villainy,” where everyone has reasons, which even the villain feels are worthwhile, or “good.” The conflict that arises in <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Vol-20-Bill-Willingham/dp/1401245161/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432645066&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fables+camelot">Camelot</a></em> between the sisters is near perfect: they both believe they’re doing the best thing. Rose insists this is her big chance to save herself, that for once she really is being responsible and that, finally, she can be trusted—that controlling and saving Brandish is almost her duty. But Snow White is protecting her children, and she’s heard Brandish swear to kill them—and the reader has seen that he has no heart, literally. With her family endangered, Snow can allow no chance for Rose to do wrong. “I’m Snow goddamned White,” and if Rose chooses Brandish over Snow, then the relationship is sundered forever.<br /><br />So, whither this <strong>moral conundrum</strong>? Do the <em>good</em> thing according to Rose, or the <em>right</em> thing according to Snow? Or should those adjectives be reversed? Willingham has raised this moral razor-blade before (when the goblin Brump ate the talking squirrel in the volume <em>Witches</em>, with the argument that it’s “just his nature”), but this one, being laced with such high stakes and filial bitterness, makes the conflict realistically—and humanistically—complex.<br /><br />And then there’s the theme of <strong>fate</strong>, or the fated stories of fairy tales taking over the living characters of Fabletown. The story of Camelot comes predetermined with betrayal and murder, to the point where the characters start seeing themselves in the various roles: Rose Red as King Arthur, the restored Sir Lancelot as Guenever, Morgana as Merlin (interesting twists there, since both Lancelot and Morgana were part of the original story), and Snow White as Mordred. Also, the old tale of the daughters competing against each other for the tontine inheritance is shown to rule the lives of the two sisters—as said in <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Vol-21-Happily-After/dp/1401251323/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432645001&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fables+happily+ever+after">Happily Ever After</a></em>, they are cursed to fight each other, doomed to have one be both survivor and murderer of the other.<br /><br />For all my admiration of the series (and I think it’s been profoundly interesting) I’m concerned at how these old stories and fates seem to be taking over the ending. Before, the characters were made fascinating because they were seen as <em>roles</em> that also became human, fairy-tale figures portrayed with the complexity of humanity. The ongoing conflicts between Snow White and Rose Red had all the believability of sibling rivalry, culminating in the hopeless stand-off of the Brandish question, with both of them fighting for what they believe in most. But now the conflict seems artificially heightened by the spell-cast curse that’s on them. Instead of the roles becoming real people, the people seem to be taken over by the roles.<br /><br />So I hope that the humanity of the series doesn’t get lost beneath the Ragnorak-like apocalyptic scenario that’s hinted as upcoming. (Or is this just a big red herring?) I want human personalities walking away at the end, not fairy tale clichés. For example, I hope someone has a few words to say about the death of Beast (and even, for that matter, of Ozma). Boy Blue’s passing was made poignant by how everyone reacted, but no one’s said a word so far about the death of a character who had a large part in the story, which makes the death feel a bit insubstantial, <em>un</em>real. And I hope Rose Red will respond to the classic tragedy she’s brought about—the man she allowed to go free has just killed Lancelot, her recent lover.<br /><br />But I believe in this series. I have faith—or big golden Hope—that Willingham will pull all this off and leave us satisfied. It might not be your fairy-tale ending (after all, that’s the whole point of the series, fables made real—and the volume entitled <em>Happily Ever After</em> has certainly been dark and ominous). But I’m sure that everything said here will be rendered short-sighted by that upcoming final volume.<br /><br />Indeed, I look forward to it. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Vol-22-Bill-Willingham/dp/1401252338/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432643781&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=Fables+150"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pk-saKdvbpg/VWHOBET48nI/AAAAAAAABWw/NTnRAbf6u2A/s320/Fables.png" width="209" /></a></div><br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp; Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-74761200625513597262015-05-16T17:45:00.004-07:002015-05-26T05:50:57.166-07:00The End of Fables<br /><br /><br />Woe and alas! The long-running graphic-novel series, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Legends-Exile-Vol-1/dp/140123755X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432079123&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fables+legends+in+exile+vol+1"><i>Fables</i></a>, is coming to an end.<br /><br />Why was it so good?<br /><br />Its art was clean, direct, umembellished, simple yet elegant, with just the right touch of quirky unreality. Mark Buckingham at the helm (inked by Steve Leiloha and Andrew Pepoy) was great at depicting basic realism with a twist of fantasy. And a number of guest artists were equally impressive (like P. Craig Russell, Inaki Miranda, Michael Allred, Gene Ha).<br /><br />Its covers were fabulous, each an accomplished individual painting by James Jean or Joao Ruas. Jeans had such an impressive run that his covers were collected into a hardbound text. And Ruas replaced him with a similar evocative and haunting style. They both had a&nbsp;tragic, humorous, and aesthetic vision that was unique.<br /><br />But its writing . . . oh, the writing. Bill Willingham carried the project through 150 issues since 2002 (issue #150 comes out in June, and that will be the last). He did not rely on the often strained, over-the-top, gaudy dialogue of many graphic stories, or high-powered fist-fests amid skyscrapers or invasion fleets in the stratosphere. His dialogue was snappy, original, eloquent, his plot-twists came with elaborate plays on reader expectations, and instead of dealing with larger-than-realism superbeings, he presented simple identifiable human personalities—even when those characters were fairy tales. Their longings, problems, contradictions, heart-aches, loves and losses, pulled in the reader so effectively that once you got familiar with them, you never wanted to leave. Like watching a great ensemble cast on a long-running realistic TV show, you lived their lives right along with them. Their fairy-tale nature hardly mattered—you knew them as people, and you knew them quite well.<br /><br />(Warning: spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the books. But I’ll refer to events in only the first three-fourths of the series, nothing that’s recent. I started re-reading all the collected volumes two months ago but that’s only how far I’ve reached. And I won’t be too revealing even in what I do say.)<br /><br />The fundamental idea for the series was charming. Fairy-tale figures, all well-known from storybooks and legends and calling themselves “Fables,” live in hiding in a corner of Greenwich Village in N.Y.C. They disguise themselves as the “Mundies,” the natural human beings who surround them, because they had to leave their own Homelands (a place very similar to the background setting of most fairy-tales, rustic and Medieval) in a parallel world which was taken over by the Adversary, who’s determined to track them down and destroy them.<br /><br />So, though they do fight back, they are in constant danger, and King Cole, the mayor of “Fabletown,” even says at one point that their only real strategy is retreat, or running and hiding, and they have to do a lot of that in the series, though they do make courageous and very well-planned stands and attacks (indeed, they take the battle to the Adversary before he brings it to them). The practical ingenuity of how they survive is one of the attractions of the series. They use every means they have: Sleeping Beauty causing people to fall into coma, the “high ground” surveillance from Cloud Kingdoms reached only by towering Beanstalks, the Beast’s transformation into a powerful fighter (even though he’s become a bit cowed from Beauty’s nagging), Bluebeard’s greed, Prince Charming’s physical prowess, even Cinderella’s eye for fashion. And they’re very thoughtful in how they face their constant dangers—rational, calm, methodical, and creative. Even Hope herself says that “hope is not a strategy” and must be backed up with real plans. Though Pinocchio at one point tries to put together a team of superheroes, it’s more a joke than serious (the witch Ozma finds her super-costume childish, but she does like the short skirt and boots). They do what they can, and that’s always the point: when the situation requires it, they manage to find the necessary strength inside themselves to face their troubles.<br /><br />This brought a realism to the story that contrasted delightfully with the fairy-tale ambience (Snow White is a no-nonsense deputy mayor, and the Big Bad Wolf—or “Bigby”—chain smokes to take away the smell of too-near edible flesh). Two of my favorite issues are parts 2 and 4 of the collected volume, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Vol-9-Sons-Empire/dp/1401213162/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432079205&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fables+sons+of+empire"><i>Sons of Empire</i></a>, where, first, the Adversary gives gruesome detail about how he’ll invade Earth with four devastating legendary plagues: pestilence, fire, winter, and famine. Based on the detailed scenario, you feel that humanity has no chance against such powerful magic. But then his advisors, more realistic, describe the likely response: that the Fables would form an alliance with the Mundies and attack right back with modern weapons. This scenario shows wizards killed by long-range sniper fire, fire-breathing dragons destroyed by fighter jets, and spell-protected imperial fortresses exploding beneath aerial bombardment. The ironic contrast is quite impressive. The Adversary decides more planning is needed.<br /><br />A recurring notion that Willingham favored was showing how anybody can become heroic—from the simple janitor Flycatcher who becomes a king, to the servant monkey Bufkin who defeats the vicious Baba Yaga (even when too naturally weak to lift the killing sword). The theme of redemption is strong throughout the series, the belief that people who are broken, fragile, or compromised can still find the strength to save themselves and others. Rose Red rises from her self-indulgent depression to resume her duties as leader of the Animal Farm (and more). Even Prince Charming, the womanizing cad, becomes a capable and respected military commander. None of these start out as heroes but, when they’re needed, they become heroic.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br />And the poignancy! Some of the Fables do die, and not like they do in <i>Game of Thrones</i>, to shock the audience and keep viewers on edge, but to demonstrate the need of self-sacrifice. You remember their loss with dignified respect (I won’t give the names of those who go, but each one leaves a pall of sorrow). Yet then these tragedies are countered by other upbeat and pleasant moments. I confess the event that hooked me completely was the reluctant romance between Snow White and Bigby (reformed from being a “bad” wolf). When volume 3 of the collected issues (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Vol-3-Storybook-Love/dp/140120256X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432079262&amp;sr=1"><i>Storybook Love</i></a>) brought them together, I was doomed to read everything from there on.<br /><br />And now it’s all ending! Like Prospero burying his book of magic—or Neil Gaiman’s Sandman burying his.<br /><br />We do get close to these long-lasting graphic novels, don’t we?<br /><br />Ah well, I guess I can always reread the entire 22 collected volumes. I’m doing it now. Like I did for <i>Powers, Hellboy, Sandman, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen</i>, and especially <i>Planetary</i>.<br /><br />But, gee, for it all to end. Nuts and darn.&nbsp; <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fables-Legends-Exile-Vol-1/dp/140123755X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1432644380&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fables+legends+in+exile"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_pnHMI4jaJk/VWRq8Uwp6wI/AAAAAAAABXY/RDPZe7CiJ5Q/s320/Fables%2Bcover%252C%2BLegends%2Bin%2BExile.jpg" width="204" /></a></div><br />Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-64111675498110154462015-05-13T11:51:00.002-07:002015-05-13T11:52:17.854-07:00A Review of The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes<br /><div align="left" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center;"><br /></div><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;"></span><div align="left" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center;"><br /></div><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">Christopher Wilk, while finishing his novel&nbsp;in the MFA Writing Popular Fiction&nbsp;program at Seton Hill,&nbsp;wrote for&nbsp;one of his class assignments a book review.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>And he&nbsp;happened to choose my own novel to write about, <span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi;"><em>The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes.&nbsp;&nbsp;</em>He showed me the review, and</span>&nbsp;since his&nbsp;own blog will not be up for a while, I offered to post&nbsp;it here.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It’s a bit of shameless huckstering on my part, but I really did appreciate his review—I was&nbsp;impressed by what Chris had to say about&nbsp;the "milieu" and especially the style of the book, which in many reviews does not get addressed enough, the words on the page and how they make meaning.&nbsp; So, with his permission, I post the review here, and I hope you enjoy it.&nbsp; Many thanks, </span><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">Chris,&nbsp;for all your insights!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span><div align="left" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center;"><br /></div></span><br /><div align="left" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">Ancient Aliens Create a Milieu for Interstellar Wonder, Intrigue, and Passion</span></b></div><br /><div align="center" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">- a book review by Chris Wilk</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">Albert Wendland’s story begins with interplanetary travel and the discovery of two strange derelicts, one of them sinister, jagged, and thorny, and the other a peculiar looking spaceship with three murdered people aboard. Along with the bodies, clues are found for the location of a Clip (Carrier-Locked Integrated Program). A race of ancient aliens have hidden an unknown number of Clips. The Clips, only four of which have been found on different planets and an asteroid, contain ancient alien technology that has propelled the human race toward interstellar expansion at a society-disrupting pace. Clips provided light-space and FTL travel, artificial gravity, instructions on how to build a planet-sized habitat, and secrets of a military nature kept classified by the government of Earth. The prospect of riches for the finders of the fifth Clip drive five disparate characters on a dangerous, life-threatening, galaxy-wide hunt involving four governments, several corporations, and the enduring genocidal conflict between two ancient and extinct alien races.</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">One of the key components, making this story so engaging as science fiction, is its milieu. Milieu is more than simple setting. It is the author-created world in which the characters are immersed: the totality of the physical, social, cultural, governmental, legal, technological, interstellar, and alien influences. In <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alien Landscapes’</i> Wendland’s milieu causes characters to act, react, and interact in ways only possible in his story’s world.</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">Wendland’s&nbsp;setting is interstellar in scope. The story unfolds in the deepness of space, moves to Annulus (a planet-sized habitat created by an alien Clip), and continues to evolving planetary systems in search of a Clip. His descriptions convey a sense of awe by vividly presenting the motifs of his world, both artificial and natural, from the<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>minutest detail of a fluorite shard to the immensity of galactic travel. Scientific and poetic prose are employed by Wendland to give the reader a picture and feel for the environment of his characters.</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">He is adept at <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">showing</i> in terms of angles, distances, mass, tectonics, and astrophysics, and he includes such ideas as hyperbolic energy, light-space and time-space, a higher-dimensional analog of a mathematical theorem, fumes laden with sulfur, and 2000-degree lava streams. Though the reader may understand only 90 percent of the Sci-Fi talk, the context and comprehensiveness of the descriptions elicit a full sense of wonder and dramatic, captivating images.</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">Poetic prose complements and amplifies scientific narrative. As inspiring as the Sci-Fi talk is, the poet in Albert Wendland takes the reader to an even deeper level. “. . . the viewscreens brought out structure, milky dyes floating in ink: oxygen’s fluorescent greens, hydrogen’s excited reds, reflected dust’s gossamer blue.” “. . . lifts and ramps and cranes, in a slightly curved splendid bouquet, [from which] sprouted the great interstellar ships, the harvest crop of this spaceport’s activity.” “A line of fire fountains squirted lava . . . seemed almost gentle, like flame creatures preening themselves . . . ”</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">But <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alien Landscapes</i> is not a poetry book or science manual. It is an action-packed science fiction novel, with elements of a detective mystery, fast-paced thriller scenes, and a touch of romantic suspense. The plot, subplots, and conflicts are heavily influenced by the milieu generated by the discovery of Clips. The Clips-based&nbsp;world provides the impetus to find more Clips. It is the source of both human and alien (Airafane and Moyock) conflict. It supplies the means by which characters pursue their goals and the interstellar stage for the various plots and subplots to play out.</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">Perhaps more importantly, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Alien Landscape’s</i> milieu shapes the three main characters: Mykol Ranglen, Mileen Oltrepi, and Reese Balrak. Their actions, reactions, and interactions with each other would be impossible outside of the world created by Wendland. Ranglen (a writer and poet) and Mileen (an e-painter) are ex-lovers, whose artistic attraction to alien landscapes brought them together for a time. Before they separated because their relationship became too intense, they “drank in their worlds as deep and long as they drank in each other.” Ranglen, a Clip discoverer, possesses secret knowledge about how to find Clips. When Mileen disappears to pursue the Clip-location clues found on the derelict spaceship, Ranglen tries to find her. Balrak, a smuggler and human trafficker, wants to control them both for reasons associated with the Clips and the ancient aliens.</span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;">The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</span></i><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;"> is a multi-layered literary work with multi-genre attributes, including mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, and most recognizably, science fiction. Though its milieu places it squarely in the science fiction genre, it can be enjoyed by readers of nearly all genres, even including literary fiction. </span></div>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4629010721405823579.post-46142834886388004402015-05-06T13:51:00.000-07:002015-05-06T13:58:28.466-07:00Getting to Where You Are, Part 3: The Job<br />Continued from the previous blog:&nbsp;<br /><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I’m hired by <strong><a href="http://www.setonhill.edu/">Seton Hill</a></strong>. All my reasons for initially saying “no” evaporate. The Teaching of English course is developed successfully, and I handle it for years and even enjoy it.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;And I love <strong>teaching English</strong> at SHU, especially literature. I’ve managed to cover almost all my favorite areas: the whole sweep of British literature, 20th century American lit, Shakespeare, Romanticism, poetry as well as novels, the modern short story, European literature, Russian literature, and even some writing from the Ancient world. On top of that, I’ve also taught courses in the reading and writing of science fiction. And, covering my other interests, I’ve given courses in the graphic novel, lectures on art and astronomy, a whole class on the Sublime, and even history courses, Western Cultural Traditions I and II.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>It’s been great.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I even learned, eventually, that two factors which fascinated the committee that hired me was my interest in science fiction, and that I had a Bachelor of Science degree instead of a BA. So you never know what will be appealing to the people hiring you.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And the event I’m most proud of at SHU is the creation of the graduate program in <strong><a href="http://www.setonhill.edu/academics/graduate_programs/fiction">Writing Popular Fiction</a></strong>.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When I started, Seton Hill was only a college, but the decision was made to change it into a University. So the school was in search of graduate programs. Dr. Lee McClain, my colleague in English, had an interest in the romance genre, so she proposed the idea of a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction. She shared the notion with me because she knew I had a background in SF. So she and I worked together to create the program, and ultimately to get it accepted. And it’s been very successful. She was the Director for the first half of its duration. Then I took over, with the task of moving it from a Masters degree to a <strong>Master of Fine Arts</strong>. And that task has been accomplished. (I’m about to step down from Directing myself and Dr. Nicole Peeler will be taking over.)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Seton Hill has been very supportive of the program (remember that they hired someone obsessed with SF). And this is not common at all universities, where there’s often a prejudice against popular fiction. Seton Hill, thankfully, has been open to new and innovative programs—at the time, few online classes existed, and we proposed the bulk of our instruction to be online. And I know, having been on the committee that hired Dr. McClain, that one of her qualities appealing to us was her having written a genre novel—in the same way that my SF and BS degree fascinated my committee. When we established the program, we sought to hire genre writers specifically: Dr. Michael Arnzen (the Stoker-winning horror writer) and later Nicole Peeler (writer of urban fantasy).&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A good example of the quality and success of this program can be seen in the anthology <strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Many-Genres-One-Craft-Lessons/dp/0938467085/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1430945316&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=many+genres+one+craft">Many Genres, One Craft</a></strong>, edited by Michael Arnzen and a graduate of the program, Heidi Ruby Miller. Nearly every writer in the anthology has been part of WPF as either a teacher, mentor, student, or guest speaker. The book has won awards and is used often as a text in fiction-writing courses.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We also now have an <strong><a href="http://www.setonhill.edu/academics/certificate_programs/genre_writing">undergraduate Certificate in Writing Popular Fiction</a></strong>. We’ve always had an undergraduate major in Creative Writing, but we’re applying our expertise in genre fiction to make an opportunity for undergraduates too. All this demonstrates Seton Hill’s unique support, and belief in the worth, quality, and career-focus of popular fiction.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And then, finally, to bring this story to a very pleasant personal close . . .&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I said in the first installment of this blog-trilogy that I always had the desire to write science fiction. Though I became very caught up in teaching (and administrating and creating programs, the natural activities of academia), being involved in Writing Popular Fiction brought back my longing to write fiction, and that desire was eventually fulfilled. Though I had played with writing short stories and novels over the years, I became more serious and applied myself strongly to writing an entertaining genre novel whose publication I would pursue.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And just last year the novel was published by Dog Star Books, and released at our WPF summer Residency: <strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Loved-Alien-Landscapes/dp/1935738615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406292476&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+man+who+loved+alien+landscapes"> The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes</a></strong>. It’s a straightforward SF novel—I’ve described it as a murder mystery that turns into an interstellar treasure hunt. One critic described it as “space noir,“ and I heartily agree. It combines all my interests in the subjects of SF: other planets, outer space, the future, space travel, interstellar mysteries, wonder, the sublime. And a hero who’s always seeking, questioning, searching, exploring—the embodiment of so many characters I loved in both literature and popular fiction.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There’s a prequel being written right now (<strong><a href="https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4629010721405823579#editor/target=post;postID=5706204057991635197;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=10;src=postname">In a Suspect Universe</a></strong>), a collection of poems supposedly written by Mykol Ranglen, the protagonist of these stories (called <strong>Temporary Planets for Transitory Days</strong>), and eventually a sequel to the entire sequence (tentatively titled <strong>Galaxy Time</strong>). I’m thrilled to be working on these books, and to bring my long-held childhood interests to such a practical and valued conclusion. </div><div>&nbsp;</div>In writing these three entries I went far beyond the little summary I gave to the freshman English students about how I got to where I am. But the “themes” I started with are still valid:&nbsp; <br /><ul><li>You never know where you’ll end up.&nbsp; </li><li>You need to be prepared for sudden openings and chances in order to shift your gears quickly.&nbsp; </li><li>Do not short-change your interests no matter how “childish” they might seem—they could take you to a career you’ll love.&nbsp; </li><li>And watch for institutions that are compatible to those interests, that are good “ground” for your own growth—because not all institutions are. </li></ul><div>I hope these three entries were interesting, enlightening, and maybe even useful.&nbsp; </div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Good luck with your own journey of “getting to where you are.”&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Best wishes!</div><div style="color: black; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 12pt; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; margin-bottom: 0pt; margin-top: 0in;"><div>&nbsp;</div><br /><br /><br /></div>Albert Wendlandhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13033652798610714900noreply@blogger.com0