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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Storyline Status Report

Here's what we've got on the go so far - check back for updates!

Grace Bridges
- Ave Oceansong and Eleon McManus, 10 stories, all published, plan to have Ave go down to the planet (how?) and meet Eleon the sub pilot, and interact with the whales/angels she can hear even from space, which helps solve a problem I haven't decided on yet.

- Nolefin, a nomad who undertakes a journey to Christchurch in search of a university professor who once visited his tribe. 12 eps written, none published as they are in need of an edit. Ends with him finding the prof's undersea office but the prof has left to find the tribe again. I could probably do another 12 eps about how the two eventually meet. This could end up long enough to be its own novella.

- Gritbreathers: A Novel (or: Pride and Prejudice in space and gender-swapped) - Rich girls come down from Avenir to hunt bugs and meet a family of mining brothers. I have done some preliminary work on this and written a first scene. Time to crunch the words on this, when I get some other personal projects further along than they are.

Heidi Kortman
- Douay Bede, and his quarr, Pangur Ban. I have episodes 12-15 written, and in the queue. Their story line is very close to sending them out from Sheba to Avenir. Once they reach Avenir, they'll connect with a group of children, and the young policeman and believer Shouhei.

Greg Mitchell
- Dressler: The Bug Hunter. When last we saw him, Dressler was on Avenir, hunting for bugs to help pay off the damage done to his house back on Eclectia (thanks to some guy named Considine). In his last appearance, Rahab was spying Dressler for her next meal but eventually decided to pass, sensing the hunter was made of tougher stuff.
Future plan was to have Dressler escorting Pieter and his band of orphans--among them, Cog, Clock, and Cara--through the bug-infested lower levels of Avenir. According to Jeff Carter's stories, here Dressler will earn the title "The Hero of Avenir", though it's an unwanted title.
Eventually, Dressler would return to his home and begin repairs, settling back into life with his daughter Edilyn. But, upon the onset of the Bug Wars, Dressler's reputation would make him a much sought after warrior. My idea was that Dressler would be nearly drafted into the fight and given command of a small militia--a position he is in no way prepared for. Some would scoff at the stories surrounding Dressler's accomplishments, while others would see him as an unlikely savior. But Dressler would have to lead a small band of bug fighters--including his young daughter--into war.

Jeff Carter
- The Rahab Conspiracy, the last story posted was DRIFTING, with the arch demon Rahab, having possessed the body of a giant spider, cruising the outer rings of Avenir and getting blasted into space. I have a few more in the queue, and then enough beyond that already written to complete the Rahab Conspiracy novel.

Fred Warren
- Smith, the Artful Dodger: I've got one episode in the queue...Smith and Kate, having rescued their brood from a kidnapping with a little behind-the-scenes help from Dreamer Anya Sherikov, have returned to their hideout. Smith, his confidence shattered, has enlisted a couple of beefy thugs to provide additional security, but they're surprised by an unexpected guest--Ave (Grace and I need to complete this encounter before Ave departs planetside). Moving forward, things are going to be tough for the orphans in the wake of the spider infestation, and Smith needs to reevaluate his leadership and plan for the orphans. The treacherous Wallace Beadle is still lurking about somewhere, but Anya's watching over Smith and his flock now.

- John Milton and the Dreamers: Two episodes in the queue...We discover what Melanie Hunt found inside her brother Carson's compartment--and Anya Sherikov makes Melanie an offer she can't refuse. Meanwhile, John Milton is designing his personal space within the Dreamers' virtuality, with a little "help" from Vicky Remsen. Moving forward, this thread is beginning to interact with Smith's story as Anya takes on the orphans as a personal project. Milton is considering Jiro's invitation to help him do something about the plight of the cyborgs, a plan which I hope will interact with Heidi's thread and Douay Bede. Melanie and her brother are about to be pulled deeper into the mysterious world of the Dreamers. Still simmering in the shadows is the Dreamers' long-term plan to surreptitiously refit Avenir's starship core and depart for a more promising colony planet, which may have been set back--or accelerated--by the spider infestation. Not sure which yet.

Mary Ruth Pursselley
- Celeste and Celia Harper, orphaned sisters from Adagio. Celeste knows of a volcano-buried city that dates from the time of the Founders. She collects artifacts from this city and sells them on the black market to support herself and pay for Celia to go to boarding school in Zirconia.

- Robin Corpsman is a successful young archaeologist for Trinity University. His personal goal is to discover the lost city of Empathia, an ancient landside colony founded by oceanic angels. These story lines entwine when Robin comes to Celia's school as a guest speaker; Celia realizes that Robin and Celeste are basically doing the same thing, but Robin has prestige and, more importantly, enough money to live comfortably, so she convinces him to go see Celeste the next time he's in Adagio.
Travis and I sort of connected our story lines when Robin helped Travis' character Burt by translating the writing on an artifact that Burt finds.
Travis, I know we talked at one point about bringing Wizard Hobson into this--possibly kidnapping Robin or something like that, was it?--but I've forgotten what the details were, if we ever actually figured details out.

Jeff Chapman
- The Firebug Series: The first story has been published on AE. Jack and Carl are hunters who have a falling out when the bugs go berserk and attack their camp. Jack thinks that Carl is either dead or wandered off in a delirium and decides to leave Carl and take the spoils of their hunt for himself. Turns out Carl is not dead or maybe his spirit is haunting Jack or something in between. Jack is the unnamed hunter from Travis Perry's story "Forgiveness," who refused to share a kill with Elsa. He brags about the incident in the first story.

- The Encoded Vellum Series: This series picks up on the story of the hermit and book that Elihu Simmons (another Travis Perry character) discovered in "A Fortuitous Stumble," "Shelter from the Storm," and "The Hermit's Cache." I've completed six stories (all published on AE). So far all the stories have taken place at the Abbey of Jerome with Brother Sebastian Norwich as the protagonist. Norwich will leave the Abbey to search for the secrets of the hermit's book. He will likely meet up with Elihu Simmons and also have a crisis of faith. This story could go on for a long time and stretch into a novel.

Travis Perry
I originally had thought to write a whole Bug Wars arc, but I've thought more recently about limiting the scope to Ernsto Mons and people associated with him. It's not exactly a huge priority for me at the moment, but I had hoped to link a variety of characters. I'd spoken to Heather and Mary Ruth about that and even Jeff Chapman and Greg a bit about Bug War or arcs related to Wizard Hobson (and talked to Kat and Pauline a bit as well).

Heather Titus
- Reeder, a messenger in Zirconia who has a brother who is possessed;

- Pieter, Cara, Clock, and Cog. I had an idea for Pieter and the orphans to be involved in killing some of the spiders that invade Avenir. Eventually Pieter's group and Reeder will join forces--Travis and I'd talked about them teaming up against Wizard Hobson, though why hasn't been really established, though it may have something to do with Reeder's brother.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Monsters on Eclectia

I am thinking about doing a story with Shouhei where he and his cousins on Eclectia travel to a lost city of evil angels in the unexplored areas of Eclectia's seas. They will meet giant monsters and super technology. I got inspired from an exhibit I visited in January that featured original models from the old Japanese tokusatsu (special effects) movies of the 1960s and 70s. Does anyone have any good ideas or tips on how to do this? Please let me know your thoughts. In Him, Joseph

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Anthology Authors

Hey everybody--I'm heavily involved in assemblying stories for the first Avenir Eclectia anthology. I'm looking strictly at story lines with resolution, or stories that don't have a real story line and stand alone for the antho. The following authors have stories clearly ready for the anthology (not entirely ready to dial down to story by story yet):

Grace Bridges
Jeff Carter (a few stand-alone stories)
Jeff Chapman (A Creature of Words)
Frank Creed
Pauline Creeden
Karina Fabian
Kat Heckenbach
Holly Heisey
Greg Mitchell
Keven Newsome
Travis Perry
Mary Ruth Pursselley (Joy)
J. L. Rowan
Walt Staples (a few stand-alone stories)
H. A. Titus (counting on her to bring resolution to a story arc)

The following authors are being excluded on their request:

Jeff Carter (except a few stand-alones)
Ed Erdelac
Mary Ruth Pursselley (except "Joy")
Walt Staples (except a few stand-alone stories)
Jim Tesla

The following authors have stories that in my opinion, have enough resolution to justify publication, but which may be debatable:

Jeff Chapman (Elihu stories--I feel the arc has a long way to go but there is a kind of moral resolution that occurs when he does not take the money)
Kay Jeffreys (Jereth arriving at his destination is a sort of resolution)
Fred Warren (Dreamers revealing their plan is a sort of resolution)

The following authors have stories that don't work as stand-alones and have come to no resolution:

Joseph Ficor
Caitlyn Konze
Debra Cullins Smith

So, unless Joseph, Caitlyn, or Debra come up with some new material, I am sorry to say I don't believe they should be in the anthology...which is a shame, they've produced some very interesting stories.

Am I missing anyone? Anything I should know? Comments, questions? Please let me know...

God bless,

Travis

Friday, June 15, 2012

Some of this might be useful to our Undersea writers, even though it's a different planet!

Explore the Ocean
Created by: MastersDegree.net

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Few Notes on Nomads

Walt and I had several email discussions concerning the Nomads of Eclectia and I wanted to share them here for any who are interested on writing stories that might involve them.

Walt: "On the nomads, I've really done nothing other than think of them vaguely. I was thinking of them as a mixture of Bedouin, Tuareg, and Mongol with a shot of Comanche. Not knowing where you're based (I'm in western Pennsylvania, U.S.A.), I'm giving you links to writeups about them (something for which, I'm afraid, that I'm infamous). (click on the names to go to wikipedia definitions of each people group)


Bedouin


Tuareg


Mongol


Comanche


"I put them on bugback because they needed a mount (walking nomads are so declasse--apologies to the African Bushmen and Australian Aborigines) and the only terrestrial native wildlife on Eclectia I've heard about are insectoid. As far as introduced animals, I'd expect feral dogs and house cats might have entered the ecosystem--the case of the dingo comes to mind. I am having trouble with the idea of feral chickens, though."


Long and short, as much as I have now from further talks with Walt and figuring a few things of my own, there is much room for variations of Nomads. The Nomads of the Five Rims could be extremely different than Nomads elsewhere on Eclectia if someone else wants to include them in their stories.

The bottom line: Eclectia is dangerous but survivable, even livable to those who know how.
For a bit of an idea of what it is like, watch the first five minutes of "The God's Must Be Crazy" to see how a people group survives the Kalahari Desert in Africa.

The Kalahari Bushmen have adapted to the land and live very simply on it. Translate that to Eclectia by adding seismic activity, weather extremes, and large bugs. Oh, and also, there may be deserts on Eclectia, but it is not all desert. The Eclectia Nomads and other off-grid peoples can't walk around in loin cloths or travel nearly as lightly as the Bushmen because of their season cycle. Plus, they are not unaware of other peoples and may not be as happy as the Bushmen. But the survival skills of the Bushmen in the desert is one of the ways to try to explain off-grid people's of Eclectia.





Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Wanted to Tell Walt...

...But now I can't.

I wanted to tell him because I knew it would tickle his funny bone. And I liked tickling his funny bone. I didn't do it often enough.

I wanted to tell him because we had a special AE relationship centered around Eclectia geology, Earth geology, how they related, and how it affected the people, including those nomads he made up.

I wanted to tell him because we talked about the wild life on Eclectia, both the naturally occurring and whatever may have been brought over with the earthlings.

Walt liked the idea of wild dogs or cats that may or may not have been able to survive on Eclectia's surface a midst the bugs. But being ever practical, he pointed out that feral dogs or cats might be possible, but he was pretty sure that there wouldn't be any feral chickens. Yes, he said that. As my kids would say, "That's so random."

Well, Walt, I wanted to tell you that there is a feral chicken on earth. Okay, maybe feral isn't the right word. The locals call it the "neighborhood chicken". I call it the "stray chicken". But I wanted to tell this to you. I waited too long. And now I can't. And I think you would have been the only one on the planet to actually laugh over a neighborhood chicken.

Farewell, Walt. God bless and God speed on your journey.
As one of the Founders of AE, you will be sorely missed.
There is a hole for me in AE now that I must get past. I've been left behind and I have more story to write. It's just not as fun knowing that you won't see it and comment on it. But I'm thankful for the time that I had you, short as it was.

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

Arise My Love
(My husband used to sing this at Easter. Jesus was the firstborn from the dead. But because He rose, now we have hope and will arise as well. "Sin, where are your shackles? Death, where is your sting? Hell, has been defeated. The grave could not hold the King.")

Friday, December 30, 2011

Of Eclectia's Oceanic Motion

Thinking over the planetary wobble of Eclectia, I thought about the effect it would have on ocean currents.

I first thought the planet tipping its pole sunward, that is, "summer," would cause the oceans on the surface of to surge toward that same pole.  "Winter," when the pole tips away, would cause the oceans to head toward the equator.  It would be rather like high tide and low tide.

Modeling this in my mind a bit more, I realized that only the night side of the planet would have a surge in the summer toward the pole.  The day side of the planet in Eclectia-summer would head away from the pole.  When the pole shifts back 2 and a quarter days later, it's again the night side shifting toward the poles and the day side sifting toward the equator.

This, along with the planet's rotation and uneven heating, should set up some gigantic ocean currents that would tend to hug continental shelves, and would perhaps make separate circuits in the northern and southern hemispheres.  If Eclectia rotates the same direction as planet Earth, I think there would be a tendency for currents to run clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the southern, just like on Earth.

But these currents would be probably be much larger and stronger than any oceanic current on Earth, due to the strong tipping motion of the Eclectia in a relatively short period.  Also due to the strong tipping motion, even though the currents would in general rotate one direction, periodically they'd be strongly pulled back the other way.  This would also produce tides of a sort.  You would expect then a "low tide" when the ocean current reverses itself and a "high tide" when the ocean comes surging back to its natural direction.

It makes my head hurt to try to figure out exactly when high tides and low tides would come, but it should be in a regular pattern roughly following the fiveday.  So the ocean would be at a regular level most of the time, but for a number of hours twice a fiveday (I don't know how many hours, but probably less than 12), it would surge low, and then immediately afterward it would surge high, followed by a slow ebbing down through normal all the way to low tide.

To make all of this more complex, an individual port city's relationship to the Eclectia "tide" would depend on the orientation of the harbor in relation to the prevailing local oceanic current.  So if Adagio is in the northern hemisphere on the western shores of its continent and its port faces south, the nearby oceanic current going from north to south, the difference between high tide and low tide will not be nearly as great as if the port opened to the north.  A north-facing port would get sucked dry in low tide and flooded over in the high tide under the circumstances I just described.

By the way, all this speculation is designed to add depth and dimension to the story world--not take away anyone's writing freedom or to confuse people or make life harder.  Thanks for listening!

For what it's worth, I think I'll write a story that reveals Adagio is in the location I just made--on the west coast of a northern continent, but with it's harbor facing south...