aliens

It’s Not the End of the World

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So, it’s been a while, flash fic notwithstanding. Once again my poor blog’s been neglected. But, the bright side is, I have things to report.

My script’s been making progress in leaps and bounds. There are still a lot of edits to make, but my word count is much more healthy. I may or may not post a short preview–I would like to, but would have to check whether any form of publishing even part of it would spoil my chances of having it accepted by a television company. So, we’ll see.

I have entered another fiction piece into a competition–this time, written specifically for it. The plot is a mesh of ideas I’d already had, so it wasn’t too hard to whip up in an hour or two, and I’m quite pleased with the result. The judging is ongoing, so as yet I have no idea how it’s fared; but I’m mentioning it because the writing process made me explore a different part of one of my ‘verses that I might not otherwise have written.

The short story will, I think, be set in the same universe as my one-day ficblog, although with different characters. It’s posted on IdeasTap, for the prompt ‘Apocalypse‘.

Well, the brief never said it had to be the end of THIS world.

As far as I am aware, my portfolio is visible to non-members. If you can’t view it, let me know. I’m not sure if I could post it elsewhere until the competition is over but I’ll bear it in mind.

With regard to the ficblog itself–I have written a few chapters, but it needs a lot more planning before I would feel comfortable beginning to post. So it may be a while. Especially since I want it to tie into (be the prequel to) a novel, which is still only vaguely plotted. It’s not in diary/email format, as I originally intended; I realised I could get a lot more out of the story if I wasn’t always in first person addressing the protagonist’s parents. So I suppose it’s more like a series of flash fiction, than a fictional blog.

My plan is to write the novel this November for NaNoWriMo–since I’ll have finally finished my degree by then, praise the Lord!–so hopefully I’ll have got something for you by the new year.

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Jellyfish For Breakfast

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Thought for the day: I really wish chefs, when adding an unexpected strong flavour to a dish, would say so on the menu, so I don’t have to spend half an hour picking parsley and chilli out of my Chinese takeaway. It’s even more frustrating when said menu uses a ‘hot’ symbol–on other dishes! It’s discriminatory against sensitive tongues. Even more annoying when it’s specifically requested to be left out.

Rant over.

What is the correct way to spell chilli anyway, is it chilli or chili? Is one version American, or a case of Standard English vs colloquial, or what?

The jellyfish was otherwise good–my mouth did start burning but I managed to get through most of it before that. The flavour’s not too strong, and I like the squishy texture, though I can understand some people wouldn’t. Funny thing was I thought I was trying jellyfish for the first time, but once I saw it I was sure I’ve had it before and just forgotten. What am I like …

I’m not just writing about food today. Although I like discussing food, and can’t believe I haven’t written more about it before now. I’m also writing about art, another new topic for today’s post. I’ve been itching for a couple of weeks to paint again, which I haven’t been able to do–for various reasons–since my A-levels, and though I was never sure I was much good, I really enjoyed it.

When I move I have plans to buy a proper artist’s stand and start painting on canvas when the mood takes me, but I’m not sure I can wait that long! I haven’t done any art or crafts, save literally a couple of cards, since beginning uni. I’m a visual as well as lexical artist and I miss it, I really do.

I was struck with an idea the other day when I added in some description to my Not Alone story draft:

A few weeks ago, the alignment would have been a backdrop to a sparkling skyline—literally sparkling, the materials that formed the city’s architecture were crystallised, throwing rainbows over every surface come sundown. Once upon a time, their mother had said, tourists came from all over the galaxy to see it. Now, it was a pile of wreckage; the once-centrepiece, a thousand-floor luxury hotel skyscraper topped with a twelve-foot diamond, the instrument which had crushed their home when it fell, among hundreds of others.

All right, it’s exposition too. But that’s not the point–the point is it struck me that I wanted to paint the scene (before, though possibly after as well). I’m not certain I could do justice to it, there is a reason I’m pursuing a career in writing rather than illustration, but I want to try. I was also thinking about trying to paint other landscapes for the ‘verse.

I’ve also had some thoughts on illustrating The Caterpillar That Stood On Its Head. I might post a sample image when I’m happy with one–but since it would be most practical to try and get that one published traditionally, that’s all you’ll get.

Alien Names?

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I’ve finished a short story (for my Children’s Writing module) set in my–for lack of a better term–Not Alone-verse, which is a science fiction ‘universe’. Up until now I’ve been using temporary character names (never a good idea) and have finally got around to replacing them with the final ones.

Of my two main characters in the story, I have named one, and have come up with two possibilities for the other. They are brother and sister, he is ten and she is fourteen, from a planet that today I named Kcum. (Don’t ask me why.)

I do like my character names to mean something; this can be a problem when plausibly naming aliens, though. So for the girl, Selida, I combined two Earth names (I quote from Louise Nicholson’s The Best Baby Names Book):

Salena
From the Latin, sal, ‘salt, salt water’. Used metaphorically, it means intellectual acuteness, cunning, wit and good sense. To say someone is ‘the salt of the earth’ is to praise qualities of selflessness and common sense.

Nagrida
From the Hebrew, ‘noble, aristocratic woman’

For the boy I’m torn. I picked two names:

Pias
English gypsy name, meaning ‘fun’

Poco
From the Italian, poco, ‘little’

I’ve replaced the P with J, since I wanted to keep the same first letter as his temporary name. I like both variants, and can’t decide between them. Hence, if I’ve understood correctly, underneath should be my first poll!

While on the subject of names, I should probably name the fictional universe this is set in. I’m thinking another way to describe the Milky Way. Any thoughts on that, do comment.