Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

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Just ReBlogging a post from two months before my short novel was published—working on the second book in the series and could well apply these thoughts to the third book—once all three are out, my Work will be nearly done…

Notes from An Alien

I’m engaged in a discussion over in the forums of BestsellerBound about why the theme  of my soon-to-be-published book will make it hard to sell.Notes from An Alien

I knew as I planned and wrote it that it would be, at the very best, a niche-book–of interest to a rather small audience.

While I certainly didn’t even attempt to write it for the “general reader”, I do hope that some small yet significant group of readers will find it valuable.

It is a story, yet the Prologue says: “…this book is a story told in ‘notes’. Even though some readers may think it is a novel or a history, its form is difficult to classify in what are called genres.”

The working blurb I have is even more indicative of Notes from An Alien being a book that won’t appeal to a wide market: Start with a 500-year InterWorld War. Continue through ecological…

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Can A Rant Be Beautiful?

The beginning of a comment I left on a blog post: “I feel your angst because I’ve felt that angst; and, even though I finally have answers, my angst has merely turned into bleeding grief for our Human Family.” The post, Wasteful, is a beautiful rant about modern incompetence and poverty. It reminded me of my novel, Notes from An Alien, which was written out of that bleeding grief and might help a few folks find ways of coping with the rampant insanity choking our world.

Cheryl Ives wrote the post and, after what I consider a beautiful rant about how modern incompetence is dangerously expensive, she lays out these four points:

1) Poverty is too expensive. It’s dragging us down and must not be permitted to grow or remain at the same rate
2) Poverty is so expensive because we grossly mismanage our resources
3) In the long run, it’s cheaper to do the right thing
4) Society is currently too immature to focus on the long run with any sustained momentum

While all four points are beautiful to me, I want to focus on what Cheryl says Society is too immature to focus on.

The Long Run

Notes from An Alien attempts to instill a sense of the Long Run by following eight generations of a family involved in helping their Worlds rise from war, greed, and poverty to enduring peace.

The Long Run on Earth has involved Humanity in the gargantuan effort of unifying itself at successive levels of complexity–family, tribe, city state, nation, and, now, the whole globe.

Notes from An Alien shows a civilization from another star system learning from their Long Run. Humanity is on the verge of a consummate transformation that will bring its Long Run into focus and, finally, bring Peace and Tranquility to our Global Family.

Cheryl also says: “At the core is my heartfelt belief that humans could … have the capacity to ensure that every life on the planet has shelter, food, water, clean air, some measure of security, and the ability to implement hygiene. It’s not an adequate goal but still pie-in-the-sky enough to be going on with.

“That we haven’t already achieved this provides simply another example of how badly things are done.”

So, the ultimate beauty of this rant is that Cheryl is one of the people doing something to help humanity. In case you’re new to this blog, I also featured her in the post, An “Open Source” Novel ??, that talks about a very unifying literary project :-)
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Virtually Real Discussions

I’m still debriefing myself from the Thursday Global Peace discussion I host on Book Island in the virtual world, Second Life.

The discussions have been going on now for thirteen weeks and each one has its own texture. I’m learning about, even though I have lots of experience in, facilitating amicable group discussions.

Amicable is key in these global peace chats since most of the topics can be considered “hot-button”.

There’s even a joke circulating the Island about the fights that break out at the global peace chats :-)

The idea for the weekly peace discussions came from my recently published book, Notes from An Alien. It follows the torturous path of an alien civilization from a 500-year interplanetary war to enduring peace. It was written as a Message for Earth

During today’s discussion, one participant did something I’ve been waiting for–he introduced an idea from the book into the chat about peace on Earth.

I should mention that folks don’t have to read the book to be in the discussion but I do offer anyone a free copy of the book if they’d like to supplement their idea-store on ways to achieve peace.

I wrote the book to give us humans a leveraging perspective on the challenges of creating a path toward peace–being in a situation can often fog resolution and entering a different but related situation can offer more light

The first Sunday in August is the start of a second edition of the chats specifically timed to attract college students. Can’t wait to start the cycle of topics with them!!

One of the best parts of having these discussions in Second Life, rather than up the street, is we have folks from all over the world attending. Rather appropriate, eh?

Do you engage in productive conversations about what it will take to achieve a lasting peace on Earth??
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Very Special Characters ~ Revisited

A previous post, Very Special Characters, mentioned that, “All the characters in a well-written story are “special” or they wouldn’t be there–each has their part to play

It also mentioned minor, significant, and major characters. Then, it brought up Very Special Characters–those who have extra or extraordinary qualities

I’m extremely curious about any reader’s conception of and experience with these step-off-the-page, break-the-rules, enlightening characters.

In this revisiting of these eccentric personages, I need to mention two more from the book, Notes from An Alien.

First is Anglana, the ultra-alien character in a book full of aliens.

Notes from An Alien happens about 12 light-years form Earth but, as the Prologue explains, it was written to level-out most of the differences between Earthlings and Angians since the goal of the book is to see the similarities between Angi’s and Earth’s struggles toward enduring peace.

Well into the book, the Angians discover an entity without a conventional body–she inhabits a whole planet and, in significant ways, Is the planet. She has powers that give her preeminence in any political or economic negotiations and she facilitates some of the major characters’ development and success.

Yet, even with all these attributes, she isn’t The Major Character of the book–she’s “merely” a critical Very Special Character:-)

Another of these VS characters in Notes from An Alien may not even be thought of as a “character”.

It’s a natural form of matter (though given some seemingly unnatural qualities in the story) and it constitutes about 99.9% of all matter in our Universe. It’s name is Plasma.

Since you can get the book for no cost, with the link near the top of the left side-panel (or, right here), I won’t go into an explanation of Plasma’s attributes, except to say that without this “non-character” Very Special Character, the story would grind to a halt

OK, it’s your turn: what are some of the odd-ball, what-the-heck, I-don’t-believe-the author-did-that, out-of-space-and-time, or completely unusual characters You’ve run into??
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When A Manuscript Turns Into A Book ~ Very Strange . . .

I published Notes from An Alien on May 2nd and the copies I ordered arrived today

Having lived with the book in note form, then outline form, then various forms of manuscript hadn’t prepared me for how strange it would feel to hold the published book in my hands

I’d held books I’ve published in my hands before and it was always a good feeling. This time, though, the book seemed like it was someone else’s. Of course, I had a “co-author” on this book, Sena Quaren (also, a character in the book...); but, that wasn’t why the book didn’t feel like “mine”. It all goes back to how the book was written

When I wrote the poems that became a book, I’d experienced the feeling many authors describe of “wondering who actually wrote the words”.

With Notes from An Alien that feeling was magnified. “Something” wrote this book and even if that something resides in my mind, I’m unfamiliar enough with it to have felt not only that the book “wrote itself” but also that the book made demands on me, countered most of the creative intuitions I had during the writing, made me do things I didn’t particularly relish–yet, I had to agree that the book’s own logic was better than mine, had more integrity

Now that the book exists in physical form, I’m learning about the wild and woolly realm of book distribution. More on that in the next post

So, as I explained before, even though the book is for sale, I’m still giving it away for free.
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