Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

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A Topic Guide to My Very Strange Book…

Since I’m only committing to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday blog posts, I’m allowed to post more often if I just can’t help myself :-) Notes from An Alien

About 20 minutes ago, I was sitting here watching the news and something made me think about my book—the one I decided I won’t write

And, in case you missed it, my prime reason for not writing a book I’d done massive research on was that my last novel essentially said it all

All what?

Well, first, imagine three planets in a different Star-system—one completely corporate, one completely religious, and one inhabited by a True Alien

You can grab a free copy of the novel; or, if you really have to, you can buy a copy :-)

So, since I just reassured myself that a book I’d already written has everything I need to say about certain topics (at least in fictional form…), I thought I’d share what those topics are

The numbers in the following list are the chapters where the topic is predominant:

Notes from An Alien

Corporate Greed – 1, 2

Corporate Control of Populace – 1, 2, 4

Religious Wars – 1, 2, 3

Prophetic Predictions – 1, 3, 5

War-Just/Unjust – 1, 10

Constant Expansion As A Solution – 1, 2, 11

Non-Religious Religions – 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 13

Military Control of Populations – 2

Rational Religion – 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11

Corporate Ecological Damage – 2, 4, 5

Material Realm/Spiritual Realm – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19

Science and Faith – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15

Spiritual Practice – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11

Costs of War – 3, 4, 5, 10, 11

Governance – 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14

Oneness of All People – 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 19

Economic Issues – 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13

Altruism and Sacrifice – 7, 9, 11, 17

True Peace – 11, 12, 17, 18, 19

If you’ve already read the book, perhaps you’d like to put a very short “review” in the Comments?
Read Some Strange Fantasies
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

How & Why I Decided to Not Write My Next Book . . .

Well, I’m back to regular blogging here… Notes from An Alien

I made an unexpected but firm and rational decision to stop writing my next book.

There may be other books down the road; but, I need to explain myself; and, not just for regular readers of this blog…

My last book, Notes from An Alien, has been haunting me—partly because the book I won’t be writing was a “supplement” to Notes and partly because books can definitely haunt their authors…

Even though writing a book can figuratively feel like being pregnant, I’m happy to say that my decision to not write the planned book certainly does Not feel like I’ve aborted a fetus—it’s more like breaking up with a woman, on mutual terms, because the relationship was never a good fit…

Back to the haunting feelings from Notes from An Alien:

I remember the long period of research, nearly 23 years, and the 11 years during which I began to write from the thrust of the Theme while not having found the right plot—three miscarriages…

I remember, especially, the process of preparing to write Notes—a steady and empowering activity that continually provided confirmations that my Trek was bearing true…

So, the major haunting from Notes was the growing feeling (mostly unconscious) that I was on the wrong road—even, perhaps, going down a street that would end in a cul-de-sac…

When I had the full conscious awareness that I needed to stop working on the next book, I immediately probed my sense of intuition and engaged in a process that I use to check my intuitions—yep, stop writing…

The final proof that I’d made a valid decision was the clean and fresh feeling that wafted through my mind and heart—not some half-guilty reprieve from the hard work of writing—I love to write and challenges during the process merely add heat to the fire…

Another realization, after I made the decision and tested it, was that the next book was intended, specifically, to be more “popular” than Notes and lead folks to read Notes

Well, Notes from An Alien doesn’t need another book to entice people to read it—it may not be mainstream, it may not be what most folks feel they need to read; but, it is, in itself the Message I needed to deliver—another book would have sullied the Stream, confused the impact, and begged the question…

Also, there’s already supplementary material available—“…glimpses into the depths of the book—character disclosures, about people already in the novel and those yet to be mentioned—revelations of events that happened in the Worlds of Angi but weren’t rendered in the published edition…”—on the Behind The Scenes page of this blog.

For those of you who are slaving away at writing a book, I hope I’ve given you a few ways to check yourself when you feel the task is “too much”, or the phantom of “writers’ block” assails you, or you’re down in the dumps because fleeting feelings are whispering “you have no idea what good writing is…”.

Please be kind to yourself, push through or, if necessary, set the manuscript aside for a time—or, search out some good advice—like in one particular book I mentioned in the past post, So You Think You’re A Writer…

Without an immediate book on the horizon, I can now get back to the job of blogging about Reading, Writing, and Publishing on a regular schedule—at least Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; but, very conceivably, more often :-)
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Pantser? Sort of… Plotter? Sort of…

I’ve finally gotten to the stage with my new book where all the notes from all the research have been poured-over, pruned, and synthesized…

I could just start writing the story; but, I need a bit of structure—some scaffolding—before I write the first draft.

My last novel, Notes from An Alien (free copy here…), had a detailed, scene-by-scene outline; but…

By the fourth chapter, the outline was so covered with cuts it almost bled to death…

There was still an underlying order, though, and that let me finish the book.

We’ll see how the process works on this next novel………

Stay tuned…

And, if your a new reader of this blog, once I get a clean draft finished and offer it to a few beta readers, I’ll be returning to a more regular blogging schedule.

In the meantime, try putting some words or phrases in that search box at the upper right.

Or, scroll down a bit on the left and click on a few of the Top Tags…

There are over 1,000 posts to explore………
Read Some Strange Fantasies
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Reading My Own Book . . .

Finally got here… 

Reading My Own Book

Image Courtesy of Mateusz Stachowski ~

Preparatory reading and note-taking are finished

I’m reading my last book (for the first time in four years) and appreciating what I did, while I take yet more notes (leading to a working outline)

Mind you, it had taken me quite a long time to write Notes from An Alien so it better be good :-)

When I say “write” I’m including the eleven years and three false attempts

This next book should be done next year (early?) and, near the end of this year, I’ll be looking for a few Beta-Readers for Finally, The Story Can Be Told

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m re-reading Notes to make sure Finally is “congruent” with it—they happen in the same universe and time-frame, with mostly new characters, and a different way of narrating

If Notes is a documentary novel, Finally will be full-on Speculative Fiction

Might as well mention, for anyone reading this who is just beginning their writing-journey, the work of authoring a book is totally Weird.

Just to nail down what I mean here’s weird’s etymology:

“c. 1400, ‘having power to control fate’, from wierd (n.), from Old English wyrd ‘fate, chance, fortune; destiny; the Fates,’ literally ‘that which comes’, from Proto-Germanic *wurthiz (cognates: Old Saxon wurd, Old High German wurt ‘fate’, Old Norse urðr ‘fate, one of the three Norns’), from PIE *wert- ‘to turn, to wind’, (cognates: German werden, Old English weorðan ‘to become’), from root *wer- (3) ‘to turn, bend’ (see versus). For sense development from ‘turning’ to ‘becoming’, compare phrase turn into ‘become’.

“The sense ‘uncanny, supernatural’ developed from Middle English use of weird sisters for the three fates or Norns (in Germanic mythology), the goddesses who controlled human destiny. They were portrayed as odd or frightening in appearance, as in ‘Macbeth’ (and especially in 18th and 19th century productions of it), which led to the adjectival meaning ‘odd-looking, uncanny’ (1815); ‘odd, strange, disturbingly different’ (1820). Related: Weirdly; weirdness.”

And, don’t forget, you can download a free copy of Notes from An Alien

Till next time………
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Further Up The Path Toward My Next Book . . .

So many steps to take… 


Image Courtesy of josh cantrell ~

Some are plodding, some are like skipping, some very passionate dancing

Back on February 19th, I talked about needing to integrate Behind The Scenes with Notes from An Alien—taking notes in my Scrivener project

Then, I tackled a notes file from the time I thought Notes from An Alien would be followed by a collection of short stories rather than a novel.

So, those notes plus the ones from Behind The Scenes plus the few, very general notes directly about the next book added up to nearly 24,000 words

I’ve pruned those down to around 9,600 words.

Now, I need to ponder, deeply, those choice notes

Then, I can finally re-read Notes from An Alien—taking notes from each chapter.

The next book (the tile of which will be Finally, The Story Can Be Told) will have just as many chapters as the first; though, each will be longer

I have firm ideas about my main character and her love interest

Re-reading the last book will let me weave the plot of the new book into the events of the last one—same universe, same time span, very different story


Back to work :-)


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