Futurism: Part Two

In part one, I talked about how the first colonists got off of the Earth and some of the reason’s behind it. In this post, I am going to talk about more specifics on how a corporation could make money sending people to space.

The first question the inevitably comes up is the extraordinary cost of getting anything into space. I’ll leave the politics out, but that basics of it is that it will cost approximately $10,000 per kg to send anything into Low Earth Orbit and approximately $30,000 per kg to send anything into Geosynchronous Orbit. Please note that LEO is anything around 160km to 2000km above the surface of the earth, while Geosynchronous Orbit is 35,786km above the surface of the earth. That means that it currently costs $75,000 to send an average human into LEO and 2.25 million to send one to Geosynchronous Orbit.

That price tag is huge. Impossibly huge. It is a huge barrier to human space exploration that it is what is holding everything back. It is not the risks to humans or the technologies that have to be devolved in order to make it work. It is money alone that is the barrier to space exploration and if anyone says otherwise, they are lying.

The biggest part of the cost to space exploration is the insane amount of fuel and material that it takes to get the cargo out of the gravity well of earth. The cost of moving cargo around the solar system is far cheaper. I am sure that you noticed the difference of moving cargo to Geosynchronous is only three times the cost for 17 times the distance.

A company can make a huge amount of profit by mining ice asteroids and providing the clean drinking water to the ISS. And that is only the tip of the iceberg for the amount of opportunities out there.

There are asteroids out there that are comprised of a large amount of rare earth metals. These metals are what make computers and modern life possible. But they are called rare earth metals because they are rare on earth. Out in space, however, they are not as rare as they are on earth. There is a nearby asteroid that has more platinum on it that has been mined from the earth since we knew of its existence.

That can be done by robots up to a point. At some point it becomes essential for humans to go and live in space. Only certain experiments can be done in a micro gravity and then there is the entire question of the asteroid of death issue that a multi-planet species will fix.

Once they get to space, human’s have a wide range of different needs that will need industries to meet. The best way to do that is to produce those goods in space. Where they don’t have to pay for the goods to be shipped out of the earth’s gravity well.

That means that the best way to develop long term space colony’s before we are able to build a space elevator is to cut the earth out of the equation for as many things as possible. No high prices of goods from Earth brings down the cost of living in space.

In my fictional world, that is what the corporations fight for and get. The ability to go space and the ability to ship materials back to Earth and to expect to make a profit of goods and services.

These corporations start by mining asteroids and building space stations in space. The develop Mars as a Space Colony and it is the private industry moving forward that prompts NASA to send a space mission cause heaven forbid a private industry getting to space before NASA.

That brings up a rather large amount of different issues as well, which will be talked about in a later blog post. Most of which aren’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things as the the story takes place in 2500 CE and not 2025 CE.

The story world changes from the time of the first explorers and settlers to the time of Des and the Jovian Empire. Just look at how life was like at 1525 CE to now in 2017 CE.

Next time I will go into more detail on what I think that brief history of what happens to each of the planets. Well, maybe one planet. We’ll see how it goes.

Outline vs Discovery Writing: The Battle Continues

It is time to enter the battle. The epic battle between Outliners and Discovery Writers.

Both sides are frothing at the mouth and ready to fight it out. Ink will fly. Paper will ripe.

Okay that metaphor died on arrival.

My thoughts on Outliners and Discovery writers. Notice that I called it Discovery Writing and not Pantsers. I find that the term Pantsers doesn’t do the writing method justice. I think that it is a little bit of a low blow in the epic fight.

Well. It makes you think that you have no idea what you are doing. That you are just winging it and have no idea what you are doing. That your inability to want to create an outline means that you are somehow incompetent in writing.

The discovery writers, however, don’t like to feel confined in an outline. They don’t want to miss the spontaniousness that comes with discovery writing.

What does this mean for me and my opinion in this issue? I see the good in both sides of the argument.

Outliners like to plan there stories. They go into the griddy details on what needs to happen and when. They look into the little pieces of info that a discovery writer may miss until the 2nd or 3rd draft. The are better at writing more complicated stories that involve multiple viewpoints or time frames.

Discovery Writers enjoy a certain spice in the stories that they write. A well written discovery written story feels more natural and tends to flow better. Discovery written books tend to have less view point characters or time frames.

They both have issues and the issues with the methods need to be mentioned too.

Outlined stories can be stale and the characters may have a motivational problems. It is usually when the story makes a left when the outline goes right. Or that the outline says that a character must do something that the written story doesn’t allow for.

The problems with discovery written books is simple. Plot holes. As the author doesn’t have a plan on what is happening, there can be un-foreshadowed scenes, and plot holes through out the story. Discovery written stories tend to need more revisions that there counterpart.

So what do I do?

It depends on the story. I do both.

I will leave a pause for the reader to freak out at the political statement.

Done?

Good.

I write both. as it depends on the story. I have written some where I have done complete outlines to them. I have written others where I Discovery Wrote it. I have done some where I have gotten part way through a Discovery Written book to discover that I had gotten lost and I need to outline my way out of the mess that I was in.

What was better? It depends.

The Outlined one was a collaboration with my 6 yr old and we did an outline as it is his story that I am writing. He just have the grammar of a six year old.

The Discovery written one was a NaNoWriMo challenge that I didn’t have enough time to get an outline done, but I had a fairly good idea on where I was going. The one that I needed to outline my way out of it was that I was writing a book, then I decided that the backstory was just as entertaining as the story and needed to be part of the story.

My conclusion. Don’t worry about how you write the book. Just write it. Decide how you want to write it and get those words on a page. getting word count every day is much more important than worrying about how you are writing it.

Until next time.

Nathan Pedde

Ramblings: A story of how I manage to write novels while living with children

So I am a dad. More specifically, I am a father of two. I have a six year old boy named [REDACTED] and a five year old girl named [REDACTED].

My kids are great. I am not sure how it happened, but these kids are nothing like I was as a child. I was the child playing in the mud, ALL the time. I didn’t want to be inside the classroom, I wanted to be outside playing. I had multiple run ins with the Special Needs Teacher because they thought that I had a learning disability. It was just that I didn’t care, I knew the stuff, and I passed all the tests that they threw at me.

What can I say… I wanted to be outside.

My kids, however, love learning. They love doing things that expand their minds. My son, [REDACTED], loves science, math, and reading. He plays the piano and he practices for a couple hours a day. He is in grade one and is currently reading the 2nd book of Harry Bloody Potter. My daughter is a dancer and loves reading and drawing. She is the arty one out of the two of them.

Me? I have been writing for as long as I can remember and  I am pretty prolific. Not to brag…but I have a pretty high word count (more than some writers that I know). I manage the word count by writing whenever that I can. I  don’t have an office… I write my works in the middle of the living room  (which acts more like a study).

Often I find myself writing to the sound of Paw Patrol. (If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about. If you are not. Google is your friend. Watch a bit of it.) Thank God it is not Cailliou.

Now that you know the back story, I can tell you what is going on with my writing.

My son loves watching me write. He’ll sit beside me on the couch and watch me hack away at the words appearing on the screen. Now that he is reading Harry Potter, he is able to read what I am writing.

Word for word.

That makes writing sex scenes a little harder at times…

About 3 months ago, my son approached my with a bundle of printer paper, folded in half and stapled together. He was going to make a book. I encouraged him, and told him to write away. It didn’t last long. He got bored with it. He is six.

A couple weeks later, I caught him sitting on my laptop, on Scrivener trying to open a new project. He still wanted to write a book. He wanted to write with the keys as it looked easier.

He wanted to do what I do. I write novels, so he should too.

At that point I knew that there was nothing that I could do to get him not to write something. That’s not my way as a parent. I don’t believe in putting up road blocks to get my kids not to do something that I may find annoying, but isn’t harmful to anything but my sanity. (Sanity abandoned me on the roadside ages ago. It went on strike due to poor working conditions.)

And having [REDACTED] work on creative pursuits is not harmful in anyway. He isn’t climbing and jumping out of trees. Or eating mud. Or hitting his sister with sticks.

Like I did at his age. (Although, all but the hitting are still good past times)

So there was no way (in good conscience) that I could tell him no. He is too young. Or whatever lame excuse that I could come up with to get him to leave me alone so I can get another thousand words down.

My solution to this problem: Encourage him more. That’s right, I kept encouraging him, The same thing that got him wanting to write a book in the first place.

Now…My son, being six, has the writing skills of a six year old. He is advanced in sentence structure, but not that advanced… He is six…So I decided to do a collaboration with him. I sat him down and we started to brainstorm a story…

He decided the genre.

The setting.

The plot.

He named all of the characters.

All I did was be a guiding hand to keep it somewhat logical. I am the one that does all of the writing, but my son is the one that is in charge of the plot. We are constantly brainstorming ideas.

The book, temporarily named ‘Space Courier’ is now being written as a serial. Each book will be 25k in length, and we plan on 6 books for the first season.

That’s right. He wants multiple seasons.

In conclusion. I have created a monster.

May God have mercy on us all…



 

Late night blurb: Progress as a writer

So the novel that I am pushing to get published was written eight years ago. It has been edited a half dozen times. It is about a group of friends and strangers and there experiences of what happens when technology fails to a solar storm.

I have written another novel that I wrote for the latest NaNoWriMo. I posted a small sample of it in an earlier blog post. I printed it out and I am now reading through the story. I am on page 73 of 264. This book is ten times better than the rag that I wrote before.

They are both disaster stories.

They are both about surviving the end of the world as they know it.

This story gives me hope. Hope that I am actually getting better and not just speaking out my ass in these blog posts and on facebook. I read the novel, and while there was and is some plot holes, weak dialogue and over all spelling errors that need to be filled and fixed. The story itself is not bad. It is interesting. I am excited.

Until next time.

Ramblings: Writing for a living, Debt management, and You

So I have been thinking a lot about becoming a full time author and the things that I need to accomplish to get to that point.

At the moment I make all of my money from my day job. That is what pays the bills. I spent 40 plus hours there working to be able to keep my roof over my head and food on my table.

In the future I want to be able to make all of my money from my writing. That means that I am going to have to sell a lot of books to be able to do that. The problem is debt load.

Everyone has some sort of debt. If you are lucky that you don’t have any debt, then you are a lucky one, and not the norm. Me, I have lots. Credit cards, mortgage, car payments. I also have bills that come with owning my own home. House insurance, utility payments, property taxes. Throw life insurance, cell phone bills and internet payments and my expenses are quiet high.

And the home owner stuff isn’t that bad. It is the debt part that throws me off. I have a plan to get rid of my bad debt, but it’ll take the sale of my house to do it. Don’t worry, I bought a fixer upper and I have been fixing it up. The sale should be good enough to not only get rid of my debt load, but to be able to have a down-payment for another house as well.

As someone that is seeking to become self employed, I believe that it is imperative that getting rid of the bad debt and unwanted expenses is necessary. Imagine how many books that you must sell to cover the credit card payments of $500. That is a lot of units per month. Easiest way is to get rid of the payments.

So, to all of those that seek to become self-employed like me. Get a financial planner. Get a plan. Get your expenses down. The less units of books that you must sell to be able to live off of your creative outlets the better.

Figure out a way to spend less with still having the same standard of living. I am not advocating you to live in a cardboard box to be able to be self-employed. But I am sure that your family will think that you are when you tell them that you are self-employed.

Ramblings: Anxieties, Readers and Talent

So I have bought the bullet and have done it. I have sent one of my novels to be torn apart. Ripped to shreds. Eaten alive and spat out….

I am running out of metaphors.

One of the problems with where I live is that there isn’t a large community of writers to connect with. Those that are here tend to lie more on the literary side of the fiction writing spectrum. I am not on that side. To be more specific, I am so far away from it that it is like a couple of those shots from one of the many space probes. You know, the ones that passed by Jupiter. Anyways, they turned around and took a photo of the sun from Jupiter. The sun was a tiny speck in the distance.  It looked just like a bright star in the night sky if you were looking on earth. I am the space probe, the literary fiction writers are the sun.

That outlines the issue that I face. It is also one that faces many writers out there new. Getting your work edited and looked at to find any glaring errors. Finding Beta Readers. Or the want to find Beta Readers.

New writers have a hard time for various reasons. New writers tend to have anxiety on other people reading there work. They are afraid that the help that they may receive will be less than pleasant. That it will be overly harsh and critical. Many that do receive such advice get deflated and defeated and stop writing. They think that there work sucks, therefore they suck. That they are not going to be an overnight success.

I fell into that camp at one point. I thought my work was good. It wasn’t. I burned it. Poof. Gone. I didn’t write for years afterwards. To this day I do not know why I even write now. I just do. It is one of those things that I have accepted.

The reason that happens to many young writers out there has to do with our view of the word ‘Talent’. Or the phrase ‘To Be Talented’. What does it mean? I think that the words first definition sums it up. From Dictionary.com.

talent

[taluh nt]

noun

  1. a special natural ability or aptitude

That says it right there. A special natural ability or aptitude. Meaning that to be talented means that the ability to write a story, or draw a picture, or sing a song and win whatever gameshow of the week you are on. It comes to you easily and naturally and that you don’t have to work for it. Or at least to those that do not have any ‘Talent’.

There are some, me included, that have realized the truth. The truth that has been staring the creative work in the face. A truth that will change it, probably for the better.

Like Neo and the spoon, there is no Talent. None. Burn the definition from the dictionary and re-write it. Why? Because people see Talent as a sudden thing. I, who have never played a Piano in my life can, if I am Talented enough, sit down at the Piano and play like Mozart. No practice. No training. Just bang. Mozart.

To those that think that, I cry bullshit. Talent is nothing more than the byproduct of hard work determination and will power to stick with something no matter what. Like extreme flatulence is the byproduct of beans and corn. As an example, my six year old son loves playing Piano. He, plays quiet well for a six year old and is a sight to see.

Is he talented? No. He has been interested in music since he was a baby. Since he loved drumming his fingers on the coffee table. I threw fuel on that fire. I kept him interested in drumming fingers. In making sounds that sound good. He kept his interest up. I started his lessons in September and now in March, he has finished his first book. I am told that his progress has been fast. Is he Talented? No. He practices hours every day cause he loves playing it. He puts the work in. That is not Talent. That is hard work and I love it.

Back to these young writers. They get in the belief that there work is special cause others have been. JK Rowlings, Steven King, etc all exploded in the spot light. They can too. right? Wrong. These big name authors spent years writing utter and complete crap until they were an over night success.

So my novel, that I wrote ten years ago is now with the Beta readers. I feel anxious, excited and nervous. I keep reminding myself that the novel is ten years old. It is a turd and even though I am giving it a polish, it is still a turd. That gives a new meaning to a couple of those metaphors from the beginning.

Late Night Preview

During November I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo. For those that don’t know, it is the National November Writing Month. I was successful.

With me completing my edits to When The Lights Go Out and waiting for beta readers to give some form of feedback, I have now turned my attention back to my son’s middle grade fiction serial and to editing Culture Shock. My NaNoWriMo book.

In my personal writing process, I like to print out the novel and read it on paper to do the necessary edits. This time, instead of getting staples to do it, I bought a really nice printer and I am able to print it for about an eighth of the cost. With the amount of novels that I plan on writing, I am sure my investment will pay for itself in no time.

My novel Culture Shock is post-apocalypse book, set in a separate would from When the Lights Go Out. Here is a short preview from my work in progress novel. I hope that you enjoy.

          La Garita Caldera, San Jaun, USA. Approx date: 25 Million BCE
Atana Ignimbrite, Chile. Approx date: 3.8 Million BCE
Yellowstone, Idaho, USA. Approx date: 1.9 Million BCE
Lake Taba, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Approx date: 72 Thousand BCE
Orumana Taupo, North Island, New Zealand. Approx Date: 24 Thousand BCE
Mount Tambora, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia Date: 1815 CE

These Supervocanos have erupted before. Each time that they have, there eruptions have changed the Earth’s climate. Some have brought on ices ages, while some have created years with no sun.
The Mount Tambora supervocanic eruption changed the global climate for an entire year. It spewed 120 cubic kilometers of ash and debris into the atmosphere. It turned 1816 CE into the Year without a Summer.
The list above is only some of the world’s known supervolcanos and there last major eruption. Those eruptions were 20 to 50 times larger than the Mount Tombaro eruption.
Scientists claim that many of the supervolcanos of the world are overdue to erupt.
They also claim that many of them are not as dormant as one would hope.

I hope that you have enjoyed the small snippet below and I promise to post more teases in the future with some more of my work.

Keep it shiny.

Nathan Pedde