Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

“I never fall,” says Odymn.

“Really?” says the Doctor, as he examines her scars.

~Scan_20180415 (2).jpg

In Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill, Odymn tries to cope with a loss of her independence.  With the embryonic community of Themble Hill growing around her, Odymn knows the support of friendship and love as she recuperates. But are they really safe in the new community? Will the Dock-winders ever leave them alone???

~

You can find Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill in paperback format at Amazon here. The Kindle version will be available soon. For readers in the Fredericton area, the paperback will be available at Westminster Books after May 1st.

~

JDB_0613 (3).jpg

~

All my best,

Alexandra

Advertisements

Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill – available April 14

The Proof of my new book in the Meniscus Series has arrived!

~

DSCN2258 (2).JPG

~

Meniscus: The Town at Themble Hill

~

… On the alien planet Meniscus, against all odds, a small group of Humans works to forge a new life together. When a Dock-winder drone pays them a visit, Odymn and the Slain trek along the heights of The Fault, to make certain the community is not in danger of invasion. They find a new way to scale The Fault and a perfect location for building a new village. Matters are complicated when Odymn is injured on a parkour run and the Slain’s former girlfriend joins the group. Faced with a dangerous journey through the Themble Wood and the hardships of building a new community, are the Humans in more danger from themselves, the alien landscape, or their Doc-winder overlords?

 

… In the fourth book of the Meniscus series, The Village at Themble Hill chronicles the first days of community life on a planet where Humans are not allowed to associate and freedom is always at risk.

~

home is the safest place … so build a home …

~

Only ten more days!

~

All my best,

Alexandra

series complications – time-lines

I have published four books in my science fiction series Meniscus. The fifth book (Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill) will be released on April 14, 2018. I have four other books in DRAFT. Keeping them straight has become a bit of a nightmare!

~

'Odymn falls' final
in ‘The Town at Themble Hill’, Odymn breaks her leg … not a happy time for a girl who loves to run in the Themble Woods …

~

The planet Meniscus, with its interesting landscape and biology, suggests many possible adventures. A while ago, I began to think about a ‘spin-off’ featuring the stories of different main characters. I also wanted to include characters from the first books, to give them more background and a better chance to ‘speak’.

~

To weave the stories together, I realised I would need to create a time-line for my books. This would help me to situate the new characters in time and avoid character collisions. I did not want characters who were supposed to be in Prell to show up in Sintha. I did not want dead characters to live after their demise.

~

The time-line shows the books in the series, the number of days covered in each book, the seasons and the years. The first eight books are consecutive, flowing from one to the other.

~

time line

~

In my next book, I want to introduce some of the Human recruits to the Village at Themble Hill and tell about them when they were still captives of the Gel-heads. So I knew the next book would start before the end of book Four and continue until the beginning of Book Six when Don’est’s continuous, banshee scream splits the air of the Themble.

~

'Don'est'paperback
Why is Don’est screaming? You’ll have to wait until Book Six, ‘Meniscus: Encounter with the Emenpod’, to find out!

~

Plotting the time-lines helped me know what characters I could include, the seasonal components of the setting and how to merge the stories.  It also suggested to me that I should re-number Meniscus Six, Seven and Eight to better reflect the time-line.

~

time line 2

~

If you are writing a series, I suggest you add time-lines to your process. Think of your story in terms of time. Determine how many days pass during the story. Plot the sequence of your stories with respect to one-another. This will help you to avoid inconsistencies and incongruencies.  It will also help you be accurate if your setting has a seasonal component.

If you are dealing with time-travel, causality and paradoxes, considering time-lines is essential!

~

Hope this helps you with the writing of your series!

~

All my best,

Alexandra

 

 

ending a story

When I started to write my science fiction Meniscus Series, I had no idea where it would take me. All I knew was, the first story was there in my head, waiting to be told. Now I have four books published in the Series and five more planned. I have had to think about how I would end each book. I want each book to stand alone and yet I also want to segue into the next book. I also want the read to be satisfying and somewhat unexpected.

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn (here)

Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days (here) (or free on Wattpad here)

Meniscus: South from Sintha (here)

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb (here)

Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill (coming April 14, 2018)

Meniscus: Karst Topography (coming in 2018)

Meniscus: Encounter with the Emenpod (coming in 2018)

Meniscus: Journey to Bleth (coming in 2019)

Meniscus: Oral Traditions (coming in 2019)

~

Crossing The Churn  Scan_20180120 (2) Scan_20170522  Meniscus Winter by the Water-climb

~

Perhaps the most significant characteristic of endings has to do with outcome.

Do characters reach their destination or not?

Do they find the object of their quest or are they unsuccessful?

~

'release of the feather' close up

~

Beyond this, endings have other characteristics. Endings can be:

happy or sad

surprising or expected

exciting (active) or subdued (passive)

fated or governed by free-will

triumphant or disastrous

concluding or beginning

optimistic or pessimistic

encouraging or disappointing

~

'Odymn hides in the leaves'

~

With eight variables, there are many possible combinations. I did a quick analysis of my stories Meniscus: Crossing the Churn (blue dots) and Meniscus: Karst Topography (red dots). The endings are quite different, although they have commonalities. I have put in bold the characteristics of endings I usually prefer in stories.

~

endings

~

A book in a series may demand a different set of endings than a self-contained, stand-alone story. An ending that suggests a new beginning will make a reader read the next book to discover what happens next. A disastrous ending will entice a reader to find out how the disaster is dealt with in the next book.

~

Not too long ago, I had a discussion with a reader who said the best endings are unexpected, but not necessarily related to the main objective, quest or destination.  The ending returns instead to something contained in the story that seems unconnected to the success of the mission or the eventual fate of the characters.

~

A simple example:

A woman, whose husband is killed in an explosion, tries to rebuild her life. She searches for a man who will make her happy and after several failures, she finds him. The story ends at the wedding when she sees a man among the visitors who looks just like her first husband.

~

'Belnar woos Vicki'.jpg

~

The ending is, of course, is not independent of the story. Moreover, stories have a way of writing themselves, situation leading to situation until a conclusion is reached.

~

When you finish writing your story, you have not reached the end. Now comes the editing! The ending of your story deserves a little analysis. Considering the ending with respect to the characteristics above may help you with the process.

~

All the best in your writing!

Alexandra

 

 

 

 

Free Book … Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

wintercrop

From March 3 to March 7, 2018, you can get the Kindle version of Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb for FREE. Just click here to find out how the winter season goes for Odymn on an alien planet.

~

Winter on the planet Meniscus is brutal — the plenty of other seasons gives way to scarcity and desperation. Unprepared for the months ahead, Odymn and the Slain find shelter with the generous Argenops, friendly furry creatures. When Odymn has to survive without the help of the Slain, she must depend on her own wits and her skill at parkour to survive the alien landscape of the Themble. But she is not prepared for new arrivals, group of survivors of a transport ship crash. On a planet where Human relationships are not allowed, ten people and an alien child take the first steps toward building a community.

~

Hope you love the story of winter on Meniscus. And the story of how genetically altered Slains usually spend the winter!!!

~

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544818068

Meniscus Winter by the Water-climb

Guest Post: Liza O’Connor – Destination: Titan

Welcome to a guest post by Liza O’Connor, author of Destination: Titan – science fiction with lots of sexy romance, an intriguing story line and interesting characters. I was first introduced to Liza through her book Angel of Mercy. I enjoyed that book and I am now in the middle of reading Destination: Titan.

~

Banner bkbround.png

Meet the main character

Tamara: She’s not even considered important when she first arrives but very soon she is critical to the mission.

Tamara small.jpg

~

Destination Titan2 400.jpg

Destination: Titan

By

Liza O’Connor

 ~

With Earth destined for a new ice-age, seven scientists and twenty-two brilliant teenagers are gathered in a compound deep within a mountain. There they struggle to come together as a group and complete the projects needed for their survival in the inhospitable environment of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. However, certain factions on Earth have no intention of letting Project Einstein succeed. Keeping the group alive and productive is the hardest task Colonel Lancaster and his soldiers have ever had, but they are determined to succeed no matter how well the saboteurs have planned. The continuation of the human race depends upon it.

~

Excerpt

“So, you’re telling me I was chosen over every other biochemist in the world because my favorite color is orange.” Tamara tugged at a strand of her short blonde hair. Her mentor was the brightest man she knew, but this didn’t make any sense at all!

Maxwell’s eyes sparkled. “I love the way your brain tunnels in and isolates the key differentiator.”

“The fact I like the color orange should not be a key differentiator.”

Her mentor shrugged and paced the small, open space of the conference room. “Well, when all other things were equal, it became so. This project requires a top biochemist under the age of thirty, in excellent health, unmarried, with no constraints that would prevent traveling. There were quite a few scientists who met those requirements. Therefore, further differentiators were selected. The ability to work with teenagers dropped out all but two, and your clear preference for the color orange put you securely on top of the last remaining candidate.”

“But it’s a meaningless differentiator unless we’re going someplace that only has the color orange.” She fell silent as she considered that possibility. “Exactly how far will we be traveling?”

“Quite a distance.” His eyes twitched several times.

They only did that when he was conflicted, which told her she was asking the right question to discover whatever it was that he was under orders not to reveal. “Will we be traveling on Earth or away from it?”

The twitches intensified.

“Tam, I cannot tell you anything until you’ve agreed to go.”

“Jesus! We’re going to Titan, aren’t we?”

He removed his reading glasses and pressed his hand over his left eye to still the twitches. “I can neither confirm nor deny that.”

Titan: Saturn’s orange moon. Forty percent the size of Earth and rich in life-supporting chemicals. Bedrock composed of ice, rivers and seas of liquid methane, and enough hydrocarbons to heat the Earth for a thousand years.

“What is the purpose of the trip?”

“I cannot tell you anything until you agree to go.”

“Well, I cannot give you my answer until I know if we’re going to harvest the hydrocarbons for Earth or if we’re going to try to colonize it.”

Max now had both eyes covered with his hands. “Tam, I cannot tell you. You will just have to use that brilliant mind of yours to figure it out all on your own.”

His response told her that something he’d said had provided the answer. She focused on the ability to work with teenagers. You wouldn’t take teenagers on a ship to harvest, but you would to start a colony. By the time they arrived, they’d be young adults possessing a full span of child-bearing years.

“I’ll go.”

 

AMAZON

All books are free for KU subscribers

About the Author

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

 

Social Networks

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Multiverse Blog

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

All the Many Books Liza has written

Destination Titan2 AND aRRIVAL

~

~

Enjoy the reading!

All my best,

Alexandra

of two minds …

Since 1990 I have worked to improve my writing. It was always my dream to assemble enough work to publish a book. In 2012 I retired from my work as an environmental planner and six years later, I have six books published. Two are poetry  books with a traditional publisher (Chapel Street Editions) and four are published independently (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform).

~

WER Cover Front  SCB Cover

Crossing The Churn  Scan_20180120 (2)  Scan_20170522  Meniscus Winter by the Water-climb.jpg

~

The two sets of books are quite different: within easy reach‘ and ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge‘ are traditional poetry books. The four books in the Meniscus series are science fiction (romance/adventure). People I talk to about my writing are curious about my rather two-minded choice of writing both traditional and genre.

The answer I give is this (explaining my writing in science fiction):

  1. I love science fiction. Because I have been drawn so deeply into the worlds of Star Trek, Firefly and Stargate (and others), I feel I have lived both now and in the future. And now I have ‘lived’ on the planet Meniscus.
  2. World-building is of great interest to me. As a biologist, I have learned how connected living things are to the environments and landscapes where they live. I can bring my knowledge as a biologist to build worlds I will never see – worlds that might have a chance of ‘working’.  The midlars in the Themble Woods of Meniscus are perfectly adapted to their tree-top existence.
  3. My interest in landscape is the result of my dual experience as a biologist and a planner. Since the first step in building my fictional worlds is drawing a map, I can locate various landforms and populate them with plants and animals that have adapted to live there.  I love the landscape of Meniscus, especially the ‘entag’, a mat of vegetation that establishes itself in the air above the ground since water on Meniscus tends to ‘float’.'Ning explores the space beneath the floating mat'.jpg
  4. In the last years of my environmental work, I became interested in community planning. To me, any story about Humans living on an alien planet would involve building a community. My story about the Slain and Odymn begins as two people travelling together, but in no time, they are joined by others. I loved telling the story about their first settlement together (my upcoming book Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill).a plan for Themble Hill.jpg
  5. As I learned about planning communities, my environmental background pushed me in the direction of sustainable communities. For this reason, I think a lot about where people get their food. My characters in Meniscus are always food-gathering. Odymn is particularly good at foraging and discovering new sources of food. And she teaches others what she knows.

'dagger drip'.jpg

~

Are there any similarities between my science fiction books and my traditional poetry books? Certainly. The themes of biology, landscape and sustainability are in both. My poetry book ‘within easy reach’ is all about finding and gathering wild plants as food. My book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ is about how the communities we build interact with the environment.

~

And Odymn carries a copy of my book ‘within easy reach’ with her, way up there on Meniscus!

~

I hope my books about life on Meniscus will help my readers pay better attention to their own existence here in Earth!!! Where does your food really come from????

~

Best Regards,

Alexandra