Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time

If you’d ever wondered what the universe was made of and how it came to be, and don’t mind your technical science, then this book is going to be just the ticket. Hawking gives us a very in depth and inquisitive look at the origins of our understanding of the universe, and makes it both readable and fascinating to readers of any age or education level.

As most of you probably know, I write sci-fi when I’m not running about battling pirates or making sure my dragons don’t argue over whether or not the prophecies are working right.  I’m also a closet astronomer and I love dabbling in astrophysics sometimes. I picked up A Brief History on the recommendation of another friend when I was discussing the genesis of black holes and the potential for wormholes to form in our galaxy, and I was not disappointed in what I found. Sure, it took me a few months to read in between working way too much and the loss of my bedside lamp, but I got there and boy was it a good ride. It expanded on a few things I already vaguely knew about (stuff like string theory, quantum entanglement, and the grand unified theory), but also educated me on the intricacies of said theories and added colour to what was once a textbook interpretation. Hawking is a capable and expansive writer, if not entirely personable (his style is heavily influenced by academic style but no less enjoyable), and I’d certainly read more of his work in the future. I’ve got the follow-up book, A Briefer History of Time, sitting in wait on my bedside table, but for now I think I’ll go explore some other things.

Of late I’ve been going on a bit of a reading binge to help combat some of my seemingly ever-present stress, and my horrible writer’s block. So far it seems to have helped, but sadly my bookcase is a bit too full and some of my books will have to go.

Anyway that’s it from me for now. Stay tuned for next time!

-P

Updates, and Camp NaNo April 2016

Hello readers!

Apologies for being so absent lately. Last month has been slightly crazy in between catching up on reading, Camp, a holiday, and my job. So let’s start from the top, shall we?

The beginning of April marked the first round of Camp NaNoWriMo, which I started participating in last year. As some of you may (or may not) know, I recently went through a major case of writer’s block which left me without words for the better part of 6 months. This was mostly because I was adjusting to my new job (which isn’t so new any more). As a result, work on Dreamstealer came to a grinding halt and it sat at onto 800 pages for far too long. So when April started, it was kind of a kick in the rear to get back to work. Except… I still had no motivation. My solution was to start working on Book Two of the Dreamstealer chronicles, which I’ve called Dreamchaser. I’m not even a full chapter in, but so far its turning out to be a far darker work than its predecessor. Once I have the ground work done, (and the third book done and dusted, its funny how one book can suddenly turn into a trilogy) I plan on going back for edits, beta reads, and then the big publishing day. I’m both nervous and incredibly excited that the Dreamstealer series is going to be my first book. It’s a huge task, but I never said I didn’t like a good challenge!

Besides Camp, April has been full of nerdy pastimes including a trip to Supanova on the second week of the month with my boyfriend. It was great fun and I came home with way too much loot. I also played a bit too much Skyrim, and may or may not have generated a new idea for a sci-fi novel. In between all of this I decided I would finish reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s  Treasure Island, which has been sitting on my bedside table for goodness knows how long. It was… an interesting read, which I’ll detail in my next post because otherwise this one will be humungous.

So, happy May, and onwards to the review!

-P

The dragons are laughing at me. But they haven’t won yet.

Cryptic title, right?

It’s been a very slow day/night, and I can’t seem to get anything out on either Dreamstealer or Pirates of Time. Not only is this worrying (because heck I have a word count to meet), but it makes me wonder if perhaps I started Dreamstealer off on the wrong foot. Is it time to rehash the introduction, give my characters more space on their pages? Perhaps. After the long conversations I’ve had with my characters, they’re all asking me for more than they have and they’re worried about each other’s safety in the world I’ve dropped them into. I suppose that’s a good thing; if my characters are worried then I’ve got a good world for them to work with. But even so, there’s some polishing to do and I’m glad they pointed it out to me.

I found myself reading this article http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/angels-demons-and-the-writer/ just a few moments ago and it made me think about just how much our own personal ‘demons’ do influence us, as writers. Especially when we’re writing genre fiction. I guess it’s something that we all deal with on some level, and it’s up to us to tame those demons and pull another card from our sleeve, hoping that this time it works.

I’m going to try and get back to my novels, and keep you updated.

Don’t stop reading!

AdmiralCarter.

A Day in the Life of AdmiralCarter

Hello all!

So I know I blogged yesterday, but I thought as it’s lunch time (and tea time when is it not tea time) and I was just reading this post on what bloggers actually do during their days (http://aopinionatedman.com/2015/07/07/what-do-bloggers-actually-do/), I’d add my daily plan to the rundown.

As a writer, blogger, and musician, I find that my day is usually broken up into a few manageable chunks of time. I’ll wake up usually around 8 or 9 in the morning, grab some breakfast and start plotting things out in my filofax (yes, I’ve got one. Yes, I love it.). Once that’s done, I’ll do chores (dishes, washing, clean the dog, dust, other general housework), then sit down to nut out some words on my current WIP. Lunch comes around, I’ll grab food and another full pot of tea and check blog stats, Facebook, and my other social media accounts. Emails get a look in too. After that it’s back to writing and/or music practice until 5. Then dinner, dishes, anything the dog needs done. Then more writing until I get so tired I end up going to bed. If I have any other things to do during the day, like run errands, I’ll usually squeeze them in as soon as I can.

So that’s pretty much what I do with my days. Fairly straightforward.

Best get back to Dreamstealer before Eri gets herself into trouble with another dragon.

AdmiralCarter

Camp NaNo 2015

Hello all!

So as you’ve probably noticed by my banner I’ve decided to tackle Camp NaNo for 2015. This will be my first camp, and my target is 50,000 words in a month. Piece of cake, right? Let’s hope so.

This time I’m working on a new project alongside Pirates of Time, and this new project is called Dreamstealer. It’s a high fantasy novel set on a world called Elari, where the Dream-Elders who rule the five provinces through predictive dreams are beginning to die because of a creature called the Dreamstealer. The Dreamstealer eats their dreams, and uses it to fuel chaos and unrest throughout the provinces. Wars are raging once more, and Elari is thrown into a state of bloody warfare and provincial rivalry, warlords have taken control and nowhere is safe. In the midst of all this chaos, one teenager – Eri Torain – has discovered that she has Dream Elder abilities, and is tasked with not only defeating the Dreamstealer but also with restoring peace and prosperity to the lands of Elari. Will she succeed? Stay tuned to find out!

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately.

As always, never stop reading!

AdmiralCarter

Another day, another chapter..

Hello all!

Thought I’d give you an update on what’s happening since it’s been a while. I’ve been darting between a bunch of different books lately, including the Dune chronicles by Frank Herbert, The Road to Dune, Angus Konstam’s Blackbeard biography, a novelisation of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and other various books from the local library which have all been aiding me in writing Pirates of Time. It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind in that regard, not to mention the nine secondhand books I picked up from the Lifeline Bookfest this past weekend. The teetering tower beside my bedside table has returned, except its now capped by my DnD figurines and my flower press. I’ve also been playing way too much Skyrim, but have had to give that a break due to a lack of health potions and a need of a new strategy.

Now that I’m well and truly back on the writing wagon, I find that my creative drive has changed somewhat. I’ve had to switch over writing programs from Microsoft Word to a handy little fullscreen program called Q10, which is great for writing without distractions and aiding with the short creative bursts I seem to favour these days. On top of that, inspiration has struck me square in the face once more and Pirates of Time is getting a sequel. Now, I know what you’re saying. I haven’t finished the first book. And I know, but I’m getting ever closer with each chapter and now that I can see the horizon it’s easy for me to finish my pantsing and really get into the nitty gritty of my planning. I’m one of those people who start out with a general plan, which is slowly built up over time and then cemented as I get closer to the end of the piece. It isn’t the most efficient way, but who said writing had to be efficient if it was meant to be creative?

The sequel is slowly in development. It still has no title. I do, however, know what I want it to be about. I’ve talked about it a little on my Facebook page, but no more details until then! Speaking of my page, I’ve recently decided to take up a nom-de-plum for the sake of my slightly hard to pronounce surname. I’ll see how that goes.

What are your thoughts on nom-de-plums and novel planning, everyone? Fill up that comments box, I love getting to read about your thoughts. Hopefully I’ll get up another book review soon it’s been too long.

Until next time and never stop reading!

AdmiralCarter.

Yo ho, yo ho, an author’s life for me

Hello everyone!

I do apologise for my absence. My dear Jeremiah has been taking up almost all of my time lately and staunchly refusing to let me work on anything but my novel. As most of you know, Pirates of Time is my current project and although I’ve been working on it since November of last year, it’s only now that the realities of being a writer have sunk in.

Let me clarify. For those of you who write regularly, I’m sure you’ve had the experience of telling someone about your novel, only for that person to immediately get excited and ask you for a first copy or an autograph. I’ve had many of these experiences myself, but never have I been asked for an autograph. Until today.

Most people I’ve spoken to have loved the idea behind my work: a former naval officer, turned privateer and then pirate for the sake of taking vengeance on the British state and patriarchy which had so wronged him in his childhood, only to then find himself stuck in the middle of an international fight for power and the arrival of creatures who wish to own the planet for themselves and have for years been working in the background to accomplish their goals. He’s faced with the choice of saving the planet, or forsaking his own morals and drive for the good of the British Empire. And so it is that Captain Jeremiah Carter of the HMS Excalibur finds himself faced with the greatest of calamities on the high seas and in the skies, and a brother who will stop at nothing to destroy him. I guess it’s a good feeling to know that people like the idea enough to read it (at least four suggested I turn it into a movie but I am a shocking scriptwriter), but it still freaks me out a little when people get excited. It makes me wonder what I’m to expect once I publish, and how things might change in the future. I hope good things but we never can tell until we get there.

Alas my tea has run out and I am in need of more.

Don’t stop reading,

AdmiralCarter