from Sol III (aka Earth)

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    • OsageOrange's Writing Thoughts #31, 2016/12/15: Writing a Book Series

      1 year ago


      So, you want to write a book series.  What needs to be done?  Quite simply, there's a lot to be done with a book series, so, let's get get to it.  Bear in mind, I haven't thought of everything and haven’t published a series yet, I'm referencing a number of thing I feel would be important to writing one.

      1. Have a plan and overall story-line!  This the biggest thing you need to have- by having a planned out story-line for your series to follow, you can divide the plot-line into more sizeable chunks (novels) in which to get your story from point A (Novel One) to point B (Novel X).  You'll have to consider how each novel takes place to make sure it fits into the series frame, so you'll have a compelling story arc.  You should the series planned out enough to be able write out the novels and have them make sense, but not every little detail has to be planned for or decided on when making the series arc.

      2. Character List.  Your characters are the main part of your story- they drive it forward.  Having a list of who you want to appear in your series- their basic biography, their desires/goals, their place in society, their allegiances, etc- you'll be able to play around with them and see how they effect your story.  While some characters may be static, or change only a little, most characters will change a lot.

      3. World/Geography.  This is yet another big deal- where does the story take place, in what sort of world/universe?  Is it within a small geographic place, like a rural town that covers just over a square mile at best?  Or what about over a whole galaxy, tens of thousands of light years across?  As Monty Oum said: "If you figure out the world, geography determines your culture and culture determines your people."  Very potent, this quote- take it to heart, and you'll have a lot of things figured out. By knowing the world, you can aid yourself in how your write your series out and make things eaier for yourself in the end.

      4. Society and culture. This ties into the above entry, but you can determine your cultures of your writings. Is it something like ancient Egypt or ancient Rome, the Chinese empire of the 11###sup/sup### century of the European feudalism of the same time period? Is it something like our modern times, or the fictionalized future? Your society and culture, derived in major part due to the world its based in, is going to help drive your story, so its important that you have some research done to help make a more realistic culture.

      5. Time period. This also ties into the society and culture entry, as your time period within your novel. Is is close or far away from a big point in history? Is a big societal change occurring, or is there a war? There doesn’t have to be any equivalent time period from Earth history in your novel- it could be as simple as "A technological advanced, space-faring race that’s leaving it star system because it’s sun is about to explode." Figure out where you want your story to be, in terms of its level of advancement, and it can go from there.

      6. Events/timeline. The above entries of course tie into this one- what events happen to advance the story? What is it that make the story happen in the first place? It can be a big battle, but I find that it a small thing that leads to bigger things, and therefore, a story of irrevocable change. Having an idea of the timeline and events- tying into the series plan- will help you figure out what you your stories and their events, in order to create a better story.

      These of course can be applied to a stand-alone novel as well. For next month’s topic, I’ll discuss a few things in several book series I’ve read or am reading.

    • Entry #90, 2015/12/10: I've seen the amazing....

      1 year ago


      ....somebody has put @Ryan in Prison Architect!  I kid you not- see it here!  And I can say I wasn't expecting it.  I was just looking at one of my prison shops to see how it was doing- I randomly selected a prisoner running one of the shop check-stands and I saw the nickname being "The Mad King."  I knew there was only one person in the gaming related world called that that name, and I checked the rest of the prisoner's name- and it was indeed a prisoner with the name Ryan Haywood.

      To whoever put Ryan's in the game, I'll say you had some serious guts to do so.  You're awesome, whoever you are.

    • Entry #89, 2016/11/22: A ring of truth

      1 year ago


      You'd better check out what @gi_goku said in in this journal.

      It especially applies to being nice to the retail workers of the places you shop.

    • Entry #88, 2016/11/18: GGG Livestream!

      1 year ago


      So the 2016 Good Guy Gamers 24 Extralife Livestream is upon us!  Hope everyone who can come to watch us to please do so!  If you're partaking in one of the gaming events during the stream, I'll see you there at some point!

      You can find the group's Twitich profile here!

      Some more info via @McDom can be found here!

      As for me, I'll be joining in the first 7 Days to Die segment and usual Minecraft LP portion (for the group's normal Saturday Minecraft LPs) of the stream.

    • HOWtwoROCK asked OsageOrange a question

      What did I do all of a sudden that made you want to friend request me?

      Answered: Nov 17, 2016

      Nothing really- you post an interesting selection of topics in your journals, and though I haven't really commented much on your posts, its interesting to see what you find and talk about,

    • OsageOrange's Writing Thoughts #30, 2016/11/15: Enviromental Degradation

      1 year ago


      All right, we’re going to be talking in this journal about environmental degradation. Of the many forms and causes of environmental devastation and degradation, there are going to be four particulars discussed: industrial, atomic, magical and volcanic.

      Of course, what would count as environmental degradation? As a general rule, its a scenario where the local environment has become depleted, ruined or otherwise become undesirable for life, or its very difficult to survive there. It can often feature very little life as a result of the degradation. The degradation often comes from human presence, but there are other factors that can cause a local environment to degrade.

      Magical Environmental Degradation

      Now, given that this journal was inspired by a sequence in L.E. Modesitt’s The Shadow Sorceress, we’re going to start off with magical environmental degradation. In order to explain the magical devistation, I must set up the context for the parts I wish discuss. Toward the end of the novel, Alcaren, a native of the country of Ranuak, is leading the novel’s chief protagonist, Secca, along with her company, to the capital of Ranuak, the well fortified city of Encora. Secca is on the road to defeat the Sea-priests, who are seeking to take over Leidwahr, the continent where much of the Spellsong Cycle takes place. Much of the area north of Encora was devastated in ancient times past by the Spell-Fire Wars, a conflict between the Matriarchs of Encora, and the Mynyan lords, a bloc of power holders that occupied the lands between Ranuak and the country of Nordwei. The Mynyans wished to conquer more land for their own power, but after a series of magical confrontations, Ranuak won.

      It is as Secca is traveling with Alcaren that she, her musicians, soldiers and her assistant, Richina, see the devastation of magical warfare from the past. In one valley, there is the description of a swamp-like feature the width and breath across it, called the Great Dismal Swamps, with the ever present mist producing the smell of “not quite like burned meat, not like swamps, not like rotten fruit, but reminding Secca of all three.” There are also small pools with some sickly looking reeds, and some ill looking trees, bare of leaves. This devastation was caused by a combination of magically gathering metal from the ground and by battle sorcery. These caused an large change in the environment to make it unlivable. A time later, the group comes to a location known to those in Ranuak as The Last Encampment, where the First Matriarch turned back the invading Mynyan Lords at the farthest point the invaders reached into Ranuak. There is a larger hill and a smaller hill, both covered by black stone, in something similar to a wide spread lava flow, all black. Alcaren says that as the result of a massive Darksong spell that killed the Mynyans and rebounded on the first Matriarch. For the people in the area, they know that animals who go there do not survive long, suffering lost fur, extreme blood loss, teeth falling out within a short time and then their lives if they stay there, seeming to be the magical equivalent of radiation poisoning.  These are the two big examples of magical degradation in this series.

      Industrial Environmental Degradation

      This particular area is one we face in real life, with many industries using a myriad of materials, liquids and other resources. While I really don’t have a specific example to reference that I’ve personally read, I will reference The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. In that time period, there was not as much regulation towards the industrial economy for environmental protection, and this often led to large amounts of localized and regional degradation. Of course, we still face a lot this in our modern world.

      Volcanic Environmental Degradation

      In this particular area, I’m going to be referencing both fiction and fact. In this area, a volcano’s ability to destroy its surrounding environment is based on the size and type of eruption. As for the fiction, I’m going to be referencing the 2005 Docufiction film, Supervolcano, which follows a hypothetical eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera. In this film, Yellowstrone erupts such a large amount of material that significant portions of the US Rocky Mountains and Great Plains are forced to be abandoned, but also the world is effected in being forced into a volcanic winter, wherein the planet cools significantly and many die as a result. In terms of fact, I’ll reference 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo. In terms of the local damage for the people living around the mountain was very damaging. Many areas near the mountain were buried in ash ranging from several to tens of feet. This obviously rendered much of that same land hard to cultivate, and it was made all the more difficult by lahars, or volcanic mud flows, during the monsoon season. This has effected the locals around Mt Pinatubo for many years. Of course, the eruption was powerful enough that it had a temporary cooling effects across the globe, and led, in part, to some major weather systems that effected the US.

      Atomic Environmental Degradation

      This is one of those areas well explored by science fiction. In this area, environmental degradation would a result of exposure to radioactive fallout from atomic weapons. The effects of radiation would cause life to be heavily altered and perish as a result of the radiation, which damages the cells of an organism to where the organism can no longer function. An example of people surviving a nuclear war, though with severe radiation exposure, would Beneath the Planet of the Apes. The humans that have survived nuclear fall-out have an altered appearance. Google it- I’ll let the images speak for themselves. Another example would be Andre Norton’s novel Daybreak 2250 AD (or Star Man’s Son). I haven’t read it in awhile, but Fors, who is a mutant, goes on a quest to find his father on a post-apocalyptic Earth, the planet having gone through a nuclear war. One of the images that have stuck in my head is Fors journeying along an old highway, and he finds the rusting hulks of some old tanks, their main barrels aimed toward the sky. These are just two examples of of several atomic writings/movies I’ve encountered.

      Next month's topic will be about a discussion about book series.

    • Entry #87, 2016/11/09: Just gotta say...

      1 year ago


      I honestly felt that things could've gone better.  I know I can't stop others from saying what they want to, but I hope some good will come to pass as a result.

      My biggest hope for goodness would be the fact that the American electorate realizes how screwed up the system is and decides its time to take action and change the system.  I remember hearing or reading somewhere- don't remember where or when it was, quite honestly- that Founders want the electorate to throw out the constitution every thirty to forty years and come up with a new one.  We can see however how that plan didn't last.

      Of course, I doubt that things will get fixed.

      Hope to see you guys in four years... if not sooner.

    • Entry #86, 2016/11/08: Election Day and Dr. Strange

      1 year ago


      Well, with Election Day finally here in the States, I went and voted- I hope you did too.  I had an errand this morning to run, and figured I would go ahead vote on it while I was out.  I got to my polling place not long before noon and caught the lunch crowd out voting.  It was about and thirty minute wait for me to go vote, but I did it.  Haven't really seen much in terms of results yet, but I know that its tight in many ways.

      In other news, I went and saw Doctor Strange today.  I know I normally go and write a review of movies I see in theaters, but I'm honestly not feeling up to it with this go-round.  I will rate it at 4.5/5 stars, however.  It was interesting to see, of course.

    • Entry #85, 2016/10/31: Halloween- some thoughts on my Steampunk Character

      1 year ago


      With it being Halloween (even though its essentially over), I wanted to discuss a bit of costuming I want to do. I know I've mentioned it to a few people here and there, but I thought I'd put it down in a journal: my desire to craft a steampunk character.  One occasion where I discussed material for my character- a major industrialist- with @LoZelda.  Basically, this industrialist, who would be someone like John Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie, would be a tough, determined character, wanting to get their way.  This character's emphasis would be in mining (coal or iron ore mining in particular), railroading, lumber, steel production, or steamship/steamboat transport.

      One of the strong images that's been in my mind has been thematic pins (or other attachments) and cufflinks for the jacket.  The idea of lapel pins was really there for me today.  I had in my mind for the mining industrialist the thought of two separate lapel pins for the jacket.  Depending on what happens as I go looking for material, I'd most likely have to get some custom made work for these lapel pins.  One pin would be a crossed pickaxe and shovel, with perhaps a lantern hanging from of the picks of the pickaxe.  The other lapel pin would be a minecart full of ore-bearing rock on a track.  Their might be other lapel pins, but there would also be cuff links that would be mining related, and perhaps a pendent of some kind.  Rings would also be considered as well, with a dark stone, or if solely metal, a special design.

      Other aspects would be considered in the clothing as well- what particular industry I would choose would help factor in the colors I would prefer.  The color palette that I've been thinking of using at the moment are black, grey, brown, white, beige and silver for the primary colors, with the support of red, orange, copper, green and blue for secondary/accenting colors.  The use of these colors would help me find the necessary jewelry and steam-punk equipment.

      Another big factor would be a cane.  I've got some receipt tape spindles that I plan to use to make a light weight cane for normal strolling around cons.  The spindles would be glued to a dowel rod, and then likely covered in leather or other suitable, authentic fabric. I would likely carve some sort of handle- either a ball or more traditional handle, perhaps fancy in some way- for the top of the cane, and put a finish on it and carve some sort of foot.  Then, for cosplay contests, I've got access to some hedgeapple wood, and other woods as well, and from one of these wood samples I would make an elegant cane, finely carves (as I can) even with some metalwork in it, if I feel like it.

      But costuming is only part of the play.  It is going to be heavily influenced by the backstory I want to create for my character.  Basically, I want at least one serious challenged for my character in their youth- growing up poor, with an infrequently appearing father, as Rockefeller experienced, would be an example.  Basically, I need at least one big something, or several smaller somethings that would fit into a big something, that would make my character go for a life well beyond a struggling life; it would also make the character ruthless and determined.  Part of it would also have to be being in the "right place at the right time" situation, that allows the character to make that leap from an insignificant person to a person of power.  The character would also have some rivals, have highs and lows, and be competitive as part of the ruthlessness and determined nature.

      So, what do you think?  Any suggestions or ideas would be welcome.

    • Entry #84, 2016/10/15: Fall 2016 Farm Tour

      1 year ago


      So, yet another farm tour. I’m still going through a number of the images I took, and with some of the posts I’ve seen about images, not sure right now if I’ll be able to post them in this journal, but I’ll attempt it tomorrow after I decided which ones I can hopefully upload. Anyway, onto the tour stops.

      The first stop was one of the typical stops, the goat farm where some cheese (garlic and dill) was gotten- I took a bunch of photos. I also learned a bit more about different breeds of goats.  Owing the fact of a nice breakfast, my mother and I went on our way through one of the local small towns instead of stopping for lunch. We went to the orchard we’ve been going to for the past several fall tours, and picked up some apples they had. We talked with one of the owners there about how much we like coming on these sorts of things, and getting to see different things and learning more about them.

      Then we proceeded onto one of the local wineries, where it was in and out with for us a few bottles- we really didn’t feel the need to hang around, even though its a nice winery. We then proceeded to one of the alpaca ranches in the area, and had a look around. It was nice to see the alpacas hang out in their corral, and several came to be fed. A memorable, but very disgusting, moment was when four of the alpacas decided to defecate all at the same time. Cannot unsee, didn't get it on camera (Thank God), but we did get a few clothing items for gifts.

      We had thought about going to a vegetable farm after the alpacas, but it was out of the way as compared to getting home, though it was in that direction, so we decided to just head on back to town.  We were both tired.  That was that.

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