The creature depicted below is symmetrical, having a single eye and mouth on both ends. They have very little digestive waste, which when it builds up can be spit out in either direction. It moves by rolling its body, using its single row of blade-like feet to grip the loose soil. The feet also deter predators. The "trunks" on either end may be nectar-gathering organs. These creatures might be the chief pollinators of the flowers of planet Lup, to be featured in the book I am currently writing, Secret Of The Springs (I am thinking of changing it to Secrets Of The Springs). What actually does the pollinating on Lup seems to have become a bit of a mystery. While I like to have the general plot arc and chapter structure figured out before I start, the details I make up as I go along and surprises happen. Sometimes I have to end up changing things. The blade-foot mapida (below) does not seem able to climb stems to reach most flowers with those crazy feet, but perhaps its distant cousin, the true mapida (further below) can do it.
These are the blurbs I'm using. What do you think?
The Spider, The Witch, And The Spaceship
This is the story of a man named Nate who finds himself living in a psychiatric health care facility. He does not remember how he got there, but as he starts to remember things from his past life, he realizes that the universe has changed dramatically since he was young. A story of childhood nostalgia, sometimes comically illuminating the differing perceptions adults and children have of the world, The Spider, The Witch, And The Spaceship is also a journey through the memories of a man for clues as to the real reason he is where he is. Filled with tension between opposing claims of the ultimate reality, this is a novel that will keep the reader guessing until the end.
Terror Of The Fun Sponge
Having escaped the overbearing Mama-And-Daddy entity and his annoyingly girly sister Allison, year-old dromaeosaur and new starship captain Nathaniel suddenly finds himself in the middle of a mysterious mission. As his companions fill in the empty gaps in his memory, he realizes that there are far more sinister forces at play in the universe than just meddlesome adults and alien beasts. His speed, agility, and sharp claws may protect him from other animals, but what can protect him from the terror of the fun sponge?
The Gorilla With Twenty-Four Heads
Having discovered a previously unknown planet, Captain Nathaniel and his crew cannot resist exploring it, but a run of bad luck and poor choices leaves them stuck on a hostile world of extreme temperatures, aridity, and dangerous and fascinating animals. Now an entity known only as “The Gorilla” wants them dead. How will they ever survive long enough to repair their ship and escape?
I’ve been asked multiple times if The Spider, The Witch, And The Spaceship is for children. While I personally have no problem with children reading it, I am not deliberately marketing it as for children.
First of all, the humor and other literary goodies buried in it are really only appreciable by those who have experienced both the childhood worldview and the adult (probably 11 years plus) worldview. When Nathaniel points out the stupidity of a rule, only an adult would be able to recognize the rule and realize that he has misunderstood or is misapplying it. While I enjoyed Calvin And Hobbes as a kid, I enjoyed it much more as I grew up (maybe I missed my childhood).
Second of all, I know some parents might take issue with the way parents (and authority figures in general) are portrayed in the story. They are usually very silly. They may also take issue with the level of violence, though it is really no more violent than the average fantasies I remember creating with my friends on the playground when I was six. I don't have a problem with it, but because some people might, I'm not presenting it as a kids' book.
Third of all, while the Nathaniel Series features only the young Nate, The Spider, The Witch, And The Spaceship is really about grown-up Nate who has to solve the mystery of what is happening to him by searching through his childhood memories for clues. To contrast the world then from the world now, he often complains that the world is more confusing now, including once mentioning his surprise at the existence of sex. I promise there is nothing in there I wouldn’t want a twelve-year-old reading, but for the sake of disclosure so you can make better purchasing decisions, I thought I would mention it. Also, out of 85,446 words, the character of Derek once uses the word “bastards” and once uses the word “shit” – though to be fair, he was being chased by a giant spider at the time so it seems perfectly appropriate to me. In the Nathaniel Series, the strongest language ever used is "Grrrrrrr!" “Shut up!” “Ugh!” and “It sucks!”
I have also had a couple people claim that the scientific jargon might be too advanced for most adults, let alone most children. I very much disagree with this. More than half of the science is made up anyway, so people shouldn’t understand it. I put nothing into my books any harder to understand than is found in Doctor Who, Star Trek, Stargate, or The Foundation Series. I had no problem enjoying Star Trek and Doctor Who from a very young age, so I see no reason why young children today couldn’t enjoy my books.
In conclusion, my books are not for children, but I certainly welcome any children that want to read them (with parental guidance).
I have no tune for this one, but I think the words stand on their own. I've always enjoyed bonfires and campfires, but as with all the great songs and poems of history, this one is actually about a girl.
She is fire She is flame She's dancing light and color And impossible to tame She is all-consuming Brilliant and pure Energy my ecstacy My luminescent lure She is dazzling light Bringing her life to the night Leaping, licking, snapping A most mesmerizing sight Hidden danger exists Under her healing warmth Her wholesome heat I crave And the most amazing show on Earth
She is fire She is flame Forever changing Always not the same My entrancing inferno Blazing in the dark My beauty, my cutie My little jumping spark Unpredictable vengeance Unpredictable grace I know that it's pointless Trying to keep her in her place Some say I'm crazy Some say I'm a case Because I love a woman With golden hair and rosy face
She is fire She is flame We keep each other going When comes the rain I blow her kisses When she gets down Stirring up her world So she can rise off the ground She is beautiful Of this I've no doubt I cherish her every smile Every laugh and every pout My lover, my lady My firecracker girl I'm gonna take you To illuminate the world
She is fire She is flame I stare at her for hours Until she calls my name I feed her cards and flowers Or anything that will oxidize Though her smoke often brings me tears I don't dare close my eyes Her scent lingers on My clothes for days on end She burns in my memory And will always burn again Her glowing embers Bring me wonder and delight And I will stay past sunrise And tend her through the night
You're beautiful Of this I've no doubt Burn me if you must But don't ever ever go out...
I was drawing a picture of an alien cave for the art category, but I stopped. This is what sometimes happens when I plan too much instead of doodling. I’ve also been reading a lot. Some of these books I review (under the discoveries category) if I think they are unique enough, but not usually. I recently read fantasies by Ursula K. LeGuin and Elizabeth Haydon. They were pretty good. I’ve also read a lot of non-fiction recently, including a book summarizing major Supreme Court (USA) cases.
Most of my time has actually been taken up by writing Terror Of The Fun Sponge and The Gorilla With Twenty-Four Heads, both now finished and the former now entering editing. I have already started the next book in the Nathaniel Series, Secret Of The Springs. There is a good chance it will be done by January. The Nathaniel Series is based on Nate’s flashbacks of his childhood in my book, The Spider, The Witch, And The Spaceship. While we often remember things a bit differently as children, the Nathaniel Series explores what might happen if our every fantasy came true as seen through an inexperienced mind.
In the world of Nathaniel, children never grow into adults and adults were never children. Boys and girls hate each other. Living stuffed animals from the planet Gruezhe (Gruezhlings) feed off of the fun of playing children. Dinosaurs speak, fly spacecraft, and invent new weapons. There is no word for “language” because all across the universe, there is only one. Questions are asked for which adults have no answer. With his Gruezhling crew, Captain Nathaniel explores space and fights bullies, aliens, and the forces of nature.
So far, it seems that the books will be shorter than average – between 30,000 and 35,000 words. I have been thinking of releasing them as ebooks only for a while. We’ll see what happens. I’ll be posting the blurbs, samples, and announcing release dates on this blog, so watch this space.
Until then, here is a doodle of a mummy star for no reason:
Sound kind of weird but also intriguing enough that you know you’re going to keep thinking about it until you read it? Buy The Spider, The Witch, And The Spaceship on Kindle here!
The animals of planet Alpaz all have a mysterious "curl organ" somewhere on the body. Some have curled chins. Some have curled humps. Some have curled tails. The creature below takes this to an extreme.
Sometimes someone pulls in front of you not because they didn’t see you, but because they also saw something else in front of them more important that you missed. This applies to life in general as well as traffic. Sometimes those that seem the most oblivious to details are actually the most aware and those that seem the most aware are actually the most oblivious.
When it comes to discerning the cultural norms, some are better at it than others, but it is impossible to judge who is better than whom without knowing the norms well enough oneself to measure others’ knowledge by them. Thus, the one doing the measuring must first be measured. A better way to do it might be to add together the impressions of many and average them together in some way – but this is what we already do to determine norms in the first place and some of us are bad at it. The process is completely subjective.
Hello, my name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small. I like bacon. I like pizza. I like bacon pizza. I enjoy long walks on the beach, but prefer the mountains. I am a huge fan of Jesus. When I grow up, I want to be just like him and create my own universes.