Notebook: Hallam

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Today I want to present to you the first of my Notebook Series of posts. This concept is to portray writing in progress and how the mind of a writer can work. If I’m honest it’s also so I don’t forget the story ideas; hey I’m human, I can admit my faults 😉 Please just keep in mind that the writing might start out rough around the edges but it will improve with time.

My first venture for this series is a sci-fi themed piece centering around Commander Samara Balen and the duties she’s called for in service to The Service. What will happen should the Universe come crashing down around you? 🙂

Please enjoy. Thank you 🙂

Hallam

Sam sighed as her eyes popped open, unfocused as the comm sphere bleeped to life. She had only just finished the graveyard shift in engineering but she knew they needed her for something else. They always did. She could’ve sworn her title was Commander, not General Dog’s Body.

Grudgingly, she swung her legs over the edge of her sleeping platform, her bare feet making contact with the cold harsh metal. Others may shy away from it but Sam welcomed the cruel reality of the bitter cold; it reminded her of the reality of a Universe at War.

Shuffling as she went, she managed to reach the comm sphere after only five beeps. Not bad since she was exhausted. Rubbing her eyes, she pressed the glaringly bright speaker button and said, “Commander Balen here. This better be damn good, Meat.”

*Author’s Note* I had to pause here. Is the name a name, nickname or derogatory term for the person on the other end of the comm sphere? Do I want to turn my character into a hard aggressive woman? Or is she just grumpy when she’s tired? Suffice it to say, for now at least, she’s only grumpy 🙂

“Get your head out of your arse Commander and get to the bridge. The Captain has called a meeting.”

“Ah Meat, I love it when you’re rough with me,” she replied sarcastically. “Where’s the respect earned by my position?”

“You want respect? Join the suits in The Guard.” And with that he pressed disconnect. Sam sighed. She knew being part of…

*Author’s Note* Okay, what do you call the opposing faction of military without it sounding too corny? My brain jumps to The Alliance but that could hark to World of Warcraft (yes I am a gamer) or The Rebels, but that is definitely very Star Wars 🙂

…The Service wouldn’t get her high into the upper echelons of life but still she worked hard at her job. She climbed the ranks faster than anyone had at the tender age of twenty-eight. If the Captain would just up and pissing retire she’d be a force to be reckoned with. He wouldn’t retire though, misogynistic bastard. Damn him for only being thirty-five.

She grudgingly got dressed, ignoring the tempting pull of her mattress. How easy it would be to just curl up and ignore the Universe but she had a job to do, one all the more difficult for the very fact that she was a woman in a male dominated World.

*Author’s Note* The Universe my protagonist finds herself in is a misogynistic one. This doesn’t reflect my personal views as I believe women can do anything just as well as men. It does, however, create tension and I do love me some tension 🙂

She tugged on her knee-high synthetic leather boots, adjusted her waist holster on her black pants, pulled on her black leather jacket over her black tank and tied her waist length purple hair in a band. This was one reason she loved The Service. They weren’t so strict on military wear and weapons. She picked up her dual HZ45’s and placed them almost lovingly in their holster. Next she placed her hypersilver blades in her boots and switch blade in the sleeve of her jacket. Lastly was the hypersilver sword strapped to her back. You can never be too careful when it came to space travel in her own modest opinion. Plus it was far more satisfying gutting someone up close and personal.

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Fear in a Handful of Dust

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Here is a guest post by yours truly exploring the concept of fear and phobias. Admittedly I have a few so I could pull from life but everyone should have a go at writing out of their comfort zone. I hope you enjoy and I hope you follow Helena for some great fiction with ooey gooey literary goodness 🙂

Thank you 🙂

dilettante factory

Join me today in welcoming the first contributor to Jessica’s Fear in a Handful of Dust writing collective – AK Hinchey.

Support new fiction, take a moment to read and comment. Contribute a story of your own.

AQUAPHOBIA – a Fear Story by AK Hinchey

Thank you.

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Going to Hell in a Handbasket

Evening lovely readers 🙂

hell in a handbasketFirst off has anyone else heard the saying in my title? I was always positive it existed but everyone around me looked at me like I’d grown a second head and started breathing purple fire. “What? Never heard of it…” “you must have made it up…” lol. Well now I can officially say that it does exist and it means that circumstances are being led to disaster. Nuh ny nuh to all those doubters lol 🙂 Anyhoo slightly off topic…

This saying does in fact relate, at least partially, to what I am doing now. I have to think of a new title for my novel. I know right? I’d rather rewrite the damn thing than rethink the title solely because my brain seems to have taken on writer’s brain block. Okay, so it’s all not going to disaster but my brain is definitely hurting right now… As some will know my novel is currently called I Cast Magic Into the Darkness. I originally chose this title to show the confusion my protagonist feels at the circumstances she finds herself in. Now I have no idea how to pick one. How the heck do I avoid falling into a stereotypical fantasy trap of a title?

Some of my favourite authors have adopted varied techniques when naming their own works. Christine Feehan opted for the more repetitive option with her Dark Carpathian series as, for example, she starts the series with Dark Prince and each book that follows begins with dark in the title. For the way the series develops this is inspired as it really adds to the effect of the darkness that each protagonist must fight against. In contrast, The Belgariad and The Mallorean series written by the exceptional David Eddings chooses a fantastical title to encompass what happens in the books in general. For example, the first book of the Belgariad series is entitled Pawn of Prophecy which aptly describes what Garion is and what his journey will be through the two series and beyond. It’s with examples like these that I wish I had the the type of genius to come up with equally epic titles.

You see my problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Love to you all. Thank you 🙂

Coming Soooonnnnnnnnn

Evening lovely readers 🙂

This is just a quick post to say I do have two posts ready to be published for your enjoyment. However, rather stupidly, I have embibed too much cider (mmmm, cider) and I want to check the posts when sober to make sure I don’t sound too much like a plonker 🙂 It’s that bad I’ve checked and rechecked this post several times. So thank you for your patience and see you tomorrow 🙂

Fantasy or Sci-Fi? Literature That Tears You in Two

Hello lovely readers 🙂

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Yep, to answer your unspoken question I am going to harp on about genre again 🙂 As many will know I like to think of myself as a bona fide fantasy nut. Any time I write I will get in something fantastical be it magic, mythical creatures or a bloody great two handed broad sword. With fantasy you’re only limited by your imagination and you can incorporate all you can think of. Although, saying that, isn’t sci fi just the same? Now I know you have set conventions for sci fi but surely they could be tweaked, okay not to add in another genre specifically but to at least draw out more from the narrative?

Now I don’t pretend to be an authority on sci fi, heaven knows I could really do with reading more of it, but I could see the potential of developing sci fi in ingenious ways (although what I’m spouting is probably sacrilage in and of itself lol). Why couldn’t there be magic amid space ships, aliens and intergalactic war? A bit of sword and sorcery amongst LAZORSSS and robotic megalomaniacal narcissistic assassins? No? Must just be my fantastical streak rearing it’s head then 🙂

I will openly admit that my experience of sci fi stems from only Anne McCaffrey’s Rowan series to J.S. Collyer‘s Zero (both exceptional by the way.) Though I will hold my hands up and say I do love Star Trek The Next Generation. What red blooded woman doesn’t have some form of crush on Patrick Stewart? That sexy voiced bald man 🙂 … anyway I digress. Though my knowledge is limited both stories drew me in in their own individual ways. With The Rowan, I was particularly drawn because a certain aspect of the narrative appealed to my fantastical side. Rowan, and others throughout the galaxies, have telepathic and telekinetic skills which allows them to operate within their own spheres. Now I can see this from the scientific side as it being the human mind progressing, developing and evolving until we are capable of such feats however these skills can be predominant in fantasy also and manifest as magic or innate skill or even demonic power.

However, I must also say Zero is written very well. J.S has pulled forth an amazing tale of adventure, intrigue, abject grief and camaraderie using so many of the intense sci fi conventions that to me it’s very reminiscent of Joss Whedon’s Firefly (see? My knowledge is limited.) It also serves to show how different writer’s minds work. J.S writes of life and adventure aboard a deceptively battered spaceship having to deal with deception, betrayal and self realisation. As she is writing she clearly paints the scene before you and expertly provides you with the scientific know how to enjoy the narrative. I personally feel overwhelmed with most sci fi but not with Zero as the balance between scientific description and the story is very well upheld. It is obvious that with the aspects of sci fi that J.S has chosen to write about it is clear that she at least has moulded them to her desire to create a thoroughly entertaining, exceptional masterpiece. I know J.S and I are into two different genre’s so shouldn’t be compared but man I wish I could write more like her 🙂

In hindsight, each person is entitled to their own love of literature and I think maybe I should just stick to my fantasy, though don’t get me wrong I’m not adverse to a little challenge and would love to at least try to write other genres 🙂 I love having my mind work to create new World’s. But don’t let my likes for fantasy persuade you, both genre’s have their own merits and are both very good 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Emotions and Over-sensitivity

Evening lovely readers 🙂

As you may have noticed it’s been a whole entire week since my last post. I have to apologise: this is because I am a little old lady in disguise… anyhoo this isn’t a venty post. Well not really. Well maybe a little. Okay, okay it’s a giant venty post lol. It’s just I’ve begun to wonder if others suffer from over-sensitivity and if it’s linked to writing; does it even have a place within the literary World?

If I were to relate this feeling to real life I would more describe it as a deluded sense of empathy towards others. I say deluded because I have no blummin clue what people are feeling or even thinking really. I will say sometimes I’ve been right especially when a close friend has been sad and upset but on the whole I wonder if it’s sensitivity just tinged with a healthy dose of paranoia crossed with my wonderful and much loved creative imagination. Put me in a room with people where there’s a history, where perhaps one person has done something that affects all the rest, then that whole deluded concoction will make me turn all the tension back on me even if it has nothing to do with me. It’s troublesome in that respect, for which I’m truly sorry, but wonderful in others.

My over-sensitivity, or as I call it my deluded empathy, I feel is handy in my writing. I’m quite proud of the fact that I feel I can relate to the emotions of a character. Granted when I well up at an ending I have written myself I may be taking it a bit too far. Technically it helps with the writing too as I feel sensitive to what I actually write, causing me to edit frequently, and to be aware of my language use. I find that each aspect of it helps in its own way and I love it all, being unwilling to apologise for that at least.

As you can see it’s a double edged sword providing both creativity and sadness. Do you find you suffer with this? I’m very proud of my writing but find some techniques just aren’t transferable to the real World.

Thank you 🙂

Lay In Wait

As I have said previously when I find something that moves me I will post it on here to tell others of the creativity I find. This time I am proud to say that the creativity itself comes from a member of my own family. This is an excerpt from my young cousin Amelia Hinchey who is showing an artistic flare that seems to far surpass my own. She is currently working on this story and I can see that it’s one to watch and want to read once ready. I’m very proud of you Amelia and all I can say is keep working on it and keep reading and writing. I’m very glad to see I’m not the only writer in the family 🙂 *Artwork is by Luis Royo*

Lay in Wait

DO NOT COPY, PASTE, EDIT,RENAME, REWRITE! (my cousins instructions bless her)

Under a school which was filled with nothing but laughter I lay in wait for another black out game… I wait for the sound of footsteps, I wait for the sound of a turning door nod. I wait for the next round to begin. The wait of wonder if it will be fists or feet this time. The wait of dreaming of a world which I can never be in… Once the door opens blood is spilled and I remember nothing… All I remember is looking into the eyes of my twisted father. His golden eyes trying to break my soul, trying to make me as black as him. I cannot die here, I have to lay in wait for freedom. A freedom I was born out of as I am a slave. And once a slave your always a slave. So I lay in wait for another day in the hell hole I call my life. Here in the dark room I live in I lay in wait of the day I am free…

My day came of freedom as hands of a murder freed me… He was kind, smart and most of all he showed me that the world is a nice place. Because of him I am free, because of him I found my lover. Because of him I can forget the days in wait as I do not have to wait anymore.

Because of him I am free, because of him my father is dead and i have my freedom..

So what do you think? 🙂

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Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.