mary_j_59: (mug)
I know; it’s been a long time, but I’m finally back, and with a new, very green recipe just in time for St. Patrick’s day! This will serve four aunties for a breakfast dish, or eight reluctant small boys. It’s quick and very simple if you can find frozen broccoli rabe.

Read more... )
mary_j_59: (mug)
Ah, technobabble! You’re happily watching some science fiction show or movie, and some character comes out with a string of incomprehensible syllables. For example:

“Captain, the phase inverters have reached 2000 degrees kelvin. If we don’t reverse their polarities, they will implode!” (* Please note: I made up that example on the fly. I think it’s nonsense even for technobabble.)

“Huh?” you say to yourself. Then, if the writers have done their job, you’ll either say to yourself, “Oh, I see. Their engine is overheating, and they need coolant,” or else you’ll just ignore the technobabble and focus on the story. If, however, the writers have not done their job, you will get annoyed.

Of course, each reader, writer, and viewer has a different tolerance for technobabble, and a different idea of what might make it especially good, or especially bad. I’d guess that, for most of us, it’s usually especially bad. Can there be a way to write it well?

I think there might be. I’m going to preface this by saying I have no desire to feed the flames of the Star Trek versus Star Wars arguments. I like them both. To be absolutely accurate, I am a passionate Niner, love the original Trek, like Next Generation, and also like the first three Star Wars movies. It’s quite possible to love both Trek and Star Wars. It’s also quite possible to get annoyed by technobabble in both franchises!Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Deirdre)
Here's a picture of the actual stew, which I cooked during the blizzard. The recipe follows:

Kassin Harbor Bean Stew

Ingredients:
1 lb (about 400 grams) dried beans, or two large cans.
4 shallots, 2 sweet red peppers, I yam or sweet potato, ½ to 1 bulb fennel.
4-8 oz (100 to 250 grams) salt fish (I’ve used both pollock and cod.)
1-2 tablespoons olive, canola, or good quality oil. 3 or 4 teaspoons curry powder, at least 2 teaspoons cumin, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, a clove or two, hot red pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste. You may substitute an onion for the shallots, green pepper or celery for the fennel, and you may add 1-4 cloves garlic if you like it. The fish is optional, too; you can substitute ground meat or simply make a vegetarian version. Read more... )
mary_j_59: (portrait)
I went to the Unicorn Writer’s conference on Saturday and had a lot of fun. One excellent class was given by Paul Witcover. He asked us to write a tourist brochure for an imaginary setting, and this is what I came up with.



For those who love the wildest wildlife in our part of the galaxy, Sekkess can't be missed. The gentle, generous and intelligent Sekkessians will be sure to make your stay comfortable. You will live in houses among the treetops, with a clear view of the greenish sky and Sekkess' one small moon. You will hear birdsong and rushing rivers and feast on leni fruit and other delightful Sekkessian cuisine. But the high point of your stay will surely be your first view of a dragon. Sekkessian monitors, or dragons, are three times the size of the monitors on terra, with gorgeous iridescent scales. To view a hunting monitor is an extraordinary experience you will surely never forget. Be sure, however, to attend to your Sekkessian guide at all times and enjoy the dragons from a safe distance. Beautiful and unique though they are, Sekkessian dragons are wild animals and they can be very dangerous. You will be perfectly safe if you stay on the treetop paths or inside your mobile viewing dome.
mary_j_59: (Honor)
[Poll #1960395]I promise, I'll stop playing with polls now! And I really do appreciate everyone's feedback - especially those of you who haven't read the book. Thanks very much to all of you.
mary_j_59: (Honor)
So - what is Science Fiction, anyway?

I really do wonder! You see, I'm the kind of person who instantly says, "Science Fiction" when you ask me what genre "incarceron" falls into. But my sister insists that book is fantasy, and I'd guess most of the world agrees with her, and not with me. (I LOVE "Incarceron" and "Sapphique, by the way. If you haven't read them yet, you really should.)
Klingons on enterpriseRead more... )
mary_j_59: (kiril sword)
Hi, everyone! Here is the revised first chapter of HONOR, which I'm posting at my lovely beta readers' urging. Thanks, Deirdrej and Anne_Arthur! I do think it's much better than it was before the rewrites.

Read more... )
mary_j_59: (cover)
My sister and I are having a bit of a debate. She hates the word "holocam", which sounds, to her, too much like something from Star Trek I rather like it. At least it makes clear that it's a camera, and from the future. But what do you think? Should I change this word? If so, to what?
[Poll #1836699]
mary_j_59: (library)
I have, as some of you know, two WIPs going at once. HONOR is (I truly think) nearing completion, after several rewrites. I need to do a little more trimming and revising of the latter third, and this is where these come from.

As they left the sickbay, a tall man scowled and muttered something, and Kiril shoved Kennet behind him and reached for the knife at his belt - but it was gone. “Kiril?” Kennet whispered.

“It’s all right,” Kiril answered, and tried to make himself believe it, so that Kennet would, as well. But he could feel himself shaking. How could he protect his brother and cousin, weaponless and surrounded by enemies? Then Donahue stepped forward.


I'd love to know what those (few) who know the story think of that! I think it helps, as far as it goes. And - okay. Just a touch more from the dragons:

I must say, it’s rather hard to read. Look,” and lady Ash held the book out to Verity. “Can you make it out at all?”

Verity peered at the open page in front of her and then laughed. “Her writing was awfully scraggly, wasn’t it? Worse than father’s. I think it says something about combing sulfur?”
mary_j_59: (girl)
With much thanks for the input of Mike Mullin, Deirdrej, my Dad and a few others who commented on various boards, I've rewritten the query once again. Here it is - and this time, I really do think I've got it. I'm never going to please everyone, and am a little sad at what I've had to leave out, but I think this does represent the book well. I particularly like that the shape of the query echoes the shape of the book. :) Read more... )
mary_j_59: (cover)
Hi, everyone. Deirdrej and I have been working some more on the query - before sending it to more agents, I want to be sure it's as strong as it possibly can be. Here it is - would be glad to get some opinions. (We are both a bit sad to lose Niki, who is such a big part of the story - but you don't have to tell the whole story in the query, do you?)

Note: I rewrote this, after all. So I have pasted the new query below this one. I think it may be there!

Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Deirdre)
Well, yesterday I got my first official rejection from an agent. Of course, I felt (and feel) a little sad, but not as much so as I had expected. Then again, it's only the first rejection! But - Read more... )
mary_j_59: (kiril sword)

Honor1
Originally uploaded by maryj59

It's little Kiril, with a nod to Niki! This is so cool! I think I want to make an icon of it, if Deirdre's okay with that. Note - I just did.

mary_j_59: (cover)
And I would appreciate some feedback, if it's okay to ask! Just skip this if you are not interested. A brief taste of my novel is under the cut. Read more... )
mary_j_59: (honor)
I still have a long way to go, but I finished the first draft of Honor this morning. It ended up just under 80 thousand words - so just about twice as long as I expected it to be. And I learned an awful lot from the process. More on that later.

Rewriting starts tomorrow; I have to rewrite one chapter pretty extensively and clean up two or three others slightly before I have a really good draft. Then I can start looking for agents.
mary_j_59: (Default)
This is the first part of the first chapter, for those who were interested in seeing how the story would progress.

Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
This is the first part of an original fic I've had in mind for some time. David, if you're still checking in, I'd be glad to hear how you like it. Of course, everyone else is very welcome to comment, too!

About 600 words, g-rated, no warning, but, since it's SF, probably not to everyone's taste. This is the prologue to a novel (hopefully). The working title is "Honor" and the main characters are a 15 year old girl and 16 year old boy. More after the cut:

Read more... )

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