Tag Archives: Destiny’s Hand

Storytelling, “People Don’t Care…

“People don’t care about an idea, but they might care about a person with an idea.”

A fictional author on the House of Cards tv show has given me this storytelling mantra.

I must hook readers with a character. They must care about him/her from the first page if not the first paragraph or even the first letter of the first word.

Blue-eyed Ishkur
His eyes are supposed to be light green and his ears pointed.


Hmm, too ambitious. How about this:

Ishkur dances for life as his audience stabs and grabs. A spontaneous performance answering an ambush that interrupted the half-elf’s revere.

I’ve written as a hobby for a long time, but now that I’m publishing refining my storytelling has become essential. I can’t get by with Nanowrimo stream of consciousness. This isn’t just therapy anymore; this is business, and I need to get better at it.

First professional attempt at storytelling.My first published book.

Destiny’s Hand hasn’t caught readers’ interest. It’s been hard to see it sit mostly unread, but I am thankful for the lesson.

Storytelling trumps setting, plot, characters, and even quality of writing. It is more important than anything else to get read. Continue reading Storytelling, “People Don’t Care…

Sandbox for the future

Eve Online interceptor in stationIn Sandbox, Eve is King

Eve Online has been my main go to game for the last five years. It is arguably the biggest and best sandbox game ever.

It has evolved my gaming interest such that I compare everything else to it. To limit it with the label “game” seems a disservice, but that I think is just because it is at the cutting edge of where entertainment is headed.

Why should anyone really care about a game?

I would argue that Eve has the best virtual economy in the world. I think working within in it and studying it provides real world value. I feel like playing the Eve Market has taught me more about real world economics than any economics class I took in high-school or college.

Continue reading Sandbox for the future

Antagonizing Human Resources

Human Resources retired the objector, forcibly

Human resources do a body goodThe absence of democracy on a ship shouldn’t be surprising. But the absence of it from a spaceship on a thousand year journey may be.

There’s also no captain, not since the human resources department took over.

They’re a major antagonist for my Destiny Exodus series.

Having human resources a villain in my book can be confusing. I try to mitigate by naming the leadership committee  superman, because it is made up of supervisors and managers. Superman ensures that passengers are happy and compliant with the rules of the ship.

Continue reading Antagonizing Human Resources

Currency of a space village

Currency within my fictional worldTooth for money, open for business

Working on my book Destiny’s Hand I struggled with the concept of currency. I wondered if money was even necessary with only a thousand people isolated for fifty generations.

My son gets a dollar a week and five dollars a tooth. He doesn’t need money. We provide his basic necessities and many amenities.

He wants money. It gives him choices. He collects it and counts it. He brushes his teeth extra to improve their value for when it’s time to trade with the tooth fairy.

Continue reading Currency of a space village

Violence lost, passive aggressive won

Mr Satan believes in violenceWhat does violence look like in a passive aggressive culture?

It is commonly understood that violence is a bad thing. I disagree. I think violence is all around us, and that it in itself isn’t a bad thing.

What’s toxic is when bullying is combined with violence. Mugging someone to steal their purse or wallet is bad. Punching a friend in the face can be good. Context has to matter with something so sweeping.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines violence as:

The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

Their definition makes it sound terrible, and I’m glad it is declining worldwide. But, is passive aggressive conflict rising to take its place? And, is it politically correct of me to ask?

As the mighty Vegeta said:

It will take more than head games to stop me. You may have invaded my mind and my body, but there is one thing a Saiyan always keeps. HIS PRIDE!

The novel (Destiny’s Hand) I’m working on takes place in a future setting far advanced down a path of non-violence. This does not mean life in it is fair or healthy. For better and worse, a passive aggressive culture won and rules.

A slap can be very honest.

Continue reading Violence lost, passive aggressive won

Possibly Dogs In Space?

I’ve decided to enhance the presence of pets, particularly dogs, in the setting of my book Destiny’s Hand.

Ipo my dog, a brave little sweetheartI got a dog at four.

Her short name was Ipo, “Sweetheart” in Hawaiian.

Her full name meant “brave little sweetheart”; I don’t remember the Hawaiian.

She was my friend when I was alone in Fern Forest on an island with volcanic sunsets and a Green Sand Beach.

She wasn’t a pet. She was family.

Continue reading Possibly Dogs In Space?

Political Experience Prepared The Generation Ship

Political reality in a space village.

A tube of air, dirt, and water, of flora, fauna, and people, Ship Of Destiny’s habitat would spew very organic paste if squeezed hard enough.

Jacksonville, representing a political village.Destiny’s Hand is a story based in a spaceship that will take fifty generations to arrive at its destination.

I’ve imagined that with a target population of only a thousand to maintain, life on the ship is something like life in a village or a very insular group within a city.

Varied experience with small political landscapes makes me comfortable writing fiction with related themes, especially passive aggressive power struggles.

“I have political experience” is like saying “I’m an American” abroad.

Continue reading Political Experience Prepared The Generation Ship

“Need to work on my dialogue tags,” I groaned.

Bird Vacuum“Dialogue—Ouch, my OCD,” said editor

Some dialogue from my draft:

“The peace makers have successfully vacuumed up the hummingbird.” The pleasant female voice pauses then continues. “And are requesting that it be expunged into space.”

Adjusted to:

“The peace makers have successfully vacuumed up the hummingbird,” says a pleasant female voice, “and are requesting that it be expunged into space.”

Barely six pages into my Destiny Hand’s doc before a friendly editor student had an aneurysm.  Apparently I’ve developed, refined even, some bad grammar over the decades.

And she said,”Commas are your FRIENDS

Continue reading “Need to work on my dialogue tags,” I groaned.

Artificial Intelligence in my fiction, insanicide

I love the idea of anthropomorphizing machines. I love the idea of taking technology and giving it a personality.

-J. J. Abrams

Artificial intelligence (AI) has an allure, something like the desire for a loyal pet.

artificial intelligence toybox
As children maybe we wanted a toy to talk back.  A little human but not too much, they must always be available.

They can have a life of their own, so long as they’re back in their box before we notice.

From the beginning I wanted a main character of Destiny’s Hand to be an AI.

The book I’m currently writing, Destiny’s Hand, takes place within a rather large spacecraft called Ship Of Destiny.  As the journey is intended to last a fair number of human generations, I thought it made sense for there to be artificial intelligences available to assist and maintain continuity.
Continue reading Artificial Intelligence in my fiction, insanicide

Here’s A Novel Idea-People Decide To Die In Space

It’s a special kind of idea that sticks enough to motivate a book.  I got stuck, while chatting at work one day, with the idea of daily life in a generation ship.

It’s been done before but….

Spaceships that take generations to travel anywhere is not a novel idea, but I hope my story will be.  The theme of it has attracted me since I was a kid.

Sometime in high school I started imagining we all might be living virtual lives as entertainment, while in stasis in space, and that when we “died” we’d wake up and remember who we really were.  Now I’m writing about people on a life boat entangled in a power struggle that’s corrupted their values.  There is a connection there, but it’s subtle.
Continue reading Here’s A Novel Idea-People Decide To Die In Space