Hello again, friends. Lindsey is here with me now and things are going wonderfully well. We're working out the usual co-habitation adjustments rather well. Be happy for us and wish us luck.
This past week has seen some strange weather here. The last remnants of one hurricane hovered nearby for the last three days, and may yet drop more rain here. Everything greened back up after the sudden end to the four weeks of near rain-free scorching heat. The air smells fresher, the dust washed out and gone. Hard to believe that summer is nearly gone. Another Fall is rolling in. Hopefully, hurricane season will draw to a close soon as well. I've seen too much tragedy this year, and despite the distance it was from me, I was still shaken.
I'm willing to bet that you can tell by now that I don't feel a rant coming on. (Grin) I'm just rambling.
I'm all ranted out about NOLA, and Iraq, and politics. I haven't turned on my TV in over a week. I can't get excited about the plan to go to Mars, because I doubt it'll ever happen. The most exciting news on that front that I've heard lately is that SpaceShipTwo is under construction. They'll launch in a year or two. Aphelion might get another good cover photo from their inflight cameras.
And once SSTwo works out, then SSThree will be close behind, and maybe I'll be able to take a sub-orbital hop over to England or such - before I'm 60.
Or the entire future could change in an instant. After all, nothing is fixed and permanent. Change is the only constant in existance. And who wants to live in a stagnant, static, unchanging universe? Bore--ing! And consider the writing lessons to be garnered from the events of just this last month. And if you thought there weren't any lessons involved, you're kidding youself. Every facet of life gets stashed in the writer's mind, to be sorted, replayed, subtly edited, and fired back out at the dreaded Blank White Page in a broadside of creativity. Not only are the events of your personal lives recycled thusly, but everything you see on the news, or read about, or hear. Part of being a writer is mixing all that together and focusing the result through the filter of storytelling. Yes, it sounds a bit like a form of mental illness, but then that's exactly what writing is, after all.
So how can all this tripe I blathered on about in the above paragraphs help the aspiring writer? It's all just unconnected ramblings from some love-sick would-be fictioneer? Right? Wrong. Look again. It's all about how different elements pop into a character's mind from all the bombardment of events in the character's fictional universe. Besides the basic "what do they look like" and "what do they sound like" there are endless background elements that can added to flesh out the discription and characterization or each of your actors on your personal stage. What do they *think* about? What is the weather like in your story? What's on the News? What are the gossip topics? What is the music like? I think you can all take it from here and apply it to how and what you write, yourselves. NOLA, Rita, Iraq, Korea, Hollywood, Politics, pop music, TV... You're characters have a life of their own, just like you do. They have infinite dimentions of characterization that you the writer can utilize in whatever blend suits your stories.
Just as no man is an island, complete unto themselves, no writer can create in a vacuum. We must live and work and play in the real world to understand it. And even more so for us to write to the best of our abilities. Everything, everywhere has an effect on us as a private individual. And as a writer, everything is fair game for us to use as daubs of paint on the pallette of our textural portraits.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...
I'd like to thank those of you who have sent e-mails or signed
into the Lettercol for your feedback. Keep those messages coming,
folks! Without those messages we will never know what we need to
improve upon. Hope you like the improvements so far!
Senior Editor, Publisher
Short Story Editor
Assistant Short Story Editor
Production Editor/Serials Editor
Assistant Serials Editor
Senior Editor Emeritus
Short Story Editor Emeritus
Serialized Stories & Novellettes
The Space Sphinx
By Edward Rodosek A mysterious monster intimidated the people on a distant planet. Peter,
a young hunter engaged to trace and kill it, fell in love with the local
biologist Pat, but that didn't hinder him of chasing the monster. When
Pat suddenly disappeared, Peter began searching her, but the outcome was
beyond anything he could have imagined.
All Professor MacFarland wanted was a pint of beer and a game of darts; what he got was something completely different in the way of entertainment.
Nightwatch: The Sin Watcher
By jaimie l. elliot What is more terrifying, the demons within or the demons without? The fate of the world hangs in the balance as Stephanie Keel confronts demons of all sorts."
A new shared universe series: Nightwatch, under the direction of Jeff Williams.
by Michael Goldberger Ladi was Jack Onger's imaginary friend. At least that's what his perpetually-arguing parents and the other kids at Jack's school thought. Unfortunately, they were wrong.
Fun House by J. Alan Brown The barker told Evan Hendrickson that the Fun House -- Smilin' Sam's Sudsy Hotel -- was a scream. Later, Evan's father Matt would discover that sometimes there is truth in advertising ...
New and Improved
by Ezra T. Gray The Prometheus implant was the latest thing -- guaranteed to make you smarter, faster, stronger, better than steroids, even better than gene therapy and 'smart drugs' combined. And it worked! Of course, there were a few effects that weren't in the brochure ...
by E. S. Strout Taking the FTL ship da Vinci through the first wormhole ever discovered was supposed to take Evans and Rundquist further and faster than any human had ever traveled -- if it didn't kill them. The results were beyond anything they could have imagined.
The Lost Days
by G. C. Dillon Time is a peculiar thing -- in some ways, purely a construct of human consciousness. So when humans change the way they reckon time, some people can get lost in the transition. The wizard Megrim hoped to rescue a few -- with the help of Tion the pixie ...
Too Much Information
by Sohrab Koohpaima They say that a little information can be a dangerous thing. But sometimes, too much information in the wrong hands can be much, much worse.
The Visions of Carlos Rivera
by Brian C. Petroziello Carlos Rivera had been a man of the people. But when the revolution he led was successful, he became a murderous dictator worse than the despot he had overthrown. Then the old Mayan priest granted him even more power -- a blessing and a curse.
Enter The Dragon
By B. H. Marks When one seeks vengeance to the exclusion of all else, one may find in the end that all the best laid plans go awry -- if one picks the Mare Inebrium as a hunting ground.
by Jim Parnell The collected wisdom of Bubba WARNING: Contains Language.
Aphelion proudly presents the installments of Double Wide all on
one page of links. We wanted to make sure that the wit and wisdom
of Bubba wasn't lost for new readers, so we made a mini-archive
list of just the Double Wide features.
And banner artwork for links. If you want to link to Aphelion and want more than a text link,
then this page is for you. Some of these banners are finished, but
most of them lack only my adding text to make them complete.
Unfinished banners can be completed and e-mailed to you within 8
days. The banner HTML code-- and image --can be e-mailed on
request, or can be more simply copied from the "View / Page
Source" option in your web browser. Finished images can be copied
from the banner artwork page itself. An exchange of links or banner
links is always welcome. Link Swap E-mail should be sent to: Dan Hollifield
A Challenge to
Writers... --8\8\2000-- Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.
Challenge 1 is the paintings of Daniel Hannaquand, Challenge 2 is a
collection of narrative hooks composed by Dan Hollifield.
Click here to see the Links Page. Our fellow E-zines, Astronomy,
research material, entertainment, and much, much more!
Aphelion IRC Chat --7\31\2003-- Information about an underused feature for Aphelion. IRC Chat is a fun
way to talk to our readers, writers, staff members, and other
netizens. This link takes you to a basic intro and provides further
links to the IRC software that you can download for free. Look for
new updates as we refine this feature.
Chat --Repaired 3\25\2003-- For a quick look at the JAVA chat client, this link launches a
new browser window that takes you to a Log-in form for a JAVA-based
chat in your browser window. No special programs are needed. This
will be a very simple, but passable IRC client, very no-frills.
This will also tell you if there's anyone else in the chatroom, by
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