Monday, November 30, 2009

I Dream of Mars

I dream of Mars. Since I was a young boy reading science fiction, I have dreamed of going to, and living on Mars. Fueled by books and movies, news reports of space probes, my interest in Mars has never wavered.

My first career choice was Astronaut. I went to college originally in Aerospace Engineering for two years at the University of Colorado, Boulder. However, in my freshman year my vision degraded below acceptable Air Force Standards and I changed majors, but my interest in space and Mars, has remained high.

Many books have been written about Mars from Edgar Rice Burroughs to Greg Bear, and I have read most of them over the years. Here is a brief list of books,  which I consider the most interesting.

The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
The War of the Worlds - H G Wells
A Princess of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs
Moving Mars - Greg Bear
Mars - Ben Bova
Return to Mars - Ben Bova
Red Mars - Kim Stanly Robinson
Mars Life - Ben Bova
Mars Crossing - Geoffrey A. Landis
The Day the Martians Came - Frederik Pohl
The Empress of Mars - Kage Baker
Blood Red Sphere - Lawrence Barker

And of course dozens of others, read by me in the last 50 years!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Latest Read: "Blood Colony" , by Tananarive Due

Sort of interesting plot and subject, "Blood Colony" is what I would call African-American Science Fiction.  The premise is that an African, 2000 years ago receives the majic "living blood" of Christ, drained from him at the crucifiction.  This living blood cures disease and give immortality.  Unfortunately there is a second group of evil whitemen from Rome who also have the blood, and want to destroy the black folks who have it.  Uh huh.

Evidently, this is the third novel on the subject, and combines a lot of historical and biblical history  woven into the plot.

Overall, I liked it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Last Weeks Reads

"The Empress of Mars", by Kage Baker

"Storm Cycle", by Iris Johansen

"Terminal Freeze", by Lincoln Child

"Outdoor survival Guide", by Randy Gerke

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Creative Writing Techniques


Creative writing is one of the easiest forms of literature. You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, basically anything goes. Anyone can learn to write creatively. However there are some creative writing techniques to keep in mind that will help make writing easier for you.

Some of the most important techniques for writing are; point of view, dialogue, flashbacks, foreshadowing, and description.

Point of view is important because you need to pick how you are relaying the story. Are you going to have a narrator? Who will it be? Will it be an omniscient character? Will you tell your story in third person, first person?

Before you begin to write your short story or novel, it's essential to establish who the main characters are and how the story will be relayed.

Most creative writing stories have dialogue. This is where one or more characters are needed. Think of using inner dialogue to convey your characters thoughts, and think of conversations that will help move your story along. It's smart to keep dialogue fast flowing and natural, and it needs to serve a purpose. If you just have talking to talk, the reader will quickly get bored.

Flashbacks are a great way to explain something in the past while keeping your story in the present. Flashbacks are usually used when something happened in the characters past that's important to the story. If it's not useful, don't mention it.

Foreshadowing is similar to flashback, but it deals with the future. Foreshadowing is used when you want to hint about something that may happen in the future. Many authors use subtle hints to keep the reader engaged and to hint at a certain outcome or event in the future.

The last important technique when creative writing is description. Description is needed to build the mood, setting and timeline. This technique is tricky because you need to know when it's too much description and not enough.

By mastering these writing techniques, your writing will be a lot more polished, and you may be closer to landing a publishing contract.

Good luck.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sarcasm......The Ultimate Humor!

Basic research is what I'm doing, when I don't know what I'm doing.

Don't trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and doesn't die.

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

I like work, It fascinates me! I can sit and look at it for hours.

I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather... not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

I'm not sure what's wrong... But it's probably your fault!

Join the Army, meet interesting people, kill them.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak.

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun.

Sometimes I just sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.

Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.

The number one problem in our country is apathy, but who cares!

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Scents Bring Inspiration For Writing

by: Thomson Chemmanoor

Inspirational writing is a part and parcel of the art of writing. Inspiration is indeed needed for writing. Without any inspiration, it is quite difficult to get ideas and thoughts to write. This is more so for articles or written matter that is more dependent on imagination, than facts. So follow these tips to get some hints on the secret of inspirational writing!

Whenever you feel stressed out or blocked while writing, it is most important to perhaps go for a short break or have a change of scenery. This helps a lot as the mind feels diverted, and refreshed, to start afresh on your writing, and thus produce inspirations for your writing! If you have the habit of typing your first drafts, it is better to hand write them for a change. Feel the difference once the ink of the pen melts into the paper while you let your creativity flow! Inspiration abounds here.

If you feel too stressed or tired of writing, flip through magazines and books. This is because the colors and ideas found in the magazines provide inspiration to spark your attitude. The colors blue and green greatly reduce your stress levels by thirty percent or more, and thus provide scope for inspirational writing. Aromatherapy is great for providing inspirations to you. To do this, you have to add strong scents to the room with lightly scented candles or perhaps take a stroll down to a store that is heavily scented. Or else, find an orange or strawberry, and smell it. The smell is certain to bring about a change in your mood and trigger inspiration in you. All this is possible because smells have always been known to awaken the creativity in you and also trigger memories of stories from the past. These old stories can provide the base for your new stories!

For real life inspiration, you may also try seeing or renting an inspirational movie during your relaxation time. Take a notebook along too if required to record the inspirational phrases in the movie. You can then later pen down thoughts related to these inspirational phrases. Reading poetry is also known to help spark creativity in you. The rhymes and wordings kindle memories and inspiration for the author in you. Reading books too help in this way. It’s hard to believe, but just looking at bold and bright colors for a few minutes too provides the necessary inspiration for you to write! This is because these colors change your mood, and thus makes you more relaxed to think up something to write upon. Change your vibration energy by doing something to switch yourself into high gear. Try taking a shower, going for a walk or turning on the music and dancing naked for a while! All these movements are sure to give you some inspiration to think of and to write about.

Talking with friends about the topic you are writing about also brings out some inspiration in you as it helps in fleshing out ideas and creativity in you. You could perhaps record your conversation, with their permission, and then play it back later to check the nuances that you may have missed. If you have no close friends near you, you could always write an email to your friend, wherever he is, to tell him /her what exactly you intend to accomplish. And that you are stuck and need some inspiration for moving on in your writing. You are sure to get an answer for the email, to help you in your writing. If you have the financial capacity, you could always get a virtual assistant to do the typing for you so that you are free to draw inspiration from the surroundings to continue your writing. You could perhaps fax your writing, or dictate the matter into the computer and then send the voice file for transcription.

God always provides us with inspiration in whatever we do. So to rekindle this inspiration, it is quite beneficial to go to the church for the noon service and whisper a prayer or two. You are sure to feel your energy reconnected with the universe to help you replenish whatever it is that might be missing. Keeping the thought of being grateful for whatever it is that you have, and not for what you are missing, gives you inspiration too. This is because you learn to appreciate what you have, and don’t feel dejected. Dejection tends to lead to depression, and depression, means no completion of your writing! Laugh, and the world laughs, it is often said. And how true it is. Some authentic, raw laughter really frees the psyche, to start the inspiration and creativity wheel moving!

If you are used to writing in a quiet place, make a change and go to a noisy place, like McDonald’s to write. This is because once the place is noisy, you tend to need more concentration and inspiration to go on with the writing process. On the contrary, going for a long, quiet and leisurely drive while listening to your favorite CD too helps to provide inspiration. Sing out of tune, for the sake of relaxing, and see how much inspired you can get! Use your creativity, and your inspiration, to produce a piece of writing that is very much interesting and beneficial for all to read!

About The Author

Thomson Chemmanoor is a webmaster and a search engine optimization expert who operates the following websites, and