Make It Your Own

Apparently I missed a day with the recent reblogs so here’s a little catch-up. WARNING: If you haven’t read the following stories, they are available on Amazon and of course, I highly recommend them. 😉

Those of you who know me know that I am a huge fan of original creative works and by original, I mean the execution of an idea using the Writer’s own style and voice.

The Title of this particular article is “Make It Your Own”. It refers to an old saying where you take something that may have been coined by someone else and use it as part of your personal identity. As I have been known to do in The Past, I like to put my own spin on things.

For Example, when I wrote Corona, I took the garden variety Ghost Story in a Hotel and added a twist by making it more high-tech in nature. In essence, I made the idea of supernatural goings-on my own.

In Vessel, I took a Detective Story and set it in The Future with Spaceships and Aliens along for additional flavor.

In The Three Safeties, I took the trusty Time Travel Story and added my own particular spin on it.

Ideas are free game. Only the execution determines how individual to the Writer they become. I’ve always found it helpful to think of Beef Stew. The dish is a very simple and basic recipe to follow, but there is probably an infinite diversity in what you can add to it. Ideas are the same thing.

Remember to season to taste. 🙂


Vessel: Far and Away

Finally, I’ll round out the Big Three with a discussion on Vessel and how it applies to the subject of Alternate Realities. Got your popcorn handy? Good. Here we go.

Vessel is unlike Corona and The Three Safeties in a number of important ways. Here are a few highlights:

1) Time Period: Vessel starts ten years after the start of the 22nd Century, placing it in the Year 2110.
2) Place: New Jacksonville, Florida, in an underground city constructed shortly after a devastating twin asteroid strike known as The Geminis.
3) Aliens: Yes, there are aliens. The Sristi are our first known alien contact in this reality and they want to help us in return for a supply of silicon. In other words, they want our sand, which we have in abundance and is just laying around doing nothing.

Vessel’s significance in an alternate reality context is obvious. We know no aliens in our reality, we haven’t been struck by any asteroids in recent history enough to cause any nuclear winters, and as far as I know, there are no underground city shelters.

The common divergence point between Vessel and our reality is when The Geminis strike Earth in 2100. Up to that point, which has not been explored yet, the two realities are identical with the same historical events and the same strengths and weaknesses.

Another major difference between Vessel’s Reality and our own would have to major changes in technology, social order, and political systems. Due to extreme circumstances, it could be assumed that the systems of government we use today were extensively overhauled to deal with governing a new world and new conditions. Remember that I am conjecturing since I haven’t revisited this world in a very long time.

Maybe I should, huh? 🙂

The Three Safeties: Time and Place

While I was preparing to write these new articles, it struck me that I had placed Corona and The Three Safeties in the same story universe.

This is a good thing because no matter how you slice it, both stories expand on an alternate reality that is very much like our own, yet divergent in areas such as technology and ground level historical events.

This is the second time I’ve used the term “Ground Level” in this context. What do I mean by it? I see History as three effect levels:

1) Outer Level: Major World Events that have a primary global effect.
2) Secondary Level: Lower level events that have a secondary global effect.
3) Ground Level: Events that may never have any effect on a level other than localized due to secrecy or some other mediating influences.

The Three Safeties tends to start at the Ground Level, but due to an extraordinary change, elevates itself to the Outer Level before a correction pulls it back to Ground Level.

This is one of the joys of Fiction.

The Three Safeties takes place in roughly the same time period as Corona in an alternate reality Present. The relative level of technology is virtually identical to our own except for some advanced technology that is kept secret. The setting is Delores Cove, Maryland, a fictional seaside town located somewhere along the Chesapeake Bay area on the East Coast of the United States.

Hint: The Three Safeties is a pilot of sorts that I intended to build a series around. Nick Carver would investigate various mysteries that had historical implications. Not written it yet, but blogging about it has rekindled (no pun intended) my interest.

Corona: Where and When?

When discussing alternate realities, it is important to understand a few basic concepts:

1) How does the alternate reality distinguish itself from our own?
2) How radical are the changes in the alternate reality versus our own?
3) Does the alternate reality share a common divergence point with our own?
4) Where does the alternate reality split from our own and become its own separate entity?

Corona is almost a complete copy of our own reality. The larger world history is the same, the major figures are the same, and the places are the same.

However, go to the ground level and you will find differences in technology, some physical attribute changes, and a lot of people and organizations that don’t exist in our reality. For example:

Knowles and Grazzini: Two gentlemen that don’t exist in our reality who work as professional investigators for an organization that also does not exist.

The Fuller Foundation: A philanthropic organization that is dedicated to making the world a better place by fighting Evil and preserving Peace. While they have a public face, many activities are performed in secret and never revealed to the public at large.

Corona’s Alternate Reality diverges from our own in the year 1971, where advanced technology was developed in secret but never revealed to the world at large. You won’t find that information in the book so don’t bother looking…hehe. I’ll probably reveal that in a future sequel. 😉

Vessel: Title or Something Else?

Truth be told, Vessel was not my first choice for a title. Shocked? Don’t be. Titles rank near the bottom of creative things that I obsess over when working on a story and I was pressed to come up with something other than “Untitled SF/Adventure Story”.

Why Vessel then?

I wanted something catchy that would grab a reader’s attention. Let’s face it, I don’t have the budget to make splashy covers so I have to put the emphasis on creative wordage. Vessel is a story about spaceships, aliens, and crime so it made a cockeyed sort of sense to draw on the idea of the main characters being the ‘vessel’ to take the reader from one point in the story to the next.

Make sense? Doesn’t have to. In the end, the title worked for the story and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Although, I have adopted a more selective approach in title naming for future stories.

Have a great day and much love. 🙂

The Three Safeties: What does it mean?

The Three Safeties’ title was a small departure from my usual title naming habit of picking one-word titles. Why? Because the story demanded that I go with my gut and pick a title that not only caught the eye but made potential readers ponder its significance.

Without going into too much detail, the title is a direct spotlight on a scene that takes place in the story. Does it have any other special meaning? Sure it does and I’ll give you this little spoiler-like definition.

On a .45 caliber automatic handgun, there are three safeties. One is a selector switch, the second is a half-cock where the firing hammer at the end of the slide is placed in a position where it cannot strike the back of the bullet, and finally the third is located at the pistol’s muzzle. Press that in and the weapon will not be able to fire due to something with the action.

There you go, mystery solved.