Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beyond the Chasm of Time


Front Cover under construction

*2 July 2014*
     Some people will probably not like this, but I have decided to try and rewrite my first two books into one complete novel; something I've been planning on doing for the last year. I won't give any hints on the changes that will be happening to the storyline, but this new book will exceed 100,000 words in size; my largest undertaking to date.
     In the time since they were first published, I've written several other stories and have hopefully gotten better at it. As I've mentioned before, I've been wanting to do this for sometime and decided to tackle it now.
     I haven't taken the time to work on the front cover; that was another thing that I've learned, sometimes less is more. Those first two covers were a great learning experience and I definitely went overboard on the second one. This time I'll take my time on coming up with a very appropriate but simple visual experience. How's that for some sophisticated words?

     The title alone was hard to come up with because the original three were so descriptive; I needed something new and fresh.

     Right now I'm part way through the first merge and slightly appalled at the number of mistakes I made in those first two manuscripts. Grammar was not my strong suit in school but I learn best by doing and I've been doing a lot of that lately.
     The most time consuming part of these first two stories was keeping all of the multiple parts of the story in proper order. In "For Lorne", it was getting the dates in the journal entries to match up with the ages of the people involved. I had several sheets of paper laid out with time lines to keep the events in order. Not only that, I had to create the family trees for all of the families involved with notes as to where and when they entered into the plot.

     With "The 5th Agent", it became even more challenging; in one place I actually had to duplicate the dialogue for both sides of an event as the two separate parts came together.
     If you're big on a lot of science fiction mixed in with a few characters you will probably be disappointed. Don't get me wrong here, the SF portion is the main part behind the story but not as dominant in the storyline as the political intrigue and mystery.

*22 July 2014*
This rewrite/compilation is nearly complete and is enough different than the preceding works to stand on its own. You will also notice that I've changed the title back to its original one. Don't get me wrong, either title will work but it's my painful decision to make.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The House of Ezram

These ideas pop out of my head at the oddest times. Sometimes they become just a title on my list of things to do; if I ever get the time! This particular one has not only made it onto my list of titles, but has also become an incomplete short story. Now, that's not a bad thing, it just means that there are more ideas than what I think should fit into a short story. No, that's still not a bad thing, I've already pushed the word count above 5k words and there's still a lot of story line to come. Right now it fits very nicely into a serial type of layout. That means that if it were to be published in one of the Sci Fi magazines it would appear one episode at a time with an ending that leaves you wondering what happens next.

Again, the story has morphed from my first concepts into something a little bit longer than a short story. For those of you that have read "Farmer in the Sky" by RA Heinlein, that ending just left me begging for a sequel.

I don't have a cover thought out yet, that will depend a lot on where the story goes, I've barely begun to tell the story of Hugo Winton and The House of Ezram.

6/2/2014 I really should learn to date these entries.
Well, the story has been completed and it rounded out at 27K words, and by definition classified as a Novella. That's fine with me, there were some things more I could have put in but it would just have dragged from there. This has a very pleasing ending, especially for the romantics.
I've just finished a major edit resolving issues between the different sections; there is still one thread that hasn't been completely fixed yet, and I'll probably find a few more misspelling and inconsistent tense. Two more edits should do it.
The working title is still "The House of Ezram" and all of the characters have been fully defined. More later!

10 June 2014
"The House of Ezram" has now been published on smashwords.com. just under 28K words it qualifies as a Novella in size. I feel that the story is a complete standalone entity even though I could have added all sorts of follow on parts, they would only weigh it down. The story should leave you guessing how things turn out, but still feel like its finished. True, I could have added more about the perceived villain, but that wasn't the purpose. The whole purpose of the story was always about Hugo and Sally, the setting only served to make things difficult between them. In all, I think that purpose has been achieved. Will there be a sequel? Maybe.

M. L. Humphrey

Friday, April 25, 2014

Short Stories of all types

Short Stories of all types is really very ambiguous, don't you think? I have a list of several short story titles such as: "Mr. Klien's other Bottle", Mr. McDonalds Magical Miniature Zoo", "Holding cell", and "The Doctor and Mr. Jones". The first two are titles that peaked my imagination and for now just take up a little bit of memory on my hard drive. Of the second two, "Holding Cell" is a rather bizarre tale that seems to have no beginning, no end, and no purpose; it just is a place I know of near where I grew up at a time before I lived there; that is before the road was paved, probably about 1946. Maybe some day I'll do something with it. The last one, "The Doctor and Mr. Jones" is completed, it is very short and was meant to shock the reader. That is if you don't figure it out before you get to the end.

This next entry is an idea I woke up with one morning and it tormented me constantly until I wrote it down. I think the title tells it all, it is a fantasy story taking place in the kingdon of King Fortane involving a reporter named Morley whose assignment is to interview the Dungeon Master. I put this together in less than a week.

"INTERVIEW WITH THE DUNGEON MASTER"
This is my first excursion into the world of fantasy as you may well guess by the title. Mr. Gabble, an editor for the local paper in the kingdom of King Fortane, has been given the assignment of doing a feature piece based on an interview with the Master of the King's Dungeon. Now you may think this seems like an easy task, but Morley had no idea where the dungeon was or how to get there. But he knows someone who may. That's when the fun begins as Morley literally drops into the dungeons to find himself face to face with the real Master of the Dungeon, Sergeant Klugg. Together they descend through the several levels as the sergeant gives him the grand tour. Find out what happens to our hapless hero as he tries to survive the 'Interview with the Dungeon Master'.
Available now at www.smashwords.com.


"UNCLE PHID'S CLOSET"
I started writing this one under a different name, and as yet I don't have it completely ironed out. The story begins in 1927 before fast forwarding to the 1950's before jumping back in time to 1927 again. No, this is not time travel, but a story spanning generations. The main characters are Phineus Edwards and his grandson Jerry. It's a little rough right now, but it's as good, if not better, than many of the short stories I've read over the past 50 years.I'll report further when I iron a few more wrinkles out of it.


"HIGH JACKED"
My next idea for a short story is tentatively labeled "High Jacked". And, with any early project, that may change as the story unfolds. Unlike my recent excursions into the many aspects of the realm of science fiction, this story derives from two main sources, the movie "UP" and a Monty Python short  entitled "The Crimson Permanent Assurance", and resembles neither one of them or maybe I should say I added a nightmarish twist as I mangled the two entirely separate sources into a story about a young couple and an old house. Of course I will mix in a few 'wee folk' just to make it seem real.
How's it coming, you may ask? Well, let's just say that I've made some notes and created the necessary folders on my computer, so I've committed space at least, for now I'll start writing notes and see where it leads me.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Galactic Quest: [book 5 of The Cornish Talisman Series]

SPOILER ALERT! Don't read this unless you've already read the first three books in the series.

Let us begin with the situation that Admiral Jasom Kingston finds himself in at the end of book 3: Return to Earth. I'll leave the major details out.

- He has managed to escape from Garlo, with the help of Holly's father, by stealing their flyer; that's a lose end that will have to be taken care of.
- Garlo's stepson Jared was rescued from Obehail using Jasom's flyer after Obehail set the barn on fire. Obehail's body has been found in the wreckage of Jasom's burned out barn and Jasom's old nemesis Herbert Dressler. This man is not only the truant officer and high school gym teacher, he is also the fire chief and the local sheriff. He's everywhere and into everything, and still suspicious of Jasom.
- His high school buddy is getting married, and he has just proposed to Arial.
- Back on the Cornish Talisman and against his mothers wishes, he now must meet with the Ambassador as well.
- What more could happen to our hero?

Well, as hero's go, Jasom has found himself in quite a position with things definitely not going as planned. But wait! What plan did he have to begin with?

Well, that is quite a bit to start with, but I've also added in a lose end left over from "The Crystal Crowns" dealing with the order itself. Have you noticed anything strange about the order yet? You should have, I've alluded to it often enough, and no I'm not going to explain it here, you'll have to read the book to find out what it is.

2 July 2014
No, I haven't finished this story yet! But it's on the burner, even though I've written two short stories and a novelette in the meantime. It is still on my mind as I work my way through to finish it. I have the ending down and several of the plot twists that happen in between. I'm having a little trouble with resolving all of his issues in the beginning. The plot is firm, but I'm overloaded with details!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Betrayal on Gruentok [Book 4: The Cornish Talisman Series]

Temporary book cover




This is the fourth installment in The Cornish Talisman series and picks up, time wise, shortly after the end of The Crystal Crowns. It is mainly the story about Marja Thoma-si and her son Varden. The first half of the book tells the story of the ill fated expedition of Marja and her husband Wilys Qwen on the unexplored world of Relkin 5. Relkin 5 was suspected of being one of the worlds of the Predecessors, a fact only known to a select few of the Council of Evensett. Any explorers unlucky enough to pick one of these worlds faced a short future.

After being landed on the planet they found very little of interest except for an ever present grass underfoot. That is, until they ventured into the mountain valleys to the east of their base camp. High above, nestled within a high mountain valley, they came upon a city in ruins not shown in any of the scans of the planet. Slowly they ventured through the ruins, looking for any indication as to who had lived here and how long it had been abandoned. But whoever had lived there had taken everything with them when they left, the place was completely deserted.

Then, one day while they were searching through one of the ruins, they discovered a stairway that led down into the bowels of the mountain. At the bottom of the stairway they found a network of mono rails leading off into darkened tunnels with no indication as to their destination. However, one of the monorails was different; larger and heavier it led directly underneath the mountain. What they found in there was a dormant installation. Things would have gone according to plan, but certain members of the council had planted a spy within their party, and on hearing of the find a ship was sent to collect it. Marja would have been a casualty as well had she not already been sent home when they found out about the spy.

Many years later, after the council members that were involved had been eliminated, Admiral Qwen, who was also Wilys' grandfather, asked Marja to revisit the planet to discover what, if anything, remained. For protection, Admiral Qwen also assigned a small gunboat, to work with the expedition and provide security and protection. But, even within the Admiral's navy there are plots within plots, is there another plant within the crew, the expedition, or both?

This time Marja found things that were not discovered the first time she visited the planet. There was much that the first expedition hadn't had the time to find. Marja's main focus had been to find out what had happened to her husbands expedition and exact revenge for his death. But, was there anyone left to exact that revenge upon? Did any of the expedition survive?

1/28/2014 - First let me say that I have been working on this manuscript, but it has been slow going. I can liken this to painting myself into a corner and having to devise a way of walking on the ceiling to get out. No, it hasn't been that bad, really. I have had to revisit the first book in the series, The Orphan from Space" doing final edits on the manuscript for paperback publication and it has diverted a lot of time and attention from this endeavor. Fear not, I will finish it, somehow. And then I will get more involved with book 5 which is called (at least right now) Galactic Quest. For now, be patient, it will be done by summer; or else. MLH

2/9/2014 - I have resumed work on Betrayal  on Gruentok after spending a lot of time editing The Orphan from Space for republication (see blog on The Orphan from Space). The first half is done, as is the ending, now I just have to fill in the last section that leads up to the ending. Then there will be a few full length edits before I will consider it finished. I was further hampered by changing computer systems and reinstalling my word processor program. I still don't have it setup the way I want it but it will do for now. Who knows, maybe I'll just get used to it the way it is.   MLH

March 2014 - Manuscript has been submitted to smashwords for processing, only had to redo a couple of minor things. So, yes, it is now ready for you to look over. I will say this about this story; unlike the three previous stories, this one does not fold back into the main Jasom storyline; at least not within the time frame of this book. I might refer to it from some future storyline, but that is TBD.

If you've read the book you will find details that fill in some of the background for The Crystal Crowns, the second story in this series.

If you would like to make comments on this or any of my other stories, use my facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/TheCornishTalisman?ref=hl


Friday, November 15, 2013

Colony - [book 3 of the Time Chasm Series]




This is a place holder for Colony, book 3 of the Time Chasm Series.

11/14/2013
For those of you wondering what it is about, I can tell you this much: I have started writing it but have temporarily lost focus on where I want it to go with it.

Colony continues the storyline from where book 1: Empire, and book 2: Flight leave off, delving into the everyday lives of the few hundreds of colonists abandoned on a strange primeval world and fleeing from a volcanic eruption that has claimed the lives of two of their leaders. The growing rift between the older and younger factions that form as they struggle to learn how to live off the land.

Over the next few years their numbers have slowly slipped due to the occasional mishaps and some of the local fauna. It will take several years for their children to grow up, but do they have that much time before they are unable to maintain their numbers and to grow? A rift will only cause them to decline faster.

Then they discover they are not alone. The sounds of drums beating in the night and mysterious tracks through the forests lead them to believe that there is another intelligent species living near them. Will they be friend or foe?

This story will conclude the first half of the planned compilation of all of the Time Chasm books in one large volume.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Return to Earth [book 3: The Cornish Talisman Series]




This is the third entry in the Cornish Talisman series, and hopefully not the last. I already have four more plots for future books in this series but those will have their own post.

Return to Earth starts off where the first book leaves off, and yes, I know, so does book #2. Return to Earth tells the story of Jason Kingston as he returns to finish college after Arial and the rest of his family leave on the Cornish Talisman for their home world of Evensett to confront the council. Many things happen to him as his senior year begins. Circumstances bring Jason and Jared together to fend off Garlo and his associates. A nemesis from his past pursues him as he comes face to face with Peter Thatcher; Holly's mysterious father.

What's new to the story? Well, there's a kidnapping, an escape, a wedding is planned, a proposal is made, a baby is on the way, and love is in the air for another of the major characters; although maybe not in exactly that order. And what else? Yes, you do get to learn a little about who and what the Ambassador is. Are all of the issues resolved? Ummm, maybe you should just read it and find out for yourself.

M. L. Humphrey