Category Archives: Shifting Mars’ Sands

Mars in 39 Days

In my novel, Shifting Mars’ Sands, set 200+ years in the future, I rely on the ability of people traveling from Earth to Mars in 30-40 days, depending on Earth’s relative position to Mars. I didn’t want it to be … Continue reading

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Latest Writing Activities

Lately, I’ve been doing several different writing activities. I’m planning to attend the annual Pennwriter’s conference in Pittsburgh in the middle of May. There’s the logistics of travel, hotel reservations, and picking the talks. With this conference, though, opportunities abound, … Continue reading

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Improving Slow Reads

Some time ago, I was told the beginning of my novel read slow. I wasn’t sure how to address it. I removed many unnecessary scenes and combined others. Still, I didn’t think I did enough. After spending the summer strictly … Continue reading

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Writing Update

This is a quick update on my writing efforts. A few weeks ago, I submitted a short story, The Curse of Rachael’s Crest, to the Loudoun County (Va.) Library’s writing contest. I worked on this story on and off for … Continue reading

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Examing Shifting Mars’ Sands through the Lens of Story Engineering

After reading Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, I decided to see how my novel, Shifting Mars’ Sands, hit the milestones that Mr. Brooks laid out. Let me state from the start: I didn’t plan this novel with Mr. Brooks’ milestones … Continue reading

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An End, a New Beginning

I’m overdue making a blog post. And after the last week (the terror in Boston and the tragedy in West, Texas), I don’t feel much like writing an entry. I wrote the below entry a couple of weeks ago, so … Continue reading

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Completed! – Shifting Mars’ Sands Critique with Writers’ Group

Yesterday, I completed a chapter-by-chapter critique of my novel. The picture below shows the Loudoun County Writers’ Group’s critiques of Shifting Mars’ Sands as well as my edits in preparation for each meeting. You may notice the yellow sheets of … Continue reading

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Plugging a Story Hole

I’ve been busy for the past month (give or take) on three chapters in Shifting Mars’ Sands.  These chapters are tightly coupled; if you think of them as a balloon and you squeeze in one spot, a bulge will appear … Continue reading

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Elevator Pitch, Part 2 of ?????

Okay, it’s time that I take a crack at an elevator pitch for my novel, Shifting Mars’ Sands.  In an earlier post, I explained the purpose of an elevator pitch and highlighted the major points of my novel.  There are … Continue reading

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The Elevator Pitch, Part 1 of ????

Lately, I’ve been thinking about an elevator pitch for my novel, Shifting Mars’ Sands.  For those reading unfamiliar with the term “elevator pitch,” it is a compelling summary of your novel that you can give in the span of an … Continue reading

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