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August 2015 Update

It’s been a while since my last update, but it’s been a busy few months. Long story short, we’ve been dealing with immigration for my wife’s visa in Canada, and have decided when we’re moving to Canada. But on to the update.

I have now completed Journey to Ariadne parts 4 to 6. Critiquing is coming up next, and after that, I will edit and post the parts. Part 7 will commence soon. However, due to the fact that we’ll be busy preparing for our move to Canada over the next seven to eight months, writing will be slow. After the move, I should have more privacy and time to do my writing.

Outside of writing, I have more worldbuilding to work on, as well as character profiles to post. I have several written in a notebook, but I haven’t transferred them over to the website. I also have countries to work on and post those to the website. I think I’d like to be able to use better image editing software, though.

The newsletter is still not ready. But I’m thinking now is not the time for it, as I just don’t have enough to update people on. I will be working on getting it up and running after the move to Canada.

I’m going to resume monthly updates, and hopefully some other updates. There’s even a surprise coming. It’s something from April. Something I hope you’ll enjoy reading. Stay tuned for that!

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March 2015 Progress

It’s a new month, and progress is happening.  I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes things recently, not just writing.

Parts 4 and 5 of Journey to Ariadne have been finished, of course.  But part 6 is proving to be an interesting one to write.  It may be a bit controversial, but we’ll see how it turns out.  It’s not finished, but should be shortly.

Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on the world of Ariadne, as well as character profiles.  I’m trying to flesh out the characters to make sure I’m consistent.  They’ll also have profiles on this blog.  As for the world, I’m going through the countries that I’ve already created and making sure they have appropriate names.  It’s important because I want them to have some reasons for their names, and not just some random fantasy-like name.  I’ll be working on the individual country maps, though only the physical maps for now.  I’ll make an entry for each future country, but only discuss the physical aspects of the country.

The newsletter should be set up later this month.  Haven’t gotten around to setting it up, though it is registered.  Look for that soon.

For daily discussions and updates, check out my official blog, I Read Encyclopedias for Fun.

February 2015 Update

Another month has passed and I’ve made some good progress.

First, the writing.  Parts 4 and 5 of Journey to Ariadne have been completed, and I decided to submit both together for critiquing.  So, once they’re finished being critiqued and then edited, I’ll post both parts.  Part 4 is shorter than usual, while part 5 is the usual length.  Writing for part 6 will begin shortly.

On the worldbuilding front, as the story is currently at the point where Ariadne has been fully mapped by the Ariadne Project team, I’m going to get to work on the world map, as well as work on country profiles for the planet.  They will feature physical geography only for the time being, though. And yes, I will be working on maps, though those will take more time.

The newsletter will be coming soon, and I’m debating whether to do weekly or biweekly.  I’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, please refer to I Read Encyclopedias for Fun for daily blogging by yours truly.

January Update

Welcome to January, and a resolution to do a lot of writing this year.

My schedule for the month is quite simple.  Write for 15 minutes every day.  While I don’t always stick to it, any time I miss, I try to make up the next day.  As a result, I’m writing at a faster pace.

I have finished writing Part 4 of Journey to Ariadne, but I need to have it critiqued and edited.  After that, it’ll be posted.  Part 5 is currently being written.  It’s a bit more heated that previous parts.

If things go according to plan, I’ll have a new part finished every two weeks, but it depends on many factors, such as family and other obligations.  At this pace, I should finish all 26 parts before summer.  However, that is an optimistic estimate, and I would more likely put that date back to sometime in summer.  Once all 26 parts are finished, I’ll do a major rewrite.  What you see on this website will not look remotely the same when the book is finished.

In the meantime, I’ll also be working on a nine part short story series about a dying man who has his wish fulfilled to see the solar system.  But it’s not that straightforward, of course.  I’m quite interested in writing this, and it’s likely to be my first published work sometime next year.

I am also going to be starting a weekly newsletter soon.  I’ll announce it when it’s ready.

December Update

I’m a couple weeks late in doing an update for December. Honestly, it slipped my mind.  But here’s what happening for December.

No schedule at all.  I don’t think December is a normal month for anyone.  There are holidays coming up and everyone’s schedules get all screwed up.  However, I have started doing something new.  When I have time at work, I write.  In fact, I wrote most of Part 4 of Journey to Ariadne in a notebook during my breaks.

That brings us to Journey to Ariadne.  Part 4 is close to finished, but I’m excited to get started on Part 5.  Part 4 is a short one, but Part 5 should be significantly longer.  At this stage in the story, things are changing a bit.  This is where you get to meet the major players in the Ariadne world.

Journey to Ariadne isn’t a novel.  I just want to remind everyone of this.  It’s an online serial that provides a window into a bigger story.  It isn’t showing everything, but is primarily an introduction to the world and some background.  I will adapt it into a novel, and there is a lot of story to be filled in between the parts that you see on this website.

As always, please keep reading I Read Encyclopedias for Fun for a lot about writing and more.

Journey to Ariadne – Part 3: Dilemmas

May 21, 2163

Ariadne Project Mission Control

Hellas City, Hellas Basin, Mars

 

Paolo read the report for the third time. The news agencies on Earth confirmed it, an attempted coup on the ruling government. However, it had been crushed. People were desperate. I shouldn’t read bad news in the morning, he thought. He turned off the computer screen and saw his reflection. The past two months had been exhilarating, but the dark circles under his eyes reminded him of the stress he was under. He was thinner. He wondered if a person could die of exhaustion. He turned and walked out of the office.

“Breakfast is ready,” said Irina, as he joined her in the dining room. “This should give you the energy you need for today’s meeting.”

Paolo looked at the table and saw the porridge, buttered bread, and fried eggs with a cup of coffee. He smiled at his wife and said, “Thanks. Looks great.”

“Are you meeting Dave today?” she asked, her blue eyes focusing on Paolo’s.

“He’ll be at the meeting today. So will Jan,” he said and took a bite of his bread.

“Are you preparing the ship already?”

“We need Jan to get it ready to launch at any time. Hopefully, Dave will give us some good news. We don’t have nearly enough information as we want about Ariadne.”

Irina nodded. She sipped her coffee and they ate in silence for a few seconds. “What about the second ship?”

Paolo exhaled slowly. “I really don’t know yet. It looks like it’ll still be another six months until it can launch. That’s not enough time. The IEF ship will be here, we’ll be on our way to Ariadne, and then what? What happens to the other colonists? What happens to the other ship?”

“Paolo, I know you’re doing your best. Let’s just get the hell out of here as fast as we can and don’t look back. We have to concentrate on the colony.”

“I know. It’s just that I keep thinking about everyone else. Half of the colonists may not make it there. What do I say to them? We have to make an announcement soon about this.”

“Maybe Dave will have an idea,” said Irina. She unconsciously brushed aside her blonde hair as it fell toward her porridge. Irina, always the optimist, Paolo thought.

“We’ll see. I doubt he’ll have any say in what happens after we’re gone.”

 

* * *

 

Silence dominated the Control Centre, which normally buzzed with activity. Paolo saw the expectant faces of his colleagues. It’s time to make the announcement, he thought. The screen behind him displayed a static view of Ariadne. The peaceful image didn’t calm him. He felt every heartbeat in his head, pounding a consistent rhythm. The door opened.

“Dave, Jan, thanks for joining us,” said Paolo. Finally, we can begin. “Everyone, I’m sure most of you know Ambassador David Martin and Jan Goerz. They’ll be joining us for our meeting today.”

David and Jan took the empty seats between Mari Watanabe and William de Boer.

“Jan, what’s your best guess on how long it’ll take you to get the ship ready for departure?”

“It’s completely space-worthy, but as for testing all the systems, getting the cargo on, and having the colonists ready, it could be a month or six weeks,” he said.

“Dave, how long until the IEF get their ship here?”

“According to the latest intelligence, they’ll be ready to launch within a week,” he said. “However, with the current unrest on Earth, preparations may be interrupted. I can’t be certain. If they launch on schedule, they can be here before the colony ship launches.”

“Get the systems tested, Jan. We need to contact all the coordinators to be ready for launch. Send out video messages to inform them all of the news. But we need to stress that everything is normal. No need to have anyone panicking.”

“My wife’s the chief psychologist, so send anyone her way if they’re having trouble with that,” said Jan.

“Right. Thanks,” said Paolo. “What I need now is a presentation for the colonists. They need to know where they’re going.”

“I wish we had more time,” said William. “There are some unknowns that are a bit worrying. I’ve noticed a gas in the atmosphere we’ve never seen before. I don’t know where it comes from.”

“But the life on Ariadne seems unaffected by it, right?” said Paolo.

“Yes, but their biochemistry is a bit different than ours. There’s a chance the plants are inedible for us, though,” said Gary. “Dr. Patricia Knight thinks there shouldn’t be an issue. She’s the best geneticist we have, so I’ll trust her on this.”

“Okay, anything else?”

“Yes, but it may be nothing,” said Ben.

“Anything could be important,” said Paolo. “Go on.”

“Okay. I noticed some anomalies in the transmissions. It seems that the surface probes are losing power very briefly every few days or so. I thought it was just a result of being in space for so long and coming out of hibernation, but it’s happening to all three probes. There’s no pattern I could see. Just a power drop for half a second, then back to normal.”

“Why didn’t you come to me about this earlier?”

“I thought it was insignificant or noise in the telemetry data. It didn’t bother me until I noticed it kept happening. I did an analysis of the data only a couple days ago, and wanted to write up my report for you about this.”

“All right. Thanks for letting us know. We’ll check into it in the coming weeks.” Paolo smiled.

Ben nodded and cast his eyes down to his screen.

“I think the last thing we need to talk about is the landing site. Any suggestions?”

“I believe we’ve come up with the two best sites,” said Mari. “The primary site is near a river delta in the southern subtropical coastal plains of the main continent. It looks great for water, land, and it’s geologically stable. The secondary site is in the tropical rainforest on the coast of the large inland sea of the main continent. The site could be near the large river that connects the sea to the ocean.”

“The second site’s an unusual choice. Why there?” asked Paolo.

“The growing season is all year, it’s fertile, it’s central, and has great access to surrounding areas. It sounded good logistically.”

“Okay. Thanks. So, that’s it for this briefing. Let’s get to work on the information for the colonists and contact the coordinators.”

“I’d like to add one thing,” said David. “Don’t expect this to go smoothly. The Earth government wants this stopped, or at least delayed until their ship gets here. I don’t know how strict your security checks are, but I’d be on the lookout for anything suspicious. I know there are operatives on Mars, but I don’t know who.”

“We’ll check into all procedures. Jan, can you make sure that your people go over every millimeter of the ship? Report anything suspicious. That goes for all of you, make sure you report anything unusual, no matter how small it may be. I think we should start increasing the security, especially with the launch approaching. Let’s get back to work.”

David approached Paolo and said, “Can I have a moment alone with you and Jan?”

“Of course.” Jan nodded.

 

* * *

 

“I didn’t want to discuss this in front of the team. They have a lot of things to worry about for the time being,” said Paolo. He sat at his desk, while David and Jan were across from him.

“They’ll have to know soon, though,” said David.

Jan looked at David, his face showing an unasked question.

“Jan, as the Captain of the ship, you need to know how serious our security situation is. This isn’t going to be easy.”

“I understand,” said Jan. “What’s going on?”

Paolo nodded at David. “Go ahead.”

“As I said, the IEF ship is supposed to be launching in a week. What I didn’t say is that their target is the propulsion system in the ship. They want it badly. The situation on Earth is not going well for them. They’re thinking of escaping and taking over the Ariadne Project.”

“But,” said Jan, “that means—“

“That means,” Paolo said, “they want to replace all of us on the ship and get the hell out of the solar system. They want to start things over on their own terms on Ariadne.”

“It’s not that simple, though,” said David. “They have people on Mars who are trying to get into the project. They may already have done that. This is a dangerous situation, and you need to know that someone working on the ship may be a spy.” He looked at Paolo. “Any of your science team or any colonist could be a spy.”

“I can personally vouch for the senior scientists who were at the meeting,” he said.

“Of course. I wouldn’t have spoken before them if I didn’t know that already. I need to keep a low profile. The IEF cannot know what I’m doing here.”

“What kind of things are these spies capable of?” asked Jan.

“Almost anything. Sabotage, assassination, bombing. They’re unlikely to try to damage the ship, since that’s what they want. But keep your eye out anyway. Check life support systems, food supply, water supply, computer systems. Be thorough. The government is resorting to terrorism. They don’t care about the people, only their own goals.”

“We’ll be on it immediately. Thanks, Dave.” Paolo shook his hand firmly. “I’m glad you’re with us.”

 

A NaNo November

It’s November, and that means NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.  Guess what I’ll be doing.

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, though I’m not starting something new.  I’ll be using it as an opportunity to push myself to write Journey to Ariadne. I won’t finish it, though.  I have so many things going on.

However, this is what’s going to happen.  I won’t be sticking to any weekly goals, most likely.  Last month, I didn’t make any of my goals due to various reasons.  But there are some things I will do.

  1. I will post Part 3.  It’s been critiqued, and I have some editing to finish, but it’ll be done shortly.
  2. I will write Parts 4 and 5.  Hopefully more.  Instead of relying on my computer to write, I have been writing during my break at work.  I am making progress.

And that is November.  I won’t be doing any editing after Part 3 until December.  I want to concentrate completely on writing.  That means no posting of any parts after Part 3 until December.  Look forward to that.

A Slow September Leads to a Great October

Journey to Ariadne is going to have a good month.  I have submitted Part 3 to Critique Circle for critiquing after doing some editing.  I’d had a brief delay thanks to a lot of things going on in September, but I also added a bit to the story that will help it mesh nicely with some main plot points in the future books after colonisation.

I’d like to start doing some weekly goals, so at the beginning of the month, I’ll post them here.  The date shown is the final day of the week.

October 4th – Part 3 submitted for critiquing (this is finished)

October 11th – Writing of part 4 is completed.

October 18th – Part 4 is edited and submitted for critiquing.  Part 5 begins.

October 25th – Critiquing of Part 3 is complete. Writing of Part 5 complete.

November 1st – Part 3 is published here.

I can’t say when Parts 4 and 5 will be critiqued, as it depends on how busy each week is on Critique Circle.  But if I get into a good rhythm, I’ll have a new part published every two weeks, or possibly more frequently.  Again, it depends on the scheduling of the critiques.

The Original Ariadne Map

The year was 2000.  I was a student at the University of Victoria studying physics and astronomy, and I had an idea for a story.  The idea was the basis for what is now Ariadne.  I drew a map of the world and it grew from there.  Originally, it wasn’t called Ariadne.  That name came about in 2012.  I was still trying to decide on a name for all those years.  It was one of the most difficult things to figure out.  Since the original map, I’ve drawn several others, including a large map on 16 sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper.  But I would like to present the map that started it all, even though it’s faded and stained from years of being packed in boxes, transported from place to place, and even stored away for a while.  Here it is, Ariadne.

20130829-225237.jpg

You deserve an update

I apologise for the lack of new content lately.  A lot has happened in the past couple of months.

I had very little free time due to my daughter’s illness, or I should say multiple illnesses.  She spent most of the past 2 months sick with something, including a week in the hospital with pneumonia.

She’s healthy now, so I can finally get things back on track with Journey to Ariadne and Ariadne Origins. I have some exciting things planned for the Ariadne Encyclopedia as I write, so don’t worry, everything is moving forward.