March 2021

Sci-fi TV

This might come as a shock to most, but-

I’ve never seen Firefly.

I’ve listened to endless podcast episodes, read countless blog posts, been part of numerous conversations between creatives, where Firefly has always been touted as the best-of-the-best in sci-fi story structure, world building and compelling characters, but I still had never seen it.

So when a certain streaming provider announced their new collection of shows and movies included Firefly, you can guarantee I stuck it high on my priority list.

A few episodes in now and it lives up to every expectation. Funny, complex, action-packed, and all built around a sci-fi world that hits closer to home than the gigantic space operas with FTL drives and wormholes and the like. The characters are deep and lovable, while being far from perfect (though this is often what makes any character lovable). Captain Mal is a barrel of contradictions, except for his core motivation, the love of his crew. He would do anything for them, no matter his defensive, tough guy attitude (he’s battling a whole lotta crap in his head) and that’s beautiful.

I especially loved the second scene in the first episode where they’re floating around in only slightly less bulky, NASA-esque spacesuits, among the wreckage of an abandoned ship. I could picture our own astronauts, with our current technology, doing just the same. And it felt real.

So that’s been a fascinating and utterly worth-it dive into another faucet of the Sci-fi world, despite my conviction to get the words done, I believe Firefly has been worth every minute.

Reading on the other hand- you can’t write well if you don’t read. So, onto books!

Sci-Fi Novels

Currently I’m reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini – who was the sole inspiration for me to begin my writing journey way back when, after reading the Eragon/Inheritance Tetra-logy (something around 8-15 times each, depending on the number of the book in the series, #1 Eragon being the most read) – and I am loving it.

It bleeds with the passion and dedication of the ten years he put into the worlds and characters and the plot. Revising and re-writing over and over until it was just right. I thoroughly appreciated the shout-out to one of my favourite characters in Eragon at about 20% in (you’ll have to read it too). That sparked a few tears of joy.

He was my favourite author as a kid, before I knew anything at all about Sci-Fi. The fact that he dove right into Sci-Fi too, with all of his heart, feels like we’re on a similar journey and it’s powerful to find an inspiration like that. I’m determined to flesh out my own worlds with as much realism and dimension as he has given the Sea of Stars universe.

I’m also reading Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood by Holly Lisle (free first chapter sneak peek via the link) whose teachings have empowered so many writers around the world to learn how to wrangle that elusive muse and get it spewing words and worlds in minutes. Her sci-fi is fast paced, with powerful multi-dimensional characters, and galaxy-spanning concepts. I’m loving it. I had to put down The Longview Chronicles to read this one, as the characters intersect and I just had to learn all about the infamous Cadence Drake before going any further.

I do not regret it.

Reading is so good for the soul.

Also reading:

Space Unicorn Blues by T.J.Berry which is another fast-paced, strange, dark fantasy, Sci-fi novel with characters who are full of humour and attitude.
Aestus by S.Z.Atwell a dark, post-apocalyptic sci-fi where the human race now lives in cities beneath the ground. The characters are complex and fascinating so far.

I also have a full bag of library books I just had to take with me when I last visited. No guarantees I’ll read them all before they’re due back but I’m well on the way through Space Unicorn Blues so far, so it’s a good sign. I just need to remember to read while I eat and wait at school pickup rather than perusing social media (though I’m slowly pulling away from all the platforms more and more to focus on the words, and will return when closer to release).


Current Project – Novel

The words are bogged down this month, but I get something small down most days. I wasn’t reaching my daily page goals for the first couple of weeks, but toward the end that number improved.

I’m always advancing, and that’s the key.

Up to 25k so far. If you’ve been following my flash fiction pieces, my WIP has just intersected with The End and Deep Wishes. I’m dabbling further into horror than I thought, but the darkness has always fascinated me.

Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending! And not too much body horror.

Just an air of creepiness.

Also, I tried a new tactic to get those words moving again, which helped me improve toward the end of the month.

Rather than writing from the MC’s POV – as I had been for the whole draft so far – I swapped out to an omniscient POV, and just wrote each scene out, one event after the next, adding in little excerpts of direct dialogue or descriptive passages as they came to me, and it has helped immensely.

I even changed pen colour, to shift that along. Since I prefer Black ink, and I use Blue, Red and Green to add snippets and notes to reference in revision, I swapped to alternating blue and green between scenes, which just makes the writing feel less restricted.

Less like “these words have to be in the final copy,” and more like “here, have some general notes, do with them as you will.” I am loving it.

I highly suggest you play around with different colours and fonts and even stickers, for your first draft. Use them as rewards every time you complete a set of words, or a page, or a scene etc. Make the work fun and it’ll feel less like a slog, allowing you to conjure up more motivation to get back to writing every time you’re pulled away.

What’s a tactic you’ve experimented with and found helpful in getting that first draft done?

Leave your answers and thoughts below. I respond to each and every comment here on my website. Otherwise, pop over to the contact page and send me an email, I love to hear from readers and writers of all kinds.

For now, remember to:

Explore, create, repeat-

Then thrive.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Deep Wishes

I feel invisible blows as fear and pain chemicals flood my place within my host’s brain. Her carer is destroying her, setting fire to her mind with every heartache, every forgotten promise, every silence, every lie.

I wish to protect her, to save her.

To survive.

Her carer’s mind was lost in the depths of its own flood long ago.

My host is an Earthen youngling, at her carer’s mercy, but I am neither.

As she sleeps, I break a vital rule and guide her body through the dwelling, to her carer’s room.

Here, I end my host’s nightmare.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


This piece is a Point-of-View (POV) shift to previously written piece, The End.

March 11, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about deep wishes. Where is the deep — in the sky, the ground, or outer space? What kind of wishes reside there for whom and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

Delicacies for the Most High

Roasted rare Earthen tuber, orange like the setting sun, melted sweet and warm on her tongue. She studied her creation on the plains below. Her Youngling workforce departed, dragging their feet, hair blowing heavy in the evening breeze.

She turned and left.

“Here she is!”

A crowd cheered as she emerged, awaiting her grand reveal.

“This-“

Her award, a sculpture in her likeness.

“-for your work in advancements of Younglings. Look what you’ve created through them!”

A wall slid away, revealing her creation; the first city.

Gasps turned to cheers.

She beamed with pride, what would she craft next?

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


March 4, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes sweet potatoes. It can be part of a recipe, meal, or used as a nickname. Where do sweet potatoes take you? The grocery store? The garden? Mars? Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

The End

Screams from inside forced the woman – visitor, friend – through to the master bedroom. She froze before the scene.

“No-” a child, face of horror, backed away from the bed, “I tried to stop…it wouldn’t- let me…”

On the bed, the child’s mother gasped for breath, “knew…I shouldn’t have-” she clutched her throat, blood spilling out over her silken bed-shirt, “have- kept you.”

“Please-” the child sobbed, tears streaming, “it made me…”

Something snapped inside the onlooker, she ran to embrace the child.

“I’ve got you,” she said, “I’ll never let her hurt you again.”

And the child breathed.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


February 25 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word frozen. It can be descriptive, character focused, action driven. Go out onto the ice and find a frozen story. Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

Strength in Peace

Leaves swayed at the ship’s landing. Its team stepped out onto the alien world, fully suited, protected from its thick atmosphere.

Deep violet vegetation sprawled toward the horizons ahead. Behind, an ocean of scarlet brine swelled and oozed.

“Mission here is to survey, we need to claim this world before the enemy,” the commander said.

Rustling leaves distracted the Earth-born galactic soldiers.

A creature approached.

“That’s a-”

“It has a horn.”

“Should we apprehend it?”

“Commander?”

“It’s-” said the commander, transfixed, “a unicorn.”

It eyed them, silently inspiring them to kneel in surrender.

“Stand down,” the commander said.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


I tapped run and the robotic creature shifted smoothly through the commands I’d coded. Satisfied, I packed it up for the presentation.

“Gonna tell me?” someone said, “somethin’ fierce, I bet.”

“A dragon, ya think?” another said.

Head held proud, I made my way to the platform.

“I chose to create something of legends,” I said, “something of the first world, something that inspired billions.”

Murmurs rippled through the crowd.

I revealed the creature.

Several scoffed, others laughed, “ridiculous.”

I tapped run and the crowd hushed, transfixed. The life-sized unicorn awoke.

“Something that’ll inspire peace through these wars.”

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Red

Dirt caked her soft dress. She’ll wash it later. For now, though self-assigned, she had to complete her mission before the sun set – she had to find it.
Laughter reached her, drifting from the house at the bottom of the yard; soon it’d turn to cries.
She had to hurry.
She sped over the ground, eyes darting.
At last she spotted it, red fabric peeking out beneath the roses.

Hiding behind the gum’s roots, she held her breath as her charge’s carer emerged, collected a red blanket, disappeared and all became quiet inside, as the lights went out.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

The Gift

Hiding beneath the roots of a grand gum, she heard the tiny sobs.
Her charge had been playing outdoors again. Did she hurt herself?
The fairy, wings tucked away, peered through grass above. She could see the side of the little girl, hands cupped, tears dripping onto dusty clothes.
Something hung out of her fingers.
Should she let her cry? Her heart ached.

It was still so warm and so soft too. Why wasn’t it moving?
Something buzzed past the little girl.
Her palm itched and she opened her hands.
She gasped as the mouse looked up at her.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Protector

A scream cut through her from across the meadow and she raged into action, dismissing her injury and climbing up the nearest lookout.
Her arms trembled, not used to her own weight, but she needed to ensure her charge was okay.
Her heart pounded at another squeal and she cursed her clumsiness; she would’ve been on top by now.
Silence.
Finally up, she peered through the crisp fog and relief washed over her as she saw the dancing figures, twirling around a ring of daisies.
She leaned against the lookout rose’s petals, breathing deep and stroking her torn wing.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Life cycle of a book

Each printed marking felt warm on my leaves. Though the binding hurt a little, it was finished soon after and I was in darkness.
Rumbling, stop, start, up and down, until the light came again and I saw many others like me.
Many, many others.
Light and dark cycled, until a creature held me.
The creature opened me, our souls linking all through the wondrous moments it spent with me and my leaves became well worn.
There was darkness for a while, until one day, more light though this time, a smaller creature, with big eyes and soft hands.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

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