Monday, 30 January 2012

Monday's Food for Thought

Did you know there's a possible correlation between La Niña and influenza, and it has nothing to do with the cold weather making you sneeze?

According to this article, La Niña affects a bird's migratory patterns, and birds are the considered incubators of the human 'flu.

The website says:

...the La Niña pattern alters the migration, stopover time, fitness and interspecies mixing of migratory birds. These conditions could ... favor the kind of gene swapping that creates novel variations of the influenza virus.

Don't you love how nature and weather and humans are so interrelated? There are hundreds of thousands of other ways we're connected to and changed by our environment, which are in turn connected to and changed by other parts of their environment.



Well, goodness, the possibilities are endless. I love it when a story links a simple thing (the butterfly flapping its wings) to a major thing (the tsunami). Mere coincidence doesn't work - you'll need to set it up at the beginning, but my, when it works, it works.

If you have ever seen La Cité des Enfants Perdus (The City of Lost Children), you'll have witnessed a fabulous play of how one tiny teardrop saved a child's life. It is honestly the best event-linked scene I've seen.

Just a little something for your Monday mind to munch on.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Remember your first One? You thought it was forever. You couldn't see a life outside the dream you had. When it didn't work out, it destroyed a piece of you.

The Ones after that were easier. Not roses and sunshine all the time. Just easier. You knew you could survive, even if you had to part. You had survived before during your darkest hour, you could do it again.

Those Ones make you happy, keep your passions running high, but it's only when you find The One - capital T, capital O - that you really know it's going to work. And that's what we're all searching for.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Monday's Food For Thought

Okay, so this is kind of a pseudo-science, but if we as humans have learned anything about science and nature, it's that we shouldn't be so quick to laugh at ideas that sound outrageous at the time.

There are claims floating around that ordinary water has memory. I don't know how that's possible or what that means exactly, but just imagine for a moment if scientists started researching into it.

WHAT IF they unlocked it? What if they found a way to not only access the memory inside water, but began storing it there, too?

How would this affect ordinary life? How do you think the governments would use it? What do you think we could learn about the origins of life? How would this change space travel? Time capsules? Cross-cultural communication? Would there be archives of every point in history? What if one point in history was missing? Why might that be the case?

It's not something to revolve an entire story around, necessarily, but it's something to think about if you're writing a distant future or sci fi novel.

Just a little something for your Monday mind to munch on.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Monday's Food for Thought

Anyone who knows my writing knows I love exploring the ideas behind crystals and meteorites, so of course this topic was going to crop up sooner or later.

Until very recently, the idea of a naturally-occurring quasicrystal was thought to be impossible.

However, one was discovered in Russia in the 1970s, thought to be from a meteorite, and now scientists are tentatively guessing it to be 4.5 billion years old - about the age of our solar system. As for how this particular crystal formed, scientists don't know. From the website linked above:

The metallic aluminum present in the rock usually requires a very different set of processes to form, and it has not been found in any other meteorites. In other words, while the isotope ratios indicate an extraterrestrial origin for the rock, its composition marks it as a new type of meteorite, one with uncertain origins.


WHAT IF something else - something intelligent - created this crystal? Who did it? What did they use it for? How did it end up on Earth? Might humans be able to use the crystal the same way the "being" who created it did? How might that change human technology?

(And is anyone else thinking ginzuishou?)

Just a little something for your Monday mind to munch on.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Uncensor Yourself

So I'd chosen my middle grade story. I'd had a basic idea of what I wanted to do with it. I had Scrivener to help me. I'd altered it to censor for younger children -

Wait, what?

Yes, a lot of you are probably rolling your eyes right now (if you were paying close enough attention). It was hard slog writing something that was altered for the audience. ALTERED FOR THE AUDIENCE. Face-freaking-palm. I would barely manage a thousand words a day, and I dreaded going back to the story.

Then, as I'm reading the rave reviews on CINDER, about the whole world being in danger, about Lunar queens and plagues and bioelectricity and all this stuff that pushes the story to the limit (there's nothing localised about CINDER), I realised my mistake. You want to go big? You want to get published? You're going to have to push your story. Uncensor yourself. Make it EPIC.

And you know what? Once I scrapped the old version, I opened up Word (I hear gasps from the audience here) and started writing the story how *I* wanted to write it. Religious aspects that would freak out parents? Whatever. Scary scenes? Kids can handle it (god, have you guys seen/read Horrible Histories? Jeez!).

And you know what? I did almost 4.5k words yesterday. This is the story I was trying to tell.

Writers, don't hold yourself back. You'll never get attention with a safe story. And it's as hard as hell to write a story that you only half love.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

CINDER is Officially Out!

Today in Australia, CINDER by Marissa Meyer has officially been released. The crummy little town that I live in is super lazy when it comes to holidays, so chances are that the warehouses have the stock but haven't distributed it to the bookstores. Still, I WILL PERSIST!

(icon made by the fabulous Jojo)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Monday's Food For Thought

A few years ago, scientists built the Large Hadron Collider, which is the world's largest and highest-energy particle collider.

People who knew about physics weren't worried, but a lot of crazy internet rumours ignited a fair amount of panic about the Collider. The main concern (that I could pick out) was that the colliding particles would open worm holes all over the world.

Well. What a spark for a writer's mind!

WHAT IF it actually happened? What if worm holes opened up all over the world? Where would they lead? Would they be big enough for humans to go through, or would things come to Earth? Would the worm holes all end up at the same place, or would they lead to different places? Would it be a way to transport yourself around the planet, or would they go to different worlds entirely? And would these places be alternate worlds or other places in the universe?

Imagine hearing about people vanishing all over the world without a trace. Then imagine going out for your morning coffee one day and stepping through a worm hole. Where would you end up? Would you handle it, or be a nervous mess? Who else would you meet there? Would it be easy to go back the way you came?

In the bigger picture, would scientists a) fix the glitch, b) utilise it for their own gain, c) want to fix the glitch but can't, or d) something else entirely?

Just a little something for your Monday mind to munch on...

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a safe and exciting 2012, with many dreams realised!

But first, it's time to sleep away the remnants of last night's fun.