The State of Black Sci F week 4: Giveaway and something about my novel

Back in 2010 I decided to participate in Nano for the first time. National Novel Writing Month, Nano for short, happens every November, and participants attempt to write 50,000 words in a month. I decided to write a sci fi novel, because I love the genre, have read it for years — many — but had a phobia about writing it.

Being, perhaps, terminally crazed, I decided I would participate in Robert Lee Brewer’s November Chapbook challenge as well, and to produce 30 poems which would form a chapbook.

I decided to make the poet part of the universe of the novel. That way I could include the poems in the 50,000 word line count and use some of the poems in the book.

I did far more world building than I did plotting — I had an outline with about a page of notes and a fifteen point plot line. Many of the specifics went right out the window when I started writing, but my world building remained.

My aliens form relationships involving four people (or three, or, very occasionally, two), and they’re all lovers. I choose what I hoped would be alien sounding names, made their society based on personal responsibility, lack of coercion, respect for the environment, rather than rules and laws. I made up stuff about their art (my mother was an artist who specialized in portraits in oils), and, later, a bit about their music (I play the flute and the piccolo).

And because I (warning, spoiler alert) wanted my 14-year old main character to be a “cross” — part human and part alien — and be believable, in terms of appearance, I wanted to choose among the naturally occurring human skin tones for my aliens, and I needed my aliens to look distinctive, but not too, too alien.

I made them Black. Very, very dark skinned. And why? Because I didn’t want them to be white. First of all, white is too, well, bland and predictable. And by making them Black, I added a source of conflict to my story, and stories are all about conflict. And, face it, too many of the good guys, in my opinion, are white. I wanted to play against type, so the good guys in my novel are dark skinned.

I’d be thrilled to learn I’ve made my readers squirm, to twist in their seats as they come up against their prejudices and unconscious assumptions. Hopefully, I’ll find I’ve succeeded.

And here are a couple of poems from my imaginary poet, Raketh Namar, the namesake of my main character, Raketh Frey. Because the poet was a revered spiritual leader, and his poems are one of the Aleyni’s sacred texts, I found myself writing in a way that I, as myself, would not have, and writing a good number of what might be taken as poem-prayers.

Poems of this type, written in a voice other than that of the author, are called persona poems. You can learn more about persona poems here
//poetic-muselings.net/2012/01/11/persona-poems/

Here are a couple of Raketh Namar’s poems that don’t appear in the book

Looking For My Fears

Muted buzzing in my ears
resonates to hidden fears.
Drag fears forward into light.
Exposed to air, see them take flight.

Fear’s seeds sprout best deep in dark
so let cleansing sunlight mark
paths for spirit’s shining light
to cleanse my mind, root out fear’s blight.

Who Will Play Music?

Who remains to play the music, now musician’s dead?
Which lips set bright brasses blowing? The man’s cold in his bed.
Whose hand renders strings a strumming now the fiddler’s gone?
Whose hand genders drums a drumming as night turns to dawn?

Our hands start the drums a drumming as dawn turns to day,
ours the fingers on strings, strumming,. We’ll sit down to play.
Our lips put to brasses blowing, knowing he will hear.
We will keep his music going, from us to his ear.

And now, {drum roll}, for the winner of a copy of the Poetic Muselings’s, (of whom I am one) poetry anthology, Lifelines:

Kathryn Scannell. Kathryn, I’ll be emailing you. Congratulations.

Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event:

Check out my awesome fellow members of this Online Black History Month Event:

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer— Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/
or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/

L. M. Davis, Author–began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade. Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website http://www.shiftersnovelseries.com.
Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: www.mvmediaatl.com and www.wagadu.ning.com.


Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay , Author
—DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at: www.renpetscifi.com or on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/RenpetSciFiNovel or on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Khonsugo .

Margaret Fieland, Author— lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA
with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/ is available from Amazon.com Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, http://www.margaretfieland.com.

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author — is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/


Thaddeus Howze, Author-
– is a veteran of the Information Technology and Communications industry with over twenty-six years of experience. His expertise is in re-engineering IT environments using process-oriented management techniques. In English, that means he studies the needs of his clients and configures their offices to optimize the use of information technology in their environment. Visit him: http://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com

Alicia McCalla, Author—writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: www.aliciamccalla.com


Carole McDonnell, Author
–She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/

Balogun Ojetade, Author—of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.wordpress.com/

Rasheedah Phillips, Author–is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.

Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd

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2 thoughts on “The State of Black Sci F week 4: Giveaway and something about my novel

  1. Balogun

    Excellent post! Love the poetry. Interesting. I have been writing persona poems for years and did not know what they were called (shh…don’t tell my writing students). Thank you for sharing!

    Like

    Reply

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