Why you should NEVER throw away a good idea

When I first heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I thought it sounded like quite the novel idea: commit a full month to putting words to paper and by the end of it you have a first draft of a book. While my first year was quite the challenge, once I had completed it, I knew it was in the realm of possibilities. Even though writing 50,000 words in 30 days is a challenge, I was already starting to think of ideas on how to break up this daunting task into smaller, more manageable chunks. One of my ideas was to write about my experiences on Colorado’s 14,000+ ft. peaks (known locally as “the Fourteeners”). Since there are 58 named peaks above 14,000 feet, I would have to only write 863 words about each mountain to accomplish the NaNoWriMo challenge. As a result, I will be writing the first draft of the aforementioned “Fourteener” book this November. Ideas are easy,...
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1890: A San Francisco Steampunk Treat

One of the genres I have not had a lot of experience writing is that of steampunk. However, when I was given a lead to a short story anthology with the theme of “steampunk heroes”, an idea immediately came to mind. Of course, with this genre being new to my repertoire, I had quite a bit of research to do in order to meet the theme and genre requirements. For those who are unaware, the steampunk genre has many interpretations, but in general it focuses on advanced technologies brought about by the industrial revolution in the Victorian era. What this boils down to is a lot of gears, brass, corsets, top hats, steam, and the color brown infused into the story’s setting and accouterments. Many consider steampunk to be a sub-set of historical fiction because of its known timeframe (the aforementioned Victorian era). Consequently, historical accuracy can help to make the story believable, even if it has certain technological advances well...
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Nuclear Pasta

As a writer who tries to be "surreptitiously educational", one of the tenets of my fictional works is that the science in them is at least somewhat realistic to how things work in the real world. Granted, they are still works of fiction, but I want there to be just enough of a scientific reality to them that my readers' interest would be piqued enough that they might learn these scientific concepts are at play in our universe. Consequently, I don't mind using Wikipedia as one of my sole sources for research. One of the problems with using Wikipedia for my writing research is the tangential research that ends up being added to the singular topic I wanted to learn about. This, in turn, leads to me wanting to include more and more interesting scientific concepts in my writing. In my first set of books, The Fluxion Trilogy, I tried to cram too many references into each one of them, a...
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The Paper Anniversary

As a newlywed, the first anniversary kind of sneaks up on you. Everything leading up to your marriage is scheduled out because there's a big production to put on: your wedding. Meeting with caterers, florists, and venue owners makes the time go by quickly, but there's a specific end-date that's being worked toward. Once the honeymoon is over and you've both returned to your new life together, there's not that much to "look forward to" in terms of big events. Time passes as you both get to know each other better and before you know it, your first anniversary is upon you. Traditionally (depending on which tradition you're following), the gift for a first anniversary is paper. This is a vague enough item that could be construed in many different ways. As an author, I felt obligated to write something. To be honest, I almost forgot that my anniversary was coming up. The holidays were so busy that I hadn't realized they...
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