Space Opera With a Twist

Month: June 2019

The Whims of a Writer’s Mind

I mentioned, a few blog posts back, I was working on a new project.  Well, wouldn’t you know it?  Last Thursday, while I was at the gym, sweating it up and trying to work through the project’s next few chapters, my brain instead presented me with the outline of the sixth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure.  Not just a story idea, but the entire high-level plot, enough to fill several pages once I returned home and put it on paper.  Talk about a novel experience. 

I usually get a notion of what I’d like the theme to be or dream up a McGuffin and develop the storyline from there.  I never come up with the whole plot at once and don’t know how this happened.  But I took it as a sign and dropped my project in favor of our old friend Siobhan. 

I’ve written the first three chapters so far — the adventure’s opening scenes.  How long will it take to complete?  No idea.  I’m aiming for a late September publication date, but that will change as I manage to either sprint or end up dragging my feet for whatever reasons. 

I’ve tentatively titled it When the Guns Roar (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 6).  It picks up a few months after the conclusion of Book 5, with Iolanthe part of Task Force Luckner and Siobhan chafing under Rear Admiral Petras’ command.  And yes, her old enemy Brakal will play a significant role.  I leave you with a little teaser — the book’s cover, or at least the tentative cover. I find having one to look at early on helps me focus.

If you’ve not picked up a copy of Ashes of Empire: Imperial Twilight yet, what are you waiting for?

The Saga Continues

You can purchase the ebook from your favorite retailer via this link:

At the time this blog post went live, some of the retailers aren’t showing it on their electronic shelves yet. Just check back a little later. It will eventually appear. The paperback version is already available on Amazon, and will be available from other bookstores in a few days, as will the hardcover version.

UPDATE: As of 16:20EST on 12 June 2019, it is finally LIVE on KOBO!

Technology’s Circle of Life

I realized the other day that our current home server is eight years old, on its second set of hard disk drives and likely to experience issues any day now.  After all, hard disk drives have a finite lifespan, and the current ones are already approaching senescence.  By now they hold over two terabytes of data — not just the writing and publishing business files, but years of underwater and above water photographs and underwater videos.  Clearly, it was time for a refresh, preferably replacing the two HDDs with solid-state drives (SSDs), not an inexpensive proposition since terabyte-sized units don’t come cheap.

But lo-and-behold, our local computer supply store offered 2TB SSDs on sale last weekend, so I picked up a pair.  However, instead of putting them into our current server’s tired, wheezing old box, I transformed one of our older PCs, which wasn’t seeing much use, into a Linux server with the SSDs.  Since the server software I’ve been using since 2011 no longer does what I need it to, I took on the challenge of learning enough about Ubuntu and Samba to set up the new server with both hard drives linked in a single logical volume.  That gave me over three and a half terabytes of storage space, more than the old server offered.  Then came the data transfer…

Copying 2.2TB of data from the old server to the new one is proving to be a lengthy, multi-day process, especially after a middle of the night power outage and a hang up.  As I’m writing this, I still face another twenty-four hours or so of data transfer to complete before the new server is ready to take over.  Watching the grass grow or paint dry is positively exciting compared to this.  Then, of course, I must run the initial, full backup to the external drive from the new server.  But once that’s done, hopefully I won’t experience server issues for several years, though Mrs. Thomson and I desperately need to go through the photos and videos and delete the ones we’ll never look at again.

And in other news, my editor is almost done with Ashes of Empire: Imperial Twilight, so I should see her notes soon.