On There Goes the Galaxy De-motivational Poster Video and Childhood Lyrics Problems

Since it's been a bit of a big hairy monster in terms of the ol' day job, I only have two things this week for you.

One is a short video you might enjoy. I'd taken those faux inspirational poster graphics I'd created based on the Greater Communicating Universe of my book series, and made them into a video, with music and animation. It was a great learning experience for me in terms of editing and software, and I hope it'll give you a smile. I think it turned out pretty quirky, spacey and fun.

The other thing I wanted to share was a passing reflection on how kids tend to hear lyrics...

Which is to say: wrong. Very, very wrong.

Kids, being new to the world in general, are not daunted by things not making sense to their ears. When they hear a lyric that's seems strange, they do not consider that they, personally, might be mishearing. Nope, they assume automatically that they don't know half the things people are talking about anyway, and just run with it.

This crossed my mind as I caught myself thinking of the Josie and the Pussycats theme song. As a kid, I loved this cartoon, and I would sing the theme song.

Only I apparently had my very own version of the lyrics which my brain retains to this day.

I warn you, it's not pretty...

Josie and the Pussycats
Long tails and ears for hats
Guitars and short pizzats.
Me, sweet the poobystar
Yo an body come along

Yes. This is how I sang it.

If you were curious, I'd firmly believed a "pizzat" was the mini-dresses that Josie and the band wore.

I have no idea what a "poobystar" was. Possibly an astronomical phenomenon.

So--- do you recall totally mishearing lyrics as a kid? Or do your kids have some creative lyrics to their favorite songs? I'd be interested in hearing about them.

And on that note, I leave you until next time, dear friends.

The Duality of Day Jobs... Plus Youtube Channel Fun

It's an interesting thing when you're a writer with a day job, particularly when your day job is high stress and deadline-oriented, yet your fiction writing is in a genre as playful and quirky as humorous sci-fi.

During the day, people know you as professional. Responsible. Boring. Restrained even. The one who takes care of the tasks nobody really wants to do, simply because they have to get done. 

Then at night, early mornings and on weekends, you suddenly transform into that weird chick who's writing that even stranger book series with all the off-beat aliens in it. The one who jokes and has fun and who views no idea as too outrageous for at least some consideration.

It's a little like being a superhero, only without the heroism, superpowers or spandex.

You have to block out one to be the other.

This week has been a bit high stress during the day, to be honest. So it's been particularly enjoyable to me, acting out these various audio readings from the There Goes the Galaxy books. I've posted a last one-- this is from the first book-- above. And if you like these and want to listen to more of them, they're housed right now on a YouTube channel. Give it a Subscribe on YouTube, if it's something that launches yer rockets. :) I may add more as the spirit moves. The channel is here:


And if you have friends who like it when authors read them stories, I'd appreciate it if you'd pass the word along. I'm still contemplating whether there will be a full audiobook in the future, and whether I'd just get someone professional and cosmic to read the thing. (In other words, someone who definitely isn't me.)

Anyway, that's what I have on tap for you good people today. I plan to do some writing on the third There Goes the Galaxy book-- Tryfling Matters-- this weekend. It's been good progress so far, and while the draft is rough, it's the kind of foundation the tale needs.

Happy weekend. And may all your off-hours be stellar. :) --Jenn

On Introversion and Sci-fi Audiobook Excerpts, Now With Bad British Accent!

I decided to consider it a character-building exercise (pun unintended, but applicable) to act out and record a couple more snippets of my second book. It's an interesting sort of dichotomy I feel about these things. There's that introverted part of me-- the writer who discovers hours have melted away while imaginary worlds sprout up-- that understands the satisfaction is in the ideas and process itself. The something from nothing. The personal challenge.

Then there's the part of me that knows the real tangibility of a creation is not always in one's own head, but when it resides with others, too. As if it becomes More Real with each person it meets.

Now when I write, I read aloud all the time. It's a great tool for flow, for making dialogue sound natural and for figuring out what should be cut. It is also uniquely personal because it means committing characters to a sort of tone. Like illustration, it means offering some sort of guide to the reader of, "This is what I was thinking so-and-so was like."

So as I contemplated doing any readings, I initially hesitated. Did I really want my version of the reading-- my amateur acting, my interpretation and most of all, my bad British accent (for whatever reason, my alien character Rollie has always sounded English)-- out there guiding readers?

But here's the thing I decided. It's genuine. It was the best I can do for this moment. And as a writer, you can only keep those walls up so long before you can't see over them yourself. If I were taking them down, I might as well give it my all and go the whole way.

So at the top of the page, you'll find part one of chapter two. And here you will find the second part of that.

It's not perfect, but it was fun. And the view from over the wall is not bad at all.

Humorous Sci-fi Goes Audio -and- the Winter of Our Self-Burglarization

Well, it's been a 24 hours of firsts for me. The first, er, first was summoning up the courage to not only read my work aloud but share a snippet of the first chapter of The Purloined Number with real and actual people. Normally, this is a performance only experienced by my two cats. And of them, only Alice is really ever very interested. 

So, yup, if anyone was ever curious about what I sound like, this is pretty much it.

The second first for me was this morning, when Old Man Winter decided that all the snow-shoveling wasn't enough to ensure I got a good ab workout. Nope, he thought that for funsies he should call on his buddy the SnowMiser to seal all of my car doors shut.

It was somewhere before any tears escaped to freeze on my cheeks that I realized I could, however, get my trunk open. And the trunk does have fold-down seats. 

So, into the trunk I went, sliding into the back seat, kicking the back door open, and then climbing into the front and giving that a good kick, too. It was like Ocean's 11, only more Thorson's One, so kind of low budget.

I must say, there's a certain surreality about climbing into your own trunk. I feel like I have a better appreciation for characters in mafia flicks now.

So that's the news for today. Me, I'm off to have a cup of tea, which I plan to use mainly to drive circulation back into two of my fingertips. I'd like to keep them, if I can. They balance out the hand so nicely.

Hope you all are hanging in there okay during this winter of our discontent. --Jenn

PS-- OHHH! I almost totally forgot! I wanted to mention here some very cool news. I now know the title for the third and final There Goes the Galaxy book in the series! It will be called Tryfling Matters.

I had been driving to work, not really even thinking about the title, when it just popped into my head. The aliens in my book's universe call our planet Tryfe and the people here, Tryflings. Plus, much of the action this time around centers on Tryfe.

Gotta love the human mind. Always on the job!

Love, Alien-Style -or- A Very Special Sci-Fi Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentine's Day... The time of year when our thoughts turn to: "Why didn't I make the friggin' dinner reservations a month ago before it was completely booked?"...

And: "What a scam! These same roses were ten bucks last week and now they're a mortgage payment!"

Or love. Some people also think about love.

Me, well, lately, I've been pretty much having an exclusive relationship with the first draft of the last book in my trilogy... 

We stay in most of the time. I try not to look at him too critically, though I know he's not quite what I really want. 

Right now he's rough around the edges and sketchy. Yet someday, I think he could really be something. 

From this, I imagine it's not surprising to learn my characters have more interesting social lives than I do. But this week I had a lot of fun creating graphics for two of my more romantic quotes in the There Goes the Galaxy series...

Yes, in the Greater Communicating Universe, love can be expressed with an XJ-37 raygun.

This was another favorite, from The Purloined Number:

I hope you all have an out-of-this world Valentine's Day and weekend ahead of you. Based on the weather forecast, we pretty much live on the planet Hoth now. So good luck digging out of the tundra and don't forget to check for Snowbeasts.

If you survive, I hope to see you next week.

One Half Alien Inspiration and One Half Cosmic Perspiration

Just a little sci-fi motivational poster for your morning-- all the way from Beddsyde Manor Wellness Center on the planet Daglann-Da!

(Or, y'know, a quote from the second There Goes the Galaxy book, The Purloined Number. However you prefer to look at it.)

Hope your Tuesday is a stellar one! --Jenn