Wintery Update

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Hey Space Cadets, how are you doing today?  I’m doing good, a slight delay on Operation Breakout, but I still hope to finish it before the end of the month.  I plan on doubling down now that my wife is back in college after the holiday break.  Taking advantage of the quiet during the day will be my sweet spot, or at least I hope it will.  I took advantage of the snowy weather we’ve had and played with my sons.  Snowball fights, hot chocolate, the usual wintery goodness.  Here’s hoping I can get back on track real fast and in a hurry like.

 

As an update from yesterday’s post, I also managed to go for a walk this morning!!  I took a half mile circle around the lake behind my house and enjoyed the serenity of what passes as nature in suburbia.  Someday I would love a more rural setting, but I need to be close to the VA hospital, and my wife enjoys the malls a bit too much for life in the sticks.  I love the idea of waking up to a view, letting the surroundings serve as inspiration.  Obviously, upkeep would be an issue but I hear they have riding lawnmowers these days so maybe I can convince the War Department?  Who knows, but I can at least try!

 

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As you can see, the walk was both scenic and saddening.  I can’t stand to see this litter everywhere and when my back is up to it, I carry a trash bag to pick up what I can.  Litters beware, Big Sarge is watching you!  Anyway, I need to keep this blog short because I need to get back to work but I didn’t want to get out of the habit of my daily blogs so I figured a quick update was in order.  Tomorrow I’ll post an interview with another small science fiction publishing house, so come back and check it out!!  And Saturday I’ll write another one of my book reviews, so don’t miss that either!!

 

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry! 

brown_bess

JR

 

 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are owned by JR Handley.

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World Building Wednesday: Sand Tables

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Hello Space Cadets, how is everyone doing today?  What’s that?  I can’t hear you, sound off like you got a pair!  And if you don’t, fake it till you make it!  So, now that I have your attention, let’s have a little chat over coffee!  Today I decided to give you get a sneak peek into how I wrote my battle scenes.  Let’s dive into the world of sand tables, sometimes called Recess for Soldiers!

 

So where to start, first let me start by discussing what a sand table is.  In a nutshell, a sand table is a surface bearing a three-dimensional map of a given piece of land.  According the Merriam-Webster, it’s “a table bearing a relief model of a terrain built to scale for study or demonstration especially of military tactics.”  Basically, I a super special map!  The military has used them since forever, long before Christ was even a Corporal.

 

Now that I’ve explained what a sand table is, I’ve decided to show you the one I made for my first novel.  Yes, The Legion Awakes, which will be published on December 19th, 2016.  It’s an improvised sand table for a combat scene in the novel involving a battle that my main character is involved in.  Wanna know more, read the book!  You’ve probably already read this, but please let me be prideful for just a few words!  I’m currently writing The Sleeping Legion Series set in the military science fiction world of Tim C. Taylor.  That book will be out soon, so I wanted to share some of how I got here.  Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let us return to our regularly scheduled programing.

 

Anyway, the key to a successful sand table is that they provide you with the opportunity to visualize the battle space in three-dimensions.  This allows you to better describe the field as you’ve envisioned it.  It allows you to envision all of the obstacles which might get in the way of the armies you are describing, though this could work for any type of writing, combat or otherwise.  I supposed I would be remiss if I didn’t also tell you that these can be used to model towns, and other generic settings for your works in progress.  Not as exciting, but certainly necessary.  They are used by the military for strategic visualizations, are extremely helpful with strategic planning, but can be used by everyone!!

 

Without further adieu, my masterpiece!

 

My Sand Table

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LEGEND:

Cups: Akoni Mountains

Green Sponges: Dense forests

Brown Building Blocks: Old Government Tower and Akoni City

Blue Paper: Water Features; Dynia River and Lake Charon

 

Now that we’ve covered this in depth, feel free to sound off in the comments below!  And if this tickled your fancy, click the follow button and never miss out on the insanity or shenanigans from the Handley Trenches!

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess

JR

 

 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are owned by JR Handley.

 

Sleeping Legion Update

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Hello Space Cadets, I’m trying not to float away as I write this!  It’s finally here!!  The big day, the day I get to tell you about the release date of my first novel, The Legion Awakes!!  It will be the first in a series of military science fiction novels set in Tim C. Taylor’s Human Legion Universe.  This debut novel will be released on December 19th, 2016 amid much celebrating in the Handley Household.  Hey, if it goes well I might just buy back that family castle!  😉

 

To let you glimpse what you’d be buying, I thought about a quote from the book.  I wanted to give you a feel for my bad assed main character, Senior Veteran Sergeant Lance Scipio’s training style.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

“… Lance decided to take the beast by the horns and address the assistant squad leader, Cadet Sergeant Fitzgerald Wyckoff, directly. “Cadet Sergeant Wyckoff, is it true that Cadet Hayley Mason led the mutiny by herself? Think carefully before you answer my questions.”

Cadet Wyckoff jumped to attention, though less rigidly than Cadet Mason had, with a self-assured cockiness that told Lance he often tried to charm his way out of trouble. “That’s correct, Sarge, right on the money.”

Wyckoff never saw it coming, so confident was he that his charisma would save him. Without missing a beat, Lance pulled the Flenser pistol out of the holster on his thigh and shot Fitzgerald in the head. This abrupt execution caused a rippled gasp around the room, as 1st Squad finally had one reaction that was unified. Apparently that’s what it takes to get everyone’s attention?

 

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Hopefully this has sparked your interest, because it has been a rollercoaster journey of self-discovery for me.  If you do decide to buy it, please be kind and leave an honest and heartfelt review.

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess

JR

 

–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are cover art owned by Human Legion Publications under licensed use for JR Handley.

NaNoWriMo Update

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Hello Space Cadets, I’m sorry for the delay in posting lately. I AM still alive; my alien overlords haven’t called me back yet.  I took a few days off for Thanksgiving, and then had to play a crazy game of catch up to finish the NaNoWriMo event.  It has been insane!  Long days, longer nights and loads of coffee.

 

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Okay, as for the NaNo… let me give you a recap. I finished the rewrites for book two, Fortress Beta City.  It’s now with my copy editor for the last pre-publication pass.  This was a lot of work, hours of conference calls giggling over pizza, but it is done.  It is, hands down, the favorite book I’ve written.  My former editor, and boss, was so close to the story that together we missed some ways it could’ve been better.  I imagine that many authors who let outsiders play in their sandbox experience these issues.  I think book one, The Legion Awakes is good, but I’m even happier with book two.  And let’s face it, there is also the element of my improving skill at storytelling.

 

In addition to Thanksgiving, I had my 35th birthday just after Thanksgiving and it was wonderful.  My wife is very supportive of my work, so she bought me a fancy dancy ergonomic desk chair.  Stand back boys and girls, she’s mine and I’m keeping her!!  My birthday present to myself was finishing book two, Fortress Beta City.  Like I said earlier, the final structural/content editing pass is done, and I don’t tend to worry about the copy editing!!  Hey, I’m just not too overly attached to the commas and whatnot.  Now we wait for the final formatting before it’s off to the presses!!!!!  Okay, maybe beta readers too…. but IT IS DONE!!!!

 

Now that I’ve mentioned the editing, I need to pretend my momma taught me some manners.  I’m not an ungrateful frakker, so thank you Corey Truax!!  You do good work, glad we hired you!! Tim C Taylor will love the finished product!!

 

Sorry literary world, he can’t be your editor…. HE’S ALL MINE!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

 

Continuing on my NaNo writing journey, I also pushed past book two and wrote over 36,000 words into book three, Operation Breakout.  I’m loving this book too, it’s full of action and has improved upon the mistakes I made in earlier novels.  I feel like Operation Breakout is the fulfillment of the promise of high action that was made in Fortress Beta City, and as a writer I always want to honor the implicit promises I make.

 

Growing, always growing (and not just my belly) towards being a better novelist.  That’s what I hope I’m doing anyway.  Hopefully readers will agree; I’m sure I’ll find out soon.  I’ve not done it alone, I’ve had great mentors and support.  I won’t list those mentors today, but I will write a post about who they are since they are so very supportive of new writers.  They host podcasts, webpages and Facebook groups that are very supportive environments.  Another noob would be welcome, the Fire Marshal just extended our digital capacity!  Again, more to come!!

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess

JR

–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are personally owned by the author of the Human Legion Universe.

Family Friday Update

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Hello Space Cadets, I hope this post finds you well and in good health.  The American Thanksgiving Holiday has just passed and the process of recovering from the food coma’s have begun.  If you’re participating in the Great NaNoWriMo, I wish you many words and hope your journey is well on its way. 

 

Speaking of the NaNo, I’m behind but still within the realm of finishing the 50,000 words in 30 days.  I’m working on Operation Breakout, the third novel in my Sleeping Legion series.  I’ve also put some words into two short stories and some last-minute revisions of Fortress Beta City. That’s the second novel in the Sleeping Legion series.  The first two novels in the series should be in ready to leave me and wander into the big bad jungles of the Amazon.  I’ll post more as soon as my editor and boss give me more information.  My current word count is 35,939 words across several projects related to the series I’m currently writing.  I am behind, but it is definitely salvageable!

 

As for my interview series, they will come as soon as the authors I’ve contacted respond.  I will keep you posted, and unless I have something to say this will be the last post marked in the series until my interview requests start coming in.  Since I can’t offer you an author’s interview, let me instead recommend a book by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin.  It’s his first complete book since the 1977 publication of The Silmarillion.  If you loved the Lord of the Rings, you’ll love this! 

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Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess

JR

–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are used under the Fair Use Doctrine.

 

Beta Reading Recon Team

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Hello Space Cadets, do you yearn for action and adventure?  Does your soul beg to shake free from the shackles of Mother Earth?  Do you love reading, diving into fictional universes and then discussing it in depth?  Basically, there’s a call out for all of the Geeks, Nerds, Fan boys/Fan girls and all around science fiction fanatics.  If this sounds like you, and you want to help an author launch his debut novel, head on over and join the Legionnaires!!  Be a part of the adventure, shape it and mold it until it is a piece of literary perfection that Heinlein would be proud of!  🙂

 If you want to join the recon teams, you need to first join the Legion, which you can do here.  You can then discuss your thoughts on the BattleNet, but you don’t need to do so to chat away.  You can find join the discussion here.

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess

JR

–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section