Monday, September 17, 2012

Novel Skills

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. The mister and I took a short trip to the ATL to do some shopping. Not for shoes (though I am fond of boots), but for electronics parts. It's a real demonstration of my form of ADD. I quit my day job to write novels. Therefore, I am building a robot.

Okay, okay, that is a bit of a leap. I'm learning how to wire up an Arduino board. Yesterday, I made an LED blink. Then I made it blink really fast. Next step ... how to wire a servo to the same kind of board. Then I can make something move! I have a degree in Computer Science, so I am comfortable with the software side of all this. It's the hardware that has always puzzled me. When I went to college, CS degrees involved mainframes. We did not get to touch the hardware; and if the dumb terminal broke, someone else got to fix it. Later, when I worked for a large corporation, there was an entire department dedicated to fixing our hardware, so I couldn't touch it then, either. So any knowledge I might have had back in my DOS Guru days slowly faded. It's nice to be learning something about the innards of our electronic pals.

I am still writing. My current novel does not involve robots or androids. (Not yet, anyway. Potential!) My hope is that learning such skills will make my later stories that do include robotics more plausible. At least, I do need to know the difference between a diode and a resistor.

The Furry Ones are truly enjoying my being home most of the time. Another new skill --typing with a cat in my lap. Ergo the Magnificent takes up a lot of personal real estate, so it is a bit of a challenge. Bengals are not small critters. When this cat naps, he naps HARD. The rain is falling now, so all of us are feeling a bit drowsy. Rain, fully tummy from lunch, purring cat stretched across my shoulder ... it's hard to not take a nap...

As for the book ... the working title is Twenty Million Leagues Over the Sea, and it is a steampunk-ish space adventure. Consider it a sequel to several of the original "steampunk novels" that were written before the term was ever coined (and are now thankfully in the public domain). At the end of The War of the Worlds, the citizens of Earth were left with a pile of dead Martians and a lot of interesting technology. What did they do with it? In this story we find that if Necessity is Invention's Mother, then Revenge is its Father. Terra Vigila!

My goal is to have this ready for publication on the Kindle and the Nook in Spring 2013, hopefully May-ish. Updates to follow.