Between the Conclaves – 4. Kamino, Part 2

4. Kamino

Part 2

Fighters nearly in firing range, Master!” Jumping from her seat and pulling the dress up so she wouldn’t trip over it Shamila ran off to take place in the gunner turret.

This is the 4th Imperial Fighter Squadron of the Nar Shaddaa Garrison,” a voice sounded over the comm.-system. “Former general Vhiran Ashukahwa and Jedi Shamila. In the name of the Galactic Empire you are hereby placed under arrest. Follow us to the surface and no one will be harmed. Any attempt at resistance will result in your immediate termination.” Looking up for just a moment, Vhiran could see the fighters had surrounded them from all sides. They meant business. No use bluffing his way out of it now. He remained silent as he carefully steered the ship out of its position where it faced the planet. “Stop making suspicious movements and follow us to the surface or we will have to resort to force,” the squadron leader continued.

“Not today, I’m afraid,” Vhiran mumbled and opened contact with the gunner position. “Shamila, break their formation. Warning shots only, no lethal fire.”

“Understood, Master,” the young Padawan replied. The moment she fired a short salvo in front of them, several fighters broke rank to dodge the incoming laser fire and Vhiran pushed the thrusters. At high speed he flew through the hole Shamila had struck in the fighter formation.

“You just signed your death warrant, Jedi!” the squadron leader yelled through the comm.-system. “All fighters, attack! Shoot to kill!”

Immediately the Jedi Knight started to shoot upwards to avoid the first shots of the incoming fighters. Three enemy pilots had anticipated the move though and followed him.

“Master, what should I do?” Shamila called out in panic.

Vhiran gnashed his teeth. Loria Ashukahwa, Shamila’s old Master as well as a distant cousin of Vhiran’s and no less than a fighter ace, had taught him a lot about space combat and normally he had no trouble taking out fighters. But, all enemy craft he had fought were droids, and these were living pilots. I have to get us out of here… If I don’t, then Shamila, and Bultar… Vhiran spun to get past the three fighters on his tail, but just barely evaded the four that appeared in front of him.

Master!” Shamila screamed through the comm.

Give up Jedi!” the squadron leader called again. “You’re clearly outnumbered!”

The Jedi Knight lowered his head for a fraction of a moment. I’m sorry…, he thought before turning to the enemy leader again. “But I’m definitely not outmatched! Shamila, open fire!” he yelled to his Padawan.

Yes, Master!” Within the next second two of the three fighters who were continuously sticking on their tail exploded, causing a large ball of fire that took the third down with them and leaving countless pieces of shimmering dust in their wake as the flames faded.

Almost done!” Vhiran called over the sounds of the roaring engine and laser fire as another fighter in front of them was blown apart. He gritted his teeth again. Another life wasted… It didn’t matter to him if the pilot was an enemy or an ally. He despised it every time he was forced to take a life to save his own. But, I’m doing this to save others as well, right? Right?! If I die, then… Laser fire from above awoke him from his thoughts. He steered to the right and felt a minor shock to the ship as the beams just scratched past the wing. A salvo of red laser beams fired upwards and took out the two responsible fighters. “Done!” he called to Shamila. “Coordinates set! Hold on!” He checked before him to see if nothing was in his way, then slammed the button that shot the ship off into hyperspace.

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Introducing Between the Conclaves

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The Road to NaNoWriMo 2016 – Part 3: Whaddaya Got?

Slowly the story develops into more than its bare basic premise. Unfortunately the keyword here is “slowly.” Shards and threads, scattered all across the story exist both in my mind and (albeit to a lesser extent) on paper, surrounding a number of focus points within the story I want to move towards. What’s missing, though, is coherence, some factor that is able to fuse all the loose fragments together and turn it into one solid piece. Normally this wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Last year I managed to use the characters, factions and world – all of which I had very clearly set up in my mind – to make up for the uncompleted plot and write as I went. Right now, I only have a general idea of both the plot and the story’s aforementioned main components. With only a week before the big start, I’m not exactly in the position I’d hoped to be in by now.

Yes, it’s slow going at the moment, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least slightly worried. Despite that, though, I mostly have a good feeling about this. Last year I had less than a week to set everything up and still came out victorious in the end. Like with many writing obstacles I’ve faced before I feel this one is far from insurmountable. Nothing a good dose of focus and discipline won’t solve, right? Let’s get to work! Or, as a certain Chinese general would say:

More (or actual) progress and details about the story will be coming in the upcoming posts this week. Hopefully you’ll stay with me with as I continue on this road and get my things ready for the big journey in November! ^_^

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The Road to NaNoWriMo 2016 – Part 2: Would You Look At That!

While I work on getting all the foundations for my story up, let’s take a slight detour for a moment. Instead of looking at the story itself, I’ll be going into what gets my creative motor running, both in general and for this year’s NaNoWriMo story specifically: inspiration.

Most writers (or artists in general) can agree that inspiration can sometimes be hard to come by. In this case we have a few choices: we can sit down and do nothing, just wait for inspiration to come to us, or, especially if we have a set-up for a story to finish within a week or so, we can help it along a little, and with it ourselves. Here are two sources of inspiration I’ve found very helpful in putting my story together during my recent NaNoWriMo preparation. It’s not unlikely you’re familiar with them already (the second in particular), but they might just prove helpful.

Whether it’s a spirited faux-Latin filled trailer score for that epic battlescene, a sad, dramatic song for when it’s time to say goodbye to that beloved character, or a soft and gentle piece for a tranquil or intimate moment, listening to the right music at the right time has been a major inspiring factor for me and my writing for a long time. Right now it’s no different. I have an mp3 player full of music for various occasions, but lately I’ve spent most of my time on one particular YouTube channel.

Traditional Music Channel is an incredible channel with music from all across the globe, so as long as your story takes place somewhere on planet earth (or something similar to it), it’s bound to get you in the mood for writing!

Pinterest and DeviantArt
When I’m in need for some pictures, either just for fun, to illustrate a blog post, or something completely different, I usually went for the general picture search route if I was in need for some pictures. Recently, though, I’ve actually discovered Pinterest. Fairly easy to use and having both pictures aplenty and a convenient place to store them without clogging up my computer, it has proved a big help in visualising my story. Thanks to this site I actually managed to get a much better idea of what my two main protagonists actually look like! *cue infomercial*

DeviantArt is a site I’ve been using for a bit longer, mainly for that one world building project I really need to get working on again. Even if you don’t find what you’re looking for immediately, simply scrolling and clicking through the site and viewing the various pieces of art can really lead to unexpected but often pleasantly surprising bursts of inspiration.

And that’s all the time we have today! Just a glimpse into a few simple pieces of possible inspiration for my writing endeavours, and perhaps for yours as well!

Speaking of your inspiration: where do you get it from? Do you use these same sources, or do you have utterly different methods to gather it and completely different places to go to? You have anything inspiration related you want to share? Please leave a comment! Who knows how we might inspire one another!

See you soon back on the Road to NaNoWriMo 2016! ^_^

Inspiration by DestinyBlue

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The Road to NaNoWriMo 2016 – Part 1: Where Are We?

Every story has to start somewhere. This particular story first took root all the way back in 2006, with the earlier mentioned email and the ‘new manga premise’ it contained. It would take no less than a decade before it would rise above that single email. The premise, however, the very, very, crazy premise was born! A premise on its own does not a story make, though. We will be needing the various pieces that make up a story. Therefore I will, like last year, take the Road to NaNoWriMo and use it to discuss my attempts at setting up an outline for the story I will be writing in November, starting today with the broadest and most general level: the setting.

For this story we find ourselves in ancient Egypt. In many ways it is not unlike it is often presented: a mighty civilization filled with sun, sand and massive monumental structures along the great river Nile.


There is, however, one major difference: ancient Egypt is under attack, by aliens! Yes, a strange extraterrestrial species I’ve, for now, decided to refer to as the Nyuu (for the sound they make), have set their sights on planet earth. They desire to add it to their great intergalactic, territory and either exterminate or enslave humankind.

Speaking of earth… While a blue and green globe like our own planet, this particular earth is unique in the sense that its various locations exist at the same time, but in various different time periods. So we have ancient Egypt existing at the same time as, say, medieval Scotland and late twentieth century Colombia! And no one seems to bat an eye at this.

Of course the latter two examples are not arbitrary, because it is there that we find our two protagonists, the ones destined to fight against the extraterrestrial menace. We’ll be further discussing them later down the road.

And that is, in very short, the world in which this story will take place. The multi-time-period earth is actually an idea I thought up quite recently in an attempt to explain one very striking aspect of the story (also to be discussed later down the road), perhaps unnecessarily, considering the craziness of it all, but I do think it makes for an interesting setting with a lot of potential.

I understand that this description is still fairly broad and vague, more-so than I’d like it to be, as it doesn’t quite do justice to the absolute absurdity the premise actually contains! I have to be careful, though, not to reveal too much, or run the risk of spoiling the story before it’s started as well as my rivals (apparently I have rivals now… ^^) stealing my obviously brilliant ideas for their own work! Revealing my multi-time-period earth really is a lot more than I expected to give away! I enjoyed sharing it, though, and hopefully you’re enjoying it just as much.

I do think I will be able to divulge a bit more in the further installments of the Road to NaNoWriMo 2016, when I’ll go deeper into the factions and characters that inhabit this earth. Hope to see you then! ^_^

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The Road to NaNoWriMo 2016 – Introduction: What Shall It Be?

Yes, what indeed? Participating in NaNoWriMo is certainly a lot of fun, but before we can get to that fun, we’ll be needing a certain something first: something to write. My decision on what that would be this year has gone a little bit different than last year. Whereas back then I chose from a list of stories I had been wanting to write for some time, this time at least the setting had been, well, set before preparations had begun.

The story I intend to write this year initially wasn’t intended to be a full-fledged story. It was a short email to a friend in which I told him about a new manga series that was going to make its way here from Japan, the premise of which was incredibly absurd and bizarre. In reality, though, there was no new manga series. I made it up, I believe to see how much of it he would believe and attempted to see how much insanity I could throw into it (tons of it, actually!). While it was short and nothing was done with it afterwards, it was enjoyable to write, and it has stayed at least in the back of my head.

Now, quite some years laters, the story returned to the front of my mind and I began considering actually doing something with it. And with NaNoWriMo fast approaching I made the decision: this shall be my novel for November 2016!

That was a lot of background for a single decision. So what is this crazy premise you’ve been babbling about?” I hear you asking impatiently. Without divulging too much details, for details are always accompanied by spoilers, allow me to very shortly and somewhat vaguely explain.

Imagine a Scottish knight with a most unorthodox fighting style. And imagine at this knight’s side a Colombian drug kingpin. Now imagine both of them bearing tremendously ridiculous, nonsensical names, as well as a destiny to face an invasion of extraterrestrial creatures, of which I can’t tell whether their appearance and biology or their (sports-based) motivations are more bizarre. Finally, imagine this all takes place, in ancient Egypt.

How’s that for nuts, everyone? So, do I have your attention yet? How about your interest? I do hope I have both, because in the upcoming (now less than) two weeks The Road to NaNoWriMo 2016 will continue and like last year I’ll use it to reveal the various aspects of the story’s setting, its characters and its plot, bit by bit.

So begins my journey towards this year’s National Novel Writing Month! Will you be coming along and join me in my quest to get my second novel (yes, technically just a manuscript… Shut up!) finished? Hopefully I’ll be seeing you all next time! Until then! ^_^


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Between the Conclaves – 4. Kamino, Part 1

4. Kamino

Part 1

This is commander Finoru Asafia of the Imperial Security Bureau. His Majesty the Emperor has sent me as security advisor for this moon. I demand to speak with the garrison commander on the double.”

Shamila sat quietly and listened as the man contacted the Imperial garrison on Nar Shaddaa. He looked nearly unrecognizable without his beard and wearing a black silk robe with a matching hooded cloak bearing a broche with the Imperial emblem. And then there were those mysterious markings on his face and the lenses colouring his eyes dark brown. Only Shamila, Bultar and a handful of those closest to him would know Imperial commander Finoru Asafia was in fact Jedi Knight Vhiran Ashukahwa. In her reflection in the ship’s window she eyed the elegant black dress, coat and gloves she wore, all fit for the member of the Imperial nobility she was for now: Sinoa Huu-Fao, daughter of the wealthy Huu-Fao family and Asafia’s niece, taken along to learn about Imperial security from her uncle. Back on Dantooine Ghost had provided them with a ship, equipment and disguises. While Bultar searched for other Jedi to join the conclave Master Potkin was organizing on Kessel, Vhiran and Shamila would go to the Nar Shaddaa garrison to get in touch with Flash, Demo and Blackout. Then they would set the first steps in building a force to fight the Empire, before heading to Kessel and meeting with Bultar and the other Jedi awaiting them there.

“Welcome, commander Asafia.” The image of a man in a dark grey uniform bearing the insignias of an Imperial lieutenant appeared on screen and saluted. “We have been expecting you. I am glad to see you have arrived safely. And, the lady Huu-Fao is well, I trust?”

Vhiran nodded. “She is. Our journey occurred without trouble.” He narrowed his eyes as he looked at the lieutenant. “Though I believe I just demanded to speak with the garrison commander, not have small talk with the staff,” he said in a tone as cold as his glare.

“Y-yes, of course, sir,” the officer replied nervously. “The captain shall be awaiting you at the landing platform. One moment please. I’m sending you your escort right away. Please follow their directions, sir.”

The Jedi Knight nodded approvingly as the image faded from screen. So far so good. He looked at his Padawan next to him. She seemed nervous. “Don’t worry, Shamila. We’re almost through,” Vhiran said in a calm tone and patted her on the shoulder, but he couldn’t deny that under his calm appearance he felt somewhat uncomfortable, a feeling that increased as he looked through the ship’s window. No less than twelve T.I.E. starfighters approached them. An awful lot of fighters for a simple escort flight…

“Master, someone’s trying to contact us,” Shamila awoke him from his thoughts.

“Probably the squadron commander.” Vhiran nodded as he turned to the ship’s comm.-system. “Encrypted channel,” he mumbled as he opened it, but instead of the Imperial fighter pilot he saw the familiar face of his ARC captain. Vhiran looked at the screen in surprise, but before he was able to say anything Flash did it for him.

“General, I don’t have much time, so I’ll make this quick. Those starfighters are not there to escort you. They’ll try to arrest you once they’re in range and apply lethal force if you resist.” The clone did not give his general a single moment to reply. “Information has leaked. Shortly after you left Dantooine they somehow intercepted a conversation between you and Blackout and found out you were coming. They tried to arrest Blackout but he managed to escape to Kamino to continue the plan we’ve been working on. You should go there too. He’s waiting for you on the southern side of the planet and will explain everything in detail once you get there. The Imperials think he’s dead so you should be safe there as long as you lie low.”

“Flash…,” Vhiran tried to reply.

“Go now!” Flash interrupted. “I’m not supposed to be here right now and have to close the channel before they find out what I’m doing! Stay alive, ner vod.”

“You too,” Vhiran replied with a firm nod as his fingers ran over the controls to enter the hyperspace coordinates for Kamino. “Thank you, Flash,” he whispered just before the ARC trooper had closed the channel.

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Introducing Between the Conclaves

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Let’s Get Ready To WriMo!

That time of the year is fast approaching once again! That time when we put everything else aside for an entire month and just write, write and write again! Yes, about two more weeks and this year’s NaNoWriMo will be kicking off!

For those of you blinking there eyes, completely unaware of what I’m talking about: NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Each November writers from all across the globe will strive to finish a 50,000 word long novel in a mere thirty days. No hourse of thinking, no editing, no procrastination: just writing and finishing that novel of yours!

If you reach the goal in the set time you’ll be among the proud group able to call themselves NaNoWriMo winners! This isn’t a competition, though. The goal is simply to write your novel and your only “opponents” are the word count and time. There’s even a major community – on a global, national and in some places even local level – for seeking and offering help with writing, inspiration, moral support, talking to other participants, and all kinds of other things one might suspect from a big, supportive writing community.

As you might recall I participated last year and, despite it being far from a cakewalk, I succeeded in passing the 50,000, and then some, in time and I did it while have a really good time. My very first participation and victory felt incredibly inspiring and invigorating and I considered it such a major success that I decided back then that when November would roll around the next year I would be there to take part again!

So here I am, two weeks before the big start. Like last year I started a bit late with preparations, but unlike then I already have a decent grasp on what I intend to write. For now all I’m telling is that it’s a major departure from last year’s rather serious and somewhat politically charged story. The details, though, oh no! I don’t even have most of them myself! I mean, who do you think you’re talking to here?! ^_^ The upcoming two weeks I will be working out the blueprint, though, getting the plot, setting and characters ready for writing. Expect posts detailing that process and unveiling (without spoiling) the story itself in the upcoming days.

Yeah, I know, actual posts! It’s about time, right? Hopefully, with all the stress and busyness lately, NaNoWriMo will succeed in getting those juices flowing, those gears grinding and that engine running, so that the writer in me can once more be awoken and unchained, and do what he does best! … Oh yeah! When my overly melodramatic side shows itself you just know it’s going to be awesome! I’m definitely looking forward to it already! See you around! ^_^

NaNoWriMo 2016, here I come!



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Itsa Me!

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Who? Just your average descendant of two sea-faring peoples, recently graduated anthropology Master and aspiring author with a life-long passion for writing.

What? Uhm, human. I think... Also a bit crazy, but in a good way. I think...

Where? A land under the sea, far, far away. Occasionally with my head in the clouds.

Why? Trying to get both my work and my love for writing out there, sharing them with others and getting in touch with fellow writers, artists and other like-minded people.

Hi! ^_^

NaNoWriMo 2015

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