August 3, 2020
The Ports of Surset Book 1 is coming back from Beta readers this week; the Ports of Surset Prequel is finished and ready to be sent out to everyone on my mailing list on Release Day for Book 1; & I am going to be starting a new article series on how real life tech advances impact the world of Sci-Fi writing!
In The News
In the last month, Covid 19 news has recorded 4.7M cases in the US. With over 150,000 Covid 19-related deaths reported, the official mortality rate is reported nationally at 6%. In my home county, Johns Hopkins reports fatalities are trending at around 3.5%. Yet, the big debates raging right now are 1-Can Donald Trump, in his capacity as POTUS, postpone the upcoming November elections; 2-Will mail-in votes be contested successfully (because we all know he is going to try); 3-Should Florida schools delay their return to classes? Folks, these should not be questions that need any debate.
We had actual Homeland Security officers gassing, shooting and abducting peaceful protesters off of the streets of American cities; the POTUS declaring it was a great thing and he has more units rolling out to other cities. He also declared an obviously deluded but licensed medical professional to be a woman with interesting things to say that people should listen to; i.e., Reptilian aliens are in positions of power in the national government; demons (sucubi/incubi) are actively attacking men and women every day; hydroxychloroquine (already established to be ineffective) is the cure we need; and this vaccine that is being so hotly pursued is in fact designed to prevent people from being religious or spiritual. She says other things, but I think you get the picture.
Closer to home, I am beginning to feel the effects of the lock-down more personally. I was fortunate that the company I work for was able to anticipate the possibility of the pandemic and moved to make work-from-home a viable option well before anyone else was talking about it. My husband was promoted to a supervisory position which meant he worked all the shifts when everyone else was cut back or laid off. Our income didn’t really get impacted, although some of our daily activities and general lifestyle details had to change. As an introvert in the classic sense, I welcomed the opportunity not to attend this or that function completely guilt free and without the need for excuses.
That was five months ago. I think I have discovered my isolation limit. I have, in the past week or two, begun to miss being able to sit in a restaurant or go on a road trip or just smile at a stranger at a store and know that they could see me smile and might even return one. I was more depressed two days ago because I wasn’t able to connect to my office’s “hang out” zoom meeting than I have been about nearly anything in recent memory. It appears that I too need a little bit of meaningful interaction.
I went to purchase Chinese takeout to prod some dopamine to surge and, while waiting (outside on the sidewalk) for the order, a stranger walked by. I smiled and then chuckled at myself because I had once again forgotten masks hide smiles. I said as much, and the stranger, without slowing, said, “Excuse You!?” I was crushed. I was only trying to be friendly.
I don’t know that person’s day or circumstances, and I can look back now and think kind and hopeful thoughts. But, at the time, it was enough to topple my fragile feelings and cement another layer of bricks onto my wall of isolation. Please, everyone, let’s try to assume the best from each other, or at least that there is a smile hiding under the mask. Just assume it and smile back.
My current writing project, The Ports of Surset Book One
of the Andran Company, is coming back from the Beta readers this week! (Oh and I changed the Title.) I want to be through Beta revisions and be ready to order a final proof copy in paperback by the last week of August. I want to release in early September. I think it would be pushing it to aim for my birthday (September 6) but hey, maybe the Beta notes will be easy fixes! My amazing cover art designer, C.K. Designs, has made incredible progress toward a beautiful cover. I am spending a little time every day preparing and learning about the dreaded world of marketing!
Social, Media and Otherwise
You can find me on Twitter , Reddit/r/ubrielbrynebooks, Facebook and Instagram (ubrielbryne20). In the lead up to Release Date, I am ramping up the quotes from the book with graphic backgrounds and trying out some ads and stuff. If you come across one you really like, reply to it so I know it’s a good one!
For the remainder of this year, use the Coupon Code 2020 for 20% off all editorial services. It expires on December 31, 2020, so get your editing job on the schedule before then!
I Am Starting A New Article Series!
I recently engaged in a very enjoyable conversation with a young writer on Twitter regarding good Blog topics. I, obviously, abuse my Blog to write about whatever I am currently thinking about. But I did recommend that a Blog following new scientific advances, published studies, technology and other such academic topics might be great fodder for a Blog about how the things we are learning will impact the way Sci-Fi envisions the future. Or even, what Sci-Fi tech might be imagined from new technological advances in the real world.
To that end, I have decided to do a short article series in my newsletter, probably anthologized here on the site, regarding this expansive topic. If we like it, I might consider making it a running thing. For now, I will simply do a short article on each of a few facets of real world science advances impacting the worlds of science fiction. Expect the first of the series to appear in the August newsletter, so sign-up for the mailing list!
Take Care! –Amy (aka Ubriel Bryne and Jami Montgomery)