Thursday, September 12, 2013
James M M Baldwin
In my car
The world is mine
In my car
The sounds of my kingdom are at my fingertips
In my car
I control the climate with the twist of a knob
In my car
the world rolls by at a speed determined by my right foot.
In my car
My future unfolds though a clear glass shield
In my car
History recedes in the rearview mirror
Rain on the windshield?
Getting dark outside?
Automatic halogen headlights
Six-way power controlled seat.
Frosty rear window?
Red traffic light
Brake pads squealing
Check engine light stuck on
Flashing red and blue lights
License plates overdue
Insurance card missing
Driver's license expired
(I never liked that picture anyway)
I think I'll walk
Saturday, August 31, 2013
You can participate in the book launch by getting your copy at the following locations.
Amazon, paperback and Kindle edition
Barnes and Noble/Nook
Don't forget to visit me at Facebook or you can send me an email at email@example.com
Friday, August 30, 2013
Q- What's the story behind your latest book?
A- "Spencer Murdoch and the Portals of Erzandor" was inspired by the emotional state brought on by a post 9-11 environment, the spirit of a world changed by a single act. This is the story of a family working to retain their happiness and security despite obstacles beyond their control.
Q- What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A- When I'm writing, and the story is flowing, I really become immersed in the characters and their plight. It's almost like I become that character and I'm living through them. I know it sounds a bit psychotic or schizophrenic, but I think that feeling is the experience of any creative person while they're writing, or painting, or composing, or whatever. Being a fantasy writer means that I experience things I could never live through in a million lifetimes. I hope the reader feels the same.
Q- What do your fans mean to you?
A- Naturally, the fan is what makes the world go 'round for a writer. The reader is the most important aspect of creating. I want them to come away from my stories with a
"Wow. That was different… or original." I'm not sure if I have any fans in the true sense of the word. Not like J K Rowling or something. I'm sure I have some vaguely interested people. I guess they would be my fans. Hey. If you're out there somewhere, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q- What do you read for pleasure?
A- I often enjoy reading classics, especially science fiction classics. I also enjoy reading speculative short stories. There's just something exciting to me about entering another world every time you sit down to read.
Q- Who are your favorite authors?
A- My favorite author is probably Ray Bradbury. Not only do I enjoy his stories but I think he is a good role model for an author. In his work ethic or approach I mean. Another along those same lines is C S Lewis. His space trilogy, specifically "Out of the Silent Planet" is what made me decide I wanted to be a writer. Also, Madeleine L'Engle's "Wrinkle in Time" quadrilogy is one of my all-time favorites. Her imagination is unrivaled. I recently discovered that she wrote a fifth book in that series. I need to get my hands on that and read it. The Jenkins and LaHaye "Left Behind" series is entertaining and inspirational, especially for anyone who has read the bible. My favorite modern writer would have to be Ted Dekker. His circle trilogy is A-plus.
Q- What is your writing process?
A- Most of the trained writers I workshop with at the Nebraska Writers Workshop will probably scoff at me for saying this, but I'm a seat of the pants writer. Most successful writers have everything planned out before they begin. My planning is all in my head. So it's not like I don't know where I'm going, but there's always room for exploration and new direction. Albeit, a lot of what I write gets cut out later.
Q- Describe your desk.
A- Uh… messy.
Q- What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
W- Because I have a day job, I don't have any choice. My writing takes place in the dark of night. I think that fact is reflected in the subject matter and tone in my writing. Of course family also plays an important part in my life. So, if you're getting the drift here; I don't sleep much.
Q- When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
A- As I mentioned before, family is an important part in my life. So I like to take them to do free things like hiking or to the beach at a local lake. My son is interested in paranormal investigation, and I'm his sidekick. I'm also a bicycling addict. Whenever I can, I take off and ride somewhere between 10 to fifty miles at a time. I keep trying to push the distance a little further each time. Maybe someday when the kids are grown, I'll ride my bike across the country. Years ago I wrote and recorded several rock albums, but it's been a while since I've forayed in that direction. It would be a joy to have the time to get back into that again. I studied art in college and enjoy pencil drawing. I'm also an avid painter and sculptor. Wanna buy a painting? Hahaha
Q- Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
A- I wrote a story about a young man that finds himself alone. The phone rings and he picks it up to find no one there. Then the doorbell rings. He runs to answer it and no one is there. He runs up and down the street searching for someone, anyone. He finds no one. Scared and dejected, he returns home. He passes a mirror and looks in. And… you guessed it… no one is there. I thought it was brilliant at the time.
Q- What are you working on next?
A- I think, like most authors, there's always a plethora of projects running through my mind. Sometimes that can be a distraction to progress. But, as for projects actually in the writing stage; I have two short stories I need to finish. One's has a working title of Schätzchen Drachen, which is German for baby dragon. It's the story of a young boy in the Black Forrest of Germany that finds a Dragon egg. The other is a darker tale that was actually the result of a bad dream. I'm not exactly sure how far to take that one. The dream was pretty extreme. After I finish those two, I need to get to a new round of editing on the completed second novel in my Spencer Murdoch series. It has a working title of "The Island of Sora Sesha." I'm really excited to get back to that and publishing it sometime in 2014.
You can get books by James M M Baldwin at the following locations
Paperback edition of "Spencer Murdoch and the Portals of Erzandor" at CreateSpace here.
Paperback edition of his science fiction short story collection at CreateSpace here.
Paperbacks and Kindle editions at Amazon here.
Also available in Amazon stores worldwide.
Ebook editions for any ereader in the Smashwords store here.
IBooks for iPhone, iPod, or iPad at iTunes here.
Nook editions from Barnes and Noble here.
Also available at Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and can be requested as an ebook checkout at libraries worldwide.
Monday, July 15, 2013
James M M Baldwin
Earthen mother’s cold winds blowing
Over valleys season’s snowing
Disappointed hearts are growing
Coal black eyes humility
Into darken’d depth’s despairing
On broad shoulders burdens bearing
among the tribe sorrow sharing
Longing for tranquility
Entire people’s nation suff’ring
Open wounds without a cov’ring
Disembodied spirits hov’ring
Changes in earth’s energy
Along solemn red road trav’ling
Hopes of multitudes unrav’ling
Ev’ry child’s dreams abandoning
Farewell to the elderly
Across a vacant valley guarding
Ghostly apparitions parting
Ancient sorrows place of starting
Tragedy goes on unending
Face of happiness pretending
Predecessors’ souls ascending
To the afterworld enticed
Luminescent life-force beaming
Flying flitting floating gleaming
Agonizing voices screaming
Far off hungry babies cry
Seeking honor noble beings
Far from their oppressors fleeing
Future generations freeing
Brave men falling down to die
Ev’ry step humiliating
Stolen breath suffocating
Cold forgotten end awaiting
Men and women one last breath
Feet upon their last march shuffling
Frozen winter winds blustering
A once proud people suffering
Meet their destination; Death
Written in the form of H P Lovecraft's "Despair"
Inspired by the book "Crying for a Vision: A Rosebud Sioux Trilogy, 1886-1976" by Don Doll (Editor), Jim Alinder (Editor), John A. Anderson (Photographer), Eugene Buechel (Photographer), Herman Viola (Introduction), Ben Black Bear Jr. (Foreword)
Saturday, June 29, 2013
As promised, here is the discussion of light speed travel and time disruption. In my story “Son of Thunder," an experimental propulsion system pushes a ship towards Mars at a percentage of light speed, creating a time anomaly for its crew. First of all, Einstein came up with this convoluted theory of time dilation where the closer you approach to light speed, the slower time moves. So, using Einstein’s “twin paradox,” if a twin traveled at 99.99% of light speed for six months, when he returned his twin would be fifty years older than him. Really? Prove it Einstein. As mentioned in previous discussions, without referring to wormholes or time wrinkles, limitations of light speed travel are based on increasing mass and the need for an infinite energy source. So how can we test it? Well, the first experiment was conducted in 1971 with atomic clocks and an airplane traveling around the world at 600 miles-per-hour. After the trip, the moving clock was a few billionths of a second behind the stationary clock on the ground. A few billionths? Really? Whoop-dee-do-dah. In more recent years, the same experiment with atomic clocks was conducted using the International space station. This time, after six months orbiting the Earth at around five-miles-per-second, the difference was about seven one-thousandths of a second. WOW? (sarcasm). Maybe Einstein was right. Well, these types of miniscule time differences don’t make for good science fiction. And no matter how much we slow time we can never make it go backwards. The time dilation theory is much different then a theory I used in my story “Kronos Methodios” where a machine freezes its occupant in time or perhaps propels them through a wrinkle and deposits them at a point in the future. So, for my story, my time incursions caused a possible leap between alternate time lines or maybe just delusions to the travelers themselves. Anyway, the time anomalies in “Son of Thunder” wreak havoc with the timeline, threatening the safety of the courageous astronauts conducting the experiment. Can they straighten out their problems or will it cost them their lives. What are your theories on time travel or light speed travel? Anything I failed to mention?
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Around the corner
Near the top of the hill,
Is an eye catching sight
that’ll make you look twice,
If you’re not in a hurry,
you might want to stop,
get out of your car
After months of brown earth and dreary skies,
As the ground is born with newfound strains of green,
A field of purple clover turns heads
And imaginations of passers by.
If the rush of life affords you,
leave your car behind,
stand at the edge of an alien landscape
in awe and spectacle.
Drink in the color,
the sweet smell of the bumble bee’s delight.
Take the time,
observe the marvel,
For next week
the plow will turn the field to brown again.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tell me what you think about this. Firstly, what do you know about the nuclear prohibition in space. Obviously, with the laws of inertia, you don’t want radioactive material flying about the universe. But what do you think would happen with a nuclear explosion in outer space. Secondly, in my story “Son of Thunder,” I proposed a nuclear propulsion device that would harness the expanding energy of an atomic explosion against a blast-plate attached to a ship. Since a nuclear blast’s initial detonation expands at high percentage of the speed of light, I used ten decreasing proximity explosions to propel my ship faster and faster as the reactions get closer to the ship’s blast plate. In the story, my ship achieves a velocity of four percent of the speed of light, exceeding twenty-five million miles per hour. At that speed a ship could travel to mars, depending on orbital conditions, in less than a day.
In researching the story, I discovered that there have been studies on nuclear pulse propulsion, not the least of which was “Project Orion.” Also, there are numerous science fiction forays using such a device. And of course, when you talk about light speed travel, you also have to think about time anomalies. And that’s where the true focus of “Son of Thunder” resides. But that sounds like the subject for another future post. I can sense a “Light Speed Travel, Part III; Time Travel” in the offing.
I wanted to bring this up because I think about it often and would love to hear your opinion.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Seagulls at the Walmart
James M M Baldwin
A screeching gull o’er
Rolling tides of ocean waves
Surfers bob in a salty sea
Sandy shores burning the souls of feet
my heart is longing
days of sun and drifting blue
warm winds kiss my rosy cheeks
But alas, it is Nebraska
At Walmart no less
Nay an ocean a thousand miles
No fishing allowed
in the frozen food section
What brings this majestic bird?
Scavenger though he is
To my corner of the planet
To brighten my day?
To sprinkle morning cheer?
Across fields of wind-blown plastic bags
Beyond corrals of wobbly wheeled carts
Past the puddles of oil stained blacktop
He has come to dine
In the trash bin at the fast food shop
Monday, April 22, 2013
While making calculations for my short story “Son of Thunder,” a story about a round trip voyage to Mars at a percentage of light speed, I came up with some interesting data to share with you.
We know light travels 186,282.397 MPS (miles-per-second), which translates to more than 670 million MPH. Current theory does not allow an “object” to move at the speed of light because of the restraint that increased acceleration as it approaches light speed would require an infinite amount of energy.
However, here are some examples of how long it would take to travel to specified locations in a ship capable of traveling at the speed of light. Our light speed ship could travel the roughly 250,000 miles (varies depending on its orbital distance) from Earth to the moon in 1.3 seconds. The 93 million miles from Earth to the sun would take 8.3 minutes. (However, if you’re traveling to the sun you’d better go at night so don’t you burn up ;) ) The time to traverse the 25 billion miles to Alpha Centauri would be 4.4 years. And a trip in our speed-of-light-ship to the edge of the Milky Way galaxy would take a mere 100,000 years.
Seem like a long time? How about this? Using current technology, most of a vehicle’s fuel is used reaching Low Earth Orbit with little fuel left for an interplanetary or interstellar mission. But presuming we could fuel a ship beyond orbit, its speed is around 17,000 miles per hour (408,000 miles per day, 148,920,000 miles per year). Therefore, our space ship travels at 0.0025 percent of the speed of light. Considering our light speed ship took roughly 4 and a half years to reach the nearest star Alpha Centauri (4.3 light years at 5,865,696,000,000 miles per light year equaling more than 25 trillion miles), it would take our ship 170,000 years to travel that distance. Now here’s the real kicker: The center of the Milky Way galaxy--our galaxy--is approximately 30,000 light years. To reach it using our current technology spacecraft would take approximately 1,186,046,511 years, that’s more than a billion years; almost unfathomable, not to mention what it would take to reach another galaxy.
In “Son of Thunder” I proposed a controversial propulsion system that I discuss in Light Speed Travel, Part II; Nuclear Propulsion. Check it out here. But these are plenty of numbers to wrap your brain around for now. Have you ever contemplated space travel and the speed necessary to achieve a deep space program? What are your thoughts? You tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Swords and Dragons
James M M Baldwin
Dragons deal death upon the land
Raised swords split the sky
Dreams of destiny dance in the dark
Serpents soar above singing sorrowful songs
Demons draw their daggers in deception
Snakes serve a sour justice in a sunless season
Dogs growl, drums direct a stampede
Scarred soldiers draw silver sabers from crimson scabbards
A dance of danger drowns a kingdom in demise
Scarlet sands recite somber stories
Darkness drapes the dead in a desolate shroud
A single sword rises in success