Category Archives: Tales

New Writing Blog! (http://mjscafati.com/)
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Hey All!

Just wanted to let you know that I now have a writing blog!

                 http://mjscafati.com/

Check it out!

(and follow me on Twitter: @MJ_Scafati)

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Posted in Housekeeping, Tales | Leave a comment

Flash Fiction: (Un)Lucky
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Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity; a complete story in one thousand or fewer words.

Below is my first work of Flash Fiction called "(Un)Lucky."  A woman named Caroline who considers herself unlucky goes for a walk through a eucalyptus grove with a Starbucks coffee and finds... happiness.

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(Un)Lucky

Word count: 1,062

Caroline considered herself unlucky. Elevator doors closed as she approached. Traffic lights blinked yellow to red, Even her cell service was random at best. Friends did not please leave a message at the tone; they relied on 1 Missed Calls to inform. It didn’t.

 

Statisticians would claim that the probability of stellar dust surviving Earth’s atmosphere and landing within Caroline’s Starbucks venti coffee cup during a rare sunny afternoon walk under her favorite menthol-scented grove of eucalyptus trees was too remote to bother calculating.… Read the rest

Posted in Tales | 2 Comments

Progress Report, July 16th
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It's been 3 busy months since my first update, Progress Report, April 16th and 4 months since A Novel Change in the Scafverse.

A lot of big changes have happened in those months: Crystal is Silicon Valley’s Newest Venture Capitalist! and We Found a Place to Live in San Francisco!.

I finally put together a spreadsheet to keep track of my self-study course (what I'm reading and what still needs to be read):  my self-study course for the Novel is an astounding 6,120 pages.  Studies and stats suggest that a good reading pace for this type of technical material is 6 minutes per page for comprehension.  Wow!  My reading course is 612 hours long.  To put that in perspective, an Ivy League semester long course-load is expected to be 50 hours a week for 16 weeks, or 800 hours.… Read the rest

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Progress Report, April 16th
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It's been a little over a month (43 days) since I posted A Novel Change in the Scafverse.  Here is my first progress report.

Novel:

Update: Iterate plot almost daily (incorporating new ideas and techniques from self-study program).  Have written 8 major story arcs, 6 character studies, and "storyboarded" 22 major scenes through to the climax.  Still not sure how to untangle the worldly mess that gets created-- when you upset the balance of power, how do you diffuse WWIII?

Notes on Writing: I was surprised at how the story has evolved from a simple, almost whimsical tale of Leprechauns, to an Alien chasing down a Primordial Black Hole that ultimate gets trapped in Earth to use as an "unlimited" source of energy to power a Spaceship, to that of a story that is much more important than that-- one that explores the ethics of survival and the obligations of intelligent life to the whole of intelligent life: what is man's obligation to mankind?… Read the rest

Posted in Tales | 3 Comments

The Aftermath of CAPTAIN OLIVER
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Upon publishing the second draft of the short story CAPTAIN OLIVER HAS LOST HIS DRIVE here on the Scafverse, I immediately succumbed to a 40 hour bout (and counting-- I'm sitting up for the first time and writing this) with some kind of crazy stomach bug or food poisoning through most of which I slept.

In those moments between sleep and awake I thought about the process through which I created CAPTAIN OLIVER-- converted to text whatever thought dripped from my brain as it did, with no consideration to form or structure (in advance of writing or otherwise).  While writing is an art (hence whatever dripped from my brain) it is also a craft, a set of practical skill that can be learned-- and the next step is to work on those skills.… Read the rest

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Short story: Captain Oliver Lost His Drive
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Thank you for reading this short story from Another Scafverse Production, an installment in A Novel Change in the Scafverse.

This is the second draft of CAPTAIN OLIVER LOST HIS DRIVE, the 8,000 word short story that narrates the tale of an incident aboard a Spacefaring Merchant Trading Clipper Ship.  To go right to the story, skip ahead to the title line past the line of asterisks.

If you would like to contribute to a future draft of CAPTAIN OLIVER, the author would love your feedback.  What parts of the story are interesting, and more importantly where does it drag— where did you find your attention drifting from the story?  As you read, what might be unclear if you didn’t know the ending, or once you know the ending?  Did any scene go by too quickly, or any that should just be cut?  What promises did the beginning make to you as a reader, and were those forces developed throughout the middle?… Read the rest

Posted in Featured, Tales | 1 Comment

Astounding Libration of the Moon
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Normally I don't just post random items from the internet, but I was absolutely amazed by this video.

The moon is one of those things that we're all familiar with, heck we see it most nights-- but never like this.

This video was of particular interest to me, as I have been researching Tidal Lock (when one side of an orbiting body always faces the object it is orbiting) for my book-- and didn't fully appreciate the aspect of libration (the tipping, tilting, and rocking you see) of a tidal locked orbiting body before this video...

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Folks at the NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio created this amazing animation showing our view of the Moon with time resolution of *one hour*!… Read the rest

Posted in Tales, Thoughts | Leave a comment

A Novel Change in the Scafverse
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The Scafverse is taking on a new artistic challenge: writing a full-length Science Fiction novel!

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Writing a novel sounds easy-- come up with a good plot, set it in a visually striking landscape, involve some characters and witty dialog, and POOF! you have a best-seller on your hands.

Except that we all know that for some reason it is NOT that easy.  Sitting in the audience  for whatever critically acclaimed hit Show is on one's screen, repeatedly and accurately predicting story arcs, plot twists, "revealing" scenes, and even the next snippet of dialog, should imply that one has the fundamental means to write scripts for said Show-- so what's the issue?… Read the rest

Posted in Tales | 2 Comments