by Wendy Nikel
Recently, while I was looking through the five years' worth of documents I've kept on THE CONTINUUM prior to its publication, I stumbled across the playlist I made while I was working on it.
Although nowadays, I've gotten used to writing anywhere, regardless of what else is going on, when I first started writing, it was helpful to me to find a song to help me get into the tone and mood I wanted to convey in certain scenes. And to keep the tone throughout the story consistent, I often chose one favorite band for the whole novel. For THE CONTINUUM, that band of choice was one of my personal favorites, The Smashing Pumpkins.
So grab your copy of THE CONTINUUM, turn up the speakers, and join me as I walk through the songs that inspired the scenes!
Chapters 1 & 2
Time is never time at all / You can never ever leave / Without leaving a piece of youth
Fans of this song will probably remember the turn-of-the-century, George Méliès-inspired music video that went along with it, which makes it the perfect inspiration for Elise's trip into 1912.
Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
She waits for me there / With seashell hissing lullabyes / And whispers fathomed deep inside my own / Hidden thoughts and alibis / My secret thoughts come alive
This scene takes place upon a vast ocean, and the music mirror's the point-of-view character's own rise from melancholy and despair to determination and action.
Chapter 4 - 7
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
This instrumental piece is one of my personal favorites, and one that I think really works well for Elise's mood in these chapters as she's returning to her familiar world, but with some things weighing heavily on her mind, things that she wish would have gone differently.
Chapters 8 - 10
Bullet with Butterfly Wings
And what do I get for my pain? / Betrayed desires and a piece of the game
What better song to rage against a situation that's completely out of control, where Elise is trapped, with no options and nothing she can do about it than this rage-filled rock ballad?
Chapters 11 - 14
The End is the Beginning is the End
Is it bright where you are? / Have the people changed? / Does it make you happy you're so strange
In a strange new, world where nothing's familiar, everything is disorienting, especially when there's time travel involved, and this song gives a great sense of the strange wonder that Elise feels in this unexpected situation.
Chapters 15 - 21
Consume my love, devour my hate / Only powers my escape / The moon is out, the stars invite / I think I'll leave tonight
In these chapters, Elise encounters another character who, in my mind, has this as his theme song. He only wants to be free, to escape that which he knows is coming for him, and because of that, they end up butting heads.
Chapters 22 - 24
Apocalyptic means are lost among our dead / A message to our friends to get out
The clock is ticking and Elise knows what she has to do, but that doesn't make it any easier, particularly when there are those who would stop at nothing to see the catastrophe through.
I forget to forget me / I forget to forget, you see / Nothing is important to me
Forgiveness is an important theme of this chapter, as is the idea that it's sometimes more difficult to forgive ourselves than it is to forgive other people.
It's up to you, you know / The things you want to hold / Are in pieces
There's a lot that comes crashing down in this chapter — things that were meant to be unbreakable that shatter and characters' resolve that weakens. And yet there's a feeling of hope in this song, too, a longing for something beyond that I think fits well with this chapter.
I've journeyed here and there and back again / But in the same old haunts, I still find my friends / Mysteries not ready to reveal, sympathies I'm ready to return
Characters tend not to come out of a story the same person they go into it as. That growth and new understanding is essential for a good character arc, but a lot of times it means facing things about themselves that aren't easy.
Similarly, thinking back on the person I was when I first started this story, I had a lot to learn still, and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to share with the world the fruit of those labors. Thank you to everyone who's encouraged and supported me along the way!
I hope you enjoy THE CONTINUUM!
It's out today! Wendy Nikel's wonderful time travel novella, The Continuum, can be the next science fiction book on your shelf or ereader. And did we mention it's the start of a series? Later in 2018 (probably), you'll be able to follow more adventures involving the Place in Time Travel Agency in book #2, The Grandmother Paradox. See more about that announcement here.
What reviewers have to say about The Continuum:
“Nikel’s inventive spin on time travel and eye for sumptuous detail make her writing a treat to read.”
"The Continuum packs a staggering amount of well drawn world-building into a short space, making for enough time travel adventure to launch a series...full of heart, humor, and thrilling action and adventure scenes that make for a fun, fast read."
“Fans of Jules Verne, Dr. Who and Quantum Leap (minus the body jumping) should settle in for a time traveling puzzle that keeps our heroine on her toes.”
Elise Morley is an expert on the past who's about to get a crash course in the future.
For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency's ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn't abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.
But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she's got more to worry about than just the time-space continuum. For the first time ever, she's the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.
About the Author
Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she's left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Daily Science Fiction, Nature: Futures, and various other anthologies and e-zines. For more info, visit wendynikel.com or subscribe to her newsletter here!
The third book in A.E. Decker's wonderful Moonfall Mayhem fantasy series will be available March 20, 2018, and it is now available to pre-order at several online vendors! We're excited to continue this series, which has been called "Pirates of the Caribbean meets Cinderella" and "Shrek meets The Wizard of Oz if Dorothy were Wednesday Addams and Toto a talking cat with bat wings."
Catch Starthorne has spent a lifetime running from the prophecy that names him as the one who will save the shifter race, but now that he has returned to his home in Clawcrags, he may have to face his destiny. Determined to slip through fate’s fingers, Catch sows confusion, making friends from foes, mixing up the occasional sleeping death potion, and matching wits with an overbearing lion-shifter, who appears to have plans of his own.
Need to Catch Up on the First Two Books?
About the Author
A. E. Decker hails from Pennsylvania. A former doll-maker and ESL tutor, she earned a master’s degree in history, where she developed a love of turning old stories upside-down to see what fell out of them. This led in turn to the writing of her YA novel, The Falling of the Moon. A graduate of Odyssey 2011, her short fiction has appeared in such venues as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fireside Magazine, and elsewhere. Like all writers, she is owned by three cats. Come visit her, her cats, and her fur Daleks at wordsmeetworld.com.
Baba Yaga Anthology
Anthologist: Kate Wolford
Open for Submissions: January 1 to March 31, 2018
Expected Publication: late 2018
[UPDATED!] Story Length: 5,500 to 20,000 words
Payment: $25 for 5,000 to 7,500 words; $50 per story for 7,501 to 20,000 words
Baba Yaga, the terrifying witch of the forest in Slavic folklore, lends herself to all kinds of interpretations. Notorious for traveling in a mortar while wielding a pestle, Baba Yaga sometimes wreaks havoc on humans, but can turn around and help when she feels like it. And she is an early Tiny House owner--hers moves on chicken feet.
Baba Yaga may be recognizable from classic images by Ivan Billibin, but, in the US and some other countries, her qualities are not as widely known as they are in Slavic countries. A link to learn more is HERE.
Kate is looking for stories from Baba Yaga’s point of view, or the point of view from those she helps or hurts, or from anyone who might be a protagonist worthy of the Baba Yaga story. You can set the story in the past or present. The story can take place anywhere in the world. It can include romance or action or tragedy or comedy.
Kate wants well-developed stories that don’t disintegrate at the end because they’re rushed or major plot lines are unfinished. Develop characters. Draw readers in with specific details. Make them root for the protagonist.
The audience is age 15 and up. Please, no sci-fi, dystopian, erotica, high fantasy, time-travel, futuristic, space travel, or western submissions. No love triangles, please.
Kate will not provide feedback at any point during the submissions period.
Submission Method: Send your story pasted into the body of the email. Attachments will not be opened. Please email with Submission: [story title] in the subject line. Please include a brief cover letter, but DO NOT summarize your story in the cover letter. Send submissions to Enchantedconversation[at]gmail[dot]com.
No multiple submissions. Just one per author. But simultaneous submissions are fine. No reprints, sorry!
About the Anthologist: Kate Wolford is a writer, editor, and blogger living in the Midwest. Fairy tales are her specialty. Previous books include Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales to Fall in Love With, Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, and Frozen Fairy Tales, all published by World Weaver Press. She maintains a 'zine, Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, at fairytalemagazine.com.
Other Anthologies Edited by Kate Wolford
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.