THE YEAR OF 2015 IN REVIEW

 

Nick Mugshot

2015-MY YEAR IN REVIEW

When I think back on the last year, I think if it as if climbing over rugged terrain, with valleys, peaks, rivers, and forests along the way. It reminds me of days when I was younger, walking through the woods of our Thousand Island family camp. Occasionally,  we’d run into a bog of sort, or perhaps some dead logs or thick brush along the way.

Those days of hiking are long gone now, and I am plagued with health problems, although nothing serious. Most of it is my own fault, by not staying in shape, and indulging too much in my wife’s and my own cooking. I also continue to have back problems from an injury I received at work in 2013, and I’ve tried the conventional methods, but none seem to work for me due to hereditary arthritic conditions. But all in all, I’ve had a productive year in many ways.

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I started the new year working on my second sci-fi writing project, the sequel to Dimension Lapse, Return To Doomsday. I finished the first draft by June of 2015, and was working for a release by December. Through patience, diligence, and help from my wife and a family friend in editing, I was able to surpass my deadline, and release it in September. Covers were difficult on my first book, but on this one I was able to find  an Adobe program that works great called Lightroom, and I was able to finally develop covers that I really liked, and could be proud of. I’ve even redone the first book to create an even more attractive cover.

TOBIAS COVER

Then there was my children’s book Tobias Meets A Friend. It started with the story being rejected for the premium catalog on Smashwords. I still have been unable to correct this because I don’t know how to fix the Autovetter errors. If anybody has any suggestions, I’m welcome to hear them. This however, has not affected the viewing ability of the book, however, because I’ve received several page views. Then there was the problem with Amazon, where I was coming up short on the minimum amount of pages. I corrected this with coming up with a few more illustrations and dialogue, so you’ll find that the versions are slightly different.

Rewriting, editing, and formatting is always a necessary but a near excruciating task. It is nice to have a couple of extra editors to get a cleaner copy, and pick up things that I’ve missed. My next book, which I hope to have out by June, will be my best yet at catching my own errors, as I learn to grow as a writer.

BOOK SIGNING DOWNTOWN

Although profits are not anywhere I hoped be, it has been a good year for writing. Profits have been tough because I can’t really afford the advertising that is necessary for me to succeed as a writer. Book signings have been helpful, and at every one I’ve had this year except one, I’ve been able to sell at least a few books.

Personally, for me, it has also been a tough year; financially, physically, and mentally. I’ve watched people die in the past year who I’ve known for years, and the new year doesn’t bring promise for others I know as well. We’ve have had to regroup our finances into a debt program that we can afford, and living on a fixed income doesn’t help. Our family lost a family pet we’ve had for 1 years. Since then, we’ve pick up a stray we named Angel, who is really a little devil, but one of the cutest cats we ever had.

BALTA

So where do I turn in the new year? Well, hopefully, I’ll have enough willpower to go on a diet and stick to it(the hard part for all of us), and develop an exercise program I can do, and my back will allow. If I get well enough, maybe it will alleviate some of my back pain to where I can at least work again. It’s tough now to stand longer than a half hour without leaning against something, and I can sit no longer than an hour without taking a break from the computer, and standing for five minutes.

For writing, I hope to make this a pivotal year.  I hope to get my next novel, Dimensional Breakdown, the third part of the series out by June or July. I started last summer, and am almost done with the first draft. It will be a monumental task to get it done in any less time, but I may surprise even myself, who knows? I also hope to get at least two or three children’s books out as well. I want to increase my advertising budget, and try to expand on school book fairs, signings, and reading children’s books in schools.

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Dimensional Breakdown will not be the last we’ve heard of Jeff Walker or Angelica Avery. I plan on writing a prequel to Dimension Lapse in the future, as well as a whole three part series about Angelica after Dimensional Breakdown. After this trilogy, however, I’m going to move onto my fantasy series that I wrote when I was 12 years old. It will take a great deal of rewriting, redeveloping, and reinventing. But that’s not until 2017 and 2018. those two years will be my most ambitious and creative yet, as I will have to write at least three novels a year. Good God, that’s a lot of writing!

On Thursday, we’ll look back at 2015 from a scientific point of view; what advances were made in our world, the setbacks, and discoveries. Until then Happy New Year, and may yours be a good one!

Pluto

2015: A YEAR OF SCIENCE

This year turned out to be a most pivotal year in science. Recent discoveries reshaped the way we think of our solar system and universe as a whole. Developments in the fields of medicine, physics, geology, genetics, robotics, space explorations and computer science reshaped history.

The most pressing matter was just recently addressed this past December in Paris, climate change. A recent meeting to discuss climate change was attended by over 184 countries who pledged to participate in the talks. A landmark agreement was reached by 195 countries. 2015 has been deemed the warmest year on record, and is expected to become even warmer in the coming years.

climate change

The New Horizons was the center of attention, both in June, when it visited the asteroid Ceres, and in July, when flew by Pluto. NASA’s outstanding photos revealed a world much younger than previously thought, with ice mountains, nitrogen glaciers, and smooth, frigid plains.

ceres

During the first part of 2015, Cassini space craft confirmed the presence of liquid oceans on the two of the moons of Jupiter. Eneleladus contains twice the amount of liquid water than our planet.

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In the world of medicine, Ebola made a strong comeback in Western Africa, killing 11,000 people. The contagion has been since controlled, and less than five recent cases have been reported.

In the world of physics, the Hadron Collider started up again after a three year hiatus, and presented proof that two sub atomic particles could be in the same place at the same time, seemingly breaking the rule noting that nothing can move faster than light.

Shortly thereafter, an X-Ray flare 400x brighter than usual from a supermassive black hole in the middle of our own galaxy. Also in March, NASA introduced their new launch system, the most powerful rocket ever built called the Orion.

SUPERNOVA

It was also the year of astronomical phenomenon, with two solar eclipses, two lunar eclipse, and three “blood” moons. I watched one of the lunar eclipses, which was also a blood moon as well, and it was an awesome sight.

On April 22nd, scientists in China genetically modified human embryos. In the same month, Tesla introduced a Thorium battery capable of powering several homes in case of power outages.

 

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In May, astronomers detected the most distant galaxy at 13.1 billion light years, and believed it to be one of the oldest, dating back to less than a billion years after the big bang. In September, evidence of flowing water was found on Mars, re-sparking the debate on whether life was or is possible on the red planet.

Liquid_water_on_marsMARS ROVER

On October 23rd, Hurricane Patricia became the strongest hurricane ever in the western hemisphere, with sustained winds over 215 mph.

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On October 27, researchers at the University of Bristol created a tractor beam made of sound waves able to move objects from up to 40 cms away.

On December 21, Space X makes its first landing of a Falcon 9 rocket vertically.

Other than those mentioned above, many other advances have occurred in the past year. Discoveries in the world of paleontology, such as new species of dinosaurs, mammals and humanoids, and developments in computer technology and robotics have all changed our world in one way or another. A treaty was signed by several countries who would agree to not using artificial intelligence in  their military robots, and only being manually operated by a driver or pilot.

CO2

There has also been an increase in UFO sightings in the past year in places like Peru, Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and many other places across the globe. Whether they are man-made or of “otherworldly” origin isn’t known, but it is rather interesting since this is also the warmest year on record. Perhaps someone or something is trying to tell us something about our own planet, and the way we treat it.

With the rise of food contamination, such as mad cow disease, avian flu, and other edible contagions, prices have soared. Water will one day become more valuable than gas, and is close in price. But there is good news, and that comes in new “green technologies”, such as solar, wind, or biofuels, or Thorium fuel cells. Thorium contains less radiation than an X ray, and can fuel a whole power grid using very little space for the generator.

Next week, I’ll be back with a new topic. Until then, have a nice weekend, and a good one for the first of the year!

 

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SCIENCE FICTION AND SCIENCE REALITY

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