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The Lovely and Surprising Creative Mind

The creative mind is starting to work again. It’s not consistent yet, or really strong, but it is happening. It’s even resulted in words!

One things that is helping me is working on a new series. Even though I was a little miffed at myself for creating yet another universe when I already have so many. On top of the new universe I started writing on, The Enigma Watchers, the last year before Mother Hen passed away.

So yeah. Had an alternate history action-adventure series in The Enigma Watchers.

Now also have the Atlantis Shifters romance series.

And then earlier today…


These aren’t two new universes! Both of these series are in the same universe!

I was working on the timeline of The Enigma Watchers when it happened. I realized that the Atlantis Shifters ‘world’ diverged from that one in the past. Only they take place at about the same time, just in different parallel universes. But they do cross over. To the point that characters can cross over, if I ever wanted to do it.

Talk about getting a shiver of delight!

Sometimes I just love the creative mind. 😀

Plot Bunny Spam Comments

The spam-bots can get really interesting on a blog nowadays. While procrastinating from revising I decided to clear out the moderated spam caught by Akisment where I discovered these two gems:

You can definitely see your expertise within the paintings you write.


The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.

I laughed at the first one. “Paintings you write”? My mind shouted, “Synesthesia!” One day I want to use synesthesia in a story. Just haven’t found the right one yet.

The second one… well, this is proof you can get story ideas from anywhere. When I mentioned it in Forward Motion chat, suddenly there were story ideas from a bunch of people! (As Grey put it: Writers: Getting Plotbunnies From Spam Comments!”)

  • “If we detect weakness in your writing, we will fire the proton cannons.”
  • “The secret writers’ consortium, of course. Oh, wait, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned them.”
  • “Evil oppressing alien overlords controlling the ‘sector’.”
  • “”If we detect weakness in your writing, we will fire the proton cannons.” It’s how they mention that you’re “not afraid to mention how [you] believe. It’s almost in a “We like an enemy who fights back” tone.”
  • “No, they’re a version of the Men in Black which descend on your domicile and all traces of your existence will instantly be wiped out. “
Yes, I came out of that one with ideas for stories. Like I need more than what I already have! Although, is it possible to have too many? Um, well, if one already has so many they wonder if they can ever write them all, then maybe yes.

Oddly enough, yes, we get a lot of writing done while in chat. Why do you ask? 😀

(As a note, all of the Children of Jad books now have new covers and are available in print!)


J.A. Marlow

Children of Jad Omnibus

It all started with an ordinary day and ended with her life changed forever…

Finding remnants of an ancient crashed ship in a forest of the planet Jad may save Elvy Akuma’s father’s job at the Jad Cultural Center, but it could also restart the war between Human and Chion. Through the threat of pirates, Chion Warriors, treasure hunters and more, Elvy and her friends Tiver and Pelik must rely on each other to protect themselves, the heritage of Jad, and peace itself.

All while finding a piece of history that history forgot.

This Omnibus collects together the four “Children of Jad” novelettes at a bargain price, completing the entire story arc in one volume. The collection includes:
Glint of a Suncatcher
Glint of a Ring
Glint of an Artifact
Glint of a Tower

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It’s a Story, But Not *MY* Story

I’m in the process of getting ready for the Forward Motion Writer’s May Story-A-Day short story challenge. The plot bunnies and Muse have been very good to me providing me with more ideas than I think I can write in that month. So much so that I stopped looking for more, and tried to distract myself with other things, such as revision.

The next morning I realized one of the ideas kept coming to mind, but not in a good say. The more I thought of the story, as first imagined, the more I didn’t like it. It was darker and more depressing than I usually write.

Then came the realization that I was not looking forward to writing it.

That thought made me stop and look at the idea again. I loved the title and wanted to do something with it. The story was a good one, in and of itself, but it was not MY kind of story.

There is was. It would have been a fine story for someone else to write, but I was not the writer to do it. I decided to take it out of the May list of stories to write, with the plan to take the title and start over.

It took only a few minutes for the Muse and plot bunnies to come up with a replacement. I guess they were just waiting to attack. All good and well…

…Until one of the departing plot bunnies told me what the other story should have been.

Mouthy little bugger.

So, now I have more short stories to write in May than I thought, as not only do I have a corrected first story, but I also have the supposed replacement.


Can someone else please distract the plot bunnies for a while now? I’ve been nibbled raw with ideas. 😛


J.A. Marlow

The String Weavers (The String Weavers – Book 1)

Kelsey Hale thinks she’s just a typical mixed-up teenager. Everyone feels that way, her teachers assure her. Yet, strange things happen to her, like food disappearing before she can eat it and hearing music no one else hears.

Then a giant flaming bird drops an alien at her feet. Well, good grief, how can you ignore something like that?

Abducted from Earth, the only planet she’s ever known, Kelsey finds herself thrust into the middle of a deadly conflict among alien worlds and parallel universe. She must not only survive herself, but also find a way to rescue her father from a dangerous group with unknown motives.

In the process, she’s confronted by a hidden secret about herself which will shake the very foundation of who and what she thought she was.

And connecting it all are the mysterious Weavers.

A 97,100 word, 389 page (approximate), science fiction novel.

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Astronomy Fun Stuff: Molecular Cloud Barnard 68

I love to read about odd and strange phenomenon in our large universe. The one I read the other day is on Molecular Cloud Barnard 68.

This ‘hole’ among the stars is what is called a dark molecular cloud where the concentration of dust and gas is so dense that is shuts out practically all the visible light from background stars (it’s possible to see through them in infrared light, though). Barnard 68 is a classic example of this.

Because no stars are visible in the center indicates the cloud is rather nearby, with current calculations placing it about 500 light-years away and approximately half a light-year across. It’s not known how these cold clouds form, but it is known that the clouds are places new stars can form.

Small article at Astronomy Picture of the Day

Plot bunnies anyone? Of isolated suns in the midst of a dark molecular cloud? Of a ship trapped inside?


J.A. Marlow

Coffee Cup Dreams New CoverCoffee Cup Dreams

She wasn’t supposed to wake up when dead…

During what should have been a simple operation, Tish Douglas died. And yet, she also awoke… in what the doctors called a ‘psi event.’

Despite having no memory of the incident, it means she’s required to go on a life-time course of debilitating drugs designed to reign in her supposedly new psi gifts. She’s left with the option of existing on Earth in a drug-haze, or leave the planet.

When an opportunity for a good paying job on a space station known as Redpoint One is offered, she jumps at the chance. Even though she doesn’t have any experience as a ‘maintenance engineer.’ Even though the station sits in the middle of nowhere, a still-operating construct of a long-gone alien species.

Between pirate attacks, intelligent repair robots, and maintenance emergencies, Tish must find a place for herself.

All complicated by a growing attraction to the one person on the station she can’t have: boss Arthur Getty.

A stand-alone 48400 word, 193 page (approximate), science fiction romance novel.

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Ideas Versus Originality – Why the Fight?

With the planning for the upcoming Nano my mind continues to circle back to the basics of writing. At Forward Motion we have several newbies in chat who are working their way through the process of deciding what they want to write.

And every year I hear the same line, over and over again from a lot of new writers:

“I can’t write this idea. It’s been done before! I have to find something else that is original.”

I sigh every time I hear this and then have to patiently explain the below:

Newsflash: There are no new ideas out there.

Which is okay, because the idea itself isn’t what is important. How can I say that?

Boy meets girl.
Loner saves planet/universe.
A desperate fight for survival.
Escape from abuse.
Mystery must be solved to save the innocent accused.

All of the above ideas have been written a thousand times or more. Does that mean none of them should be done again because the idea isn’t original?

A prompt can be given to a room full of writers. For the main character one writer may use a different gender for their MC than another writer. Another a different species. Others, different personalities, traits, or quirks.

This also applies to art. I’ve set out reference material to use for inspiration and composition in front of a group of painters. By the time the paintings are finished one who hadn’t been a part of the challenge would never know they were inspired by the same things (other than perhaps they all had a mountain or a river in them).

What Is Important

It is not the idea that is unique.

It is the execution of the idea that is unique.

This is why no one can copyright an idea. Only the exact execution of an idea can have a copyright. This is why any writer who hears from another person, “I have this great idea. I’ll give you the idea, you write it, and we’ll split the royalties.” laughs their heads off. Because the idea isn’t the part of the equation that is truly valuable. Ideas are a dime a dozen. It is what the writer does with them that makes them valuable.

This is a good thing in another way. If ideas could come under copyright imagine how fast the window of legal ideas, characters, concepts, and so on would shrink down until no one could write anything.

So, stop worrying about the idea. If an idea sings to you, grab it and write it. Worry about what is important: the execution of the idea.

Bring out your unique vision of the idea. Your history, viewpoints, and experiences will come out in the writing. Your unique insight, characters, settings, wording and phrasing, pacing, viewpoint, and dialogue.

No other writer has your writing voice. It is the ‘you’ in your writing. This is what will make your version of the ‘idea’ unique, original, special, and different from what anyone else has written.

This is why I did not worry about the originality behind the idea for the Salmon Run series. It wasn’t important. What I did with it was important and that is where I threw all my creative energy. The same with all my other writing. The ideas behind my stories are hardly original, but what I do with them is.

So, have an idea that has been lurking around your head but you don’t think it’s ‘original’ enough?

Then remember it’s not the idea, but what you personally do with it. The moment you start writing it, it will be all yours. Enjoy the ride!

J.A. Marlow
“The E-Book Experiment” chronicles the business and creative side of an experiment with the business opportunities new technology and creative outlets now afford content producers. Will it fail? Will it succeed? The only way to know is to approach it with a solid plan and try. No regrets!
I hope the details of this journey will be a help to other authors. As the process proceeds to selling the final products I will also share hard data that might be useful in the decision making process of other authors who recognize that only they can take charge of their careers. For a listing of all the posts in this series, please click here.

If you find this information useful or interesting, please encourage others to come on by and visit.

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Mom (A.K.A. Mother Hen) Cancer Fund

Yes, our very own beloved Mother Hen is now struggling with a GBM tumor. The family is struggling because of no insurance and we are desperate to get her the life-saving treatment she needs. If you have a little extra and would like to help out this very deserving person, please consider giving a little donation to help her along the way. Thank you!

GoFundMe Help For Mother Hen

Click Here to use Paypal

Writerly Progress

2015 Yearly New Words
47.15%  188600 of 400000
2015 Yearly Revision Words
9.53%  38100 of 400000


Free Serial: Zerralon


Available Ebook Formats

The works of J.A. Marlow are available in a wide number of formats including DRM-Free. Below is a list of a few of the retailers the various formats can be found at.

Mobi (Kindle compatible): Amazon, Drive Thru Scifi, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Epub (Nook compatible): Barnes & Noble, Drive Thru Scifi, Google Play, Kobo, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii, iBookstore

PDF: Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Palm DOC/iSolo (Palm compatible): Smashwords

RTF (Rich Text Format): Smashwords

LRF (Older Sony Reader format): Smashwords

Plain Text: Smashwords

Online Reading (HTML): Google Play, Smashwords

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J.A. Marlow and Star Catcher Publishing is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, iTunes PHG Affiliate Program, and affiliate programs with Kobo, Smashwords, DrivethruFiction, and All Romance Ebooks. These affiliate advertising programs are designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking.