Essay: On reading

I’ve been mostly planning and working on my NaNo novel from 2011 using but today I ended up channeling my thoughts on reading and why I feel it’s so important to a writer (and why it still puzzles me that there are several people in my creative writing class who read books very rarely).

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Short story: Halloween

I started on this a bit before actual Halloween, but then school and NaNo got in the way of me finishing it, but after I successfully made it through November and this years novel draft fun-times I finished this!

It’s kind of a sequel to Water Dance in that it introduces two of the characters there, so might want to read that first.  (And oops, this one is even longer than Water Dance was.)

But now, without any more babbling…Have some way overdue holiday stuff with quirky characters (two of which I don’t own and I will always be grateful to her for letting me use them).



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Short story: “The Blizzard”

My darling protagonists took me for quite a ride, though I really should have been getting ready for bed. With shock I discovered that Cass might have a thing for slash.

It is a story segment which would take place in the time span of my second novel, the sequel to the one that started as my NaNo. (Geez, what am I doing planning a whole book series what now?)

Oh, warnings for naked (though nothing is described and nothing comes of it). Also warnings for sap. Sickly sweet sap. Birch sap.

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Flash fiction: “A blank sheet of paper”

Another flailing piece of semi-poetic writing which turned nice and coherent.


A blank sheet of paper, an empty document.

Oh, the promise that you bring, oh the possibilities, the choices. Whatever you can imagine, anything you can see can be used to fill them up.

Words of any kind can be stacked up and up, sentences, phrases, poetry or prose. Everything is possible and in some way that makes it all rather frightening.

Because if anything is possible, how are you supposed to make a choice about it?

“It is too big”, you cry. “The responsibility is too great for me!”

So you sit there and stare at it, perhaps hoping that it will start filling itself of its own accord, or perhaps that you, like a woodcarver, finding whatever may be hidden in any block of wood, that by staring you will be able to see the mystical, magical pattern of words waiting to be filled out on that one sheet.

You dawdle and you procrastinate, you angst and you dwell. Every word you put down seems to sully that pristine whiteness, like footsteps on a meadow of newly fallen snow, white and glistening.

The time passes, soon the hours of the day will be used up. The page remains blank and defiant.

What to do then, how to act?

The only way you can act when faced with such a devious being; you grapple it head on. You take that pen in your hand, you sit yourself by your keyboard and you just write.

You force those words out, you wrestle them like bull calves at a rodeo, you force them into patterns, into sentences and…Soon you find that the pattern you were looking for, desperately seeking in that white blankness suddenly emerges there before your very eyes.

The words flow down the page as if they’ve always been there, they hum like a melody and they create patterns to soothe your weary writer’s soul. For you find a satisfaction there, in this trial and exercise, like a man who goes for a run every day. Though he finds it daunting every day, especially when the conditions aren’t the best, when the rain pours and the wind blows, he keeps at it and gets successively better at it.

So you, the writer must do the same. Every day you sit down with that blank sheet of paper, that empty document, even when the day seems cruel and break to you. You sit there and you wrestle those words into shape and in the process you write out your soul’s melody.

And when your soul is truly humming, that is when stories are born.

Flash fiction: “Dragon Hunter”

Oh, look. Proper fantasy! Most likely induced by recent mentions of Skyrim.


The dragon dove with a roar, tail lashing like a whip, tucking its wings close to increase its speed, only to whip them out at the last moment to come to a midair halt. The warrior stood his ground, boots digging into the sludge formed by the last week’s rain, his breath misted in the cool mountain air, for the moment making it seem like he also had fire breathing capabilities.

A second later the beast expelled its fiery breath and it was only at the last minute that the warrior was able to lift his shield, made out the best fire proofed steel, to protect himself from the heat. It still singed the hairs off his sword arm though. The dragon roared in frustration as the warrior emerged from behind his protective shield, grinning. Spitting and hissing the dragon crouched on the ground, its tail whipping back and forth like that of a cat stalking its prey.

The warrior paced, sweat trickling down his back, induced by that torrent of heat that he’d been assaulted with, nothing more… Or so he told himself. He quickly swapped his sword for the long spear strapped to his back, to allow himself better reach.  The dragon lunged again, rearing up on its hind legs, its long neck curving down to meet him head to head, by revealing a mouth filled with razor sharp teeth. He thrust his spear at the beast, once, twice, while the animal whipped its neck back and forth to dodge. The dance of lunging and dodging went on for some time until the animal seemed to have regained its fire-breath and shot off another ball of fire at the warrior.

He spat a curse as he was the one forced to dodge now, then losing his footing some on the muddy ground, slipping just enough that when the dragon lashed out with its sharp teeth again, it was able to get a hold on his spear. Quickly he knew he had to turn this slip into an advantage, so he cast away the spear and grabbed for his sword instead. While the dragon was worrying at the spear, like a dog with a bone he had the sword in hand, the finest spell-forged steel and he ran at the beast.

The dragon noticed him coming, but a second too late. By the time it had readied another burst of fire, he was able to dive under its belly and the beast shrieked in terror as he managed to slash into its shoulder as he went. It tried to flap away in fear and pain as he thrust at the thing’s soft underbelly, grabbing for its scales to steady himself. The frantic movement made the thrust fall short and it slid into the beast’s side, too far away from any vital parts. With a roar the beast tried to wriggle away from the pain in its side and the warrior knew he had it. Before long he’d have a dragon corpse to loot and some nice trinkets to bring back to sell.

Another earthshaking roar broke the silence, startling him not only by its volume but by the fact that it was so close. The leathery sound of wings, the smell of sulfur and the next moment he was locked in the jaws of a much, much larger dragon. Then there was the sound of bone cracking and his world faded into black.

The larger dragon spat out the corpse of the warrior and swatted the smaller dragon over the head.

“So much for being ready to take on a human!” it hissed, scales bristling, before sitting down on its haunches in front of the other.

Its fierce visage softened as it noticed the sword still lodged in the smaller dragon’s side. It was swiftly pulled out and the larger dragon expelled a small burst of flame to cauterize the wound. The smaller dragon whimpered and then licked the other scrapes it had received in the fierce battle.

“I’m sorry, mother”, the dragon said, bowing its head low. “I will do better next time.”

“That’s alright son”, the other dragon rumbled. “I’ll keep a close watch until you get it right.”