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Arekan’s Blog: Gratuitous Cat Post

Arekan’s Blog: Gratuitous Cat Post published on No Comments on Arekan’s Blog: Gratuitous Cat Post

Date: Who the Hell Knows

Twix attacking a human.
“Arekan,” says the scribe. “Why has your cat moved in with me.”

“I don’t have a cat.” Truth is I dislike those nasty little furballs. Hate me if you will, but they are entitled jerks and keep the humans wrapped around their tiny paws. Come and go when they please. Whine for their dinner. Gets all annoyed when you don’t clean their litter boxes. No thanks. I’d rather have a wife.

In other words, not going to happen.

It seems the culprit of the scribe’s question is the thing in the little box in the corner. She calls him Twix, which makes no sense. He is, she says a Bengal, which means that some generations back his great-great grandsire was an Asian wildcat. Humans have been cross breeding them ever since to achieve the perfect mix of domestic temperament and wild characteristics in coat, facial shape, and body structure.

Please.

“So what is it about this cat that makes you think he’s mine?”

“He attacks everything.”

Apparently, there is a fail in the breeding program.

“So?”

“Even the rabbit.”

“You have a rabbit? And you haven’t eaten it?”

“Arekan, please. It’s a pet. And you kinda proved my point right there.”

“So you have a wild cat living in your house, and a pet rabbit (rolls eyes) and you wonder why there is a problem? Where did this thing come from, anyway?”

“My son found him locked in his toolshed.”

“Then you should have taken the hint.”

(Scribe sighs) “I can’t talk to you about anything.”

The Craft of #Writing: Beware the Adverb Nazis.

The Craft of #Writing: Beware the Adverb Nazis. published on No Comments on The Craft of #Writing: Beware the Adverb Nazis.

Adverb Word Cloud Pro-Writing Aid, an online program that analyzes your writing and gives you recommendations to improve it. As I was looking at a report on a piece it gave the number of adverbs and recommended that I remove three.

I must have missed this before but I do tend to use the old editor, instead of the report on the new editor.

Hmm.

With a word count and a number of allowed adverbs in hand, I calculated the percentage of adverbs that Pro-Writing Aid said I could use.

And I was shocked.

Those of us that ply the writer’s craft are aware of all the different pieces of advice from different writers, editors, and pundits that basically boil down to “use fewer words to express your thoughts.”

Adverbs, in particular, have received a bum rap. Stephen King wrote in On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft:Continue reading The Craft of #Writing: Beware the Adverb Nazis.

Arekan’s Blog: Time Travel Musings

Arekan’s Blog: Time Travel Musings published on No Comments on Arekan’s Blog: Time Travel Musings

Yfaran Ayne (Somewhere around July 16, 2017, I think)

This first planet calendar hurts the head. I’m not even attempting to match the day because it simply does not work. So you just have the season and the month. Anyway, there is some progress on the scribe front. Oh, she’s still writing trash, and gets jobs for more trash with amazing regularity.

Scribe: Just because what I’m writing not your story doesn’t make my work trash. If I don’t eat I don’t get to write.

See. Entirely difficult. BUT, she did write a very nice piece called Arekan Saves the Universe for her online writer’s group for their monthly challenge. She quite rightly made me very amusing, which I am most days when I’m not in death-dealing-rouge mode. Oh yeah, my daughter, Kelleen, is in there as a toddler. And she has a few choice lines, though, as a rule, while toddlers babble, they don’t say much. Except for Kelleen. Anyway, the story placed third out of the monthly entries, so not bad.

Scribe: Gee, thanks. I’m overwhelmed by your praise.Continue reading Arekan’s Blog: Time Travel Musings

#SFF #Bloggers is now live!

#SFF #Bloggers is now live! published on No Comments on #SFF #Bloggers is now live!

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 8.10.20 AM Every once in a while I get a cool idea. And this idea comes from the space of generating more traffic to my blog. But we don’t live in a vacuum. Okay, space is a vacuum and our planet resides in it, but you know what I mean. There is strength in numbers, and as it turns out, traffic too.

So by the sweat of my brow, because it is hot on Connecticut now, I created SFFBloggers.com, an aggregator of Science Fiction and Fantasy blogs. A bunch of my buddies at Fantasy-Writers.org, drank the cool-aid climbed on board and we’ve got a nice community going on of writers blogging and getting a snippet of their posts automatically uploaded to the aggregator.

And you can too.Continue reading #SFF #Bloggers is now live!

Arekan’s First Blog Post

Arekan’s First Blog Post published on No Comments on Arekan’s First Blog Post


>Date: San-Tanaran Eve (or thereabouts) (May 20, 2017)

That’s the best I can approximate dates between the Scribe’s homeworld calendar and Kyn’s. If you ask me hers is a crazy calendar. They add a day every four years to it. I ask her why they don’t use the moon like any normal civilization and she gives me one of those looks, like it’s useless to tell me anything.

Maybe I’ll find a new scribe.

But then again, it’s so very fun to watch her face twist when I say something that she disapproves of.

The Scribe’s been busy, earning a living, she says. She’s written about 1000 words on Pirate’s Luck and nothing else on my story, which is a damned inconvenience. She replies that if the stories I already told her sold better she wouldn’t have to write other people’s stories for them. What can I do? And I shouldn’t feel bad because she hasn’t worked on anything else of hers. I call bull pucks and point to the blog posts she writes, which, she spits back don’t count.

And you wonder why I never married.

Until next time.

Arekan

Chuck Wendig’s #FlashFiction Challenge: Demons vs. Assassins

Chuck Wendig’s #FlashFiction Challenge: Demons vs. Assassins published on No Comments on Chuck Wendig’s #FlashFiction Challenge: Demons vs. Assassins

DemonThis piece of flash comes to you by the way of two sources. The first is Chuck Wendig’s Friday Flash Fiction Challenge. And here is what he says about that:

Way this works is, below you will find two tables — X and Y! — and you will pick (or randomly draw) from those tables. That will leave you with a set of X versus Y — and from there, you will write a piece of flash fiction based on that parameter set. You can even use the match up (SKELETONS VS. SCIENTISTS!) as the title to the work, or come up with a new title.

The second is a contest of sorts held between the writers at Fantasy Writers.org called FWO’s Deadliest Warriors. Here one of our own challenged us to bring out our deadliest warriors and pit them in matches against our fellow writer’s warriors. What started as a D&D style matching of abilities and battle strategies turned into, toward the end, a head to head battle of writing skill, where entries started to assume the form of short stories. Continue reading Chuck Wendig’s #FlashFiction Challenge: Demons vs. Assassins

The Art of #Writing–Audit Your Novel’s #StoryStructure

The Art of #Writing–Audit Your Novel’s #StoryStructure published on No Comments on The Art of #Writing–Audit Your Novel’s #StoryStructure

Over typed keyboard
Over typed keyboard
You’ve sweated, plotted and struck the nubs of your fingers into your keyboard enough times to wear indentations into the keys. The first draft is in your hands. What do you do now?

You fix it.

Even best selling authors have to repair their story structure. Kevin Hearn gives a nice accounting about the process between his editor and him. But you, I’m going to guess, don’t have an editor, at least not a developmental editor, because those puppies are expensive, so it’s a DYI exercise.

You: Hey, I’m a spiffy writer and nothing is wrong with my pretty baby.

Here is the dividing line between an amateur writer and a professional one (at least in intent)–you are willing to tear apart your work ruthlessly in order to make it better. There is no emotion involved in this except the “aw shucks” when you have to kill one of your darlings, or cut a character or scene you love but doesn’t add to the story.

So how are you going to do this?Continue reading The Art of #Writing–Audit Your Novel’s #StoryStructure

Pirate’s Luck~Chapter Eleven-To Forbidden Passengers

Pirate’s Luck~Chapter Eleven-To Forbidden Passengers published on No Comments on Pirate’s Luck~Chapter Eleven-To Forbidden Passengers

Pirate's Luck To Forbidden Passengers Free Serial Ficton

This week’s chapter is another of Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge this time titled Ten More Sentences; Round Two. That’s self explanatory. You should be able to read this as a stand alone, but let me know if you can’t. 🙂

TO FORBIDDEN PASSENGERS

In the end, they ran. The group of them, now four, when before they were three, were spotted by one of the slavers as they slipped from the maze of cages that had held their prize. This was the young man they had stolen to conscript as crew on their ship.

The young man they “rescued” stayed close, his legs pumping as hard as theirs under the blazing white sun of a planet who life expectancy was comparatively short. But humans resided on it now, low and crass as this class was, and they only cared about the air, water and sunlight on it. It was a haven in the vastness of a Universe that served up few of the necessities of life.

But right now, Arekan’s and his fellows necessity was to make their ship, board it, and hope to hell that the captain or the pilot could make way before an Oshijian Empire war cruiser could shoot the pirate ship out of the black.

But the run was difficult. It was hot, humid and the air a touch too thin for physical exertion. But more than that the predations of life aboard the pirate ship—his ship, thought Arekan regretfully—took a toll on his body. He gasped for breath as his legs pumped against gravity that was a full half gee above what the captain set for gravity on the ship. And that little economy move, Arekan realized now, weakened his body.

No wonder the others didn’t want to leave the pirate ship.

Dissolute gits. (Click to read more)

Image by Starry Night Graphix

The Art of #Writing: #Plotting and #Pacing Using #Scrivener

The Art of #Writing: #Plotting and #Pacing Using #Scrivener published on No Comments on The Art of #Writing: #Plotting and #Pacing Using #Scrivener

The Hero's JourneyYou’ve plotted or pants your way through your novel, spent long months of taking your hero or heroine from there to back again, and then you read it. And die a little inside. Because even though you’ve created engaging characters, put them in gut twisting situations, and gave them a resolution that makes you weep, something is off. Terribly, terribly off.

Your novel drags in places. Goes too fast in others. The beginning is solid, but the middle is soggy. The ending seems rushed. One character seems to overtake scenes they shouldn’t. You think it’s the plotting, but you look at all the elements, and yep, everything is there that you intended as a plotter, or discovered as a pantser. Maybe this is the place you stall. You aren’t sure what to do. Or maybe you suck as a writer (hint: you don’t) and you shove the whole thing (figuratively, because you use a computer) into the furtherest corner of your desk.Continue reading The Art of #Writing: #Plotting and #Pacing Using #Scrivener

Pirate’s Luck~Chapter Ten-Discount Skin Ticket

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Pirate's Luck Discount Skin Ticket Free Serial Fiction

Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction challenge was to pick one of ten titles and write a story to it. At first, my inner muse said “write something pretty,” but then that old dog, Arekan whispered, “You’d been looking for a entree into the next chapter of Pirate’s Luck.”  Though it is part of the larger work, I’ve tried to make it as standalone as possible. So, here is the next chapter of Pirate’s Luck. Warning: Adult themes though more a suggestion than action. 

Discount Skin Ticket

The main drag of the spaceport town flashed and jittered with bright lights, blinking signs and sharp sounds that sprang from nowhere. Walking side by side to Arekan, Obon gawked at the women and boys standing or sitting seductively behind their plasglass windows. One young boy licked his lips salaciously as the men of the Rogan walked by.

“We should grab that one,” said Obon. “He’d be fun.”

“So you like boys?” said Egren who stood on Arekan’s left.

Obon shrugged. “I like them all. A touch of skin, whiff of their hair, tasting them.”

The Rogan’s crewmember ran his tongue across his lips and Arekan shivered. Unlike many of his shipmates, Obon was a pirate born into the trade. That he crewed on the shitehole of the Rogan was a testament to his degenerate nature.
(Click here to read more)

Image by Starry Night Graphix.

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