#AtoZChallenge — Junk

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.

A to Z Challenge: J is for Junk (#AtoZChallenge)

A to Z Challenge: J is for Junk (#AtoZChallenge)
— Read on zombieflamingoes.com/2018/04/11/a-to-z-challenge-j-is-for-junk-atozchallenge/

I agree that junk can make for good pictures, and this post reminded me of some screencaps I took a couple months ago of… some Buzzfeed list, probably. The reason I saved them is because seeing them made me think of my fantasy novel, set sometime after our modern world collapses and magic replaces technology.

Okay, not all of these are technically junk. But it’s all “stuff we don’t want any more, stuff that probably doesn’t work anymore, or we don’t need any more, or is stained or broken.”

These are the footprints we will leave, for better or for worse… and someday, someone is going to think they look really interesting. If that’s not a reason to incorporate things like this into my fantasy setting, then what is?


#AtoZChallenge — W is for Watch

WA small note: not all weres are necessarily werewolves. In Sunshine by Robin McKinley there are mentions of weresquirrels, wererats, and even werechickens… and it’s implied that the latter are probably the most embarrassed.

465 words. Fantasy, the same monster hunters from J is for Journey, and things that go bump in the night! Please leave a comment if you like what you read. 😊  Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge — W is for Watch”

#AtoZChallenge — K is for Kindness

KJust in time! This story was inspired by a prompt on TheProse.com: “WHAT ARE THE ‘CANNIBAL LIBRARIANS’? Where did these women come from? What is their history? What does it take to join?” (Here.)

984 words. Please leave a comment if you like what you read. 😊 Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge — K is for Kindness”

#AtoZChallenge — J is for Journey

JI suppose this is a piece out of the world of one of the novels I’m working on, Growing Magic. That wasn’t what I had in mind when I wrote the first sentence, but that’s what it wanted to be. Which… is a kind of world building, right? It’s a piece of someone’s journey, anyway, though he’s not a character that appears in the novel and I don’t think he would be able to say the journey has any particular destination.

668 words. Please leave a comment if you like what you read. 😊 Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge — J is for Journey”

NaNoWriMo Strikes Again

Last year, when I signed up on NaNoWriMo.com for the first time, the site encouraged me to upload a cover. The idea was that “coming up with a cover can also help you finalize your idea a little more.” Fair enough.

At the time I had a decent idea of what my story was going to be and no graphic design skills or programs, so I bopped around on Google for a bit with phrases like “dark forrest,” because one of the central locations of the story is a magic forrest where anyone who goes in tends not to come back out again.

If anyone knows the source, give a shout.

My focus then was on the forrest because the main character’s father was last seen walking into it before he disappeared when she was thirteen, and the end of the story takes place there as well. To be honest, I have more of the backstory for the forrest worked out than I do the rest of this world, so naturally I thought it should occupy a prominent place on the cover.

Of course, when I wrote the first draft that I never quite finished, I barely even got them into the forrest. I never wrote the final scenes because there was so much I had to go and figure out before I could wrap it all up. So how important is the forrest, really?

It’s still pretty important. But it’s not the ominous, forbidding thing hovering in the back of all the main characters minds that the picture implies.

This year, I still don’t have any graphic design experience or programs, but after being in that camp professionally for the past three years I’ve learned to (sorry graphic designers…) make do with PowerPoint.  Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Strikes Again”

A to Z Challenge #15 — Omnipotence

Do you know what it feels like to be aware of every star, every blade of grass? Yes. You do. You call it ‘opening your eyes again.’ But you do it for a moment. We have done it for eternity. No sleep, no rest, just endless… endless experience, endless awareness. Of everything. All the time. How we envy you, envy you! Lucky humans, who can close your minds to the endless deeps of space! You have this thing you call… boredom? That is the rarest talent in the universe! We heard a song — it went ‘Twinkle twinkle little star….’ What power! What wondrous power! You can take a billion trillion tons of flaming matter, a furnace of unimaginable strength, and turn it into a little song for children! You build little worlds, little stories, little shells around your minds, and that keeps infinity at bay and allows you to wake up in the morning without screaming!Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2)

I think it would be terrible to be omnipotent. The quote above is not about omnipotence, exactly, but it suggests an interesting question. How could any human, given that we are so good at tuning out the world around us not only it will but sometimes even without making a conscious decision to do so, understand omnipotence? How could we understand or begin to contemplate infinity?

Because we are so far from omnipotence we create stories to explain the things we don’t understand. As it says in another Terry Pratchett book, the sun doesn’t come up, a big ball of burning gas rises in the sky. We write what we know, and when we don’t know we fill it in with something that. Because what is a single fantasy novel if not one author’s answer to a self-posed “what if” question?


One of my characters in Growing Magic is omnipotent on his own ground, meaning he is omnipotent but with limits. So he’s not really omnipotent. He doesn’t know everything. And that puts writing this character right back in my wheelhouse, because I am an expert at not knowing everything! He no longer usually has a corporeal form, so when he appears in the story that way it’s difficult for him to be so limited by that form. I’m drawing on ideas from Hitchhiker’s Guide, Discworld, and even a little bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey to help frame my ideas for this character concept. (Is it weird that two out of three of these examples aren’t fantasy?) To be aware of so many things all at once, 360° in 3D, and to only focus on one spot and one conversation, one or two threads of sound amongst a massive symphony of the world around you must be very difficult indeed. And yet this is a character who would never be able to tell a story, or write a song, or distill any of the beautiful things that he knows into a painting.

A to Z Challenge #14 — Names

Who else has trouble coming up with names for their characters? Especially in fantasy? There’s a fine line in fantasy between two ordinary into ridiculous. It is possible to toe the line of ridiculous if you have a well thought out system of rules — if there’s a common naming scheme within your story so that if you have a name with three vowels in a row or something it both doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb and pronunciation is explainable and not a complete mystery.

I am not good at this. (Do most of my posts this month include this statement? Oops.) But what I do have is the post apocalyptic world of my WIP novel, Growing Magic, that still has ties to old names that we would find familiar. So I wanted at least the last names to be different, and let that thought percolate in the back of my brain for a while.

Continue reading “A to Z Challenge #14 — Names”

Writing Soundtrack #1 – Narcisse

This post was inspired by this post on Writing And Musing. It made me think of all the times I’ve heard a song that totally fit with whatever I was working on, so today I want to share some of the songs that I associate with one of my characters.

Her name is Narcisse, from my in-progress  fantasy novel Growing Magic. She’s twenty-seven, raised in a relatively privileged environment by superficial parents who didn’t really pay her much attention. Her skill as a manipulator gets her their blessing to attend her choice of school in her study program of choice, and she graduates a talented Sorcerer in a particular and specialized field — one most would consider unnecessary philosophy on the origins of magic. Then, since she has nothing in particular to do with herself, she carves out a niche for herself in the research department, where she eventually gets herself into trouble because she’s a smartass and sticks her nosey nose into places she shouldn’t.

The first song I have for Narcisse is Extraordinary Machine, by Fiona Apple. Continue reading “Writing Soundtrack #1 – Narcisse”