Spring Cleaning

Hi folks!

Another quick update. I’ve update the look/feel of the blog a little bit, and removed a few of the no longer relevant things (like Ello, and the link to Podcasts that will only go up when I start publishing podcasts again)

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PAX South: The PAXening

This weekend the fine folks at Penny Arcade brought their expo to San Antonio. I can’t always make it to Seattle or Boston, but South is close enough that I’ve got no excuse not to go, and this makes two years I’ve gone and two years I’ve had a great time.

This year’s highlights included live D&D, a sneak peak at an awesome web series, a mental health gaming charity, board games, and of course, a lot of cosplay.

First impressions below the break

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A long way of saying

Hey everybody!

No flash fiction challenge today, or photos, or anything like that. Just some thoughts that I figured I’d jot down and send off into the ether. Part of why I want to be a writer is to help folks when they’re feeling down, let them know they aren’t alone, especially when it comes to fun things like anxiety or depression, so it really doesn’t do much good if I clam up when things get dark in my own brain spaces, even though the fact I can write about it at all means that I’m heading towards the light, so to speak.

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Flash Fiction Challenge: Rebirth of the Dragon

Holy bunches of updates, Batman!  While last week’s flash fiction challenge took almost the whole week to write, I managed to get this one out of my skull-meats in less than a day. The gist of the challenge was to go to this site and generate a D&D character backstory, and somehow turn that into ~1k words. It just so happens that this week marked the sixth anniversary of getting one of my good friends into Pathfinder (a 3.5 variant) and pen and paper in general. At that point my friends group was running a pick-up game of one shots based in a tavern that grew into something more and one day faded away. Add thinking about that to awesome Facebook friends generating more characters, and this is what I wound up with. Normally I end this preamble with ‘I hope you enjoy!’ and I still kind of do, but really, I’m writing this one for me, so yeah. Good times.

“You think this will work, Krecdax?”

The young gnome eyed his halfling companion over the dust covered bar of the abandoned tavern. “Don’t know. Don’t care.”

“If we get this open, we might be able to save the Dragon.”

Krecdax glanced at the cracked door, the gutted stone fireplace, the rotting roof beams. “I don’t know, kid, maybe it’s time for the Dragon to die. It had a good run, for a tavern, but it’s seen better days.”

“But what if that locket holds untold riches? Or a treasure map? Think of the opportunity! Think of the -“

“Don’t say it.” Krecdax came to the Gold Dragon Inn in its heyday. Some words held more danger than others.

“Think of the adventure!”

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Flash Fiction Challenge: Good Intentions

Hey everybody! It’s time for another Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge! . This week’s challenge was to go to the idiomatic and turn on mixed up idiom into a 1k word story. I got “The Road to Hell is a Girl’s Best Friend” and the resulting bit of wording is what poured out of my brain when I read that. Hope you enjoy!

“What’ve we got?” Elaine asked as she carefully blew sand off the lenses of her wraparound sunglasses. Rubbing the sand away would scratch the polarized plastic, and she doubted she’d find replacement lenses anytime soon.

“Convoy, ma’am,” Renner called down from his watch post. “Ain’t flying no flags. Should I fire a warning shot, let ‘em know to be heading elsewhere?”

Elaine fought down the urge to say yes. “Renner, in twenty years, when have I ever asked you to fire a warning shot?”

The guardsman coughed. “Never. Ma’am.”

“That’s right. They can come in if they want. They got something to trade, we trade. They got an eye for trouble, well, you’d best not be wasting ammo on warnings.”

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Flash Fiction Challenge (3 sentences): The Wicker Cage

Hey everybody! It’s time for another Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge! (patent pending)(I assume). This week’s challenge was to take three sentences from last week’s “Write a sentence” challenge, and turn those into a story. I found four that called to me, so I’m bending the rules a bit, but here we go. Hope you enjoy!
The sentences (with credit for who submitted them):
“Wings don’t make the angel, and hellfire doesn’t make a demon.” – furyious
“Shrouded in white, garlanded with marigolds, she lies on brushwood waiting for the cleansing flames.” – Debb Bouch
“She belonged there, in the half light of the moon, where reality was a dream.” – Ken McGovern
“Sometimes, the only thing left to build is a fire.” – Rich Hayden


Wings don’t make the angel, and hellfire doesn’t make a demon.

Those words, inscribed over the entrance of the Millennium Foundation’s Paranormal Division, itched at the back of Balan’s mind as he stared at what appeared to be a young woman in the center of the forest clearing.

He’d heard tales. Someone, too steeped in Judeo-Christian symbolism, had fucked it up, and fucked it up royally. Bad enough for the board to think it worth carving the words into the heavy marble haunch. Some fool unleashed a gossamer because it wore a dime store halo. Conveniently enough, the stories always left out the name of the offending agent. Nothing for Balan to clean up, no one for him to go after.

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Flash Fiction Challenge: Trial by Moonlight

Time for another flash fiction challenge from TerribleMinds! This time the story had to be a mix of two subgenres  chosen randomly from a list of twenty. I got ‘Shapeshifter’ and ‘Military Sci-Fi’ so, of course, I came up with a tale about werewolves in space! or something similar, at least. Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing it. Enjoy!

Jeremiah forced himself to remember that no one designed spacecraft craft controls for four paws. He struggled to reign in his emotions as the Relentless drone tore through the hull of the cargo ship at the heart of the caravan. Deep breaths. Calming breaths. Ignore the stale taste of recirculated air. Calm. Focus. Sweat matted the thick hair on his arms. Please stay arms, please. The young pilot banked left, away from the caravan. Better shots than him could take out the small probes. Jeremiah knew he couldn’t hit the wide side of a storage bay if he didn’t have his targeting computer engaged. No. Hunt the source. Hunt the Relentless. Tear their throats. His mouth felt cramped. He ran his tongue over rows of too sharp teeth. Focus! If he lost control on his first solo mission, the Terrans would never let him into the Galactic Fleet. He had to prove worthy.

“Mr. Collins, is everything alright?” Mary Nguyen, Captain of the Moonlight Ravager, spoke through his comm.

“Everything’s fine, ma’am. Just need to stretch my legs a little bit.”

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Armadillocon 38: A rambling account of a great weekend.

For those of you that don’t know, this last weekend I went to Armadillocon 38. If you’ve never been to or heard of Armadillocon, it’s described on their website as “Austin’s Literary Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention”, but that doesn’t feel right. It’s a little dry. No, it’s an amazing event for writers and fans of genre/speculative fiction, full of energy and fun and love of the craft. It’s like slamming two Monster energy drinks, running two miles, and then laying in a field of hypoallergenic fluffy bunnies.

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