Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Shadowrun Story

I'm sure you remember my 30 Days of D&D back in May. Well, Dungeons and Dragons isn't the only tabletop role playing game I partake of; we've regularly played World of Darkness games, we've had a couple of Fading Suns games (in one right now, actually), and most recently, we've had a few Shadowrun games.

Now Shadowrun is interesting, and a game/setting which has taken me by surprise with how inspiring it's been. Shadowrun is, to quote the 1d4chan article, is "what would happen if William Gibson and Mercedes Lackey had a love child." In a way, it's one reason I've read all the William Gibson I have just lately. In addition to his books being Goddamn awesome.

But anyway. The Shadowrun character I played last summer, following up/finishing up this spring (ish) was street named Bells. She is a character whose headspace I felt able to enter easily, naturally, and the stories I wrote about her made the GM very happy (and influenced the overall plot of the game, though I didn't realize that 'til we were winding down). So, the story I'm sharing here is a story of Bells, after the game ended.

I do not own any of the Shadowrun properties, copyright or trademarks on terminology used here, etc. It's an exercise within an existing game setting. I do hope it's enjoyable, even without the context of the game we played!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Flash Fiction Finalist (or, Close But No Cigar)

I post every once in awhile about how I take part in Janet Reid's 100 word flash fiction contests. Well, after some stiff competition this summer, I still didn't win, but I was a finalist for the final one of the season.

Even though I haven't gotten mentioned a whole lot, I do try to enter each one of Ms. Reid's contests. Writing a story in 100 words, beginning-middle-end, is damn hard. It's a writing muscle challenge, to be sure.

The words to include were: remove, escape, away, lull, spare  (can use the word as part of a larger one)

And this is what I came up with:

When Becca was removed from her family and set up in our spare room, she was too old to be a kid and too young to be on her own. The only comfort she accepted was the lullaby of Grimalkin's burbling purr.

A person's ghosts are hard to get away from, but she was almost okay. Then the whispers started again. The knocking. Grimalkin hissed arched-back at empty corners, a tuxedo asterisk.

We labored over her escape plan, and there was no margin for error when we sent her off to prom, barred the doors, and set the fire.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Some quotes, mostly from work

Coworker: Jen's necklace is full of pixies!
Me: Well, they're probably dead by now, so the chiming you hear is the sound of their bones.
Coworker: You're fucked up.

Housemate: So there's this guy named Minotauro, and I wonder how you get a name like Minotauro.
Me: Well, your mom fucks a bull....
Housemate: Yeah, that's fair.

Coworker: "Who's the bad guy in Star Wars that's dressed all in black"? No, that question is too hard, the kids won't know it.
Me: Look, if those kids are so ignorant they don't know who Darth Fucking Vader is, your next program is showing them ALL of the Star Wars movie.
Coworker: Okay.
Me: Clockwork Orange style.
Coworker: ....oh

On August 6:
Me: Today is the anniversary of when the Enola Gay dropped Little Boy on Hiroshima.
Friend 1: ....oh
Friend 2: the only trivia I have about today is that it's Soleil Moon Frye's birthday.
Friend 1: Who's that?
Me and Friend 2: PUNKY BREWSTER

Coworker: *holds up magazine with a picture of a platter on it that has a 3d dinosaur in the middle* it's for...with candy?
Me: It's a shame the sides aren't higher, you could fill it with dark chocolate pudding and it'd be like the La Brea Tar Pits.
Newest Coworker: ....well that's....morbid....

And finally:

Two men were talking a little too loudly down the hall, while my coworker and I were dealing with a line. I finished up, and then the comment that broke the camels' back: "...hasn't been touched in 45 years!"

I went down the hallway to confront the gentlemen, and realized one of them was holding a fire extinguisher. He was the fire extinguisher maintenance guy. I got their attention and said "I'm sorry, but we need you to be a little more quiet than that, especially after your last comment, which could really be misconstrued.

They looked at me, looked at each other, and cracked up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How many hours?

Right before my writing workshop began on Saturday, I mentioned that (at the time) I was honing in on 50k words for my work in progress. (while 50k is my "official" on the Camp NaNoWriMo site goal, I'd really like to write to "the end", which seems like it'll be more like 60-75k and I don't know if I can get there by Friday but I want to try, so I haven't validated yet but I have ordered my t-shirt. I'm at 56,550 words as of this blog post)

The person I was talking to expressed his surprise/support/admiration/whatever and then posed a question I was somehow unable to answer: "How many hours a day do you write?" he asked, innocently.


When I'm writing, I'm never just writing, is the problem. I'm scrolling through Imgur. I'm checking my email when I notice I have a new one. I'm researching minutia, a fractured fragment of which actually ends up in the story. I'm taking the dog out, making dinner, etc. etc. etc.  Sometimes I'm also watching something online or on Netflix, and that can become a sticky wicket, because sometimes I want to watch anime, and I do not speak Japanese (other than exclamations like "nando" and queries like "nani"? [which I probably didn't even spell right]), so I have to pay attention to the subtitles. (Knights if Sidonia is very good, by the by. Attack on Titan is as well, though I haven't finished it yet).

So how many hours? A day? A week? I don't know. I know I can, uninterrupted and synapses firing, get down a thousand words very quickly. But then I need to know when the last day fireworks are in the summer at the shore. Then I need to know if October for the bad thing that happened is the right month for the story or not. Earlier? Later? Then I need to consider just how many more references I intend on layering in, and whether I should write the study guide for the high school classes which will curse my name in the decades to follow when my works are required reading. (fun to think about, right?)

How many hours?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My flash story "Adventuring" in Episode 65 of Far-Fetched Fables

So who's got two thumbs and has a story in a podcast with a story by Aliette de Bodard? THIS GUY!

That's right, episode 65 of Far-Fetched Fables contains my flash fiction story, "Adventuring", which first appeared in Daily Science Fiction a few months back.

I'm at work, so haven't listened to the podcast yet, but I'm sure it'll rock your socks! I've loved everything I've read by Aliette de Bodard (she's won two Nebula awards and a Locus, amont others), and of course I'm pretty fond of my story too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

On Waking Up

I'm sure you've all see this. The book, the story, that starts with the main character waking up. It's just one of Those Things™.

You've probably also seen literary agents (and/or editors) talking about how much they'd prefer writers to avoid said trope. And I get it. I really do. But I'm a contrarian by nature (or a know-it-all, whatever) and so of course I know of good examples of this as well. Or at least one.