Friday, December 15, 2023

End of the Year Sale: "A Nocturne In Red"

Hey, hey!

The Smashwords End of the Year Sale begins today and runs through January 1. 

Now is your best chance to snatch up my novella, "A Nocturne In Red" for 75% off! That means this quick read (normally priced at $4.99) is now only $1.24 for the next two weeks. Find the download button at this link:  

Is this novella for you? Grab it and give it a go.


Sanjen Laurelius, a lute-wielding bard, is a rising star.

He's also wanted by the emperor.

When he calls upon his special brand of song-magic to fight off a rampaging harpy, he finds himself the object of unwanted attention: a powerful officer in the emperor's service hires Sanjen to find the cure for a curse that has transformed a favored concubine into a bloodthirsty monster. But Sanjen's past is catching up with him. Can he find a way to save the victim of the curse before his employer discovers his true identity—and returns him to the emperor in chains?

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

End of 2023 BOOK Sales

Home for the holidays? Need a new something to read while basking in the warmth of a crackling fire? Something short that won't bog you down once the downtime is over? Novellas are the way to go. And it just so happens, I have one for fans of the fantasy genre.

I’m excited to announce my novella, "A NOCTURNE IN RED," will be promoted on Smashwords as part of their 2023 End of Year Sale starting on December 15! Be sure to check back for more updates and links about the promotion and support your favorite storyteller(s)!

What's better than books on sale? Nothing!

Look for this cover:

Until then, "NOCTURNE" is available at AMAZON and these EBOOK DISTRIBUTORS.

Thursday, November 23, 2023


Getting ready to stuff myself and regret my life choices, but it will be so worth it. I am grateful for my family and friends. And taste buds. Let us not take the humble taste bud for granted.

Favorite dish to savor:  candied sweet potatoes

Favorite Thanksgiving activity:  napping to football

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Sanjen Performs Everywhere

It's time to move on from Kindle exclusivity. I weighed republishing my stuff through IngramSpark or Draft2Digital, and decided to go with D2D. At least, with my darling guinea pig novella, "A Nocturne In Red." (The process was so simple that I'll likely do the same with all the others a little at a time.)

As of this week, Sanjen's first adventure is available, not just at Amazon, but everywhere D2D distributes books. I cannot express how excited I was to be able to download my book from Apple Books. Yes, I was my own first sale there. 😋

So now my beloved messed-up bard is "booked" at Apple, Kobo, and Scribd, and will soon perform at Barnes & Noble and all other venues too. If you want to follow his rising career and fall under the spell of his magical music, this is the link to all his current bookings:

Crossing fingers that greater exposure widens his success with fans.

Here's the cover to look for:


Sanjen Laurelius, a lute-wielding bard, is a rising star.

He's also wanted by the emperor.

When he calls upon his special brand of song-magic to fight off a rampaging harpy, he finds himself the object of unwanted attention: a powerful officer in the emperor's service hires Sanjen to find the cure for a curse that has transformed a favored concubine into a bloodthirsty monster. But Sanjen's past is catching up with him. Can he find a way to save the victim of the curse before his employer discovers his true identity—and returns him to the emperor in chains?

Genre: somewhere between dark and epic fantasy

Length: novella (a quick weekend read)

Content warnings: drug use, gore, language, allusions to sexual content

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

I'm A Proofreader at Fiverr

proofreading Gig has been approved at Fiverr. I'm so excited to toss my net over somebody's manuscript or website and snag those pesky typos and grammatical slips. I just need somebody to take a chance on my skills and click that Order button.

The link to my Gig can be found AT THIS LOVELY LINK.

Or THIS LINK. Both should lead to the same place.

So what is this Gig all about? I'll just quote the Gig description:

My job = final polishing by correcting the following: 
  • spelling 
  • grammar 
  • punctuation 
  • typos 
  • floating words 
  • omitted words 
  • word usage 
  • format inconsistencies 
  • broken links 
What this Gig is NOT about: 
  • changing your writing style, voice, or message 
  • editing for clarity, structural, or developmental issues (that's a whole other kettle of fish) 
  • working with early, unedited drafts 
  • beta reading for plot arc, character arc, etc. 
Genres I love to tackle: 
  • fantasy, sci-fi, horror and all related subgenres 
  • historical 
  • literary
  • mystery/thriller
  • middle-grade
  • nonfiction: including memoir, blog posts, articles, essays, website content 
Genres better suited for someone else
  • romance 
  • erotica 
  • religion 
  • hardcore military fiction 
My rate: $5 per 1000 words of any total length, be it 500 words or 150,000. 

Delivery times: 
  • up to 5000 words = 5 days 
  • up to 25,000 words = 14 days 
  • up to 100,000 words = 30 days 
  • over 100,000 words = 45 days


Once I get a few jobs under my belt, I'll be raising those prices a bit, so whoever comes along first will get the better deal.

For this Gig to work, I can ONLY be contacted about this job at the above links. Any attempt to solicit a job here on my blog or other social media outlets will be refused and the link sent to you anyway, so just follow the link.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Meme of the Day: Childlike Wonder


One of the most important things we carry with us (if we're lucky) and one of the first things I fear we lose is the ability to view the universe and the people in it with a child's sense of wonder.

Decades ago, I made the conscious decision to hold onto this quality, and it takes conscious effort to put it into practice, because it forces me to step out of my concerns for tomorrow and regrets of the past and linger in the moment.

It's in the little nature things: the veins in a leaf, the sparkle of sun on snow, the texture of water, the glide of a cloud. And in the silly things: the burn of mint toothpaste, the galaxy swirl of foam in my espresso, the way my cats' eyes "blow out" when they stalk a string, sledding with kids.

And it's primary expressions are gasps, sighs, laughter of delight, and the question "Why?"

Hold onto it. If it's slumbering or dormant, reawaken it. Because life is as dull as cardboard without it.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

I'm Reading: Murder & Mayhem

Seems I'm reading several things at once, because, I mean, who's suffering from overstimulation these days? Anyway...

Reading # 1:

I feel scarred. Scarred, not scared. I just finished reading the short story "Shards" by Ian Rogers, which is included in Ellen Datlow's anthology Best Horror of the Year, Volume 14. I haven't been too impressed with Volume 14's offerings (I liked Volume 13 better), even though I've passed the 50% mark of the ebook. And then today I reached "Shards." Holy shit. I'm sick and disturbed and deliciously satisfied by it. 

I'd even argue that it's one of the best horror stories I've read to date. Even the ending did not disappoint, which I can rarely say about stories in this genre. "Shards" passed all my pet-peeve checks with flying colors.

The quick and easy summary: Five fast friends vacation in a remote cabin (classic) and discover a gramophone in the basement, then all hell breaks loose. 

Sounds simple, maybe even cliched, but it blew my socks off. And I'm still reeling with a queasy feeling in my gut and a creeped-out swooping sensation in my brain.

Reading #2:

Cain's Jawbone
. Ever heard of it?

My nephew ran across it recently and bought me a copy (sweetest guy ever). I had heard the title in some remote past, but had no idea what it was nor what I was getting myself into. The 100-page "novel" is actually a whodunit puzzle: "the world's most fiendishly difficult literary puzzle," says the book's tagline. Since its publication in 1934, only 3 people have been able to solve it.

The first problem is that the mystery was published out of order. Literally like the author Torquemada had tossed all 100 of his neatly typed pages in the air a few times then gathered them up at random and handed them into the publisher as-is. The margins of the pages have that little "scissors" symbol inviting the reader to cut out all the pages and arrange them in the proper order -- if they can.

The second problem is that the different characters all tell their part in first person, so you're not sure whose point of view you're reading until you read enough to start putting clues together.

The third problem is that the characters are hardly ever named. You run across first names, nicknames, occasionally a whole name (used a single time), or career references ("the minerologist" for example), and it's up to the reader to figure out who is who -- and to separate the actual characters from random names tossed in to confuse things.

All that in addition to having to solve who killed whom.

At first, I thought it sacrilege to cut out a book's pages, but now, having acquainted myself with the puzzle on a first read-through, I'm eager to dig out my scissors and get chopping. Though, even if I figure out the pages' proper order, I doubt I'd be able to wade through all the obscure 1930s references, red herrings, and vague naming scheme to solve the murders.

I may spend the rest of my life puzzling it out…

Thanks, beloved nephew.

Monday, June 19, 2023

June Reflection

June has been a crazy-busy month with several fun things worth remembering.

* To kick off, my niece and I embarked on a LOTR marathon. She had never seen the movies before, so it was a highlight of my life to get to be the first to watch them with her (she's not the apple of my eye or anything). By the time the day arrived, I had a spread of delectable foods that any Hobbit would drool over. It's a long journey to Mordor and back, after all, and we definitely did not starve.

* FINALLY, I got to take my camper (affectionately called Little Blue) to an actual camper spot and spend the weekend in it in nature. Bought the adorable R-pod 180 last August and every attempt so far had fallen through. At last! And did we get put through the hoops. My poor husband had to back the thing into THE WORST spot ever: a steep incline with several curves in it and washed-out drop-offs on both sides. WTH. Despite his anxiety about it, he rocked it. Then we learned that the water spigot was 85 feet away (WTH), and we had 25 feet of hose. So as soon as we get parked, we had to drive 20 mins into the nearest Walmart for gobs more hose. The next morning, a storm blew in with winds that, thankfully, had decreased from 65 mph to 45, and Little Blue did great.

The glorious things: taking my second home with me like a crab wearing a shell, wearing a bathing suit in the rain, a pair of Canada geese with four goslings, nosy crows, the sound of waves at night, fishing with my nephews and catching a 20 pound catfish (WTH). 

Still to come! 

* My 23rd wedding anniversary on the 24th, for which my husband and I are driving to Colorado to attend the Pike's Peak Hill Climb. We've never attended this race, and to claim a good space to watch, we have to be climbing up that mountain at 2:30 IN THE MORNING! This ought to be a crazy adventure.

* I ought to finish the first draft of my historical WIP--which will earn me a bottle of champagne. It's a bloody mess, and I can't wait to dive into edits.

Pics from the camping trip:

This pic doesn't even capture the horrendousness of the drive hubby had to back down.

Gorgeous sunset view from our camping spot.

The storm's gust front pushing in at 6:30 am.


Thursday, June 15, 2023

Review: Remarkable Creatures


Fossils are a huge attraction for me, so Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures was a given for me to read. I even photographed the book with an ammonite impression my friend and I discovered in Colorado, and a conglomerate of crinoids I found on a lakeside. 

I was so excited to read about these two historical women, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, who pioneered the science and discovery of fossils. The novel did not disappoint. It's a quiet story without the huge dramatic dramas we expect from fiction. The tension is mostly internal as these two women take up scientific pursuits in the early 1800s when science was exclusively male. Both spinsters, they also struggle internally with feelings of self-value and significance and must unearth their own inner strength.

The historical aspect is so convincing that I forget I'm not stepping into this time as my current reality. Chevalier is clearly at home with the historical genre b/c the narrative feels so authentic and natural without being heavy-handed with factoids and explanations of antiquated practices in an attempt to make it feel authentic while achieving the opposite. I have a lot to learn from this author.

What's tragic to me is that, except for the few people in the field and certainly the people of Lyme Regis where Philpot and Anning lived, the huge contribution these two women made in the development of paleontology is still largely unsung. Their names were successfully buried from most of us by the male-ruled scientific community. This novel manages to bring them out of the shadows and display for the world the beauty and the legacy these women left behind. 

For that alone, Remarkable Creatures is worth reading. Then, on top of that, we get the gorgeous prose and wise insights we love in well-told fiction. So it's a double win.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Bedlam & Baths

Ah, the neverending adventure of the historical writer. I dived down the rabbit hole recently during my research, and a dark one it was too. Mental illness is a theme that features strongly in my current WIP, and it's fair to say that treatment for mental illness for much of human history has been horrifying. Because my WIP takes place in the 1870s, I had to dive into the practices of the day.

There's a reason why "Bedlam" has become a universal term in the English language. Chains, starvation, and squalor are just the highlights. In the current draft I'm slogging through, one of my characters experiences the "water cure." Maybe it's just me and my aversion to water (yeah, sure), but how such a practice was supposed to "shake lunatics out of their insanity" is beyond me.

A sketch of Bethlehem Royal Hospital, or Bedlam

On a lighter note, a contest at LegendFire got me writing a bit of flash fiction, and a major plot point brought those little wooden nesting dolls to mind. The perfect metaphor! But what the heck are those things called? "Russian nesting dolls" is okay, but I wanted the actual name. Turns out they're Matryoshka. I love feel smarter than I was yesterday.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Mucha Carah

I'm having a helluva lot of fun with MidJourney these days, despite all the grumblings against it. It's just too much fun to see my written words bloom into images, to see my characters and settings interpreted in dozens of different ways. 

This is MJ's take on Carah, the heroine of books 3, 4, and 5 of the Falcons Saga -- if artists Alphonse Mucha and Julie Bell collaborated. The first was done with MJ's version 4, the last two are version 5. Of course, v4 can't get the hands right. I've had very little success with birds' wings either. Hands and wings, as common as they must be in source imagery, are a mystery to this ai. I do find it interesting, however, that despite my prompt not once including the word "book," the ai insisted that a sorceress would be holding a book. Every single image, except the last one, featured a book.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Summit In Sight

Image from Unsplash

So I haven't detailed much progress on Blackbird in a long time, mainly because writing this draft has felt like climbing an interminable mountain. Is it ever going to end???

Even my husband and my mother, who are my biggest supporters, have been asking, "Are you ever going to finish it?" To which I invariably give them a look that is the non-finger version of flipping them the bird. If I were a snarkier sort, I might invite them to kindly sit in my chair for a few days and finish the damn thing themselves. But I'm not. So I wrote on.

On a good day, I don't really love writing a rough draft. And as far as Blackbird goes, the writing has been slow and difficult. Probably because the historical genre is so new to me and demands a certain level of accuracy and knowledge that can't be invented as with fantasy. It has been ... uncomfortable ... like squeezing into a spandex suit.

And my greatest fear for this story is that it will bulge in all the wrong places.

BUT! After slogging on step by step, scene by scene, the end of the climb is within sight. I hope to conclude Draft 1 by the end of June. Then I can begin the part of the process that excites me. Cutting the fat, bulging up the scrawny bits, and otherwise administering the necessary plastic surgery that turns this ugly child into a supermodel.

Well, I can dream, can't I?

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Is the Nile REALLY 1000 Miles Long?

 I have no idea. But Amelia Edwards claimed it was nearly that in her travelogue A Thousand Miles Up the Nile. Published in the 1870s, this firsthand account of traveling the Nile by dahabiyah tops the list of irreplaceable research material that I'm devouring while writing my historical novel. 

I finally thought to add it to my Goodreads bookshelf. The review I posted there is as follows: 

A Thousand Miles Up the NileA Thousand Miles Up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Along with Lady Duff-Gordon's published letters, A Thousand Miles Up the Nile has my go-to source for setting details (and shocking imperialist attitudes) when researching for my historical novel, which takes place two years before this book was published. My copy is dogeared, marked up, highlighted, and tagged with stickies. And when I traveled the Nile myself in 2021, Edwards' descriptions kept whirling through my head: in the rural parts of Egypt, much remains the same, and it was a trip back in time. To see the same things she described in the 1870s was breathtaking. I can't imagine what I would have done without this priceless firsthand account.

Even if I hadn't needed the book for research, Edwards' prose is magnetic, her insights both timeless and marked by her era, a fascinating read.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Review: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

 A very brief review. Just a quick reaction, really, that I posted at Goodreads. As follows:

Bellman & BlackBellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Several weeks have gone by since I finished it, but I cannot stop thinking about it. The rooks are haunting me -- in a good way. The story is an epic character study of a deeply flawed man, interwoven with mythology (no spoilers). The prose is poetic, the wisdom profound and moving. The only complaint I had was that, in the first half of the book, there is little setting detail. I'm a sucker for immersive settings, and this narration was slim in that regard, until the last half. The longer I read, however, I realized that had Setterfield included richer setting details throughout the novel, the thing would've been needlessly long. The two settings that matter, the mill and the funerary goods emporium, are painted in thorough detail. And so everything fall into place and the author's choices make sense.

(view spoiler)

This is a story I will read again in a few years. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry is not poetry you write when the power goes out. I guess you could, BUT! Blackout poetry is the surprising results you get when you take a piece of text from elsewhere, carefully select a few of the words on the page, and black out everything else, leaving a startling new message. In honor of National Poetry Month, I took a random page from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (which is in the public domain) and ran it through the Blackout Poetry Maker, here: BLACKOUT POETRY MAKER 


 If I were to reformat these words, I might make them look like this: 

night, my retreat
of anguish-- 
wild, broken 
objects ranging 
through cold stars 
and bare trees-- 
of universal stillness

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Shiny New Editions

Slowly but surely, I'm re-releasing several of my publications with new covers and, in some cases, revised text.

I decided to start at the beginning. Way back in 2011, I published my story "Fire Eater" on Amazon as a sort of test run to learn the formatting ropes before I went through the grueling process of preparing a novel series for publication.

So today, I completed the cover art and interior edits (very minor) for this dark fantasy novelette, in the hopes that snappier art will entice more readers to download the story. It received positive reviews, of which I am very proud.

So, just as a record, and an example of how critical cover art is to attracting readers, I'm going to share the old cover and the new. The comparison is laughable.

Old Cover. BLECH!
New Cover. YAY! (Love that 3D affect in the pupil!)

Next up, I'll slap new digs on Sanjen's story, the novella A Nocturne in Red. Later in the year, I hope to do the same for the entire Falcons Saga, with hefty revisions for Book 1.

Download "Fire Eater" for Kindle HERE.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

National Poetry Month: The Clerihew

I have learned something new about poetry, which isn't hard because poetry is such a huge, broad, varied topic. New things keep falling out between the lines, and shimmer, bedazzling.

The Clerihew (who knew?) is "a whimsical, four-line biographical poem of a type invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The first line is the name of the poem's subject, usually a famous person, and the remainder puts the subject in an absurd light or reveals something unknown or spurious about the subject. The rhyme scheme is AABB, and the rhymes are often forced." (Wikipedia)

So I gave this form a go in honor of National Poetry Month, and this is the cute thing I came up with:

Not earth-shattering poetry, but fun. The rhyme scheme is ABBA, too, but it's lucky it ended up rhyming at all, given my lack of a knack for it (nailed that internal rhyme!). But most importantly, I learned something, which is always a win. I do admit, however, I have a crush on that silly ol' bear.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Microfiction: One Last Toast

Microfiction used to scare me to death. How can someone encapsulate and entire story in so few words??? But giving it a try, I learned how many words are NOT needed to convey an idea.

This miniature sci-fi piece was written for LegendFire's 100 Weekly Contest. 100 words, no more, no less. Prompt words: light, stable, bar. First published in LF's Compendium, 2021. 

(Click image to enlarge and read more easily.)

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

MidJourney: Banned Words & Creepy Images

 To follow up on my previous post about MidJourney:

I'm learning the ins and outs of the AI's language. Sometimes I have no idea what the commands mean that I'm using but they produce fabulous results. And just because some words are banned from the AI's engine doesn't mean it won't produce some seriously disturbing stuff.

Lately, I'm considering writing a short story involving the Native American legend of the wendigo, a monster that personifies insatiable hunger and greed. So I plugged Ojibwe teach/scholar Basil H. Johnston's description of the the wendigo into the MidJourney's prompt window:

The Wendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tightly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash-gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody ... Unclean and suffering from suppuration of the flesh, the Wendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption.

"Flesh" and "bloody" are banned words, so I removed them, but the AI accepted the rest and returned the following creepy results:

Whew, is that fun or what?

I found it interesting that most of the images had horns. I had to specify "--no horns" or "horns ::-2" for the latter image to pop. After researching the wendigo a bit I learned that later interpretations, after Europeans brought their own legends from the Old World, horns started showing up in descriptions of the monster. Why is any scholar's guess. And I'm sure there are some fairly good guesses out there.

Hmm, now to go enjoy ... lunch.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Mega Distraction: MidJourney

I have discovered MidJourney, the AI art generator. One of my favorite hobbies is to use GIMP to create imagery -- or try to. MJ makes the process a joy because I never know what I'm gonna get. And I get to PAINT WITH WORDS! I went through my 25 freebie generations in two days. By that time I was hooked, so I subscribed. 

Once I studied up on tutorials and learned the commands, I started generating ideas for book covers. The goal is to release new editions of past works on multiple platforms instead of just on Amazon Kindle. After several terrible results, MJ finally got what I was talking about and produced a glowing white lute for Sanjen's stories, and a dramatic battle ground with standing stones for the Falcons Saga, and a stylized image of a woman in the Sahara for my WIP.

But my prompts are definitely pushing MJ's limits. It has a real problem with birds. I want it to create images of falcons, right? "Falcons" is prominent in the prompt, but MJ is giving me hawks, eagles, birds with hawk bodies and pigeon heads, birds with funky-shaped talons, sometimes with three feet, or two feet with six twisty toes, sometimes a bird with one wing, or a bird with one gorgeous wing and one weird half-wing. It's been hilarious and frustrating. An otherwise gorgeous usable image will be ruined by one bizarre detail like this.

The latest fiasco (and most bizarre yet) was a gorgeous elven castle surrounded by fantastical trees (I was trying to get MJ to create Avidan Wood for a new cover for Blood of the Falcon), and the otherwise gorgeous image was ruined when MJ decided to put big block letters right in the middle of picture! This caused me to think it referenced someone else's promo image elsewhere on the web and arranged random letters in the same place. (see below)

No, no, no, you silly AI.

Point is, trying to create the perfect cover image by choosing the right words has been a glorious challenge, and I haven't written much on my WIP in the past week. Plus, now I've got a new LegendFire contest to work on, so MJ will have to go on the back burner.

Here are some of the bizarre results MJ gave me:

Why the nonsense letters in the middle, MJ??? This was perfect!

What is up with the bird on the left? Creepy eye and an irradiated left talon... tsk tsk.

Yet another attempt at bird anatomy. The falcon on the left is perfect, but for that weird right foot. While the bird on the right is somehow aloft with only half wing, and again with the random funky feet. I think there's an extra disembodied foot there somewhere...

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Microfiction: Wendigo, A Report

Heavy wet snow is coming down by the bucketful. My cats, Jet and Inigo Montoya, are going stircrazy chasing each other from one end of the house to the other, and I'm supposed to get some work done. Between the cats and gazing out the window, I stand about a 40% chance of meeting my word count quota today.

Before I get started, I figured I better procrastinate a little more and blog a bit. The following work of microfiction is an appropriate post for a snowy day. Posted it on Mastodon yesterday and apparently ruined someone's lunch.

100 words, no more, no less. Prompt: "avalanche."

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Microfiction: Moonrise

 This was one of my favorite micro-stories I wrote for LegendFire's weekly 100 Word Contest. One hundred words, no more, no less. It appeared in the 2022 issue of The Compendium. The prompt was "reunion."

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

I'm Reading: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Title: The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Author: Charles Dickens
Genre: Classic Lit

What do you think of it?

It's interesting to read the last thing Dickens was writing when he died. I can definitely tell it's not as polished as Great Expectations. Apparently it will end on a big cliffhanger because it's actually unfinished. So readers get to see something of his creative process, and I keep wondering what he would have changed if he had lived a while longer. 

I'm only 15% into the ebook, and I haven't figured out what the 'mystery' is or will be. Edwin Drood, a 20-ish year old, has made a brief appearance while Dickens introduces the growing cast of characters. I'm starting to get a clue that his beloved uncle is planning something underhanded toward him. Like murder? (I refuse to research it and find out. I despise spoilers.)

Recommend it?

Not really. Maybe I'll change my mind on that score later? It's rough reading given the antiquated slang and long convoluted sentences. And, as I mentioned, the lack of polish. Dickens' prose is usually very graceful, but this work had not yet reached that finished quality. I decided to read this novel in a hurry (bought a cheap copy and the .99 cent ebook versions) so I could read the modern novel Drood by Dan Simmons

Supposedly "Drood" was the last word Dickens spoke on his deathbed. I imagine this was because the dedicated author in him was distraught that he must finish writing the novel and never would. But apparently Simmons turns this haunting word into an epic supernatural thing (or something), which sounds fun to read. Can't wait to find out.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Microfiction: Pristine

Every week, LegendFire holds a 100 Words Contest for its members. It's one of our most popular activities. It encourages spontaneous creativity and very tight writing. The idea of posting my entries didn't occur to me until I saw works of microfiction popping up on Mastodon. The identities of the authors entering the contest isn't a secret, so I won't be violating any rules by posting my humble offerings.

To help me protect copyrights (I can't imagine anyone wanting to steal these, but the world is full of jerks doing inexplicable things), I'll put each story on a free-to-use image from Unsplash.

Last week's prompt was "pristine." I totally went overboard with it. Not my best writing, but the competition was fun, nonetheless.