Posted in History

#ROW80 ~ November 15th Update

Round 4, Week 6 Update


Week 6:

Man, this week… It was mostly my fault.

I had a good writing day last Sunday, I wasn’t too far behind, but then I had a lazy Monday. Not a killer, I figured, I’ll make it up. Except, my computer had other plans. My boot drive has some reliability issues. It goes along fine until too many bad sectors cause a crash. Usually this is “fixed” by running a CHKDSK/repair, formatting, and reinstalling everything. Which took up a lot of time on Wednesday and Thursday. Since the fix only holds 10 months or so, Eric has ordered a new solid state drive for my computer which will necessitate a repeat of the reinstall process later in the week.

Also, we decided to change the way we’re selling and promoting the Weordan books. Queue stress freak-out since I had planned to promo Model Species next weekend. I also have to update information on those books around the web.


  • Write First. Five days out of seven, 1 hour of work/500 words before noon.  – Well, I at least have a two day streak going…
  • Average 1667 per day. (Or rather 1736 if I want to make up time.) – I’m averaging 1000 a day for the month thus far. I’ve been playing with three different ideas for One Ahead stories, two of them new, so I’ve gotten what I wanted out of NaNoWriMo.
  • Edits/additional writing on One Ahead #1 & #2 as needed. – Haven’t needed. There’s a detail I’m probably going to eventually change in story #1.

Goals for Week 7+:

  • Write First. Five days out of seven, 1 hour of work/500 words before noon.
  • Continue averaging 1000 words a day for this week. It’s not NaNo level, but it’s more than I have been doing.
  • Reorganize my document and maybe get these stories into better shape without editing or rewriting.
  • Edits/additional writing on One Ahead #1 & #2 as needed.

Continue reading “#ROW80 ~ November 15th Update”

Posted in Male Author, Short Story

Deal Me In, Week 46 ~ “The Queen of Spades”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“The Queen of Spades” by Alexander Pushkin

Card picked: Ace of Hearts
From: Great Russian Stories, selected by Isai Kamen, Vintage Books, 1959

Thoughts: This tale begins, as many Russian short stories do, with a group of soldiers wrapping up a long night of card-playing. To cap off the evening, one of the men, Tomski, relates that his grandmother, the Countess X, knows of an unbeatable trio of cards to play. Why she doesn’t gamble more often, he doesn’t know. She’s only shared the secret with one other man, who won a fortune, but was sworn to only play the cards once. He died in poverty, but surely that happened because he was famously bad with money…

The Countess’s secret lodges in the mind of Herman, a Russified German who never gambles. While Herman has a nice fortune, he doesn’t feel he’s rich enough to “waste” money. He thinks that if he had the Countess’s secret, he could live more comfortably and loosen his purse strings. He hatches a plan to get into the Countess’s household by wooing her young ward, Lizaveta, and then forcing the secret from the old lady. He sends Liza a letter.

The letter contained a declaration of love; it was tender, respectful, and copied word for word from a German novel.

Luckily (for Herman), Liza knows nothing of German novels. After some indecision, she sets up a tryst with Herman. Instead of meeting Liza in her room after a ball, Herman visits the Countess. She will not reveal her secret. He threatens her with a pistol, but the old woman’s heart gives out. Herman comes clean to Liza and she helps him sneak out of the house, even though he’s only sorry for the lost secret and his lost potential fortune.

The day after the Countess’s funeral, her ghost appears to Herman. She gives him her secret card combination in exchange for two things: he only plays one card a day and he marries Lizaveta. Herman has no problems with the first part of the promise. As to the second stipulation…

I really enjoyed “The Queen of Spades.” I’ve had a rough patch with the Russians lately. Obviously, you give me a ghost and I’m halfway to happy right there. Herman is a heel. As soon as we’re told he has a fortune (that he will not spend), but he wants the Countess’s secret, we pretty much know he’s going to get his just reward in the end. What that reward is going to be is the good part.

Is This Your Card?

I am amazed that no magician, on YouTube at least, has adapted this story into a narrative card trick.