Tag Archives: 30 days

#FridayFlash: Tricks

Now that it’s no longer a secret (because my mother-in-law *is* a friend on Facebook even if she probably hasn’t logged in since my niece set up the account), I can let it be known that we’re headed to Omaha tomorrow. Eric’s staying for the weekend for my mom-in-law’s birthday party and I’m staying on the rest of next week to see my people. This means that tomorrow is going to me nuts. Heck, considering our flight is at 8am and our first league game is tonight, *tonight* is going to be nuts.

So, a catch-all post! On Thursday!


This #FridayFlash is a clean-up of a writing practice from August 29, 2002. Obviously, around this time of year I begin thinking of autumn and October and Halloween.


Crouched behind the park bench, Shelly waited for Bentley.  When he was three feet away and she could stand it no longer, she popped up.


He didn’t jump. He didn’t act scared.

"You need to stop that," he said flatly. His red hair and freckles fit in so well against the yellow and orange leaves.

She smiled and her heart beat just a tad bit faster. "I need to practice for Halloween."

"You’re mother’s going to have cow," he said, pointing the spots of mud on her pants.  She had knelt in the mud without realizing it.

He continued on and, for a second. Shelly debated the merits of not following him.

Bentley had lived next door all her life, but lately he didn’t have time for jokes or fun. It was all an act, it had to be, but he laid it on thick when he was around her. She had walked with him to and from school since before she even attended school. She could hang out here now until he was well out of sight, but hanging out really didn’t reap anything. Just moments of silent boredom.

She collected her backpack, also muddy, and ran. "Hey! Wait up!"

He stopped and cocked his head to one side. Though she was two years younger, they were the same height. If his hair belonged to autumn, hers was firmly stuck in summer, but passable on days like this. Today, the sun shone golden and the trees shed their leaves after the cold rain last night.

"So," she addressed him, "what are you going to be for Halloween?"

"I’m not dressing up this year," said Bentley, gray-sky eyes straight ahead.

"You’re kidding me," she said. "You’re absolutely joking."

"Nope. I’ve decided I’m too old for that silliness."

She shook her head and managed to keep step with him. "You are such a nerd," she said finally.

"Whatever," he replied.

"Your grade’s organizing the whole school’s stupid party. Everyone’s going to wear costumes."

"Well I’m not," he said simply.

Shelly didn’t care about the party. She had long ago decided that anything the school organized was lame. Even Bentley’s participation in planning this year’s party couldn’t make it good. But she was concerned about whom she would trick or treat with, emphasis on the tricks. She loved the holiday too much to end up drearily accompanying her six-year-old sister.

"Who am I going to play pranks with this year?" They always headed out stocked with the good stuff: toilet paper, eggs, shaving cream, chalk. Halloween night the past few years had been long and exciting, and usually ended with one or both of them grounded.

Shelly stopped in her tracks. "Why  are you suddenly abandoning me, Bentley Harris?"

Bentley walked a few more steps before he turned back to look for her. Carefully, a smile crept over his face.

"Boo," he said.

She shook her head. "Bent, you are cruel, cruel, cruel," she said. Her blue eyes betrayed her awe. "You really had me going there."

"You have a lot to learn, Shell," he said. They continued on home.

She would be a skeleton this year and he would be a strange bubble-headed alien.


And a short entry to 30 Days of Writing:

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

Weordan (of course) has gotten the biggest treatment, including a poster board continent map. Usually, the maps I use while writing are more like X-O sketches of buildings and people moving. Writing in the contemporary United States, I’ve been turning to Google Maps on many occasions.

30 Days of Writing – Day #13

13. What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

I don’t think I really have a favorite. The hardest part has been writing religions that aren’t prophetic Judeo-Christian or pat polytheistic with a god for everything. I was raised Lutheran and, whatever my current leanings, it hard to get my brain around other core beliefs. Therefore, Fuel Eaters, if I ever get around to a second draft of it, will be a bear.

I suppose when all is said and done, I really don’t write any culture but my own. And maybe that really comes down to my own personal Katherine culture: hermit-y, skeptical, concerned with well-being.

30 Days of Writing – Day #12: Worldbuilding (also, Where am I?)

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you’d like to share?

Hands down, Weordan and it’s associated novels. To establish a reasonable physics for "magic" required a world with different chemical makeup. To be honest, figuring out all (or at least most) of the associated changes was Eric’s task. My job was to implement the changes and keep them all straight. And change details when something knew was worked out. It’s taken three novels and five years, but I feel pretty good about Weordan.

I truly believe that anyone that enjoys worldbuilding isn’t doing it correctly. It’s painful. Things do not arise for no reason. Every detail has a cause and when you work in a different world, you have to be very critical of what details you use.


Time for another round of "Where Am I?"

  • My flash story "Consequences" was picked by the 52|250 editors to be  included in ‘Thirteen,’ their first quarterly.
  • Ch. 15, pt. 2 of Pas de Chat is up.
  • Work is continuing apace on Luck for Hire and I’m continuing to post progress on it. I might end up writing more than one scene this week! Might even break the 10K mark today.

Btw, not a fan of LJ’s Twitter/Facebook auto updates. Shareholic is far superior.

30 Days of Writing – Day #11: Favorites

11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

I’ve enjoyed writing my put-upon thugs, Dino and Balito. Both are simple men. They have jobs; they try to do them well. They are the victims of circumstance. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have interesting details and foibles.

In general, I dislike writing duplicitous, secret-mongering characters. I’m a terrible liar. In fiction, I realize that much of story telling relies on when and how information is transferred to the reader, but I find it hard to write from the POV of a "villain" and not let cats out of bags.  I don’t want to cheat for my characters.

30 Days of Writing – Day #10

I’m generally a slacker, but even more so on the weekends. A day late:

10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

"Canon scenes to meme questions"? (Is it fan fiction if you write "non-canon" scenes with your characters? Therefore, do my two Big Sprawling Reject Fantasy Novels count as non-canon works for Marie, Danielle, Neltiar, et al.? Or just the background novel I started to write for Marie that is set in Weordan that is based on BSRFN #1? In which case, the strangest situation Marie has even been in is when she was busted while B&E due to a talking moth.)


Busy week ahead. I need to nuke my task list (from orbit, just to be sure) and start over.

I know it’s only early September, but seriously, enough with the 100 degree weather.

30 Days of Writing – Day #9: Characters

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

Funny enough, I mentioned character creation in today’s Luck for Hire / #FridayFlash entry. Characters should be the product of plot. They should be the drivers of the plot. To some extent, they are Eric’s purview though they seem to fall to me (and then get bounced to Eric and back to me and…). The two previous entries at Luck for Hire concern character creation as well: when two characters are replaced by others.

I have no system for detailing characters. The type of person he/she is and what he/she will do in the plot is usually followed by a name (and names carry detail weight) and then some appearance and behavior details. I’ve never been one to fill out surveys or memes for my characters.


Great turnout last night at league welcome night. Got a little play in and met two of our ladies. Al and Kuby were both there (one of our female players is Kuby’s daughter, Nora) as well as Nora’s friend, Paul. I am eager to get the season started. Our team has quite a bit of potential on an individual level and I’m anxious to see how well we’re going to play together. And I always want to have a team that gets along well together. I have to wait until Thursday to get the first taste of that.

30 Days of Writing – Day #8: Genre

8. What’s your favorite genre to write? To read?

I claim to enjoy writing horror most. Indeed, I do have a perverse love for the gruesome scene. I also like to write humorous bits. At least, I think they’re humorous. But most of what I write is not entirely within those genres. Rather, the sci-fi/mystery/it-might-look-like-fantasy that I do write have elements of horror and/or humor in them.

I do have a special love for the horror-comedy genre of movies.

It’s easier to put my finger on what I don’t like to read (or write). I’m not a Romance fan. I haven’t quite got into Noir or too much recent YA. I haven’t read any Westerns, but that doesn’t mean I won’t. I’m not a huge fan of general literary fiction, but occasionally I like the odd Brett Easton Ellis novel. I could name genres I like, but really, it’s only 10% of the genre that I care for. I’m like this with music too. I might say I like industrial metal, but really 90% of industrial metal doesn’t do a thing for me.


September is off to a good start. Knocked out 800 words on one scene yesterday and threw it Eric’s way this morning. I need to work on rewrites of that and get it ready to post for #FridayFlash. Did 800 this morning on a new scene. (Yeah, 800 a day isn’t huge, but it’s more than less than 800/day.)

Played disc yesterday, will probably play some tonight. In the end, writing and disc are pretty much my two qualifiers for a good day.

Also, I’m going to try the new LJ repost thing. I apologize if it sucks.