Category Archives: Writing

Around Uroborus, the Only Man to Survive

Buzzards circle the ruins of bold settlers. With a bare foot, Abel steps on a warm piece of what had been the lone building. Black and shiny under the sun, it is back-breaking granite covered in unbreakable adamantine resin. A treasure from another world, the machined block had fit with thousands of others in a master-craft of stone joinery.

Naked and grim, Abel paces out the foundation of its humble size. No bigger than a small tavern, it nonetheless had the makings to survive the hammering of any battering ram carried by man.

Foot-prints of the monstrous horde have churned the earth like a farmer’s plow. He steps across the tracks to a pile of black stone and crushed bodies.

One wild-haired survivor weeps on his knees, as skin-bare as Abel. Continue reading Around Uroborus, the Only Man to Survive

Around Uroborus, for Love or for Pride

The monsters come, and the man prepares. The road is endless, and Abel Hart steps to its edge. In the distance, screams and snapping wood echo. His caravan is being torn apart under the setting sun. Nothing he can do with a dancing blade or hardened leather against a horde of wild beasts, so he strips off his armor, weapons, and gear.

Abel continues to strip until only his tattoos cover him. Seven runes mark his flesh, each one the stylized symbol of a city he has served on this endless path.

The woman he loves is at both the finale and the beginning of his journey. The beauty he will marry must be won by looping this world and earning a tattoo from every city along the way.

The screams scatter. Their meager defense must have collapsed and panic set in, dumbing them to the final lesson on Uroborus: strip and surrender to survive. Continue reading Around Uroborus, for Love or for Pride

What Am I?

Eighteen of my riddles in chronological order

1
What must you do to hold interest?
What tricks with ways that end?
What does a newborn do?
What distance is slowest the first time and boring each time after?

2
Needs money and an infection to rise
Is soft in the morning but hard at night
Can keep hands clean while being fulfilling

3
They taste like summer’s sea
They come from deep beliefs
They divide and weaken
Muscles they will strengthen

Continue reading What Am I?

Censorship Is Married To Our Victimhood Culture

Censorship For Safety Or Liability?

Censorship: Cover of Tales from a Forager's Kitchen, by Johnna HolmgrenJohnna Holmgren‘s book Tales from a Forager’s Kitchen got published at the end of last season and is now being erased from existence.

An attack on freedom of speech, emboldened by victim culture?

In this post, I pick up Holmgren’s trail of bread crumbs and toss in other samples of censorship I forage along the way. At the end, it becomes a noxious recipe for the culture war and a far bigger problem than the loss of one book.

It starts with some Amazon reviews raising safety concerns with her pseudo-cookbook. In the brush-heavy landscape of social media, they spark a critical mass of outrage, causing the publisher and libraries to literally trash it.

Acorns and morels and elderberries, oh my!
Continue reading Censorship Is Married To Our Victimhood Culture

Ranger Of Path Updated With Prologue

With Caution And Care, A Prologue

Now with a prologueAdding a prologue to Ranger of Path was a tough decision. I worried it would distract readers and add complexity that would hinder immersion. I also didn’t want anything told through the prologue that would be better done with later chapters.

Like adverbs, filtering language, and bracketing scenes with sleep, I’ve heard prologues should be avoided if possible.

Ranger of Path is a story that needed this prologue.

It’s a short prologue, starting from the point of view of a squirrel and then a tiny creature called a brownie. It offers readers vital context to an event that orients the main characters of Ranger of Path and it’s sequel, Valkyrie of Desire.

Here it is, as added to Ranger of Path:

0. Prologue

A boy is caught pulling the legs off a cricket.

“Don’t do that. How do you think it feels?”

The boy chews on his lip and says, “Unhoppy?”

—Ishkur Inshushinak Ishtaran

A squirrel pokes its head out of a hole in an old fir tree. On a moss covered rock below, a man little bigger than it trills and waves an acorn with a right arm that’s shorter than his other by a third.

With greenish skin and limbs thin as twigs, he is a brownie, a fae friend of the forest and no danger. The squirrel scurries down and snatches the nut.

The brownie smiles and trills a bird’s song as he lies on the moss.

A hint of smoke stings the squirrel’s nose, and it rears up with whiskers twitching. The acorn falls, and the tiny animal bounds away, chittering a warning.

Fire.

Continue reading Ranger Of Path Updated With Prologue

Balancing on the edge of ketogenic for my mind and body

Going Ketogenic To Be A Better Writer

Ketogenic says, "Fat is energy."
Taken at Portland Art Museum.

A moderately strict ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting has subtlety transformed my life. From how I think and feel, to how I move and sleep, everything is different.

I changed to be fit to fulfill weekly commitments to my patrons.

After dinner, dishes, and my son’s story time, it’s been hard to push through the sleepy fog and be consistently productive before bed.

Having heard that mental acuity is retained after meals when using fat as fuel instead of sugar, I took the ketogenic leap of faith this last February.

More than two months in, I am confident that it is one of my best life decisions—up there with marrying a Japanese woman and buying a community land trust home.

Continue reading Balancing on the edge of ketogenic for my mind and body