Thursday, June 30, 2016

Blog: Creative Attribution

Painting entitled: Ballet Dancers

Creative Attribution. Giving credit where credit is due. You may notice, I always post where I get my pictures for my blog, even if it is from the Internet Hive Mind or Facebook posts. Creative attribution is important, not only because it is the (copyright) law, but by acknowledging the hard work of others you encourage them to continue and others to attempt.

Copyright is important. Economic and sociological studies have shown that in countries where people have their property protected from confiscation, physical or intellectual property, they are more likely to create beyond bare needs. If people don't realize any gain from the hard work of creation, planting crops or developing software for example, they aren't going to continue doing it. They are going to pour effort into those items where they or their family has gain, or at least meets the necessities.

At the end of the day, the priorities for people are food and shelter. If their work does not gain these items, and they have no other means of gaining them, they will switch work ... or die.

A no-brainer decision.

If they have food and shelter, and leftover time beyond that, they may invest it in creative activities which don't put food on the table. But if they have a choice between creative activities with different levels of profit, so they can get luxury items like clothing, Internet, and transportation, they will choose toward the greatest profit and personal enjoyment. For some people, like painters, the personal enjoyment comes from the activity.

By always acknowledging the personal efforts of people, and following the copyright levels they choose, you are supporting them ... and they will create more cool stuff. Modern life allows a lot of free time, granting people the ability to post stuff online just to give away. Wikipedia is just one of the phenomena related to modern life's free time.

In closing, I would like to mention posting the Creative Attribution is just good manners. Like writing a thank you note. Someone took the effort to make something you can use for free. Putting their name to it is a big thank you shout out.

Needless to say, this subject is important to me ... as an painter, calligrapher, editor, writer, and embroiderer. I do a lot of free stuff I share; I also do a lot of stuff just to keep a roof over my head. Thank you for recognizing my work, for buying those things I do sell, and for sharing what I give away for free. I appreciate it. Without you, I would be doing my arts a lot less.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Writing Exercise: POV and Scene

Image Courtesy of Vlado at

POV & Scene

WRITING EXERCISE: Write of scene of two people; by the end of the scene the following features should be defined: (1) gender, (2) age, (3) cultural status and/or educational status. 200 words or less (with two people, a few extra words might be needed).

Switch it up now. Write the scene again, but switch the people in the roles. Keep the same person's POV.

Example of combinations: Older doctor with young intern - becomes young doctor with older intern (maybe on second career); Male boss with female secretary.


"Joshua, please just sit still a moment." The mother hissed at her child as she juggled her purse, a diaper bag, and the loaded the last of her cart's items onto the conveyor belt. She smiled weakly at the people behind her as she dug out her wallet from the bottom of the pile, and finally focused on the cashier who monotonously been pushing items through the scanner to the steady sound of the beep.

Dixon, numb from three college finals that week, couldn't manage a smile back after watching the woman yell at her kid throughout the line, when she wasn't on the phone. Once more the senior debated his choice of becoming a teacher. If parents weren't involved with the children before school, what was the point? "Your total is $127.32."

"Oh, wait. I got coupons." The woman said as she pulled a fistful out of her purse, dropping her wallet in the process. "Fuck!"

"Fuck, fuck, fuck," echoed the child. (words 163)


Three cans of ground coffee, one pack of white coffee filters, a couple new memory cards, several six-packs of highly caffeinated soda, and a bag of chips hit the conveyor belt, while Dixon swayed from exhaustion. Three finals down and two to go and he would be done with college. The monotonous beeps hypnotized him until the cashier said, "Your total is $42.60."

He blinked a few times focusing on the middle-aged woman across from him. "Oh, wait. I got coupons." He started digging through his pockets, first the jacket, then the jeans, finally finding the papers in the shirt pocket. He smiled at the people behind him in apology before turning back to the cashier who had been glancing at a phone placed next to the register, biting her lip. "Problem?" he asked, not really expecting an answer.

"Just not sure I am going to be able to pick up my kid from daycare before closing time. They charge extra if you are late." She said, scanning the coupons.

"Getting off soon then?"

The cashier shook her head. "Two people didn't show today, and I am the one low on hours."

Opening his wallet to get out his credit card, the worn, overextended stitches broke from the cracked leather, dropping half of his life onto the floor. "Fuck," Dixon said weakly before bending down. (words 225)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Flash: Mist Clung

Image Courtesy of dan at

Mist clung to the last vestiges of night, transforming the rising sun's visual aspect into a bright full moon. The old wolf huffed, her breath joining the mist. The twilight hunters would be out, cats and their ilk. She shook the dew condensing on her fur loose.

She did love days like today, when her joints did not creak, her belly was full, and her pack was safe. The tree beckoned as the perfect place to sleep the day away, cool shade once the last of the mist burned off, soft green grass. She could wake a dozen times, search her surroundings for trespassers, and lay her muzzle back on her paws for another nap.

Let the young ones do their day duties. The three nights of full moon consumed all her energies.

(words 135; first published 6/26/2016)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Other Cool Blogs: LIGO and A Capella Science

A little departure from my standard pointing to other writing blogs where good writing/editing/publishing advice is provided, I thought I would touch base on a video-blog I love. Because to write good science fiction, one needs to know about science fact.

A Capella Science was started by a Canadian physics student, Tim Blais, while he was earning his masters, a mash-up of his love of music and physics to blow off steam between research projects. The A Capella Science channel became an unexpected hit after the release of Bohemian Gravity. Like 3 million crazy - who knew string theory had such a catchy beat?

His following continued to develop with each new release, some of them parodies of popular music set to science themes and some original pieces of his own creation. Whether the musical Wicked parody where Newton and Einstein sing a duet about Defining Gravity through time or the original Nerds: A Manifesto, Mr. Blais hits the science and culture of science out of the park again and again.

I highly recommend subscribing to his youtube channel and if you have a dollar or two to spare become his patreon: here. It is stuff like this that makes science accessible and interesting to teenagers and adults; it encourages people to go into technology and biology. And if you are a teacher of physics, biology, chemistry, or music, see if you can work some of these videos into your lessons.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Author Spotlight: John G. Hartness

Book Cover from Amazon

John G. Hartness is a ... personality. His podcast, Literate Liquors where he pairs good books with good booze, is NSFW (not safe for work), and the language on his blog has vocabulary not allowed in G movies. But he is passionate about writing and is willing to help those willing to help themselves. Not satisfied with helping new authors through organizing a few anthologies (The Big Bad and The Big Bad II, for example), he has gone on to start Falstaff Publishing. In addition he regularly contributes at Gail Z Martin's meetup about how the publishing industry works.

Series he's written include: The Black Knight Chronicles (published by Bell Bridge Books), Bubba the Monster Hunter (self-published - and yes it is EXACTLY as wild as it sounds), and Quincy Harker (self-published). Plus he had tons of short stories and other material out there.

Highly educated, he man can talk theater, electrical, and wiring. He works as a publisher, marketer, content editor, and with a dozen of other skills beyond his formidable sales ability.

And when the Interweb posts self-published are silly, ineffectual people, gloves come off.

If you want to know what self-writing is about, the schedule you keep, the blood you will bleed - read this blog published April 26, 2016: Ros Barber may not be an elitist assclown, but she sure comes off as one.

Biggest takeaway for me was: 
"...if you want it, it’s out there. But you have to want it. And you have to be willing to work harder than anyone else, because that’s what small business owners do. And if you don’t look at your writing career as being a small business owner, then you’re not ready to have a writing career, no matter how you plan to publish."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Flash: Joelie and Sarah's Last Day

Image Courtesy of Jeremy Ricketts at
Cropped by Erin Penn

Joelie cinched the saddle girdle tighter, letting the town’s mayor attempt to make him change his mind. You would think after raising her from birth, she would know only one person got him to change him mind about anything. Finally he interrupted, “Jillie, hon, your mom ain’t goin’ to last through winter and I can’t stop that. Travel may end it sooner, but she will see something she wants to see.”

“Dad, she is barely conscious. She isn’t going to notice anything, and it’s a full day’s travel even with my horse.” The five foot nothing blond dynamo argued. “Shouldn’t mother die in the comfort of her own bed?”

Satisfied the horse was ready and everything was packed for the journey, the old farmer went into his one-room house. “Your mom has never been one to choose comfort.” He sat in a chair to change his boots and add a second pair of socks.

“At least let me see if the priest from Riding-in-the-Mud can help give travel ease.” The young woman trailed her father into her childhood home.

Joelie stood, pulling on a traveling cloak. “Magic helped the first year, but now the Tester has placed this challenge before us. We can do this on our own.” Touching the pile of skin and bones swathed in blankets, Joelie stroked his wife’s cheek. “Sarah, time to go.”

Her blue eyes focused on his for the first time in days, reassuring him that the love of his life was still with him and he was doing the right thing. Picking up the blankets and padding, he carried the precious bundle out. Despite her having been several inches taller than him and outweighing him most of their joint lives, the last two winters of illness had taken their toll and now she was lighter than a grain sack.


Two days of frozen purgatory guiding a horse through his normal, slightly illegal, hunting grounds finally ended. He had never been one to understand how the King could own the entire forest. He was pretty sure the White Stag ruled it.

Jolie had wrapped Sarah tightly during the day and provided her his heat at night. He wanted to carry her during the day as well, or ride the horse and provide her needed warmth, but he needed to break the trail for the horse and he fell too many times.

The horse went to the edge of the water without prompting and Jolie started pulling what was left of his wife down. He heard a whisper and leaned closer in. “Are we there?”

Seeing clear eyes and ruby checks, Jolie gave thanks to the Tester for giving him a final moment with her. “Aye, we have arrived.”

Twenty years ago, she had laid into him during one of their few arguments, saying he did not have a romantic bone in his body. Sarah had just finished a round of afternoon sickness, since morning sickness was not enough for his exceptional wife, and the additional weight at six months on her swelling feet looked painful even to him after spending the day in the field. It took time to get her to this location then, but never did she ever question his romance again. Partially because if she did, he would have dragged her the long hike there and back to revisit this place.

Sitting on the edge of a boulder half-in and half-out of the waterfall pool, he settled his forty-year old woman in his lap and let her look around. A magical spring feed the creek a little further up. The water stayed a constant fifty degrees, creating a pool warm in winter and cool in summer. The steam rising from the waterfall coated the branches nearby with crystal ice. A few flashsprite made the glade their home during the winter, and danced among the branches setting off rainbows of color. The Valley-Home water lily floated pure white from a dozen different locations in the perfect blue of the pool. Green grass grew at the edge of the pool, where the warm water pushed back the hoar frost.

Valley-Home lilies could never be moved from their home water pool. He tried for years to transplant some from the spring to the irrigation pond in the north fields until Sarah had requested he “stop killing the flowers, you fool. I can remember their scent just fine.”

Joelie held Sarah, rotating her head from where it rested on his shoulder throughout the day and sunset so she could see everything. He feed her bits of trail meat after chewing it soft. At night the flashsprites danced faster among the ice, snow, and blue water. The world was a blaze of color and the jasmine-like scent of the Valley-Home released at full strength just before the white flowers closed for the night. Sometime after sunset Sarah slipped away.

(Words 814; first published 6/19/2016)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Editing Rant: Outline

Image Courtesy of cuteimage at

Why Outline?

On the days when your muse takes a day off, you can still keep going. Words on paper every day is how a book gets completed. You don’t need a detailed outline, just a line or two per chapter to do the trick. I am hoping to use my outline to get through my post-convention slump.

In addition outlining helps with:
  1. Refining the concept - Sometimes the story is not about what you think it is about. Once you know what the important conflict is, keeping focused on the plot pacing is easier.
  2. Pacing - Essential for genres where you need to provide clues and red herrings, such as mysteries. You don't want to give them up all at once or hold them back too long. Useful everywhere - quests (journey stages), relationship development (love at first sight still needs tension), and emotional changes (when does the first change occur, when the backslide, and the final new emotional habit develop?).
  3. Timeline pressure - Ticking clock, need to know when everything happens, and picking up the pace as the deadline approaches.
  4. Large casts - Don't let people just disappear and keep the pivotal characters impact consistent throughout the manuscript.

And from the editing standpoint if you are under contract:
  1. Length - Get a feel for how long the book is. Over time you will know how many words are in a chapter. Do you need to add chapters to reach your word count or do you need to go on a path of destruction? An outline can help indicate which sub-plots you can remove.
  2. Synopsis - Hate synopsis? Providing one to your content editor will help them know what direction you are going. Use the outline to figure out what is specific to the largest plot and present that.
  3. Time left to write - So that contract. It has a deadline. Just how far are you into writing that book? Your editor needs to know - YESTERDAY - if you are falling behind. ... And if you are not under contract because you are a new writer, I recommend setting a personal goal to practice meeting deadlines. Many of the editors for hire have narrow windows for taking on new business; you are going to want to fit into one. (Yep, there is the editing rant promised as promised. Deadline, folks!!!!)
  4. Pantser editing - After finishing your story, go back and outline it to help you refine how you need to edit your story. Which chapters might need moving? Where does the pacing slump? Is any chapter just an info/history dump and needs to be redistributed so it is not disruptive?
An outline is the scaffolding, the building blocks, the DNA of your story. What other things do you think an outline will help you with?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Flash: With the Moon Watching Other Places

Original Image Courtesy of Neill Kumar of Unsplash
Cropped by Erin Penn

With the moon watching other places, the lake at the end of the world captured the far lights and milk of the heavens in a pool of midnight black. The pure waters reflected the stars, joining Helio and Gea in perfect union. Henna waited in the fir trees watching the unmoving starlit water.

For the last four moonless nights, he had come and the forest nymph lips lifted in a small smile as the male’s new habit continued. Gods and men preferred to protection on nights Luna did not watch, for without Her light a soul did not have a guide through the dark into the Future Day. The male strode clothed in plant and animals from the path forest animals had beaten to the water.

His linen shirt and leather pants were quickly stripped. Henna tried to restrain her gasp as the man stood skyclad. He half-turned to her stifled sound. His body rippled with lean muscles. He was the most beautiful mobile being she had ever seen. She could feel his eyes search the shadows of trees, but she stood her ground motionless. The night was deep and the forest by the lake was hers.

One or two human hunters made it this far in their ranging. Gods had sometimes crossed the lake in their boats. But no village was within two days walk of the lake. Rarely did Henna see humans or other creatures not of her forest and she could not say if the male was either god or hunter.

He was clever. She had not been able to find his encampment the night she was bold enough to follow him. His eyes may be human weak, but his hearing was as sharp as tree’s ears. She knew not why the forest was hiding his home from her; how he commanded the loam and pines not to whisper his secrets to her. Henna had been tempted to send a songbird to a sister nymph to see if others knew of such magicks, but such action might mean sharing her male with someone and she could not bring herself to risk losing him just yet.

The man dove into the star water; widening circles, rippled, doubling, tripling the light. Assured of his diversion, Henna made her way closer to the area he had released his clothes. This night she meant to see his face and know him god, human or nymph. She yearned nymph as only such a being could she lay with; all else was forbidden.

Sinking down into the moss struggling to tie the forest to the lake, Henna blended in two body lengths from where his garments were discarded. Her red hair darkened from tree bark to garnet stone. She willed her skin to change from dappled light to sand sparkle. Then she drank in the sight of the male and waited.

He stepped from the water dripping black diamonds. Her hazel eyes followed the glittering rivulets flowing from his darkened tresses over shoulders bear-broad, a chest boulder smooth, abs rippling like rapids to a manhood as stout and thick as oaken root. His face, she must see his face, but he turned his back to her while he wrapped his waist-length hair around his fists and squeezed out drops of light.

Please, she begged Gea silently, may his eyes be stone or sapphire, earth or air nymph. Water and wood were female. But his beauty was so great she knew they would hold the fire of gods; no human or sprite could be so perfect. His face fell into shadow as he picked up his clothes and made his way to the stones where she hid. How had she forgotten he laid on stones to dry before redressing?

He collapsed among the stones beside her, stretching out among the moss. Frozen to immobility, her position let her see only his feet. She feared discovery.

Nymphs were playthings of the gods and thralls to humans who found them. Even male nymphs were either hard emotionless creatures or fickle capricious beings, depending on their element. Why had she been so intrigued? For hundreds of years the pines and deer had been her companions. To seek out a male, however beautiful was madness.

A hand caressed her butt. Henna knew her bare back cheeks looked like smooth stone and she had seen the male stroke the stones around him as he waited for the moss to absorb the water from his monthly swims. The hand dragged the other way, leaving a trail of lighting and fire behind. Another stroke and she felt her legs move slightly apart asking for attention deeper in her being. The hand stilled and she could feel his eyes bore into her camouflaged back, making out a female shape where none should be. The hand spread over the smooth pretend stones and pushed. Warmth and flesh rebounded into the calloused hand.

The male’s hand left her butt-cheeks for a moment and Henna tried not to moan from the loss. She could not keep the sharp yelp of surprise from escaping when the hand returned with a sharp smack. The sensation rippled up her spine and release her breasts from their illusion. Her glamour entire fell as her whole body tensed then released like water from the second slap.

The feet she had been staring at disappeared as the man moved. Henna tried to move as well, but two hands then grabbed her ass lifting it and slapping it both sides soundly. Dew emerged from her crevasse and her legs willingly rooted into place. The moan she had been holding back all night emerged as the male rubbed both sides of her ass and slowly sunk his trunk into her opening.

When she tried to twist to look over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of his face through her mass of hair, the male grabbed a hank and pulled her face forward. As he started to work his way in and out, trembling took Henna like a tree in the wind. First one then another eruption burst from her like pine cones in a fire. The male did not stop, but caught her closer to him as he wrapped one arm around to tease a nipple and the other arm braced him on the moss-covered boulders.

A whisper in her ear announced, “Ah, now little one. Some heaven”

Gea, please let his eyes be stone or sapphire was her last thought before the stars captured in the lake exploded back to the skies for an endless forever and night’s blackness claimed her.

(words 1,100 - first published 1/27/2013 ; republished new blog format 6/12/2016. Originally inspired by a photo on the Breathless Press site; picture is no longer available so recreated it using an unsplash.)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Book Review: The Good Fight 2: Villains

Book Cover from Amazon

The Good Fight 2: Villains, an anthology from the Pen and Cape Society

The second anthology from the authors of the Pen & Cape Society contains eleven all-new tales from the wrong side of the law. The proceeds of this collection will benefit long-time comic book author James Hudnall, who has fallen upon hard times, losing a foot to diabetes and becoming homeless. Bad things can happen to anyone, and the Pen & Cape Society will help where it can. They may write about villains, but they're a pretty heroic bunch. The anthology includes stories by Nick Ahlhelm, Scott Bachmann, Mike Baron, Drew Hayes, Ian Thomas Healy, Hydrargentium, T. Mike McCurley, Landon Porter, R.J. Ross, Cheyanne Young, and Jim Zoetewey.

Oh my did the second anthology blow the first of The Good Fight anthologies from Pen and Cape Society away. But then Villains always make the Hero - and these Villains make you shiver in your cape.

"Frankie" (Scott Bachmann) stunned me. I ended with a "Wow" when I finished reading it and needed to walk away a moment. This was from the same man who produced the cute "Bedtime Story" in the first anthology. Coolest/creepiest superpower ever - how does one even begin to discover it ... and then continue to use it to replace ... everything. Face, eyes, ... shudder.

"Goon #3" by Drew Hayes, who wrote the incredible "Out Of Mind" short story in the first anthology, hits it out of the park again. His protagonists are so identifiable.

"I am SKYSTEP" by RJ Ross is from his YA "Cape High Series" and is the first one to really engage me. The relationship between Skystep and the superheroes around her can only be described as "it's complicated". Even more complicated than Batman and Catwoman.

"Stripped Down Blues" by Mike Baron (not in the first anthology) ... oh my, total ... yeah, villains. This could have found a home in a number of different genres. Stick around for the ending.

"Lemonade", "Here Come the Pain", etc. Not a single story in this anthology fails to knock it out of the ballpark and past the moon.

Buy it - plus all proceeds go to a great cause. I loved Alpha Flight!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Flash: Scriptorium Meditation

Public Domain - Per the British Library

The excess pigment pooled off Jonathan’s favorite brush as he touched it against the cup’s side. Now safe, he passed it over the manuscript page to the illumination panel. Three quick strokes blended the new lapis blue with the still wet paint of the background. Large fills were the hardest. If the paint fully set between brushstrokes, a clear line would develop between the old and new paints.

Desert heat increased the difficulty. The pigment in the cup constantly needed adjusting with additional liquid and binder. After the noon sun had burnt off the last of the night cold, the parchment absorbed water as fast as he applied it. Once, the paint had dehydrated on his brush before he could transfer it to the page.

It could drive one mad.

Which, Jonathan chuckled to himself, is exactly the opposite of the results he was hoping for.

The painting was to keep him sane between skirmishes. A mediation to take him away from the here and now. Many of his fellow brothers of arms had their own ways to escape the boredom and terror. The few who didn’t fell into a dark place where only the terror circled.

He reloaded the brush. After an inhale and exhale, he followed the outline supporting the capital letter.

Abruptly, a siren sounded.

Jonathan steadied his hand, pleased to see no paint went outside the sepia lines he had inked yesterday.

The sound dragged him away from his artistic center; the solider part of him translated the shrill noise to “incoming aircraft”. No doubt their new lieutenant will be rushing them into bomb shelters.

… And there's the second siren for the tail tuck. Shelter time.

The feral-warrior imbedded in every man’s head since Neanderthal times snarled, until the solider which boot camp had programmed into him slugged the lizard-mind. Jonathan pushed them both aside, staring at the manuscript page until the art spoke to him again.

Reviewing the page being painted, Jonathan estimated he could take a break in six to eight minutes. He dipped his brush to continue. Really, the enemy could at least do their runs when he was on-duty. Quite rude of them to interrupt his off-duty hours.

A head topped with rustic red hair poked inside the doorway. “Private Swartz, didn’t you hear the siren? We need to get to safety.”

“On my way, sir, just cleaning my brush.” Jonathan started filling in the final area he wanted blue.

Verbally assured, the lieutenant continued his hurried walk.

Too much paint had dried on the brush, creating lumps above the portion of the brush tip. Jonathan swirled the brush in his water glass. He glanced around the abandoned adobe building he had appropriated for his recreation time. One of three buildings located in the crossroad they were guarding. Millions of feet over thousands of years had hardened the unpaved paths. And only three families though it worthwhile to live here.

Uncle Sam thought it an excellent location for an inspection station.

Wonder who has the guns today? Haven’t heard the planes yet. Flying too high, or still a ways off? Well, we all will find out who is on duty as soon as the shots are fired. Manuel and Sebastian had very different approaches.

Gently squeezing the water from the horse hair, Jonathan brought the brush to a point. He took the cap off the binder and added just a touch to the pigment cup. Quickly resealing, the artist wiped the outside of the container. The binder was sticky. Then he added a little more water to the pigment.

The brush was dipped, twisted, and compressed in the cup until the pigment amassed throughout the fibers. He brought the brush to the parchment just before the last moisture left his previous stroke. The grumbling of engines became audible.

The ground trembled as Manuel let loose the anti-aircraft. Trust Manny to wait until he could see the whites of the enemy’s eyes. Dust drifted from the ceiling of the clay structure, but Jonathan’s make-shift fly crafted from one of his blankets kept the dust from falling into the wet paint.

Jonathan sighed.

If Manuel was firing, the run was for real. The spic didn’t like giving away range to anyone. The guy was a miser with bullets; he only shot when in danger and if he thought he could hit. And he was even stinger with missiles.

After capping his pigments and cleansing his brush, Jonathan reached down to lift the cover he made with four small feet. He carefully positioned it over the manuscript where it would hold the parchment down without touching the paint. Satisfied he had done everything to protect his art, Jonathan ran to the shelter.

Sebastian had been watching and opened the door for a split second. Sebastian or Manuel always was by the door; if the guns fell, the backup needed to be activated.

“Painting?” Sebastian smiled.

Jonathan nodded at the needles in the doorkeeper’s hands. “Not all of us are lucky to have portable art.”

“I got extra.” Sebastian kicked his yarn basket. “I could teach you.”

“I might take you up on that tonight. Painting sucks once the sun has set now that the lieutenant insists on blackout conditions. Seriously that man needs a hobby.”

“Scared he might start crucifying mice like the last one?”

A deafening exchange of the aircraft and anti-aircraft exchanging munitions prevented a verbal response, so Jonathan nodded. Watching your superior officer make little crosses and execute rodents for treason was terrifying beyond anything else in Jonathan’s experience. And Jonathan had done some stupid-ass, shouldn’t –be-alive-now shit. Sanity was precious.

(words 940 - first published 9/3/2013; republished new blog format 6/5/2016)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words May 9, 2016

Image Courtesy of num_skyman at

Inciting Events

ConCarolinas starts tomorrow; the convention which was my inciting event to stop thinking about writing and start actually doing it. Going through life you may have several inciting events - times when the phrase "So things continued as they had been until such time as they no longer did" would appear in your autobiography.

Two major events may occur in a story - the inciting event sets to story in motion while the key event draws the character into the story. In many genre fiction stories these two events overlap. In my recent "The Telling of the Myth of Hariti", the inciting event is when all the villages in all the world no longer could handle the loss of their children. The key event is when the elders approach the Buddha, drawing him into the story. Until he entered the story, no permanent change took place.

To learn more about inciting events, read the May 9, 2016 Magical Post by Faith Hunter: The Inciting Event.

Other good posts on this subject include:

WRITING EXERCISE: For your present work in-progress (WIP), define your inciting event and your key event. Do you have both, are they the same event, and where are they located in your book?

READING EXERCISE: For your present read in-progress, can you figure out where the incident and/or key event in the book occurred? Did you become more or less engaged when the event milestone occurred?