Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fiction: Whatever doesn't kill you

This story was delightfully easy to write.

Whatever doesn't kill you

makes you stronger.  This is what my friend said when he took me out to dinner not long after she left me.  I sat back, chewed it over, and realized that my friend didn't mean whatever doesn't kill you; he meant whatever hurts you.  So when he reached for another piece of calamari, I stabbed the back of his hand with my fork.  He grimaced in surprise, sucking in his breath and hissing out his pain, and when I asked him if he felt any stronger, he threw his beer at me and called me a fucking asshole and left.

A fucking asshole.  That was rich, coming from him.  Yet, as I watched him rush out of the restaurant with one hand cradled by the other, I had to admit that his stride did look more forceful, more purposeful.  Stronger, one might say.  And that was when I realized I might just be the strongest man in the whole wide world.

Back in college, some of my friends were waaaay into working out.  Which was cool and all, but it always took me aback when one of them started screaming in pain, and another screamed back, "Yeah dude!  Whatever doesn't kill you make you stronger!"

Being the contrarian that I am, I mulled this claim over in my mind, and one day I asked, "Hey, what if, you know, a lion ate your hand or leg or something?  Or what if the lion left you like that dude in Monty Python, the one with no arms or legs?  Would that really make you stronger?"

My friends were forced to concede that, yes, I had a point, and from them on they qualified their statement: "Yeah dude!  Whatever doesn't kill you or irreparably maim you makes you stronger!"

This story is both an homage to their original statement, and an apology for being such a stickler for details.  Sorry guys, and thanks for putting up with me!

Friday, February 27, 2015

TMoH #2: Most Improved

Another thirty minutes of hell! If you don't know what I'm talking about, my introductory post on this topic provides a quick summary.

The writing prompt from NANO fiction is: Write an essay, flash fiction piece, or prose poem of under 300 words about a person not many people know who is famous for one specific thing.

Most Improved

It was starting to smell, a faint but troubling brownish odor that was no doubt leaking out from within Jared's dirty jeans.  Mark held resolutely still anyway, burying his face into the grass and breathing in the comfortably natural smell of dirt.  In his mind he could feel his wrists spinning and his thighs aching as he tensed and jumped, over and over and over...

Eventually Jared got bored and stood up, lifting himself off of the back of Mark's head.  Mark scrambled to his feet at once, taking a disoriented step or two as he tried to regain his balance.  It was more than his balance that was off; he caught himself right before he was about to make a small hop in the air.  Stop that, he chided himself - but with a smile - and got ready to run.  He knew better than to struggle once caught, but once he was free?  Getting ready to flee was just common sense.

Jared had no interest in further torments though; perhaps Mr. Offsprung's lackadaisical gaze had drawn too close for comfort.  "You're still a loser," Jared said, backing away.  He kicked the paperback book on the ground, and the cover half-ripped.  "No one in class likes you.  You'll always just be a dumb stupid loser."

Mark said nothing.  He waited until Jared had tromped away.  Then he sighed and went to pick up his book.  The library wouldn't like this, he thought sadly as he examined the tear, one that split the silhouette of the detective into two.  In his mind he remembered the feel of the rope catching against his ankle.  A hundred stumbles and falls from the past happened all at once.

He shrugged and checked his watch.  There were only ten minutes left in recess, six hundred seconds for him to dive back into his book, six hundred thousand milliseconds until it was time to line back up and march back into his third grade class.

Mark smiled and began to twirl his wrists once more.  "What do you mean, 'only'?" he said out loud.  There were still ten minutes left, and even if he was a loser now - and he was pretty sure he was; why deny the obvious? - there were still months, weeks, days in which to get better!  He thought he could.  He knew he could.  After all, who had been named 'Most Improved at Jump Rope' three years ago?  It certainly hadn't been Jared!

And so with a smile, Mark plopped himself down on the ground, found his page (147) and continued to read.


Okay, I cheated - but in my defense, thirty minutes isn't a lot of time to think of a person who's "just famous enough" while also figuring out a story about that person.  So instead I came up with one specific thing that I'm proud of accomplishing that nearly no one knows about: being named the Most Improved Jump Roper all the way back in kindergarten.

This is completely serious, by the way.  I sucked at jumping rope as a six year old, and I remember working really, really, really hard to get better.  And when my efforts were recognized... wow!  Pow!  Sometimes trying really hard really is enough!  Really!

The rest of this story comes from a conscious effort to write something a bit more uplifting.  I think there's a common mistake made by novice writers like me, and that's to believe that 'depressing' equates to 'adult' and 'hopeful' equates to 'childish'.  That's simply not true.

A few more notes
  • I started this story knowing that I wanted to tie in Mark's memory of his jump roping award with his optimism that life will get better.  The first draft of the story had no reference to his award; that started to get layered in during the second draft, which is what you see above.
  • Subsequent drafts would have tried to integrate his memory with his current situation a bit more seamlessly.  They would have also tried to deepen his interior feelings somewhat and maybe add a bit of self-conflict.  Right now, Mark comes off as unnervingly blasé.
  • I wasn't really bullied all that much in school.  In fact, for a few glorious months, I got much of my small third grade class hooked on Agatha Christie novels.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Yes, but what did you look like?

So what game did my daughter create for her friends in the second grade recently?

"They were ninjas, of course.  (Ed: Of course.)  I was something, but they didn't know what.  Things were going weird in the present - you know, things like dinosaurs and computers appearing where they shouldn't - so they had to go through these portals that I created to fix problems in the past.

"What they don't know is that I'm time itself.  And I'm corrupted!  They'll have to fight me tomorrow, and they're going to be so surprised!"

I gotta say - not bad!

I admit to being a little confused as to what it means to be "time itself".  I asked her what her character looked like, and she shrugged and said, "You know.  I looked like time.  Time-y stuff."

Okay, so not the most descriptive answer,.  But when something takes hold of someone's imagination, all you can say is... go forth!  Go forth and be free!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On Naming the Devourer of Worlds

[Why am I talking about Magic: The Gathering in a blog about stories?  Read this to find out!]

My understanding is that the official fiction written for the Magic: The Gathering universe has a bit of a... checkered quality to it.  That's more than understandable; the focus of a card game shouldn't be the strength of its licensed prose.

But one thing Magic does do very well?  Naming!  Check this guy out:

Vorinclex, with its hint of voracious mixed with the insectile 'cl' and  'x' sounds.  Voice of Hunger, a nonsensical title in any non-fantastic setting, but one that implies great primal power here.  What a great name!

Am I overthinking here?  Am I overselling what the Magic flavor team does?  Maybe I am.  I guess all I can say with certainty is that I myself am not great at coming up with names.   And so I am continually impressed by what the Magic team can do.

Let me give you one more example.  In Magic lore, the Eldrazi are terrible and unknowable beings, a cross between Lovecraft's Elder Gods and Marvel's Galactus.  They travel from plane to plane in mindless fashion and devour each dimension's mana sources, leaving nothing but a shriveled husk of a world behind.

There are three principal Eldrazi.  Who are they?

Okay, not bad.  Kozilek is a name with a spoken sharpness you can almost see, and Butcher of Truth is... well, honestly it makes Kozilek sound like an evil propaganda minister.  Not the most effective name.

Much better!  Ulamog is simply a disgusting word to force out of your mouth; it sounds like something you might gargle out during a drunken binge.  And The Infinite Gyre?  When I first read the card, I wasn't entirely sure what a 'gyre' was (something to do with drills?), but I knew that having an infinite number of them was badass!

It turns out that a gyre is a spiral or circular motion.  Ulamog is a being that forever bores away at... space?  Sanity?  Reality itself?  I don't really know, but I do know I like it!

Still, you can't beat this one.  I can give or take Emrakul, but The Aeons Torn... wow.  A... thing that scars the very notion of time, that exists outside all the presumed laws of existence.  There is an implacable and hopeless grandeur about this title, making it perfect for the most powerful being within the Magic multiverse.

I play Magic for many reasons.  One of them?  I hope that a little bit of the Magic team's gift for naming rubs off on me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fiction: The Watcher

I wrote this flash fiction story a little over... three years ago??  Time sure does fly sometimes.

The Watcher

The young man didn't notice her at first.  The early evening flow of commuters draining out of the city had subsided, and the train was quiet, with plenty of seats empty.  He chose to stand anyway, and when he glanced up, he saw the young woman standing across from him.

She was reading a paperback book with a pale blue cover.  The young man could not make out the title, and even if he could, he would not have known it, for he was not a reader.  It was a literary book, though.  The discreet cover and restrained title told him that.

The woman was less discreet.  She wore a tight black sweater and a turquoise pleated skirt that went down mid-thigh.  As befit the winter months, she also wore flesh-covered hose that hung loose around her slim legs and wrinkled around her knees.

He studied her face.  Her dark brown hair was pulled back in a short, tight ponytail. Her face was carved like a cadaver, pale freckled skin over bone and a slight frown like a drained cut. Her posture was tense, and while he examined her, her head sprang up like a trap.

The man looked away.  He waited for the woman to return to her book, then he continued, eyes scrabbling all about.  He knew there wasn't much time left.  Her fingernails were ragged and her fingers unadorned.  She wore dirty white tennis shoes.  Her upper forearm had slipped forward, out of the sweater, and the skin beneath was fevered, glyphed with a tumble of precise cuts.  She favored her left leg and. . .  She wore a silver necklace around her. . .  Her eyebrows. . .

The second time the woman glared at him, her eyes flared like a cornered cat.  The young man turned and walked down the subway car.  He could feel her stare drilling into his back.  He ignored her.  It was time to plan.

The train sped over the river.  Behind it, darkened skyscrapers pressed up and upwards, wounding the sky with bruised reds and purples.  The man watched the skyline retreat, his thoughts elsewhere.  Then the train dipped into a tunnel and the view was gone.

When the doors slid open at the next stop, the woman snapped her book shut and slipped through.  She walked to the escalator with hurried steps.  He might have followed her, as he had others - but he thought he had everything he needed from her, for now.

The doors closed, the train moved, and she was gone.

But not really, not for him.  "My mind is like a cage," the man whispered.  He sat down, closed his eyes, and held her inside of him.


The night was full by the time the young man reached the squat complex where he lived. He walked up to the third floor and down a pale green corridor of closed doors and timid noises.  The faint odors of age and sweat were not unpleasant, at least not anymore.

Once inside his studio apartment, the man walked to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.  He made and ate a sandwich in the dark, and when he was done, he sat down at his desk and switched on the lamp.  He readied his instruments, sharpening them as he went over his plan one last time.  Then he hunched over and went at it.

Fifteen minutes passed, then thirty.  His concentration and focus were total, but that was not unusual.  Forty-five minutes passed, and then he was done.  He sat back and examined his work.

It was a picture.  Done in colored pencils, it depicted the young woman sitting alone at a table with a checkerboard tablecloth.  The remainder of the restaurant was shadowed and unimportant.  A half-eaten salad sat before her.  A fork dangled from one hand; the other held a book with a pale blue cover.  Her eyes were alive as she read.  Her smile was distant, and genuine.

The man hesitated, then erased the sharp red lines on her wrists.  A faint pink smudge was left behind.  "There," he said.  It was true, or would be.  He could feel it.

He framed the picture, then hung it up on the wall, where it joined the others.  There was the old man watching television and laughing with crumbs spraying out of his mouth.  The little girl spinning in a pink tutu in front of an audience of stuffed animals.  The teacher staring out at row upon row of empty desks.  There were hundreds of pictures, and in each and every one, someone alone, but not always lonely.

The man smiled and turned off the lamp.  He could feel the people, his people, all around.  "Good night," he said, and went to sleep.

I kind of like this story (and so did the instructor in the flash fiction class that I took).  I like the way that it's quiet and not unkind.

It's also semi-autobiographical.  Whenever I see a person with a book, I can't help but want to know what that book is, even if I have to crane my neck and contort my back in order to get a good look at the cover.  Long story short, I did this once in a New York subway, only to have the woman described in the story above give me a death stare.  I'm sorry ma'am, I really was only trying to figure out what book you were reading!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Final Fantasy IV: A Story Retrospective

[If you're wondering what this blog post series is about, read the introductionThe first section of this article deals with the opening of the game; the second is marked as containing spoilers for the rest of the game.]

Final Fantasy IV (initially known as Final Fantasy II in the West) was the first Final Fantasy I ever played, and as such it has a special place in my heart.  But even without the nostalgia factor, I suspect that I would hold Final Fantasy IV in high regard.

The Opening

Some background: I've always been an ardent book reader.  By my teenage years, I was devouring fantasy series as fast as I could: Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.  These novels had a comfortable cadence about them, always starting with a gentle introduction into the main characters' simple lives before ramping up the action in a exhilarating fashion (and the excitement curve was always concave up).

The opening of Final Fantasy IV was different.

It begins in darkness with the theme of the Red Wings, its implacable military beat a good marker for what is to come.  We are immediately dropped into the midst of the story: Cecil, the dark knight commander of the Red Wings, is returning from a successful mission.  His king has ordered him to retrieve the Water Crystal from a peaceful neighboring kingdom.  He has done so - but at the cost of some lives, and the morality of his actions are beginning to weigh on him.

Upon returning home, he and his friend Kain dare to question his king.  The king, shocked, banishes them both for their temerity.  And as they depart the castle, this theme begins to play.

I remember feeling my heart stir as I listened to this music.  It held promises of valor and glory, nobility and hope.  A belief that what was broken could be made whole if one was brave and true.

These are things I believed in when I was young, and perhaps still do today.  That a game could express it all in fifteen minutes or so of game playing time - that is still a wonder of my childhood.

A quick note before I leave this opening behind: I almost definitely experienced in media res before playing this game, but FFIV is still the example that comes first to mind when I think about the concept.

The Rest of the Story


The rest of the story plays out as one might expect: a surreal mix of grandeur, inexplicability, and utter lunacy.  I'll spotlight some memorable moments, but first a summary of other plot points that have stuck in my mind:

  • Cecil must overcome his past in a personal trial by facing his darker self.  This fight is interesting in that you can defeat it by refusing to fight, signifying acceptance and growth.  Naturally I beat my dark self into submission.  WITH MY FISTS.
  • Kain betrays you not once, but twice.  The first time he's mind controlled; the second time, he does so out of jealousy.  Still, in the end he rises to his better nature and fights on the side of the angels.  Kain is awesome.
  • The main villain is someone named Golbez, who commands the Four Elemental Fiends (more on them below).  He's actually Cecil's brother.  At some point it's revealed that he, too, is being mind controlled by a creature called Zeromus.  Zeromus is on the moon.  Cecil and Golbez are descended from moon people.  They all fly to the moon on a Lunar Whale.
Uh, yeah.  Sometimes suspension of disbelief requires flat out ignorance of the more nonsensical bits - but if that's what it takes to appreciate the better moments, I'm fine with it.

 Speaking of "better moments" here are two of them:

The Four Fiends

The early parts of the game are pretty easy.  I remember thinking that the game would be no sweat, even when I was surprised by a boss while advancing towards the Cave of Trials.  He called himself Scarmiglione, and I shrugged off his pre-battle threats, assuming that he would be no more challenge than any other fight up until then.

Then this music started playing.

Scarmiglione kicked my butt once, twice, a billion times.  Finally defeating him was a moment of utter triumph.

Over the course of the game, you face off against three more elemental fiends, each of them just as difficult as the one before.  I remember feeling distinct relief after slaying the last one - Rubicant, the Fiend of Fire - knowing that I would never have to face them again.

Then this happens.

The exhausted horror I felt when I realized I had to face all four fiends, one after the other, was honest and real.  I'm still amazed at how effectively FFIV built up this moment.


So the end of the game is near, and now we're all on the moon and ready to face down Zeromus.  And naturally he kills you all with hardly a thought.

This is what happens next (skip forward to 3:09 or so).

The Prologue music, all the way back from the beginning from the game starts to play.  Back on earth, all the friends you've made throughout your exhaustive journey pray for your salvation.  One by one you and your companions stand.  And then the final battle truly begins...

Cheesy?  Unrealistic?  You bet!  And yet there is an undeniable pleasure in a tale with such symmetric roundness, one that closes the loop and brings everything full circle.  Not all stories need to end in such a way; in fact there are many that shouldn't.  All I can say is that Final Fantasy IV left me feeling satisfied with the adventure I had been told.

The Final Fantasy Series: A Story Retrospective

I don't play video games nearly as much as I used to, but one series that still holds a special place in my heart is Final Fantasy.  It's true that the games have had their ups and downs, but the overall quality is still very respectable, especially for a series that I've played for over twenty years.  And the latest entry to be released in the West, Final Fantasy Type-0, looks absolutely killer.

I'll be doing a series covering all the Final Fantasy games that I've played, starting from Final Fantasy IV (known as Final Fantasy II when first released in America) all the way to Final Fantasy Type-0.  The slight twist is that I'll be writing about the games from a storytelling perspective.  The posts will have spoilers, of course, but each entry will be split into two sections: the first discussing the opening of the game (which should be fair game for spoilers), and then a marked section discussing the rest.

I'm already humming the opening music of Final Fantasy IV...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Why'd They Do That?"

As a storyteller, have you ever found yourself forced to make... odd storytelling decisions in order to support a twist of the plot later on?  ("How can I explain Don's surprising prowess at spinning pizzas in the climatic pizza-making championship?  I know, let's give him a life-long interest in pottery wheels!")  Well, bless you if you haven't, because I certainly have.

I suspect this sort of wrangling happens pretty often, actually.  "Why'd They Do That?" will be a series of blog posts where I take an example (more precisely: something that I think is an example) of a strange story choice, and then attempt to explain it away with keen insight (by which I mean wholesale guessing).

"Daddy, I'm bored."

Perhaps only those of you who are parents know the special sort of terror that comes when your child declares that he or she is bored.  Of course that declaration comes with the unspoken assumption that you will be the one that solves that particular problem.

We all have different ways of coping with our children's boredom.  Mine is to tell my daughter stories.  When she was between the ages of 5 and 7, I'd send her on a Pokemon journey to befriend Pokemon and train them and lead them to battle.  These days the stories tend to involve ninja and samurai and planeswalkers (from Magic: The Gathering).

Not-so-coincidentally, my daughter is apparently the scenario-leader of her little group of friends; during recess, she's the one who comes up with the stories that they all play out.  If you're wondering whether this makes me proud, the answer is "yes".  Very much so.

You'll see the occasional blog entry relating to the above.  Sometimes it'll be because I think something's funny; sometimes because it makes me think; and sometimes it'll simply be because I want to remember.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

TMoH #1: Slurpburger

Here's my inaugural self-inflicted sojourn into thirty minutes of hell! If you don't know what I'm talking about, my introductory post on this topic provides a quick summary.

The writing prompt from NANO fiction is: Write an essay, flash fiction piece, or prose poem of under 300 words about junk food..  And without further ado... here we go!


"I don't think I want to eat there," Kimmie says.  John nods right away.  He is only surprised on the inside.

"That's probably a good idea," he says to his daughter.  Still, he drums his fingers against the steering wheel, some part of him not quite ready to turn the key in the ignition.  "So, where do you want to eat?"

Kimmie shrugs from the back seat.  She is still dressed in her karate gi, her yellow belt loose around her waist, and John suddenly realizes that the knot is not quite properly tied.  This shouldn't irritate him.  Should it?

"Come on, Kimmie," he says.  "Make up your mind.  Where do you want to eat?"

His daughter yawns.  "I don't really care," she says.  "I'm not that hungry.  Can't we just go home and eat later?"

They could go home.  That is true, a true fact.  Something else that is true is that John does not want to eat at home.  Not in front of his wife, not in front of her smile, not in front of her eyes that can't quite hide the faintly distressed pity within.  Something else that is true: he should not be eating at Slurpburger.  And a fourth thing: right now the thought of devouring a greasy bacon cheeseburger with a side of bacon cheese fries and a large Coke (diet, of course) is so tantalizing that he wants to scream.

All this is true, and none of it can be said.  Instead he says, "Okay, let's go home."  Then he turns the key in the ignition with fingers that feel like brittle iron.  He has a plan.  It's a good one.  He knows it is.  As he wends his way through the parking lot and towards the turn onto the local highway, he casually says, "Didn't you want that new toy, though?  Those things?  You know, the cats with the wings?"

Kimmie had been idly staring out the window; now her head snaps to attention.  "Kittyflies?"  Her voice grows excited.  "We can go get a Kittyfly at a toy store?"

He hastily retreats.  "No, I meant - aren't they giving away little ones at Slurpburger with the Yum-Yum Meals?"

"Oh." John peeks in the rearview mirror.  With a sinking heart, he witnesses the disinterest spread across his daughter's face.  "Those aren't real Kittyflies.  Kathy brought one of those in to school, and she said she had to glue one of the wings back on because it came loose."

"So you don't want to eat at Slurpburger?"  John can't help asking the question even though he already knows her answer.

"No, I just want to go home."

"Okay.  Sure.  That's fine."  The Slurpburger is approaching on their right, and in a few seconds he will have driven past it.  It's better this way, he reassures himself.  Eating there isn't good for you.

And so he surprises even himself when he turns into the Slurpburger lot at the last moment.  The

beep-beep-beep...   Time's up!

That was surprisingly painful to write.  One problem: I wrote a short flash fiction piece about fried chicken not too long ago, and it was difficult to sweep that out of my mind to make way for something new.  As a result, I'm not quite sure I was going anywhere with the above.  Some sort of contrast between the father's furious need to eat at Slurpburger versus his daughter's slightly negative ambivalence...

Other notes:
  • I hate coming up with names, but John is incredibly generic, even for me.  I still don't understand how other writers think up original (yet natural) names.
  • I think there's an implication that John is heavily overweight, but that's not my intention.  In my mind he's not actually all that unhealthy; perhaps the division in his mind is due to a throwaway comment from his last checkup ("... and remember, people your age should start worrying about cholesterol!").  In other words, this story is really about a man in conflict with his own sense of himself.  This theme is something I'd try to layer in on a successive draft.
  • Slurpburger!  Kittyflies!  Yum-Yum Meals!  I've obviously missed my calling as an advertising executive.
  • Kimmie is wearing a karate gi because my daughter used to take tae-kwan-do classes.  "Write what you know": maybe that's not so much a rule as a piece of advice for writers that are having trouble figuring out what to write about.

Everyone Loves Magic!

I mean, come on, who doesn't love magic?  Okay, I'm actually talking about the card game,  Magic: The Gathering, and I'm guessing there's plenty of people who don't love it.  A few years ago I was one of them.  I disdained the cards in my local game store... even while I couldn't help but be curious about the fantasy art and the evocative card names.

To make a long story short, I am now a huge fan of Magic. I enjoy cracking packs, collecting cards, building decks, playing games... and I also love the lore.

It might surprise you to learn that Magic has a flavor department that works to incorporate an overall mythology within the card game.  Although gameplay ultimately trumps lore, the story still has a substantial impact on the cards.  For example, the Theros block of cards involved what was called a "top-down" design where the set designers knew that they wanted to incorporate the feel of an archetypal "hero's journey" through a world similar to that of the Greek myths.  An inverse example would be the more recent Tarkir block, where the mechanical set design promoted the idea of a time travel tale.

I won't pretend that the Magic storyline is a work of great literary art.  Still, there is much about it that sparks interest, and you'll see the occasional blog entry talking about some aspect of Magic lore that catches my eye.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thirty Minutes of Hell

I "like" writing (and maybe someday I'll be at a place where I can remove those quotes), but finding the will and impetus to write can be a real drag sometimes.  So here's what I'm going to do: once a week or so, I'm going to:
  • Take a writing prompt from NANO Fiction's list of flash fiction prompts (I'll probably start from the earliest one and work my way up).
  • Set a timer for thirty minutes.
  • Write in a frenzied terror until my timer screams at me to stop.
  • Post the half-baked monstrosity here.
  • Provide some analysis on what I would have to do next in order to finish the story.
And then I'll be done, with no further obligation to whatever it is that I produced!

Hopefully, setting zero expectations will prove useful in allowing myself to simply practice writing. I guess we'll see if that's true when I try it out this weekend!


Welcome!  My name is Tzu-Mainn Chen, and I love stories.  I am also a compulsive over-analyzer, and this blog is an attempt to marry those two traits.

What can you expect to see here?  Well, here's a sampling:
  • Ramblings: Boy, I sure do like to ramble on and on and on...
  • Reviews: My book reviews end up on Goodreads, and you can find a link to them on the right sidebar. I'll also occasionally review movies and video games with a strong story component.
  • Fiction: I "like" to write (anyone who writes probably understands why I put that in quotes), and once in a while I'll post some of my fiction. Try to contain your excitement!
  • Daughter-stuff: I tell stories to my daughter all the time. They come out pretty odd. She, in turn, creates stories for her classmates. They're also come out pretty odd. Hey, genetics!
  That's enough of an introduction.  I hope you enjoy what you find here!