Mirror (A Villain’s Quest)

They say every villain is the hero of her own story.

Go ahead and roll your eyes. Not sure I buy it either, but it’s possible.

Take the evil step-mother. Even a do-gooder like yourself has heard of her, right? Her own version of events could feature a grieving widow uprooted from her distant home only to be abandoned in an lon

They say every villain is the hero of her own story.

Go ahead and roll your eyes. Not sure I buy it either, but it’s possible.

ely, echoing mansion, where her only allies were her insecure daughters, and where the eyes of her husband’s dead wife stared at her from paintings in every room and from the face of a spoiled step-child.

Rumplestil-whoever-he-was? The poor guy probably just wanted someone to look at him, to really look at him for a change and acknowledge the profound significance of his existence – not to dismiss him once again as that odd foreigner with the unpronounceable name.

(Don’t look at me that way. I get the irony.)

Anyways, as I was saying. Big bad wolf, wicked witch, troll under the bridge: they all have their own tales to tell.

So what about you?

Have you never walked into a room to hear the voices die out? Caught sight of a shoulder quietly disappearing behind a closing door – while everyone else pretends they’ve seen nothing?

Do you honestly disdain that heady feeling when you finally discover someone’s vulnerable point, and you know precisely how to exploit it? Can you deny the addictive power of withholding  knowledge that might give your opponents the will to go on? Haven’t you ignored that twinge of regret for not following up on your promise … and leaving your partners to fend for themselves?

Ever turn your head just in time to see the clenched jaw relax, the white-knuckled fists uncurl, the knife slip back into the butcher block?

Ever notice that you’re the one whose eyes nobody else will meet? Nobody, that is, except that one person, the problem you’re about to eliminate: that troublemaker who doesn’t know better than to get in your way – or worse, knows all too well, but doesn’t care and stares you down in spite of the danger?

That stare will haunt you long after the problem itself is resolved.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe – just maybe – the reason you occasionally feel rather friendless and alone is not that you’re some kind of lone wolf, a misunderstood hero? What if it might just be that your footstep makes grown men shudder?

Maybe the truth is, you’re actually a heartless bastard trailing inevitable destruction and despair in your wake.



Huh. I guess we don’t have as much to discuss as I’d hoped. And here I’d thought, at long last, there might be someone who would get it. Who’d get … me.

I guess you’re just like all the rest. Useless to me. No point in wasting further breath here.

So … Enjoy your life.

What’s left of it, at any rate.


Yeah, maybe you’re right. Maybe I will see you in hell.

Or maybe it’ll be just me there. Alone, as usual.

So long … “Hero.”




Secretary – A Dieselpunk Noir Superhero tale

Author & Blogger Chuck Wendig posted this Flash Fiction challenge http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/11/21/flash-fiction-challenge-superheroes-plus-2/  …

Heaven help me, I rolled Dieselpunk and had to Google it. Now I even have a Dieselpunk station on Pandora. (It’s for research, dude. Creating mood.) I also had to look up a Noir Glossary. Bet you didn’t even know there was one out there.

Right, so I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo and wasn’t gonna even do this, but then Guy and Betty got in my head and I couldn’t resist. (Sorry Helga, Gretchen, and Oswald, I had to leave y’all out of it. 1000 words wasn’t enough for your stories too.) Anyways, this will turn up in my NaNo word count as a story one character remembers his mother reading to him when he was a kid.

Thanks for checking it out – hope the story satisfies.

And again, please forgive the rough edit. NaNo, remember? 😀

A Dieselpunk Noir Superhero tale, 1000 words

If not for the skin-tight leather mini-dress and thigh-high boots,  she coulda passed for a classy dame. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo and the Traveling Shovel of Death

So, I’m procrastinating and reading the NaNo forums instead of writing. And there’s a thread about this shovel! Not just any shovel. A murderous, serial-killer shovel. You can read about it here Traveling Shovel of Death if you’re interested.

I think, no way can this work in my story, a medieval romance fantasy adventure (???). The next thing I know, my characters are mucking out a stable. Wait – is that a shovel? How did that get in here??

Writing in the TSoD gave me a playful moment, and it set up a plot ‘thing’ for later on. Plus, it gave the characters an excuse to leave the stable. So – useful AND fun! I’d like to find some synonyms for shovel, however. 😛

You can read about the TSoD’s adventure in my novel below if you like. Beware, however; this deceptively mild-mannered gardening tool tends to wander into unsuspecting narratives.

(Please excuse the many typos & rough spots & * (reminders for later editing) — this is NaNo, OK?)

Devon was about to make a joke when the other boy stiffened and glanced behind him.

“What?” Devon didn’t see anything, but Cyrran’s eyes were wide.

The gypsy almost ran the last few stesp up to the stable, and dropped the pails. Water sloshed up the sides and splashed over.

Devon looked from side to side, but nothing threatening caught his eye.

Cyrran grabbed the shovel from his hands. slinging its load off to the side.

“Hey!” With Devon’s luck, Galvin would come around the corner right in the path of the flying muck. “What are you -”

Continue reading

Nearing the end of NaNoWriMo

Yeah, my word count is WAY behind.

On the bright side, I’m making good progress on my story.

I think.

See, the almost-20K words I’ve got for NaNo so far belong,for the most part, in the beginning of my novel. The very first part. I’m thinking like 5-10%, based on all the other writing I’ve gotten done (Pre-NaNo) and have yet to do. So what does that say about my novel? Way too long? Far too wordy? Needs to be chunked into several different novels? (but – plot points! turning points! character development! resolutions! All that and more??) Or maybe…


Wait, I know this.
Chuck Wendig & others have warned of this phenomenon.
This is one of those times when my novel sucks, right?
Just gotta keep plugging away, right?

Only, what if it really is too long?

Then I guess I’ll edit out the chaff later. Right?



Wanted to post a sentence I’m happy with today.
(might change my mind tomorrow.)

He only knew that his own heart seemed to burn away with the map, and he wished he could disintegrate along with it and float away, white ash on waves of heat.

Sounds like pirates & buried treasure, right?
Only it’s nothing of the sort.
Wonder why it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
For all I know, it’s perfect crap.
But for now – I like it.

Back to writing!! 😀

Photo 18 – Baba Yaga and the Celery Head Man

In response to Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Unusable Photo Challenge , I took a break from NaNoRiMo and current WIP to remind myself that writing can be fun …

To my dismay, the random number generator selected # 18 . To my surprise, it turned out to be fun after all. Enjoy!

 Baba Yaga and the Celery Head Man

Slender, strong fingers caressed my ancient shoulders. These frequent visits stirred me up like nothing else could, at least in recent memory. I loved the way she left me feeling clearer, more open to new growth.

Today she was rooting out a particularly tenatious irritation, and I lay quiet under her touch, exposed to the morning sun.

“Not so fast, Baba.” The reedy voice took us both by surprise. Continue reading


NOTE – Suggested NaNoWriMo Pep Talk link …


Sorry, Mr. W., for taking so much space on your blog when I could’ve just come here, but at the time I didn’t know! Anyways, thanks again for the opportunity to vent. Your kick-in-the-pants blog has been and continues to be an inspiration to me. I enjoy your Blackbirds novels as something amazing in a style completely foreign to me – and I can’t wait to get your latest book on writing tips & motivation. See you at http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/ !

** I posted the following as a Comment on Chuck Wendig’s blog  http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/10/31/nanowrimo-challenge/  …

Told myself I’d do NaNoWriMo LAST year … didn’t write a single word. Yikes!

So this time, I’m not “doing” NNWM. Instead, the month is for working through my 1st novel. The original idea began a couple years ago, as a short story for a contest. … Continue reading