Monday, January 31, 2011

Book List for January 2011

            I’ve decided this year I will actually bother to keep track of the books I read.  Last year, when my sister announced how many she’d read, I did a few mental counts of my own and came up with roughly 75 books, though throughout the next couple of weeks I kept thinking of others I’d read.  This year, I’m going to be sure!
            I read a wide range of formats: novels, graphic novels, manga, occasional magazines, and e-books (mostly thanks to the Kindle I got for Christmas 2009).  I count everything I read, but not my own work.  Only published stuff qualifies.
            I think every month I’ll do a posted list of what I’ve read.

            The Horse Whisperer
                        (by Nicholas Evans; hardcover)

            You Might be a Redneck If…
                        (by Jeff Foxworthy; Kindle)

            GI Joe Disavowed, volume 1
                        (by IDW Publishing; graphic novel)

            GI Joe Disavowed, volume 2
                        (by IDW Publishing; graphic novel)

            Star Wars: Darth Maul: Saboteur
                        (by James Luceno; Kindle)

            The Vampire Earth Book One: Way of the Wolf
                        (by E.E. Knight; paperback)

            Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Book One: Precipice
                        (by John Jackson Miller; Kindle)

            Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Book Two: Skyborn
                        (by John Jackson Miller; Kindle)

            Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Book Three: Paragon
                        (by John Jackson Miller; Kindle)

            Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Book Four: Savior
                        (by John Jackson Miller; Kindle)

            Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Book Five: Purgatory
                        (by John Jackson Miller; Kindle)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Inspiration: Animals.

            Animals are an amazing source of inspiration when it comes to my writing.  They have traits and mannerisms that often show up in people, too, whether by deliberate act, association, or some random quirk.
            I work with horses, have been around a variety of livestock my whole life, as well as cats, dogs, birds, fish, and rodents.  I’ve seen a wide array of wildlife thanks to living in a woods and childhood travel across the States and Canada.  My fascination with fish and aquariums and my love of nature made my father believe for years I would be a marine biologist, except for the fact I have an aversion to water.  I was always netting fish and critters out of our creek, butterflies and lightning bugs out of the yard, watching wild birds, squirrels, and chipmunks at the feeders, seeing deer and the occasional fox or coyote in the woods, or surprising snakes and frogs and turtles along the creek.  As a kid, I once even stepped between one of our cats and a huge black snake “to protect the snake” despite the fact that it was honked off and reared up fighting the cat (no one was hurt and the snake eventually slithered off).  In middle and high school, my sister and I rescued a whole nest of baby wild rabbits the cats brought up one by one, kicking and screaming.  Another time we had a whole bathtub full of bunnies we’d bred for 4-H because it was too cold outside for them.  Our animals learned quickly to drop what they’d caught and run.  I’ve been used as a “safe tree” by chipmunks escaping the cats.  I’ve been caught in a bison stampede in Wyoming when the herd decided to leave the river and run up the steep embankment past a bunch of parked cars in Yellowstone.  I’ve bottle-fed whitetail deer fawns, goats, and lambs.
            On the job, I’ve been kicked in the face by a mare in heat who didn’t want to be caught to be ridden, trampled by a tank of a spoiled, bully gelding owned by a boarder who decided he didn’t want me to lead him, stepped on, bitten (again, that gelding; he ambushed me in the pasture and bit me three times in the back), and bucked off (only three times in about twenty years, and only because I wasn’t fully in the saddle yet).  I’m rehabilitating and training an abused Tennessee Walker mare named Spirit currently, who was beaten by her last “trainer” and has no self-confidence.  It is hard for her to trust anyone.  I bailed off her this spring when she had a flashback moment as I was mounting and took off bucking.  Nothing bruised but my own self-confidence and my pride.
            I try to portray animals as realistically as possible in my writing.  If the animal isn’t something found in the real world, I try my best guess, based on real animals.  For example: the drakes in Brink.  I based them off big dogs mixed with reptiles, both in appearance and behavior.
            My cat and the horses are an endless source of inspiration.  Cassiopeia (aka Cassie) is a very short, very round former barn cat.  She’s a mostly white black-and-white who spooks easily and does crazy things to amuse herself (and, by extension, anyone who watches).  She is also a talker.  She is always chatting to me in a variety of chirps, purrs, meows, grunts, and growls.  I make her “sing” for milk.  And she’s a huge sucker for a belly rub.  She’s a full-length comedy feature crammed into a rather small package.

Monday, January 24, 2011


            Short post today: spelling peeves!
            So many people nowadays can’t seem to differentiate between a few simple words.  I noticed this a lot in college writing classes, and it’s a growing issue.  As someone with a degree involving our language, I want to make a few clarifications:

           Farther     =      distance
           Further     =      more

            To       =          designates location (going to), or person (to her) an action is being carried out from or toward
            Too      =         also, excess (like too much or too late)
            Two    =          number, counting

            They’re =          they are
            Their    =          it belongs to them, possessive
            There    =          location, place

            Its        =          belongs to it
            It’s       =          it is

            Where   =          location, place
            Wear    =          action, like wearing clothes or wear on tires
            Ware    =          as in beware or items for sale

            Lose      =          the action of making something lost
            Loose    =          letting something go, and/or what happens before you lose something—it gets looser and looser until it falls off/out and you misplace it

            Your     =          possession (also can be yours)
            You’re   =          you are

            Then     =          time
            Than    =          instead of

            If you’re not entirely sure what a word means, don’t just throw it into your writing.  I remember reading a book I finally gave up on years ago where the author simply looked in a thesaurus for words with a similar meaning to “brown” to describe this character that could take horse form.  The problem was—each of the colors used…brown, bay, chestnut, roan, dun…are all distinct, separate colors in the horse world!  Thesauruses are great, don’t get me wrong—I use one a lot—but this is one instance where it puts rather large inaccuracies in a work.  As a general rule, if you want to use a particular color, texture, temperature, item, what have you: do a little research first.  If you write about a particular plant, know enough about plant structure, growth, blooming habits, and the like to be accurate in description.  The nice thing about fantasy is you can play with color when it comes to plants, animals, and clothes, but you do not want to describe something as one color, for example, red, then turn around and refer to whatever-it-is as yellow later on, unless whatever-it-is can change color (and your reader is aware of this).
            Don’t use a bigger word just to sound like you know a lot.  Sometimes simple language is better and more accurate.  If you want to use a bigger word, make sure you know what it means and that it fits into the writing style you’ve chosen for a piece or a character’s language.  If in doubt of meaning or spelling, look it up before use.  Spellchecker doesn’t always work either.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brink Origin, the Very First Two Pieces.

            These are the very first, very original pieces I ever wrote for Brink.  It will be reworked and added into the second book of the story.  The first piece has the original names, prior to the changes I made to write the story for National Novel Writing Month, and is the first glimpse of the story I ever got.  One of the rules for NaNoWriMo is that everything had to be written within that 30 day period—using already-written stuff incorporated into the work is forbidden.  I wrote these two pieces were written the Monday before, then I kept in mind the idea behind the second piece (the scene where they hire Ruel), and rewrote it from memory without referring to the clip posted here.  As both the piece here and the piece actually written during NaNoWriMo are my work, and written in a short span of each other, you can see the similarities, where I kept thinking the same dialogue or description, but not always the same wording.

            This is not going to be a good day.
            The thought bounded around wildly in Dainel’s skull as he became aware of the fact he was bound inside his bedroll.  The second thing that registered in his consciousness was the culprit’s smirking, boyish face gazing down at him.
            “Roth!” the barked order rang across the span of the camp.  “Leave him alone and for the hundredth time: start packing!”
            Einor’s tone was one no one dared disobey.  He wasn’t a person to disobey in general, either, but that never deterred Roth.  If there was a way to get around rules or get out of work, Roth always found it.  Dainel had no idea why Einor kept him along.
            “Children, the lot of you,” the fourth member of their party said in a voice that never failed to turn Dainel’s blood cold.  The assassin, Corinth, was crouched beside him and made short work of the bindings almost before he registered his presence.

           “Why are we here, again?” Roth asked for perhaps the hundredth time.  His voice was beginning to take on a whining, wheedling quality it did when he was unfathomably bored.  He all but sprawled across the table, toying with the remains of the plate of food left by the person opposite him.
            Danel gritted his teeth and willed himself to unclench his fist around the butter knife.  They had been at this pub for barely an hour and he already wanted to stab the kid.  He was willing to entertain the thought of decking him, however.
            It’s a good thing Corinth has more tolerance than me, he thought.  I’ll never understand why he allowed Roth to come along.  The kid’s worthless.
            It was a good thing, too, the food Roth was playing in wasn’t his.  It was Corinth’s.
            Corinth’s plate was usually spotless by the time he finished eating.  The man could put away food like few Danel had met.  But then, he’d been eating pretty much since they had set foot in the door.  For once, Corinth was full.
            And distracted.
            The trio’s table was near the door, beneath a set of shaded windows.  Danel’s back was to them, with Roth to his left.  Corinth was directly across from the kid so he could keep an eye on passers by and people entering the establishment as they waited for whomever it was they were there to meet.
            Danel had a good view of the bar and most of the other tables.  Small groups of locals crowded around even smaller tables, shoulders hunched forward, heads leaned in to keep their gossip from spreading to unwanted ears.  It wasn’t the friendliest town Danel had been in.
            All at once, Corinth straightened and raised one arm, gesturing with two fingers to someone Danel couldn’t see even when he looked in the same direction.
            “Ruel!” Corinth did not raise his voice, yet it seemed to project above the pub noise with remarkable ease.
            A tall man appeared at Corinth’s shoulder as though out of thin air in response to the name.  Just his presence made Danel’s skin crawl in warning, though there was nothing remarkable about him.  He was Danel’s height—head and shoulders taller than either Corinth or Roth—though he didn’t have Danel’s broad shoulders.  Whereas Danel was built like the soldier he was, this man was build more for speed.  Though not obviously armed, Danel had no doubt this man had more than enough weaponry at his disposal.
            Corinth.”  The voice was quiet, with a faint roughness beneath, as though he did not speak often.
            “I have a job for you, if you’re interested,” Corinth told him, offering a bag of coin.  “Consider this advance payment.”
            “Hey, wait a minute!” Roth protested.  “We don’t know this guy, and you’re paying him to tag along?  You don’t even pay me!”
            Ruel raised his head and Roth swallowed uncomfortably under his fierce gaze.  Danel had never seen anyone capable of shutting him up.
            Ruel’s face hardened.  He handed the bag back.
            “No.  Not if you’re letting a child along.”
            Corinth sighed and brought out a large bag.  Danel blinked at the difference in the sound of the coin within.  Before, Corinth had offered the newcomer a mix of mostly silver, with scattered copper and a few faint gold.  This bag rang of all gold and the higher, truer sound of platinum.  “This, then, and state your terms.  I need you.”
            I need, Danel noted.  Not we.
            Ruel grunted and the bag disappeared beneath his dark gray cloak.
            “I camp separate from your group, and my treasure comes along.  No questions asked of either of us.”
            “Treasure,” Corinth repeated.
            Ruel shifted without appearing to move so he stood off the end of the table instead of behind Corinth’s shoulder, and a new figure replaced him, face hidden in shadow by the hood of her dark cobalt cloak.  It was held in place at the neck by an intricate silver knotwork clasp Danel had only seen in history books—the interwoven knots of the Ancients.  Ruel reached out in what Danel could only call tenderness and pulled the hood back.  Danel and Roth could only stare.
            Ruel’s treasure was a woman.
            She met and held gazes with Corinth in silence, then looked at Danel only a brief instant before dropping her gaze again as Ruel settled her hood back into place.  In that split-second of eye contact, Danel felt something shift in his chest and it took him a moment to remember to breathe.
            Soul Weaver.
            The title came unbidden into Danel’s mind.  It was a rare talent said to be gifted on a handful of bloodlines by the Ancients, themselves gifted with it by the Creator.
            “Indigo,” Ruel breathed her name.  “One of the Einor—the Sighted.”

Saturday, January 15, 2011


            So ends the story Brink.  Or, at least, the part I wrote for National Novel Writing Month.  I’ve actually written a bit more on the pleas of Dan and Megan, but I’m not going to post those yet.
            The story could officially end here, but, as you can see, it’s an infuriating cliffhanger for those who want to know how everything gets sorted out.  I suppose that ending would be a cheap way out.  I don’t do cheap, fortunately.
            If you know anything about me, you know my favorite character is Ruel.  As an example (referencing my Characters entry), Ruel’s story is one I’ve been desperate to change.  Pardon the spoiler, but, as the characters have said within the story itself, Ruel is supposed to die.  I have been trying to find a way to keep him alive.
            The conflicting personalities of the characters drove be absolutely crazy at times, but gave a humanness to the story it might not have had otherwise.  This is the first story I’ve been able to claim I have no idea what the plot is.  When asked to describe the story, I can’t, other than to say it’s about that age-old question: can you change Fate?  The plot is, I guess, a journey—for both the characters and myself as the writer.
            Brink was an experiment.  I had no idea how I would fare trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I strongly doubted I could, right up until I reached the finish line, over 200 words beyond the minimum.
            I had never written a story start-to-finish before.  I usually write scenes scattered throughout, then go through in editor mode and adjust, then tie them together.  I’ve never written in a time-crunch before…okay, that isn’t entirely true: I’ve written short stories for friends’ birthdays or as gifts for other occasions before.  I’ve always more or less known the plot for a given story, where it starts and how it finishes.  But never something I didn’t know what the end was like.  I still don’t know how things will turn out with Brink.  I think that’s why writing it was so difficult.
            Though it was a challenge, it was fun, and a bit of a confidence builder.  It was also an eye-opener to what happens to my abilities under pressure, when the editor isn’t allowed out.  I didn’t go back and read through—or rework—any of Brink while I wrote it.  What you see is exactly how it came out.  A few of the scenes and conversations I was aware of to some degree in advance, but I didn’t skip ahead to write them.  They came when it was their time in the chronology.
            Though I wasn’t happy with a couple of sections when I wrote them (Ruel’s first spar with Danel, for example), they still worked and still fit.
            Now if I can just get the second book to fall into place like the first did…

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


            Perhaps the most valuable asset a writer has is his or her characters.  Unfortunately, many are misused, abandoned, overused, or not used to their full potential.
            One of the things I was taught in my college writing classes—something I still to this day disagree with fiercelyis the idea that you can (and should) control everything about each character.  The writer calls the shots.  We were pushed to throw characters together and force them into situations to see how they would react.  This leads to resentment and many times characters refuse to speak to you.
            This is one of those views on writing that makes a lot of people think I’m insane.  I don’t believe in forcing characters to do things.  Each is like a real person—they all have their ticks, their passions, and their own stories.  Depending on how I approach them, they will or won’t tell me.  I have to establish relationships with them like they were real people.  I have to respect them.  And I have to care for them.  The resultant stories are far stronger and richer, far more real, than anything I could force them into.
            Some are easy to talk to, like the characters Danel, Corinth, and Roth in Brink.  Others…getting information from them is akin to pulling teeth, like Kett; he’ll share, but only when he’s in the mood.  Some need no encouragement at all to tell me their most painful secrets.  One such is Nayisa Sandtwister-Dray, Kett’s daughter.  She is matter-of-fact about her past.  Others need the right ambiance—such as when I listen to the right kind of music or look at the right kind of artwork.  This is the case for several of my Dragonsword Saga characters: former-demon-possessed Andur, his commander Mirinia Dragon-Child, and Mirinia’s Bonded, Avalan of the Jemspur.  Some tell me only the bare minimum at a time.  Then there are others who share even their most private moments.  One or two couples have been…um…quite romantical, to my embarrassment.  This is one of the reasons I believe characters can’t be controlled entirely.
            As with real people, there are characters I dearly love, and others I can’t stand a bit.  I hate seeing my favorites suffer or die, and often argue with them trying to convince them there has to be another way their story could turn out.  But my characters are always right.  Their stories are theirs, not mine.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Inspiration Through People

            As a writer, I’ve learned one of my best sources for inspiration has been what I think every writer needs to truly do well: readers.  It’s amazing what happens when you have at least one reader—a reader who wants to read.  Even one reader with enthusiasm and belief in you and your stories is enough to inspire more (and better) writing.  It’s also good to have a reader who understands the craft and can make effective critique, but a reader who likes your work is good too, because they are so enthusiastic they ask you to write more, or about a certain character, or what you intend to do about certain situations.  They have favorite characters they want to see.  They want to see what you’re going to have happen next.  Their questions are often just as good as those of a writing peer.
            What comes immediately to mind is the “support crew” I had during the challenge of National Novel Writing Month in November.  Prior to that grand adventure, I’d had little feedback and been without many dedicated readers since I was in college.  The only reason I had any in college was the fact that it was required in my writing classes to workshop stories, and my work was thoroughly enjoyed by pretty much everyone.  I created a LiveJournal account and began to post some of my work there to be read by a small group of friends, but of those only one really read them and commented.  It was very disheartening.  My family doesn’t even read my work, as none of them like science fiction or fantasy.
            I was hesitant to attempt National Novel Writing Month, but I prayed about it, and my schedule opened up to provide me the time.  I joined the official site (though I didn’t get involved in the forums since I didn’t have that much time).  Then I started to post my project—a fantasy story I named Brink—on my LiveJournal account as I finished each day.  I doubted it would get read, other than the single friend that reads all my stuff there.
            She wasn’t the only person to read it.  My boyfriend, Dan, asked to follow it while I wrote, so I gave him my username and password to LiveJournal where he could read without having to make his own account.  I started posting how many words I wrote per day on my FaceBook page as well.
            The result was astounding.  I was cheered on by some of my FaceBook contacts, and enthusiastically read and encouraged by Dan and Megan.  Dan and Megan were so enthusiastic I was able to fight through and successfully complete the challenge.  Having the fanbase made writing fun.  I wanted to write for them.  I felt practically giddy when I’d finish another section for them to read.  It’s amazing what enthusiastic readers will do for your confidence and passion.
            Dan and Megan were also instrumental in their encouragement for me to continue the story after November was over.  Brink is now in Book Two of three, though the going is far slower now that I’m not in the time crunch.  But it continues, and hopefully will until I know it’s supposed to end.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


            On top of presenting another, shorter description of a character this morning (well, I guess this afternoon, now), I decided today would be a good day to think about another vital part of writing, one that is very dear to me: inspiration.
            For me, inspiration comes in a variety of ways.  Most are, I think, pretty typical: artwork, music, movies, nature, personal experience, reading others’ work.  I was told in classes growing up that “readers make better writers.”  This is definitely true for me.  One of the things I often did was attempt to mimic published authors’ styles—everything from structure to plot to dialogue technique.  I was also told that “writers are made, not born.”  That I believe is dead wrong.  Sure, you can train people to write correctly, and many can be taught to write extremely well, but the passion in my case has always been there.  I didn’t discover it at school when I learned to spell, or to write correct sentences.  It’s always been as natural to me as breathing.
            I do have a few sources of inspiration that are probably not as common as the rest.  Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say or do something—even a single word spoken in a certain way, or a narrowly-avoided mishap, or an expression or stance.  Observation comes in handy to notice those little things others may miss and allow me to find them so delightful I have to use them.  Sometimes it’s found in a particular piece of jewelry, or a good meal, or some random thought.
            For example, when my friends and I were putting together our 100word list, a word that came up immediately was “chocolate.”  If I remember right, its suggestion happened due to the fact that one of us was eating a form of chocolate and the other didn’t have any (and was bemoaning the fact).  We dared each other to make that word our first story in the set of 100 because it was such a humorous idea.
            There is a scene in my “blind fantasy” story about a voluntarily blind warrior named Kairis and a strange young woman, Ryah, he saves from an enemy clan that was inspired by the agonizing work I did for an employer back when the local one moved to a new location.  We worked 12+ hours seven days a week for about a month or two because the district manager wanted to beat his store-opening time record.  It was exhausting, demoralizing, and miserable.  What came to mind was the journey Kairis and Ryah had to make to escape the enemy clan—they could not rest, and it was taking a physical toll, much like my real job was doing to me.  Ironically, this was the year I had vowed to write every day, and because of the move I couldn’t.  At least I got something good written out of it.
            I’ve written good food into stories, and jewelry.  In Brink, my National Novel Writing Month entry, I even got inspiration from the horses I work with, three friends, and those friends’ general interactions and conversations.  While the interactions and conversations I observed didn’t make it into the story, those of similar structure did.
            For some of my fantasy work, I’ve used my collection of Lego Castles to set up scenes or battle movements to get a feel for things.  This is probably my oddest source of inspiration.
            Oftentimes, different characters will talk to me about their stories depending on what music I’ve got playing, or what movie or video game I’ve been playing, or what book I’ve been reading.  Sometimes the scenes they tell me aren’t remotely similar to those things, but came to mind because of them.
            For example, Kett has affinity for strong military or war themed music, such as the score for The Rock, Blow me Away by Breaking Benjamin off the Halo 2 soundtrack, Crysis and Crysis Warhead.  On the other hand, Shail, one of my fantasy characters who becomes a centaur and who can control earth-magic, likes gentler themes such as Optimus from Transformers and The Shire from The Fellowship of the Ring.
            I’ve noticed other writers connect their characters to certain music as well.  I stumbled across an online comic once that had bios for all the main characters, along with a “theme song” or “playlist” that each would probably listen to if they were real.  Another online comic actually had put together a musical score for readers to listen to, music the writer/artist had used as inspiration for the pages.
            Personal themes of mine stem mostly from classical music or movie and video game scores.  Very little of the music I listen to has vocals.  Three pieces I’ve been inspired by and have loved all my life are Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird, Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell Overture, and Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.  Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite also have passionate places.  Not to mention newer stuff like Celldweller’s Soundtrack for the Voices in my Head, scores like Stardust, Lord of the Rings, Clash of the Titans, Halo, artists such as Yanni, George Winston, and David Lanz, and singers like Nickleback, Michelle Tumes, Enya, and Michael W. Smith.
            I won’t go into detail about the movies and books that inspire me as well here…maybe another time.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Descriptions, continued

            When trying to decide what to post about today, a continuation about description kept popping into my head.  I wanted to post one of my favorite descriptions to date—one about possibly the most powerful character in all of my writing: Aral Kett.
            But first, there needs to be some background, both about him and more about description.  A lot of writers (myself included before I really started finding my unique writing style) tend to lump descriptions of a character into a cramped couple of paragraphs, usually from another character’s point of view upon the new one’s introduction.  You get the basics: size, hair, eyes, outstanding characteristics like scars or unique facial features or resemblance, facial expression, clothing, and the observer’s opinion of the new one’s personality.  It’s a fast, easy, pat formula: get it all out there right away so you can just move on.  Hopefully in the pages that follow, the new character will be developed through description (usually minor observations).  I remember in my Creative Writing classes, character description papers tended to be two to three pages, rather than mere paragraphs, but still—same idea.  You didn’t get a feel for the character’s character.  Some writers are really good at letting their characters’ actions and words inform the writer of personality, morals, beliefs.  Others tell you flat out.  Some use a mix.
            To be honest, I tend to let my characters speak and act for themselves, with a few pat flat-out statements here and there (for dramatic effect).
            Now.  Kett is one of those characters over which I hold absolutely no control.  I can’t push, prod, or plead him into situations.  If he doesn’t like the wording I use, he makes me rework and rework it until I get it right.  He’s taught me a great deal about my writing style, and how changing it can tell you about the character just as much as their own words and actions.
            Kett, as best I can describe him, created himself in my head and began to dictate to me his stories.  He’s a demanding taskmaster.  He likes things as Spartan as he is—my wording must be stripped down to the very basics, sharp, and clean.  He won’t let me use three words when there is a single, more accurate one.  He doesn’t like descriptive language like you find in many stories.  It’s ironic given my personality that he would chose me to be his biographer.  And, funnily enough, he came around when I needed him the most.  He tests my writing style, my abilities of keen, effective observation, combat and weapons description, and, very often, my patience.  We butt heads a lot.  He’s been around since I was in early middle school.  I have yet to write one of his tales in a way he’s completely satisfied.  He’s scary.  Very scary.
            But he’s taught me a lot.  He showed me that stripping my words down doesn’t make a story simple and pat, but rather effective.  He taught me I can change my style to fit each character’s particular “voice,” even if they, like Kett, don’t speak much.  He taught me word selection and efficiency often have a larger impact than pages of over-attempt description.  And that if he has an opinion about something I encounter in the real world, he will not hesitate to tell me exactly what he thinks.  He’s often like that little evil voice everyone has in their head—the one that says precisely what you want to say even when you shouldn’t.
            The post to follow this one is the short scene I did of Kett back when I first graduated from Purdue, in June 2006.  My then-boyfriend was in summer school, and dared me to write the entire time he was there, in between when I dropped him off and picked him back up.  Kett, who never liked him (and told me so frequently), took up the challenge, and this was the result.  It was also the piece I used for the 3rd of a 100words challenge with friends on LiveJournal within the same year.  (Note: 100words’ premise is this: you come up with a list of 100 words, then go through and write a scene that embodies or uses one of those words.  This particular one was titled “Justice,” though I’d originally titled it “Payback” when I wrote it.  To date, I’ve written 80 stories out of the 100, over the span of about…oh when did Assassin’s Creed come out?...3 years.  We started at about Thanksgiving, 2007.)