Prewriting – Aurora

Aurora is essentially the “perfect woman” in the context of the society she lives in. She skipped high school entirely and went straight into university, so at only 20-years-old she’s already an accomplished data analyst. She’s savvy about taking care of herself, and is drop-dead gorgeous to boot.

The artifacts were her project. She discovered their existence while researching something or other for one of her classes, and met Talon in pursuit of them. Through working together, they decided to become “engaged to be engaged” lol.

Her hope was that with utilizing the artifacts, humans would be better able to protect themselves against the increasing numbers of killer mecha that pop up and wreak havoc. However, her plans still ultimately relied on CR1515 to destroy the mecha, because it never occurred to her that humanity’s protector might not come through.

Although smart, she struggles with thinking outside the box.

She agrees to become CR1515’s companion and live in the space station with him, and while she’s emotionally conflicted about it, she sticks to her word.


Prewriting – Talon

Expounding on this concept story.

The big question for Talon was, “Should he turn out to be a jerk?”

Having him be the meanie antagonist for the story would be comfortably in the realm of familiar — a sort of “Gaston” figure from the Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast. Mind you, tropes aren’t bad; people like to have familiar and new concepts evenly mixed in their entertainment, so this was a perfectly valid option.

But I didn’t really like the idea of Aurora being betrothed to (and working closely with) someone who was bad — she’s smart enough that she’d notice if he was possessive and angry under the surface, and independent enough that she wouldn’t be in a relationship with him if that was the case. I decided instead that Talon should be a decent guy in the context of the world they live in.

So, I flipped the story.

Talon will take the place of the tragic hero, who’s girlfriend is kidnapped away and he has to desperately seek her out. CR1515, in turn, is the villain who arrogantly looks down on humanity and does what he pleases.

Except not really …

Because things aren’t always black and white.

About Me


I sat down and read an entire book in two days.

It’s something that I haven’t done in years, but I like that I still have it in me to pull it off. I usually bounce from activity to activity, fulfilling an obligation here, stealing ten minutes there, trying to make the most of my day. I haven’t spent so much time on one activity in ages.

The funny thing is, as soon as I finished, I launched into an analysis of the author’s psychological problems. I couldn’t resist — the romance was so badly tacked on, it just screamed to be probed and dissected.

At some point, I decided to experience novels beyond what was written on the page. I try to see the authors behind the words, and can get a pretty good idea of what they’re like before I go searching for the bio. Unsurprisingly, the above author turned out to be divorced, and currently lives alone with two cats — which is probably why she failed at portraying romance effectively.

But otherwise, the story was very enjoyable. After all, I finished the book in two days.

That’s also why it can be so hard to share my writing with others, because it feels like I’m exposing huge portions of my insides to anyone who bothers to look. Guess why there’s a reoccurring theme about social outcasts? Obviously it’s because I’ve spent my entire life surrounded by a group of BFFs who love and support me. /sarcasm

As serious as I am about the craft of writing, I’m a flake about marketing. Big time flake. Heck, I worry that developing that part of my brain would hurt my artistic integrity, so it’s easy to shrug it off. My goal isn’t to become an entrepreneur.

Actually, there isn’t any real point to this post. I’m rambling.

Before 2020, I had been planning on some real-world marketing strategies to get my name out there as an author. Obviously when people started wearing gloves and hitting the hand sanitizer hard, I put those plans on the back burner. It still doesn’t feel like the time is right to engage with the real world yet, and I don’t want to fuss over stats on social media.

I don’t mind biding my time.

It’s nice to take a couple of days off for an indulgence, just because I felt like it.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on
About Writing


I’ve seen it around writing communities that you should never use “suddenly” or it’s synonyms to describe something happening abruptly — instead you should just jump in and have it happen.


I strongly disagree.

As a writer, you are telling your story to an audience.

While events might take the characters by surprise, sometimes it’s more polite to refrain from punching the reader in the face with a jarring transition.

Words like, “suddenly,” “unexpectedly,” “abruptly,” etc, slow down the transition into the new event, and make it easier to mentally process. So, when you think that the new event comes on too roughly, go ahead and throw those words in. Don’t let random people on the internet tell you otherwise.

Use your own judgment.

Picture not remotely related.
Alice and the Warden, Stories

Gud Riting

Outside, Damon kicked something or other and threw a major fit, picking up a lawn gnome and hefting it over the fence.

Miranda asserted, “Calm down! We can use this to our advantage!”

“No, we’re going to drop it,” Damon explained. “We don’t have a case.”

“What do you mean?” Miranda inquired.

“I kissed her first,” Damon confessed.


Having egressed from the abode, Damon sulkily perambulated about the premises, seeking to obviate himself of his indignation, and finding outlet in his frustration through the act of kicking some object or other before truculently hefting a hapless garden gnome through the air with an ungainly heave of his torso.

Miranda ejaculated, “Calm down! We can use this disadvantage to our advantage!”

“I’m afraid that I must disagree,” Damon countered obstinately, “There are major show stoppers preventing us from leveraging the turnabout successfully.”

“I need your hot, throbbing elucidation,” Miranda desperately entreated the roguish dandy, her bosom heaving breathlessly.

“I must woefully confess that my passions overcame my better judgement,” Damon confessed woefully, “I kissed her before she kissed me.”

An explanation: I had a particularly stressful day, so I was too frazzled to think when I sat down to write. Instead, I jotted down the lamest thing I could think up.

When I shared it with my husband, his response was along the lines of, “Hold my beer.” He wrote #2.

Alice and the Warden

Random notes about AatW

  • I feel like I’m writing the baby too much like a prop. I’m always mindful to make sure that she’s present and accounted for (instead of simply not being there for some unexplained reason), and newborns really do spend most of their time sleeping, but I want to throw in more descriptions of her to make her feel more like a character.
  • I want to flesh out the friendship between Kate and Gertie. I know how they’d interact, but I can’t quite figure out how to slip it into the story. My brain is being totally blah about this.
  • Because I originally intended this to be a novelette, I’ve been typing it on the laptop. Right now, I’m really missing the ability to scribble notes in the margins. I have no clue if LibreOffice has a similar feature, because I never bothered to learn anything beyond the bare basics.
  • I’m also really terrified of my laptop crashing and losing everything.
  • I wrote a really sexy scene, and now I don’t know what to do with it. What’s this story rated anyway?
  • I need to describe pretty much everything better, and figure out what the heck that English thing is. You have no idea how mortifying it is to publicly post a first draft.
  • Nobody’s reading it anyway (except for you, of course).
  • I’m starting to worry that the pacing is too slow, and I need to get on with it already. But, given the speed of the rest of the story, doing that might make the ending feel unpleasantly rushed.

About Me

Personal Note

I got a million things to do.

At the end of the day, I consider myself to be an author and not a blogger. So when something’s gotta take a hit, it’s going to be my blogging instead of my fiction writing. I like to fantasize that all of my visitors are here to enjoy the fruits of my imagination rather than my incoherent babbling, and would prefer that I maintain my fiction updates.

Side note: I didn’t sleep last night.

Anyway, the gist is that I’m tired and busy and I don’t feel like blogging — I’d much rather spend my free time working on Alice and the Warden. And napping. I’m also having anxiety about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but we don’t need to get into that.

So, Alice and the Warden will continue to be updated every Monday.

But I’ll only check in when I feel like it.



Dark and windy.

The crickets are giving a steady chirp, punctuated by wind chimes and rustling leaves. The roar of motorcycle engines pass by in the distance, and a dog begins to bark. A cat yowls.

The light from the neighbor’s porch is blaring in my eyes, and the haze of smoke is holding the city glow in the air. The street is empty, and no one is sitting out on their porches despite the pleasant coolness of the night.

The cat’s voice sounds almost human, and it’s easy to imagine why they were once thought of as witches’ companions.

The dust in the wind is triggering my allergies.

Occasionally the wind stops, leaving an eerie silence filled only with crickets, followed by an even stronger gust.

I need to find that cat.

Alice and the Warden

AatW – Behind the Scenes

I started writing Alice and the Warden back in February, when I was about halfway through my pregnancy with baby #5. Naturally, I was having *a lot* of dreams about pregnancy and babies at the time.

One in particular really stuck with me, about a young woman living alone in a tower, and I found myself thinking about it more and more. The pieces of a story started to come together in my mind, so I decided “what the hey” and went with it. Given the circumstances of my life at the time, I figured that it was going to be a “purely for fun” side project.

Aaaand seven months later, I’m 40,000 words in with a 3-month-old baby.

A little bit of trivia is that in the original dream, Alice had a brother who was friends with Damon. When Alice texted a picture of her baby to her brother, Damon saw it and put the pieces together that he was the father. However, once I started writing, I realized that the brother would function more as a prop than a character, so I cut him out.

Also, in the dream Alice and Damon broke up with a nasty fight after Damon replaced her with another girl. Again, a new girlfriend seemed more like a superfluous prop rather than a character, so I dropped that idea as well. Having her be flat out abandoned worked better with Alice’s neurosis, since she was still too “controlled” to suddenly blow up at Damon at that point in time.

Hackett was Hackett — basically no changes there. He fell in love with Alice the moment he caught her stealing his books with the intention of actually reading them.

There you have it, the origins of Alice and the Warden.



Waiting in the car. The air conditioner is blasting loudly at full speed, and the 8 year old has control of the music. She’s skipping through songs like there’s no tomorrow.

The 2 year old is crying for daddy, but he’s getting the food for our picnic. I remind her to be patient.

There’s so much smoke in the air, the mountains are obscured by a white haze despite it being a sunny day.

There’s a line of green trees to my right. The pine is my favorite, because it has a lovely shape against all the deciduous trees.

A scuffed up truck with a missing back window is driving backwards through the parking lot. It pulls halfway into a stall, idles for a minute, then exits onto the road.

My husband knocks on the car window. I help him with 2his the drinks and bag of food.

There’s a couple making out under a tree at the park, but the place otherwise empty. My husband asks is we want to find a different spot.

I reply, “Nah. Let’s show up with our gazillion kids, and let them see what they have to look forward to.”