About Me

Change in routine

I had established the routine of replying to a writing prompt on Reddit every Monday morning, but frankly, I’m already feeling burnt out on Reddit.

The reason why it worked was because I had to get up earlier than usual on Monday, and had a decent hour of musing while waking up with coffee. However, that phase is probably over with for good, and I no longer have that space of time.

I’m just not an internet-oriented person. My idea of an afternoon well spent is finding cool mushrooms while out bike riding with the kids. I don’t do social media. I do real life. Call it a weakness.

I don’t actually have the patience to look through endless numbers of writing prompts. Not when I have a bunch of other things to do and an extra hour of sleep to work with.

Maybe some other routine will work itself out, but since being a Reddit celebrity doesn’t appeal to me all that much, I want to devote my free time to finishing my current novel-in-progress. You know, the one that I’ve been working on for over a year. Yeah, that one.

Truth be told, that novel is the reason why I started posting on Reddit in the first place. I WANT people to read it when its done, and I figured that I could use some more visibility to accomplish that goal. However, that just ain’t gonna happen if I never finish!

So, change in routine.


WP – Dragon King

Aldric liked riding his dragon the way everyone else liked riding horses. He would often go on long expeditions through the sky, swooping and swirling to dance with the clouds, and trying hard not to expose his teeth to the grit that was always present no matter the altitude. As a matter of practicality, he took to wearing masks – black so he wouldn’t have to wash them too often – and due to his absent-minded nature, he often forgot to take them off once he was back home.

He ruled over a small, but economically powerful, country built on good sense and common courtesy. The children called him “The Candy King,” and looked forward to every Lammas when he would fly his dragon overhead and drop parachuted packages full of all the sugar and chocolate that his kitchen staff could put together, followed by a few stunts to scare and delight his people. He spent most of his waking moments focused on ensuring their happiness, and took enormous pride in being their king.

However, his benevolence did not extend beyond his borders. Aldric preferred to stay isolated from the world, and aside from a few well-established trade routes, kept his country entirely to itself in social and political matters with the reasoning that he had enough to worry about without dabbling in everyone else’s affairs. As a result, terrible rumors abounded unhindered about the “Dragon King,” who terrorized the countryside with fire and violence.

Aldric was blissfully ignorant until the first self-described hero showed up. He had been out on his daily ride, and had returned to play his organ while meditating on how to improve the healthcare for orphans, when he heard a sudden scream. He started and turned around, and to his horror found one of his guards injured by someone shouting hysterically about justice while flailing a sword.

The man was promptly jailed for his crime, but because he refused to state which country he had hailed from, Aldric didn’t know where to return him to. Thus, he was sent to a work camp, which was far more productive and reformative than letting people waste away in dungeons.

The next hero gave a speech before attempting to use his sword, claiming that Aldric was obviously evil from his black mask (he had forgotten that he was wearing it again), and threatened to slay his dragon. That made Aldric angry, so he sent this hero to the work camp as well – he wouldn’t allow anyone to menace his pet and get away with it.

This continued periodically for some time, with every single hero too absorbed in himself to listen to reason. Aldric was forced to tighten security around his borders, and his subjects became increasingly suspicious of outsiders in defense of their beloved king.

Mercifully, Theo the prince showed up on Lammas while Aldric was making his traditional candy drop. He had hoped to make a name for himself by defeating the evil dragon king, though through a series of unfortunately hilarious events, had brought his sister the princess Azalea along as well. Azalea was delighted to see the colorful parachutes drifting down from the sky, and even more enamored when she discovered they were carrying sweets. As a result, she refused to let Theo hide her away when he left to confront the dragon king about his evil ways – which were beginning to look less and less evil up close – and accompanied him to the castle.

Aldric settled in to play his organ upon his return, working on a song that had come to him while he had been flying on his dragon, and was deep in thought when Theo and Azalea arrived. Theo had wanted to burst in with his sword drawn, but Azalea insisted that they introduce themselves properly and speak to him first, arguing that anyone who cared that much about children couldn’t be all that bad. Theo had to turn his face in embarrassment while Azalea knocked and asked to see the king, stating their full names and kingdom in the process. It horrified him that his sister had so little sense.

As it was, they were shown into the audience hall and announced to Aldric. Upon turning from his organ, he was delighted to discover the most beautiful maiden that he had ever seen curtseying before him.

“Dragon king,” she said, her voice sweet and clear. “We have come to implore you to stop your evil ways…”

“I take care of my people, and I am loved by them,” Aldric replied, his eyes locked on the beautiful princess. “Is that evil?”

“Not at all, your highness, but you keep a dragon for a pet,” Azalea answered.

“She is a creature of the earth, as much as you or I, and I care for her deeply. Is it evil to love a pet?”

“No, your highness.” Azalea knelt down on the ground this time, and Theo’s face burned red with embarrassment. “But you dress all in black and wear a mask, and surely that is a reflection of the darkness in your heart.”

“Oh, confound it!” Aldric ripped off his mask and tossed it aside. “I have much on my mind, and I forget that I wear it to protect myself while on my rides. I wear black to save myself from worrying about my clothing. Is that evil?”

“No, your highness.” When Azalea looked up, her eyes were shining with deep admiration. Aldric stepped over to her and helped her to her feet, then stayed for a moment holding her hand as they gazed at each other. Theo saw it all in a heartbeat, and knew that his intended heroics were not needed.

A month later, Theo returned home to announce the news of Azalea’s engagement to Aldric, and talked freely about how wise and generous the dragon king was. The wedding was a grand celebration, and in the years that followed their children grew up happily as they played freely in the castle and enjoyed riding the dragon with their father.

The kingdom was never bothered by heroes again.

The end.


Look what I figured out how to do with the Reddit link, lol.


WP – Henchman

[WP] You were one of the henchman for the villain facing off against the spy hero. You were knocked out while fighting the hero, and wake up after it’s all over.


My head hurt.

It felt like something was pressing against my skull as I slowly propped myself up, so I took off my helmet and tossed it; however, the sensation remained with a dull ache. Rubbing my eyes, I looked around blearily.

Looked like I had been one of the lucky ones. There were a few other guys lying in the hallway not far from me, riddled with bullet holes. I recognized Jacob among them, and immediately felt bad for the pretty young wife he had left behind. Hadn’t I told him that this was not a suitable career for a family man?

The silence led me to guess that it was all over. Our boss was probably a smear of strawberry jam by now, and his arch-nemesis was off screwing some girl he had met along the way. I staggered to my feet and leaned heavily against the wall, cursing the intensity with which my head pounded.

I thought again about Jacob’s wife. She’d probably appreciate hearing the news from a friend, and likely needed a shoulder to cry on. I wondered what sort of career would be suitable for a family man, and if I should turn my life around. Without the boss, there wasn’t anything left to hold me here.

The number of bodies made me blanch. I had seen many of those faces talking and laughing over lunch just a few hours ago, and now they stared lifelessly at nothing. The hypocrisy of heroes is what inspired me to follow the boss in the first place, and I hated what had become of our organization.

I don’t know what it was with those guys that made them think that being a spy was a license to ruthlessly murder whoever they wanted. I stepped over George, who had bragged about his new puppy over coffee. He had been a nice guy. I was really growing to hate Mr. Hero now.

Finding the boss cinched it in my mind. Jacob’s wife was going to have to find someone else to comfort her, because I had greater things to do – I was probably too old for her anyway. I just couldn’t let that much suffering go unavenged, not when so many hopes and dreams had been abruptly ended so pointlessly.

Unlike our boss, I wasn’t going to build a family organization first. I didn’t care about making money or providing jobs, I just wanted revenge. I didn’t care if I was going to spend the rest of my life in a prison cell as the result of it either.

I was going to kill Mr. Hero.

And that was that.


Side note: I’m posting the prompts a week after I write them, so I know what sort of fallout my story achieved. This week my brain feels like an empty peanut butter jar (gee, I wonder why, lol), so I’m going to skip out for now.


WP – The Suit part 1

The Suit is powerfull. A mech for some, body armor for others, always unique to each person who wore it. Those who wear it, hear the words “not original user, booting basic mode” As a joke, your sergeant gives you The Suit and the first thing you hear is: “User detected: Welcome back, Commander”


Carol had won the envy of the entire base by receiving the job of cleaning the Suit between uses. She would proudly enter the bunker with her soft cloths and polish, and tenderly buff away every scuff of dirt that marred the paint. Every single time, she held her breath with the anxiety that the Suit had been scratched, and she was relieved when her love revealed that it had magically held its integrity through every bombardment. No one knew where it had come from, but it had become the pride and joy of the military, and she was its sacred Keeper. She often joked that the Suit took up so much of her time and attention, she didn’t have any affection left to share with another human being.

The master sergeant was considered to be the best pilot, which earned him more missions in the Suit than anyone else. However, unbeknownst to any of the higher ups, the cumulative effect was beginning to degrade his psychological resilience, and he was growing resentful of anyone else who touched what he was increasingly beginning to consider his own. Every time he donned the Suit, he thought about defying commands and never returning to base, certain that no one would be able to stop him if he turned renegade. Only the uncertainty of running from the military with no objective to follow kept him obedient, and his ache was a dark secret.

Brooding, he hung around to watch Carol work on his beloved Suit, and his heart stung with jealousy when he saw how tenderly she touched the metal. When she opened it up to wipe down the leather interior, he couldn’t stand it anymore; it was worse than walking in on a spouse in the thralls of another lover. He clapped his hand on her shoulder, roughly squeezed down, and growled, “You ever worn it?”

“No.” Carol winced and looked away, not daring to try to free herself. Something in his eyes didn’t look right, and she decided that it would be best to slip away as quick as she could before reporting him.

He lowered his mouth down next to her ear, and whispered with his lips brushing her skin, “Try it.”

“I’m not authorized,” she replied, tilting her head away. She scanned the bunker for anyone else to call out to, but it was lunchtime and the place was empty.

“Do you mean to tell me that you can repeatedly strip the Suit bare, and not feel the impulse to climb inside? Go on and try it, I won’t tattle.” His other hand seized her upper arm, his fingertips digging in deeply enough to leave bruises. He pushed her forward, banging her head against the interior.

“Here, I’ll even tell you what to expect,” he said, turning her around and holding her in position with his forearm, as he kicked her legs to get her to step inside. “Don’t worry when you hear the words, ‘User unknown: booting safe mode’, because it does that for everyone. Then it will squeeze tight for a moment before it releases like a breath of air, and you’ll feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all. Operating it is intuitive, so you’ll get the hang of it.”

He had completely lost his mind, Carol thought as she met his eyes. She was certain that he wouldn’t actually try to close her inside the Suit, knowing that it would give her the ability to turn him into a smoldering crater in a heartbeat. He was likely trying to get her fired, and that she couldn’t allow under any circumstance.

“Let me go,” she ordered, hoping that her voice sounded strong and commanding. “I’m not authorized to use the Suit, and I will report you for misconduct.”

“You think I care?” The master sergeant grabbed Carol’s chin and glared into her eyes. “You’ll have a fatal accident long before you report anything to anyone.”

The look of sheer malevolence on his face caused her to panic, and before she knew it she had hit the button to close the Suit. The master sergeant abruptly pulled his hand back with a cuss, and through the visor Carol could see that his wrist had been cut deeply, nearly severing his hand. She stayed very still, shocked and scared, wondering what she should do to get herself out of the metaphorical fire she had just jumped into. Then the interior of the Suit sprang alive with lights and a breeze of circulated air, as a computer voice spoke,

User detected: welcome back, Commander.”

Carol’s heart stopped.

Now she was really in trouble.



I rewrote the intro three times before I was finally satisfied with it.

All told, it took me about an hour to write those 774 words, and one person in particular described this story as, “just the prompt redone with more words added to it”. Lol.

I’m definitely in the camp that a well-written piece doesn’t need to be explained, so I want to make it clear that I’m not explaining the story itself, but rather my thought process behind it. I’m answering the question as to why it took me an hour to write this.

I made several changes to the premise of the prompt to come up with something that I personally liked. For starters, the main character is not ranked in the military, but instead holds a civilian job on base. Instead of a joking sergeant, I made that character a villain with a higher rank, but nicely situated in the middle, so he’s still very much subjected to protocol and orders. Frankly, the characters implied by the prompt struck me as boring, so I made them more interesting.

And, of course, I had to mentally model the world they lived in. Very little of this step gets written down, but it’s essential to give a sense of solidity to the story.

Then the characters needed motivations and personalities. I personally feel that this part was rushed, and if I were writing this as a novel, I would come back and agonize over it before publishing, especially with my master sergeant character. Since this was written for Reddit, I didn’t have days to devote to that much nit-pickiness.

Finally, the writing itself. I wanted to take a direct approach that was compelling and easy to understand, which took a couple of false starts before I found my groove. Rather than aiming to look awesome and gain lots of immediate kudos, my goal was to create something that subtly wriggled into your brain so you found yourself randomly thinking about it two weeks later, wondering about the characters and what happens to them next. This would be the book that you initially pass over, then end up buying later because you can’t get the first chapter out of your head.

Which, on the surface, looks a lot like, “just the prompt redone with more words added to it”.

Ultimately, I feel that this was a successful story. I did not expect people to find it as engaging as they did, and the theories the readers came up with has me humbled with the strength of their creativity. As I told my husband, “Now I’m guaranteed to disappoint them if I write more!”


WP – Ancient Evil

You are an ancient evil, a part of the world since it began. For eons you have walked your unholy halls devouring prey and sacrifice, and of course battling heroes. Now you have a new visitor, who does not seek to worship or to purge. They say that they’d just like to get to know you.


I lived a solitary existence in the Nothing, long before the impetuous young deity took it upon himself to move in and create his own little universe. I watched him, silent but curious, and found myself piqued when he filled one of his planets with tiny creatures that built grand monuments to themselves before running off to kill each other. It was strange.

The deity had assumed that they would worship him, but from the beginning his plan had gone awry – these creatures did not want to be controlled by anything. I watched as he punished them, demanded obedience, then punished them again, until he finally gave up and turned his back on them. Without his watchful eye on his little planet, I decided that it was time to step out of the Nothing.

While I had enjoyed watching the creatures, somewhere over the expanse of time I began to crave to walk among them, perhaps to even interact with them. However, I was not naive or idealistic. I did not imagine silly things like love and friendship; I had observed their interactions for far too long to fantasize them as a peaceful people. Truth be told, the excitement they promised was the reason why I wanted to share a world with them.

I took a form that was similar to their own, and I descended to their planet. The resulting chaos was glorious and beautiful. They violently rejected me, sending heroes and armies against me until they grew too exhausted to keep fighting. Then, after a couple centuries of rest and virgin sacrifices, they would try again. I grew to love them dearly, through their endearing games and insatiable lust for blood. These humans were a people after my own heart, though I did not expect to find my feelings reciprocated. I privately regarded them as my adopted children, and never once revealed that they had been abandoned by their true father.

Then, one day, she appeared.

After eons of our game, I hadn’t imagined that any one human in particular would come to mean more to me than any other. They were all the same, shedding their mortal bodies shortly after giving birth to others, without enough time to truly grasp the nature of their own existence. Yet, strangely, time stopped even for me the moment she crossed my threshold, and I knew that she wasn’t like the others.

I had built a castle as big as a mountain, then surrounded it with fire because it scared my little humans, and I was loathe to disappoint. She had lost her shoes during her journey, and the first thing I noticed was the red blisters on her bare feet, poking out from under the blackened hem of her skirt. It was strange to encounter someone in my abode who was so clearly not a warrior by any stretch of the imagination.

I bade her to sit, then carefully applied ointment and bandages to her burns as the both of us remained dead silent. When I finished, I asked her, “Why are you here?”

“I want to know you,” was all she replied.

Through the years that passed since that moment, she never returned to the humans that had given birth to her. Instead, she chose to remain by my side.


Not voted the best story, but certainly voted the most controversial, lol.


Writing prompt – Rebirth

You just died. You go toward the light, but when you reach it, you emerge into a delivery room as a brand new, screaming baby. You have no more control over this new body than any other baby, and no one looking at you has any idea that you possess the consciousness and memories of your old life


At 53, my life hadn’t been long enough. After all the stumbles and faux pas of youth, I had finally begun to figure things out, and I had finally begun to look forward to each morning. My children had grown and moved out, leaving me with enough time to think, and perhaps more importantly to sleep, and I had realized with startling clarity what was Important, and what wasn’t. My deepest regret was that most of my life had been spent missing out on the good things in favor of the superficial.

My death was abrupt, and perhaps a little glorious. While I was driving home from work, a sudden yet powerful gust of wind knocked a semi-truck off of an overpass and into the path of my car down below. My last image was of apples scattered around the freeway.

I was surprised that there really was a tunnel with a light at the end of it – having never experienced death before, I didn’t know what to expect. As I sped along, I thought about everything I had done, everything I had loved or regretted, and I felt sad that it was over when so many things were about to begin. I closed my eyes in preparation of entering the blinding light in front of me.

Suddenly air filled my lungs, and I let out a scream in shock. My body was heavy, my legs and arms were completely limp and unresponsive; I couldn’t even lift my head. Some giant held me, snuggling me against itself, so I slowly opened my eyes and stared in dumbfounded amazement up at my daughter’s face. She was huge.

Or rather, I was tiny.

She was laughing and crying, with sweat on her brow and bags under her eyes. It dawned on me that she had just given birth … to me.


“I don’t know why, but she reminds me so much of my mom,” my daughter said, beaming down at me. “I wish she could have been here … I miss her so much!” Her happiness quickly changed to sobbing, and inwardly I nodded understandingly at the mood swings that happen so fast during those first few moments after giving birth. I wished that I could have reached out to comfort her, but all I could manage was to stare, and that felt ineffectual as well. Everything beyond her face was so blurry, I couldn’t tell who she was talking to. Her husband, I hoped, because otherwise I’d have to have a word with him.

She began to stroke my face and hair, and it was so soothing that I felt myself drift off to sleep despite my best efforts to stay awake. The last words I heard before a slipped into a deep slumber were, “Let’s name her Rebecca, after my mother.”

I had been given a second chance, with the people that I had held most dear in my previous life, and this time I wasn’t going to waste it.

On Reddit


Writing Prompt – Angels and Demons

It was a cruel twist of fate that landed me in the classifieds section, searching through the “roommate wanted” ads in hopes of finding someone that I could tolerate living with for at least a few months while I got my feet back under me. I’m not going to lie, in my heart I cursed God through the entire process.

I couldn’t say what it was about that ad in particular that drew my attention. The wording was the exact same as all the others, but it gave me a good feeling in my gut, so I went ahead and made the call. Given the urgency of my situation, I hurried through all the preliminaries over the phone, and settled on the move-in date for the next Saturday. I met my roommates for the very first time after I pulled up in my truck, loaded with the most precious of my possessions that I could salvage.

The first to greet me was a heavyset woman who introduced herself as Gabriel. She was warm and friendly, though a little more eager for physical contact than I was personally comfortable with, so I pulled my hands away and stepped back. She smelled strongly of brownies, and there was no doubt that baked desserts were a major part of her life. I wondered how I, myself, would fare if there was an endless supply of cakes and cookies around the kitchen.

She led me inside the house and showed me to my room, followed by the standard tour that ended with signing the lease on the living room coffee table. It was then that he appeared, taking me by surprise.

When Gabriel had pointed to his door, she had simply said, “This is Bub’s room,” which had inspired the mental image of a man built similarly to her, perhaps with a few tattoos to cover up a teddy bear personality, but my supposition had been wildly off base.

Bub was lean and muscular, as if he ate nothing but raw eggs for breakfast every single morning. He was clean cut, austere, and never once smiled, even when I called out hello and told him my name.

“I expect you to follow the rules,” he said sharply. “I won’t hesitate to evict you if you don’t, and I won’t feel bad about it after.”

I kind of liked him. He wasn’t the sort that would party as the trash piled up, and as long as I didn’t get in his way, he would leave me to my own devices.

“Oh, don’t mind him.” Gabriel laughed. “We like to be relaxed around here, as a ‘no judgment’ zone where everyone can feel safe.”

Bub’s eyes flashed angrily, and as he advanced on Gabriel I grew worried that I would soon be calling the police for domestic violence. His fists clenched, but his voice was quiet and calm as he said, “I don’t like to be undermined. I will continue to tolerate a great many vices from you, but I will not be dismissed and undermined. Rules are rules, and they will be followed.”

Gabriel was cowed. She giggled to cover it up, then asked if I needed help moving in. After I declined, she went straight for the kitchen. Bub, on the other hand, followed me out to my truck and began unloading boxes, his muscles flexing as he moved with ease.

“It’s disgusting,” Bub said. “Gabriel can’t say ‘no’ to anything, no matter what it is. She’s going to wind up dead with the way she’s going.”

“She seems like a nice person,” I said, not wanting to get in the middle of anything. My plan was to keep entirely to myself until the day I could return to living alone.

“All angels *seem* nice, until you actually get to know them. They have no self control at all.” He spat on the ground to emphasize his dislike.

“I’m sorry, what?” I wasn’t sure if I had heard Bub correctly. “Did you say angels?”

“Yes. Angels. Didn’t you know that Gabriel is one?”

“No!” I sputtered. “I didn’t know they existed.”

Bub’s smile grew wicked. “Did Gabriel tell you my full name?”

“She called you ‘Bub,’” I replied, feeling uncertain.

“It’s Beelzebub,” he said with glee. “*The* Beelzebub. Welcome to our home.”

He left me alone then, and for awhile I sat in the driver’s seat of my truck, thinking about what I had gotten myself into. I wondered if I should put the boxes back in the bed, turn the key in the ignition, and drive away to fight against fate in different location. However, as the sun began to turn the deep orange of late afternoon, I opened the door and continued moving into my room. I decided that maybe I wasn’t going to keep to myself over the next few months after all. Maybe fate had big plans for me, and I might as well see them through.

The original writing prompt on Reddit was:

You just met your new roommates Gabriel, an obese, glutoneous [sic] angel; and Beelzebub, a muscular, athletic demon. Turns out that angels who have never faced temptation are terrible at resisting it. On the other hand, demons who know nothing but temptation are masters of discipline.

I chose this particular prompt because I like angels and demons and it’s been a long time since I’ve written about them, even though the prompt is basically the plot to an anime called ‘Gabriel Dropout’. Since I have seen that anime, I was mindful to not rewrite it.

At the time I wrote this, the other responses defaulted to using college dorms as the setting. However, when I lived in California, the cost of living was so freakin’ high that all of us normal folk had to pool together just to afford rent, so I became acquainted with a number of people who still had roommates well outside of college (myself included). I decided to use this arrangement as my main premise, thus saving me from reliving the drudgery of school.

First person, because I like Lovecraft and copying his style allows me be vague about a number of things, thus saving me real life time. Seriously deep thinking behind that decision.

The question about whether Gabriel is a man or a woman depends on which spiritual circles you run with, since they go both ways. I like the stereotype of the cheerful, padded woman who’s always baking, so I went with that. Demons, on the other hand, never have any controversy about which sex they are, so Beelzebub is a man. I made him a bit scary, to keep with the common image of demons.

For the prompt, I wrote a basic set up with an open ending, and truthfully didn’t edit it past a second read-through. I’m currently working on a For Realz novel, so I want to devote most of my free time to that, rather than to the internet. This was just a bit of brain candy for the fun of it.