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Monthly Archives: July 2013



With a gentle whisper
It begins.
With a building roar
It continues.
With a deafening silence
It stops.

I was driving home from work the other day, and I saw a sign taped to a streetlight. It read “Huge Book Sale” and had an arrow pointing around the corner. Several thoughts ran through my head, and it went a little like this.

“But I don’t NEED any huge books.”


“That joke shouldn’t have made me giggle.”

“I need more bookshelves.”

“Oh god, it’s a trap. A trap with the perfect bait.”

“I have to go.”

“I can’t go, I have no more money to spend on books.”

“I have empty cardboard boxes in my car, though…”

“No, seriously, it’s probably a trap. They know your commute.”

“Oh, shit, they know my commute. I better just go home.”

“I’m going home.”

Needless to say, I made it home safely, and wasn’t lured into a giant cardboard box with a trail of leather-bound classics leading up to it. Though that might work… Entertainingly enough, I was on my way to work a couple of days later, via a different route, when I saw a matching sign.

“Oh, shit. They really DO know my commute…”

Another Trifecta Writing Challenge entry for you today. Here’s “The Crack.”

“I think I may be going mad,” Kerry muttered as he looked at his surroundings. The sun beat down upon the fields, black grass shimmering in the light. It stretched on into hills and valleys without a single variation in shade. Reality was breaking around him, and the source, the crack was nearby, but that was the only thing that was certain anymore. It was coming for him. He had seen things since his first encounter with the rift, since the day he’d met Alicia, though even now he couldn’t say if that had been ten years or ten days ago. This field before him might only be an illusion. Regardless, the crack was coming closer. There was only one way for him to end it.

“But if I am, I can think of worse ways for it to go.” He saw her then, or her shape, white flitting across the black, and he drew a dagger from his belt. She moved toward him, never touching the grass, never noticing the narrow band of chaos that seemed to be carved across the landscape by her passage. Finally reaching him, she stopped.

“Hello, Kerry.” Her voice a jumble of voices clamoring at once.

“Hello, Alicia.”

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

Kerry’s face was grim. “I’ve been looking for you. I hoped I’d find you sooner.”

Alicia’s shape twitched as if it had just noticed the blade he held. “Is that what I think it is?” the multitude asked.

“Let’s find out.”

He stepped behind her, arms around her in a final embrace as he guided her hands upward and the knife point found her neck.

The crack that had trailed behind her yawned wide. Kerry clutched Alicia’s limp body to him and let the chaos swallow them both. All that remained was black.

Words cannot express my gratitude for John Scalzi’s Convention Harassment Policy. Read it. Embrace it. Co-sign it. Stop harassment.


I’ve been asked if I would add a thread for writers/editors/artists/fans/human beings to co-sign my recently-announced convention harassment policy. Well, sure. Here it is. If you’re a writer/editor/artist/fan/human being who wants to adopt my convention harassment policy for your own, put a comment in the thread here. Just a simple “co-sign” will suffice, if that’s all you want to say.

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This weekend’s Trifextra Challenge was a thirty-three word free-write from the lovely folks over at Trifecta. My entry is called Recollection.

* * * * * * * * * * *


There is nothing quite as strong as a memory struggling against the edge of oblivion. I learned that the hard way, years ago. No matter how hard I try, I still can’t forget.

It’s Friday. Around here, that means a couple of things, though first and foremost in my mind is payday. The other is an afternoon off. That means that I’m going to be free to do a couple of things I’ve been meaning to get around to. That’s right. It’s an anti-procrastination day. Anything could happen.

However, assuming the weather continues to cooperate, I’ll be heading down to my apartment complex’s swimming pool with a book or two with me. I find that it’s a good balance of working out the body and the mind. Read a chapter, swim a few laps. Repeat. Meditate on the chapter I just read while in the water. Maybe compose a bit more in one of a half dozen works in progress, or start drafting a chapter for something new. It’s self-improvement in the best possible way. I’ll have a notebook with me, of course. I always do. I feel off-balance without a notebook and pen or pencil in my pocket. Except in the pool. And the shower. Even then, writing utensils will remain close at hand. Anyway, I’m off. Enjoy your Friday, everyone.

Sometimes a conversation leads to an unexpected phrase. In this particular case, something came up that I absolutely loved. I was told that it should be my catchphrase. Never thought I’d have one, but here it is. “Hello, sweet chaos.”