Looking for book recommendations

Hello all,

I’m trying to come up with writing books I should read sometime in the next little while, as I work on this thing. What I have in mind are books like Le Guin’s Steering the Craft and King’s On Writing. What have you read that helped you write better, faster, more elegantly, more cleverly?



January writing round-up

The big news in January is definitely having finished the draft of Colony X, available for closed alpha review if you make an account on this site & I approve it. It’s currently marinading while I figure out how long I should wait before starting editing. I’m thinking through the end of February or whenever I finish my current round of short stories, whichever comes first.

The other interesting news of January is I’ve gotten a short story, a 3,000-word romance set after the zombie apocalypse, accepted into an anthology. I’m very pleased about that. I’ll be making that available in some form after I see the contract and see what’s acceptable sharing and what isn’t.

I’m also working on a short Lovecraftian tale set in a museum, also for an anthology, and contemplating a literary/emotional story about bears for a contest. I’m writing a lot of silly little flash fictions in my writing-doodle journal, and Tapestry has been updating with a new direction that I think points to more updates all around.

That’s my good news, and I’d like to hear yours – what projects are you working on? It doesn’t have to be fiction, it can be anything creative or crafty.

Terrorism or Freedom Fighting

For the prompt: The hero and the sexy object of affection embraced in a lovers kiss on the rooftop under a full moon while an fully weaponized battle zeppelin explodes in the background.

“You’re the terror of my heart.”

She met his eyes without looking away, eyebrows drawn in, unblinking.

“Did you really just say that?” She asked.

“Yes?” He was a cute reporter, she could admit that in the privacy of her own mind, but he was also a little insane, she thought.

The night was black, with no cloud cover to obscure the sky and reflect the city lights back down on them. The moon was full, which had given her enough light for her work.


“Don’t do this,” he said, hands reaching out, entreating her. She could see his outline, highlighted in shades of blue and charcoal by the lantern in his hand.

“Do what?”

“My source says you were hired to – don’t do it. I don’t want you to-”

“Kill people?” A bit late to stop that habit.

“Go to jail!”

He made her smile. Best blind date she’d ever bothered to go on, this guy.

“That’s sweet.”

A bit late to the mark, but sweet.

“So, don’t do it. It’s not too late.”

She glanced behind him, at the zeppelin tethered in the field, covered in spotlights. Her target.

“Come over here,” she told him.

“Why?” he asked warily.

“Because I want you to, and you do as I say.”

“No, I don’t.”

“You really do.” It was one of his better qualities.

He stood still, silent, stubborn.

“I will break your fingers. I will not enjoy it, because I rather like your fingers, but I will. Talking to someone across a rooftop feels unfriendly. You want to be friendly.”

“That’s friendly?” He asked with a breathy laugh.

“Friendlier.” Her tone softened. “Come here, lover.”

He crossed the roof towards her. Behind him, the zeppelin’s tethering ropes began to cast off. She slipped an arm around his waist, and watched. He was stiff, but he didn’t pull away.

“Thank you,” he said softly.

“Don’t thank me. I finished working half an hour ago. I’m off for the night.”

He flinched and tried to pull away, and she caught his wrists and pulled him in for a kiss.

Above them, the zeppelin burst into flames.

Foreign Streets

For the prompts “Sometimes being removed from everything you know can be a blessing, in disguise or otherwise,” and “working out communication, starting with having no common language.”

She found herself walking down foreign streets, and wondered at it. Her hair was loose around her shoulders, and in her bag she carried a passport, a wallet, and a phone that did not work here.

She could not read the street signs, but turned left at the corner anyway. She knew the way back, she just wasn’t going there.

There was no house to keep. No loved ones to shelter. No pets to care for. There was no computer, waiting for her to fill it full of words, and no internet signal even if she’d written them. She thought she should feel uncomfortable, but she’d left that behind at the last block. There was no way for her to fulfill her responsibilities, and they were far away in any case. Things would be okay.

She went into a shop, piled to the ceiling with goods labeled with characters she could not read. Bags and bottles, smiling cows – why were the cows smiling? – and unlabeled boxes. There was a collection of bottled drinks, at least, which one could guess at. Green leaf probably meant tea. The size and style of the writing looked cheerful.

She bought a sweet tea from a middle aged woman with wrinkles from smiling, but who did not smile at her. The complexities of dealing with a foreigner were not worthy of a smile, and the four fingers held up – this is how much you must pay – were communication enough. She paid, carefully, as attentive as if it was a religious ritual she would profane. She had bought the same drink from a shop yesterday for a lower price, but accepted the foreigner surcharge. She was more trouble than your average customer, it had to be said.

The drink was very good, because the day was hot.

Tell me to write things

Hiya! I am doing a prompt call, and hope that you will play.

Here’s how it works. You leave me a prompt, which can be anything, and I will do my best to write about it. I will write at least 300 words per prompt, and may write more if the urge strikes me. I’ll be taking prompts from June 26-27. My goal is to finish writing all prompts by Saturday evening, so there will be livewriting and I’ll try to hang around in the comments if there happen to be any comments. Stranger things have happened.

Now, if by some happy chance, you want me to write more than 300 words or on more than one topic, my writing rates are $3/500 words. Alternatively, if you just want to throw in a tip, you can do that too. Money is very motivating to me. I use it to buy tea. Here’s links to my Paypal and my new Patreon account:



As I said above, prompts can be about anything, but I’ll also write story extensions if that’s what you’d like. I’ll write fanfic, too, but only if I’m sufficiently familiar with the universe in question. Stories I’m currently working on:
*Unreal Estate, a modern fantasy story.
*Colony X, a science fiction story.

Written so far and to write:


So I’ve put together a Patreon page because all the cool kids are doing it and I’m susceptible to peer pressure. (Very susceptible, really. It’s embarrassing.) People who find typos and grammatical errors get internet cookies, and I’m hoping someone will have ideas for other reward levels / shinies I can offer. Here’s the link: