Terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge: Addict (A Savior Story)

A Game of Aspects Flash Fiction Challenge Entry from Terribleminds.com



Daniel woke up to darkness, in a chair with his hands tied behind his back. Not the best of ways to wake up.

Continue reading “Terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge: Addict (A Savior Story)”


The Reading Challenge



While I was talking with an aspiring digital artist on skype, I explained that I wanted to do both writing and art.  She brought up that it may not be realistic to achieve both goals. I get this a lot, so I didn’t mind. Even I don’t know if it’s realistic. All I know is that I’ll regret it later if I didn’t at least try and give it my all and see for myself if it’s possible or not. But then she mentioned something that got me thinking.  She said that writers needed to read a lot in order to get good (and thus it would be hard to have time for writing, drawing AND reading).

This is not knew information. It’s one of the fundamental facts of writing.

Good writers are prolific readers.

Thus I put on my hat of shame and must confess…I don’t read hardly as much as I should.

But it’s not because I’m lazy. I feel like it’s the opposite.

For me, reading is…procrastination.  It’s also an addiction.

When I was suffering from depression and anxiety over college, I read three trilogies in a month.

That’s nine books in one month.

I would binge read, do nothing but read till the book was done, and then read another book. I wouldn’t eat, sleep, go to class, anything that didn’t involve the characters and plotlines I was following religiously, as if they were my life, my world, and not what was around me.

Since I get really hooked and obsessed with books (and anything entertaining really), I learned to avoid things I knew I’d like. Currently, I’m avoiding T.V. shows such as Sherlock, Merlin and Dr. Who cause I know I’ll obsess over them and get nothing done.

However, writers need to read. They also need to write. So it’s definitely a dilemma.

In the end, I’ve decided to practice self-control and read a little before bed.

I have plenty of books I want to read, but haven’t gotten around to (and actually I bought some new books at a small bookstore I found by happy accident the other day, so the amount has grown) and I think it’s time I plowed through them.

Not only of fiction, but nonfiction books on the topics I mentioned in an earlier post (economics, politics, etc), thus hopefully killing two birds with one stone.

Since I plan on moving sometime this year, I have to pack up my books.  When I do, I plan to make a master list of my books, fiction and nonfiction and then scratch them out as I read them. I’ll share it here in a future post.

The other day, I bought THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have the LORD OF THE RINGS novels, but I haven’t been able to read more than half of the first book. Still, with the movie version of THE HOBBIT coming out soon, I wanted to check it out. I watched the old animated movie ages ago as a kid, and loved it, so I also wanted to read it for nostalgia sake.

Interesting enough, I opened the cover, expecting the same hard read that I face with THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, and was surprised by how easy it was! The words flowed like water and the voice was so strong. With THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, I felt like I was reading a history text book on Middle Earth. But with THE HOBBIT, it was more like someone was reading me a bedtime story.

It’ll be an entertaining and quick read…but not too quick.

Must. Learn. Control.

What about you? What are you reading? Do you like to read? Do you plan to read more this year?

Supernatural Obsession!

Dean, Sam and Castiel from Supernatural


Oh no.  I’ve suffered a total relapse…again!

My drug of choice this time?


*squeals like a rabid, desperate, insane fangirl*

Last Friday was the Season 7 premiere. As you all know, I made a post about my love and dread for Supernatural in a previous post.

In that post, I mentioned I was terrified for the fate of one of my favorite characters on the show, the Angel Castiel.

If you watch the show, you’d know that the Season 6 season finale ended on a rather ominous tone regarding the angel. After watching it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a bit, but my eagerness for the new season, which was way off at the time, wasn’t that extreme.

Now, the very first thing I’d like to say about the Season 7 premiere is….

…that it’s a much worse cliffhanger than the season finale.

And of course by worse, I mean better. Much, much, excruciatingly better.

I mean, sure the season finale was pretty bad. But there, at least Castiel was healthy. He was only slightly insane and physically, beyond healthy. His future was in jeopardy, but you didn’t know that. It was just a slight dread. At least for me it was.

But the premiere… Oh my god.

Be warned, I will spoil it and spoil it hard right now.



I mean, it’s one thing to worry that one of your beloved characters will end up dying or not. It’s a whole new level of panic when the villain actually says the words “He’s dead.”

Of course, I don’t believe him, but the creators of the show are being bastards. Castiel’s actor, Misha Collins, no longer has a “starring role” position and has been downsized to “special guest star”. And no matter how hard I look, I can’t find any signs of Castiel showing up in any future episodes.

It’s driving me crazy! I’m literally praying for the seconds to go faster, that Friday comes sooner! I can’t think of anything else!

I acted like the total story addict that I am.  I found every single video I could find of the actors and creators, searched for the tiniest spoiler I could find regarding Castiel’s fate, and found nothing substantial.

Then I went on a binge. A total Castiel binge.  Re-watching all of his best scenes and episodes, I didn’t realize how GOOD Season 5 was. So I take back that the show should have ended with Season 4. I hated Season 4, but I LOVED Season 5.

When compared to Season 5, Season 6 was very lacking. Before I wouldn’t have been able to tell you why, but now I know.

In Season 5, Castiel became more than just some angel loyal to Heaven who sometimes helps Dean out. He became a real character, a real person and a real hero. He saved the boys’ lives approximately 5 or 6 times without needing to. And the thing that made all of his fans fall in love with him was how, as he lost more and more of his powers, how human, emotional and vulnerable he became, and yet he continued to stand by Dean and Sam and help them. Castiel was wonderful.

In Season 6, however, it was like all that didn’t happen. With the return of his powers and sense of duty to whatever power resurrected him (for the second time) after he was killed in the season 5 finale, he lost everything he had gained in the previous season. He was the emotionless, duty-bound angel again from the dreaded Season 4.

Castiel’s humor and growing humanity made Season 5 something much more.

It was completely gone in Season 6 and with Sam soulless, the show had lost its heart.

It wasn’t until Sam got his soul back and the attention returned to Castiel and his inner conflicts about whether what he was doing was right or wrong did the show get back on track.

Now, Season 7.

I’ve analyzed it as much as possible. Judging from how all the previous seasons have been structured, I have my prediction (and hope) on how this season will go.

I’m praying Castiel isn’t dead. And honestly, if the writers had any SENSE AT ALL, they won’t kill him.

Currently, he’s being possessed by the show’s latest Ultimate Villain, the Leviathans.

Now, as we’ve seen in every previous season, we’re introduced to the latest ultimate villain in the first episodes of the season (the Golden Eyed Demon in Seasons 1 and 2, the Demons that came out of the door to hell, including Lilith, in Season 3, Angels and Demons in Season 4, Lucifer and the Angels of Heaven (Zachariah, Rafael, Michael, etc) in Season 5, and monsters/Eve, Crowley and ultimately, Castiel in Season 6).

Look back and you will see that each of these villains were introduced and hinted at from the very beginning of the show, usually in the first and second episodes. BUT they didn’t really show themselves till much, much later in the show.

I don’t think Season 7 will be much different. The first few episodes, we will learn about the Leviathans. Then we won’t see them in a while. Most likely they’ll show up, but not Castiel/Leviathan, who will be the head honcho Leviathan while other Leviathans create madness in the world. I’m thinking till midway the season, after the show has its winter break, from then till the season finale, it won’t be anything BUT Castiel/Levianthan focused episodes.

This is what I’m begging that the writers will do. This is what I HOPE TO GOD they do:

Castiel pulled a Sam in the last season. It’s basically the exactly same thing. Dean trusted and loved Sam, and Sam lied and betrayed him. Now, Castiel lied and betrayed him. But Dean never truly gave up on Sam, because in the end, this show is about family.

I’m PRAYING that the show’s creators don’t forget this. In the last episodes of Season 6, Dean tells Castiel he sees him as a brother. There’s so much potential here.

I’m hoping that Castiel is still alive inside his body with the Levianthans and that Dean was moved enough by Castiel’s regret and apology before the Leviathans took over in the season premiere that he will actually try to save Castiel. If they focused on the sense that Castiel’s family, regardless of his mistakes, and you don’t leave family behind, this can go somewhere amazing.

With Sam’s hallucinations and needing to deal with the Leviathans, and yet not wanting to kill Castiel you have yourself a nice cauldron of emotional conflict that can serve as the rails of an amazing season.

Now, of course, Castiel can still die at the end. I’m praying he doesn’t. Every season seems to end badly. It’s like a piece of Sam and Dean’s souls die with every season. They’d probably be too depressed or insane to even do a Season 8 if this one ends badly like the others (then again, if it’s a pattern, that’s exactly what will happen).

BUT! Castiel dying isn’t the only way. Make him human. Make him human, and then in Season 8 have Dean and Sam struggle to help him accommodate being human and become a hunter without relying on his powers. In that way, he can redeem his actions from the Season 7, but of course add a villain that will make this very difficult.

Seriously, the creators of Supernatural need to hire me.


I’m so sorry about this ridiculously long post. But I am obsessed. My addiction is in full force.

Hopefully, it’ll pull back a bit when I watch the second episode and we finally learn what happens to Castiel. I’m just glad they didn’t end the season with this wretched cliffhanger. I’m barely able to wait a week. I doubt I’d been able to wait months.

I forget. Any Supernatural fans in the audience?

If so, what were your thoughts on the Season 7 premiere?


Bacchus (Dionysus) by Caravaggio
Bacchus by Caravaggio (Bacchus is also known as Dionysus, God of wine and ecstacy among other things)


Hello. My name is Amber J Gardner and I am an addict.

*pauses for applause*

But my addiction isn’t to any type of substance. My addiction is embarrassing.

I’m addicted to stories.

I am serious.

Like any addiction, even one that doesn’t directly damage the body, it’s still bad.

This time it was a mix of anime and manga. Triggered by anxiety and feelings of failure, I went on a 48 hour binge, maybe even longer, meaning I spent practically two days doing nothing but sitting at my computer reading Japanese comics and watching cartoon shows/movies.

This is bad because I haven’t done any writing in the past week (or cleaning for that matter). This is also a serious blow to my self-confidence because I really thought I had this addiction beat. I hadn’t read manga this obsessively in months. It was supposed to be taboo to access any manga or anime sites, but still, it happened.


I know it doesn’t really sound that bad or serious. It really is. I call it a story addiction rather than an anime/manga addiction because I haven’t done this with JUST that form of entertainment.

Back when I still trying to make college work, I spent an entire Thanksgiving break playing Final Fantasy 12 when I needed to work on a research paper I was ignoring (I barely submitted it in time).  I literally spent an entire day, from one morning to the morning of the next day, with my butt glued to that couch, controller in hand (and I STILL didn’t beat the damn bastard of a game).

Another time I spent an entire month reading three fantasy trilogies, earning myself failing grades for all my classes that semester. For four weeks (possibly more), I remained locked in my room, barely eating or drinking, without showering, my face stuck in my books.

A bad side effect of this damn obsession is I often feel disappointed when reality doesn’t play by the same rules as the worlds of the stories I read. I don’t mean magic or any of that. I mean love and friendship and all that lovey-dovey stuff. Most of that stuff doesn’t work in the real world the way it works in the worlds of movies, video games and anime, which is disappointing…and also gives me this weird feeling of being… disjointed from reality.

A feeling I don’t appreciate.

This addiction has really made a mess of my life.

But I have to give myself credit that I’ve improved greatly. Despite my relapse I managed to snap out of it fairly quickly (hopefully), or at least quicker than I used to, with no residual depression.

I suppose the hardest thing about kicking a bad habit or addiction is how to handle when you relapse, how to not let that get to you, to remain positive and still have faith in yourself and your dreams.

This is true for creating productive routines and habits too, like writing or exercising every day.  You miss a day or a week and you feel like crap.

The key is not to let the small failure to get to you and to get back on the horse.

By now, I’m covered in the scars of how many times I’ve fallen of that damn horse. Hell I was off the damn thing this very morning. But now, gently, carefully, I’m back on it.

The past is the past. It’s long gone. All that matters is what you do in the moment.  The future depends on what you do now, not on what happened yesterday.

It helps when you have people looking out for you and people you really don’t want to disappoint.

So here I am. Back in the saddle, ready to try something new (anything new) to stay on it this time.

Does anyone have any strategies or ways to get back up after a setback or prevent one from happening in the first place?

How do you stay on track on your dreams?


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