Unofficial Guest Post (or perhaps a Guest Link?)

I woke up late today and I was going to hammer down a post before it got any later.

But then Chuck Wendig over at answered a question I asked him via Tumblr and really it’s better than anything I can come up with today.

So get over there for your daily dose of blog wisdom if you haven’t already.


Chuck Wendig Exhorts You To Care Less.


Can’t really put it any better than that.


Sub-Genre Smash Up (Part Two) Flash Fiction: The Ivory Flower

It’s Friday and that means Chuck Wendig hosted another Flash Fiction Challenge….and that today’s the deadline for last week’s challenge.

This one, I had to do.  It’s another Sub-Genre Smash-Up. The last time I did one it was a Superhero Noir (Which you can no longer see since it’s under heavy reconstruction *cough*) and I loved the result so much that I had to do this one as well, especially when an idea came  rushing to me out of nowhere.

It’s Cyberpunk Sword & Sorcery this time.

Honestly, there was much more I wanted to do here and there’s more telling than showing in the last half than I would have liked, but alas, it’s only 1000 words. If anything, this is sort of a blue-print, a plan, an idea for what can be a much longer and deeper story that I’d like to do one day.

So here ya go. Something new for a change!



The Ivory Flower


Ryan scratched his synthetic red hair as he followed their money ticket – CEO of Medical Solutions Corporation, Vivian Pearl. “We can’t trust a chick like her.  Lyon? Lyon, you listening?”

The six-foot blond giant blinked and looked at him, his face an unemotional mask. “Oh. Yes, brother?”

The idiot didn’t even bother to move his lips, sending the words directly to Ryan’s neurocomp.

“Hey, can’t you stay off the Net for a single minute? We’re on a mission here.”

“Yes. Sorry,” Lyon said, the words issuing from his lips this time. “I agree, but the live video feed she showed us was authentic, not altered in any way.”

Ryan bit the inside of his cheek. “I know. I checked myself. But still…”

Lyon stopped walking and Ryan added, “I’m not giving up! Anything if it means…What is it?”

“…Someone’s following us.

“Huh. That was fast,” Ryan said, already searching for the person’s neuronet access point.

But Ryan couldn’t find any. There was just…nothing.

He wondered if his brother had been mistaken when a cloaked figure rushed towards them, pulling out a sword.

Lyon stepped in front of Ryan. The blade sliced right through his electronic guts–oil and lubricant spilling onto the street. The android smashed a large fist against the side of the assailant’s head. The body hit the ground like a bag of rocks.

Ryan grabbed his brother’s arm. “Easy! Don’t kill him! Are you okay?”

Lyon removed the blade from his body calmly and seemed fine. Ryan pulled back the assassin’s hood and blinked as he realized it was actually a girl wearing metal armor. He recognized flower symbol etched on her chestplate and spun around.

“Hey, what’s the meaning of—”

The CEO was gone. Ryan quickly scanned the area, looking for her neuro signature, but found nothing.



“So let me get this straight,” Ryan said. “You’re from another world.”

Danielle, as she called herself, nodded. “Yes. The magic of the Emerald Orb transported us here a year ago. My sister, her Royal Highness Princess Vivian, and next in line for the throne, currently possesses it.”

“Yes, because magic exists in your world,” Ryan said, rubbing his head.

“I apologize for the attack. I was too desperate.” She took his hand. “Please, help me. I need the Orb. My sister and I need to return home!”

Ryan swallowed. “Lyon, are you listening to this?”

His brother was sitting in the corner of their electronic junk shop of an apartment, making repairs to his body. He shrugged.

“Useless,” Ryan muttered with a sigh. “Alright. We’ll help you.”

Danielle’s face lit up. “You will?!”

“With one condition.” Ryan pointed to the flower on her armor. “I need this.”

Danielle blinked and glanced at the design. “The Ivory Flower?”

“It’s long been extinct, but your sister showed it to us,” Ryan said. “I’ll help you get your Orb if you help me get this flower.”

“It’s our country’s most secret royal artifact,” Danielle said, worry in her voice. “One flower blooms once every ten years. Its petals have kept our leaders healthy and youthful for centuries. I can’t even explain how important this flower is to our nation…”

“Just one petal then,” Ryan said. “It’s important.”

Danielle was quiet for a moment.

“Very well.”

Ryan grinned and shook her hand. “It’s a deal.”




The next night, after formulating a quick plan, Ryan, Danielle and Lyon broke into Medical Solution Corporation Headquarters.

Three went in, but only one returned.




Ryan stepped into his dark apartment.

He sat quietly at his console, his burnt hands throbbing.

The events played on an endless loop on his neurocomp and he made a note to delete the memories, but not right now. He needed to remember or he’d wonder why Lyon wasn’t in his usual chair.

What Danielle failed to mention was that her sister, Queen-To-Be Vivian, was a powerful sorceress and that even the simplest spells caused neurocomps to go haywire, rendering him useless.

They were cornered by Vivian’s magic and defense systems. They were going to all be blasted to bits. But Lyon. Stupid Lyon….

Ryan pushed a button on the console and a panel in the wall slid up into ceiling. It revealed a glass chamber. A young boy laid inside, deep in cryogenic sleep. Ryan stood and touched the glass, fingering the name plate: “Leon.”

The transfer to the android body wasn’t without its bugs. The stupid kid forgot his own name, convinced it was Lyon and not Leon.

It didn’t matter now.

Ryan closed his eyes. He could still see it, feel it. The explosion as Lyon self-destructed, taking with him all of Vivian’s defense weapons and everything else in the Command Room…including the glass case holding the Ivory Flower.

It was fitting. Without Lyon, Ryan no longer needed the stupid thing anyways.

The explosion also activated the Orb, which Vivian held in her hands. Danielle tackled her to the ground as green electricity engulfed them both.

Danielle looked to him, said something he couldn’t hear, and vanished.

Well, Ryan sure learned his lesson.

Don’t make deals with princesses?

Ryan nodded. “Exactly.”  His eyes widened. “LYON!?”


“But where are you?!”

I uploaded myself to your internal server. You didn’t even notice. I guess my death must have hit you pretty hard, huh? Yes, I know, I know. There there. Don’t cry.

Ryan laughed. It wasn’t Lyon. It was Leon! His personality was back.

“We’ll return you to your body,” he decided. “It should last at least a little bit. We’ll figure something—”

His words cut off as he gasped in pain. A sharp, high pitched interference violated his senses.

Danielle stepped out of the magic  portal that appeared briefly in the middle of his living room. Her hair was longer and the Orb was embedded into a gauntlet on her arm.

She held in her hands…

“I told you I’d come back,” she said as she smiled and offered him the Ivory Flower.

The Beach


the tough beach

I was inspired by one of Chuck Wendig’s posts about 25 Things You Should Know About Writing a Novel. Number 3 is titled “The First Draft is the Beach Storming Draft” where he paints this picture of writers fighting for their lives or perhaps the lives of their novels. Ever since I read it, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind.

I wanted to take the metaphor further.

If writers were indeed soldiers and we were at war with procrastination, self-sabotage, boredom and evil non-readers, what would that be like?

I was the lowest ranking private. No stripe or whatever our rank insignia is (quills perhaps?). I crosed the beach in November 2008, but I didn’t land a single shot since then. Shooting someone means submitting your work and killing means you sold it. I wasn’t even trying to shoot anybody, too afraid.  I probably got shot a few times. But I did make it. I had the draft.

The beach is dirty and bloodied with corpses, those that didn’t make it. They’ll awaken as zombie and return to the sea to try again or perhaps never to be seen again. Those that did make it joke about the horrors now that it was over and are eager to go again. Some are traumatized, unsure of what to do with horrible memories and the crappy draft they now had to fix.

cold and wet
Mitchell Jamieson #230a Watercolor, June 1944

At the camp, there are all the higher ranking soldiers, those we aspire to be. I’d go and report to Chuck Wendig, who’d be sitting in a circle with his peers, a monkey smoking a cigar on his shoulder (I don’t know, go with it). He was a Sergeant or Staff Sergeant.

The officers are my heroes. Brent Weeks and maybe I’ll catch a glimpse of the handsome British officer Jonathan Stroud with a djinni disguised as a imp on his shoulder (apparently my heroes have familiars, though I don’t know what Weeks’ would be…leave me alone).

Of course, the famous ones weren’t there. Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, even Stephanie Meyer, were either four star generals or those awarded with the Medal of Honor for killing the most people (Meyer was the latter).

There were medics, also soldiers, but they were the support, the beta reader or the writing partner that dragged you up that beach.

The agents were the ones who carried the radios to report the war effort to the higher ups. The higher ups, of course, were the publishing companies who send us out here to kill ourselves for their acceptance…and a paycheck. Of course, there were the mercenaries, the rebels, the hired gun, those that fought and killed on their own terms — in other words the awesome, self-published author.


“What are you gawking, writer?”

I turn my head back to Wendig, who’s giving me the dirty eye.

“Sir, nothing, sir.”

He looks me over and nods as his monkey takes a deep drag. “You got potential. Maybe. Show me what you got at 2500 hours and I’ll show you how to shoot properly.”

“But sir, there’s no such thing as 2500 hours.”

I said the wrong thing of course. He jumps to his feet, monkey squirming on his shoulder, screeching and throwing feces.

“Haven’t you learned anything? If I say 2500 hours, it’s 2500 hours! And you call yourself a writer. Drop and give me a thousand words.”

“Sir, yes, sir!”



Yeah….this post makes no sense.

But I wonder what other metaphors and world building can be imagined for the writing profession.

Give me!

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