Hurting Your Characters by Michael J. Carlson

Hurting Your Characters by Michael J. CarlsonCarlson combines an accessible overview of the human body and the damage it suffers from various traumas with insight into how that might feel to a character. This creates a useful framework for adding plausible and emotive descriptions of injury that can be tailored to a character’s knowledge.


Gestalt Not GetStuffed

There’s no denying that at least some social change has occurred because of a small number of activists highlighting injustice until support for change becomes the new normal, However, is that transition from vocal in minority to accepted among the majority slowed because so many activists discuss the change they seek within a zero-sum framework?

Seeing All the Angles

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

For years, I’ve fallen asleep to the evolution of dimensions: a dot, then a line, then a square, then a cube, then a tesseract. Not necessarily the last thoughts before sleep but a constant marker of the liminal space between duvet and dream.

And at some point, I realised not only are there several three-dimensional projections of a tesseract but the one I pictured predicted how the next day would go.

Last night I got as far as a cube and couldn’t go on.

Some people will say it’s just superstition, but I’m staying in bed until the screaming stops.

10 Reasons Why a Cup of Coffee is Better for You than Kafkaesque Torture

One of the most pervasive pieces of advice in articles on how to be “successful” is to put aside hobbies in favour of extra graft on your job or a side-hustle. However, I’ve noticed another similar suggestion cropping up that suggests “success” listicles might be more sinister than a simple misunderstanding that money is a tool not a goal: seeking isolation from contentious influences.

Circling the Square

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

Jace picked the office door lock. It’d seemed a simple idea: identify everyone attending meetings, then run stats to prove Masonry wasn’t the path to power. He’d felt vindicated when the numbers showed on average Masons were slightly more successful.

Until he noticed the distribution was off. Which was the start of the rabbit hole. But those records marked the end of the journey. Pick the lock, membership file at random, and—

Natal chart showing poor financial sense, list of rituals… this one too…

The Masons had real magic but they used it to make likely failures into passable businessmen.

‘Excel for Writers’ & ‘Excel for Self-Publishers’ by M.L. Humphrey

Excel for Writers by M.L. HumphreyExcel for Self-Publishers by M.L. HumphreyHumphrey provides clear and thorough instructions on using Excel to support a writing career without descending into tedious detail. With the first book aimed at authors looking to put their writing on a more structured footing and those seeking to be published by others, and the second aimed at authors seeking to publish their own work, one or both of these books will provide useful support depending on an individual’s career path.

Reviewing The 2017 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle

I’ve been sent a free copy of Kevin J Anderson’s 2017 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle with a request that I share my honest opinion of a few of the titles. Apart from the guide to Vellum (I already have a good eformating program and don’t have a Mac) they all seem worth a read. However, I don’t have time to read them all properly before the bundle expires, let alone review them. I’ve already got my eye on a couple, but I thought I’d ask you, my glorious followers, which of them you’d most like to read my thoughts on.

One Nation Under The Law

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

John cowered behind the remains of his cousin’s pick-up as the shooting range burnt. How’d it all gone to shit so fast?

Everything’d seemed on the right track. He’d thought nothing would top seeing Reverend Newton, a real Christian, being sworn in as President. Until the angels came.

Perfect beings descending to affirm the Constitution. Within twenty-four hours, all the leftards were gone and it really was one nation under God.

But angels were creatures of the Word, not lawyering with meaning. The Second Amendment said keep and bear, not keep, bear, and use, so that was what they enforced.