Question of the Week: 7/31/16

<–Question of the Week: 7/24/16          Question of the Week: 8/7/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

Content Warning: Discussions of rape and assault as it pertains to narratives.

What would be a challenge for you to write?

Today’s question is for my fellow writers.  It’s been a while since I posted a query directed specifically at them 🙂

I attempt to challenge myself with every story.  The Serpent’s Tale and Northern Lights were personally difficult due to the underlying subject matter and foundation of the tales, and my WIP The Broken Rose is a challenge due to heavy themes centering around rape and assault.  My next planned project will be difficult for the same, but this isn’t a “challenge” to write in terms of getting the words out.  I have a great deal to say about deceased/missing mothers and rape (though thankfully I myself have never experienced the latter).

The challenge I speak of is of another type.  It’s more what would you find difficult to germinate and/or conceive.  For me I would find it incredibly hard to write about people who aren’t beautiful.  Yes…I know how shallow this sounds lol, but I’ve always been a lover of beauty, and this is heavily reflected in my characters.  They’re always gloriously stunning though this doesn’t save them from despair nor make their heartbreaking decisions any easier.

“Beauty does not bring back the dead, nor does it heal a broken heart.”
-The Serpent’s Tale

I would also find it very difficult not to write about characters with emotional/mental/psychological damage and/or PTSD.  Since I’m learning more about the latter, it’s becoming clearer to me that everyone I write about has it, and I exhibit many of the symptoms of it as well.  While I don’t have a specific event, the descriptions of the condition hit me very hard.  It would be extremely challenging for me to craft a character who was not damaged in some way.  I really do love the sorrowful incongruence of a lovely face paired with a grieving heart.  Making beautiful characters broken and flawed may be cliched, but it helps ground the otherworldly loveliness into something most of us can understand.  It makes characters who are more than human into people, because pain makes us all kin.

Writing a main character I didn’t personally like would also be difficult.  While I wasn’t overly fond of Maya, my main female character in Serpent at the beginning, I understood why she was acting the way she was, and she eventually grew into a person I absolutely adore.  It would incredibly difficult for me to write a character I couldn’t stand and/or who was universally detestable.  I have to give GRRM enormous credit for doing so in quite a few of his stories such as Portraits of His Children, and several POVs in Song..  I have written chapters from the viewpoint of the deplorable, and I absolutely hate it.

What kind of characters/stories would you find it a challenge to write?  Have you written such anyway?  If so how did you overcome the difficulty?  Have you ever written an MC that you personally hate?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 7/24/16          Question of the Week: 8/7/16–>

The State of the Writer: 7/30/16

<–The State of the Writer: 7/23/16          The State of the Writer: 8/6/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 273,688
Prior Word Count: 273, 963
Word Difference: -275
Status: Editing
Progress: 2nd Edit of Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Gentleness

I decided to go with the above picture for Chapter 2.  It may look familiar to you, which would make sense if you’ve been following along with these posts.  Its unaltered form is featured in the SOTW post for 7/16/16.  I doctored it up a little bit (as in threw a filter on it), but the original image (or a source for it) can be found here on the tumblr -Just Be SpLendid-

I am still plugging away at Chapter 2.  It’s been nearly a month, and I’d say I’d be finished by the end of this weekend, but I need to do a third edit on this chapter, since the second one has led to some changes and additions.  I have started a new process though, which I never in a million years saw myself doing.  I’ve been getting up at 5:30 on workdays and 6:30 on Saturdays (or rather this Saturday as this is the first week for this process) in order to edit first thing in the morning.  I found a post by a fellow night owl, H L Petrovic, who proclaimed that writing first thing in the morning before the chaos of the day was an actual viable, option.  While I don’t have any children to run after (thank god right now), I still too often find myself mired in too many projects, but editing is my number one priority, and I grow incredibly anxious when it doesn’t occur.  I’d urge anyone who has the ability to try out early morning writing or editing sessions for a week.  For me it was a bit confusing because I’d forget I’d edited since I’m so used to doing it at night, but now I’m nearly done Chapter 2 (I’m hoping the third is a breeze), and the evenings can be spent on aught else.

So I know I was tossing this idea around last week.  The idea of posting The Broken Rose a little at a time.  This would not be a weekly schedule like Northern Lights was but rather a “post as you edit” deal.  I’m thinking of starting around Chapter 5 as in I’ll post the first five chapters once I edit them then post chapters as they’re completed.  My trepidation around this is due to the fact that I’m a perfectionist, and I often go back and fix or alter things in the beginning even when I’m in the midst of working on the end.  Threads may need to be tied together, and in this particular tale I created a plot point later where Sephiroth believes Aeris doesn’t remember exactly who he is/what he did though she did know his name and old designation of general.  I believe I started thinking about this and therefore gearing the writing towards it around Chapter 7.  Either way since this is going to be a long term project as stated before, my plans for it have to change.  I do something different in every story, and with this story I’m going to post chapters before I’m completely done.

Quote: Her breathing was soft against his neck for a miracle had occurred.  She’d fallen asleep encased in his arms, withered limbs splayed on wide shoulders.  The general didn’t want to put her down, but Aeris deserved the soft bed.  Fixing the blankets and sheets around, Sephiroth steeled his heart for her cries.  The warmth of the covers did help her trembling, but his sharp eyes still caught slightest quake.

Project: Book Reviews
Active Progress

This week I plan to update three book reviews: the unfinished City of Bones and The Invisible Library (also unfinished) in addition to Mistborn: The Final Empire.  All the remaining reviews that need updated are unfinished, and I have no full reviews to complete at this time.

What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 7/23/16          The State of the Writer: 8/6/16–>



The Alphabet Book Tag

I saw this post on Captivated-By-Fantasy’s blog a few months ago and bookmarked it for later as it seemed like something I would enjoy.  I finally have little time to post it.  I really wanted to include links and book covers, but alas I truly only have a little time.  I may come back later and update it with embellishments, but for now the title and author will have to do.
Inspired by this I also plan to do an Alphabet Movie and Alphabet Game Tag.  Please feel free to do either of those first if you’re so inclined.  I’d love if you tagged me in it, too, so I can see what you come up with 🙂

The Rules

Pick a book that is on your shelf (TBR) or one that you have read in the past and fill out each letter of the alphabet with the title.  I personally tried to only use one book per author just as a challenge to myself.  You are under no obligation to do this if you decide to do the tag.

The Tag

# – 3 Gates of the Dead by Jonathon Ryan (Read)

A – (The) Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman (Read)

B – (The) Belgariad by David Eddings (TBR)

C – (The) Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel (Read)

D – Deerskin by Robin McKinley (Read)

E – (An) Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (TBR)

F – (The) Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Read)

G – (A) Game of Thrones by George R R Martin (Read)

H – (The) Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (Read)

I – In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente (Read)

J – (The) Jade Dragon by Fia Black (Read)

K – (The) King Must Die by Mary Renault (Read)

L – (The) Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (Read)

M – Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice (Read)

N – (The) Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Read)

O – (The) Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (Read)

P – Prospero’s Children by Jan Siegel (Read)

Q – (The) Quantum Door by John Ballagh (TBR)

R – Redwall by Brian Jacques (Read)

S – Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty (Read)

T – Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams (Read)

U – (An) Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel (TBR)

V – (The) Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (TBR)

W – Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin (Read)

X – Xanadu (edited) by Jane Yolen (Read)

Y – Yarrow by Charles de Lint (TBR)

Z – Z for Zachariah by Robert C O’Brien (Read)

If you decide to do this please tag me!  I’d love to see your answers 🙂

The State of the Reader: 7/27/16

<–The State of the Reader: 7/20/16          The State of the Reader: 8/3/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.  Some discussions of suicide as it pertains to narratives.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016
Date Finished: July 26, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

I have a lot to say about this narrative poem.  In reading it I realized I’ve seen and used the paradigms in it numerous times.  My paranormal romance novel arguably has the meta-motif of using the assault of a woman to motivate a male character.  This of course causes her erasure from the narrative as a physical entity (it’s symbolically similar in this regard to what happens in FFVII :\)  I’m not sure how proud I feel about that.  There are of details that may balance out my trepidation; however, I feel less wary about how I’m planning on using one in my next project The High Lord.  The “if you don’t fuck me I’ll blackmail you” is still pervasive in both narratives and real life.

My plan is to review Lucrece in the same format as Paradise Lost, which is in video.  As the only equipment I currently possess is a laptop (with camera) and iPhone (also with camera, but a cracked screen and no memory), it may be a while before this happens.  I’m planning on procuring equipment at some point, though I still don’t really have a place to record.  I’ll keep you all posted (if you’re interested).

Books Unfinished This Week: 1

Title: The Invisible Library
Series Title: The Invisible Library
Author: Genevieve Cogman
Date Added: June 14, 2016
Date Started: July 17, 2016
Date Declared Unfinished: July 25, 2016
Final Progress: 17%

The concept of this book was really interesting.  It was marketed as something Doctor Who fans would really flock, too, and indeed I can see why that would be so.  The characters couldn’t seem to settle on any kind of solid personality though (like the Doctor can’t settle on a form…see what I did?), and there was too much info dumping.  I usually like that, but it could’ve been better woven in.

I’ll be writing an Unfinished review of this where I’ll elaborate more.

Books Currently Reading: 1
Change from Last Week:

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 69%

I’m still on the chapter about Malkuth.  For some reason I thought I was supposed to finish the one on Yesod last week, but apparently I was supposed to complete Malkuth.  Ah well.  I finished (and unfinished) two books this week.  I’ll finish up Malkuth before next Wednesday.  I’m nearly finished the book proper…after ten years.  I suppose that’s accurate.  A year for each Holy Sephiroth (I’ll show myself out…)

Continue reading

By the Sea by Katherine McIntyre

Title: By the Sea
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 77
Publication Date: June 13, 2014
Media Type: Kindle

“Most kids had imaginary friends, but most weren’t like Megan’s friend Niall. There were rules: only at night and only by the sea. She could’ve sworn he was real, but when someone vanishes without a trace, what else can you believe?

All that was seven years ago, buried in the past until Niall shows up in town with his tight swimmer’s body and easy smile. For Megan, just the sight of him is enough to tear open a scar that never fully healed. However, their reunion only elicits more questions. Niall’s keeping secrets, unbelievable ones, and as Megan delves into the supernatural depths of who he really is, she’s sure he’ll vanish again.

Megan’s not stupid—she knows how bad it’ll hurt if she gets involved. The first time Niall disappeared, she never thought she’d recover. But the moment they lock eyes, it’s too late—because Megan will go to any length to see that boy smile.”

I generally hate surprises unless it comes to stories. Being well versed in general mythology, I know the lore about selkies: human to seal shapeshifters who leave their seal pelts behind when the change. This leaves them vulnerable to theft of their true identity, for a selkie without his seal skin is only half whole. This is the foundation of By the Sea.

Like many young girls Megan has an imaginary friend; the only difference is hers is real. Then he disappears making Megan doubt her sanity and her worth. Now several years later, while working as a waitress, she notices something odd about her new coworker, and it doesn’t take her long to realize he’s her “imaginary friend” Niall. Initially angry and betrayed until Niall explains the reason for his desertion and also entreats her for help in restoring him to his full self.

I was pleasantly surprised by the twist in this story, for I’ve never seen this combination of fae before. The antagonist is terrifying and makes the story take quite a dark turn, putting both Niall and Megan in horrifying danger, and shattering her perceptions of the real world.

This story is well written with an almost whimsical tone to begin. The language leads you to think of the sea, breathy and light to glide alongside the loss the main character feels. The tension is heightened beautifully at the dire moments where you feel the same terror as the characters, doubly Megan whose suddenly thrown into a world she never knew existed. Their romance is sweet and almost childlike, as if Megan is still dealing with unresolved issues from that time, but it fits perfectly due to Niall’s true nature. They can both grow together. Him in the aftermath, no longer trapped but a willing denizen of her sphere, and her now privy to the secrets of his nature.

5 stars.




Borrowed Lives

A short Final Fantasy VII fanfiction pairing Aeris and Sephiroth that occurs mid-canon at the juncture of the Sleeping Forest.  The fated pair have history, and the flower girl demands a sacrifice the Great General cannot refuse.
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for nuances and additions to the story’s plot.
Artwork Disclaimer: I do not own the below work of art or the artwork on the banner.  The original picture source for the below is located here.  The original picture source for the banner is located here.

For as I live this borrowed life,
This silence I shall keep.
Today I breathe until I die,
But never let me weep.”
-“Borrowed Life”

Aeris Among Flowers

The Sleeping Forest awoke to the step of the Planet’s dearest child.  Ever fragile but never afraid, she ran without pause towards her fate.  Soft bangs brushed wind blossomed cheeks as the trees turned from grey to pure white.


Yes, but never alone, she said without word to the breeze.  It joined sea and sky and all life between to be part of that intricate dance.  Beneath high hanging boughs she sank to her knees and the grass below bent without rue.  She was praying in the position she knew she would die as starlight white lilies grew round.  Not meaning to call them, she felt swift regret to be squandering such precious gifts, but the pulse of life was too great in this instant, knowing it soon would be silenced.

She squeezed her eyes shut, shielding the green that had always marked her as different.  No common hue, they shone with the color of the tide that dwelt inside all.  The memories were hard, but the prayer came easy…strength, light, and hope above all.  It would not be enough.  Not this last time.  Not enough to quench the darkness.  Her people’s last city awaited her shade, and she needed more than courage.

There was no sound for warning or herald, but the maiden knew that he was there.  Opening her eyes, auburn veiled her vision to his sturdy, black boots standing close.  Their proximity startled though she hid the gasp as she lowered her hands to her thighs.

In awe she looked up, lips pink and parting.  She always forgot just how tall…but more than that she forgot he was beautiful, despite darkness that ate as his heart.  A winter angel draped in black with moonlight swirled around.  His skin was whiter than alabaster cold as if the sun were too frightened to touch, and the hollows dark beneath his eyes were spilled with emerald light.  She remembered again how to breathe through her awe and wished memory would grant her this grace.  As though in his absence there was a forgetting cast upon like a spell.  The wind then in mocking blew silver strands forward so they barely brushed her cheeks.

He was looking down at her with face still as marble, clenching gloved hands into fists.  The living heat of those green eyes could bring grown men to their knees, and slit pupils to shame the king of cats cut sharper than the sword at his side.  Behind dark lashes longer than hers, the Mako light sheared through, and though she knew she had no choice, the fragile maid still shook.

“You know I will not do this.”  And she quivered all the more.  His low voice awakened deep heat in her skin, and she blushed to suppress the plea.  It was almost enough to abandon her purpose and give into her shameful desire.

“And you know we have no choice.”  It had always been there.  The unspoken arrangement.  Ever since he’d protected her long ago in the labs before they could make separate escapes.  Though neither one was truly free.  All the players knew the farce, the jailers and the jailed.  A bigger cage was still a prison even if it contained the world.

“The darkness is coming.”  She held taut his gaze, though blinked as he did not. “And the light will soon be veiled.”

“This is madness, Aeris.” He turned away, ripping fingers through silver hair.  No matter how ripped how flung or torn, it always fell in perfection.  The high bangs ever cross his face were just the same as hers.

And no matter how blood soaked, she thought without willing, it will always shine so fair.

“No, Sephiroth,” she said aloud but so softly, “the madness is yet to come…”

He glared at her over his shoulder, staining armor with verdant light.

“You are the one it will corrupt.”

“That will never happen.”  He stepped slowly toward her like a cat in the hunt.  Aeris just shook her head.  As though she had seen.  As though it had happened.  As though past and future had met.

“It will.”  Her own small hands clenched tight.  “Your very cells will betray your will.  Even now you fight…”

And in his eyes arose a gleam as though woken at those words.  It came not from the Mako that swirled in his veins, but from something far deeper and old.  The Planet’s dear child knew true fear then as the ground beneath keened lament.

“The horror that gnaws at the heart of the world.  The thing that we must stop.”  She could feel the touch of that terrible corruption trying to worm beneath her skin.  He blinked in that instant and the glow became true, though his jaw clenched on words to curse fate.

“You can rage against heaven.  Hate the gods if you must.  You know it will do no good.”

The maledictions he spewed were so coarse in their vehemence Aeris wanted to stop her ears.  When he was done, silence full reigned as if the forest were too shamed to echo.

Sephiroth walked slowly back to where she knelt, whispering, “Why me?”

The wrath made him paler as green light was swallowed in the darkness beneath his eyes.

“You’ve killed people before.  Women, children…”  She looked away for the pain of that truth and forced herself not to think.

“That was different.  That was war.” His voice was flat with no regret.  “And I have never killed a child.”

“There were children in Nibelheim…”

The general’s lip curled in a bitter sneer.  “That was different, too.”  Again he turned away from her.  Unable to witness the pre-gifted forgiveness as she begged him to do the most foul.  His hair swept soft against his coat like snow in the abyss.  Closing his eyes to what was unseen, even in pain he was nothing but beauty.

“Do you remember, Sephiroth?” Soft but relentless, and Mako swirled cold for the past.

“I remember…”  She froze to the sight of overlarge iris and slit pupil oh so spare.  “I remember watching from the outside as hatred and rage took me over for reasons that now seem so faint.  And when it was done and the world lay in ashes, the dead were still able to scream.”

“The reasons were for it alone and the cruel lies you were told.”

His hair washed his vision but still he could see her kneeling beneath the white tree.  Unknowing in her innocence how words could find old wounds.

“You know they were lies now, don’t you?”

Still as a statue Sephiroth stood, and his eyes lit the pale of her face.  Aeris sighed and clasped her hands tighter, praying pain give her strength to go on.  

“It is beyond that which is monstrous,” the general whispered, “but I’m a monster, too.”

“And you won’t even know that you’re broken.”

He asked once again, “Why me?”

Her neck ached to look far up at him, but he deserved to know all the truth.

“So that you can become the world’s enemy.  In this we have a chance.”

“By me losing my reason to utter insanity and by you losing your life?!  How Aeris?  How will my murdering you bring the faintest bit of hope to the world?”  He wanted to shake her, she looked so calm, hiding her turmoil well.

“Don’t think of it as murder.”  She trembled as the Planet softly called her name.  “Think of it as putting me where I must be.”

“You still have not said why it must be me.” He glowered still, unapologetic as she shivered in the cold green light.  “Why not the boy?”

Aeris never imagined a voice of such greatness could hold hollow desperation.  She tried to keep the same from her face, but it was impossible to hide the feeling there.  Agony, sorrow, and something more shattered his last ounce of composure.  The light in his eyes boiled over in spilling with terrible searing heat.

Sephiroth lunged for her faster than Aeris could blink, clutching her upper arms.  His hands slid to her waist as he lifted her up, envy near burning her face.  Like the truth of his beauty, she always forgot how incredibly strong he was until those powerful hands were upon her with no hope of any escape.

“And you think well of this boy, don’t you?” he hissed, though he kept his grip gentle around.  The heat from those eyes would’ve scorched lesser lashes, but Aeris did not turn away.

“He will lead the others against you,” she whispered, “but I think much better of you.  You are the one who will be vilified, and none will ever know the truth…”

She bit her lip as he stood tall with one arm around her waist.  Her feet hung dangling in their old boots as the maiden gasped to immense power.  Splaying her limbs on cold epaulets, Aeris was dual captured by angel’s face: the beauty, the darkness, the towering height wove silver binding spells.  Skin called to skin, and she looked in surprise for the gloves that had been swiftly shed.  Despite his past rage and fierce jealousy, beyond gentleness brushed at her cheek.  Always so careful, she wanted to weep.  Always so careful with me.  N-Not like the others with needles and tests, but they never shared what we have…

“Sephiroth…please,” Aeris near moaned, struggling to pull herself higher.  The hint of a smile shadowed his lips as he tossed the maid into both arms.  Effortless, easy, the grace of the strong, the song of the all-powerful.  Clinging to steel, she parted her lips, and his were as eager to meld.  He crushed her so close, the voice of her need vibrated through their tongues.

Beneath the white tree, he laid Aeris down, as she smoothed back that moonlight hair.  His face mocked all angels, and she wanted to sear the sight into summer eyes.  Over his cheek, along his jaw line, the flower maid drew fragile finger.  Tracing the straps that crossed over his chest ‘til he drove his tongue in her again.

Pink buttons parted without a protest to reveal those cream white thighs.  He reaction was painted in Mako’s gleam as what he saw in her face spurred him on.   Voice a low song poured in her ear made her breath come too fast as she begged.  Her mouth opened like a flower before his tongue as the little maid whimpered her want.  He tightened his hand around her frail wrists, holding them over her head.  Aeris arched her back as his teeth scored her throat, his tongue playing patterns in swirl.  Each kiss a blessing descending down ‘til her breasts bore the brunt of that heat.  He gazed up with half smile, curling one end, as Aeris claimed them for her own.  He nibbled her lower, and she tangled her fingers in endless silken skein.

Her braid came undone at the touch of his fingers so moonlight and auburn swirled.  Laid in the lilies so called by her light, the Cetra framed the fallen’s face.  She was ready for him, overflowing, and willing, though pulled so terribly taut.  He dared not drive deeply.  That would come later… The light from his eyes cut enough.  Yet ever willing, her thighs more spread, and each tempered thrust brought a squeak.

When it was over and their clothes were straightened, she knelt now for she could not stand.  Salt covered red cheeks, but Aeris knew not if she wept for joy or rue.

“My heart was always yours to break.”  His low voice stirred the shadows that would not dare creep close.  The maid looked down at the hands in her lap, while the voice of the world murmured still.  A quiet tear slipped past her guarding, so grateful to not be forsaken.

“I suppose,” she said with voice now hoarse, “it is only fair I return the favor.”

He lowered his head accepting at last as dying day framed him in glory.  Then swift to surprise he knelt as she did, tilting her chin for a final kiss.  A slow caress of two tongues dancing as he smoothed that tear with his thumb.

Sephiroth stood still full of grace, holding to her like a wish.  She rose as far as her knees would allow with a whimper at the release.  He gazed down at the lilies bleeding their fragrance, crushed and dying at her feet.  “The things that are most beautiful die long before their time.”  He cupped the pale, well salted cheek with hands again cloaked in black.

“Some things were never meant to last…” Aeris answered refusing to let her voice break.

“I give you this promise then.”  He stood tall in his vow, the Great General again, and touched brief the Masamune.  “It is so sharp you will not feel it.”

All that he bore in these final moments was hidden in the light of his eyes.  He yearned for her still as Aeris believed him, waiting for what he did not know.  Perhaps for her to tell him that all was a farce and beg him take her away, but he’d seen too much in his hard life to not doubt the horror was true.

Aeris freed her tongue when the forest enclosed him, overjoyed but not proud she had held.  Memory would more than match what death could not take too soon.


Aeris was waiting in the position she’d die in on an altar made of light.  Nothing else mattered but the words of her prayer as she pleaded for hope to come true.  Not the hard sphere held between her soft palms, nor the boy with his sword raised in anguish.  The players in their places, she had to believe, or else it’s all in vain.

The thought came to him as he flew in the gleam of flawless steel…to miss, to falter, to strike the boy who he saw in rage threatened her life.  But Sephiroth knew he could not betray her, not on the oath he had sworn.

It was as clean as he could make it and her heart was split in two.  The red heat of purity washed the face of death, but winter could never be melted.  As the sword wept the blood of the innocent, its master shed tear unseen.  It swept away reason and sanity, sundering all memories so passed.  The horror then rose up to claim him, sword shedding gore like a second skin.  No more for his memory for lies were his mantra.  He did not even watch her fall.  Still in death, the murdered could smile, as the gates of the world opened wide.  The first wheel had been set into motion, and he had kept this promise for her.






Question of the Week: 7/24/16

<–Question of the Week: 7/17/16          Question of the Week: 7/31/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s your favorite movie genre?

This is a question I don’t really have an answer for since my favorite movies are across multiple genres.  I love a good story, and good stories are not genre bound.

It would probably be easier to give some of my favorite movies and see what genres they encompass.  For many years I considered Constantine my favorite movie.


It’s still up there, but I have so many favorites that I can’t just considering one movie the One (…just realized this is hilarious because of Keanu Reeves).  I of course love Advent Children as a side effect of loving/being obsessed with Final Fantasy VII,

Advent Children

and many other animated movies have my heart.  Pixar’s Ratatouille I can claim as a favorite: my favorite Pixar movie,


and I’m a bit torn between which (just) Disney movie I love more: Frozen or Big Hero 6.

Frozen & BH6 Collage

I still think I lean slightly towards Frozen because sisterly power and female representation, but they both made me cry.

Then there are the Marvel movies (which is also Disney let’s not forget lol).  I love all of the Phase One films, though oddly Thor is probably my least favorite.  It’s not a bad movie, but I prefer Thor: The Dark World, and of course I love Avengers for various reasons.

Various reasons

Though, like Big Hero 6 and Frozen, I don’t know if I could decide between it and Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Guardians of the Galaxy

Avengers has the indisputable Big Damn Hero’s, but Guardians (which I’ve reviewed) speaks to universal and ubiquitous pain no matter where you might be in the universe.

So looking at this list, I’d say I like dramas with sci-fi and/or fantasy elements.

What’s your favorite movie genre?  Is it more of a mixed bag like mine or you can definite pinpoint one specifically?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 7/17/16          Question of the Week: 7/31/16–>


The State of the Writer: 7/23/16

<–The State of the Writer: 7/16/16          The State of the Writer: 7/30/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Content Warning: Discussions of rape and rape rhetoric.

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 273, 963
Prior Word Count: 274,492
Word Difference: -529
Status: Editing
Progress: 2nd Edit of Chapter 2

Angel Wing Pin

I started the second edit of Chapter 2 this week and thoroughly abandoned any ideas of finishing the full edit by Christmas.  Second edits tend to go smoother than firsts, since many of the worst tangles have been worked out.  I can usually edit more pages the second time around in one sitting.  Last night I made it through three.  It was also late, and I was tired, so it’s possible in more ideal conditions, I could edit more.  I’d like to say the second edit will be finished by weekend’s, er, end, but I always seem to be wrong with these things, so I’m not going to bother to predict.

The angel wing pin picture above comes with a background story.   When I initially reached this point of the story, I was 90% certain I was going to make him mayor of the town.  I’m not sure what the 10% negative was, but once I realized I’d again be making a Les Miserable reference, I was all for it.  Northern Lights takes a great deal of inspiration from Les Mis, and The Broken Rose is arguably an alternative spinoff of Northern Lights. 

After seeing the latest rendition of Hugo’s social masterpiece, I realized how I’d begin NL with Sephiroth chained in Midgar.  Granted that’s also a major Paradise Lost reference, but it was the scene in Les Mis where Cosette sees Jean Val Jean’s shackle scars that solidified it for me.  While Sephiroth has no (visible) scars, that scene in the movie made me visual Aeris finding him chained somewhere in the city.

Continue reading

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5)

<–The Name of the Wind (KC #1)

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Genre: Fantasy
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 24, 2016
Date Completed: July 14, 2016


Pages: 159
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Media Type: Paperback

“Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.

Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows…

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.”

The main (and only) character of this slim volume was introduced to us in the first book of The Kingkiller Chronicle, The Name of the WindShe is known as Auri and was discovered by Kvothe, the main character of the series.  As Auri is shrouded in timid mystery, Kvothe realizes he must speak softly and step lightly around this petite figure, but though mentioned this story is not about Kvothe.

Auri dwells in the Underthing, the hidden and labyrinthine world beneath the great university.  How long she has been there and why she is self-interred remains a mystery throughout the short novel, but Auri knows things no one knows and sees things no one sees.  She has an intrinsic understanding of the secret turnings of the world, a strong sense of everything’s proper place.  Beneath the seams she works to ensure that all is set to right as well as she can.

Continue reading

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni #1) (DNF)

This is an unfinished book review as I did not complete the book in question.  Sometimes a story doesn’t hold my interest enough or there’s a a fatal flaw in the writing that makes it impossible for me to read; however, I feel that I should still put up my impressions of the story and explain why I was unable to make it through.  These reviews will vary in length depending on how much of the novel I was able to complete.

Title: The Golem and the Jinni
Series Title: The Golem and the Jinni
Author: Helene Wecker
Genre: Fantasy

The Golem and the Jinni CoverPages: 486
Publication Date: April 2013
Media Type: Kindle

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

I was brought to Helene Wecker’s novel on the recommendation of a friend and fellow writing. After reading the blurb, I became a bit pre-enthralled because of the mention of Kabablistic magic, since I have the Tree of Life tattooed on my right arm.

The Golem and the Jinni follows the plight of Chava, a golem left alone in the world after her master dies at sea, and then moves to Ahmad, a jinni born of fire in the ancient Syrian desert. I downloaded a sample and read through, but something bothered me; something was lacking, though I couldn’t figure out what. So I searched through reviews and found mostly fours/fives before I stumbled upon a three. Here hid my kindred spirit who pointed out the tale’s lack of passion. That was it. That’s what was missing. The story was fine; the words more than serviceable, but there was no flame beneath, a sad lack for a novel partially about a fire entity. The author knows how to put words together, but never infused anything into them. I was quite disappointed, because I really, really wanted to like this story.

The sample ended not long after the introduction of Ahmad the jinni, and I toyed with the idea of buying the novel because I was interested in what happened to the characters, but the lack of passion stilled my hand. This would be a story that I would look up the synopsis for on Wikipedia rather than spend my time reading.  If you’re able to look past the missing passion I am sure it’s a more than adequate tale.

2 stars.