A Captain’s Call to Duty

Vacation was officially over. “Papa, there’s a ‘bout in the driveway.” A young girl peered out the kitchen window as she handed a plate dripping with suds and water to the girl next to her. “And it has the Imperial Guard emblem on the doors,” the second girl added, drying the plate with a towel…

Of Terms and Titles

Last week, I bombarded you with a mega-ton of angst over the title of my Young Adult fantasy manuscript. The bottom line on that post? In its querying stage, the importance of a clever book title is insignificant compared to other aspects of the project (i.e., is the plot interesting and fresh? Is it well-written?),…

My Year of Reading YA

If you’ve spent time combing through the wealth of writing and editing advice for aspiring authors, you’ve no doubt come across this valuable nugget: “Read in the category/genre in which you want to write.” And what valuable advice it is. Reading in-category and in-genre familiarizes you with the styles, themes, and moods that dominate those…

Goodbye on the Promenade

“I’ve got something to tell you.” Dalyne smiled up at the man who’d spoken those words as they strolled through Saris Municipal Park. They’d taken the afternoon to enjoy one of the last temperate days of the Lesser Quatra season before the cold settled in. Leaves were already falling in a slow ballet from the…

Be Creative, Not Obnoxious

Writing rules are my friend. They are also my enemy. So in slightly outdated slang speak, that makes them my frenemy. Like spiders. I understand they serve an important purpose, and the large majority of them are benign. But that doesn’t mean I want them cozying up to me, crawling in my mouth while I…

A Genesis Revealed

Dr. Iatriss blinked several times and squinted at the info block in front of her. The crystal torch attached to the polished stone wall was beginning to dim. It normally produced enough light to brighten the entire bedroom. Today, it managed to illuminate only as far as the bed extending out from the adjacent wall,…

The Waiting Cursor

I am a writer. You’ve no idea how long that phrase sat on my screen, the cursor blinking at me while I decided what should come next.  It reminds me of a turn signal on a car that just sits at an abandoned intersection. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for another vehicle to approach and validate the…

Kaia and the Quillico

Kaia peeked under the cloth covering the critter cage. Yep, it was still alive, which was either a testament to the veracity of her scientific method, or else a real stroke of luck. The other half died shortly after the final separation phase. Her brother, Kaetos, cried for terracycles over the slimy yellow thing. She took…