Half Switched Siblings

Hello, dear readers and happy spring! I’m not much for obligatory self promotion but I only do this every three months, so y’all are going to have to put up with me for a minute~

I’ve got a mailing list and I write new short stories and send them out every quarter! In case you couldn’t guess by the flowers that I have as my icon everywhere, this is my favorite season, and so this month I wanted to write a story that pays homage to the in-between. This short takes place at sunset on the vernal equinox between two worlds, with some characters who aren’t really one thing or the other.

Matteo and Marco are the Semivera twins, who appear as side characters in Runaways. In the book, they have a habit of bantering their sentences back and forth. They aren’t quite changelings, but they aren’t quite human. We also meet a weasel who’s smarter than your average animal, but also can’t speak. Several beta readers asked for an explanation, so I hope this helps! This story takes place about a year before the event of the major book and tells how the twins met their friend and found faerieland. It’s a wacky body-swapping changeling adventure about the Semivera Twins with a questionably experimental format, which I had altogether too much fun messing with.

If you want to read it, you can sign up at this link here and it’ll get automatically emailed to you!

Also when you sign up, you can have access to the backlog of all the other stories I’ve shared so far! I won’t flood your inbox, so I can promise this post is the most annoying thing you’ll read. Those other stories include:

  • A narrative rhyming fairy-tale poem about Jack of Fables – one dude from the 11th century who had an eventful (after) life
  • “Matter” – a magical realism/sci-fi story about a Keeper who lives at the bottom of a black hole giving a pep talk to a Traveller that falls in during their breaking point
  • “Brigid’s Visits” – a Christmas Carol ripoff exploring one of the side characters in Runaways, told in three verb tenses, because I enjoy making myself go insane.

That’s right, most mailing lists give you one cookie and I’m giving you the whole jar. What’s keeping you from signing up?

6 Ways DnD Has Made Me A Better Writer

This is a random topic compared to my usual posts, but it’s one that’s been knocking around in my brain for a while. I’m currently in five campaigns (that meet with varying degrees of regularity), I’ve finished several one-shots and two long-running games, and have two more on deck for the summer, so I’ve had plenty of experience coming up with whacky characters and navigating the dilemmas that the DMs throw at as. I’ve only DMed a few times myself, but I am always in storytelling mode, so this was really just the natural result of exposure to the clicky-clacky-math-rocks. This is less focused on mechanics, and more geared toward player dynamics and character creation, but I hope you find it useful!

Continue reading

Sparring and Scheming

This scene comes from the 2nd draft of my epic fantasy book, Storge. This is a villain POV chapter from the middle of the book, when the anarchists are planning their next strike against the Atilan government. I thought it would be interesting to explore a dynamic in which an antagonist wasn’t just a lofty individual manipulating others, but truly believed in a twisted ideology with a group of trusted friends. As an introduction: Esil is one of two main villains and the ringleader of the group. Amika is their tank, Samoth is the logistics guy, and Divad is the spy. They’re best friends who commit arson and terrorism! If you aren’t familiar with the story, you should first check out the WIP page. I wanted to share a different fight this month, but realized I already posted it, so if you want to read The Arena, you can also find that here! I hope you enjoy the scene!

Two days after their greatest victory and greatest defeat, the new Master of the Anarchists fought for his life. At least, that’s how it always felt when he sparred with Amika. Esil ducked under a crescent kick, dodged the spinning backfist strike, and danced away from hook punch just before it collided with his temple. Shifting his footing, he countered with a strike to her ribs, and she flinched back as his palm made impact. He retreated to reassess. There was his opening.

Master, I wish you would focus.” Samoth’s exasperated admonishment dripped with sarcasm. If Esil wasn’t so focused on making this shot, he’d have rolled his eyes. He cocked his leg up and-

Crashed to the ground as pain cracked through his shin. Across from him, Amika hopped on one leg, rubbing her own shin where it clashed against his.

“Good roundhouse,” she said through clenched teeth.

“Same to you.”

In an instant, he regained his footing. She moved into a fighting stance, ready to fire off another round of attacks, and grinning like a wild thing. He couldn’t see her teeth behind the mask, but he recognized the wicked glint in her eye and angle of her head. Inviting. Take another swing. I dare you.

“Carry on.” Esil called to Samoth, before diving at her with another combination.

That eye roll was audible.

Block. Counter. “We lost thirteen soldiers in the attack on the arena and of the ten others injured, all are making speedy recoveries,” Samoth droned.

“Very good!” Dodge a strike. Triple punch. Retreat.

“Divad led an intelligence mission today to collect data on the Atilan response. He’ll be arriving back with the news soon. I hope.”

Esil nodded, distracted by the report. Long enough for Amika to catch her breath. She responded with a rush of strikes and punches. He stumbled back, attempting to block, but blinding pain stung his nose as one elbow hit. Eyes blurred with automatic tears, blood dripped onto the drill floor, and Esil raised a hand for a cease.

Amika saluted to him, pulling off her mask to show the self-sure smile, and handed him a towel. Samoth glanced up for a second and raised an eyebrow, but didn’t pause for a breath as he continued, “It would be most advantageous to continue sowing dissent and fear amongst the people of the city to undermine what remains of the Council’s power. Already we’ve received news of a curfew, and funerary preparations for those we killed in the arena. It would be difficult to attack the temple itself, but undermining the religious efforts would be ideal. If the queen is a figurehead, striking to the heart of the Atilan bureaucracy would destabilize the whole construct.”

Esil gave Samoth a tired look past his watery eyes. “I can assure you; the queen is not a figurehead.”

“Regardless, my point stands,” Samoth said. He flipped a page, but before he could rattle off the next batch of notes, the door banged open and Divad appeared, beaming like a performer on the night of their opening show.

“Esil, tell me I’m your favorite!” he sang, before stopping dead in his tracks, “Oh sick Sotha, what happened to your face?!”

“I happened,” Amika said with a self-satisfied grin, “And Samoth, if you count his excellent decoy.”

“That was hardly intentional!” Sam protested from the sidelines.

Esil ignored both of them, “Divad, you’re my favorite if only because you haven’t caused me physical harm yet today. Please tell me the mission went well.”

“It. Was. Brilliant. I squirmed may way into the banquet hall itself,” Divad said with the smugness of a griffin stealing food. He sat next to Samoth and laid back against the bleachers to regale them with the story.

Why did you stay all night? Samoth asked. “I was worried they captured you, too. So soon after Mechat… they must be on high alert.”

“They had the most wonderful wines, I had to enjoy myself a little,” He protested. “But I appreciate your concern. If I left too quickly, they might have caught onto my ruse. I didn’t sneak in as a servant. They were all far too frightened to give me the pass. Instead, I gained entry to the banquet by impersonating a merchant—either high class Debilan or the insignificant cousin of a minor Atilan house. They’re crawling all over the palace like an infestation of roaches. It’s rather pathetic.”

“You got close to Lyss?” Esil asked. “I thought she knew everyone.”

“She was distracted,” Divad assured him. “I didn’t risk speaking with her, but I could overhear some plans, including- “ He leaned in and lowered his voice conspiratorially, always the actor. “-the time she will be most vulnerable to an attack.”

Amika lit up and gave him a friendly smack on the back. “You sneaky bastard, well done.”

February Goals Recap

Hello everyone, and happy March! I am more than ready for spring, and it’s already nice to feel my energy picking up as the days get longer. I really am just a plant. Seasonal depression sounds fake until the first warm day when you can smell the grass growing and you suddenly feel you can conquer the world. This was a busy month for me, with school hitting full stride, but I’m quite pleased with what I could accomplish so far!

Won by 2 points – 6/9

Do faebruary marker arts – For those who aren’t familiark, #faebruary is a monthly drawing challenge focusing on different fae! Sometimes there are daily prompt lists, or weekly themes. I featured three fae from my middle grade portal fantasy, Runaways, and one illustration of Jayel, who is a character from Faye Fight’s story Flames of Courage! You can see these up on my instagram.

Start Mistborn – Outside of rereading The Terebinth Tree Chronicles for my review and interview with Faye last month, I have not picked up a book since coming back to campus. Part of that is being super busy and no longer having an excuse to listen to audiobooks at work, part of it is laziness from scrolling through social media. However, I am giving up social media for Lent, so hopefully this will change for next month.

Read OOTI for Lila – Same as above. Order of the Ice is the 2nd book in a trilogy by one of my good friends, who you can find @writeblrfantasy on tumblr!

Take a stab at rereading the fanfic while runaways is out with beta readers – Yet again, I ran out of time.

WordPress tags, fix up posts– Would you believe I’ve been procrastinating this for over 4 months and it took 4 hours to finish? Anyhow, check out the tag cloud to see if there’s anything that catches your fancy!

author interview author platform book review changelings character development Character Introduction children's literature classics creative writing editing education epic fantasy fairy tales folklore high fantasy horror indie author indie books magic magic system middle grade fiction Monthly Goals my writing newsletter outlining plotting productivity reading recommendation Runaways science fiction short story siblings Storge story structure storytelling the count of monte cristo The Laoche Chronicles WIP excerpt work life balance worldbuilding Writing Advice writing community writing goals writing resources writing tips

Website and Instagram schedule – I scheduled AHEAD this month – you’ll be getting a Storge excerpt next week that continues to tie into February’s fighting theme.

Play at least one session of each dnd game – For context, I am currently in 5 different dnd games with three different groups of friends which all meet with varying regularity. I love collaborative storytelling, and when we’re not in session, we talk for hours about the dramatic backstories and reveals. I also do a ton of art for my PCs, so I made a new tumblr blog to ramble about those! You can find me @spitebears. That url is a long story haha.

Rewrite chapters 1&2&3 of Storge – I completed chapters 1 and 2 and got distracted from 3 by a new space-set-dragon-riders story called World Wanderers, but I wrote a ton of words in brainstorming that effects Storge, so I’m counting it as a win anyhow!

Check in with remaining Runaways Betas – They’re getting there… One of my new group has finished already, another new beta is making their way through at a steady pace, and my mother and family friend from home are… getting there, haha. However, the story (all two chapters of it) is kid-approved so far by my little siblings, so I’m taking that as a good sign!

That’s all I have for today, so thank you for reading! What are you working on this month? I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void, and so if I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! Happy Writing! 🙂