Regularly Expressing

science, sci fi, writing, spirituality

Feeding the Souleater

This weekend I finished a new 6000 word short story called “Feeding the Souleater.” The concept is that in order to travel across a particularly dangerous icy wasteland, people need the aid and protection of giant wolves called souleaters. In return for its services, travelers need to feed the souleater a piece of themselves, a brightness associated with one of their memories. Sometimes the animal doesn’t like what it finds inside a person’s soul, however, and may turn on the one that feeds it. Some souleaters are more dangerous than otheres–and some who work as couriers have particularly unpleasant things within their spirits.

I will start shopping the story around soon. I can’t say how long it will be until it finds a home, but I’m eager for all of you to see it.


Book Review: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My LifeHow to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t generally read self-help books, or books on how to be a success, but I made an exception for this one because it was written by Scott Adams. I find his blog to be thought-provoking and inciteful, even if I don’t necessarily agree with his opinions. I found this book to be chock-full of useful advice about life and how to be more successful at it. One key piece of advice is to put your health first–ahead of family, your job, etc. because (he says, and I agree) you can’t be good at anything else until you take care of your own body. Anyhow, I strongly recommend it.

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Review of “The Bands of Mourning”

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6)The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is much to love about this book. And speaking of love, this story completes a story arc for Waxilliam Ladrian (a.k.a. Wax) in a most satisfying way. Wax has never been able to love anyone since the death of his first wife, Lessie. Instead of trying again, he got engaged to Steris for political reasons. All the while, I’ve been rooting for Steris’ sister, Marrisie, to claim his heart. She seems the more logical choice. Unlike her cold and calculating sister, she has a real interest in police work. Love, however, is never quite what you expect. Nor is it here.

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Villains!

My wife gave a talk about Villains (as defined by Tami Cowden) at a local writer’s meeting this Saturday. It occurred to
me to try and match them up with deadly sins. Even apart from the fact there are eight villain
archetypes and seven sins, things don’t line up exactly. No villain of any worth is based on
sloth. Unsurprisingly, pride seems to be one of the worst evils.

I think it’s probably useful to try and categorize the bad guys, if only to help keep their
characters varied and interesting in one’s stories. For some of these characters, the sin represents
the villain’s motive, in other cases it’s something they exploit in others.

Deadly Sin Archetype
Wrath/Greed Tyrant/Bitch: He just wants to take over the world.
Envy Bastard: Daddy should have loved him more.
Pride/Lust/Greed The Devil/Black Widow: This character is more about exploiting pride/lust/greed in others than having it.
?? The Traitor/Backstabber: This one seems to be more about what the character does than his/her motive.
Envy The Outcast: He doesn’t fit in, and resents the world for it.
Pride The Evil Genius: Know any genius coyote’s?
Gluttony/Lust The Sadist: It’s about the pleasure.
Pride The Terrorist/Fanatic: Nothing’s worse than a self righteous bad guy.
Pride The Matriarch: Loves only her own. Controlling.

Playing Around with Krita

Hello, World. I was playing around with Krita (the free paint program) this morning. Behold my picture, “Elf Magic.”

And, yes, I know Christmas isn’t in July.


A New Cover for “Warriors of the Hollow World”

I am pleased to announce the new cover for my wattpad story “Warriors of the Hollow World,” featuring the amazing Zahra.

In the chapter depicted in this image, Zahra portrays the character of Olara who is speaking electrotelpathically with her dead friend/servant for the first time since he was killed.

Does this cover make you want to read the story? I plan to tweak the cover over the coming weeks, so let me know what you think.

Olara, the leader of the Claw Clan, has known only war her entire life. Vengeance, like the artificial world she lives inside, has circumscribed her every thought and action. However, the universe is much bigger than she imagines, and the darkness filled with stars beneath the ground is more than a mythical realm of magic and legends–it is the past and future domain of her people. She could share friendship with other, distantly related, humanoid races that travel through space–if she can put her hatred aside. But whatever she chooses, there will be war.


“Warriors of the Hollow World” significant update


My serialized novel “Warriors of the Hollow World,” the story has just received a significant update–two new chapters at the beginning. That means if you haven’t started reading, now is an ideal time. If you’ve been following the tale on Wattpad, however, and voting for the chapters–thank you! Note, however, that Wattpad doesn’t understand the idea of inserting chapters, so if you want to give me new votes you need to re-vote for last two chapters, “First Contact” and “Party Beverage.”

Stay tuned. I’m going to get a new cover sometime in the next few weeks.


My Youngest Fan

Recently I ran into an old friend of mine, one of the few who received a printed copy of my only fanfiction work, Memoirs of a Sith Lord. He told me that his 5-year-old got hold of it, read it, and now considers it her favorite book and carries it with her everywhere. She even tried to get her kindergarten teacher to read it. In case you aren’t familiar with the story, it isn’t even remotely a children’s story, this is one precocious little girl. The lesson here, at least for me, is that writing fanfiction can be worthwhile, even if it doesn’t line your pockets with gold.


*Fangirls*

Why be a writer? Money can’t be the reason. Only a very few writers can earn enough to keep ramen in the cupboard by writing. Any tidbit of recognition is hard to come by, even from friends or family.

Then, one day, I wrote a piece of fanfiction which I called, “Memoirs of a Sith Lord.” People told me it was a waste of time since I can’t make any money at it. Since it’s posting, it’s gotten 2.6K reads and 224 votes on Wattpad. However, it’s the rare comments that really make it all worthwhile….

Your story “Memoirs of a Sith Lord” brought back buried feelings I had about Anakin and Padmè. How she was more than a queen and senator, but also a courageous fighter that was willing to kill and die for her loved ones. That was a Padmè I wanted to see in the canon universe.

And how the Jedi masters came to understand … was also basically wish fulfillment for me. *fangirls*

Thank you. I adored this fanfiction and all the emotion you packed into it.
[note from a fan, spoilers redacted]

Writers are delicate creatures. A little love is all we need to keep us going. If you want to see the story, you can find it here.