Friday, 12 April 2013

Happily Ever After

I'd always thought things would never change. Except for the better, of course. But like most people, when I say that, I don't really mean it - it's more a hypothetical "some day in the future, in a way that doesn't impact on my comfortable life" change. I didn't want some huge fairy-tailesque ugly duckling or Cinderella conversion that I'd pinned my hopes and dreams on. That never seemed to pan out in the stories, so I didn't think it'd be any different in real life.

But it did change. It was incremental. Glacially slow. So slow in fact, that I never noticed. But through some weird kind of alchemy, I'm apparently an adult. Of course, there's relapses - no magic is completely foolproof. There has to be an evil stepmother or a wicked witch somewhere in the mix. It's not as bad as I thought it would be... happily my childhood prayer along the lines of "If I lose the sense of fun and foolishness and enjoyment of the simple things in life, please let me at least find satisfaction in somber monotony, so that I don't miss it" hasn't yet been necessary and it doesn't seem that it ever will be. So that is definitely some magic I have to be thankful for.

This isn't as polished as I'd like it to be, but it was better I complete this week's Trifecta writing challenge than keep it as a work in progress that I may or may not get back to. The prompt word was alchemy, and it ties in nicely to my weekend entry of advice giving. And since I am new to Trifecta, here's my introduction, too.

Monday, 8 April 2013

For the Hoard!

The climb was steep, and many times we’d thought about turning back. But we finally made it to the top of the volcano.

Although it was dormant, the fearful inhabitants of the nearby  village  claimed they saw the occasional wisp of smoke still arising from it... the caldera was said to be the demesne of a truculent dragon. Pfft. Dragons! Who believes those things are still alive these days? But there might still be some of the hoard up there, especially when the local populace is so lily livered.

The climb was steep, and many times we’d thought about turning back. But we finally made it to the top of the volcano.

The crater was huge, rocky, and (of course) devoid of large, scaly reptilian monsters. Unfortunately it was also depressingly treasure free. There wasn’t even a cave to build our hopes up. Just... lots of bones... scattered around...  everywhere...

Picture source

The word choice for this week's Monday Mixer was obvious once I'd read them, the story finished itself in no time flat. 

Trifecta Introduction

What is your name (real or otherwise)?
Snellopy. It comes from a starship pilot from an alien race in a computer game called Star Control 2, that I loved in high school.

Describe your writing style in three words. 
Aliens! Dragons! Humour!

How long have you been writing online? 
Flash fiction since 2011. A few one-off pieces before that, but they were on forums that have since been shuttered. And long ago, DMing in Never Winter Nights. That sort of counts, right?

Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in? 
I'm erratic, flitting around between various challenges, based on the prompts and what time I can scrounge to write in. More often than not, I only get to outline in my head what I'd write for it. Most of them have fairly low word counts, so that I am more likely to complete them as I have a short attention span. Here's a partial list:

The 100 Word Challenge

Tobias Mastrgrave posts plenty of prompts

Lillie McFerrin's Five Sentence Fiction

The Parking lot Confessional

Jeffrey Hollar's Monday Mixer

Mid-Week Blues-Buster

Business Card Fiction (though it seems to be dead)

Chuck Wendig has a prompt every Friday on Terrible Minds, and it was his site that got me back into writing.

Describe one way in which you could improve your writing. 
A lot less commas.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? 
I love Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds blog. All his advice is awesome. One excellent bit of advice he has is: Finish your Shit. I've a bunch of unfinished pieces that I'm slowly completing. When they're all done, I'll feel a lot better about how infrequently I write.

Who is your favorite author?  
Terry Pratchett, hands down. I loved him as a kid, and when I've revisited him, I've still enjoyed his books immensely (that hasn't always been the case when I've revisited some authors I was nostalgic about).

How do you make time to write?
Spare moments and downtime at work. Weekends and evenings is family time. My wife has said that I can have typing time if I want it at home, but I use that sparingly at the moment - maybe when I'm writing my third omnibus for my fifth series I'll take her up on that more frequently.

Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember--it must have a third definition.

Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn't miss reading.
I had a lot of fun writing this one: Progress report on Research Subject C1-MMA 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Who ever listens to advice?

Maturity is overrated. Important things like childlike wonder and an appreciation of simple pleasures are often trampled in the rush towards finding a special someone and a pay packet. Is it worth it?


I've been planning to enter Trifecta for a long time now, but never had time. They have a week day challenge, and a weekend Trifextra which is limited to 33 words, and runs over the weekend. This time, it was to give some advice.