Muse on Monday – August 29, 2022

Would you want to know everything? It would simplify some things and massively complicate other things. And you’d always know how a book ended before you read it, so that would be annoying. Much of the conflict in stories is based on a lack of key knowledge: for instance, romantic comedies often hinge on a…

To Serve Man (and Woman)

To Serve Man (and Woman) The book was called To Serve Man. It was a cookbook. We told our Yrganian hosts that humans was preferable, but even aliens like obscure cultural references. The Yrganians were hospitable, but since most of their food would kill us instantly, they meticulously compiled a list of non-lethal foods and…

Muse on Monday – August 22, 2022

I don’t know about you, but this past week was a long week for me. I work in a university, and we have hundreds of new students arriving and getting ready to start classes. It’s hard to find time to eat sometimes, let alone write stories. Sometimes when you are busy and tired it is…

Shell Game

Shell Game The stall was just a door-on-sawhorses table spread with a selection of fantastical shells you could never find in a marine biology textbook. Most ships avoided the rift that had recently opened offshore, but this girl and her brother were clearly more enterprising. “How much?” I pointed at a coconut-sized blood-red shell. “10?”…

What is the Meaning of Life? Food? Yes!

What’s the Meaning of Life? Food? Yes! All my life goes around food. I bake to entertain. In 2020, when quarantine started, I was bored. We all sat at home for about a month without going outside except going to our garden. At that moment I started trying activities: started sewing and finished by bringing…

Finding Koimee

Finding Koimee I was just getting off my knees after looking under another garbage-strewn bench, when the flashlight beam fell on me. “Can I help you, sir.” It wasn’t a question. “Um, hi, sorry,” I said, shielding my eyes. “Just looking for Koimee.” “Is that your dog?” “No, he’s a frog.” “A frog.” I sighed….

Muse on Monday – August 15, 2022

Stories are everywhere. Not just ideas for stories but actual stories: if you see a wrecked car on the side of the road, that contains a whole host of stories, including the final one that led to it being wrecked. A painting holds the story of its creation as well as the ideas that the…

Writing Corner: Character Motivations

Have you ever read a story and when a character does something, you find yourself thinking, “Okay, but why?” This is a question you don’t want your readers to ask if you don’t have a plan how to answer it in the story. Characters should never do things just to make the story happen. Let’s…

Reunion of the Titans

Reunion of the Titans They arrived together, monstrous ships blotting out the sun as they landed. Trash dervished in the still air. Security forces poured out, forming concentric perimeters around the Meeting Location, scanning for threats in three dimensions. The two Titans descended, walking towards each other like a Wild West re-enactment. Either of their…

Muse on Monday – August 8, 2022

Emotions are very important in storytelling, of course. However, it is not only the characters that can have emotions. The entire story can have an overall feeling, whether it is sad, joyous, tense, scary or anything else. This is called the mood. You can show this in the descriptions of the setting (is the sky…