daily, Exercise in, Style, technical skill

The Daily Five

What exactly is this practice and why does it matter?

The daily 5 is a writing exercise wherein you spend 5 uninterrupted minutes writing every day. The point is to get your brain juices flowing to help with creativity.

But you know what else?  It makes you a better writer. Doing your daily 5 is like doing any other practice for any other skill. It refines technique and reveals the greater overarching concepts in your writing. Sometimes it’s themes or motifs; sometimes it’s just repeated grammatical errors. In any case, if you write in any capacity, doing 5 minutes per day will especially help. There are tons of prompts, ideas, and goal-oriented variations of the daily 5. Pick one and do it! Get writing!

And that’s my daily five. Stay tuned! Later today there’s a special video coming online that I’ll share here. And thenceforth, the paradigm shift will have begun!

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Excerpt, Exercise in, flash fiction, Just for fun, Style

Dear Juliette

Dear Juliette,
I’m told this letter will reach your home in six days. While I know it’s idiosyncratic in this day and age to handwrite letters anymore, I fear this is the only way I can reach you now. Our expedition into the Southern Rainforest was a bit more… Well, it was a success!
As it turns out, Sweet Flower, we’ve stumbled upon a species of primate more developed than we have ever dreamed! Oh, the lament! If only you could be with me, to witness this glorious discovery.  They have shed some features of similar sapient bipeds in favor of others, no doubt a simple evolutionary development.
What amazes me (and would stagger you as well, Sweet Flower) is that the species has actually developed rudimentary technology! Imagine this sight… Thinly-furred blue apes and monkeys together, creating semi-complex architectures of mud… a society of gatherers which searches high and low for every possible resource! It’s simply a spectacular view!
Starting next week, we are to begin observing them up close from a camp built to emulate their civilization. The best method of observation is imitation, as you say! It is at times like these that remind me why I opposed your decision to raise our child from a stable position in life. I admit, our lifestyle may make a child stand out in either a positive or negative light… but nonetheless, the thought of a family together reveling in this moment, embarking on the study of a sapient species not yet known to us. The thought is exhilarating.
I hope you’ll reconsider… At your command, Bryan is to take you to an airfield where you can find a pilot who will fly you to our coordinates!  Please, Juliette, gentlest Rose of Eden’s Garden, please bring our son and join me on this world-changing journey.

With insurmountable Passion, on December twelfth, Two Thousand and Sixteen.
James

Oh Sweetest James, how I’ve cried for your voice!  The postman managed to pull the letter from the sorting cycle perchance and brought it to me. He knows truly the depth of our love and the longing we endure. The moment I received your letter I began my reply! Your journey has taken you far beyond the range of cell towers. I have actually found myself dreaming that you didn’t lose your SAT phone on the waterfall. Though everyone may tell me how corny it is, I cannot help but want for my wandering bear. Our journey together would be immaculate, but you know I have to put our son’s future above all else. Perhaps in his later years, I may once again join you in the field of discovery!
These creatures sound nearly proto-human! You must tell me of any humanistic behaviors they exhibit – as though they haven’t already! I can so clearly visualize the image of a precious pink sunset, overtaking the rainforest as the ambient sounds of creatures settling for the evening imbues the scene with an enchanting – dare I say, haunting – melody of nature. Oh! These blue simians, how do they communicate? Surely they have as basic a language system as they do a tool system.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel I shouldn’t think about it. I shall call Bryan immediately and we will rush to meet you!  James has been calling out for adventure lately, anyway. This decision is the most exciting impulse I’ve ever had, next to the one that led me to you, you most endearing husband! Fear not, for tomorrow I shall be with you!

Lustfully Yearning Your Embrace, December Seventeenth, Twenty-Sixteen.
Juliette Morrison

P.S. Don’t think you’re going to get all the credit for discovering a new species, Mister! I’ve been alongside you in every one of your studies to date, and I don’t plan to miss one! Think of how great it would be to have James as a notable party as well! The Morrison Clan unveiling a new early society to the world! If they are similar enough to us, we could have a whole new model for human evolution in a controlled environment! This could be our seminal work!

Juliette, Sweet Rose of the Garden,
They are not apes… they are… of unknown origin. Our first attempt at direct contact ended in a blood bath! They have a cache of weapons stolen from humans who must have been traveling through this area. Their numbers are far greater than we initially estimated as well… what we thought was a society of only a few hundred, is in fact a number in the thousands. They have a form of communication beyond our grasp. I can only call it telepathy, as they seem to act as a hive.

Please, my Darling, stay as far away from here as possible… I think we have started what may be a devastating conflict. I have given Bryan instructions to take you and James to a Safe-House with a book of contacts within the government. I cannot explain the nature of what has happened except to say that these animals are not as they appear, they are armed, hostile, and quick to aggress.

Do not come to find me, I don’t think I’ll survive the night.

It has been a wild ride, my dearest love, I hope you will survive whatever comes of this. Our time together was the best time of my life.

-James

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Exercise in, Flash Fiction, Just for fun, Style, Under 500

A Student Talks to an English Major

“Dude, holy crap!”

“What? Everything alright?”

“I just saw that new RDJ movie! It was incredible!”

“Yeah, he’s always on point with his acting. And Robert Duvall? Forget about it. What more could you demand in a film?”

“I knoooooow! The feels!”

“Feelings.”

“There were so many points where I just felt like crying… It was awk.”

“Awkward.”

“And somebody had a laser pointer, I guess for the lulz.”

“Laughs.”

“OMG! I’ll BRB! GTG get summa dat BBQ.”

“… Friendshp over.”

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Exercise in, Style, Under 500

Why Bother?

Okay, y’all. I’m going to call this “Why Bother?” It’s an “initiative” I guess… the idea here is that I get exhausted by the plethora of people who question my every action, decision, ideal, moral, or whatever else they don’t understand. So, I’m just writing a blurb about why I bother with something people ask about. 95% of my facebook friends won’t see this but, it doesn’t matter. I’m doing it anyway because this is the internet and YOU CAN’T STOP ME! MUAHAHAHAHA!

Now, on the facebook version, I tagged a bunch of people… taking for granted that everyone on WordPress is a writer to some degree, this is a call to action for all of you. If you read this, please like and/or comment to let me know if you will be writing about something you’re driven towards. I’d like to make sure I read those!

 

Without further ado…

 

I don’t need a flat stomach; I need a strong core.
I don’t need to be big; I need to be powerful.
I don’t need to win the fight; I need to end the conflict.
I don’t need to change others, I need to change myself
I don’t need perfection; I need progress.

I practice Aikido because before I ever studied it, it had been established along the path I sought. I practice Aikido because it’s impossible for me to do without finding a way to improve. I practice Aikido because the art takes problems and creates solutions. The Aiki mind is never stumped, for there is always another way. The Aiki spirit is never trumped, as there is always progress to be made. The Aiki practitioner can only be defeated by the self and that is the central struggle we all face. Aikido leads the person you are to the person you will become and, if you are mindful, that person will become exactly who you intended.

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Style, Uncategorized

Magic: the Gathering Flavor text

This is just a compilation of flavor texts from cards that I really enjoy for any number of reasons. Those of you who follow the game will notice that I’ve been playing a long time, as some of the flavor texts are a form that is no longer allowed (stemming from the real world)


 

“Our war is against suffering, not against those who cause it” – Samite Creed

“Everyone deserves a chance to live.  My job is to make sure they get it.”

Just as each added feather steadies the wing, so does the flock grow stronger with each new member.

“Believe in the ideal, not the idol” – Serra

Justice flies swiftly on angry wings.

Though those who study are as many as the hairs on an ox, those who succeed are as rare as unicorns’ horns – Chinese Proverb

Wisdom is not the counting of all the drops in a waterfall.  Wisdom is learning why the water seeks the Earth

With natural laws abandoned, excess thrives.

Before tyrants or torturers, there was evil.

All ends in obliteration – love in hatred, life in death, and light in empty darkness

The spirit of the flame is the spirit of change.

Anger is fleeting; remorse is eternal.

Every act of destruction has a repercussion

“Do not fear adversity.  Let your courage be your strength”

“Because I am incapable of tears does not mean I have no need to shed them”

At times, survival must outweigh all other considerations

“For those of courage, even the sky holds no limits”

The one who dies with the most toys is still dead.

“The sword is just a tool.  It is the hand that delivers death”

“Friends teach what you want to know.  Enemies teach what you need to know.”

“The wise pay as much attention to what they throw away as to what they keep.”

“In Memories, we can find our deepest reserves of strength”

“In dark times, truth bears a blade.”

“People only say ‘I’m sure it was nothing’ when they are sure it was something”

“Spontaneous combustion is a myth.  If you burst into flames, someone wanted you to.” – Chandra Nalaar

“How blessed are some people, whose lives have  no fears, no dreads, to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.” – Bram Stoker, Dracula

“Not every thought is a good one.”

“The First step to peace is to learn how to forget.”

“Those who claim to know the world in its entirety rarely have the requisite perspective” – Ulmarus the Wise

“The fatal flaw in every plan is the assumption that you know more than your enemy”

“The only blow that matters is the killing blow”

“When civilization reaches out its greedy hand, take it off at the wrist” – Garruk Wildspeaker

“The Finest Maneuvers take place in three dimensions”

“Wars are not fought on a single front.”

“Masters of the sword know the blade is not the only weapon at their disposal.”

“Nothing’s more valuable than perfect timing.”

“Wounds of the flesh are easy to heal. Wounds of the mind may never be undone.”

“Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”

“’Invincible’ is just a word” –Gideon Jura

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flash fiction, Style, Under 500

Next time, just call 911 or something

I go to the local library and check out a few books. At first, I wasn’t sure I’d seen them. But on second glance, I realized the black shelf contained only a handful of old, leather-bound books. I picked one up and skipped in a few pages. I’d hardly ever seen this runic language in my lifetime.

Carrying the book, time seems to fly past. Yet upon arriving home, minutes become hours. Reading the material increases the velocity of my thoughts and my lucidity. Eventually, I reach the conclusion that the runes are not only extinct, but ciphered. Hours poured into the analysis of a single page. In the end, only one end can be reached. The book describes a gesture and an incantation. Performing the ritual, I open a window in space.

The experience blows me away. I watch businessmen sing karaoke in a Tokyo bar, then African tribes at war. Next, the window takes me to Europe, where a radical IRA cell plans an attack on a British-owned hospital. In that moment, the power at my disposal becomes apparent. I must stop anyone who would so callously take innocent lives in the masque of a political cause.

As I read further through the book, I learn of a way to reach through this window. With another spell, it becomes a door a door. The soldiers see me and immediately pointed their guns. The apparent fusion of two points in space disorients them as much as it does me. One thinks to throw a grenade. I close the door and open the window just in time to watch the grenade land in their house and explode.

I’ve never seen men lose limbs, burn in agony… their house must have been an explosives cache, as the thing practically disintegrated and not one man was left a complete body. I close the window before it is made clear if any survived. The image will haunt me forever. I know now the dangers of the power at my disposal, and why a wizard should never utilize his magic before trying a mundane solution to his problems.

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Excerpt, Exercise in, flash fiction, Style, technical skill

Mage: the Awakening

Is a table-top roleplaying game set in a modern fantasy. This game takes place in Ashville, NC. As an opportunity to practice writing, I will be chronicling my character’s exploits here in a weekly update. Here is his background info.

 


 

 

James (Code Name: CHASE) awakened during a covert strike mission targeting a Liberian Warlord. The warlord had an unknown informant within the CIA. The Warlord’s informant had detailed, first-hand knowledge of the assault and, as a result, the team never made it into the building. The wall they would have breached had been wired to several pounds extra of T4 explosive and all but James died. Of course, he would have, if the explosion hadn’t literally ripped him to shreds. At the moment of awakening, he was pulled from his mortal body and thrust into Pandemonium at the base of the Watchtower of the Iron Gauntlet. Upon climbing to the top, he saw all of the men and women he’d worked with for the secrets they’d kept from him. Most notably, he saw that the Warlord’s informant was his handler, Dominic. Dominic acted on orders from his superiors, whom James could not see. After returning to The Fallen World, he found Dominic, who was running the op, on the scene. Code Name: CHASE reported the event to his appointed psychiatrist who diagnosed him with PTSD. Transfered to Ashville, NC, CHASE thought he was here to retire but the GotV quickly recruited the Mastigos.

ST notes: CHASE currently resides in an extended-stay motel on the government’s pension (covers housing and food). He may have resided here and studied magic alone for a month or three. If anything details are missing, please ask!

 


For the nerdily inclined, here is the full sheet:

Shadowname: CHASE
Sleeper Name: James Alta
Concept: Recently Awakend Covert Operative
Virtue: Faith
Vice: Pride
Path: Mastigos
Order: Guardians of the Veil
Legacy: None

=================================================

ATTRIBUTES:
Mental
Intelligence: 4
Wits: 3
Resolve: 3

Physical
Strength: 1
Dexterity: 3
Stamina: 3

Social
Presence: 1
Manipulation: 3
Composure: 2

=================================================

SKILLS
Mental (-3 untrained)
Academics:
Computer: 1
Crafts: 2
Investigation: 3, CSI
Medicine: 2
Occult: 2
Politics: 2
Science:

Physical (-1 untrained)
Athletics:
Brawl:
Drive:
Firearms: 2
Larceny: 1
Stealth: 2, Hiding
Survival:
Weaponry:

Social (-1 untrained)
Animal Ken:
Empathy: 2
Expression: 1
Intimidation:
Persuasion: 2, Cutting a Deal
Socialize:
Streetwise: 2
Subterfuge: 2

=================================================

MERITS
High Speech 1
Status (Consilium) 1
Status (GotV) 1
Masque (Wounded Monk) 1

=================================================

ARCANA
Death:
Fate:
Forces:
Life:
Matter:
Mind: 2
Prime: 2
Space: 3
Spirit:
Time:

ROTES:
Remote Viewing, Intelligence + Investigation + Space, M:ta Core p235, Space 2

Forever Stranger, Wits + Subterfuge + Mind, M:ta Core p208, Mind 2

Rend the Weave, Composure + Occult + Prime, Prime 2

NIMBUS:
Vulgar only: 8 shadows as though he is a beacon of light. As casting progresses, shadows converge into one.

Covert Only: His shadow expands and contracts during casting. The motion is subtle enough not to be seen without scrutiny

OTHER TRAITS (FLAWS) :

EXPANDED MERITS
Masque – Wounded Monk
ST’s: I am unsure what character to assume under the guise of the masque… any suggestions?

=================================================

STATS
Defense: 2
Initiative: 5
Wisdom: 7
Size: 5
Speed: 9

Willpower: 5
Health: 7
Taint:

Gnosis: 2
Mana/Mana per turn:
7/2

EQUIPMENT

Spoiler
* denotes carried
** denotes black bag/mission gear

Weapons:
Glock 27 Machine Pistol, two 30 round magazines (60 total)*
Pocket knife*
.45 Glock + 2 spare magazines (21 rounds total)**
Bolt-action sniper rifle + 10 rounds**

Utility:
Zippo*
Mirrored Aviators (Dedicated Order Tool)*
Masque (TBD)*
lockpick set (+1 to relevant rolls)*
Field Medicine Kit including sutures**
Black Ops attire: Tactical harness, Night Vision Goggles, black on black cargo pants and shirt, combat boots (+1 stealth)**

Misc:
Pentacle (Reminder of faith in the system/patriotism to the order)*
Library Card (+1 Research)*
$1500 emergency fund
Surveillance gear: 2 parabolic mics, 1 laser mic
7 casual outfits (+1 blending into a crowd)
3 high-end suits + accessories (+1 persuasion)

BACKGROUND

Spoiler
James (Code Name: CHASE) awakened during a covert strike mission targeting a Liberian Warlord. The warlord had an unknown informant within the CIA. The Warlord’s informant had detailed, first-hand knowledge of the assault and, as a result, the team never made it into the building. The wall they would have breached had been wired to several pounds extra of T4 explosive and all but James died. Of course, he would have, if the explosion hadn’t literally ripped him to shreds. At the moment of awakening, he was pulled from his mortal body and thrust into Pandemonium at the base of the Watchtower of the Iron Gauntlet. Upon climbing to the top, he saw all of the men and women he’d worked with for the secrets they’d kept from him. Most notably, he saw that the Warlord’s informant was his handler, Dominic. Dominic acted on orders from his superiors, whom James could not see. After returning to The Fallen World, he found Dominic, who was running the op, on the scene. Code Name: CHASE reported the event to his appointed psychiatrist who diagnosed him with PTSD. Transfered to Ashville, NC, CHASE thought he was here to retire but the GotV quickly recruited the Mastigos.

ST notes: CHASE currently resides in an extended-stay motel on the government’s pension (covers housing and food). He may have resided here and studied magic alone for a month or three. If anything details are missing, please ask!

 

 

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