How Me Getting Stuck in a Virtual Castle Can Make You a Better Writer

How’s it going? A bit of a cryptic title, I know, but it reveals a little something people struggle with when they’re writing, living life, or what-have-ya.

Let’s get to it.

This virtual castle is Runescape’s Castle Drakan–it’s basically vampire-land…they’re everywhere. There are 7 quests in the series for this faction, and during a couple of them (mostly the last two), you are strenuously warned that you can’t use any kind of teleportation thingies once you’re inside the castle itself–doesn’t matter how powerful you are, they just don’t work.

The castle itself serves as a reminder of everything that takes place there–mostly the downfall of the vampire-resistance group you’ve been trying to help.

After you’ve finished the last quest in the series, after you fail the teleport, and you’ll be asked if you want to leave. When you pick “Yes,” you’ll be outside the castle, and the in-game chat box will tell you…

“Your body may have temporarily escaped Castle Drakan, but your mind remains trapped within…”

Do you struggle with that feeling in your day to day–thinking about things when you know you have better things to be doing with the rest of you (and your time)?

Sometimes I do–and it helps me to realize that those things are yesterday, an hour ago, five minutes ago, or what-have-ya, and they can’t be changed.

That’s something I have to remind myself of a lot, so I don’t get stuck in the “castle” of past failures, rejections, and mistakes.

How about you? Drop me a line in the comments–I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Oh, and it’s podcast day tomorrow, too.

Until next time,


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Why I Sweated It Out Listening to a Bearded British Man…

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty hot (and sweaty and not-so-nice). That locks down the meaning of the first part of the above title. On to part 2…

Let’s get to it.

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time over the past couple months (thank you!), you probably noticed me talking about a business swap I was part of inside a Facebook group.

The owner of that Facebook group talked a little bit about the swap in a video I watched yesterday, because apparently people who had the guts to contribute an idea are going to get a doc with all the ideas from everyone else in it, too, free (that part I knew).

And double apparently, he plans to sell this document to curious others who are interested in the ideas, but didn’t contribute. That part made me feel pretty awesome–because it’s now taken on a “premium” air that it didn’t have, and I wasn’t aware of it.

The other part I wanted to listen to (and why I listened all the way to the end), is that he ran another contest in his group to get ideas for his consulting biz (he’s branching out locally in his area in Britain).

Anyway, in return for generating an idea he planned to use, he would give 20% of the profits to the one who came up with that idea.

He saved that unveiling to the end, which is mostly the reason why I listened.

He’s already a great innovator, but it was good for me personally to get on out there and just try something.

Did I win? No–but then again, maybe I did on some level.

Until next time,


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Triple F: Remembering This Made All the Difference…

How’s your week been? It’s Triple F today, and you know what that means (or you will in a bit).

Let’s get to it.

This week was an interesting one for me–I got to talk to someone from Australia, so that was cool. And then I remembered it’s winter over there, while it’s something like 90 degrees here.

She reminded me of a lot of good ideas that I’d forgotten, which was awesome. I was looking at some click-baity stuff online yesterday, too, about words changing lives, and a lot of it was good.

So, as habit goes for me, I’ll mash that up for you in a prompt.

This week’s Fabulous Fiction Friday prompt is:

Your character remembers something and it changes their life.

All right then…tiny plot point, with gender, backstory, and what-have-ya to be added by you.

You can go for what you’d like here, of course…that’s why these prompts are so loose.

I thought of a couple things, of course.

How about Colin remembering how awesome his mom’s apple pies are? And maybe he goes back home to surprise her and his dad, since they live so far away. He’s shopping in the store in town, and he bumps into a girl he’s liked since they were little kids. He finds out she’s not married just yet, either, and spontaneously invites her over to his parents’ house to have pie and whatnot.

Sounds like a fun time–I love pie, after all…well most pies.

Or how about Raina is living as a simple housekeeper in a distant future, and pricks her finger, only to have memories come flooding back to her of someone…a warrior killing hordes on the battlefield, feared far and wide, only to recognize herself? So that means the family she’s cared about for so long are really…her captors? What’s going on here?

That’s enough to get the mental snowball rolling down the hill. And I didn’t even mention it was Friday the Thir–oops, there I did.

July 2018 is almost halfway over. It’s been interesting for me, for sure. How about you?

Make it a great weekend with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week),


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What Carlton Lassiter Can Teach You about My Behavior…

How’s it going? I hope you enjoyed Episode 6 of the podcast (although what I’ve been planning may have to be extended out to a couple weeks because it’ll take longer than I planned, provided what comes of it).

Let’s get to it.

Today I’m going to jaw a little about Psych. I probably have before, but if you don’t know, the bulk of it was a TV show over a decade or so old that followed a “psychic detective” named Shawn Spencer, who was really just an excellent observer.

Timothy Omundson played Carlton Lassiter in the Psych TV show (and Shamus McTiernan in the Disney show Luck of the Irish, as in “despite our nerves of steel, he did his best to Shamus.”)

Moving on…

At the very end of the original Psych series (before the musical and the movies, at least), Shawn Spencer sent a DVD to Lassie telling him lots of things. And right before Shawn confesses that he was never a real psychic…

Lassie rips the DVD out of the player and throws it away.

This fact of Shawn duping everyone was something he long suspected (probably), but he wanted to keep the mystery alive. And maybe on some level, Lassie wanted to stay ignorant of what was really going on…for what reason, I’m not sure.

There are points in my writing journey I’ve been like Lassie–on the cusp of knowing something could be amiss, or could be better, and ignoring things a little bit, or pretending it’s not what it really is.

That’s why I try to get out of my bubble every once in a while–it helps remind people I’m alive, and I get valuable feedback.

But I don’t think I do it nearly enough as is necessary.

And in that sense, I think we need to watch the whole DVD, so to speak.

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,


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How an Australian Lady (Gently) Slapped Me in the Back of the Head…

How’s it going? Today’s podcast day, of course, and I mentioned I’d talk about what happened when I had the meeting with the Australian lady.

Let’s get to it.

I’ll go into things a little bit in today’s episode. The thing is…it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know…

I just needed to be reminded.

Sometimes that’s the way writing (and life) both work. At least for me.

It’s happened to me more times than I care to count (or admit).

Here it is:–6-How-an-Australian-Lady-Gently-Slapped-Me-in-the-Back-of-the-Head-e1pi50

Enjoy it.

Until next time,


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I Remembered You Probably Want to Know What Happens after This…

How’s it going?

One of the reasons why I started this blog was to let you know what I could about my client interactions, when/if I could.

We get to go a little bit into that today.

Let’s get to it.

I’m actually going to be able to execute on another part of the online swap I was a part of a couple weeks ago (if everything goes all right).

Another Australian woman wanted to talk to me about an explainer script, from what it sounded like.

And she’s going to teach me how to productize my knowledge, which should be totally awesome to hear about.

I haven’t actually had this call yet, but when I do, I think it’ll be fun–I don’t feel pressure like I normally would if there was money possibly involved (money itself isn’t bad, of course–I just need a mindset tune-up, more than likely).

And even if this doesn’t lead to future work, this lady could know other people who would need my services, either now or in the future…and I’ll also have another sample for my portfolio.

So that’ll be pretty cool.

And depending on what’s what, some of what we talk about may end up in tomorrow’s podcast…which would be really exciting, at least to me.

Until next time,


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I’m Guilty of This after a Weekend Sometimes–Are You?

How was your weekend? Mine was very warm, not blazing hot, so that was good. Other than that, same old, same old.

And I thought about something I’m guilty of, especially on Mondays.

Let’s get to it.

Sometimes after a good weekend, I get ideas, to be sure. And most of the time, I use them when I’m here…

But sometimes on a Monday, after a good weekend, I wing it.

Or at times a busy or overly hot or cold weekend.

Or I can’t think of what to say–so I say something. Maybe it’s insightful, maybe not so much.

Sometimes for me, going off the cuff, at least to start with (or all the way to the end) seems more natural for my writing that planning everything out to the last detail–especially for shorter pieces.

My point is to put the effort in to show up, and do the best job I can to share with you what I’ve learned…

Even if my brain feels like a light bulb that just had water dumped on it when I sit down at the keyboard.

So I write, and something eventually comes to me.

Does that ever happen to you? Drop me a line in the comments about it–I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,


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Triple F: They Don’t Use Those Here…

How’s your week been?

Let’s get to it.

Today is Triple F, and that means a prompt for you–of course. Independence Day means fireworks, which rain prevented me from seeing a lot of this year (and outages would have made tuning in on TV a pain).

There’s always next year, though.

So of course, I decided to use fireworks, but with a twist.

Your prompt for this week’s Fabulous Fiction Friday is:

In your character’s world, they celebrate an Independence Day, but they don’t use fireworks. They use…

All right then–these prompts are becoming a tad bit formulaic–ugh. No backstory, gender, or what-have-ya–which you’ll have to supply on your own. Just a plot point. Maybe I’ll change it up, maybe I won’t…we’ll have to see.

Oh, and you’ll also have to figure out what this society uses for their Independence Day, why they use it, and what/who they’ve got independence from.

Something like:

Connor hasn’t been in this world too long–everybody’s taller than him, or has been since he landed here 30 years before. What puzzles him is that don’t use fireworks for their Independence Day. Here, they use Earth bananas. The flesh explodes everywhere, and everyone brings their bad-weather gear.

Or maybe Julie has finally booked a trip to a faraway star, only to get set up and realize the locals here explode candy canes instead of fireworks when they celebrate the equivalent of the 4th of July. It’s okay until super long shards fly everywhere. They haven’t got it quite right yet…but they do give out free pairs of safety glasses.

That’s enough to get the mental snowball rolling, I think.

July is just underway–make it a great month.

And make it a great weekend with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week),


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I Remembered I Pretty Much Forgot about This…

How’s it going? I hope you all here in the U.S. had a safe, happy, and fun 4th of July. Last night here was a combination of heavy rain and a few short-duration power outages, so there wasn’t too much I could see (several towns have fireworks that I can see from the house–just not this year).

But more than that, yesterday reminded me of something really important.

Let’s get to it.

To me, except for mentioning it on the podcast, I’m ashamed to say I practically forgot that it was July 4th, pretty much…I was so wrapped up in my normal day-to-day routine.

It’s days like yesterday that remind me how important it is to remember the things that really matter–about history, about me, and about writing itself.

I get so focused on just getting things done that I forget to slow down, in work and elsewhere, in a sprint to where I think is the “finish” line.

How about you? Do you get wrapped up in routine, and sometimes lose sight of the real, bigger picture? Drop me a line in the comments–I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,


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Podcast Ep. 5 and Independence Day…

How’s it going? Not much to say by way of an intro, considering what today is…

Let’s get to it.

Since today is July 4th/Independence Day in the U.S., I planned for this to be a short post to introduce my (hopefully also short) podcast on this same topic.

I don’t know if you’ll find it earth-shattering (probably not), but I do have some thoughts on the history of a 242-year-old nation, at least as far as writing itself is concerned.

(And I want you to be able to get back to grilling, chilling, and what-have-ya without too much interference from me.)

Anyway, here you go:–5-A-Few-Thoughts-on-How-July-4th-Can-Impact-Your-Fiction-and-Copy-e1ofae

Until next time,


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