The Cookie of Fortune

The Cookie of Fortune

The salty odor of frying noodles added depth to the tang of chargrilled pork and hoisin sauce. Sweet enough to cling to the back of Jim’s throat and just earthy enough to make his stomach rumble in anticipation. Gaijin had the best Asian cuisine in San Francisco. No contest. Jim’s stomach gnawed on his spine

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Why people are worth your time

Why people are worth your time

This blog post is late. Here’s why: I’m writing to you from a messy place in my life. The dishes aren’t done, the floor could use a vacuum, and there’s an ever-present email list I need to tackle. Today — read, this week — didn’t go as planned. I had goals to divide and conquer.

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Realm Makers 2016: A New Trope

Realm Makers 2016: A New Trope

Note: This was supposed to be about 700 words. There is no way, my friends. No way that’s happening. In fact, this will probably my closest attempt to publishing a full-length novel. I hope you enjoy. (Feat. photo credit: Gretchen Kuykendall Engel) When I mention Realm Makers to folks, they always ask me what it

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Sharing what you love – A Ren Faire experience

Sharing what you love – A Ren Faire experience

We went to the local Renaissance Faire this weekend. It wasn’t the biggest one I’ve attended, but it was a really enjoyable event. The day was gorgeous, sunny with a cool breeze. Perfect for wandering amongst costumed anachronistic characters welcoming us as, “milord, milady,” declaring our toddler’s stroller her “royal carriage,” and gasping at our

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When good people make bad decisions

When good people make bad decisions

We’ve seen it happen over and over, and each time we just shake our heads. Good people make a bad decision or series of decisions and their lives (and usually those they love) change forever. How do you respond when you’re negatively affected by someone else’s bad decision? What if that person is you? Life

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Four of My Favorite Unfortunate Couples

Four of My Favorite Unfortunate Couples

It’s only the start of February, but stores have been advertising heart-shaped candy boxes and jewelry for at least the past two weeks. Valentine’s Day is coming! But is it really that huge a deal? My best friends and I used to call it Singles Awareness Day and, they might hate me for talking about

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Birdcages: Aurelia and the Albatross

Birdcages: Aurelia and the Albatross

The docks are quiet this early in the morning, no one awake except the bakers wafting yeasty smells from their brick ovens. The clock tower across the bridge wheezes and groans, its resigned chiming reluctantly acknowledging a new day. Londinium is two-tone this morning, shades of gray and sepia outlining the edges of stone buildings

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Katiller Character Short: Going Dark

Katiller Character Short: Going Dark

Ah, bok. I hate getting shot. Bener winced as Eser poured antiseptic over the furrow creasing Bener’s upper arm. He glanced down, grimacing as more blood beaded up on the wound. At least it’s just a graze. Much better than the alternative, had he been much slower ducking for cover. Didn’t make it hurt any

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What stories taught me about coming home

What stories taught me about coming home

I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks now. Staring at the blank page, turning over thoughts in my mind like laundry churning in the washing machine. Where do I start? How do I start? Where do I find words to articulate what I do not fully understand myself? A week or so ago

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Coffeeshop Talk: New Paths

Coffeeshop Talk: New Paths

The New Year is considered a time for a fresh start. We’re constantly being urged to create new goals. Lose more weight. Eat more kale. Be better. Be kinder. Be motivated to do all the things — but still try to take more time for ourselves. It’s not exactly the most relaxing thing to work on.

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The test of a true friend

The test of a true friend

Han Solo and Chewbacca. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Calvin and Hobbes. Merry and Pippin. Sherlock and Watson. Elizabeth and Jane Bennett. Mal Reynolds and Zoe Washburne.  Sam and Dean Winchester. It’s hard to think of one member of each fictional duo without thinking of the other, right? I mean, without Han Solo, we wouldn’t be

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Katiller Character Short: Between Brothers

Katiller Character Short: Between Brothers

If cooperating with the U.S. military means staying in places like this—I quit. Kenan scowled as yet another rat darted to a hole in the corner of the concrete bunker. There must be more rats in that wall than Savas has guns. “Here.” Savas’s gruff voice startled Kenan from his thoughts as his brother shoved

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