6 Books You Should Be Reading for Unique Worldbuilding

6 Books You Should Be Reading for Unique Worldbuilding

I’ll admit it. I like the funky mash-ups. I love the cross-genre novels that feature worldbuilding with cultures and elements that have never touched each other before. I think it’s fascinating when authors create fantasy and magic cultures as diverse as our world (which, let’s face it, is not solely medieval Europe). Unfortunately, well-written stories

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Finding the Soul of your Story | Lani Forbes

Finding the Soul of your Story | Lani Forbes

Much to my husband’s dismay, I could watch the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” over and over again for the rest of my life. Like a good wife, I tricked him into watching it with me by promising it was about World War II. I conveniently forgot to mention that it was a Cinderella story

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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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Writing from Real Life

Writing from Real Life

If you’re a writer, and even if you’re not, odds are you’ve heard the adage, “Write what you know.” And if you’re a writer, it’s probable you’ve sat and thought, “I know about grocery shopping, my work, and living in the suburbs. There’s nothing exciting about what I know.” And so we sit and we

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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-Legged Wisdom

Four-Legged Wisdom

This last week, I had the opportunity to dogsit for a friend. She (the animal) has lovely ruddy locks, a deep husky voice, and soulful brown eyes that will convince you without a doubt, that she has not eaten for the past two weeks, and therefore is starving, feed her now. She was a fun

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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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2015: The Year in Review

2015: The Year in Review

The trouble with driven, forward-thinking people is that they rarely take the time to look back. The past is the past, and it’s better left behind. In some cases, that’s true, but if we neglect to look back on what we’ve learned, we are destined to repeat mistakes. Not only that, but if we don’t take

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Life on the Wild Side

Life on the Wild Side

I sit curled on a rock at the dimly-lit watering hole, the thick blackness of the African night settling over me. It’s silent except for the far-off cough of zebras and the quiet lapping of a pair of hyenas come for an evening drink. They pad away as silently as they appeared. A shadow flits,

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Between the Lines: Kale Ravenwood

Between the Lines: Kale Ravenwood

RATED: PG for language Venus smells like the men’s room in a bar. And it’s not just the space port. It’s not Aphrodite City. No, Venus’s atmosphere smells like stale urine half cloaked by the cloying aroma of floral air deodorizers. Makes my head hurt. The chemical cocktail the engineers used to terraform the planet

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