not yet ready

He shifted his weight slightly, nearly imperceptible in the flickering candle light of his study, and created all the space he would need for his hands to work the magic.  The anger that had danced in his eyes moments before was replaced by his normal stoic gaze.  When he spoke, the fire he let simmer in his words was intentional rather than an uncontrolled outburst, though he did take pleasure in watching his pupil wince.

“I may be getting old, but don’t think for a second that means you are ready to replace me.”

Despite his student’s insolence, the elder wizard was impressed with the young man’s confidence.  It proved he had chosen wisely when selecting who to train.  Still, there were many lessons that needed to be taught and learned before the student would ready to take over the duties of the master.

“Nothing to say for yourself?”

When no answer was forthcoming, with a wave of his hand, he motioned for the young man to leave.

His student stared him down instead, and, hoping to catch his teacher off-guard, quickly unleashed the most powerful spell he knew.  Lightning raced from his outstretched fingers.

The room swirled with energy and the master smiled sadly.  Perhaps he hadn’t chosen wisely after all.   His warding charms easily deflected the magical energy bolts, sending them sizzling into the wall behind him.

The pupil’s face fell as his master rose unscathed and the energy in the room exploded.  He could feel the weight of his master’s wrath before the spell had even finished being cast.  It crushed him from all sides, squeezing the light from his eyes and stealing the strength from his legs.

The last words he heard before he lost consciousness were, “You still have a lot to learn.”


Word Count: 298

This is a continuation of the story I started writing yesterday, and is still very much a work in progress as I want to expand it into a much larger piece.  Again, I could have, and wanted to, write more for this posting, but had to keep it under 300 words to meet the prompt criteria for this week’s Writing Challenge from The Daily Post:

The challenge

Not sure how to get going? Here are a few ideas to nudge your muse.

  • Write at least one piece of flash fiction. Each piece of flash fiction must be 300 words or less.
  • Write a six-word story. Need some inspiration? Check out some of the responses to the six-word story Daily Prompt.
  • Feeling extra sassy? Write at least one six-word story and one piece of flash fiction.
  • Not feeling into fiction? Write a flash fiction biography/autobiography.
  • Write a real-time flash fiction piece: the entire action takes place in the time it takes us to read it.

Do you like where I’m headed?  Do you think the student/teacher standoff is too overplayed in fantasy novels?

breaking news

Scientists at the Matticus Kingdom University (also known as The Daily Prompt) have proven that karma exists!

Initially, I was thinking that this information would have no impact on my day to day life.  I try to live as best I can.  I’m a good father.  I’m a good husband.  I’m a good jester.


Then I remembered all the time I spend in the car…

Now that I know that karma is real, I am going to have to curb the angry outbursts, the shaking fists, the hurled curse words, the finger gestures, the horn honking, the violent thoughts, and everything else that I do and think while out and about on my daily drives to and from work.  I’m going to have to redefine the nature of my commuter lifestyle.  I’m going to have to calm down, relax, and let all the idiots on the road with me continue to perform their inane driving without any negativity.

It is going to be hard.

Very, very, hard.

But, I certainly don’t want my reactions and retaliations while on the road to come back to me at some point in the future.

So, with that in mind… do any of my faithful kingdomites have any tips or tricks for safe, calm, peaceful driving on the chaotic roads of Southern California?

My first thought is to drink more.  But, something tells me that isn’t the smartest solution.

Also, this is the first Daily Prompt I’ve responded to in a long time.  Have you missed my daily contributions?  Should I do more of them?  Or, should I stick with the other prompts and random things I’ve been posting recently instead?

in the middle of the night

I’m awake again.  Why am I awake again?  It’s dark.  It’s very dark.  I can sense that mom and dad are nearby but they aren’t moving.  I hope they are okay.  What if they aren’t?  That.  Would.  Be.  Terrible!

*whimper whimper*

Oh, okay they are stirring, so they are okay.  But, they still aren’t awake.  And I’m still awake.  Why am I awake?  Why aren’t they awake?  Something must be wrong.  Something must be horribly awfully wrong!


Oh, they are okay.  Mom is comforting me now.  And Dad has rolled over completely so he’s okay too.  And they are both awake.  That’s good.  Everything is good.  I feel okay now.  I’m not sure why I’m awake.  I guess I could go back to sleep.  Maybe I’ll just close my eyes again…


Uh oh.  The little hairless kitty is awake again.  How come the two big hairless cats aren’t better at telling when he is awake.  I can tell.  I know my sister can tell too.  I think the big hairless cat that pets us can almost sense when he wakes up, but not like we can.  The big hairless cat that feeds us is pretty much useless.  But, he’s always up first, and he always makes sure we have food and clean water, so I guess he’s not entirely worthless.

Though, if one of them doesn’t wake up soon, the little hairless kitty is going to start screaming.  He has already started squirming and making that weird mewing sound.  He sure doesn’t sound like a cat.  But, then neither do the big cats most of the time.  But, that’s off point.  One of them needs to get up now, or…  Too late.  There he goes.



*licking paws*

*slinking off the bed to disappear into the darkness*

I think I’ll find someplace else to sleep for a bit.  I’ll come back so I can snuggle up with the big hairless cats again after they get the little one settled down and sleeping again.  I wonder where my sister is?  Maybe I should go find her.


This bit of silliness brought to you in part by the Weekly Writing Challenge, my ten month old son, and one of my two cats.  The challenge this week was to “consider things from a different point of view — to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Leave your moccasins and bunny slippers at the door, and tell us a tale from a fully-immersed perspective that is not your own.”

I opted to tackle the challenge using a combination of two of the suggested prompts: I picked a family member (or two) and went with split perspectives.  I probably went a bit sillier with the whole thing than was being asked for, as I didn’t really dive all that deep into how my characters view the world around them.  But, I did offer a glimpse into how they could see the very specific occasion of my son waking up the house in the middle of the night.  So, hopefully it’s close enough that nobody will call me on it.

What about you?  Did you link up to this week’s writing challenge?  Are you normally adept at seeing things in your life from different perspectives?  Do you think I stayed within the guidelines of the challenge?

A billet-doux for my wife

My Queen,

We spoke the words.  We meant them.  We locked eyes and said from that day on as we sought out what this world has to offer we would do so side by side, each others greatest supporter.  We promised love and adventure.  And Craig Armstrong’s “Portuguese Love Theme” played in the background.

We danced.  Our first dance.  Our movements in unison.  Our bodies as one.  Working together we told a story of love and our new life together.  And Michael Buble’s “Everything” played in the background:

“And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.”

We lived.  Bought a home.  Adopted kittens.  Brought a child into this world.  Of adventure, there has been plenty.  Our promises have been kept and will continue to be kept.  I wouldn’t want to share this life with anyone else.  I wouldn’t want to share our adventures with anyone else.  And +44’s “Make You Smile” played in the background.

The future is ours.  We will seek out new adventures.  We will walk hand-in-hand.  We will explore and learn and grow.  Through it all, my love will never falter.  I will lift you up just as you always lift me up.  We will dance always.  Our bodies moving as one.  And Michael Buble’s “Everything” will play in the background.

“And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.”

My love for you shines through in every line – those from the songs I sing to you, those from our bodies as we dance together.  My love shines through in every word – those I write to you, those I whisper in your ears late at night, those that go unspoken.

You ARE my everything,



Thank you Queen Creative for this wonderful opportunity to tell my wife how wonderful she is and how much she means to me:


Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Sometimes called a billet-doux, or a love letter, a love note is a personal letter to a loved one expressing affection.  The loved one does not necessarily have to be animate, human, alive, or known.

Suggested Prompts:

  • Write a love note to someone.  It can be to the love of your life, the world, or to yourself.  It can be an open letter to a celebrity, or the last love note of your life, or the one you’ve never sent.
  • Tell us about the a love note you received.
  • Show us a picture that represents writing with love, for love.
  • Imagine someone wrote you the perfect love note.  Make a list of all the things it includes.
  • … or make up your own related prompt!


And! I publicized this post, the first one I’ve ever done, through Twitter to comply with the request from this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge:

For this week’s featured-based challenge, try to find a blogging event through our Events Listings page and use one of these features to give some extra oomph to your entry:

  • Publicize your submission, making sure you edit your custom Publicize message to include any relevant hashtags or @mentions when your post is shared. In case you missed it, you can now automatically share your posts on Google+ as well.
  • If you’re going to be attending a few real world events and want to let your readers know where to find you, try creating your own custom calendar to use with the Upcoming Events Widget, which shows a list of happenings on a specific calendar feed. It’s a fun way to connect with others, while keeping track of your own social and writerly engagements.
  • Sometimes a contest or event takes place on other social networks, such as Facebook. If you participate in a Facebook-based event, try embedding a post from Facebook to get as much mileage as possible from your social networks to your blog.
  • Similarly, use the Media Explorer to search for and embed Tweets related to the event in which you’re participating. Many competitions will include a related hashtag — like #nablowrimo, or even #postaday — which lets you easily find fellow participants, and include yourself in the dialogue. With the Media Explorer, you can give a shout out to other participants who you particularly admire, or share a Twitter conversation with your blog followers.

the sauce

Photo courtesy of Michelle Weber.

Roberto prepared to spoon on the sauce.

This wasn’t just any sauce, mind you, it was his special creation: the culmination of his years of experience and expertise, his signature dish.  But, it couldn’t stand alone.  It needed something to be drizzled over to truly be complete.  Thus, he waited.

Carlo carefully plated his own masterpiece.  He took his time to make sure the presentation was perfect.  It simply wouldn’t do to have a single item out of place.  Genius cannot be rushed.

The two brothers, Roberto and Carlo, chefs extraordinaire, were known across the land as the finest cooks one could ever have the pleasure of being served by.  Their restaurant, Intingolo, had started humbly enough with the two of them working every shift on a shoestring budget and barely making ends meet.  Over the years word of the food had spread and the customers and rave reviews had poured in, allowing them to expand, hire help, expand again, and finally look around and feel like they had made it to where they wanted to be: working on their specialty dishes and leaving the rest of the business in capable hands.

Life had been good.

Then famous customers had started coming in, politicians, actors, sports stars, and the pressure to create works of art, pleasing to all of the senses, mounted.  Roberto and Carlo scrambled to find something that would define them and their restaurant, something that would appease the masses but also appeal to the more discerning palettes of their upper echelon clientele.

It was Roberto who had stumbled onto the sauce, and its secret ingredient, late one evening after the doors had been closed and the last of the staff had gone home for the night.  Carlo had worked countless hours after that to create a dish to compliment the sauce his brother had created and he too finally stumbled onto the right combination of flavors and textures.  They combined their creations, and, voila, they gave Intingolo a dish that would be raved about, craved, obsessed over and sought after through the country.

Roberto was clamored with request after request to give out the secret of his sauce.  The public wanted to know.  His peers wanted to know.  The world wanted to be able to at least attempt to make the delicious gravy in their kitchens at home.  He always refused.  He smiled, a knowing, sad and tired, smile after each attempt at getting him to divulge the ingredient list, but as long as the brother’s continued to garner fame and attention, as long as their restaurant was the one on the tip of everyone’s tongue, as long as they were the darlings of the kitchen, Roberto knew he couldn’t share the secret of his sauce with anyone other than his brother.

Carlo knew the truth of it, of course, he had been there the night Roberto had created it.  Plus, they were brothers and they shared everything anyway.  Roberto would have told Carlo how he had come up with the sauce even if Carlo hadn’t been there in those fateful late night hours.  Just as Carlo had shared the secrets of his dish with Roberto once he had perfected it.

They knew the “how” and the “what” of each others’ signature creation but they never once attempted to make them.  They were a team, they each had a role to fill, and they were okay with that.  It was as it was supposed to be.

The years passed, the restaurant thrived, Roberto and Carlo were offered guest appearances on several cooking shows, were asked for critiques on up-and-coming chefs, and were afforded every opportunity to thrive and grow their business, but every afternoon they returned to Intingolo and made sure they were on hand to create their dish whenever it was ordered.  It was their passion, their calling, their true love.

Eventually the truth came out.  When someone, or two brothers to be specific, has a secret that other people want to know they will find a way to discover the truth of that secret.  Staff members at the restaurant were bribed, money exchanged hands, hidden cameras were set up to record the brothers’ movements and after several weeks of having to move the cameras around to capture the right angles and the right settings of every step of the process, the entirety of the steps and ingredients to create the sauce and dish were caught.

It took less than 24 hours for the news to go public, for the restaurant to get shut down, and for Roberto, Carlo, and a third, unidentified, man to get hauled off to jail where all three were held without bail for their crimes.  In hindsight it was a marvel that the secret had lasted as long as it had.  Expose after special after investigative report was thrown together to track how they brothers had gotten away with it for as long as they had and to ensure that other famous restaurants and chefs weren’t employing similar tactics.

Due to the overwhelming and damaging evidence, all three men plead “nolo contendere” to the charges leveled against them.  As first time offenders, despite the overall mass of their crimes against humanity, the brothers were only sentenced to ten years in prison.  The public was outraged that the sentence was that long as the two chefs were still generally beloved by all.  The third man, received his third strike, and was sentenced to life in prison with the first possibility of parole in ten years time.  Though it was still his third strike and the Judge could not overlook that, it was statements from the brothers claiming the man’s innocence as to the purpose of the drugs he had been dealing Roberto for the past several years that the court factored in to being slightly lenient on the man.

The drug dealer truly hadn’t known the mdma (ecstasy) he’d been selling the elder brother was being used in creating the world famous sauce.


Word Count: 1,000

Written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge.
“This week, tell us a story based on this photo”

Pictures truly are worth 1,000 words.