Tiny Youkai

A quick blur of moment drew his eye — a mouse, skimming over the ground? No, a tiny youkai, galloping through the tangled grass, waving stubby arms and piping something in a shrill, unintelligible voice.

Kaworu bent toward him. “What?”

Metal split the air above his bent shoulder and struck the tree beyond. Kaworu did not waste time looking after it but made his lean a roll, dodging to one side and coming up in a crouch. Continue reading

Betobeto-san, the Footstep Youkai

Happy Halloween! Let’s talk about something spooky.

Her footsteps in the litter and debris muffled the forest noises around her, and for a moment she considered humming to further drown the sounds that frightened her. But it would be foolish to handicap herself. She kept quiet, listening to her too-loud footsteps.

Twilight made the way difficult, and she hoped she was still going the right way. She slipped, half-losing her zouri. She paused, to refit it to her foot, and the footsteps did not. Continue reading

Kitsune-Mochi: A Trimming

Sometimes there’s a really great line which just doesn’t work.

In this case, the line (from Kitsune-Mochi) doesn’t work because there’s no one to have the conversation with, or at least not at this level of informality and honesty. And the voice is wholly wrong for the rest of the book. But this exchange which never happened captures the mood and motivation exactly. Continue reading

D&D Gone Off the Rails

English: A twenty-sided die (d20) as used in w...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s no secret that I’m a nerd and a geek, but I’m pretty new to the gamer scene. In fact, my first Dungeons & Dragons experience was at Gen Con a few years ago. And it was a lousy experience, to tell the truth. The scenario was written so badly that even the GM (assigned to run it, not his choice) realized that it wasn’t possible to save it.

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Rape in Life and Fiction

Tarquinius and Lucretia

Tarquinius and Lucretia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that’s not a pretentious blog post title or anything…..

As I write this, society (or at least social media) is still reeling with the verdict from the Stuebenville rape case, in which two high school athletes (illegally drinking) sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl (illegally drinking) and were convicted with minor sentences, possibly never carrying the sex offender label, with a warning from the judge to be careful “how you record things on social media that are so prevalent today.” That’s right, kids, if you’re going to rape, just be sure your friends don’t post incriminating evidence on YouTube.

My opinion’s clear enough in the above paragraph on that case, so I won’t spend any more time on that. But the trial prompted me to review a topic I’d been mulling occasionally already, on rape in fiction. Continue reading

The Music of the Spheres

Han Solo, image courtesy Wikipedia

Han Solo, image courtesy Wikipedia

Working on a science-fiction short and surprising myself with how much I’m enjoying it. One of my writers’ group last night commented that a character was “a mix of a symphony conductor and Han Solo” — and I’m pretty happy with that description.

I went searching today for some title ideas, and I happened across this nifty toy — tool — program — quest — thing, a computer code meant to blend mathematics and light and sound into a literal music of the spheres.
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