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The importance of a word

I marvel at the power of language. I guess that’s some sort of prerequisite for wanting to write. I’ve been working on a new short story that references most of my enduring obsessions: MK-Ultra, the abuse of power, pseudo-science, that sort of thing.

In writing a scene about my protagonist’s regrets, I played around for some time between the words: “or” and “and.” Self-indulgent? Perhaps. But in listing things he had regrets about, vastly important. To use “or” suggests that he is somewhat careless, somewhat flippant about his lost opportunities.

For instance, being regretful about not studying the right subject at university or dating the right person. Which one is it? Do they matter that much?

But if you change the “or” to an “and,” things shift. If he regrets the subject as well as the romantic object of interest. Well, that’s different, isn’t it? We’re talking about two different people here.

And that’s why I love writing.

Image: Photo by Bert Heymans (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).


Writing Prompt: File 13

This week’s writing prompt is dedicated to all the NanoWrimo warriors out there. 50K ain’t no joke.

Filing Cabinet

Take a look at that filing cabinet. What’s buried in the back of the bottom drawer? Why are there no labels to be seen? And is that a guitar peeking out along the side?

Write. Kick that procrastination-monster squarely in its ugly ass.


Image: Photo licenced under CC 0 1.0

My Short Story’s Published and that is Awesome. Seriously Awesome.

You my recall that I recently recommended that you read a little magazine called Jersey Devil Press. I also mentioned that they accepted one of my short pieces.

In their November edition, you’ll find “Heatseeker,” a story by yours truly.

It’d be awesome if you gave it a read–and while you’re there, check out the other weird wonderfulness that is Jersey Devil Press.

Weird. Because it sure ain’t your granddaddy’s fiction.


Picture by Loulabelle Hales, feature cover art for the November Edition of Jersey Devil Press.

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