Category Archives: fiction

Free Fiction Monday: Forest for the Trees – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Centuries ago, a tsunami hit the Oregon Coast, destroying miles of coastline. When beach erosion reveals the stumps of a dead forest from that disaster, Anne and Louisa cut school to see the trees.…

Source: Free Fiction Monday: Forest for the Trees – Kristine Kathryn Rusch


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‘Losing yourself’ in a fictional character can affect your real life

'Losing yourself' in a fictional character can affect your real life.

Traveling with the mind expands the possibilities.

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The idiopathic blathering idiot

The blathering idiot went to the dermatologist. Once the examination was over and the doctor had looked at his knuckle pads and his tinea versicolor, the dermatologist pronounced him a case of idiopathic medicine.

At first the blathering idiot felt insulted. While not the brightest bulb in the box or the sharpest saw on the rack, he did not consider himself an idiot, and he told the doctor so.

The doctor smiled, and then said, idiopathic means “modern medicine does not know the cause of either of your conditions.”

He then explained that for the knuckle pads, “we usually do nothing, unless they start causing you pain.”

For the tinea versicolor, a naturally occurring fungus that is in everybody’s skin, “it just runs a little wild in some people,” he gave the blathering idiot a prescription, then said of having two idiopathic conditions, “It just means you’re special.”

That made the blathering idiot feel better.

He then went to his local pharmacy to turn in his prescription. As he turned in the script, he saw a sign glued beneath the lip of the counter that read: “Select narcotics in time-delay safe.”

When the pharmacy technician took his prescription, the blathering idiot asked, “Which ones can I select?”

“Which what?” the tech asked.

“Which narcotics?” the blathering idiot said.

She looked at his prescription. “Your script doesn’t say anything about a narcotic.”

“But I can select one, right?”

She frowned. “No.”


“Because you’re not supposed to get any.”

Select Narcotics in Time Delay Safe

Select Narcotics in Time Delay Safe

“But it says I should select narcotics from the time delay safe.”

“It does not.”

“Yes, it does.”


He pointed at the sign. “Here!”

“It does not—”

“Yes, it does.” Clearly this young woman had not heard that he, the blathering idiot, was special. “Come out here and see.”

“I can’t.”

“Can’t what? Read?”

She glared at him. “I can’t come out there. It’s against the rules. I am the only person on duty back here right now and the rules say I can’t leave my station.”

“All I want is what the sign says I should select.”

“I think you should go to another pharmacy,” she said and offered him back the script. To be sure he understood, she pressed an intercom button and asked for “special assistance” in the pharmacy.

Insulted when a guard appeared, the blathering idiot snatched the script and marched out the door and to the next nearest pharmacy. As he walked up to the pharmacy counter, he again found the words: “Select narcotics in time delay safe” and hoped he would have better luck here.

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Some writing advice to consider

Here are three writing places you can go to get some advice. I sure there are others, but these three stops could be helpful:
From A to Z, literally in alphabetical order prolific author Jane Yolen discusses almost every aspect of story writing, from architecture to endings. None of the entries are long, so it is not as if you have to spend hours with your eyeballs glued to the screen. But hey, if you write, you’re probably already doing that anyway.
If you are more into writing non-fiction, then this list of practical tips from twenty-two authors could be of help for you. But there are nuggets of information for any writer, such as being willing to delete entire chapters and favorite passages. Not all the recommendations are so painful, but it takes more than fast fingers and a fluid imagination to make your writing work.
A former agent turned author, Nathan Bransford covers a wide variety of topics dealing with writing, including poles where he asks his readers to offer their opinions. He has entries for subjects such as How to find an agent and How to write a synopsis or query letter, all under a heading called Publishing Essentials.

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