Sunday, January 25, 2015

If you're happy and you know it

Vice City

What an awful place to die, he thought, staring down from the overpass. Make a wish and be happy, but his mind... Don’t jump. Jump. Don’t jump. Make a wish. Quick, make a wish. But secrets are meant to be kept, aren’t they? At least some of them are. His mind raced as fast as the cars underneath. I hate you so much, I can barely breathe, he thought. Make a wish. Yes, make a wish, just any wish... When he plunged towards that perfect white line, there was no clapping; there was no sound, there was nothing at all.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Land of Glory

When he woke up, the TV was on and he saw his face splattered all over the news. The previous night was a total blur and the woman slumped on the couch of this unfamiliar living-room remained eerily silent. He wore nothing but a black t-shirt. Slightly embarrassed for being half naked, he mumbled an apology and dashed for the door, holding his pants. Don’t worry, he heard. But it wasn’t the woman’s voice. Her head rolled to a halt by his feet. At least, I got rid of one of them, he thought. Yes, one voice at a time.

Sunday, January 11, 2015



They approached the ship at night. Two went up to the control room. The rest looked for the crew quarters; everyone was fast asleep. The captain wasn’t. After a scuffle and a black eye, he gave up. Much to his surprise, the leader of the group demanded the cargo. “But… It’s books.” The boxes were unloaded and taken away. The school of the village would finally teach proper English. The media hurried to state that even pirates have a heart, the authorities protested vehemently and the pirates’ only thought was that in the future, they’d make their demands more efficiently.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Value of Time

Collins Land

When Mary left, she hinted something about the box especially that he shouldn’t open it. Obviously, Louie decided to open the damn box. Last time he found one, it contained thousands in diamonds that someone left in the attic of their new house. After hours of failed attempts to pick the lock, he felt totally inapt. Mary loved that. Hammering the box open seemed like the only option. Louie hit it a few times until the lid popped. Inside, a note. “You made it! Oh, by the way, I’m several hours ahead… with the diamonds. Catch me if you can!”

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in a Nutshell!

Amar en Meleth

Now that 2014 is over, it's important to take stock of what I achieved as a writer. It completely took me by surprise to go back and realize that much more than I expected was actually produced.

Let's see.

I started the year committing to a challenge, to write 500 words a day. This challenge, no doubt daring, was nevertheless the opportunity to push forward and create a very interesting body of work.

*For the website iRez (non-fiction about writing and virtual worlds)

    1. Of Stories, Writers and a Virtual World
    2. Immersive Writing

*For the Virtual Writers Inc. website (non-fiction with suggestions for stories and virtual inspiration drawn from sims in Second Life)

    1. A Story Waiting to Happen, Collins Land
    2. A Story Waiting to Happen, Gehena Vampire Clan
    3. A Story Waiting to Happen, Hazardous
    4. A Story Waiting to Happen, Annwn Willows
    5. A Story Waiting to Happen, Taka no Sakura
    6. A Story Waiting to Happen, The Far Away
    7. A Story Waiting to Happen, Milk Wood
    8. A Story Waiting to Happen, MOSP
    9. A Story Waiting to Happen, Toshigi Japan Cybercity
   10. A Story Waiting to Happen, Amar en Meleth

*100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge (fiction drabbles; this has been an invaluable creative opportunity that has kept me aware of how fragile writing can be and how much each word matters)

*500 Word Stories (fiction)

*Twisted Stories (fiction drabbles)

*Black and White Spring Challenge (fiction, stories up to 1000 words)

*Writing resources for my own blog (non-fiction about the writing process)

*An interview conducted via email about my writing path

*The novel "A Month of Sundays" written during the NaNoWriMo (fiction, thriller, to be revised)

*Poetry (one single poem; I think I'm shifting away from writing poetry)

*A very short story in the form of sentence-snapshots (photo caption style) called "I Met a Guy" (fiction, unpublished)

*A short-story called "True Love Never Fades" (fiction, unpublished)

*I also did quite a bit of writing while taking these MOOCs:

    1. Start Writing Fiction - Fiction writing, focusing on creating characters. - Review
    2. Forensic Psychology - Obtaining evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations
    3. Good Brain, Bad Brain: Basics - The form and function of the human brain
    4. Introduction to Journalism - Key principles in journalism within an escalating story
    5. How to Read Your Boss - Linguistic techniques to enhance business communication
    6. How To Read a Mind - Application of cognitive science to literary reading

*Finally, I hosted a weekly write-in in the virtual world of Second Life within the context of the 500 Word Writing Challenge, Saturdays at noon SLT/8pm LisbonPT

For those of us who work better when setting goals and working towards them, the aim was to reach 182500 (500 words X 365 days). I managed to write 167745, which means I was about 29 days short of reaching the goal. Considering that there are 104 weekend days in the year, I think I did a pretty good job!

Looking back, I cannot help but think that this was an amazing year for my writing path. The goal to develop my ability to write longer pieces was achieved. I also wanted to start creating a few stories, apart from the novels, that I would keep in the back burner for publication in the future; that was also accomplished.

One aspect I failed miserably in was revising last year's NaNoWriMo novel "Obscure Connections". Oh, well... 2015 has just started and now I have TWO novels to revise BEFORE November (if I decide to go for a third round of the NaNoWriMo, that is)! *evil grin*

A final word. Thank you, you know who you are. Despite everything we went through, you were there with me all along. You pushed me forward when I wanted to give up. You praised my work when I thought it was a piece of garbage. You comforted me when my sorrows were far too overwhelming to continue to write. And you believed in me when I doubted myself. Thank you.

And let 2015 unfold!

"And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."
A Midsummer Night's Dream
William Shakespeare