Sunday, December 29, 2019


Whispering Wind

The Christmas tent was located at the perfect snowy forest clearing.
Happy children lined up to see Santa.
The ice throne, however, started to melt quickly. Santa shifted in his seat.
The children looked at him, their eyes bulging.
“Who turned the cooling machine off,” yelled someone at the back.
All the kids looked in horror when Santa crashed to the floor.
All, but one. He looked at Santa and said "You're a disgrace."
Santa couldn't believe the cheekiness. "And you're a... a..."
"Thrones are for those who deserve them," said the kid, walking away as if he were royalty.

Sunday, December 22, 2019


Winter Moon

No one looked at her, sprawled on the floor, holding a bottle of beer, one of many, too many.
Everyone walked away, tiptoeing over her legs to avoid stepping on her.
Nothing mattered anymore, she thought in her drunken stupor.
Everything was part of the past, her success, her laughter, her happiness.
She belonged nowhere. Just nowhere. It was over.
Fragmented thoughts of everywhere she had been crossed her mind. The countries, the cities, gallery after gallery, so many she had forgotten most, the media, photographs and interviews.
She sneered. Autographs...
To think she worried about autographs...
Broken, so broken.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The F-word

Tierra de Fuego

Never say the F-word, her mother had told her when she was a child.
The day she boarded that plane, the prospective of enjoying two carefree weeks in the sun was all she could think about.
Halfway through the flight, a storm hit the plane. She felt like saying the F-word often, especially when the plane started diving uncontrollably. But she didn't.
When the pilot managed to control the plane again and they landed safely, she stepped out of the plane, calmly and composed, raised her arms and yelled FUCK YOU! Then she looked up and smiled "Oops! Sorry, Mom!"

Sunday, December 8, 2019


Collins Land

The waves drowned the sound of a phone ringing. It rang for a minute. Then, it stopped. Later in the day, it rang again. The waves sloshed softly in the background.
The police sent search parties, geared up in white protective suits. They quarantined the small town, but the buildings were empty.
Then, the phone rang one last time. A policeman answered.
“Find them, I dare you. And find me too,” the voice cackled with laughter.
They did find them.
Years later, the waves returned to the shore what belonged on the shore.
They never found the cackling voice though.

Sunday, December 1, 2019



The stage was set. The jury was ready, the music chosen.

He still felt the taste of her mouth.
He cast a furtive glance at her. She ignored him.
They danced. And they won.
He still felt her body pressed against his.
The applause died down as they waved to the audience.
And she hurried away.
He could still feel the shape of her hand in his.
The recollection of her smile was vague though, so vague.
She was now a body fallen into a deep slumber.
The stage was set. The jury was ready. 
But there was no music.

Friday, November 29, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019

Rebellious NaNoWriMo month concluded with success. The hype was not as intense as when I write new material, but the goal was to get some revising done. That was achieved.

Sunday, November 24, 2019


Milk Wood

"No," shouted the elderly lady, forking up a luscious pumpkin pie.
"Yes," replied another.
The living-room of the Club was packed. All the ladies talked at the same time, tea cups held in a precarious fashion.
Suddenly, the door bell rang...
The rest of that night was spent at the police station where an important decision was made.
No more meetings after a night out at the local pub. The neighbors were such twats.
That was actually the word they wrote on a piece of paper, when they got back, and glued it to the neighbors' door, chuckling like teenagers.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Who Cares?

Whispering Wind

The chair faced a big wooden crate. Fragile. Fragile could mean a lot of things, he thought. Glass. He sat down and leaned forward. Rare wine. He sat back. Do not open it, they said. He stared at it and pondered. He wanted to open it... Porcelain. He tilted his head and tried to read the label. It was wet and blurry. "Screw them..." He stood up and opened the crate. It was filled with ideas, special ones too. The crate was filled with books, something extremely rare those days. He sneaked one out and closed the crate again, smiling.

Sunday, November 10, 2019



Boom, and the moon was gone. No one believed it could happen, but it did. The so-called brotherly neighbors from next door, meaning the next galaxy or wherever they came from, threatened to do it and everyone laughed, not a care in the world. Then, it happened. Those damn little green jerks. Ever since they moved in with all that scientific progress, new ideas, new concepts, new gadgets, life was a lot more complicated. That resonant boom was only outmatched by the roaring sound of space ships exploding as they left Earth. Oops! "Should we prepare for war?" someone asked.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


Milk Wood

The regulars at the bar took sneaky glances at the blonde woman who had just walked in. Her long hair swayed as she conquered the room, an aura of certainty about her. The tight turtleneck made her perky breasts tease risky thoughts into everyone's minds. She pulled up a chair and sat down, facing the room, her feet up on the table in front of her. Wasn't it such a pleasant little coincidence that the chair had a heart on its back? She smiled. Everyone smiled back. A few waved with enthusiasm. No one knew she had the chainsaw ready.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019

The annual writing frenzy starts in a couple of days!

I was tempted to start a new story... again... But I have been working so much on revising - learning how to do it, getting motivated to do it and actually doing it... albeit slowly - that I've decided I would honor my efforts and keep working on my Work In Progress.

As a result, and for the first time since 2013 when I started taking part in the NaNoWriMo, I will be a Rebel.
I aim to follow the guideline of 30 minutes of work being the equivalent to 500 words of writing.
To win NaNoWriMo, you must write at least 50k words. This means I am looking at 50 hours of revising throughout the month and about 2 hours each day.
As always, the Virtual Writers, the writing community I belong to in Second Life, will meet daily at Milk Wood. We will also have a large number of workshops and resources to help everyone along this crazy adventure!

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs
and developing our wings on the way down.”
Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, October 27, 2019


Asalia House

"Useless," said Reggie.
“It's good for our plans,” said Ronnie.
“The tractor's rusty.”
“No, look.”
And Ronnie grabbed a rusty wrench.
“And what is that?”
“Reggie, please. I have no clue.”
Reggie sighed.
"You're so negative. We'll lift it in the air and everyone will be horrified."
"I bet they will and we'll have a concussion too."
"Ghosts don't have concussions, silly."
Reggie grabbed a random part of the tractor and threw it at Ronnie's head.
Meanwhile, a few meters away, the farmer and his son were watching, amused.
"They are at it again! They should get a life!"

Sunday, October 20, 2019


Sands of Time

The cave hideout stank of bacon. Whoever was there had cooked himself a hearty meal.
The treasure, however, had to be moved.
He tiptoed inside. A lamp sat by the side of the entrance and lit the way.
When he reached the spot, he shoved a few chests aside.
“It's not here.” In a frenzy, he dug through the sand. “It's not here.”
That's when a sturdy little man waltzed in.
"You want the cave? You can have it. I bought myself a new crib." And he waltzed away.
Throwing a pebble at his head didn't do a thing, unfortunately.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


France Portnawak

“So, here is where he writes his smutty books.”
“He writes smutty books, the vicar?!”
“You didn't know?!”
Silence took over the whole room. They crossed their arms in sync and tilted their heads.
“The desk is huge.”
“It is.”
More silence ensued.
"I wonder how long it would take to destroy it?"
"A few minutes?"
They nodded.
"We need to find a creaky window."
"So... What then?"
"OK, grab his books. We can read them out loud during mass."
And the two glided on to the next room, sneering. This Halloween promised to be great fun.

Sunday, October 6, 2019


Whispering Wind

The page of her diary stared back at her, empty, looking for comfort. The meltdown drained her energy and got a hold of her willingness to fight back. The diary would always bring her some comfort. Not today. The past would never change and she was too tired to change the present so her future could make more sense. Smile, she thought. And what she saw was a distorted and pathetic face. Don't smile. It's better. Just keep calm. She took a deep breath and sat back. The page of her diary stared back at her, empty, looking for comfort.
(void, intertwine, den, get, fudged, meltdown, Tan)

Sunday, September 29, 2019



No one had ever seen such a gigantic bug. The Mayor met with the police to come up with a plan. There was panic in town. And then came the models. The bug's wings flapped and flapped, creating a swoosh that made every aspiring model in town shake their manes. The others looked perplexed. The town was on the verge of collapse and they struck poses? Suddenly, the bug flapped its wings faster and everyone ran for shelter. Well, not the models. The bug flapped away, while the models waved their arms in the air. No one saw them again!

Sunday, September 22, 2019



“Tell us a story.”
They shifted in their seats. The idea was to listen to stories at the beach, not tell stories, people thought.
“Just any story.”
People tiptoed away.
The host waited. It was such a nice day.
“Come, have a seat here.”
Everyone left except for a little girl.
“Do you have a story to tell?”
The little kid nodded and pointed at a scar on her chest. It was huge.
She smiled and said "But I still have my heart in here!"
"That's a great story," said the host, thinking it was all worth it after all.

Sunday, September 15, 2019



"This is not a dresser. It's a cupboard."
The seller tried to convince her that it was a dresser, a modern dresser, a modern looking dresser. The seller talked a lot. He also smiled a lot. No, he sneered. That made her uncomfortable. He tried to convince her that the shelf standing next to the supposed dresser belonged to the package although it looked completely different. In fact, it wasn't a shelf at all. It was a coat rack.
She didn't appreciate being tricked.
It was difficult to stuff all the pieces of the seller inside his stupid modern dresser.

Sunday, September 8, 2019



Something was different. She could feel it. She turned the pages slowly, trying to figure out what was going on. She couldn't see any difference, but she knew something had changed. Then, suddenly, she turned to page 22 and there it was. A whole paragraph was different. It had nothing to do with the rest of the story. She frowned. She turned to page 23. Everything looked fine. She turned back to page 22. The paragraph was gone. She slammed the book shut and put it back on the shelf. The writing demons were out again. And so it started.

Sunday, September 1, 2019



The priest stared at a silent room packed with anxious people. Suddenly, a truck arrived. Three men, heavily armed, entered the room. Halfway through the aisle, one of them raised his gun and fired a totally unnecessary warning shot. The crowd remained in silence. “Everybody out.” They stood up and walked quietly. “Where are you taking them?” asked the priest. “None of your business.” When the crowd got to the truck, the three men had disappeared. The priest drove the vehicle down a ravine a few miles away. They had bought some time to run and now they had guns.

Sunday, August 25, 2019



The business was blooming. They sold all sorts of plants to all sorts of people, even to a very important film and TV production company. Every time they crossed paths, they'd nod civilly. But she knew. She knew very well what he was up to. When she found him among the lines of lavender pots, looking rather blue, she smiled and left him there. The lavender would take care of that one problem she wouldn't mention. And he would never steal from her again. She vaguely recalled him saying he was allergic to... mushrooms. Was it mushrooms? She nodded... civilly.

Sunday, August 18, 2019


Asalia House
The writer hammered the story on his laptop. The damn plot wasn't working. His main character, Lady Whatever (name not yet settled), had just hidden the corpse of her husband under her bed. The writer tried to convince the character that that was a bad idea. Lady Whatever gave him the finger and continued with her merry life. He grinned. That character had to go. Lady Whatever, who was pretty smart, hid under her bed. The stench was so bad, that the writer gave up. Let her be, he thought. And the story was a success, believe it or not.

Sunday, August 11, 2019


Asalia House

Flying at an average speed was his skill. He did it easily. The day he decided to get rid of her, they jumped on his small plane and took off. She was looking forward to this adventure. He saw that in her annoying little beady eyes. “The plane doesn't have doors, how cute,” she said as they flew higher and higher. Yes, it is very cute, he thought, especially now that that damn flock of whatever birds they were was flying too close to his plane. Silence. Good thing he had a parachute on. Did she have one too? Nope.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Writing Is Not Always... Writing!

Milk Wood

Milk Wood celebrated the end of Camp NaNoWriMo with a party organized by me and DJ Book (Buquo Resident).
Everyone worked hard throughout July and we all deserved a bit of music to relax. The theme was Summer Fun and the tunes were great!

“Every secret of a writer’s soul,
every experience of his life,
every quality of his mind,
is written large in his works.”
— Virginia Woolf

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Vindictive Bruises

Tierra de Fuego

The pilot wanted to land the plane. He wanted to drop every single passenger safely at the airport. He checked his flight plan and was confident he could do just that. He greeted them one by one. He smiled and exchanged a few words of encouragement with those flying for the first time. Mid-air, the stewardess said someone wanted to talk to him. He left the cabin and... saw her. He knew right there and then that the passengers weren't safe. He was going to kill a few and bruise a bunch.
“Where is she sitting, again?” he asked, sneering.

Monday, July 29, 2019

How to revise Your Novel Course

Instructor Verona Lorgsval at Port Olni

I used to hate revising/editing. Several of my complete novels are collecting dust in virtual drawers because of that.

Then, the course How to revise Your Novel started. And something major changed.

One step at a time, we identify the weaknesses of our story. All aspects of it are scrutinized and noted down.

Nothing is changed at this point. Only at the very end, do we make the changes needed, and we make them in one go. So, instead of dragging your red pen through page after page and dying of boredom, there's always something different to do and a different perspective to consider.

It's my first time using this method, so I take longer than a week for each task. I'm not worried though. Motivation and the will to soldier on are crucial.

As you can see below, the course is 22 weeks long. It's a big commitment and it's totally worth it.

In case you'd like to attend, this course will start at Milk Wood soon.

Syllabus for How to Revise Your Novel
Instructor: Verona Lorgsval in Second Life
                 Victoria Lynn Osborne in Real Life

Week 1. Despair: The Novel you got. Here we will be printing out your novel. And doing the first read through and tracking down your novel.
Week 2. Promises Promises, Finding your biggest first draft wrecks.
Week 3. The Hunt for the slippery Scene. An Interlude.
Week 4. Promises Promises the plot you got.
Week 5. Conflict and What Matters.
Week 6. Sharpening Your Characters Bringing Fictional Folk Into Focus.
Week 7. How to Triage Your World.
Week 8. Wrapping up Triage Final Details of Target, Promises, Story and Theme.
Week 9. How Manuscript Surgery Works.
Week 10. Theme and Story Take Two.
Week 11. Plots and Subplots.
Week 12. Committing to your Characters.
Week 13. Tracking and Completing Conflicts.
Week 14. Simple Time Dealing with Time Crises and Modifying In-scene Story Structure.
Week 15. Complex Time: Time Between Time.
Week 16. Becoming Consistent.
Week 17. How to Cut the Manuscript.
Week 18. Cosmetic Surgery I. Line Editing with Style, Grace, and Commas.
Week 19. How to Improve Dialogue, Description, Action, and Flow.
Week 20. Beginnings, Ending, Pace and Step-by-step.
Week 21. How to Survive and Thrive with your Type-In.
Week 22. Surgical Review: Streamlining the In-Depth Revision Process.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


Tierra de Fuego

Those bags looked interesting, he thought. He walked closer, watching the passengers, checking if anyone was keeping an eye on them. Nope. He sat next to them. Vintage. He could sell them for a nice amount, plus all the clothes inside, perhaps even a computer. As he walked away, he felt something wiggling inside one of them. He hid behind a building and opened it slowly. The clothes were moving. The moment he decided to close the bag and leave it behind, something jumped from underneath and bit him on the face. His last words were “Curiosity killed the thief”.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Milk Wood
"Learning never exhausts the mind." 
Leonardo da Vinci


June 12 - Workshop on The Pomodoro Technique for Writers  - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)

February 13 - Workshop on Using Tarot Cards to Overcome Writer's Block  - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)

(continued from 2018) January 8 - July 15 - How to Revise your Novel - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)


December 4 (continues in 2019) - How to Revise your Novel - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)

August 15 - October 11 - Speculative Writing - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)

August 14 - October 2 - Mystery Writing - Instructor Verona Lorgsval (Second Life)


May 11 - June 7 - Heart Health (University of Reading) - a Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease (character building).

April 20 - May 31 - Psychology and Mental Health (University of Liverpool) - How a psychological understanding of emotions and behavior provides new ways to improve mental health and well-being.

April 20 - June 14 - Introduction to Cyber Security (The Open University) - Essential cyber security knowledge and skills.

April 13 - May 15 - Forensic Science and Criminal Justice (University of Leicester) - The use of science in criminal investigations and its role in the criminal justice system.

March 9 - 27 - How to Succeed at Interviews (The University of Sheffield) - Tools to succeed at interviews and land a dream job or course place (character building).

March 2 - April 10 - Dysphagia: Swallowing Difficulties and Medicines (University of East Anglia) - The administration of medicines to patients with dysphagia (character building).

March 2 - 20 - Introduction to Dutch (University of Groningen) - Introductory course (character building).

January 5 - February 13 - Introduction to Forensic Science (University of Strathclyde) - Methods and scientific underpinning of forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case.


December 1 - 12 - How To Read a Mind (The University of Nottingham) - Introducing cognitive poetics: the application of cognitive science to literary reading.

October 27 - November 3 - How to Read Your Boss (The University of Nottingham) - Linguistic techniques to enhance business communication.

September 29 - November 9 - Introduction to Journalism (University of Strathclyde) - Key principles and debates in journalism in the context of an escalating story.

June 23 -July 11 - Good Brain, Bad Brain: Basics (University of Birmingham) - The form and function of the human brain.

June 8 - August 1 - Forensic Psychology (The Open University) - How psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations.

April 28 - June 20 - Start Writing Fiction (The Open University) - Fiction writing focusing on the central skill of creating characters. - Review

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Camp NaNoWriMo July

A week to go till the end of Camp NaNoWriMo July and I have already finished the 30 hours I committed myself to. I'm quite pleased with the amount of work done and its quality.
After starting the Novel Revision course with Verona Lorgsval in Second Life, Victoria Lynn Osborne in Real Life, I am now moving forward with the revising of my latest novel (the others are gathering dust in a dark drawer because I hated revising).
Slow steps, but steady steps.
This month, I worked on characters and promises to the reader. While writing, we often present a character or a certain object, hinting something about them. Are those hints followed through? Or will the reader wonder what happened to them?
I have also worked on accuracy and continuity. Simple things like "X stands up" when he was already standing by the door are quite frequent in my writing. I make them all stand up for some reason, multiple times without even sitting down!
Verona suggests we don't actually touch the text yet. At this point, we are identifying the weak spots in the story. And that's what I'm doing.
The next step is to work on the scenes. I'll be hunting them down! Literally. PACTS! You're probably thinking, huh?! Yes, Protagonist, Antagonist, Conflict, Twist, Setting. That should be fun.

I think I'll be a Rebel this year for November's NaNoWriMo.

Sunday, July 21, 2019


Tierra de Fuego

He was devoted to his hobby and he had the best tools. He looked up. Days under the blazing sun hadn't discouraged him. The pole had to be perfect for the challenge. It took him a while to accomplish his goal but he chopped it off. A blaze of sparkles scattered in all directions as the pole hit the sand.
“One more. Victory!”
What followed was a lot more impressive than a few sparkles. He didn't even see it coming.
The military knew nothing while the media spent weeks debating if there had been any victims of that misguided bomb.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Black Kite

The current state of affairs is grim. What did I do to deserve this. All I wanted was a little garden with a touch of originality. But that greenish tone. I hate it. It makes me want to puke. And those little ducks floating about in a neat little line make me want to kill them though they are fake ducks. I sit here and wonder. Could I paint this in black and fire the decorator?
“Honey, help me here. I'm not sure whether to go for a twisted branch or for a straight one. Just love the green tone!”

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Simple Reason

Salt Water

The reason why I've decided to leave was quite simple. I was tired of everything and everyone. I was especially tired of him. Yes, that guy who worked at the cafeteria. He didn't do anything to be honest. He never said anything either. He was just there, staring at me all the time. When I found him standing across the street from my door, I packed and left. Now, I live by the sea. It's beautiful. It's actually more than I could've wished for. The guy next door... He stands at his window and stares at me all the time.
Pick two: reason, discretion, zone, stunt, simple, deadwood, Tuba

Sunday, June 30, 2019



We all go a little mad sometimes. Yes, but... How much is a little? When does a little turn into a lot? As she wrote the story for the local paper, she thought about the time she had spent tracking that man. He was skillful. He hid in the forest for weeks. "Make it personal", her editor said. And she did. She wrote about how she remembered him. He was such a terribly mean child who torched houses and killed animals. The thing is... the story was just a story. Would he go a little mad or a lot mad?

Sunday, June 23, 2019



There used to be a little heart in that garden, filled with hope. And that heart grew and grew. The little heart wasn't so little anymore when it decided to leave the safety of the garden. He still recalled the butterflies and the tree house though. He even recalled the weasel and the pelican. When the little heart was arrested, the only thing he could think of was how far away the garden was and how he wished he could go back. But then he remembered... he had torched the garden, because that had been the right thing to do.

Sunday, June 16, 2019


Avatar Games

Strings left, strings right. They pulled the strings left and they pulled the strings right. The doll swayed on the small stage, left and right. Her face was emotionless. The brush she held swayed with her. Her face was emotionless... And the more they pulled on the strings, the more she swayed. And the more that brush swayed, the more she painted an invisible feeling in the air. It swayed angrily. The doll's fingers cramped around it tightly. Her body shook and jumped in all directions. And that brush painted a face of sheer anger. Metal dolls have feelings too.