Tuesday’s Tale, 8/31/2016.


Yes, I know it’s late. It wasn’t me this time, but my internet. In fact, I’m still having issues. So for this week I thought I’d put space on hold, and instead remind everyone of what happens when I actually prepare things.

The only question was which tale best illustrates that; I’ve never been the most plan oriented writer – it’s just not my strength.

In all honesty, I’ve got nothing I’ve used more than a single notebook page for, planning-wise. So screw plan A and B, let’s go with C. Tell me, O blogosphere, how you plan for writing tales. Give me all the tips, and spill all your secrets. I promise I will bury them as deep as my public web page allows like a dragon hoarding its gold.

I can’t promise I’ll sleep on your treasure or try to eat hobbits, though; there are limits.

In all seriousness, tell me how you do what you do, I’m curious.


Writer’s Quote Wednesday, 8/25/2016.


Otherwise known as a day late and a dollar short; here we are at last. Something has been eating into my time lately, and screwing everything up. I’ll let people guess what it is, but I bet no one will get it. Anyway, on with the show:

The young man was singled out. Or more to the point, the young man singled himself out. She watched as he stood on a literal soapbox (she had no idea where he got it) spouting some odd philosophy of oneness or something. Just like every other college campus.

What wasn’t like every other campus was the reaction. He wasn’t getting ignored; far from it. She watched as he was shoved down into the sidewalk and the soapbox smashed over his head. the crowd dispersed after that, thankfully, still muttering angrily.

The young man got up, clearly dazed, and fell again. She rushed over.

“Hey, you okay?”

He grinned, showing teeth painted red. “I’ll be fine, I think. Though the kick to the ribs stings quite a bit.”

She hadn’t even seen a kick. She helped up to his feet and stumbled; he was heavier than he looked.

“Come on, let’s get you patched up.”

“Good idea. Got to be back at it tomorrow, bright and early.”

Why? He didn’t say, and she didn’t actually ask. She was busy thinking about the quote she learned as a child, that described this weirdo the best:

“Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.” – Winston Churchill.

As always, this is for Silver Threading at:

#WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – “Strength”

And there we go, hopefully to never miss another Wednesday. See you again!

Tuesday’s Tale, 8/23/2016.


Alright, here we are again. Another Tuesday, another five minutes on the clock, and away we go:

A short controlled nap to keep him clear-headed​, and he was off again, this time on the buggy. While he preferred walking, the collapsible buggy could cover more ground, and he had obviously parked a bit farther away than he meant to. Those mineral deposits weren’t going to find themselves after all, and he was on the clock.

The message proclaiming life to be here wouldn’t have traveled a system over yet; And even if it had the corporation would still expect him to do his job. Not that he minded, of course, but he didn’t need another reprimand in his file, even if it was one he could contest and overturn.

The cactus was where he left it, and the faint dye marker was working, marking his trail in case someone else was dispatched and happened to find him. The first of the mineral deposits were only a hill over, sitting out in plain sight. what sort of seismic activity or planetary process would heave such precious metals to the surface, when normally they would be buried deep? Was the core of the planet unstable? The age of the planet pointed to ‘no’ if nothing else.

But that clearly left yet another mystery.

And time! Total time elapsed, five minutes on the dot. See you next week, and maybe then I’ll be over this thing I have.

Tuesday’s Tale, 8/16/2016.


Alright, another Tuesday, and another five minutes on the clock; let’s see how far we get, huh?

The telemetry lasted until he almost made it back to his ship; samples of new life were too important not to rush through processing, in his opinion. Mainly so that he could see what he was dealing with.

A quick check revealed some of the probes sensors had melted.So the sap or whatever it was wasn’t just a glue, it was caustic. He checked the sample container; it was holding.

He reached the ship airlock and keyed it, waiting impatiently for the machinery to cycle. Once in he all but threw his suit off and went through, hitting the decon button as an afterthought.

He didn’t stop until the samples were safely contained behind several different types of material resistant to caustics and acids.

Only once he was sure, did he pop the cap on some water and take a long drink. Climate control or not, with his life support lowered in his absence, the temperature had climbed.

Sorry, best I can do today; total time was five minutes. See you next week, and if you can, tell me what you think of this and the other story, the one I completed.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday, 8/10/2016.


Alright, Still sick (Again, I know right?)but well enough for this. A small story followed by a quote.

She sighed, watching, trying to work the kink out of her spine by ramming it into the hard bench. He was playing, having a grand time, but she needed a break; she wasn’t as young as she used to be. Aspirin was in her near future, while the jungle gym was in his.

She fished the pills out of her purse, her hand snaking past the bills and notices stuffed into it. She dry swallowed a few just in time; he came back.

“Come on Mommy, swing me on the swing please!”

“Sure thing, honey.” She got up, waiting until he had turned to knuckle her back into an approximation of shape. It was best to let him dream a little longer.

She agreed with Irving Howe: “The knowledge that makes us cherish innocence makes innocence unattainable.” he had said. Which meant it was best to let her son keep his while he could; she would run interference as long as she could since hers was long gone.

And there you go! As always, this is for Silver Threading at:
#WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – “Innocence”

See you next week!

Tuesday’s Tale, 8/9/2016.


Been sick all week, so I haven’t done much lately. But, here it is Tuesday, and sick or not I’m not missing it. Five minutes are on the clock, and away we go:

The microprobe, basically an overly large robotic mosquito, was not standard issue. He had splurged his own discretionary fund for it because with the small backpack attachment full of them, he could not be placed in direct danger from any hostile life.

And usually immobile life was highly hostile; tree huggers got it wrong. Animals didn’t kill you nearly as much as poisonous plants did. So he had one pack of four, ready to go.

He used the hand controller to activate and send one. Normally they were too expensive, but with no activity and no animal life coming near, he was taking no chances. And he needed a sample to show the higher-ups or they wouldn’t take him seriously.

The flying syringe made its way to the cactus thing and landed without issue. It dipped it’s head and took its payload without an issue, but could not take off again. He turned the gain up to full power and tried again, and nothing. The engines and wings were working perfectly – he zoomed in on it with his visor.

The tiny legs/landing gear were caught in some kind of liquid; either sap or blood, and stuck fast. Dangerous indeed.

He launched another microprobe and sent the abort command to the first; the first microprobe shot the sample out of it’s ‘abdomen’ and he directed the second to catch it. He thought about sending the self-destruct command, but decided against it; he could still use the sensors and telemetry data from the probe, even stuck as it was.

And there you have it, right at five minutes. See you all next week.

Tuesday’s Tale, 8/2/2016.


Alright, the first Tuesday of August. A hot climate to be written about for a hot day! Five minutes on the clock and away we go:

He didn’t feel the heat of course, just like he couldn’t feel any cold on planets farther out. The ground was level and lifeless, but there was some liquid around; little puddles of ammonia or a mixed variant. He took samples using a probe, just to be safe. His rugged boots ate up the ground; he preferred to walk rather than drive, at least until he set up a reasonable perimeter and surveyed the surroundings.

He managed to make it five kilometers with no problem, just seeing the sights and enjoying the sunshine; sunlight was always better from a planet than in space itself.

Then he saw it.

A cactus. At least it looked like a cactus. It was a mushroom shape and had spines all over it, and was spitting some form of gas into the air from a hole in its cap. He sat back and watched, zeroing in with his helmet optics.

After a half an hour, he was reasonably sure that if the organism was dangerous, he would have seen something like that by now. It probably was dangerous, but not to the suit, at least not immediately. It was possible he had found the source of the ammonia puddles, but that paled in response to finding life itself; life was both more common and more precious than humans had first suspected. This planet just made the big time on the universal stage.

And that’s it, time elapsed is five minutes exactly. See you next week!