Posted by: lordkyler | March 4, 2017

NaNoWriMo “2016” – Finished*

It’s finally finished,* everybody. I started the challenge in November, as is tradition, though I did so on a whim, with nothing in particular planned. Instead of one master project, I instead chose to tackle a bunch of back-burner stories instead, and while it may have taken four months instead of one, I just hit the 50k goal! At last, it is over.

…kind of.

To me, the ultimate goal of NaNoWriMo this year was to write an award-winning novella that would make me rich enough to retire and write full-time, but failing that, it was simply to write every day. And in that regard, it was successful. Not the retirement thing. The daily writing, which is almost as good, I guess.

I’m not about to stop writing daily now that I’m in the groove, though I may not keep track of it so closely. I’ve still got lots of stories to go, including the upcoming Short Story Week, so keep your refresh button handy, folks. I’m not going anywhere, for better or for best.

Posted by: lordkyler | February 18, 2017

A Sampling of Sketches

I’ve posted drawings on here many times before, but my drawing has often been inconsistent, with long dry spells between bursts of activity. Recently, however, I bought a sketchbook and have been drawing on a much more regular basis. I’ve been quite pleased with the results. It’s been a great way to keep my skills sharp and illustrate my invented worlds.

The following are imperfect scans of some of my favorite sketches for your enjoyment.

Weeeee watched the suuuunset...

Castle on a Hill (Not the Ed Sheeran version). I started with the castle and a bit of the ridgeline, and I knid of wish I’d stopped there, but I didn’t. This is one of the first drawings in the book.

Send help...

Isolation. The scanner botched up the left side of the image, but you can see what’s going on. These images are a bit darker than they are in real life for clarity’s sake.

They'll peck your eyes out

A knight with an apparent affinity for birds and towers. I’m not perfect at drawing people, but I’ve improved quite a lot.

Cut off one head, and too bad for this hydra

A rare mutant hydra with only a single head. Note the tiny winged babbies swimming about

Eat your heart out, Hogwarts

One of those fanciful flying castles you hear about on the news. Sometimes I draw more realistically, with shading and such, and other times I’ll do something like this

I also drew many of them in more everyday settings, rather than simply making them warriors (though they totally could be)

An assortment of Crossbred from the Legend of Lithra. I realized I hadn’t really illustrated any females of the breed, so i set about to fix that.

Posted by: lordkyler | February 4, 2017

Cassandra’s Child – Short Story

Sequel to He Who Speaks With Birds


I wanted to get back on the bus about three seconds after I got off.

It was a perfect day, as far as the weather was concerned: not too hot, not too cold, not a cloud in the sky. As far as I was concerned, that was a problem. No clouds meant no information, on a day when I desperately needed it – like cramming for a final exam with a blank textbook.

Luckily, I wasn’t completely blind. A playful breeze wrote messages in the way it moved litter around the parking lot, gave me glimpses of things beyond sight as it made the flags and pennants of the stadium dance. There were plenty of birds as well, mostly seagulls and crows come to scavenge from the aftermath of picnics, tailgate parties, and countless concessions.

I still wished I had clouds. Birds and breezes were useful, but they spoke to me in different ways; about different things. Miss Green had left me a letter explaining the basics of divination. There were dozens of forms, she said, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and specialities. They could divine people, relationships, or events; peer into past, future or present; see near or far, deep or broad.

She had also urged me not to pursue this path. The gift and the curse were inextricably linked, and attempts to convince the ungifted always ended in disaster. She had provided several pages of historical examples, which I had only skimmed. I couldn’t afford to have that kind of baggage in my brain. It didn’t matter how many people had tried and failed in the past. I’ve seen the clouds – apocalypse literally looming overhead – and I cannot stay silent. I will find a way, because people need to know.

But that meant getting to people who had power to actually do something at national and international levels. That meant a trip to Washington D.C., and that meant money for a bus ticket, food and shelter. Money I didn’t have. Yet. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | January 29, 2017

NaNo “2016” Update – January

Well, folks, we’re almost at the end of January, and a great deal has changed in the world, but my efforts to write each and every day have continued unabated. Still nowhere near previous years, but steady nonetheless.

So it is with a small degree of pride that I can announce that I have just recently passed 38k words, about 75% of the total goal. At this rate, it looks like I’ll be “done” by the end of next month, and if I keep up an equivalent pace throughout the year, I could produce a total of 150k words in 2017.

That’s good, but I think I can do better, as I have in the past. In light of that, I’m going to examine my writing habits and see if I can increase my efficiency. From my time writing 2k+ words per day on Lithra IV, I know that taking steps to limit distractions and setting aside a solid block of time to write can both help tremendously, and I plan to research other helps as well.

In related news, I may technically qualify as a professional author, and as Futurama taught us, technical correctness is the best kind of correct. A little while ago, I received from Lulu (the company I use to print and distribute the Legend of Lithra) a check amounting to the grand sum of  twenty-eight dollars and change. Some of that may come from me buying my own books, but not all of it, which means that I have sold something I wrote to at least one other person. Move over, Stephen, there’s a new King in town.

In seriousness, I know that’s not a lot, but it’s not nothing, either, and I feel I’m beginning to make real progress in my skill and output. It’s good. Thanks for sticking with me, and I’ll see you again when I hit 50k.

Posted by: lordkyler | January 21, 2017

Icebound – Short Story

Sequel to Frostbite


Josh stumbled once more, landing nose-down in a drift. Cursing violently to himself, he began shucking off his gear, throwing it into a pile beside him. The bullet wound in his leg was only getting worse. The shell hadn’t lodged in the flesh, and he’d fashioned a makeshift bandage for it, but he’d lost a lot of blood after the crash, enough to make him light-headed, and the exertion of his march had left the muscle stiff and cramped.

The arctic cold wasn’t helping either.

“Pissing Americans,” he muttered to himself as he dropped his pants. They were stiff as cardboard from the frost and wind. The chill began eating into his long-johns immediately, but he’d rather get this done quickly than cut a hole in his clothes. He still had a few heating packs left – he’d use one to warm back up.

He couldn’t keep going like this. He’d covered barely a kilometer out of the ten he needed to go, and his leg was already going out on him. If he didn’t do something about this, he’d never make it to the Seed Vault, much less defend it against the Yanks.

So that left him with only one option, distasteful as it was. He pulled out a small spray can from his kit. The one with the biohazard AND radiation symbols. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | January 7, 2017

The Writer – Short Story

I took a writing class this year, and for our final session, we were asked to bring a short, humorous piece, just for fun. This is the result. It should be noted that the instructor’s name is Peter.


The writer blinked and rubbed his eyes, unsure of where he was or how he’d gotten here. He was accustomed to taking in his surroundings with an author’s eye, picking out details or concocting colorful descriptions for later use – but there was nothing here to see. Not a blank room or an empty landscape, but a void, without shape, form or substance. Not blackness, but a total lack of sensation.

Well, that was interesting all in itself. It was troubling, but not painful, and it gave him a chance to think. How had he gotten here? The last thing he could remember was puzzling over a problem in his new novel as he drove to…

Oh. Right. He hadn’t noticed the stop sign at the blind corner, or the truck barreling through behind it. Was this shock? A coma? Or something else altogether? It wasn’t too bad – he had enough ideas to keep him occupied for quite a while – but the thought of languishing in this oblivion for an extended period was terrifying. He needed people to talk to, things to do, a way to write down the stories in his soul.

Ah, there. Thank heavens. Something was emerging from the nothingness – a pale tendril of mist that curled lazily into existence. More tendrils appeared, like leaks in a breaking dam, until all at once he found himself standing on an endless plain of clouds, radiant in the light of an eternal sun. Startled, the writer looked down at himself. He was still here, thirty years younger and wearing a simple white robe. More importantly, he had his manuscript with him, clutched tightly in both arms. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | December 24, 2016

Hitchhiker – Short Story

Brian ran for it, dashing across the parking lot with a box tucked under his arm. Raindrops zipped by like bullets, hitting hard enough that he could feel them through his sweatshirt. Moving as quickly as he dared with an armful of electronics, Brian stuck the box in the trunk and jumped into the driver’s seat, closing the door just as the rain started in earnest.

Safe inside, Brian gave himself a moment to get his thoughts in order. It had been a busy day. Meetings all morning, working through forms and codes all afternoon, and he’d just finished the evening volunteering at the community center, teaching a class on computers and programming.

One of the kids from his class – Shawn, was it? – was getting into the back seat of a decrepit van in the next space. They made eye contact, Brian giving a nod, but the boy stared straight through him and shut the door, as though he didn’t exist.

Brian sighed as he started the car, watching the van disappear into the city streets, just another hunk of junk lost in the pile. Working the kids at the community center was more draining than any meeting. He couldn’t understand it. Why was it so damn hard to get through to anyone? He’d learned his lessons the hard way, but he would have gladly taken a better path if he’d had the chance – the same chance he was offering these kids. Sometimes he still couldn’t believe he’d made it as far as he had. That was one benefit of volunteering, anyway. It served as a constant reminder of how easily a few wrong choices could bring his whole world crashing down again. Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | December 10, 2016

The Apocalypse Anthology – Third Stanza

This is an excerpt from an ongoing project, though it is a complete story on its own. The previous entry can be found here, and also provides a few more details about the project. You should probably read it first.


The Crystal Crown: the Right of Rule,

The Power of the Sun does blaze

The Light it brings, and everything

Will burn beneath its gaze

Stars had fallen from heaven, and Jorrah meant to catch one.

Ever since last night, when the fiery red stars had flown like comets across the night sky, Jorrah had thought of nothing else. The elders claimed that the stars had returned to the aether by now, but he knew better. These were not like the normal falling stars, little streaks of light that vanished in an eye-blink. These were something tangible and real. They had fallen to the earth, he was certain, and he was pretty sure where they had landed.  Read More…

Posted by: lordkyler | December 5, 2016

NaNo 2016: Week 5 – Chugging Along

Not much else to say at the moment. Writing continues, and will continue, stretching this month as far as I need to in order to meet mah quota. Updates will probably be less frequent, but keep an eye out for the products of this writing.

This week’s total is a little over 1k! Real impressive, I know. That brings the grand total to 13.7k, also known as 28%, with a daily average of 475 words per day.

Posted by: lordkyler | November 27, 2016

NaNo 2016: Week 4 – Sweet Polar Goodness

Another week, another update. This week, I worked almost exclusively on a sequel to Frostbite, a post-apocalyptic short story from previous years. Spoiler alert – polar bears are involved. There have been a couple of days with low output, but I like how it’s been coming. I also spent one day writing (and completing) a short piece for a class assignment.

This week’s input is 2.6k, bringing the grand total to 12.7k, or about 25% of the overall goal. As I’ve written before, I intend to keep going until I hit the full 50k, however long that takes. At this rate, that will be three more months, but there’s no telling how that will play out.

I hope everybody else participating in NaNoWriMo is having better luck hitting their goals. Keep it up! The end is nigh!

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