Writer Talk

1
What comes next?
2
What’s Next?
3
Why comments are so important.
4
When Music Fuels the Magic
5
Naming conventions
6
In defense of fantasy and sci-fi
7
So Many Story Ideas
8
Writing update #1 (includes small excerpt from Legacy of Earth!)
9
Why do I write what I write?

What comes next?

As The Fall of Kruhl draws nearer to its climax, I’ve been looking at my options, thinking about what story I’d like to serialize next. Those who follow my blogs know I’ve talked about some projects in the past. There’s A Rock & A Hard Place, my second entry in Morpheus’s Twisted Universe, there’s Legend of Morgana: Revenge of a Spellbinder, the prequel to my Ragnarok Rising Trilogy, there’s always Onryo’s Revenge and Shadow of Arkana, the third and fourth entries in my Exemplar Universe respectively, but there’s also another option I’ve resisted serializing for a very long time.

As much as I’d love to work on any of these stories there’s one major candidate that is pretty much a no-brainer. I’m referring, of course, to Legacy of Earth, my sequel to Battle For Earth. I began work on Legacy over four years ago, and about a year before I launched this website. It’s been sitting on the back burner for far too long. I have over 107,000 words of it written already with another 100,000 planned. Why not finish this story and finally tie things up once and for all?

Now, the reason I’ve been hesitant to serialize Legacy was because I didn’t really want to spend eternity posting it in tiny little chunks. If I serialized it at the same pace I’ve done with Kruhl, Psyren, & the Virtually Twisted Rewrite, it would take me more than two and half years and that’s if I didn’t go over my projected length which I tend to do.

So, what’s my ‘brilliant’ solution? I serialize it in larger chunks. At least, until I get through the first half of the story. Then I’d have to scale things back to shorter postings, but it would cut still drastically cut down the time it would take to serialize the story.

I’m thinking I’d cut the first two parts (basically the first 100,000 words) into 12 different parts ranging from about 3,500 to 4,500 words. Once I got past that, I’d switch to the same, roughly 1,500, word postings I’ve stuck to with Kruhl. If I can manage it, I’ll try to make them longer, but I can’t make any promises.

I could stop serializing altogether and release it when it’s completed, but then I wouldn’t have any new content for the site for months and months and I’d really hate to do that.

I know what I’ve said in the past about never doing this series as one of my ‘weekly serials’. I know some of you probably won’t like this approach, but I don’t think I’ll ever get Legacy completed if I don’t give it more priority. It’s been four years, for hell’s sake! This serialization style really seems to work for me, and I really believe this is the way to go.

Everyone have a delightfully demented quarantine,

 

Daniel A. Wolfe

What’s Next?

Yay! I finally completed the last few parts of the Virtually Twisted rewrite and hey it only took me six years to finish this thing off. Okay, so five years and ten and a half months, but whose counting? Yes, that right, I starting this thing back in October 2013, way back before this website even existed! Seems almost like yesterday.

So, exactly how many parts are left, you ask? Part thirty-seven and part thirty-eight (aka the epilogue) still need to be edited and posted here on the website, but that’s it. I’m rather pleased with how it turned out, but I’ll let you folks be the judge of that. Sometime in the coming weeks, I’ll see about having someone comb through it one final time for grammar errors and get this thing posted to all the usual places.

After that… Well, you probably noticed the ‘Featured Image’ for the post and put two and two together, but I’ll just go ahead and said it outright just so everyone is on the same page. Previously, I stated that I was leaning toward another Twisted Universe Story, but after spending so long entrenched in another person’s story universe, I’m itching to work on something of my own. As such, my next project will be a new entry in my Exemplar Universe, the Fall of Kruhl. At one point, the title was going to be the Rise and Fall of Kruhl, but the short title has a better ring and truth be told the Rise comes after the Fall and doesn’t happen until the end of the story. This Tale is set in Amelia van den Broeke’s home town of Tondzaosha, Idaho and picks up pretty much where the prologue to Psyren’s Redemption left off. Part of the story will revolve around Amelia and her past and the other part will revolve around a girl in her late teens who shows up in Tondzaosha, half dead, dragging a massive broadsword and calling herself Kruhl. What initially seems to be an open and closed case ends up becoming a battle for the survival of an entire town as power from another world is unleashed upon the denizens of Tondzaosha. There will probably be a cameo from Sapphira, but she will not play a very large part in the story.

It might be a bit spoiler-ific to say this, but the cover art pretty much gives it away anyways so what the hell? Kruhl’s transformation will involve a change to a seven-foot tall Anthropomorphic Lion (a furry) to a rather small human woman (under five-feet). BTW, the proportions on the cover art are to scale, at least in regards to Kruhl not quite so much with the sword, but that’s something for which I hope you’ll forgive me.

Speaking of the cover, I decided to go with something a little more work-safe. Partially this is because one of the websites I post stories to wants only work safe images on their main page and partially it’s because I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the original cover art I created for the story. Additionally, I think it complements the cover art for Psyren’s Redemption rather well.

I have started writing bits and pieces of the Fall of Kruhl, but at the moment I don’t have enough finished to post even one part. Altogether I’ve written something like 2000 words, but mainly that the start of about four different scenes and half of those are probably getting discarded. That being said I want to have at least three parts completely down before the serialization of Kruhl begins. I should be able to do that before I finish posting Virtually Twisted, but I’ve been wrong before.

For those hoping for a Legacy of Earth update, I don’t have much to comment on other than that progress is slow. I haven’t written on it much lately, but plan to spend some time on it after Kruhl is underway.

Well, that more or less sums everything up. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the ending to Virtually Twisted.

Have a delightfully demented night,

Daniel A. Wolfe

Why comments are so important.

I know, I know, it’s just so much work to comment, right? It takes ten whole seconds to share your thoughts. It’s just soooo exhausting. 😛

All kidding aside, yesterday after I posted the latest part of Virtually Twisted, I received a comment and you know what? It happened to be pretty darned helpful. The person in question ‘Calamity’ pointed out that I hadn’t provided any physical descriptions for either Jim’s best friend Megan or her cousin Allison.

Though I’m a little embarrassed that I neglected to include these descriptions it does help drive home just how important comments are to people like me. Not only do they help encourage us writers to continue it does sometimes give the readers the chance to influence the story or provide critical feedback that can improve the story.

I know some readers don’t like commenting because they don’t feel they have anything beneficial to add, but for me any comment is welcome. Yes, I like thoughtful reviews, but even comments like “This is great, I can’t wait for the next part” are encouraging to me. It let’s me know that someone’s reading the story. I’ll take what I can get. Hell, just using the like buttons is better than nothing.

Yes, this website tells me how many people visit a particular page, but it doesn’t tell me if they actually read what’s there. Actual feedback, is what I want.

Now, before someone stops in and says, ‘you need to write what you want and not worry about what other people think,’ please don’t go there. I understand the argument, and I disagree. I write because I want to share my stories, I want people to appreciate them. I want them to enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them. Yes, I write for myself, but with the intention of sharing them with our tiny little corner of the internet.

That’s just my two cents, but what do I know?

PS I made changes to part one and part two of virtually twisted adding descriptions to the aforementioned characters.

Have a delightfully demented day,

Daniel A. Wolfe

When Music Fuels the Magic

There is just something about a good tune that really gets me pumped. Often, after a stressful day at work, I’ll crank up the ol’ car stereo and get the tunes blaring. It helps me forget my worries and relieve stress.

I often listen to music while writing, it can help me get in the mood for certain scenes and in some instances has helped me get past a particular block. The type of music varies on the sort of scene. Fight scenes are generally accompanied by energetic metal or rock, larger scale battles tend to be backed by more epic songs, sometimes this is symphonic metal or just straight up classical symphony music. Okay, granted damn near everything I listen to is either rock or metal, but considering how diverse rock and metal are I can find music to fit pretty much any mood.

I’ve had others tell me that they feel music has too strong an influence on their writing if they listen while writing, but to me the only thing a tune does is set the mood. When I’m writing, I’m not paying attention to the lyrics, the music become part of the ambiance of the story. It relays the emotions of the characters or helps set a mood. It is not, to me, a distraction.

There are of course those instances I writing in silence, but that can also help set a mood. If a character is feeling contemplative or a keen sense of loneliness, that too can help set a mood.

What are your thoughts? Does anyone else feel this way?

Everyone have a delightfully demented day,

D.A.W.

Naming conventions

I’m obsessed with finding the perfect names for my characters. I can’t speak for every writer, but I would say that most share the same preoccupation.  Sometimes names are collected from real life people or locations, tweaked in some instances to ‘protect’ the innocent, but in some instances I have to dig deeper.

I put a lot of thought into names, sometimes I spend hours deeply immerse in naming sites looking for that perfect name. Sometimes I’m looking for a moniker with a specific sound sometimes it’s a specific meaning and other times it’s one that comes from a certain part of the world. In the Spellbinder Universe, for instance, many of the appellations are Nordic origin.

Then there are the times a name is fabricated. Jellfree, for instance, is a corrupted form of Jeffrey. Khala, believe it or not, descended from the name Alicia.

I’ve had other writers tell me that strange or fabricated monikers tend to pull a reader out of the story, but I believe that it really depends on the tale. One set in rural Connecticut, obviously shouldn’t feature a protagonist named ‘Kilthar the Oathbringer’, but rather something like Jake or Steve might just be a little more appropriate. It all just depends on the setting.

I do hope other folks will chime in and give their opinion.

 

Until tomorrow, everyone have a delightfully demented day,

 

Daniel A. Wolfe

In defense of fantasy and sci-fi

I’m a nerd. It’s something I make no apology for and feel no shame. I am what I am, and my interests are varied and diverse. I am passionate about those interests and am often baffled by the attitudes toward some of them. One of the things that so frequently irks me, is that Fantasy and Sci-fi are so often confused with one another when, to my eye, they are very different genres.

Science-fiction came about largely because some of the first authors in the genre imagined what technological feats humankind might one day achieve. Some ideas aren’t even remotely feasible and would basically shatter our ideas about the laws of science if they ever came to fruition, but some are more than feasible. The first flip phone designs were largely inspired by the Star Trek communicator and early science-fiction authors like Johannes Kepler and Francis Godwin imagined space travel centuries before it ever became a reality. Granted, their ideas were largely influenced by the scientific theories of the times and aren’t a realistic representation of what a trip to the moon was actually like, but I think it should show, at least, that some science-fiction ideas do become a reality in one way or another.

Fantasy on the other hand, could never became a reality, but I think people who fail to see past what they deem as silly spell-slinging, and don’t suspend their sense of disbelief never manage to look deeper. Both fantasy and science-fiction have long been a vehicle for social and political commentary and often illuminate the human condition. Terry Brooks, one of the biggest names in Fantasy, has set his most popular series, Shannara on a future Earth that was nearly destroyed by nuclear holocaust. In the future, humanity survives, but the world has been reshaped and magic has taken hold where technology once ruled supreme. Throughout the series, we see the battle for supremacy between the forces of magic and science play out. I dare you to tell me that Mr. Brooks isn’t trying to tell us something with these imagining.

I admit, some stories are just fun romps through an imaginary world, but you can find such stories in damn near every genre. Why, then do fantasy and science-fiction are met with such derision.

You even see similar attitudes prevail in the tg community. I’ve seen many people complain that stories involving magical or science-fiction transformations as unrealistic then turned around and promote a work that involves a big burly man who is over six-feet tall and broad-shouldered, cross-dress and managed to create a convincing facade of a beautiful woman. It’s ever bit as unrealistic and, face it, more than a little silly. Most of these stories involve wish fulfillment , either because they satisfy a sexual fetish or because they help the author work through gender their gender dysphoria. I find nothing wrong with either sort of story, but lets be honest with ourselves, the number of realistic stories on the various fiction sites are few and far between.

I write what I write, because I wanted to bring a different sort of story to the table. I wanted fantasy and science-fiction tg tales with believable characters and exciting plots. I can’t say how good they actually are, as I am anything but objective, but I like to think they at least entertain the folks who have read my stories. Again, there is that element of wish fulfillment in my tales.  Some follow many of the tropes we see so often on fictionmania, bigcloset or tgstorytime and I would be lying if there weren’t fetishistic elements, but I’ve at least tried to portray trans characters in a more positive light. One thing is for certrain, I sure as hell included more than just a little social and political commentary if you know what you’re looking for.

It’s time for me to get going. Everyone have a delightfully demented day, and be sure to check back tomorrow when another one of my stories is posted.

Daniela A. Wolfe

So Many Story Ideas

Story ideas come and story ideas go. Some stick in my head and some fly right out the window. Some are just little tease of a thought based on a very simple gimmick and some pop into my head with a startling amount of detail.

Most go by the wayside never to see the light of day, but there are a very select few I start to write and fewer still that get completed. I wish I could write faster. It seems to me so many more of those days would live to see the light of day. I like to think those that do get picked out are the best I have to offer, but I always wonder, y’know?

That’s largely why I started writing so many of them down. Most will probably sit and collect virtual dust inside of my desktop’s hard drive, but maybe, just maybe they’ll see the light of day some time in the not so distant future.

Until next week, everyone have a delightfully demented day,

Daniel A. Wolfe

Writing update #1 (includes small excerpt from Legacy of Earth!)

So, among other things I wanted this site as a place to talk about the writing process and as a whole just tell people where I’m at in my writing. Today, it’s more of the latter.

So, what is ol’ Danny boy up to at the moment? Well, currently I’m knees deep into Legacy of Earth, the sequel to Battle for Earth. Part one is finished in the sense that it has a beginning and an end, but needs some editing and a few minor additions here or there. I’m some 23,000 words into the second part and I’m fairly close to the halfway mark. This series should be at least four parts perhaps longer.  Each part will be between 40,000 to 60,000 words and will be posted as a serial.

I’ve already uploaded some of the cover art to the website, if you wish to view it go here and scroll down to Legacy of Earth Covers and Legacy of Earth bios.

So, what is Legacy of Earth about? Well, it picks up some 160 years after Battle, and tells the tale of a descendant of Lexa and Lily who has the unfortunate luck of being named Jellfree after his rather famous great-grandmother. He’s not exactly too happy about this, so he starts calling himself ‘Jek’ instead. He’s none too fond of the K’teth or the conclave which represents them, since his grandmother, the woman who raised him and also Lexa and Lily’s daughter, is the chairwoman of said conclave you could imagine this creates a few conflicts.

Angry at the world, Jek leaves home and makes a new name  for himself, even going so far as to claim he wasn’t related to ‘those Briggs’. The actually story picks up a number of years after he’s left home and successfully distanced himself from his family’s legacy. Unfortunately, for him, his obsession with a certain famous lost ship throws him right back in with the conclave and is forced to join a fight against a frightening new enemy.  When the story draws to a close the story will have answered one of the biggest questions left open by Battle for Earth, what the hell happened to the Phyrr Lesch?

And just for fun, here’s an excerpt from Legacy of Earth: Birthright, the first part of the series. It basically consists of the entire second chapter. It hasn’t seen a lot of editing, so please forgive any grammar and spelling errors you might encounter.

I panted, coming to a stop in front of a door. “I really, need to spend a little more time in the gym.”

“Jek?”

“Forget about,” I shook my head and gritted my teeth. “I think this is it.”

“Are you sure… I mean how can you tell?”

“The door marked ‘Research Area: Authorized Personnel Only’ kind of gives it away. If shit is going down, its gonna be in there.”

It made a certain amount of sense. The Endeavor had been research ship on a very specific mission, if something freaky had been brought aboard it would be taken to the one place on the ship where it could best be examined and contained. I placed my hand on the controls, cursing when it failed to comply with the command to open and took a few steps back. I whipped my pistol out and removed the energy cell. I was really keen on blowing the door to shit, but you know what they say about desperate measures and all that.

Energy cells were purposely designed to prevent idiots like me from doing just such a thing, but when you spend enough time with sleezebags and lowlifes who live on the outskirts of their respective societies you picked up a few tricks and frankly I’d lived a pretty sheltered life until striking out on my own. Tanner was the one who’d shown me that particular trick, who had taught her was a matter I hadn’t quite figured out.

I finished the modifications and ducked around the corner, just seconds before the resulting explosion rocked the corridor. Okay, so rocked was too strong of a word, it was more like a little tremor. Either way, once I ducked my head back around the corner and got my first good look the huge freaking hole in the door I didn’t stop to argue semantics. I just took action, running toward the opening and crawling through without hesitation. Stopping dead in my tracks as I stared across the scene laid out before me with eyes as wide as saucers.

“Mom.”

I should have figured that my mother would be at the source of the shit I’d stepped knees deep into. That didn’t mean I understood what the hell any of it meant. My mother’s corpse was sprawled out on the ground, covered in blood, and would have looked unbelievably lifelike if it weren’t for the huge gaping hole in her chest. Her dead eyes stared out into nothingness, and I knelt down a sigh escaping my lips as I looked upon her body. Tears cascaded down my face as I finally found the closure I had sought for so long.

She looked exactly as I remembered. I was only six years old when she went missing, but I had long ago etched the image of her face into my mind. She looked young, perhaps in her thirties, but I knew better my mother had been close to eighty years old. Medical technologies had progressed a lot since the occupation and each successive generation lived longer than the last. I stroked her blue hair a telltale sign that, in life, she had been joined to a K’teth and reached a hand out to close those striking magenta eyes.

I cupped my gloved hand in hers, only realizing, as I did so, that there was something clenched in her palm. I pried it loose, careful not to break or damage her hand. It was a stasis pod no larger than an medium-sized orange, the sort used by scientists to preserve organic samples for later study. I had no idea what she was doing with the thing, but judging from the way she had it clutched in her hand, something told me it was important.

“Jek!” Tanner’s voice cried frantically and my mind instantly returned to the present. “Energy levels are building to dangerous levels. If you’re going to do something it better be soon.”

The only reason I had run towards the source of the energy buildup was to prevent the ship from being destroyed and along with it whatever hope I might have of discovering what had happened to my mother. I hadn’t expected to find her corpse within its vicinity, but now that I was there I knew I would go to whatever means I had to, even sacrifice my own life, to ensure the ship remained intact. The family of the crew deserved to know what had happened to their loved ones.

I craned my neck, to the only item in the room that looked liked it could be anything of importance. It was a plain unadorned box, that probably wouldn’t have looked very out of place in the Centennial Hawk’s cargo hold if it weren’t for one small little detail. It looked positively ancient, like it had been buried for thousands of years and only recently unearthed. There were even a few clumps of dirt still affixed to its surface, but what really caught my eye where were a pair of blinking lights, which alternated between, green, yellow red and orange, on the front along the seam. I couldn’t guess the box’s significance, but if I were a betting man, which I was, I’d say it was the source of all the interference.

I secured the stasis pod to one of the clips on my waist walked over toward the box, reaching a hand out to touch it, and felt the the hairs on the back of my neck rise up as the whole room started to quake.

“What the hell?” I turned toward the source, just in time to watch as the opposite wall collapsed and shot toward me with sudden violent force and a loud metallic shriek.

A figure stood in the new opening, a hulking creature with muscles bigger than my head. I didn’t get a very good look at it, but I knew one thing without even having to ask, it wasn’t friendly. I snatched the box from off the counter, and booked it the hell out of there through the entrance I’d made the comparatively tiny little hole in the door. A high-pitched wail followed me out the opening, followed by the collapse of metal on metal as the creature, unable to fit through the opening, tore the door free from its frame.

Distantly, I heard Tanner’s voice over the roar of the creature as it came tearing after me, but it was not even remotely intelligible. I craned my neck around to get a better look at it, but it was moving so fast that it was little more than a blur. It was big, gray, and had lots of teeth. That was pretty much all I needed to know. I didn’t stop to examine it or try to reason it, assuming it was even a sapient being. For a change, I didn’t do the stupidest thing humanly possible, I did the exact opposite. I ran like hell.

“Tanner. I uh, think I just made a new friend.” I panted rounding a bend just barely managing to evade the creature’s fist as it came crashing down.

“Good lord, what the hell is that sound?” She replied as my pursuer let out a blood curdling scream.

“My new friend, don’t you listen, Tanner?”

“Uh huh, and this new friend is trying to kill you isn’t it?”

“That’s why I like you Tanner, you’re such a smart cookie.”

“You realize I can’t help you, don’t you? I can’t read a damn thing on my end.”

“Figures, I’m being chased down by a massive gray blur with muscles that would make any man tremor in his little booties and teeth big enough to bite me in two and all you can do is provide commentary. Story of my life.”

“Why don’t you shoot it?”

“Can’t, I already used my energy cell to blow a hole in the door of the research area and my only spare one is inside my suit. I think I might have a plan… I won’t speak it aloud in case smiley understands me, but assuming he doesn’t get to me before I manage to institute it, it should work.”

“Why doesn’t that fill me with confidence?”

“You know Tanner, you really need to–” I stopped short as a sudden and very violent force yanked me back and slammed me into the wall.

“Jek? Jek? JEK?!” Judging from her screams, I’m sure Tanner had at least an inkling that something had gone wrong, but the cold acceptance I felt as I stared into the eyes of the creature was far and beyond the most terrifying feeling of my life. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it’s like my mind had been divided into two. One half was scared beyond measure and the other half had already accepted I was going to die.

I got my first good look at the creature, as it’s hand grasped tighter and tighter around my neck. My original assessment had been correct, but as my eyes filled in the gaps my imagination hadn’t, I realized just how much shit I was in. It was like someone had taken a Qharr warrior and crossbred it with a Dre’k. The result, the most horrifying and fearsome creature I had every laid eyes on. One who was all, scales, teeth, muscle and claws.

Shit, it was like the living-embodiment of the fucking boogeyman.

I probably would have died there and then, but as my bowels evacuated, the part of my mind that was terrified beyond measured did something completely and unexpectedly rational. I kicked out with my legs, hitting the huge bastard where it counts, that’s right, square between the legs. The effect was nearly instantaneous, the fucking beasts dropped me like a ship ejecting its cargo and I hit the floor gasping for air. I struggled to my feet, shaking my head as I struggled to fight the remaining effects of hypoxia.

I was back on my feet before the beast had recovered, but only just barely. I snatched the fallen mystery box from the ground and took off down the corridor. Moving at a speed that only adrenaline could sustain, I screamed at the top of my lungs as my pursuer jumped  toward me with one spectacular and impressive leap. It struck so much fear into me, that it actually prompted me to run even faster, moving at speeds I never would have believed possible without the aid of a K’teth symbiote.

I felt the creature’s hand on me again, but before his grip could tighten I spun around and forced the box into his hands. “You know what, you can have it.”

The ploy worked, sort of, the creature’s hand slid away as it fumbled to grab hold of the box and I scrambled away, once again launching myself down the corridor. The creature roared and resumed pursuit, and I screamed louder. Why couldn’t he just have been happy with the damn box?

Pretty soon I reached my destination, which was surprising since I was pretty damned turned around. I didn’t exactly stop to celebrate though, I made a beeline right for the cargo dock release controls, but before I could get there the creature stopped me slammed the box square into the center of my back. I went down again, this time I slid across the floor and slammed my head into the nearest bulkhead. The collision had me seeing stars, and before I could even think about getting back up, I felt something press against my back.

I thrashed about, trying to break free, but the more I struggled the more the pressure tightened. I cried out begging for mercy, in a vain hope that the creature actually understood me, but if he was able to comprehend, my cries either went unnoticed or he just didn’t care. I squeezed my eyes shut, preparing for what must surely be my end when a voice cried out screaming the most beautiful words I’d ever heard.

“Hey, fuck-face! Over here.”

Phase fire illuminated the corridor, as the creature lifted its foot off my back and went tearing down corridor after his new prey. I rolled onto my back, just in time to watch Tanner’s fabulous ass, displayed prominently even through the thick fabric of her EVA suit, disappear down the corridor followed closely by the beast. This time I had a lot more difficulty clawing back to my feet, mainly due to the throbbing pain in my back. The fact that I could move my legs, meant he hadn’t injured my spine, at least not to the point I’d been paralyzed, but there was some definite damage somewhere in the mid-back region. One thing was certain, there was no way I’d be doing any running anytime soon.

“Tanner, goddammit, I told you to stay on the ship!” I spoke into the comm. “Do you have any idea how dumb what you just did was?”

“As opposed to your brand of stupidity?” She replied back. “Besides you’d be dead right now if it weren’t for me so I fully expect to here the words thank and you sometime in the not so distant future.”

I grimaced shaking my head, rubbing a hand up and down my back hoping that it would help ease the nearly overwhelming pain and thus help me move better, but the fabric of the suit was too thick for me to feel much of anything. “Right, just get back here, would you? And have a tether ready, things are gonna get pretty… turbulent in here.”

“You’re one crazy motherfucker, you know that, Jek?”

“Yeah, well I wasn’t expecting you to be here.”

“Need I remind you? Tanner here… Jek not dead”

I hobbled over to the controls trying to hurry, but unable to produce more than a crawl. Whatever the hell that thing had done to me it had really fucked me up. I was having a hard time just walking in a straight line. I did finally manage to reach the control panel and was glad to find that it was ready for my commands.

I glanced through the transparasteel doors, into the cargo hold beyond. It was dark, probably to conserve power. Not a surprise, cargo holds didn’t see a lot of foot traffic compared to the rest of the ship why keep it lit all the time? Tanner and I did the same thing on the Centennial Hawk.

I knew what was on the far side of the cargo bay concealed by the shadows without being told, the bay doors. I know it’s just a stroke of brilliant deductive reasoning, but unfortunately I didn’t have time to congratulate myself. A blood curdling scream cascaded through the corridor hitting my ears and producing a shiver down my spine.

“Fuck it.” I anchored my tether to the console and turned my head just in time to watch Tanner reappear followed closely by the creature.

I opened the doors leading into the cargo hold and Tanner took her cue, latching her own tether in place. Before I could open the exterior doors the creature’s eyes locked onto me again and it let out another howl as it came charging straight toward me, again.

“SHIT!”

I slammed my hand down on the emergency override mechanism, but he was on me before the doors had started to open. Tearing into my chest, with claws that looked a whole hell of a lot more menacing than a phase pistol. I screamed out blood splattering all over the place, but it was to no avail the creature was relentless. He slammed me into the console, and I cursed spitting blood into his face as he raised one of his massive arms to make a swing at me.

He never had the chance, the doors finally slid open with so much force that it produced a loud clang and the whole ship rocked. Everything in the area that wasn’t bolted down or tethered was sent hurtling through the new opening. Most of that included the contents of the cargo hold and the mysterious box, but what it didn’t include was my buddy the grotesquely terrifying creature from the deepest darkest recesses of my mind.

No, the bastard had managed to grab hold of my ankle and was holding on for dear life. I did the one thing I could do I kicked the bastard with my one free leg. The blow wasn’t as hard as I liked, but his hand had started to slip so it must have done some good. Three successive kicks, his hand slipped a little further until finally he slid free and was sent flying into the deep abyss of space.

Blood was everywhere, and I could feel the darkness creeping at the edge of my vision as I struggled to pull myself close enough so that I could toggle the emergency switch again. I was just barely able to grab hold of it, and force it back into place before my hands went limp. Even as the room re-pressurized and my lungs filled with air, unconsciousness continued to creep away.

It was all the blood I lost and there wasn’t a whole lot I could do. I should have been completely out of my mind, but somehow I remained lucid. Something clicked inside my skull and I finally realized why my mother had been clutching the stasis pod so obsessively. Somehow I mustered enough strength to yank it free from the clip on my suit and slam it down to the ground, shattering it into a thousand pieces.

Tanner screamed my name, but by then it was already too late. The darkness had come to carry me a way, but just before it took hold there was a blur of movement from something that looked like an awful lot like a little ball of gelatin. Maybe, I was hallucinating or maybe it was the one thing I knew that could save my life. Either way, I didn’t remain consciousness long enough to see what happened next.

As my mind receded, I heard a voice calling out. Speaking words I had heard a thousand times over, but always in my dreams.

‘Find her, set her free.’

That should do it for now, everyone have a delightfully demented day,

 

D.A.W.

 

P.S. Remember to check back Saturday for the next installment in my Ragnarok Rising trilogy!

 

Why do I write what I write?

One of the topics that cause the most conflict on the tg fiction sites, especially fictionmania, is why isn’t a certain type of story more prominent or why is there so much of this other variety? I understand this frustration, I really do, I write within a fairly small niche within the niche.  The main reason I began writing tg fiction, in the first, place was so I could share my tastes with the greater community.

The funny things is, that writing has actually expanded those tastes. In the beginning, I would only read tales where the character had swapped genders unwillingly. Granted, most of my protagonists still fit into that description, but it’s not all that unusual for a honest to goodness transgender individual to pop up into one of my stories. Hell, I’ve even created a story universe, Tales from Meridina that exclusively involves transwomen having their deepest desires granted and getting transformed into genetic women. So there’s that too.

What bothers me most is that many folks tend to, I don’t know, have a sense of entitlement about it. ‘You don’t write the type of TG fiction I like, how dare you! You should totally write what I want!’ You know what? No bueno. I’ve never had this attitude directed toward me specifically, but it is prominent enough that I’ve seen it crop up every couple of months on various message boards and forums. I can’t speak for every writer on fictionmania, big closet, tg story time or the plethora of other sites out there, but what I write, I write because I enjoy it. I can’t write cross-dressing or sissification stories, I don’t find enjoyment from it. I suspect the same thing would apply to most, if not all, writers. Of course, there are folks out there who can write just about anything whether they enjoy it or not, I am not one of those people.

I write fantasy and science-fiction tales, because that’s largely what I grew up reading and enjoying. The tg aspect of my stories, is a big harder for me to grasp. It’s not really a fetish for me. There was a time, I might have told you that mainly because it seemed the simplest explanation, but I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and came to much deeper conclusions.

The short answer is, I don’t think I fit entirely within the male end of the gender spectrum. If that makes me trans than so be it. Don’t get me wrong. I have no intention of transitioning, I don’t feel the dysphoria over my body as so many transwomen and transmen have described. Where does that leave me? Hell if I know. If someone were to come by with a magic wand and offer to transform me into a woman, no questions asked, I’d certain give it a lot of thought, but I’m not sure I would even take them up on the offer.

So, I write, and in so doing I explore my own gender identity. Why then fantasy and science-fiction? A lot of people dismiss those genre’s downright silly, but, I think, most people who make that mistake either suffer from a lack of imagination, have never read a well written piece or else didn’t take the time to read between the lines and make out the hidden context that is so prominent in both genres. Any good piece of fantasy or sci-fi is chocked full of social commentary. Look no farther than Star Trek and it’s many spinoffs, love it or hate it they’ve tackled a lot of themes over the years, racial tension, gay rights, sexism, and gender equality just to name a few.

I don’t know that I would consider myself a great writer, maybe not even a good one, but I hope at least, some people have picked up on what I’ve been trying to do these last few years. Maybe, at least then, it would all be worth it.

Until, next week, everyone have a delightfully demented day and don’t forget to check back this Saturday at five in the morning when Incompatible, goes live.

Daniel A. Wolfe

 

 

Daniel A. Wolfe © 2017-. Theme by Meks. Powered by WordPress.