Writing 101 Challenge (2021)

Day One- Unlock The Mind

“To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes for freewriting. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write. 

For your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.”

Writing 101- Day One

Devon quietly opened the door to his chambers and peered out. The room was quiet and cool and he could see hints of moonlight from the tower windows. He stepped into the common room and made his way to the steel door. He attempted to push it, it was locked!

“They think we are some kind of prisoners here, but luckily the first thing I studied was to unlock things,” Devon smiled as he etched the Rune Opila into the air. It glowed and a clank could be heard as the bolt moved aside. 

Devon quietly pushed the door aside as he stepped into the even colder hallways. He made his way quietly down the brick flooring and headed towards the Teachers break room. He placed his head on the door and listened for the clanking of dishes or silverware or whispers in the shadows. It was quiet and Devon smiled. He continued forward to the library. 

He came to the large wooden doors and etched Raido in the air slowly pushing the large iron bars aside to unlock it. A loud clunk was heard as it hit the brick walls and Devon cursed to himself looking around anxiously if anyone had heard him. 

“I just want to read some books,” he grunted, “it shouldn’t matter if I’m not supposed to read them!” 

He made his way into the dark ceramic room and looked at all the large wooden shelves organized neatly throughout the room. His eyes quickly peered up to see an old balcony overlooking the library, teachers would go here to observe their students reading. Devon knew there also was a nice selection of books up there the teachers would not want their students to read. That was where he needed to start. 

Observing the shelves he noticed they were large and it may be possible to climb up there, it would be much easier if he had access to the balcony elsewhere but going into the master chambers with all the teachers where it led, would be far more difficult. He sighed and walked over to the shelves that were closest. He began to climb. The shelves were stable as he ascended to the top, careful to avoid knocking any of them over he finally reached the top.

The balcony was closer now, but still felt years away. Devon suddenly heard footsteps outside the library. The night guard must be making his rounds. Devon hoped they were as dense as he thought they might be but the mumbles of them outside told him otherwise.  

“Did Cheyron forget to lock the library again? Dimwitted and unreliable I always say. This is so annoying. I have a book upstairs that I’ve been meaning to read and this is going to halt that progress,” the guard sighed as he began to push open the doors. 

Devon had to think quickly, he etched Raido and pushed open one of the windows. Quickly etching another set of runes, Isaz and Sowilo into the air and blanketed the top of the library with artificial mist. It blanketed the top like clouds and Devon laid perfectly still on the top of the shelves slowing his breathing. 

“And he left a window open, morons a lot of them. Nothing I can do about that, I don’t have magic like they do,” the guard huffed as he walked into the center of the library amongst the large farmhouse tables and chairs looking around for any sign of life.

The guard continued the walk around, as Devon expected the guard did not look up. He smiled to himself as the guard made the way for the door. Devon quickly stood up and looked back to the balcony. How was he going to get up there? Time was flying by and morning would be here soon, he needed to think of something quick before the teachers began to stir. Many of them walk out to the balcony with coffee and look out the windows at the impending sunrise. Their idea of a relaxing time. Devon sat cross-legged on the shelves and began to meditate, he needed a solution to get up here and his magical prowess was limited. 

“I wish I had learned just a bit more about magic before I attempted this, but it sounds like they aren’t going to help me with what I’m most interested in. So I need to learn on my own. Knowledge is power!” Devon said softly, “if only I had a ladder, or stairs!” 

Devon stood up and etched Raido and Isaz into the air, pulling books from the shelves and forming a makeshift stairwell up to the balcony. Smiling at his ingenuity, he felt the pain in his chest from the lack of magic. He was running low and this would complicate his escape if things were not to go as planned. 

Carefully he took steps on the floating books; they each went down a couple inches at a time, which scared him a bit but he just kept going forward the goal was worth it. Carefully taking a step on each side he finally landed on the balcony. He crouched listening for sounds from the teachers rooms and satisfied there were none made, he made his way to the marble bookshelf on display. Pursuing the book titles for anything that could catch his interest, he could only take one, otherwise the teachers would notice, they keep careful eye on this collection.

He noticed titles like potions, tinctures, and rune casting by an author named Atlair. Why would they remove these? Were these not important topics to read about? He suddenly saw a leather bound journal tucked into the corner of the shelves which caught his interest. He etched a rune, another pang through his chest and pulled it to himself. 

He opened it and saw a bunch of handwritten pages. There were equations, recipes, and runes he had not yet learned about in hieroglyphics on some of the pages. He smiled. Suddenly hearing footsteps in the teachers room, he cursed his luck and quickly made his way out to the balcony, where his books still float. He leapt from book to book until he was safely on the shelf, mist thinning throughout the room. He pushed the books back into their shelf and descended down. 

Landing on the ceramic tiles he quickly, yet quietly, made his way to the door. Placing his ear on the door listening for sounds, hearing none he opened the doors and slipped out. Quietly running over the bricks to his chamber and climbing the tower stairs. He slipped into the door and quickly etched Opila to pull the bolt closed and made his way to his room. Looking out the tower window, it was still dawn and he needed to get just an hour or so of rest for his day. His magic mostly used up, he knew tomorrow would be hard.

Day Two- A Room With A View

If you could zoom through space at the speed of light, what place would you go to right now? 

Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

Writing 101- Day Two

The brick buildings were blanketed in a cool dewy mist from last night’s rain. The cobblestone walkways were slippery as Devon made his way through the town. He pulled his cloak tight to him as a way to ward off the dampness that threatened to overcome him. The canvas felt rough through his hands. He adjusted his leather satchel swung by his waist. Looking around the quiet town in the twilight he fixed his eyes on the train station.

“It’s amazing how a simple network of technology is currently all that holds this economy together,” Devon smiled as he approached the large brick building. 

The brick covering the train station had intricate carvings of vines and flowers on each one. The words ‘Artesia Railways’ in hand-crafted iron letters hung from the top. The stained glass window with each hand-lain pane by pane to form some of the great gods Devon had read about. The doors were made of large slabs of granite, carved with leaves and cogs. He held his hands up and etched Opila into the air as cogs and gears began to clank and whirr as the locks were slowly opened for him. It felt like an eternity of noise as his eyes darted about for any bystander unfortunate enough to be observing him. 

With a loud final slide of the steel pistons the doors began to open. Creaking and moaning from the old hinges resistance. He stepped inside into the marble hub. Each piece of marble swirled with nature’s perfect art, columns spread throughout the room- each with their own carvings. The attendants’ standing stations were encased in sapphire crystal and black quartz countertops. Papers and notebooks strewn across each station with a selection of metal stamps and ink pads neatly in a row beside them. Large metal clocks hung from the walls, each with the up-to-date time of locations throughout Artesia. 

Iron and metal staircases led out to the trains throughout the back of the building. Each adorned by iron lamp posts and signs of their enclosed vessel. Names like Aspen, Bismarck, Citron, Durian, and Euodia. The five steam engines from the great Da Vinci Period. Each staircase was blocked by steel cable fences wrapped and twisted to add character. Devon carved Ophilia at the gate of Euodia and the gates clanked open. Descending the staircase Devon made his way down towards the trains. 

Into a clearing of trees surrounded by tall brick walls with openings for each set of railways the trains traveled on he stepped. The Eudoia sat in the corner of the clearing, Devon made his way to it. It was the only one here currently and looking into the light peeking through the twilight he knew he only had a matter of time before others returned. The Eudoia was clad in a perfectly moulded piece of steel. Metal dots overlaying the seams holding the sheets together. The windows were a thick orange glass and the iron letters spelt out its name on the engine. The number 5 adorned the front. 

The large coal cart was behind it glistening with large black chunks of coal, brimming to the edges. Devon though needed to make his way to the back. This would take a few minutes but hopefully with the delay of the other trains arrival, he would have time to make it to the caboose where he could lay low and make his way to the Blackwood, his destination. He stepped into the first passenger car and made his way through each one. The rooms were adorned in gold and silver, leather seats spread carefully through each car. Cubbies sit above them and small crystal tables sit between each one. The doors were adorned in thick stained glass. Making his way through each one, he had arrived at the back. 

The caboose had the same gold and silver adornments as the passenger cars, along with stained windows to the front and back. But the sides were bolted crates of metal and iron. Storage boxes for supplies. He made his way to the largest one and slipped inside. Laying down into the metal box he etched Kaunan and pulled out a leather bound journal, and began to read.

Day Three- Commit to a Writing Practice

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?
Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today, and moving forward.

Writing 101- Day Three

The top three songs in my life that I can think of off the top of my head, each by one of my all time favorite bands! Plus two bonuses, because why not?

  1. “The Light” – Disturbed 
    1. If there is something awful you think someone could go through, I’ve probably been through it. The mundane dark cloud that forever follows me around, a curse of bad luck, that has lasted the three decades I’ve been on this planet. To the extreme, off the wall tragedies you wouldn’t think to ever be committed on a person. I’ve been through it, and through a particularly bad time in my life this song helped me hang on to the sliver of sanity I had left on my head. I love every song Distubred has done and I am happy to admit, five years ago I actually got to see both my favorite bands for my first concert! Their cover of “The Sound of Silence” is one of the handful of songs that ever gave me straight chills to hear, and “Down with the Sickness” holds a sadistic place in my heart for reasons I don’t talk about anymore. 
  2. “Ashes of Eden” – Breaking Benjamin
    1. This one was the most haunting to me to hear, I also would have chosen “Diary of Jane”. I actually get to follow this one up with a funny story! My friend Dante stayed the night what feels like lightyears away and he had a terrible snoring problem. I forgot my MP3 players (yes, I’m that old!) and I had to borrow his phone and headphones so I could drown out his snoring. He only had a handful of artists and this was one of them. Listening to Breaking Benjamin I could feel myself slipping into some other reality, the riffs were just earth shattering to me. They have been one of my favorite bands ever since! I also did a suicide awareness video based on “Dear Agony” (Aurora Version) as a college project!
  3. “Creatures” – Shinedown
    1. A throwback to the past, I almost put “If You Only Knew” or “Call Me” but I felt “Creatures” was more fitting, as I exhausted the libraries of some of my all time favorite bands (like above), I decided to revisit some old High School favorites. Shinedown’s album Attention Attention” caught my attention. I loved the whole album and felt like including it here. My library is vast from spoof music to rock classics. Shinedown is the next band I would love to see someday and hope it’s paired with some old favorites as well!
  4. BONUS: The Silver Scream (Album by Ice Nine Kills) 
    1. This entire album straight up blew my mind! The idea of turning old horror classics into metal was right up my alley. I love “Punk Goes Pop” and Covers (like Jonathan Young). I love about 90% of this album and the premise behind it still makes me smile. I also found out about “Story” by NF which is a whole new twist on music, that I wonder if it will become a popular genre?
  5. BONUS: “Sometime Around Midnight” – The Airborne Toxic Event
    1. I wish I could put into words how this song makes me feel. I’ll do my best here. It’s a relaxing riff that reminds me of each minute that passes in the world. It relates to my history of failed relationships and betrayals. I wrote a handful of what I call “Music Video Stories” which are stories I write based on the video that the artist makes. Check the one I wrote on this song here. I love the ups and downs and it feels like the rollercoaster life always brings you on.  
  6. Conclusion: 
    1. It’s hard to narrow my entire library of songs to a list of three (or five) but I felt these ones were the most important to put here. Music is a beautiful thing and I am glad everyone gets to enjoy at least this little piece of positivity as they trudge through life.

My Spotify

Day Four- Serially Lost

Write about a loss, something (or someone) that was part of your life and isn’t any more.

Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series. 

Writing 101- Day Four

So besides the piece from yesterday I’ve been working on trying to engage with a character from a story I would love to write. So I needed to think of a way to tie this one into my ideal character. Instead, I’ve decided to sprinkle in another character from the same story idea.

Talon sat on the rock, shining his sword. His silver armor glimmered in the moonlight. He looked over the lake, the moon reflecting off the surface. 

“It’s been two months now, and I still can’t shake it from my head,” Talon said, a labored breath escaping his lips. A cool cloud hovered around him from the cool evening air. 

“Heya, Talon!” a voice rang out, the clanking of armor following. 

“Oh hello Bergamont, I didn’t expect you to be on duty tonight?” Talon asked as he neatly folded his cloth and slipped his sword into the scabbard. 

“Actually the king sent me on a mission, I am to make way tonight, however I felt the road would be best traveled with a friend?” Bergamot smiled. 

“I’m not one of the Royal Knights though?” Talon said as he pulled out a green leather tome. “The Rules for A Knight” was in gold lettering on the cover. 

“Is that book really that interesting to read?” Bergamot laughed. 

“Yes, it is the unofficial code of conduct. It was official, many years ago.” 

“Ah, maybe I should read it someday?” 

“Perhaps, I don’t know where to find it anymore, this was my fathers when he served the kingdom.” 

“Also, I know, but with how things have turned out I think you could use a friend and a distraction. Also we both know you could totally advance, you just choose not to.” 

“You know the reasons Bergamot, I don’t believe in their ideals. I think you’re right though, I could use a distraction.”

“May I sit?” Bergamot asked as he sat next to Talon on the rock. 

“So what is the King sending you to do this time? Not collect taxes I hope? Assassinate the elderly? Perhaps some kids need to be imprisoned?” Talon laughed overlooking his book. 

“Well, partially right, a small band of rebels have formed a base camp down ‘The Teeth of the World’. The King wants me to investigate and intervene. I figured that is something you and I can handle. We fought together well, well we used to back in the day. Think we still have it?” 

“Well only one way to find out,” Talon said as he leapt to the ground raising his sword at Bergamot. 

Bergamot pulled his sword out and held it high. Suddenly the clash of metal rang out as their swords hit. Talon and Bergamot leapt apart almost in unison as they each smiled. Rushing each other they matched strike for strike. Suddenly they each stepped back and each sheathed their swords in harmony. 

“I think we are doing okay!” Bergamot said. 

For the first time in the last few months, Talon cracked a genuine smile.

Day Five- Be Brief

You stumble upon a random letter of the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. 

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Writing 101- Day Five

Talon reached to the ground and pulled a piece of parchment from the gravel. Carefully unfolding it between his hands. His eyes darted at the inky blotches. His eyebrows raised, his lips parted, sounding each syllable, eyes straining at each word, his hand tightly gripped his sword, suddenly although stricken, his fingers loosened. The paper floated to the ground. 

He turned back and ran to Bergamot, “we’re too late!”  

Day Six- A Character Building Experience

Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?

Todays twist: Turn your post into a character study!

Writing 101- Day Six

The stone table in the damp castle tower sat a group of men, each clad in golden armor. Each one a golden goblet in front of them, a servant boy standing on the sidelines, holding a flask of red wine. He walks up to the man sitting at the front of the table. He has ribbons and medals adorning his armor. He nods in approval as he picks up his topped off glass. His face full of braided facial hair, his eyes a deep gray. 

“Let’s get this meeting over with,” the man boomed. 

“Of course General Altair, we have called this committee to review the current state of affairs and to discuss our soldiers. 

“First all sir, let us discuss our finances. Currently Kesh is sitting on a lucrative pile of gold, however we still have most of it budget in other areas. We’ve been sneaking by with some, shortcuts, here and there but we need to consider the bigger picture. My records indicate that Ashunta and Ahar owe us quite a bit of gold,” the accountant said perusing his bound notebooks. 

“But that is near the girdle, the invisible line that separates us from the disgusting rebels. If we go to collect that gold, we will be stirring up a dust cloud I don’t think we are ready to handle at this time, when we are dealing with Roldem and Tiburn!” one of the guards piped up. 

“He has a point, let us go over the budget together later sir, and see what we can find!” Altair said with a smile. 

“Of course General, I will draft up a spending path for you!” he said with a grumble. 

“The next item, sir, is the headcount of our soldiers. It is dwindling, we have tapped out on soldiers around our kingdom and many don’t feel the need to send men our way? Any ideas?” another asked a stack of files in front of him. 

“We will send a group north, east, south and west. To gather some soldiers. I would like to review the compensation package and see if we can make some tweaks or changes to entice others,” General Altair said, jotting something down in his notebook. 

“Why not send the Black Wings to collect from the prisons?” a man said emerging from the shadows. 

“Oh Captain Geralt, I was not expecting you to be observing our meeting today?” General Altair said, a twinge of fright in his tone. 

“Oh I love to see what this time is spent doing, I will send some Black Wings to the north, I heard some prisoners that might benefit this glorious kingdom!” Geralt smiled, unsettling the whole group. 

“May we approach the disciplines next sir?” a man said, holding up a file. 

“Of course,” General Altair said, looking at the man. 

“I would love to hear what’s going on in the front lines,” Geralt smirked, “and how we handle treason?” 

“It’s of course Victor Devilia, aka Talon,” the man said laying the file down. 

“Oh the knight in silver armor?” Geralt said as he pulled up a chair and sat down, “I love hearing about his attacks on this kingdom!” 

“Him and Bergamot have gone on the mission you sent them last week,” the man said with a sigh. 

“That is for noble honor only, our Golden Knights? Why was I not informed of this transgression?” General Altair said, slamming his fist on the table and urging for more wine. 

“Well, you know he has the qualifications for such a role, however for some reason or another, he has chosen to remain under-ranked?” the man said with a frown. 

“What is the deal with this boy? If he qualifies for the advancement why hasn’t he chosen to do so?” Geralt said dumbfounded, “I want you to explain his file to me. I need to understand how this man ticks, continue your meeting, you come with me!” 

The man swallowed hard and stood up with the file, following Geralt into the study off to the side. They sat down and Geralt relit some candles as he sat intrigued in front of the man. 

“What’s your name?” Geralt asked as he pulled out a notebook. 

“Oh sir, it’s Treyton,” he said with a smile, trying to relax. 

“Okay Treyton, tell me about this foolish knight?” 

“It all began, as he is the son of Sir Reginald,” Treyton said showing Geralt a photo. 

“Oh, I should have looked over our records better, Reginald was a great asset to the kingdom’s control of this part of the map. His theories and strategies helped us reconsider some of the options we had available, I did not know he had a son?” Geralt said, with true surprise. 

“Oh he had two of them sir, but you won’t like the other one…” Treyton said, the discomfort echoing the room. 

Geralt’s eyes beamed with fury as he began putting the pieces together. 

“There is a reason he calls himself Talon,” Geralt said with a gasp. 

“Yes, his name is attached to Derick Devillia, the rebel scum himself,” Treyton added. 

“This has been a heavy oversight on our kings part,” Geralt cursed. 

“Well, the king and Reginald were best friends, Reginald did not choose his son’s path. Talon does the things he does, to help separate himself from the treason of his brother.” 

“That makes sense, I give him some credit for that. However that begs to question, why won’t he follow the Golden Knights? I feel their privileges would help him achieve that goal?” 

“Well, we all thought that but from whispers around the castle, he is closely following his father’s wisdom. Even going as far as carrying an old copy of Rules of a Knight, he wants to be close to the people. He stays a Silver Knight so that he can patrol the streets and communicate with the civilians.” 

“Interesting, flawless honor I suppose. But the civilians are fairly useless to this kingdom’s cause. I don’t know why anyone would want to fret over such trivialities.” 

“We know, especially with his skillset. He has out performed all our knights in every category, including combat of course. Earning several certificates of swordplay styles. He is incredibly resourceful and academically excellent. At the rate he is going, he could be an officer, yet he still chooses to be at the bottom. We cannot crack him. Bonoplix trained him and after his short experience with him, he cleared him to be upranked immediately. Talon declined.”

“With that skillset he sounds like he is squandering his talents, pathetic. So why did he decide to go on this mission? Especially since he most likely knows he shouldn’t? 

“Pardon the gossip sir, but his lady left him and his best friend Bergamot advanced to the Golden Knights, despite Talon’s protests. I feel it might be a way to hang out with his friend and to get his mind off his broken heart?” 

“Love and friendship, foolish ideals!” Geralt shouted, “the man is a fool is all I have gathered from this!” 

“Well, we have studied him and we have some ideas as to why he may be doing this. Pardon the offense sir, this is directly from the study, and not my own thoughts. He believes the Golden Knights to be snobby and big-headed. Their concern with their rank he feels gets in the way of their duties to the kingdom. I have pages here of transgressions throughout his school years with Golden Knights. He has defeated every one of them. Making him a bit of a legend throughout the kingdom.”

“Ah, I relate to him. Some of them seem far more concerned with their rank and status than their duties. I get a lot of lip from my Golden Knights, not much from the lesser ranks. They spend a lot of gold polishing their armor and weapons, even when they haven’t been able to use them. They are necessary to the cause though. I will not forgive him for his foolish ideals but I relate a bit with him. I will discuss this directly with the king and see what options we may have.”

“Of course sir, I hope this has helped a bit. I understand your concern with him, he is constantly on the discipline list and I feel he is underutilized in his current role. I hope something comes of it.” 

“I appreciate the discussion, I will go with my findings to the king.” Geralt said, however Treyton caught a glimpse of disgust in his face as he walked away.  

Day Seven- Give and Take

Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

Writing 101- Day 7

Tiez sliced through the trees, emerging on the other side and landing on lush green grass before him.  Stone columns surrounded the area, cobblestone walkways were painstakingly laid, ornaments of gold, silver and jewels surrounding the area! He had finally arrived at the land of the monks. He would find answers here, and he could not wait. 

Wading through the flowers and trees he saw a village of stone on the hill. He headed down the cobblestone to a circle of bricks where a man sat. He had golden tan skin and four arms sitting cross legged on the bench. He looked towards Tiez and motioned him to sit.

“You’ve finally arrived, I’ve been waiting for you,” the man said with a smile. 

“Where is your backup?” Tiez asked, standing above him. 

“I know why you are here. You seek knowledge, as does everyone that dares venture into the land of the Monks,” the man said. 

“Then you know what I am looking for! Hand it here,” Tiez ordered, outstretching his hand. 

“You think I would willingly hand over information that powerful? Especially to someone with misguided directives?” the man said. 

“Then are you prepared to face me?” Tiez said, clenching his fist. 

“No, Monks are very peaceful,” the man nodded, “and powerful.” 

“Foolish man!” 

“No, I am not foolish, I still think there is hope for you and I think together we can figure it out.” the monk smiled. 

“Then you are deranged,” Tiez said sternly. 

“What brought you down this path of power?” the monk nodded. 

“Foolish little man! Because I am not a barbarian! I have been shunned my entire life. A small frail man and the only way to change that is alchemy!” Tiez yelled. 

“Alchemy huh? Why such a forgotten art, the alchemists all died long ago!” 

“Why do you think they were eradicated? They scared people. They understood how things worked. They knew the ebb and flow of magic, and they could do amazing things!” 

“ Yes, but if they were so powerful how did we defeat them? They were delusional and easily handled.” 

“I’m pretty sure they were just outnumbered and some nasty tricks pulled on them!” 

“I think the path you are going down is only going to lead to your downfall. It’s foolish to seek ancient power. This path has led so many to disaster. I hate to see someone so young follow destruction.” 

“You don’t get to make decisions for my destiny, I choose that! So are you going to give me what I want or am I going to need to take it from you?” 

“I cannot change your mind, however you are the foolish one if you think I’m going to be giving up anything to help your despicable cause.” 

“You cannot handle my power monk. I may not have learned much but I’ve learned but I’ve focused on combat.”

“You silly boy, you’ve never fought a monk before. There is a reason people come to us. Our power, our wisdom, and our skillset is unrivaled amongst the lands. You will not make it out of here alive Devon…” 

“You know my name?” Tiez gasped. 

“I know everything about you Devon, you’re not a barbarian and I know why. Your mother, she laid with the fey. It’s why you can do magic. It’s why your stature is so tiny and frail. It’s also why I believe in you. The fey are a peaceful and magical race and if you have fey blood running in your veins you are capable of mercy!” 

Devon stood in shock. The information overloading his mind. He stepped back and clapped his hands. The ground blew up in chunks and a dust cloud. Tiez ran off and leapt through the trees and landed in a thistle below.

For the first time since he lived in the village, tears welled up in his eyes.

Day Eight- Death to Adverbs

Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.
Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post. If you’d rather not write a new post revisit and edit a previous one: excise your adverbs and replace them with strong, precise verbs.

Writing 101- Day Eight

CANCELED BECAUSE I FORGOT TO GO SOMEWHERE!

Day Nine- Point of View

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.
Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

Writing 101- Day Nine

David and Sarah stepped out of their SUV each holding a water bottle and their cellphones. Before them the park with its freshly grown grass, beautiful walkways of cobblestone, and strong oak trees. They looked over at one another and smiled. 

“The weather is beautiful today,” Sarah smiled. Her wavy brunette hair around her shoulders and hazel eyes boring into David. 

“Should be a gorgeous day to walk tonight!” David smiled, his black hair spiked on his head and blue eyes staring back at her.

They made their way through the cobblestone pathways looking around at the dogs running around and kids playing ball. Young couples sat on towels making out beneath the trees. Old couples walked slowly hand in hand with their walkers. David held Sarah’s hands tight with his as they made their way through the park. There on the bench sat an old lady, slowly knitting a red sweater. 

The weather is nice, and reminds me of the days with my grandchildren. Back before they were all grown up. We would run around and toss a pigskin about. Haha. My daughter and her husband always played with their kids. It brought me such joy. Wonder how they are doing now? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them. I hope they’re well. 

Her hands furiously tied another knot. She held it up in front of her. Her hands shook as she admired her work. She put it back in her lap and pulled out her handbag. There was a small selection of yarn before her. She pulled out a gold lapel yarn and another set of crochet hooks to add the border to her creation. She began at the neck and made her way around the outside. Her lips in a smile, her gray eyes in intense focus. 

She glanced up to see a young couple walking on the cobblestone. It caught her attention as it looked a lot like her daughter and her husband. She felt a pang of joy, what are the odds that they are at central park today! She wanted to show them her gorgeous sweater! She would ask them how they’ve been, and what they have been up too! She secretly wondered if they would care how she’s been? 

The nursing home she was put in was a beautiful place, but no one was coming to see her. She wondered if they got too busy for her? Perhaps they were working on fixing up the new house she helped them finance? They could have their car breakdown, she thought she bought a gently used one, but maybe she got a lemon for them? The last time they saw her they needed a check to help them replace their hot water heater! That was months ago. 

I love hanging out with her, I hope this lasts! I met Sarah at the speakeasy downtown. She looked so cute in that silk red dress. She held a margarita close to her chest at the back table. She seemed uneasy, and a bit shy. I myself was incredibly shy. But for some reason that night I decided it would be best if I walked up to her. What’s the worst that can happen? She says back off creep? Oh, that was a scary thought. 

I snapped back into reality as Sarah was mentioning a black chocolate lab she really wanted to go see! 

“Let’s go baby!” I said with a smile. 

She skipped over, holding my hand. Suddenly I caught a glimpse of an old lady sitting with some yarn. I smiled at first then I saw the red sweater she was making. It hit like a truck. My dad always said mom liked to knit. She loved making sweaters most of all. She would make them for the church and donate it to all the young moms as a gift. It brought her a lot of joy. She was knitting a sweater for a little girl named Lilly when she was waiting on the results of her mammogram.

Dad said the doctors asked him to sit down, they had a clipboard and the look on their face that something was terribly wrong. He sat down, anxiety heavy in his chest as the doctor uttered those goddamn words. 

“The results came back positive, she has breast cancer, I’m sorry.” 

Dad said the world stopped turning and everything went black and mom just kept knitting. She held onto some sort of smile when she found out but dad said her eyes screamed sorrow and sadness. She didn’t want him to worry. They went home that night and talked the entire night. He said that was the last time she knitted. She never picked it up again. She couldn’t do it anymore. 

The churches started donating stuff to her as she suddenly fell ill with depression. It felt weird to have people you made clothes for start donating clothes and blankets of their own. She had aggressive chemotherapy and more medications that dad could count but we stayed tight until her last dying breath. 

I felt the sting in my eyes as I saw her. She looked so pained? Something was bothering her too. I felt the flush of my checks as blood rushed to me. Tears flowed from my eyes. Sarah looked at me with deep concern. She pulled my hands tight to her. 

“What’s wrong, what happened?” she whispered. 

“I’m sorry baby, it’s just I thought about mom…”

Day Ten- Happy (Insert Special Occasion)

Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

Writing 101- Day Ten

Christmas, the best time of the year! I remember one year we made a decision to make gift baskets for everyone. You know those treat baskets you read about in magazines. We made them, chock full of american treats. We ran to the dollar store and bought some baskets and some blue cellophane wrap, and some Christmas grass. 

We made three different fudges. A strawberry fudge with real strawberries, chocolate that is loved by everyone, and of course peanut butter, a famous family recipe based on the infamous Never Fail Fudge on the back of every Fluff container. A recipe I still use to this day to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. We’ve altered it multiple times to make it perfect! That all came out reasonably well to be honest, and if memory serves right it was delicious!

Then it went horribly wrong when we thought about making homemade whoopie pies and for some reason we made some twinkies. A funny reminder when Hostess decided that they were canceling them and boxes sold for thousands of dollars on the internet and Zombieland poked good fun at them! We made the whoopie pies with devil’s food cake mix and a homemade filling and yellow cake mix to make the twinkies.

We did not have molds for either confection so we made pancake like buns with the devil’s food cake and lined a tray with yellow cake mix to cut into rectangles to make some really goofy looking twinkies. We wrapped them all in colorful cellophane and put them in the baskets. It was a joy to make them even if they came out looking pretty awful.

Everyone we gifted them too did enjoy them, mostly the thought I’m sure but everything came out yummy and we ate a lot more sweets than we probably needed too that year but I remember it well and look forward to traditions me and my family come up with that are out of the box like this idea was!

Day Eleven- Size Matters (In Sentences)

ell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

Writing 101- Day 11

NOTE: I am all for personal posts but blogging to me is a way to work on some writing, my life is not nearly as interesting as the ones that live in my head. Therefore we will change this a bit to a location in one of my pieces. 

Devon’s carriage stopped at two large stone pillars. Fae statues. Devon gritted his teeth. This was going to be difficult. He handed the man a coin and shooed him away with his hand. The man grimaced and began his way back down the stone ravine. The pillars were a fabricated gate to a thick stronghold of trees behind them. They seemed to stretch for miles! Devon put his hand on the ground and pulled up some foliage. Mayflower Moss. It glowed an eerie green in his hands. He couldn’t sneak around with this stuff, it lit up each one of his steps. He cursed to himself as he stepped into the thick branches.

He already felt the eyes of the trees boring into his soul, they could see his aura. It burned red with pangs of power. They would alert the fae soon enough and Devon would need to fight his way to the middle. The trees somehow knew ill-intent. He suddenly got an idea and drew a rune in the air, laguz. A shimmer fell upon him. The trees could still see him but humans, barbarians, or even fae could not. It would be a false alarm. He smirked. Magic is everything. It is the bridge to power. 

“I will become a god!” he whispered. 

The ground was glowing with his footsteps but contained within his rune. He looked around at the eerie trees, some bright green with blue flowers. Others are light green with white flowers. Some were nothing but branches and mushrooms. There were some trees that glowed an eerie yellow. Stalks of bright yellow flowers lit up a path for him. He was approaching the village and he would get his answers there. The moss became crushed gemstones and granite. He heard crunching beneath his feet and glanced around nervously hoping no one had heard him yet. 

The stones soon turned to bright red bricks laid in the soil. Moss patches on some of them, and others clean and free from the forest’s grasp. Suddenly large brick walls blocked his view. He had reached the first circle of protection. The fae did not approve of outsiders and only certain individuals were allowed passage. He looked up the tall walls and saw fae clutching wooden bows and arrows, their eyes darting around furiously for any sign of movement. 

Devon felt the unfortunate grasp of concern as he had entered hostile territory. He hated these mortal feelings, he shouldn’t be afraid of anything he was learning powerful magic. More so he was learning alchemy, a way to control magic like no one before them. Not even the fae. He would rise above them all and show them that a weak creature such as himself would wreak unimaginable disaster. The bricks were closing in as he got closer to the wall. He miscalculated something, how is he going to get in unnoticed? He cursed to himself as he walked the edge of the brick walls feeling the rough stone beneath his hands. No openings. He knew there would be a gate to get in, but that would be too obvious. 

He had an idea. He needed a distraction. Something to catch the guards interest but not alert them that there may be danger. He pulled out a stone cylinder etched with runes. He held it high and threw it as hard as his arm would let him. It hit a tree and suddenly made animal noises. Guards quickly took notice and looked over to the area of concern. They pulled out a telescope and held it to their eyes glancing in the direction of the animal sounds. Devon quickly etched a rune Uruz tracing a door on the wall, the stone turned to water and Devon watched it fall to the ground. He had made it through the first gate. A sick smile crept on his face as he walked through.  

“Magic can solve anything!” Devon laughed quietly. 

Day Twelve- Dark Clouds on the Vertical Horizon

Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.
Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

Writing 101- Day 12

King Adric sat at the table as Talon walked into the empty tower. In front of him was a gorgeous chess board with pieces carved from exquisite gemstones. Talon glanced over at the chessboard. It seemed King Adric was playing the white. He quickly analyzed the board to strategize. 

Only a handful of moves were made. White pawn to E4. Black pawn to E5, a standstill. White knight to G3. Black had pulled both knights out, for some reason to C6 and F6. The white bishop to B5, ready to claim the knight. It was blacks move. 

“Hello Officer Talon, or should I say, Sir Talon, as someone has once again refused to advance to a higher rank?” King Adric smiled as he held a black pawn up to Talon. 

“Is it my move?” Talon said, sitting before the king. 

“Indeed, make it wisely,” the king said, his smile twisting into something darker.   

Talon moved the endangered knight to E7. The king’s brows raised high as he pondered his next move. The king moved the white knight to E5, taking one of his pawns. Talon moved the rook to B8. 

“Eh, wise set up to take care of my bishop?” the king chuckled, moving a pawn to A3. 

“Setting up your rook to come out?” Talon smirked considering his next move. 

“Boy, life is like a chess game, did your dad ever tell you that?” The king said off-topic a bit. 

Talon moved his pawn to C6.

“No I don’t know that one?” Talon said, trying to focus on not giving his plan away.

“The pawns are people you meet each and every day. The knights you work with. The shopkeeper you buy your supplies from. The carriage driver that takes you far away,” Adric said, claiming a pawn at C6, “pawns are disposable. They are the kind of people to come and go out of your life, not causing any changes to where you are now!”

Talon used the pawn to avenge his colleague to C6 as well. Adric moved his rook to E1. 

“The rook is your support team, your family, the ones that look out for you and keep you on the straight path. They will be there for you through the hardest parts of your lives. Keep them close, and good things can happen.” Adric smiled.

Talon quickly claimed his bishop at B5. A guilty smile of satisfaction played on his face. Quickly removed as Adric moved his other bishop to G5. Again cornering the knight. Was he playing him- Talon worried. 

“The bishop is your beliefs, whether they are good or bad. This is what builds you as the person that you are! These will be the cornerstone of your motives. However, these can cause you to be misguided as well,” Adric said, using the bishop to claim the knight at F6, “you were so worried about the knight, you forgot about your rook. You over thought it and now you’ve lost your knight. Always keep your beliefs in line with your motives.” 

Talon looked at the board, a pang of stress across his face. He was in check. He needed to do something quickly to get him out of this. Talon moved his rook to E7 to guard his king.

“The knight,” Adric smiled as he moved it to D6, “Is the wild card, they are your desire to battle. Instinct to get you out of tough situations, your battle smarts and will to live. Checkmate!” 

“What about the queen?” Talon said, defeat spelled on his face. 

“The queen is your partner, your lover, the one who would move anywhere to protect you. Because the queen protects the king. However, love makes you blind. You could have sacrificed your queen, but you didn’t. Your heart, it beats strategy.” Adric said, his fat finger tipping the king over on his side. 

“Why are you telling me all this?” Talon said, confusion in his eyes. 

“Because kings, they value strategy!” the king smirked as from the shadows a knight in black armor with a blade to Ariel’s throat walked forward.

The black mist surrounding the knight had cloaked them from Talon’s keen eyes. His eyes were wide with terror and heartache. Ariel looked horrified in the deep metal arms of the knight. Her eyes welled with tears as she begged to scream, but the knight’s mist kept her sound from reaching Talon’s ears. Probably for the best. 

“What’s going on, why are you threatening Ariel?” Talon gasped. 

“Because, silver knight. You have a job to do. You will be promoted to an officer and you will head east. Your sword is needed at another castle!” Adric said, drinking heavily from his goblet. 

“Forcing me away from my people, how could you!” Talon yelled. 

“Careful Talon, speaking to your king like that is treason,” Adric said, his eyes up high on his forehead, boring into Talon.

My friend and I got together one day watching Rosario Vampire and playing Halo back when the world was much less dark and menacing. He sat me down to tell me his comparison of chess to life and it has stuck with me for many years. Off the cuff, being able to combine this memory with a character from a story idea was fantastic and I hope it’s an enjoyable read! I hope the chess game wasn’t too difficult to understand in writing!

Day Thirteen- Serially Found

As part of chapter four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something.

Today’s twist: if you wrote chapter four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

Writing 101- Day 13

Note: I could not think of something to tie Talon to this one (from the previous post) but I am going back to my main character, Devon. However, this will be much later in his role, when he is far more powerful and goes by the name of Tiez. An Alchemist! These are just scenes and may or may not have any cannonicity when I go to actually write this novel for NaNoWriMo 2021! 

“I can’t believe my journey brought me back here? What an ironic turn of events.” Tiez smiled. 

Khattara looked the same as before. He wondered if his dad was dead yet or if that would be another challenge for him to face. He sighed to himself as he made his way down the dirt road to the village. Barbarians were eagerly working in the village moving goods from one spot to the next. Some were on their ways to the caves to gather minerals. Others were cooking food and selling goods. Tiez caught a glimpse of the large training grounds at the heart of the village; a dozen barbarians were waving swords at one another. Tiez chuckled at the thought. He finally saw his old childhood hut and made his way to it. There were very few barbarians here from when he left?

Etching a rune in the air the lock clanked open. Tiez stepped inside to see it mostly abandoned. He remembered it like yesterday. The large wooden table sat in the center where he and his parents had dinner many times. The doors were all open a glimpse into his parents room where a large straw bed sat. He walked inside his parents room to find a few bottles on the nightstand. His father had got back into drinking again. He walked to his room to a ghastly sight. His bed was smashed to pieces and the nightstand was seemingly burned. The walls were littered with holes and sword marks. 

“I wonder what happened here? Was father really that upset with me and mom?” Tiez wondered. 

He sat on the shattered remains of the bed and pondered everything for a moment. Human emotions were grasping at his mind like hungry insects. He quickly etched a rune in the air and pulled his emotions from his body. They sparked before him as he composed himself and stood up. There was work to be done. 

He made his way out and looked around at the people trying to mind their own business but glances caught his attention. He looked at them and smiled something sinister. Etching a rune into the air he blasted fire onto the hot. Burning it to cinders almost instantly. People stepped back in surprise. 

“Greetings Barbarians of Khattara! I am Tiez, and I am here for something important. Here in this village it is rumored to be buried the infamous alchemist Altair. If you do not help me find this tomb, I will burn you all to cinders!” Tiez yelled, his fingers sparking with power. 

A few barbarians made their way to him, the Barbarian guards. Tiez laughed loudly at the ridiculous notion that they could apprehend him!

“Stop, you violated the law!” one yelled preparing a battle stance. 

“Don’t be foolish,” Tiez said as he waved his hand, a rune glowed on his hand and he blasted the man backwards. The other guards were quickly alert that they were dealing with a serious threat. 

“Don’t make us call the black wings, just leave! You’re not wanted here, sorcerer!” one of them yelled in the back. 

“I am not leaving until I get what I came for, you help me, and I will make my way south. You refused, I will level this village and take all of your pathetic lives!” Tiez bluffed, again sparking power around his body!

Suddenly a group of four barbarians rushed Tiez from behind. He quickly leapt into the air and clapped his hands. Crashing down, he turned the bricks and blasted each of them back. The other barbarians each took a stand all facing him at once. He was using too much power and needed to be careful. He balanced his pools of (mana) and looked at each of them, attempting to stare them down! 

“We know of no tomb here you monster!” a familiar voice echoed. Out from the crowd stood David of Stronghold, his father. His beard had greyed as did his hair. His eyes were sunken black sockets although he hadn’t sleeped since Tiez left. 

“Who might you be? The fearless leader, you look like you’re going to have a heart attack!” Tiez’s words cut sharp, sharper than intended as those foolish human emotions itching at him again. This time anger. 

“Please, we are short on men here, we don’t want any trouble and I don’t want to have to kill a child!” David pleaded. 

“Where is the barbarian pride I was always whispering of? You look broken and afraid. What happened to the motto ‘until death strikes me down’, some barbarian you are,” Tiez laughed. 

“I know of one spot David of Stronghold!” a barbarian yelled, “just take him to the cortex and let him leave! We don’t have the strength to take him!” 

“Fine,” David sighed, “come with me you sick monster!” 

“Excellent!” Tiez said, dispelling the sparks from his body. 

David and Tiez began their way to the caves, the place his dad always trained. It all came back to him, each stone, every tree, the mountaintops in the distance, it all reminded him of a place he once called home. He sighed at the emotion and etched a rune quietly to dispel another grasp of his humanity.

“Why are you doing this?” David asked, genuine concern in his voice. 

“I was told long ago that I was weak and frail and could never make it in this world, I sought to prove the world wrong!” Tiez said, looking at his father for any sort of connection he might make. 

“Eh, I’ve been there before. You’re lucky, you didn’t have to tell your own son that, I did and now everything is a mess,” David said, his head hung way low, “it’s just a little further!” 

Tiez felt humanity screaming at him to let it out! Break the rune of immortality and let him feel again. Tiez quickly pushed it aside, he did however ponder, was that remorse?

“Out of curiosity, what would you say to him now, if you ever got the chance?” Tiez asked, shocked by the question.

“I would say, I’m sorry son and I wish it didn’t have to be this way. You’ll never escape the cortex, I’ve seen many try and all of them have failed!” David said, his fist clenched. 

“Ah, I’m not like most men though,” Tiez gloated. 

Although hit by an explosion Tiez felt his bones break; snaps, cracks, and pops filled the air. If he could register pain, it would be screaming right now. He looked up at David, his fists held tight, Tiez’s blood on his knuckles. Tiez couldn’t move, he had been hit by his own father, he didn’t even hold back. Tiez coughed, a deep red blood oozing from his lips.

“You managed to harm me?” Tiez said, actually dumbfounded he missed it. 

“You’ll die alongside the alchemist you seek, Devon,” David said, his eyes filled with tears. 

Stomping his foot, the ground beneath Tiez crumpled. Tiez couldn’t scream, the shock of what happened had silenced him. He could feel himself falling; he echoed with his last breath, gasping for air – “Father, why?” Once the ground met him in the dark corners of the earth he saw a tomb, stones arranged in a sort of altar. Runes of many languages etched into the stone walls. 

“This must be Altair’s tomb?” Tiez thought. 

He felt the dark grasping for his consciousness. He etched a rune in the ground with his own blood as light began to feed from the ground to his body. He finally gave in, his eyes closing shut as his body fought for life. 

Day Fourteen- To Whom it May Concern

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.

Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

Writing 101- Day 14


Dear MX77TN, 

It’s been too long my friend. Sitting alone in these woods while the forces begin to close in, it’s been nerve wracking. I hope things are better down east where you currently are. Things are getting bad down here. I’m sitting on a thirty day food supply and maybe the same in water. Running low on ammunition, they keep telling me they are sending help but they have yet to come. I’m beginning to wonder if they will ever arrive. I am happy you’ve been writing to me, I don’t know what magical ability you possess to get these to me but they keep me fighting the good fight. The sun has been going down faster now, wondering why that may be but I’m still holding out for this all to end. I’ve heard they will be sending scouts out soon. My position may be compromised and you won’t be hearing from me for a while. I am sorry. 

Sincerely, 

AX23RL

Day Fifteen- Your Voice Will Find You

Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force. 

Today’s twist: While writing this post, focus again on your own voice. Pay attention to your word choice, tone, and rhythm. Read each sentence aloud multiple times, making edits as you read through. Before you hit “Publish,” read your entire piece out loud to ensure it sounds like you.

Writing 101- Day 15

The Dark Haven was spoken to be home to some of the most sinister creatures known to man. It was no surprise the kingdom of Kesh took a particular interest in such a place. After the formation of the black wings a force was immediately mobilized to take care of it. It was a huge uproar at the time. People were worried it would start a race war, or provide reason for races to lash out around the kingdom. Some of the most well known murderers and thieves came from the Dark Haven, hence its new name.

I knew it as Hazelwood, back when I was a child. Slowly learning about magic and the world in which magic would create. My parents went there when I was little, we had traveled deep to receive some difficult medicine to help a neighboring village. My parents always looked out for others, hence why alchemy seemed so appealing to me at the time. Imagine almost limitless power to help people?

When I got there I was very little so my memory might be a little frayed, but the trees were black, like coal! The needles were barbed and menacing, how could someone feel welcome in relaxed with such ominous trees overhead? I stared at them through the whole carriage ride, I was in awe at such a sight! The stone roadway looked like matte obsidian, which I’ve never seen! When we got to the gates we were warmly welcomed by the Fae there.

My parents got out and thanking them for their help. They took me off the carriage into the seemingly glass buildings. You couldn’t see in them but they seemed to reflect the very darkness it inspired. I looked around not wanting such gorgeous art to slip through my eyes. I couldn’t catch what my parents were talking about as the rest of the area had captivated me. We were led to a table and fed while we conversed. Their food was gorgeously presented and tasted delicious. 

That was where that memory seemed to end unfortunately. Nothing could compare to the first witness of such beauty. I remember hearing about the Black Wings plan when I was much older, dabbling in forgotten magic I had hoped I could do something about! I made my way by horse to the gorgeous place. I never arrived in time to do anything. Once I stepped foot in the forest I could see the airships hovering above.

It was horrifying!

The ships were black metal beasts with armored men on almost every inch. In an instant they all turned to black smoke and appeared at the gates. Slaughtering any fae they could see. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do anything! I was stuck, I had failed myself. Then the leader, whose name I can never remember, raised his hands high above his head. Etching runes in the sky with his shadow, until fireballs and glass rained on the forest, incinerating everything it touched. 

I had fallen backwards, I felt tears in my eyes, as the Black Wings decimated an entire village, a beautiful forest, in mere moments of me arriving. They moved on just like they appeared making their way to the castle. I walked into the chaos trying to find any survivors. Many did not make it. I found a handful of fae and got them out, nursed them back to life until a few fae medics took over for me.

Their eyes glassed over, their spirits evaporated from their bodies, the happiness they had once felt would never be felt again. I could see a hint of resentment and resolve for at the very least being alive. They made their way down the road to god knows where. I sat in the woods that night by a fire and cried. I had failed as an Alchemist and let so many die. From that day on I vowed to learn more than I could, seeking knowledge of the arcane from many centuries back. I would unlock the secret to stopping evil, no matter my cost… 

Day Sixteen- Third Time’s the Charm

Imagine you had a job in which you had to sift through forgotten or lost belongings. Describe a day in which you come upon something peculiar, or tell a story about something interesting you find in a pile.
So, today’s twist: If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of “lost and found” more generally in this post.

Writing 101- Day 16

Devon found himself in the backroom of the library sorting through the lost and found. A punishment for his outrage during the training. It was ironic, his hunt for artifacts from the old time, and more proof of the infamous order of alchemists, made his punishment seem rewarding. This is hundreds of items confiscated from students around the world! Altair’s journal had provided a lot of great information about his history, the Dark Reaches siege, and of course the powerful runes he had been learning the past few months. However, it was never enough. 

He needed to learn about the dark arcane arts long forgotten, spells and tricks the order had been protecting for so many years. Maybe he would find something of interest sorting through this pile of junk, he was left alone with it. The librarians first mistake.

Most of it was lost articles of clothing, he was told to sort these into wooden bins to be donated to the village orphans, other things were useless writing quills and bound parchments. Devon made sure to skim through them for anything of interest. Most of it is terribly handwritten notes from classes, some are exquisite drawings of the moves they were learning. Devon felt these were important and slipped them into his satchel. Finally he got to the shoes and quickly tossed everything unusable into the trash. 

He also found some makeshift wands and leather bounds with crude runes, rubbish. He sighed as he sifted through the items. Finally he got to the most intriguing items he could have had the luxury of handling. The trinkets, jewelry, and timepieces. Some of them were off the shelf staples purchasable at many stands. Some were gorgeous pieces that might fetch a high price at the pawn stands, he through these in the satchel too, no one wanted them anyway right? 

He found a mangle of chains and metal charms, some iron and silver rings, again valuable, stuck in his satchel as well. Carefully choosing pieces he thought would fetch the best price to lower weight until he could sell them. Suddenly he wrapped his hands around a round metal object, he felt the power calling to him. He pulled it out of the large wooden bin and held it in his hand. The weight was heavier than he could imagine and he turned it over in his palm. 

It was a pewter, that added to the weight but a softer metal, it had a round dot on the end it looked as if it was a compass? He pulled it closer to his face and looked it over. It was well worn with intricate carvings of beautiful scenery and fantastic animals Devon had not seen yet. He pressed the button and heard an audible click as it opened, the crystal showed the four main points, North, East, South, and West. In the cover was a carving of a rune Devon had yet to see he studied it closely and felt it tug on his power.

Suddenly glimpses of images played in his head and he felt miles way watching something intriguing. It was a man in a wine cellar, he was tied up, something about mountain ash blocking his alchemic powers. Devon knew it must be one of the alchemists, someone had trapped them? The talking was jumbled and muffled. Devon couldn’t make it out. He felt the fear though, the struggle in the situation. Suddenly though, it all washed away, he had somehow focused his mind and was pulling power from somewhere? Something in his body? He had regained his power and flames built around his body and he escaped. A blade on his arm stabbed through his captors and he said something about a hellhound and escaped the cave.

Pulling himself back to the world he stood in awe, quickly glancing at the window for a figure of time, it had flown by and bed had to be soon. He wrapped it in a square of leather and snuck it in the hidden pocket in his satchel, throwing it over his shoulders he quickly left the room… 

Day Seventeen- Your Personality on the Page

We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.
Today’s twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

Writing 101- Day 17

David stepped through the door of the hotel, it was gorgeous, the ceiling seemed to go on for miles, chandeliers of crystal hung from the rafters. David walked to the check-in desk and handed them his company ID, 

“Good Evening Sir, seems you’re here for the corporate leadership retreat?” the attendant said, obviously not genuine. 

“Yes, I am excited for this break, it’s my first year here so it should be interesting!” David said, rolling his suitcase out of the other guests’ way. 

“Here is your keycard, you are in room 338, I hope you enjoy your stay please let us know if you need anything from us,” she said halfheartedly. 

“Thank you, have a good night!” David said, making his way down the customer carpet to the elevator. 

The doors were frosted glass and a couple barely keeping it together stepped off. David got on and made his way to the third floor. Walking through the hallways he slipped the keycard into the door and made his way into the room. It was a large suite with accents of glass at the entrance, a large king size bed in the center. Amber glass light fixtures decorated the room. On the wall was a large television and an Apple TV. 

David made his way to the bathroom to drop off his toiletries and the room was a gorgeous mosaic tile and a large jacuzzi tub on the side wall. He then made his way to the closet and unloaded his suit and clothing. He sat down at the desk with a black glass top. He pulled out his iPad and quickly went over tonights agenda, today was a relaxation day. Tomorrow the seminars will begin. Dinner would be in an hour and David decided it would be best to shower to look his best.  

After lacing up his dress shoes he made his way out to the large ballroom. There were tables of food in the back and groups of people conversing. David overheard one striking conversation. 

“My Team Leader came up to me, let it be known they had opened thirty-seven accounts that week for us! She came up to me with the audacity to ask for a raise. I took it well and told her other leaders were opening fifty accounts a week!” the man smiled, the others laughed loudly. 

“That would cut into my five-hundred thousand bonus I get at the end of this year!” One said, laughing but somehow also concerned? 

David scoffed and made his way to the bar. He asked for a jack and coke. He hadn’t got familiar with many other Branch Managers but he felt it was good to try and mingle with some of the managers from the branches close to his own. Walking up to the managers he caught a glimpse of the executives. They were in their own little section of the hall, each one dressed in Armani suits and drinking top shelf liquor. David scoffed again. What am I doing here, he wondered? Oh yes, bills. David’s wife had a phenomenal spending problem and they had yet to deal with it. Suddenly the president stepped up to the podium and clanked his champagne glass. 

“We have once again made record sales with such a small starting bank! The teamwork from one another has been beneficial to us all! As a courtesy of Illumni Bank, every branch manager here will get a fifteen-thousand dollar bonus, minus teammate taxes of course, and the executives will receive a fifty-thousand dollar bonus. Our stockholders are each getting a one-hundred thousand dollar compensation package and we are still in the green!” President Snow spoke happily. 

The crowd all cheered and threw their arms up in happiness. Some murmured about that new car they wanted, others gleefully mentioned they were going to need some vacation time soon! David smiled, that would pay off the Chase bill. Only American Express, Discover, Goldeman Sachs, and the dozen store cards she’s racked up remain! 

“This evening we will have some live music from a band, some delicious handcrafted cocktails, and lobster as a main dish. Steak if you prefer. I am excited to have you all here for our training seminar this week. We have all been provided executive rooms, and of course the suites and overlooking rooms. We have signed a gracious adult entertainment package, I think you will all enjoy it. Between us, right?” the president smiled, but his look spoke, tell anyone and you’re out!

Everyone got together and had an amazing night. David could barely remember much of it as he had drank too much. He woke up to get some water in the middle of the night, a woman lying in his bed beside him. He had already forgotten her name. He walked to the bathroom sink and drank some water. He suddenly sniffed the air, was that smoke? He walked out of the bathroom and proceeded to open the heavy metal door. Instantly his hand was seared. He pulled it back in shock and put the pieces together. The hotel was on fire! 

David rushed over to the gorgeous woman, who was only covered by a black nighty and shook her awake. She looked at him shocked for a moment, but quickly regained her composure. 

“What is it? You want more?” she flirted, although her eyes sang of sleepiness. 

“Don’t panic,” David said. 

She panicked. 

“It’s hot in here,” she said! 

“The hotel is on fire, we need to get out of here!” David said, worried on his face. 

“There is a window, I believe they have fire latches so we can get out!” she said pointing to the window.

David felt a heavy weight in his stomach, he knew there was no other option, yet he hesitated. Rushing to the bathroom to throw water on his face and chug some more, hoping he had sobered enough to do what needed to be done. When he walked out of the bathroom she was undoing the latch and looking out the window. 

“Come on,” she motioned. 

David rushed over to grab his pants and a shirt and slipped them on, making his way to the window. She threw it open and looked out. The cool night air was slipping into the warm room. David stepped up to the ledge and looked down at the pavement far below. His heart jumped in his chest. Sweat doubled on his forehead and he felt his hands clamp up. His stomach lurched, reminding him that alcohol is really poison. 

“What are you waiting for?” She said, her voice laced with concern. 

David put one foot out of the window and felt the cool droplets of rain on his legs. The metal ladder would be slippery, he felt fear screaming in his head. One misstep and he would splat on the pavement below. He took another step, both legs out the window. The rain is still just a mist, the cool air nipping at his heels. He forgot to put on shoes, would that help or make it worse? He made another step, his heart leaping from his chest. Just about a hundred more of these to go.

She stepped down after him making her way down. He felt the weight of gravity pulling on him. She was making it look easy, glancing up and he saw her almost too him. He tried to pull his mind back, just need to do this one step at a time, he stepped down once more and slipped on the wet bars. Feeling the full weight of the world pull on him. He pulled himself back up and regained composure. Then made his way down one step at a time. Trying his best to ignore the fall and glancing up to take his mind off things. 

Finally he hit the pavement. Red lights were all around him and firefighters came to collect them. David felt like the king of the world and was happy to be back on solid ground. The EMTs wrapped a towel around him and made sure he was unscathed. He sighed in relief.  

Day Eighteen- Hone Your Point of View

Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve year-old as a character. Reveal at least one per sonality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue. 

Writing 101- Day 18

The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

I sat on the steps just drawing in the sand, mommy said dinner would be done soon. I was excited for dinner. Spaghetti tonight. I smiled as I pulled out my marbles and pawned them over in my hands. Daddy would be home late tonight. I missed daddy. I sighed and rested my chin on my hands. My eyes leaned to the brick house across the street. 

The sidewalks were cracked and the lawn was not maintained. Without Mr. Pauley, she had no energy or interest in upkeep. Mommy said Mr. Pauley moved on, I am not sure what she meant by that but I haven’t seen him for awhile. Suddenly two police cars pulled up front of her house. Mommy always said the police were the good guys! Looking out for us wherever they go. Another car pulled up behind them and a group of men stepped out. They went to see Mrs. Pauley, or Miss. Pauley now I suppose? 

They walked up to her door and pulled on her lion knocker until she came out. A short old woman with long grey hair. She walked up to them and said something I couldn’t hear from so far away. Suddenly she was crying. I stood up, as if it would help, and leaned forward. What was going on? Then suddenly they were escorting her out to the police car and the other man that joined them kept his eyes from her. 

I ran inside and started yelling for mommy to find out whats going on. 

Eh. This one wasn’t much fun but its better than nothing!

Day Nineteen- Don’t Stop the Rocking

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

Writing 101- Day 19

711 Words

The gates were thrown open by a sea of men.

“We’re being besieged!” a guard yelled as a blade was thrust through his chest.

A flow of men came rushing in, each armed with giant swords and leather garbs they rushed in and began to slaughter the village men and bind the women to stone pillars. It was an onslaught. Silver knights came over the horizon and began attempting to defend the village.  

“Where are the royal knights?” a small group of silver knights said, horror in their voices. 

“Some say they have been sent to another village to capture a small rebel army?” one of them mentioned. 

“The rebel army is here! We need reinforcements; we are outnumbered! Sound the horn!” one yelled. 

Another silver knight took off running to the keep to sound an alarm. Finally getting to the top he rang a bell, two times before an arrow went through his skull. Suddenly through the gates a man in all black came through the doors.

“This village is claimed in the name of me, Damien of the Kesh Confederacy!” the man cheered, raising his arms high.

“We are preparing for a defense against the reinforcements a bell has been rung, sir.” one said, saluting him at the gate. 

“Very well, do we have the manpower to do so?” Damien asked, slightly concerned.

“We think so sir, we will move out now, are you checking the survivors, I know you are searching for someone,” the man said as he urged his men onwards. 

“Aye, I will find them,” Damien said as he sheathed his sword. 

Five guards stood behind him watching the gates as Damien searched the bodies for something. Suddenly through the gate a silver knight creeped. He thrust his sword through one knight, pulled two more close and sliced through their throats. The other knight before he had time to realize what was going on had a sword shoved through his metal helmet into his head. He fell to the ground and Talon sheathed his sword. 

“Usually I am coming out of the gate, not inside it, what are you doing here?” Talon said, his voice laced with anger and remorse, “I tried to be here sooner but when you attacked I was on the other side.” 

Damien stood in shock at the pile of dead bodies at the gate, his hand gripped his sword tightly and his dark gray eyes pierced the man. 

“Did you slaughter my elite guard that easily?” Damien said, his voice hinted with shock.

“Yes, I am Talon, I am the silver-knight to be feared here, and you are on my property, uninvited. Now you will pay with your blood,” Talon said as he held his sword high in the air. 

“You are foolish to think you have a chance against Damien the Dark!” Damien yelled, ripping his sword from its sheath. 

“I’ve finally found you, and you’re sacking my village,” Talon said angrily. 

“Oh you’ve heard of me then? About time I made my move I am sure. I have an army of thousands of men marching this way to take Kesh. All your foolish Royal Knights are off running errands for the delusional king, and the black wings are miles away. We have chosen such a good time to take this place down,” Damien laughed.

“Well brother, you have one man who will stand in your way and protect his remaining people with their lives until the day he dies,” Talon said, throwing up his silver helmet. 

Damien’s face melted his power and suddenly shined sorrow. He held his sword high and took a stance to fight.

“You, of all people you are here!” Damien yelled. 

“Yes, and you’ve done terrible things, I’ve already sent word to the king of the siege before you slaughtered all my allies. The royal army marches back now to slaughter your armys and the blackwings are already on their way, with their magic I assume they will be at your soldiers any moment now,” Talon smiled stepping forward. 

“And you think I will let you take me down? I will regroup and I will come back!” Damien yelled. 

“Not with your life you won’t,” Talon said, raising his sword high and ready to fight! 

Day Twenty- The Things We Treasure

ell us the story of your most-prized possession.
Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back in chapter five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to long-form writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative.

Writing 101- Day 20 (FINAL)

Altair fell to the ground in the cave, blood oozing from his chest. They had finally cornered him, the illustrious Black Wings. In all their black magic glory they finally caught the last alchemist. He began to fumble his satchel open. A gorgeous leather piec. Many pockets to hide valuables. And a large pocket for the supplies. He quickly reached inside pulling out a bottle of moss. Popping the cork he began to apply it to his wound. It began to glow a vivid green. He grunted as the healing began. 

“I can’t believe this is it! Four long years of fighting you, and you’ve finally beaten me?” Altair scoffed, fumbling for a flask. 

He pulled out a metal jar and pulled it to his lips, drinking deeply of a redwine. He fumbled through his satchel and pulled out a notebook and a quill. He flopped it open in his lap and grunted in pain. He began to write his final words. 

“You’ve slaughtered us all in fear. In cowardice. My brothers, my sisters, their children, their families! You slaughtered them all!” Altair yelled, “I know you’re coming for me, I can feel you creeping down these tunnels but I refused to go out without taking a few of you with me!” 

Altair pulled some materials from his bag and began to mix a concoction with the wine. Swishing it about it glowed a deep amber. He etched a dozen runes in the air and funneled his last remaining (mana) into the flask. Standing up he etched the mother rune and washed his body over with light, healing his wounds and stood up to fight. Etching a rune over his arm a sword materialized. He was out of (mana) and this would be his last stand. He quickly dug a hole into the ground and buried his journal. Someone would find it, someone would know what happened here. 

Suddenly the cave began to glow with an eerie black and a soldier in dark glowing armor appeared, his sword engulfed in dark fire as he stepped forth. Altair stood in the back with the glow of torchlight. A gleaming sword in the shadows. 

“They only sent one?” Altair said, somehow offended. 

“Oh you foolish alchemist, we’ve been toying with you! Our power is unimaginable, we’ve just been hiding it from you. They only sent me, because that’s all that is needed. We have served the King of Kesh as the most powerful force he can mobilize. That’s why they sent us. We make quick work of any challenge,” the man laughed. 

Suddenly although in smoke he vanished and appeared beside Altair his large black gauntlet wrapped around his arm. Altair looked over in shock and quickly launched his body backwards. The Black Wing was thrust backwards as Altair gained some distance. 

“You’re certainly faster than I thought, in all that metal,” Altair grimaced. 

“Yes, we are fast but that is only a touch of our power,” the Black Wing laughed! 

Suddenly the room was blanketed in inhuman darkness and Altair stood in fear as one of his main senses was so easily pulled away from him. He decided to pull into his other senses, listening for footsteps, he could hear none. They are silent too? What are these creatures? They cast shadows, make no noise, and can seemingly teleport. Suddenly his jaw fell open. 

Wraiths! 

He quickly fumbled into his satchel for a jar, pulling out a tiny little vial he quickly tossed it on the ground, a blanket of dark sand rushed over the area. Suddenly screams of torment echoed through the stone cave walls. Before him stood a small creature in agony. It was a wraith, blinded by the mountain ash. Altair smiled as he rushed forward, his sword went through the creature and bellowed. The cave walls trembled at the noise as the creature burst into a cloud of smoke. Altair smirked and dug up his journal, throwing it in his bag he made his way out of the cave. 

Apparently he would not be dying today.

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