1K a Day Challenge – Week Forty Seven

It’s November 29th, 2015. Week forty seven of writing 1,000 words per day of fiction. It’s time for another update!

Days 326 through 332 have been successes, with a minimum of 1,000 words per day written.

Stats for Days 326 to 332: Continue reading

1K a Day Motivational – “It Inspires Me” November

It’s the last Thursday of November and that means I get to write a review and pass it off as a Motivational blog post!

I have been reading the Robot Trilogy by Isaac Asimov this month, and it’s been a lot of fun to visit science fiction that influenced so damned much in its genre and just about everywhere else. The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, and The Robots of Dawn are books I had actually not read yet because I’m a terrible genre reader despite writing science fiction a fair amount. Continue reading

Are You There, Cthulhu?

It’s Tuesday, and I have a little Lovecraftian story for you today! Equal parts allegory, Lovecraft, and wholesale theft of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

If you don’t know what Lovecraftian means, just know that Cthulhu is a godlike being that may drive you insane.


Are You There, Cthulhu?

by Rick Cook Jr.

Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. I’ve never prayed before but the guy on TV said you were always listening.

I got into a fight today with the man who thinks he’s my father. Just ’cause he married my mom doesn’t make him my dad. Does it?

I want my real dad back, but the guy on TV says that it can’t happen. That you don’t work that way. Why not? You make people happy, but you can’t make me?

Anyway, I’m sorry to bother you. I hope you have a solution. Amen.


Are you still there, God? It’s me again. Margaret?

I think maybe you got my instructions confused. The guy on TV says not to question your methods, that you always have a plan, but I’m not so sure.

My stepdad started acting like my real dad. But it’s still my stupid stepdad.

Can I have him back or not? I don’t mean to be upset or angry with you. You’re obviously trying.

Please give me back my dad. Amen.


I’m sure you remember me by now, God. Margaret.

My stepdad is scary now. He spouts gibberish and speaks with two voices. Mom doesn’t seem to think there’s anything wrong, but I can tell she’s worried, too. Worried how I’ll react. Worried who I’ll tell.

When he isn’t chanting I think sometimes he might be my real dad. He is kind, and remembers things my stepdad couldn’t. But then he hugs me too tight and I can’t breathe, and it feels like there’s something in my head, telling me it will all be okay.

Can you make him stop, God? I don’t want my dad back anymore. I just want things to go back to the way they were. Please make the voices stop. Amen.


Margaret. God. What are gods. Father is back. Thank you. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh C’thulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. Amen.



I’d like to take this opportunity to let people know that there’s a super neat anthology that came out last month that has stories in it about the Lovecraftian mythos, but completely written by women.

She Walks in Shadows is available in print and ebook, and one of my friends has a story in it, so go check that one out if you’re interested in more Lovecraftian stories!

1K a Day Challenge – Week Forty Six

It’s November 22nd, 2015. Week forty six of writing 1,000 words per day of fiction. It’s time for another update!

Days 319 through 325 have been successes, with a minimum of 1,000 words per day written.

Stats for Days 319 to 325: Continue reading

1K a Day Motivational – “But It’s THE Holidays”

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for me to moralize and humblebrag! Or talk about the shit that gets in the way of writing, and how I manage to get it done anyway. Or not. It happens.

I’ve already talked about holidays away from work and how they can interfere with your routine, but as we’re approaching the Mecha-Godzilla of the end of the year’s holiday season, I thought I’d revisit the topic with a greater emphasis on carving out that time to write while still having time to carve that stupid turkey. Continue reading

1K a Day Challenge – Week Forty Five

It’s November 15th, 2015. Week forty five of writing 1,000 words per day of fiction. It’s time for another update.

Days 312 through 318 have been successes, with a minimum of 1,000 words per day written.

Stats for Days 312 to 318:

Day 312 – 1392 words
Day 313 – 1218 words
Day 314 – 1178 words
Day 315 – 1288 words
Day 316 – 1131 words
Day 317 – 1018 words
Day 318 – 1104 words

Total count for the year thus far is 397,077 words. Average daily word count is 1,248 words. WIP Savage Duty is at 46,519 words. Based on 120,000 words estimated for expected completion, it is 38% complete.

I don’t have a lot to say this week. Mostly I’m just trying to keep my spirits up because of the attacks in Paris and elsewhere over the last week.So I’m just going to leave you with this:

Be good to each other. Don’t hate because someone or something tells you that you have to hate. Stop hurting others. Please. Please stop hurting.


1K a Day Motivational – “Why Bother?”

it’s Thursday and I’m here to kick you all in the butts!

Why would I do such a thing?

Because you are in need of not just motivation today, but something more.

You might find yourself on occasion asking yourself the age old question “Why should I even bother?” when it comes to your creative hobby. Because I’m an author I focus these pep talks on writing, but it can really transfer to anything you do that has a creative edge to it, or even a competitive edge.

You might think you’ll never be good enough as the people you aspire towards. You might look at your writing from a year ago and wonder how you could ever think you had a knack for this. Continue reading

1K a Day Challenge – Week Forty Four

It’s November 8th, 2015. Week forty four of writing 1,000 words per day of fiction. It’s time for another update!

Days 305 through 311 have been successes, with a minimum of 1,000 words per day written.

Stats for Days 305 to 311: Continue reading

1K a Day Motivational – The Sprint

Thursdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Hopefully by now you understand that this is the day when I yammer endlessly about things that get in the way of writing, how I overcome them, tips and tricks I use to keep writing, random inspiring thoughts and mini-reviews of things that knocked my socks off.

It’s also November, which means it’s NaNoWriMo! I’m not participating in the 50K words in a single month, but I’m most certainly feeding off the energy that’s present in my writing community while so many others are collectively writing and talking about what they’re writing.

And then there’s the leading method we like to use for writing to a deadline, and it is the focus of this here blog post: The Sprint.

I’ve talked about word sprints before in passing, but today in honor of NaNoWriMo and the lovely people chasing that ephemeral dragon, I’m gonna go into a little more detail!

The concept is that instead of trying to sit down for a solid hour plus and knock out a bunch of words, where you might get frustrated or lose track or just meander because you have so much time to write until suddenly you have no time and you got nothing done, you partition your time into blocks and write inside those blocks, and generally only in those blocks. We like ten minutes of writing, ten minutes not writing, but you can do five minutes writing, ten break. Fifteen minutes writing, five break. Whatever works for you. Then repeat as necessary until you reach whatever goal you’ve set for yourself that day.

The power of word sprints is that you give yourself a short block of time, and in that time you are laser focused. You are in the game. You are here to play and words are your points. You cut out all distractions for that block of time. You write. You don’t stop to think, to agonize over every word choice. You only have ten minutes. Why are you hesitating? Keep those words flowing!

Then at the end of ten minutes you take a breather. You hit the sidelines, get a drink, chat for a few minutes, decompress. You prepare for the next sprint.

When that ten minute break is up, you fly off that starting line like an Olympian in the 100 meter dash. I realize I’m mixing the hell out of my sports-related metaphors, but it’s fun and I’m going with it.

If you want to know how powerful a word sprint can be, just look at this post. I used a ten minute sprint to write the original draft of this, and then I went back and edited it down for another ten after that. I let the words flow. I get them out there because I only have ten minutes to do it. I can always fix it later.

Repeat with me: I can always fix it later.

That’s the truth right there. The sprint gets you moving when you’re hemming and hawing over every last sentence. And maybe you only need one or two sprints to get yourself into the mindset of writing for the day. I know I’ve done a sprint or two and then tapped out and just kept writing after that because I’ve gotten where I need to be to get the writing done. I have entered the zone, and sometimes that’s all I needed.

Sometimes I do sprints because it’s the fastest way to get myself working. Sometimes I do it just to participate in the community. Sometimes I have to do it to find my groove. Sometimes I don’t have to bother with it at all and the words just flow like the proverbial spice.

It works for a ton of people, and if you find yourself struggling some day just to get started, give it a try!

I got the concept from my good writing friend Valerie Valdes, who runs a pretty cool little blog and is an all-around excellent person. She also does some speculative fiction based online coursework that you can find via her blog, and if you’re interested in writing to speculative fiction you may find a ton of use in her course!

So get your ass out there, sprint for your words, and always remember to write the hell on.

1K a Day Challenge – Week Forty Three

It’s November 1st, 2015. Week forty three of writing 1,000 words per day of fiction. It’s time for another update!

Days 298 through 304 have been successes, with a minimum of 1,000 words per day written.

Stats for Days 298 to 304: Continue reading