Skip to content

Crucible of Shadows: an experiment in plotting

I had this idea of taking the plot of a story I know well (in this instance, I used Wikipedia for the plot summary) (don’t click on that link if you want to read my version first), changing all of the character and locations names, and seeing what it looked like then. I also flipped the gender of some characters and made a few other tweaks. The source is probably still recognizable, but I like how it turned out.

I don’t write with plot outlines, I’m a pantser, not a plotter, but I’m thinking of using the beginning of this as a story starter and the rest as inspiration if/when I get stuck with what I want to have happen next in the story. (Continued)

The Dragon in the Box

for M. Jean Craig and Kelly Oechsli

The clock is going to ring too soon and end this dream of mine. It’ll end in heartache. It’ll end in tears. (Continued)

The Killing Joke

it’s a joke to be born & it’s a joke to die
it’s a joke to kill & it’s a joke to heal
it’s a joke to speak about the turks
when there are fools to burn & cast away
it’s a joke to embrace & there are scenes of witches
when there are blues to sing & where my uncle burns his books
burns a joke to shred & a joke to keep silent
& it’s my fingers that burn
& it’s my toes that burn
it’s a joke to fight for peace there to dance
it’s a joke to march where there are jackboots
it’s a joke that there are shoes down in your garden
it’s a joke to joke & to keep jokes going
it’s a joke to plant & it’s a joke to sow
it’s a joke to dig up & it’s a joke to smoke
when we’re here to wage war & it’s a joke to break down
& to mourn & to build up & to hate
it’s a joke joke joke to love & it’s a joke to weep & it’s a joke to laugh
it’s a joke to lose & it’s a joke to get
so do you
do you
do you get it?

Fellow Travelers on the Ghost Road

Don’t you wonder sometimes about sound and vision and the telling of stories? I know I’m not the only one who does.

There is a handful of living writers that I consider kindred spirits, because of their writing influences, because of their writing processes, because of the themes they touch on, or simply because what they write feels like it was pulled directly out of my own dreams. (Continued)


the words are razor-sharp inside
the mists & rain of midnight, but when
they see the light of day

oh fuck!

my goldfish record burst a bombclad sensitivity of the teeth
like concrete in a ginger salad bath
your soup all soapy & scumburst foul

oh mysterious key!
music me shut
how can i monkey puddle burst a not nothing for you?
not nothing for you?
like to satellite spunk stabbed people here
they speak my piano canine & burger babble
out in concrete in kookaburra each other
dry blast out of the teeth like over & over the little again

well, fuck it

to say time simile like over to moondark sensitivity
have eye on my nose
like i spend of things are all a spacey goldfish
say all language to you
all language to you
over to look the same sunburst foul of matinee wall with manatee
your soup like a black badger of bells cast drink on you

oh shut up!
we all shut up
we all shut the fuck up!

The Answer Is Restless

do fools fall in love
& war?

is up with the price of
pink bubblegum?

oh why
did the zen monk cross the road?

how many
surrealists does it take?

how many?