Xeno Hemlock
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Posts tagged fiction
Lost Christmas (a "Dead Republic" Story)

An explosion 50 kilometers away jolted Kiko awake. The windowless walls of his room didn't give him a view of the destruction outside. It didn't matter. Kiko had seen the aftermath of a Kraken unleashing its power too many times. 06:59. He glanced at the metal wall clock near the door before grabbing his black coat from a steel chair near his bed and storming off the corridor.

“Good morning, General,” a stern lady in a dark blue uniform joined Kiko's walk. “Coffee? Is it going to be black or with some cream and sugar in it?”

Kiko regarded the lady and kept walking. “Thank you, Mafalda, but that Kraken's enough to be my caffeine this morning.”

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Death's Last Days with the Dying: 2017 Summary

This year, I started my new writing project Death's Last Days with the Dying, a drabble spinoff series of my debut novel. Here's a summary of the series so far before we move on to 2018 where exciting things are planned for it.

Story 1 - Tommy

  • Memory 001: Time, Tommy
  • Memory 002: Tommy Envisioned
  • Memory 003: Time Expired for Tommy
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Death, Drabble, and Dying

Q: Hey, I saw the title. So what's with the DEATH?

A: He, she, it, or whatever, Death I mean, is none other than the protagonist of this story.

Q: What's with the DRABBLE?

A: This project will be written in drabble form. 

Q: Wait, what the hell is a drabble?

A: Here.

Q: And what the hell is with the DYING?

A: Exactly! This drabble series is about Death's last days with the dying.

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How to Fall in Love With the Characters You're Writing

Creating fictional characters is one of the great things about being an author. You get to play a deity who fashions humans out of clay, wood, or even plain old flesh then dictate everything that happens to their lives. Cool, eh?

Once you become a deity, you can choose to be one of three things: indifferent, cruel, or compassionate. You can be indifferent and just use your created characters as supporting chess pieces to move along the story you want to tell. You can cruel, inflicting the worst of the worsts on your hapless children. Or you can be loving and compassionate to your fictional babies who owe their existence to you. When I wrote my novel I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me, I became the third and I didn't even expect it.

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I Dislike Looking Back but Today I Am Doing It

I'm not a friend of looking back. In fact, there are a few "looking back"-related things and events that make me cringe:

  • high school reunions

  • conversations about the "good old days"

  • discussions, that have no productive purpose, about past miseries and misfortunes

  • trying to reconnect with people I've fallen out of touch with

Now before you try to accuse me of being a grouch, look at things from my perspective.

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My Top 10 List of Neil Gaiman's Short Stories

I'm going to tell you a secret: I hated Neil Gaiman.

This was back in college when I was teaching computer classes in my alma mater. One of my students mentioned a popular comic book he was reading.

"What?" I asked my student.

"Sandman, the comic book series," he said.

"Who?" I asked, meaning both the character and the author.

"Neil Gaiman. Don't you know him?"

"I don't." I shook my head and started secretly hating Mr. Gaiman then. Of course, I was jealous. At that time, I already knew I wanted to be a writer but I didn't have the confidence to share my dream with anyone. Something about talking about a famous author bruised my stupid ego. (Boom, boom, boom)

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Why You Should Be a Passionate and Principled Person

It was a pleasure to burn.

No, I didn't mean to plagiarize Mr. Ray Bradbury. His opening sentence in his acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 described perfectly how I felt (and still feel). It is, indeed, a pleasure to burn.

When I was a teenager I was insecure (weren't we all?) and I hated those who appeared the opposite (didn't we all?). Unfortunately, I didn't stave off the insecurity as much as I wanted to in my early adulthood. I kept hating, in secret, those who brimmed with fire. 

I hated passionate and principled people and it irked me, because deep inside I wanted to be like them.

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