A fireside chat with Kris and Tina. And a fire this time.

Hello Internet!

Tina and I sat down to chat a little about starting a Pathfinder game with Nik, and about just some random silly topics. We didn’t want to get too in-depth with anything since it’s Thanksgiving this week and we know you’re all out there listening to cooking tutorials today.

And that’s fine!

We had a real fire in the fireplace this week and we sat around being generally warm and comfy, as we hope you all are this fine November day as well.

In which Kris organizes…something probably.

Hello Friends!

Tina and I have decided to spare your delicate ears this week and just do a regular, written post. It’s like we’re back in the stone age!

We’ve been hard at work this month with our November writing shenanigans, as I know you all are as well. How’s everything going so far? I’m definitely behind, personally. I believe I’m sitting around exactly 50% of the suggested word count for the month as a matter of fact. It’s FINE, it’s all fine everything is fine. I’m sure one or two of you are getting a bit behind too, right? That’s alright, I know you can push yourself to do great things, even if they happen in December or January. Remember, those word counts are just suggestions, the spirit is in the writing itself!

I’ve made some pretty good progress on my first draft I started coughcough last year coughcough. After restructuring my outline a bit (mentally of course, never write anything down. It distracts from the now,) I’m thinking I may follow Tina’s lead here and cut the whole into a few smaller segments. When I first started the story, I wrote a brief outline that’s served me pretty well – but I’m also more of a discovery writer most of the time. That means you sorta just write and discover the story along the way. I managed to get passed that bump that slowed me down earlier this year, so I’m tentatively optimistic I can blast through this bad boy at least by the end of the year. Only 500 more revisions to go!

Let’s not get distracted from what I originally came here to write about though.

While we were taking some downtime from our hectic, future-authorly lives, my dear wife proposed to me. An idea that we keep ourselves some bullet journals. Now I know what you’re thinking. I know! Me too! But no, it’s not like a diary you shoot at.

A bullet journal is basically a daily planner and a journal, scheduler, calendar and a sketch pad in the same notebook as far as I can tell. Which is fantastic, you guys know I love multitasking. I carry like 4 notebooks at all times, this whole ‘single-notebook’ business seems way cooler if it works. I started writing in it 24 hours ago (probably closer to 40 when you’re all flocking to read this as soon as it drops,) and I can say I’ve probably filled up about ten pages already. Also, I’ve organized a hundred things, started planning Thanksgiving, and obviously drew a picture of a buff cow.

Okay the cow picture was there a while ago and I forgot all about this notebook, but I found it again and it made me laugh so I’m keeping it. Maybe I can make it the featured picture for the post, it won me a drawing challenge against Nik some months ago.

I ran across the info about these actually independently of Tina, I just never gave it a thought until she demanded it. I first found the info, and later referenced the same info, by watching a lot of “How to ADHD,” which is a delightful channel on YouTube I’ve been getting a lot of great information from. I’ll toss a link to the video I came back to when I was making the journal last night in case any of you are interested in organizing your wild lives, or just want to watch some fabulous adult ADHD videos yourselves. The basic idea is that you A) Number all the pages, B) Write an index, and C) Use the journal. It’s a great tool and I know some of you will put it to great use,

 

 

Good luck to everyone getting ready to prepare for Thanksgiving next week, and I wish you all merry…weekend!

A tale of two tales

Hello Internets – Kris here,

Tina and I had a bit of a longer chat this week discussing the upcoming month of writing our butts off as well as a quick 20 minute project we did for funsies. Our project was to write for 10 minutes to get a story setup, and then trade and finish the others’ for the next 10 minutes. It’s good practice, and a bit silly – highly recommended if you have anyone nearby who’s fun and likes to use their imaginations!

I’ll go ahead and post the stories below the blogcast in their mostly un-edited forms (to better illustrate differences in writing styles) for your perusal; leave us a comment if you have any topics or story starters of your own and we’ll be happy to take ’em for a ride! Fair warning, the stories are super short on account of being written in 20 minutes by two people, and also have a bit of a potty mouth in case any impressionable eyes are wandering nearby.

 

Story 1

“God damn it!”

Jessica was so pissed. These damn curbs had been built purposefully just to piss her off and she was THIS close to stomping one into dust.

Bzzz.

“Oh!”

The problem of course was the interviewer at the other end of this email chain wasn’t going to wait for her to rent out a bulldozer or something. She drafted up a quick reply and bolted across the street to catch the light.

Stupid tequila, stupid brad. Stupid alarm! The best shot of her entire career was flushing itself down the proverbial toilet. Jessica cursed and muttered to herself as she shouldered aside both young and old, man and woman. She remembered a shortcut behind the shoe warehouse and ducked under the gate, hoping to God it wasn’t locked at the other end.

It was locked.

“Oh hell! I wish it was last night again!” Caution to the wind, she flew like a bat out of hell, flailing out of control as she slipped on yet another storm drain.

“AAARGH!”

She hurled her purse across the parking lot into the shadowed alcove of the-

Shadowy alcove?

Her heart skipped a beat. It was mid day seconds ago, why was it night?

“What in the hell?”

“You really shouldn’t throw your things into dark holes.” Brad chirped from behind her.

“Jessica spun on her heel to see Brad wearing the same attire as last night. The street behind him also showed a flurry of activity only known to the city during what Brad called “party time.”

“I-I was just…” She trailed off looking down to see not the smart dress suit she had fallen asleep on and wrinkled to hell, but her cute gold shimmer dress and heels.

“Girl, get your bag!” Brad looked around. “Some creep is gonna try and mug us if you don’t hurry and I love this watch!”

“Jessica turned and went to pick up her purse when she noticed her good luck charm had fallen out. She retrieved the shiny silver token that had been given to her by her father, shortly before he was killed by a freak lightning strike that night. He had told her it was a faeries token, stolen or given by the fae to her way back Grandmother in Ireland. It made it across the ocean and survived the Titanic with her grandmother.

[End]

For bonus points, see if you can tell where the story swapped hands! Tina and I are horrendously opposite as storytellers so it should be pretty easy.

Story 2

 

The vampires didn’t just appear overnight. It wasn’t like a newly formed species that came from space. Some of them had been here for much longer than any living being had a right to exist.

Then again, when you live that long are you really alive?

Some of the myths that were quickly dashed when they came out was that you had to die to become one. Really, it didn’t take a death to change you. Just a pact and some sort of magic ritual. Oh, and magic was real.

My name is Sonny and I’m a plumber. Yeah, yeah. Like Mario. However, in this new world of vampires, my job is to plumb people. Rather crude, but I set up some vamps with willing humans and discard or remove defective or broken ones. I am human, however, my payment is in extended life without the thirst for blood. I’m not faster or strong, just 30 for a couple hundred years longer than others. Some of the nerds started calling humans like me Elves, based on old fantasy lore.

Well if they could hear what I hear, they would clamor to become a plumber too.

A couple of the big ones started talking the other day about some trick they had in mind. Sounded like a big operation, whole cities turned to feeding ground. Humans penned like cattle. You know the drill. One of ’em was talkin’ about how the plumbers were gonna be kept in separate apartments from now on for safety; you know, some of the young ones get overzealous when they start sucking that stuff.

Well I might be selfish, rich, and young, but I ain’t stupid. I know that fella with big ears heard me in that hallway so I set out to record this message in case they come for me. It’ll ship out to every country in the world if I don’t reset the calendar each week.

Why a week? Well listen, sometimes when I’m out gettin’ the stink eye from those normies, I just wanna snap, you know. It’s been over a hundred years since I got laid over here! Still, I can’t wish everyone dead. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness was never rich, even if the broads are clamoring for magic nowadays.

So you’re probably wondering why this letter is in your fine hands. Well my friend, I am dead or dying I can only assume, since the timer seems to have expired. You can bet your Betty-who’s that they’ve read the message by now and probably the addressees as well. I’d estimate you probably have about two hours from the sent stamp to copy this and get the hell away from there.

Remember: New York, Boston, London and Berlin may be first, but the whole damn world is about to get drained if you ain’t quick.

[End]

In which Kris and Tina have a chat

Hello Keyboard Couple readers!

Kris here,

Tina and I had a bit of a chat and decided to go ahead and use that for our post this week! It’s just a silly chat waiting in the car for the boy at school, but it’s also a good way for us to learn how to upload this audio and bring more interesting topics in the future. Drop us a comment if you have any pointers here, we’re just winging it  as we go.

Thanks for listening, and stay strong! It’s Friday out there!

Short story Wednesday!

Kris here,

It’s sadly been a while since I’ve posted any short stories, so I figured I’d give it a go. I saw a 30 minute writing sprint pop up in a discord channel I’m subscribed to and Tina said “do it!”, then told me to write a Snowflake story. All I had were a pen and paper, but if my ancestors could do it, then dangit so can I. Snowflake is a snow wolf in the novel I’m writing and she’s been a favorite of anyone who’s read the story so far, so I wrote her last day before meeting our protagonist::
_______
Birds chirping merrily in the treetops were her first sensation.

Damn birds she growled.

She’d been up until the sun shone through the treetops hunting, those birds better have a good reason for making this much noise. Yawning quietly, she stretched liberally and padded off to find her pack.

Striding into the clearing, she sniffed tentatively. The strong haze of blood smothered her nostrils, stinging in the frigid air. The wind ruffled her fur pleasantly and took the odor with it, leaving her wanting for the spoils of last night. Curious, she allowed herself to follow the scent on the wind, keeping an eye out for her pack. They should be around here somewhere. The screaming started then, tingling along her spine like an itch.

Seemingly coming from nowhere and everywhere, the high pitched wail suffocated the forest with its persistence. The savage squealing was getting louder with every passing day, alongside whatever screeches and echoes it had accompanied these many, many days. Her pack had discussed hunting down the annoyance before it could become a threat, but surely they’d have awoken her before leaving? The unearthly wail cut short, a deafening silence rising to take its place. Snow crunching beneath her feet seemed to echo in the trees.

She returned to the cave to look for clues, and food. The place smelled heavily of fresh kills and dominance, but nothing abnormal. While she poked around, that shrill screaming started up once more, the caverns around her suddenly feeling much more threatening and malicious as they carried the echoes to and fro. She stalked outside, pinpointing the sounds’ source, determined to do whatever it took to shut it up for good.

A single howl, its baritone note piercing right through her, stilled her feet. The warning call signaled trouble.

Her pack!

The thought of her siblings blazed in the front of her mind. Flying off in a blur of powder and permafrost, she’d gone a hundred steps before she even realized she was moving. Ducking and leaping from side to side to avoid the thick, twisted branches that threatened to ensnare her frenzied journey, she sped at a breakneck pace until she could make out individual yelps just over the ridge. Relying on sound now to guide her path, she rounded the hilltop and ran into a fog of stench like a cave wall – the copper and earth smells mixing into an overwhelming cacophony of death. She bounded out of the scraggly winter foliage into a clearing and the blood froze in her veins.

In the valley below she made out a few of her own brothers and sisters alongside many pack-mates from further away. They were all locked in a lethal struggle with hideously deformed, yet diminutive little creatures. Their broad tails and beady eyes were but deformed mockeries. Wicked fangs jutted from every jaw, and dirty, clawed hands all gripped long branches that they used to keep the wolves at bay. She watched her only younger brother clamp down onto the throat of one of the monsters proudly. Her pride was replaced with grief, and then rage as he was surrounded and stabbed over and over with those same sticks.

Racing downhill like a scream, she barreled into the monsters attacking her brother in a flurry of teeth and claws, maiming 2 and feeling the snap of another’s neck before they backed out of range. She felt, more than heard, the growl of thanks from beneath her, and glanced down to see his eyes close for the last time. Her ears rang with the din of the anguished howl she didn’t remember starting. Anguish fueled the rage boiling inside her. She felt the sharpened spike scrape against her ribs as the monsters approached.

Come to me

She revealed the grin only the feast of a wolf can ever see, and tore one of the creatures in half before he could raise his accursed stick. The others raised theirs to ward her off, but she lodged them into herself with a leap and crashed down into the middle of them. The creatures hissed and snapped at her, the expression they kept when she separated them from their heads. Time slowed down and skipped by her all at once. Nothing existed outside this clearing, nothing mattered but revenge against those who dared to hunt her family. To hunt HER.

Seeing two of them carrying a dead wolf on their flattened tails, she sprang through the air, determined to kill them all at any cost. She crushed one beneath her into a fallen tree and watched it impale him, before realizing too late that she was next. Refusing to show pain, she motored her arms and legs, demanding them to work through sheer will. Those limbs refused her orders, weakly scratching the dead brute she lay atop.

Damn it!

She rocked the tree side to side in a vain effort to break it. She’d gathered quite a crown now and warily eyed the remaining bastards who encircled her. They tightened the circle just the tiniest bit too far and paid for it as she bit into the eyes of the biggest one. His screams rang into the darkening sky as he clutched at his face, yelling and hissing at those nearest him. They each backed away now, keeping a healthy distance. They squeaked and hissed at one another, before finally climbing the hill at her back. After a moment, the air was filled with the crunch of wood and an explosion of splinters rained all around her as they brought down a tree on top of her.

She watched as they stacked monster and wolf alike into a wheeled wooden box and disappeared into the shadowed wood. She growled, then whimpered, and sank into the darkness.

____

The snap of a branch whipped her into reality. Such a nice dream she was having, a pity she still lived.

She honed into the scent of an approaching…human? She watched through droopy eyes as it came closer. Another snapped branch made her twitch, setting off a river of pain flowing throughout her entire body. Growling, she narrowed her eyes as it approached, waiving a chunk of flesh…