When There Is No Time

I’ve had numerous troubles with procrastination, but lately I’ve experienced situations in which, instead of eating my own time, I find other things eating my time.  Things like school, assigned writing and reading, college searches, and all that truly fun, exciting, invigorating work.  There’s nothing to get you into the mood for fiction writing like the SAT, right?

We all know it’s not true.  However, as Mary Robinette Kowal says, high school is meant to teach you how to fulfill all your requirements while still finding time for your hobbies.  But how to do that when there’s no time?

Prioritize.  Obviously, if you’re spending an hour doing something unnecessary, you could easily rehabilitate that time for another purpose.  Perhaps watching a TV show or checking email will have to wait for a day or two, until it becomes necessary.  (If you’re in desperate need of creative rejuvenation, for instance, watch the TV show.)  I had to take a break from blogging for (gasp!) a whole week while my life was crazy.  Of course, if your unnecessary activity happens to be your hobby, don’t prioritize that much.  The point is to free up time for you to have fun, not to remove all fun from your life. Continue reading “When There Is No Time”

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Phil Phorce: Flying Suds

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


Quirk crouched behind a mound in the Blanks’ arena, trying to determine the functions of his spheres of soap.

Phoenix ducked behind the mound and glanced at him. “Anything look interesting?”

Quirk shook his head. “I still can’t figure out what everything is supposed to do.”

Phoenix handed him a wad of paper; instructions for each type of sphere.

“Why do you keep getting instructions and I don’t?” Continue reading “Phil Phorce: Flying Suds”

Phil Phorce: The Reveal

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


“I think we should go down,” said Feiron.

“But he’s probably upstairs,” said Percival. “He wants to be alone, and the most solitary place around any castle is the roof.”

“He’s blind,” said Feiron flatly. “You really think he’s on a roof somewhere?”

“Well,” said Percival, trying to see how that would work. “You’re right. Down it is.”

“Wait,” said Feiron, looking down the hall. Continue reading “Phil Phorce: The Reveal”

Phil Phorce: Discoveries

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


Isaac wandered by feel. He knew the castle like the back of his hand, but it was difficult to translate what he knew visually into what he could feel. He spent more time hesitantly testing the ground before him for stairs, walls, or doors than he did actually walking, but it felt good to be doing something on his own. He had depended on the others for so long without even realizing it. Depending on them for explanations of their world when he couldn’t see, depending on them to solve problems he didn’t realize, and depending on them to save his mother from incorporeal assassins. He didn’t like the idea of that one, especially with Quirk’s idea of the queen’s motives. He and Feiron had been in the room the day his father had died, and done nothing. They hadn’t been near when the Flit had attacked his mother, but they still could have done… something. He wished he had at least heard his mother’s call for help, as Quirk and Percival had. Continue reading “Phil Phorce: Discoveries”

Phil Phorce: Purple

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


“Have you seen Isaac?” he asked a passing maid. The maid frowned, and Quirk corrected himself. “I mean, the crown prince. Have you seen him?”

The maid shook her head and hurried on, obviously wanting nothing to do with the otherworlder who called the crown prince by his first name. And she didn’t even know the half of it.

Quirk sighed and walked on. At the beginning, he had told himself he was looking for Isaac, but as he had kept searching, he realized he just wanted a quiet place to think. A place in which an ogre hadn’t died. No, not just an ogre. Isaac’s father. He couldn’t keep thinking of Isaac as a liability, or just a random person with weird relations. He was a friend, with a mother, and a father who had just died. How would he feel if someone accused his single living parent of treason while he was still getting over his father’s death?

Well, he didn’t have parents. But he could imagine. Continue reading “Phil Phorce: Purple”

Phil Phorce: Whoops

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


“But it all makes sense,” Quirk said, pacing around the king’s dusty bedroom. Isaac and Feiron sat on the bed, while Percival had chosen a chair near the mirror they had traveled through days before. “The queen tried to take power after the king died, the people didn’t like it, and because you reappeared, Isaac, she covered it up.”

“But that leaves many things unexplained,” said Percival. “Who’s the unknown magician supposedly controlling the people?”

“There is none,” said Quirk. “It was made up.”

“Then who bound the queen and her guards to their places when there was an assassin trying to kill her?” Continue reading “Phil Phorce: Whoops”

Phil Phorce: Tralala

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


Quirk winced as the physician pulled the bandage tight around his arm. The physician’s methods were, well, medieval, but Quirk and Percival had ganged up to force him to actually clean the wound first. Even that had been a struggle, and Quirk could tell the urge to amputate seethed below the surface.

“What is a Flit, exactly?” Percival asked.

The queen walked from her throne toward the door, then turned back to him. “It’s a creature of unknown origin,” she said. “There are no legends about them, nothing— until ten years ago, when they appeared without notice, invading a realm on the eastern coast. As they began to march on another realm, however, the surrounding kingdoms allied and attacked, driving the Flits back. After only a month of fighting, they disappeared completely. A few have reappeared, working as assassins or thieves, effective due to their ability to turn incorporeal and pass through solid objects. They are nevertheless rare. It does make sense, however, that whoever wants to kill me would hire such a creature.” Continue reading “Phil Phorce: Tralala”

Phil Phorce: Flitting

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


Quirk ran for the assassin at the other end of the throne room. It glanced up at him briefly, then turned back to the stone at its feet and continued carving its two lines. They were identical to the ones in the king’s room.

Just as Quirk reached the assassin, it disappeared. Quirk stumbled to a stop, looking around. The lines were still there— the assassin wasn’t.

Quirk whirled at a shout from Percival. The queen sat on her throne, frozen in fear, as a dark cloud began to solidify before her at the bottom of the steps.

Quirk and Percival both began running at once. Percival hit the darkness first, but it barely moved— instead of floating or shifting to the side, it squirted away from him at a completely different angle, sliding as though it was on a track. It began to form stumps beneath it— legs, Quirk realized, on a torso. The assassin was forming again. Continue reading “Phil Phorce: Flitting”

Phil Phorce: Gouges

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


“This is actually a lot of blood,” said Quirk, looking down at the large green stain of ogre blood in the late king’s bedroom. “Do people usually bleed this much?”

“Bear in mind that this was an ogre,” said Percival, inspecting the broken window. “We don’t know how much blood they could lose.”

“Hmm,” said Quirk, looking at it. “And it’s green. Is that any sort of clue?”

“Not that I know of,” said Percival. Continue reading “Phil Phorce: Gouges”

Phil Phorce: The Queen

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy Phil Phorce, Episode 7.


Isaac burst through the double doors. Breathing hard, Quirk almost ran into Percival as he stopped suddenly behind the prince. The castle’s throne room stretched out before them, magnificent and gleaming with color in sharp contrast with the dusty bedchamber they had just left.

Quirk bent over, trying to catch his breath. Even blind, Isaac knew his way around his castle, although Feiron had to correct the occasional wrong turn and warn him of people in his path. Other than those few instances, Isaac had run so fast through the halls he had almost lost Quirk. Continue reading “Phil Phorce: The Queen”