Review(No Spoilers): The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey

Blurb from Goodreads:

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls.

What he doesn’t know is – what happens when you aren’t given a choice?

The first in a gripping new trilogy, The Book of Koli charts the journey of one unforgettable young boy struggling to find his place in a chilling post-apocalyptic world. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.

Rating: 5/5 Windmills

*Note: This was received as an arc through Netgalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Unfortunately, life has kept me from getting this review finished and posted in a timely manner. Though that doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten about this book. Actually, this was one of my top favorite reads in the month of April. I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about this book without including any spoilers, which is a little difficult, but I’ve definitely done my best and hope that’s appreciated.

At face value, The Book of Koli is the story of a teenage boy whose entire world changes after he makes some foolish decisions. As a result he is forced to grow up quickly in order to adapt in a harsh world that’d kill him otherwise. Yet this book offers a lot more though it doesn’t give it up fast.

The first half of this book is a slow-burn, and the writing can take a little adjusting to given the way Koli and the people of Mythen Rood speak. We are being told the story by an older Koli who believes that in order to understand what he has to tell us then we must first understand what came before. As he recounts his experiences, we learn about this hopeful, naive young boy of 15 who was born in a town named Mythen Rood in a dystopian world that shaped itself after an apocalyptic event that happened a long time ago. The plot is definitely character driven as everything progresses with Koli’s actions whether they’re for good or ill, and that means while there is action to be found it also can move slowly at times too.

Koli is a character that it’s hard not to root for given his dreams and desires are relatable enough for any under-privileged, love-struck kid. And that means when the disappointments come it’s hard not to feel everything with him. Koli isn’t the type to stand-up for himself or open up about his feelings at first and while his mistakes are partly foolish, they’re also well-meaning too. Learning a secret that shakes the foundation of his entire world at an unfortunate time leads him to behave in a manner that’s totally unlike himself. This leads to him allowing himself to be controlled by emotions, and hormones, until he commits an act that alters his life forever. As the story grows you definitely feel pride in watching this rather inexperienced young boy start to become the man who is telling this story. Though also sympathy as any innocence that was there is stripped away rather forcefully. As a narrator, his voice is strong and grabbed me immediately. And to me he seems like a rather reliable narrator and to an extent I’d even say an objective one as he doesn’t make excuses nor pity for mistakes of his own making.

As far as worldbuilding, in my personal opinion I found this to be a rather fresh take on the dystopian/post-apoc setting. It’s set in what was formerly the UK. The names of certain places have become warped over time as people lost the ability to read or understand the old language. It’s clear within the story that this takes place a long, long time in the future after a world altering event based on: how characters talk about the world before, lack of comprehension to the former language, the tech advances that existed prior to the event, the way the flora and fauna behave. Ah, yes, let’s talk about that fascinating element: the flora and fauna. . . that can kill you! Not just kill you, but eat you as well. Trees that eat people. The world is harsh, but it’s not just other people that make it that way — it’s the animals and plants too. Imagine not being able to go outside to collect resources or hunt food when it was sunny, but having to wait until it was a more rainy time. Why? Cause the plants are more active when the sun is out and could bring about harm. And this world gets more dark and harsh as we learn more about it with Koli. And lastly, the supporting cast were definitely an interesting bunch with different personalities. There wasn’t one of them I couldn’t feel something for to some degree. We didn’t get to learn about them all as thoroughly given we’re seeing much through Koli’s eyes, but that doesn’t mean they were flat or uninteresting.

Now, there were flaws to be found in this book. There weren’t many though and the only one that really comes to mind that feels worth talking about at any length is there’s a little bit of ableism, homophobia, and transphobia with religious persecution — aimed toward the latter two — that can be found in the story. However, it’s easy to tell that it isn’t the attitude of Koli’s character nor necessarily of everyone in this setting. It feels more like the result of a world that has gone backwards to some degree, and we’ve all seen throughout history how this can happen. Yet it’s easily a minor flaw as Koli himself, and others we come to meet, clearly don’t think this way nor agree with those that do.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book. Honestly, the killer trees are what drew me to this story, but I stayed for everything else. I can’t wait to pick up the next book in this series.

Battle For The Net

If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do? Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites. Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon? On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet. If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

Source: Battle For The Net

House of Horrors

I couldn’t have put this better. Honestly, I feel like we’re doomed and I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for any hope. I am terrified. I am a disabled person who lives in a HUD building, and who depends on foodstamps to be able to manage not to starve for half the month, and these are things this monster along with those that backed him will gleefully gut. Republicans have tried for a long time to go after Social Security in all its forms including SSD. This time they may actually succeed at gutting or taking away what I need to survive.

I don’t fully blame the protest votes — even with those votes we’d still have this monster as there wasn’t enough to make this the situation like before — but I will blame the DNC for rigging the primaries and choosing a bad candidate that couldn’t even get the college age female vote. What the DNC did was wrong, and they are as much to blame for what will happen in coming days as the following people. I will blame the people who continued to support a racist, sexist, homophobic douchebag who bragged about sexually assaulting women and mocked the disabled. I will blame those same people for continuing to do it even after he got backed by the KKK. And I will blame them for voting for him including the ones that naively did it cause “surely he’ll get impeached soon”.

However, while I am horrified I am not surprised. This was predicted as a possibility after what happened with Brexit and now. . . now we’re stuck with this monster for 4 years. For those about to go through a hellish nightmare, in the US and outside of it, I am sorry. Just know that I stand with you as do many others.
That was the Daily News headline this morning, and it captures what I feel very succinctly. Dear mother of God, what have we done. What. Have. We. Done. Look, people. Put aside the fancy slogans an…

Source: House of Horrors

Of Mugs and Mumbles: The Power to Maintain

Lately I’ve noticed that setting goals and starting them is easy. Sticking to them? That is a completely different story. No matter what you do, you can’t always stay on the path once you start down it. Something either tempts you to stray like the allure of just one lazy day or knocks you off into the brush — and down a hill — like a lousy health day. Once that happens, the struggle to not only get back on the path begins with the trouble of finding your way back to it in the first place.

That’s the trouble I’ve been having lately.

Well, if I’m honest with myself? For a long time.

Often I see people start toward goals who are able to stick with them. If they stumble? They get right back up. That’s something I have to applaud. And I admit that those people are people I’m jealous of as I’m always wishing that I could do the same. There are days that I want to be more focused and organized to help me maintain a better routine, but it’s a constant struggle. The latest issue with my health is a perfect example:

Finally I’d started to get into a routine. I set up my first BuJo, started to experiment with what did and didn’t work for me with my layout while keeping to a schedule. It was a little rocky. A little more stop than go at first, but slowly that changed as my daily goals had more completion marks than incomplete or migration marks. It was a great feeling that made it easier to keep pushing onward. I was actually doing this with visual proof of my improvements to help me stay on track. The suddenly my legs and feet started hurting really bad; swelling any time I sit without propping my legs up or walk too much. And that’s if I can even walk in the first place as the pain is just that terrible. It has put a halt on continuing the exercises I’d begun to do along with any other goal that requires much in the way of activity. Lounging on the couch with my feet propped up while I play games or watch Netflix is all I can do. Doesn’t sound all that terrible except when it messes up the progress you’ve made at which point it becomes frustrating since you’re not choosing to do these things, but being forced to instead.

That frustration has me annoyed more than anything. The pain has been messing with my focus as well which makes it a little difficult to write at times. It’s driving me up a wall. Still I’m trying not to lose sight of the path I set out on before this mess. How? By doing what I am able to manage right now. Small things that don’t require much in the way of physical activity such as keeping my BuJo updated, trying to get out blog posts, remembering my weekly goals, et cetera. Hopefully once this issue is resolved that will help me to more easily get back on the path. One way or another I’ll have to manage. Otherwise I’ll only continue to wander farther and farther away losing all the progress I’ve begun to make until I lose sight of those goals altogether. That won’t help me in the long run.

So that’s where I’m at in my life: fighting a continuous battle against myself both physically and mentally.

Ultimately, this won’t change. My health will always be an issue. Whether it’s my RA or my TMJ or my fatigue or my depression — any of a thousand things — there’ll be problems maintaining my routine. Or even my own faults of procrastination and laziness could interfere. Never was able to overcome either. All I can do is accept that some days I’ll falter and that it’s alright to do so as long as I remember to continue onward once I get back up.

So tell me, what issues make you stumble or tempts you from the path? Are there any specific methods that help you to maintain in the face of it all? What goals have you set for yourself that are easy to keep? What goals are the most difficult?
I’d love to hear from others. It’s nice to be able to share as talking with others can be both motivating and inspiring. And perhaps I’ll learn some good techniques for keeping to your routine as well.


Note: When I initially wrote this I hadn’t yet been to the doctor. I went on Friday after getting fit into the schedule, and unsurprisingly it turned out to be what I suspected. . . Tendonitis. Specifically it’s Achilles Tendonitis. At the present we’re trying high dose anti-inflammatory for five days to help manage the pain until I can get into physical therapy which is the only thing that will help me get better. What brought this on? The exercises I was doing — light ones at the suggestion of my Rheumatologist to help me deal with some muscle weakness in my legs — ended up being too much. I pushed myself over the fine line that is my limits. I barely did much of anything as I split my exercises out over a week so out of 7 days I was exercising 3 days with breaks. What pushed me over though? A total of 20 mini-squats split out over those 3 days. So now I’m paying the price of not more carefully easing into the exercises. The upside is this will get me back into physical therapy faster. Though that doesn’t make me anymore thrilled about dealing with the pain and limited movement. More sitting on the couch for me. Luckily I’ve got another game to play to distract me: FFXIV. Between that, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Netflix I will be thoroughly entertained at least.

Monday Morsel: 5-30-2016

Bringing you the rest of the post from my Snapshots & Snippets the week before last. A little information: this is a from a modern fantasy RP that takes place all over the world(though it’s quite different from the world we know as it suffered a sorta apocalyptic event called Resonance like 9 years ago(it’s 2019 in current RP time). A bunch of people gained abilities, some became metahuman, some got magic, some got infected by diseases that turned them into Lycanthropes and Vampires and Zombies, some creatures of myth became reality, some beings crossed over from beyond the veil, and so on and so forth. In the following RP is featured my character Cassandra Greene, a magus, who works for a rebel organization called ARMA that separated from a corrupt magus organization called the OFL who is ultimately ruled by an equally corrupt Vatican. They did some really bad stuff, including torture and experimentation, on people(like my Cassandra) and a lot of magus came to their senses, realized they were being used/corrupted, and so on. . . and split.

My Cass, after she escaped possession by what they call ‘Demons'(though in reality are veil-crossers that can’t cross fully), slowly was remembering things that the OFL and Vatican did not want getting out — they tried to kill her and her brother(who was head of ARMA) multiple times — then started to work for ARMA, and. . . well, in comes Rhome. He’s an assassin, the guy they send when they want a job to get done-done, but Rhome as ‘Matty’ fell for Cass as she made him question his loyalties, himself, etc. and sought to protect her until he couldn’t anymore on his own so he turned himself into ARMA, admitted everything, and agreed to give them information/get his magic bound so long as they hid him from the Vatican and he didn’t have to return to that life. Cass had equally fallen for him, a fact that is difficult as it took her a lot to be able to trust and the first person she trusts again, falls for, ends up being someone sent to kill her by the very organization that made her have trust issues. . . and she loves him which is even harder to stomach leaving a lot of issues since he revealed everything. Enter this thread 15 months later.

Location: NY Cathedral
January 8th, 2019
Titled: Backdraft
Thread Summary(so far): Rhome, after a day working as a cook at the diner, is on his way home when he’s assaulted by a phasing magus. She tempts him with information, that someone he loves and that he thought dead is alive, but also ends up doing something weird that seems to have undone the binding on his magic which he finds out after he enters the cathedral when he reaches for the candles. . . and the flame begins to rise. Cassandra was following Rhome, having told the guys that normally watch him that she was assigned(though she wasn’t), cause she wanted to tell him to stop keeping an eye on her, to stop protecting her, and. . . to try to assert that she feels nothing for him — a lie that leaves her constantly confused, angry, and guilty. She watches him get his ass kicked then follows him into the church, becomes aware that his magic is back, and then. . . suddenly a worried, panicked Rhome is kissing her and begging her for help.

Binding wasn’t always a permanent solution. Sometimes the bind faded, had to be re-applied. . . but this was too soon. No, Rhome’s binding shouldn’t have come undone yet. They’d kept an eye on him enough to know if it was back, but as she stood in the cathedral watching the candles there was evidence to the contrary. The flames flickered to life with the proximity of his hand; growing just a little until he pulled it back. And all she could do was shake her head. How had this happened?

Has he been in contact with someone in the Vatican? Was it that phasing magus? Or has he been playing us?, the questions went through her mind filled with suspicion as she watched him in silence.

Cassandra knew that he was unaware of her presence. Bitter though it made her feel? She was also thankful for it. Even if she always noticed his presence. . . at least now he wasn’t aware of hers and that gave her time to think about the wisdom of this foolish plan. Alec would be angry if he knew she was here. Alistair even more. But she’d had to come. Hadn’t she?

Looking at him raised a thousand questions; ones that remained unanswered even though she’d yelled most of them at him in that interrogation room. She hated the feelings that he evoked in her. That there was still love in her heart for him after the betrayal made her feel angry. Yet it hadn’t lessened. Just as she was re-thinking confronting him, and was about to turn to leave, she felt his gaze on her.

Cassandra would never forget that sensation.

The way he’d looked at her had made her heart race then, and it did the same now. Made it freeze in her chest before it kicked into high like she’d just ran a marathon. Blue eyes locked on his own gaze without any preparation to shield the emotions there from him. Pain, anger, confusion, worry, vulnerability all there for him to see. The shock of being alone with him — now that he was aware of her — was overwhelming to her system. She was aware of the way he moved away, avoiding her, but more than that awareness was the one when he noticed the scarf.

The way his gaze narrowed on it made her skin flush. Part of her was pleased the charm was hidden from his view. Both of the items were signs of the weakness within herself that he’d not only preyed on, but also expanded upon for when it came to him. . .

She was the weakest she’d ever been.

The shame that rushed through her made it hard to process what happened next. Before Cassandra realized, he was there in front of her and his hands were on her face. . . and his lips were pressing against her own. There was a voice in her head that screamed this wasn’t alright, that she should fight him, but all she felt was the rush of everything they’d been before as she offered herself up to his kiss. Hands lifting to grasp his wrists, to hold his hands against her chilled skin; they both hated the cold so much, and she recalled shielding him with her magic that first day and then. . . all the times afterward she’d basked in the warmth he offered both magically and physically.

Lost to the taste and touch of him, it took Cassandra a moment to acknowledge the kiss had been broken. Lids lifted slowly to see that he wasn’t looking at her. His eyes were still shut, and his hands still pressed palms against her cheeks — cheeks that were damp with tears.

When had she started crying?

His words penetrated the fog.

♎ “I need your help.  I don’t know where else to go.  I’ll tell you everything, I just need your help.  Please.”

The haze started to clear a little; realization of what she’d just allowed to happen sharply cutting through her. It felt like a knife to the chest. A gasp of breath was sucked between her teeth as hands dropped and she jerked away from him. Before she could think about it, one hand raised against to connect with her palm against his cheek now. The harsh CRACK! echoing in the quiet of the cathedral.

☸ “How dare you. . . No, you don’t get to do that. You don’t ge-get to touch me or kiss me or as-ask me for help. .” Sucking in another breath, she tried to rein in the anger arcing through her body.

Her shield didn’t come up, magic remaining dormant, in response to the emotions raging inside. And that was a shock too — she should be afraid of him. She wasn’t though. Turning around, she shoved her hands through her hair and gripped tightly as she tried to get ahold of herself. Drawing in a couple breaths to help fight against the sting of more silent tears, Cassandra fought for control. . . and achieved it after a couple of long, hard minutes.

With that clearing of mind came another realization though: she couldn’t refuse him.

Cassandra wanted to tell him to go to hell. She wanted to tell him that she didn’t owe him anything. She wanted. . . to be angrier than she actually was, but that wasn’t happening. She wanted to help him, and knew that whatever made him ask for help was serious. Not only had she heard it in his voice, but she knew it the minute he offered to tell her everything. This was her chance to get all the answers she’d been seeking. Drawing in a deep breath through her nose, she breathed out slowly and then wiped swiftly at her cheeks before turning around.

☸ “Fine. I’ll help you. But first you tell me everything, Rhome. You become an open fucking book. If you lie to me even once? That’s the end of it.”

She cursed in a holy place, completely uncaring, as she leveled a hard look on him and shoved her hands into the pockets of her coat. Calling him Rhome? That helped give her a little more distance, because thinking of him as Matty would break her again. Now she waited for him to decide what he wanted to do.

Merely This and Nothing More: Poe Goes Punk!

Today I bring to ya’ll a surprise: a promo! Not just any promo either, but a release announcement for a punk anthology titled Merely This and Nothing More: Poe Goes Punk! This time Writerpunk Press creates yet another fun, new spin on beloved classic works. The last time it was Shakespeare. This time? Edgar Allan Poe gets the punk experience. If you want to know more about the writers involved in this particular anthology, visit here, and to learn about the designers, editors, etc. check out this page.

And now, here’s some information on the upcoming release.


Merely This and Nothing More: Poe Goes Punk

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Available from: Writerpunk Press

Formats: Kindle and Paperback (348 Pages)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1530999189

ISBN-13: 978-1530999187

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more

Listed at: Goodreads

The Book Blurb

A clockwork raven. Two sets of irresistible teeth. A house brought to life by nanobots. A heart that won’t stop beating. All this and much more in the Writerpunk Press version of the beloved suspense stories by Edgar Allan Poe. We’ve pulled out all the stops this time around to bring you the very best punked versions of classic Poe tales, complete with shiny gears and tiny bots! In addition to the more familiar Cyberpunk and Steampunk, we’ve added Bio, Deco, and Dieselpunk genres to the mix. The resulting volume is a dynamic take on horror of which the Master of Macabre himself would be proud. Profits are to be donated to PAWS Lynnwood, an animal shelter and wildlife rescue located in the Pacific Northwest.

The Story Excerpts


“Things of the Future” ~ AR DeClerck

A futurepunk story inspired by “Mellonta Tauta”

April 1, 2058

The Grand Balloon Skylark

Below us is the vast ocean that never ceases. I write to you from my perch high upon the pinnacle of our great transport. I find myself wondering why we cannot go faster, as other balloons pass us by at more than one hundred and fifty miles per hour and we move at less than one hundred. The captain says that we must conserve, but I find that what was once the peace of the blue waters below is nothing more than a sinister and lonely wasteland to me now.

I cannot say that I am not intrigued by the idea that nothing exists below us. I have seen ships on the waters, their propellers churning as they move. I might have worried that they will someday run out of fuel, but the captain assures me they, too, have perfected the drying and burning of the great gutta pucka fungi that provides fuel for us all. One bit of the pungent plant that grows upon the top of the sea can keep us running for days. The boats are far more crowded than our own vessel, the throngs of poor and unwashed below me eliciting my pity and some admitted relief that they are below and I am up here.

The question we all ask ourselves remains unsaid. Will we find land again? We have traveled much, from the only bit of soil that remained untouched after the great cataclysm, searching for some bit of terra firma that may exist across this ocean. None of us recall the days of walking upon the land, and I myself was born upon a ship much like the one I sit upon now. What would it be like to feel real dyrt between my toes, as my grandfather used to expound upon to us on hot nights. Even when we started out, the captain tells me, there was only that small island of sand remaining upon which to build our vessels for this trek.

How much time has passed since humanity left that sand dune in ships and boats? There is no real guess. Days grow longer now, and the dual orbs in the sky keep it light for twenty seven of our hours. The captain has a theory about this, as well, and he says that the rotation of the planet has slowed thanks to the appearance of the Alpha Lyrae in the sky. It is why the days stretch on to forever, and we age much more slowly than our parents and grandparents. Wiggins, the captain, has even suggested that we are as near to immortal now as our species will ever be.

~ ~ ~

“Red Sky at Morning” ~ Jeffrey Cook

A steampunk story inspired by “The Masque of the Red Death”

Four months passed without a sign of trouble. The noblemen and women, hidden behind their masks, gloves, and fancy clothes, danced, and as the ship moved, and the sun with it, the lights danced with them—red in the earliest or latest parts of the day, depending on the ship’s facing, and then each of the other shades of the stained glass, sometimes only blue, or only green, or one of the others when the sun hit just so, and sometimes the lights danced and mixed amidst the revelers, moving as if in time to the music.

The call went up one morning, “Red sky by morning.” The crew begged the Prince to go below decks, to send the dancers and musicians and all of the crowd to quarters, that they might take down the glass, extend the sails, and try to run as far and as fast as the engines might take them.

The Prince would hear none of it, chastising the frightened sailors, insisting that he trusted in their skill, and the sheer size of his airship, and the good fortune they’d enjoyed so far. Instead, as he’d done before when the news see med worst, the Prince tried to dispel it with the greatest of his parties yet. The entertainers were all called at once, that no part of the deck would be without spectacle, and he called all of his friends to come and enjoy the day. He had the cooks and servers prepare a feast, holding nothing back. Wine flowed freely, and the Prince looked upon all he had wrought, and was pleased.

A shift in the wind moved the ship about, and the blues and whites of the reflections abruptly shifted. The sun struck the uneven red pane, disappearing where the streaks of coal dust marked it, and uneven shadows played amidst the dozen shades of red that danced over the revelers as midday neared.

A singular figure that none could recall joined the dance. The figure was slender, wearing trousers, polished shoes, and a shirt of black. The jacket and top hat, however, were of the richest red crushed velvet, soft to the touch. The mask was the simplest of all the revelers, plain white porcelain, but wherever the figure moved, the light through the red window always caught it, dancing red lights shifting across the reflective surface.

~ ~ ~

“The Clockwork Raven” ~ Carol Gyzander

A clockpunk story inspired by the poem “The Raven”

My device sat waiting on the work table in front of me. I removed the cloth cover and looked at it with a critical eye. Peering back at me were two fixed, black, beady eyes and a strong, almost menacing beak. Trailing away from the head, dark feathers lay smoothly across the back and flowed out to the wings. The feet curved into sharp talons.

I turned it over and opened the plate on the underside. I smiled at the array of miniature gears and pulleys inside—this was one of my masterworks. I inserted the key into the first of three winding points. Turning the key in each one, carefully, until I met resistance, I listened to the ratcheting sound of the clockwork mechanism as it wound. When I removed the key the final time, closing the plate and turning it upright, I could hear a faint tapping sound.

The bird stretched its wings and looked at me with those black, beady eyes. Considering the key still in my hand, I shook my head. Yes, it was working for now, but one winding would not last the time required. I opened my own volume of ancient lore, turning the pages to find what I sought. Speaking low and clear, I read the words and performed the gestures recorded so long ago, watching the Raven as I worked.

The eyes came alight with an internal fire. Its head tilted to one side as it peered at me, and it flapped its wings once, again. I concentrated for a moment and inclined my own head, searching inside my mind, and saw through the Raven’s eyes: an image of myself looking back. As I moved around the room, the bird’s eyes followed me, and the image changed.

“It’s working,” I said, and heard the words in my mind as the Raven heard them.

A feeling of faintness came over me under the Raven’s steady gaze. My shoulders sagged. I braced myself against the work table and fought off a sudden wave of fatigue; held a hand to my brow, blocking its view. I was not the one from whom it should draw its energy. Not the one who must be drained.

Who needed to pay for what he had done.

Donning my coat, I tucked the clockwork Raven under my arm and headed back out into the night. This would do—only this and nothing more.

About Writerpunk Press

We are a small, somewhat anarchic writers’ collective–a community of authors, illustrators, bloggers, poets, artists, graphic designers, and readers from all walks of life who are fans of cyberpunk, steampunk, dieselpunk, and associated genres.

Sound and Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk, our first anthology of stories based on the Bard’s work, was published in March 2015. The second anthology, Once More Unto The Breach: Shakespeare Goes Punk 2, was released in December 2015. We have taken the plays that audiences have enjoyed for hundreds of years and reinvented them as cyberpunk, dieselpunk, Teslapunk, and steampunk tales. Featuring comedies and tragedies as well as a wide variety of punk genres, these collections have something for everyone. The anthologies have even been added to high school and college curriculums.

Our third collection, Merely This and Nothing More: Poe Goes Punk, will be published on May 31st.  In this anthology, we have punked classic tales penned by the Master of the Macabre. In addition to the more familiar cyberpunk and steampunk, we’ve added bio, deco, and dieselpunk genres to the mix.  As with all Writerpunk Press publications, a spirit of subversive fun is strongly encouraged.


Q: How did Writerpunk Press come to be?

A: Once upon a time there were a bunch of writers who really liked steampunk. And dieselpunk. And clockpunk. And there were a bunch of other writers who liked other kinds of punk, and also making up new punk genres. And we all came together on Facebook. The End.

Actually, that wasn’t the end. Now we’re hanging out, publishing anthologies. And living happily ever after! (For real, this time.)

Q: How does one submit to the anthologies?

A: Step 1. Join the Writerpunk Facebook group. Step 2. Write a story that fits one of our submission calls. Step 3. Submit your story. (These steps may be completed in any order your little punk heart desires—but we suggest saving Step 3 for last.)

Q: Does everyone who submits get accepted?

A: No. While we do our best to nurture new authors with lots of encouragement, feedback, and cookies and tea (okay, maybe not ACTUAL cookies…or are they?), we do have a limit on the amount of words we can physically publish. The best course of action is to polish, polish, polish your story before submission, and to take a look at our upcoming anthologies to ensure your work is an actual fit for an upcoming project

Q: What is the process of putting together an anthology? How does it work without one person in charge?

A: Imagine a circus. Now imagine a steam engine. Now imagine a monkey. Now imagine an underwater algae zoo.

Just kidding, that has nothing to do with it. Just wanted to see how many things you can imagine.

Seriously, these projects work because we have a group of professional, dedicated people who are willing to donate their creativity and time to making the books happen. While we may disagree throughout the creative process—and believe me, a punk collective finds plenty to toss around—we do so in a courteous, open-minded way. And also, we set deadlines and stick to them.

“I have been a member of many, many writers’ groups, and every single one of them has at one time or another decided they wanted to do an anthology,” said Rachel A. Brune, contributing writer. “This is the first group that has actually done so, and not just once, but on an ongoing basis. One of the reasons for that is, for me, the caliber of professional creatives we get to work with here.”

“It’s a fabulous cooperative community,” added Editor Carol Gyzander. “There is a small steering committee, but we basically look around, and see what needs to be going on—then we either do it, or bring it up for folks to consider doing it themselves. We do have a few folks who have specific jobs. For example, I oversee the editing and get to work with the writers when our volunteer editors have suggestions, and I have a monstrous spreadsheet to keep track of which stage every story is in. However, I think the dedication of all these volunteers is what makes our volumes so much better than what used to pass as standard self-published fare. We’re a group of talented professionals who function well together as volunteers, and together we produce an extremely high quality anthology.”

Q: What is the schedule for future anthologies?

A: Poe Goes Punk will be available 31 May 2016.Our next project is an anthology based on punk versions of the classics, an “English Class Goes Punk.” Submissions are due 15 December 2016, and it will be released in spring 2017. For more information, check out the Writerpunk Facebook group.

Q: How do I add one of your anthologies to my class curriculum?

A: We’d love to be part of your curriculum! You can order copies via Amazon.

Q: How do I get one of your authors to visit my classroom/attend my Convention?

A: If you would like to contact one or more of the authors for a physical (if in reasonable traveling distance) or virtual classroom visit or Con panel, email us at

Q: What’s the story with the charity aspect of the anthologies?

A: Our main focus was to get these great stories out there, not to worry over taxes and accounting and such. The group felt strongly about supporting such a wonderful charity: PAWS Animal Rescue and Shelter, a no-kill shelter located in Washington State.

The Wrap-up

If you’re interested in learning more about Writerpunk Press, its authors and staff, its anthologies, and its charity work — or if you’re looking to grab any of their works for your classroom — I encourage you to check out the following links. I have to add that I am a member of their Facebook group, and have been for a long time; it’s full of delightful posts and friendly people, and all the creativity you could possibly imagine. These are talented, fun, hard-working people who decided to get together, write some books, and help out some animals in the process. What more could you possibly want? And of course, go check out their anthologies! You won’t be disappointed.





Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk



Once More Unto the Breach: Shakespeare Goes Punk 2



Snapshots & Snippets

This is the first of something I’m going to try to start doing on Sundays. Not necessarily every Sunday, but occasionally. Each post will be different for it. The first one?

For the snippet? I was up-in-the-air. Obviously I can’t do a snippet on bullet journaling so the snippets won’t relate necessarily to the snapshots every time.

First snippet is what fueled my decision to do Camp NaNo in July:

“No, maman. No. . . we’ve discussed this before.”

Amie groaned, resisting the urge to close her eyes and squeeze her nose. She had to keep watch.

“I don’t care if he’s a doctor. Or if he’s good with children.”

The voice in her ear was becoming an irritating shrill buzzing.

“Listen, I have to go. I have to patrol my sector. We’ll talk later. Love you!”

She disconnected the call quickly, sighing in exasperation and relief. The feeling of irritation disappeared though as she looked out at the view in front of her. Stars as far as the eye could see, and just off to her right the planet she called home in all its evolving beauty.

Second snippet is part of an RP post I did today on a modern fantasy forum:

The haze started to clear a little; realization of what she’d just allowed to happen sharply cutting through her. It felt like a knife to the chest. A gasp of breath was sucked between her teeth as hands dropped and she jerked away from him. Before she could think about it, one hand raised against to connect with her palm against his cheek now. The harsh CRACK! echoing in the quiet of the cathedral.

☸ “How dare you. . . No, you don’t get to do that. You don’t ge-get to touch me or kiss me or as-ask me for help. .” Sucking in another breath, she tried to rein in the anger arcing through her body.

Her shield didn’t come up, magic remaining dormant, in response to the emotions raging inside. And that was a shock too — she should be afraid of him. She wasn’t though. Turning around, she shoved her hands through her hair and gripped tightly as she tried to get ahold of herself. Drawing in a couple breaths to help fight against the sting of more silent tears, Cassandra fought for control. . . and achieved it after a couple of long, hard minutes.

I may or may not use that entire post for my Monday Morsel. We’ll see. . .

And now, for the Snapshots! I decided to go with something that has been taking a lot of my focus and giving me a nice reward lately: my exploration into Bullet Journaling. This is completely new to me, and it’s still a learning process, but it has been useful and delighting. I will be doing an actual blog post on the topic at some point too. At least as far as my own foray into it.

A Little More On Me

So I came across these things somewhere a long time ago. I can’t remember where, but it was some place on the ‘net. If anyone recognizes them? Let me know. I know I deleted some of the questions cause I genuinely didn’t know how to answer and that I added a couple other random ones I’d found elsewhere. Feel free to do your own if you’d like and link to them, or just post them, in the comments. I especially found the If I Were questions to be really fun to answer!

The Q&A

Q. Are you a clean or messy person?

A. I am so a messy person. I try not to be, and attempt to be more organized too, but I always end up failing.

Q. Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?

A. I can’t think of anything cause fashion to me is whatever I choose to wear. If I wear it? It’s in fashion to me.

Q. What superpower would you want? Would you use it for good or evil?

A. I’d love to say that I’d totally use a superpower for good, and that I’d be upright and honorable, but honestly I’d probably end up being more like Deadpool than Captain America — though I love both. As for superpower? Oh man, I’d want something awesome like Energy Sourcing or Mimicry though with my awful luck I’d end up with something outright terrible like the ability to heal others, but doing so kills me slowly in the process.

Q. What would you sing at Karaoke night?

A. If I could be convinced to sing? Probably something from the ‘80s or early ‘90s.

Q. If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

A. Nothing. That’s a slippery slope. You don’t mess with the past unless you want to risk screwing up the future, and I am not a risk taker.

Q. If you could get away with a crime, would you? If yes, what would it be?

A. No, I wouldn’t. I know that answer probably makes me a lame duck, but I’ve never contemplated that before.

Q. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

A. Caution: Known to hoard notebooks, pens, and other writing tools. Beware shaking hands as they’re consistently found to have ink somewhere on them even after recent, and repeated, washing.

Q. What’s your favorite thing(s) to snack on while writing?

A. Lately I’ve been munching on raisins a lot. Though I also really enjoy chocolate or peanuts or Reese’s pieces or animal crackers(sometimes dipped in Nutella, sometimes dipped in Cookie Butter — which I just discovered and loooove).

Q. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

A. Probably Brie Larson. She’s adorable, kinda tiny, and I think it would suit for playing me as far as grasping my personality. Plus she’s a talented actress.

If I Were

If I were a month, I’d be September

If I were a day of the week, I’d be Friday

If I were a god or a goddess, I’d be Nótt

If I were a verb, I’d be Learn

If I were a sea animal, I’d be a Sea Otter

If I were an object in a living room, I’d be a Couch

If I were a gemstone, I’d be a Sapphire

If I were a flower, I’d be a Hyacinth

If I were a kind of weather, I’d be a Rainy day

If I were a colour, I’d be Indigo

If I were an adjective, I’d be Becoming

If I were a season, I’d be Fall

If I were a fruit, I’d be a Strawberry

If I were a sound, I’d be The click-clack of keys on a keyboard

If I were a hogwarts house, I’d be Gryffindor

If I were an element, I’d be Oxygen

If I were a word, I’d be Procrastination

If I were a book, I’d be Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

If I were a taste, I’d be Chocolate

If I were a scent, I’d be The smell of books

If I were an object, I’d be a Book

If I were a body part, I’d be Fingers

If I were a noun, I’d be Writing

If I were a book character, I’d be Jo March

If I were a song, I’d be Adrenalize by In This Moment

Monday Morsel: 05-16-2016

Another post from my 1790’s/18th century historical roleplay. This is my character Yasmeen Moreau, she’s a doctor/midwife, and in this post she is dealing with emotions caused by the act of her home being attacked and her daughter kidnapped. She is staying as a guest at the mansion of a noble family who she has helped many times. In this post she is waiting for her lover, Nicolai, to return from his search with hopefully good news. I hope that you enjoy the read.

Location: Mansion Laurance, Port-de-Paix

Date: March 14th, Hour After Midnight

Titled: Outpost of Advancing Day

The sky was dark, the moon high, and the wind smelled of fresh rain; the windowsill was still wet from the downpour that had come earlier and fingertips brushed against a couple drops distractedly. The windows had been opened after it turned into a trickle. The need for fresh air to draw into the lungs overwhelming any concern of getting her nightdress or nightgown damp. The latter was a deep red opened over the white linen nightdress with its flowers embroidered at neck and hem. Both had been a gift from Fanny and Esther; the elder daughter having made the linen nightdress and added delicate lace to the nightgown, and the younger daughter having embroidered flowers on the nightdress at neck and hem.

Esther had been so proud of the work she’d done. It’d been the first time she’d done embroidery work at such a scale, and she’d done it well. And from that moment she’d taken off with it. The thought of that her youngest daughter’s exuberant energy brought a sad smile to Yasmeen’s face as she looked out the window. Red-rimmed brown eyes searched the star-riddled black sky as if it would give her a sign. A signal to where her daughter was being kept. . . so that she could be rescued and brought home. She tugged at the end of her braid where it hung over her shoulder and slammed the palm of her other hand against the windowsill when nothing came though.

Dropping her gaze, she now searched the grounds for any sign of Nicolai or the men that were sent out to search. She knew that he had much to do of late, but it hadn’t seemed to delay him in searching for Esther. He was just as heartbroken over the abduction. She prayed that tonight when he came to her room there might be some fruitful news to bring hope. . . What she had was dwindling and she was barely able to drag herself out of bed. Only the persistence of her children kept her from giving in to the weight that tried to pull her down; they had seen her in times like those before and didn’t want to see it happen again.

A knock drew her attention from the ground and she flew to the door. She was confused why Nicolai had knocked for he didn’t have to, but all that mattered was that he was here now. Fingers hurriedly undid the locks on the door, pulling it open with haste only to find a weeping maid outside instead of Nicolai.

It was one of her housemaid’s who had come along to assist her and Fanny with dressing.

Sarah, what has happened?” Yasmeen felt a moment of panic followed by concern, and she pulled her inside then closed the door for privacy.

The maid was in an unusual state of dishevel; hair a mess, gown wrinkled and hem stained with dirt, as she wrung the cap that should be upon her head with both hands instead. She was sobbing heavily and the red of her pale face made it clear that she’d been doing so for awhile. Yasmeen led her to a chair, forcing her to sit down as she went to pour her some tea from the tray a maid had brought earlier.

As Yasmeen returned with the tea, pressing a kerchief into the young woman’s hands, she stopped enough to speak though her voice was hoarse, “Oh, Madame Moreau, I’m sorry. Forgive me, please. . . I wasn’t sure. . . I wanted to wait until I knew and I-I-I wanted to be wrong.

Wrong about what? Sarah?

Yasmeen took Sarah’s trembling hands into both of her own now, kneeling down before the chair and giving an encouraging look so that she’d continue speaking.

Ch-Charles, Madame. I have not seen him since the night she was taken, and today a friend in the guard told me that his body was not among those taken from your home.


One of the men that had been part of the guard provided was named Charles. She recalled that he had often accompanied Esther and Fanny during their outings, and on occasion even Esther and Beatrix when they went off to visit patients.

What has been his surname? She recalled having found it odd. . . Chew, yes. Charles Chew. That had been his name.

The implications of what this could mean, the sensation of hope, was overwhelming enough to still her heart and steal her breath for a moment. After a second Yasmeen forced herself to breathe, and then to be patient as made Sarah wash her face and sip some of the tea. She wondered how long until Nicolai would arrive for he would know what questions to ask and what information was pertinent.

Barefeet paced the same path along the rug as she waited for the housemaid to get herself together then she looked directly at her; making sure that her voice was firm enough to make it clear that she didn’t want to be lied to. She wanted every piece of truth that could be provided if it could lead to her daughter.

Tell me everything , Sarah.