“Five Star Bathroom” – Microfiction, Humor, Travel

Original Image Made on Playground AI

“Mama snores like a chainsaw battling rocks. My sister and I retreat to the five-star hotel’s bathroom and close the door. I lay on a pile of blankets under the sink. My sister is by the tub. The snoring is now so faint it’s a lullaby.”

This microfiction of mine was published by Cuento Magazine. They publish prose and poetry under 280 characters on their twitter page.

What I wrote is based off a true story which took place about 12 years ago.

A Microfiction on Fibromyalgia

(Image Generated with Playground AI)

“The fibromyalgia burns through my skin. I lay crumpled up in bed, staring outside at an oak tree. Flowers blossom from mottled branches. A yellow warbler feeds her chicks in the gentle pitter patter of rain. The fire within me cools to a simmer.”

See it here on Cuento Magazine on Twitter, along with other microfictions.

Also. Here are some resources on chronic pain below.

Chronic Pain Champions Official Website

Chronic Pain Champions Free Ebook

Neuroplastic Pain

Curable App

Mayoclinic Guide to Fibromyalgia (Book on Amazon)

Unlearn Your Pain by Howard Schubiner (Book on Amazon)

A Microfiction From the POV of a Space Monster

(Image made with Playground AI)

Movies like Alien, Event Horizon, and Pitch Black have popularized the Space Horror genre.

However, not enough literature or movies have shown space horror from the POV of the monster, in my humble opinion.

So I decided to attempt one and got it published on Black Hare Press. It’s a great website for creatives looking to submit drabbles, short stories, and novellas.

For those who don’t know what a drabble is, it’s a short fictional story around 100 words in length.

Check out mine here.

#PitDark is Today!

“#PitDark is the first and only Twitter pitch event to highlight literature of a “darker” nature. Importantly, this is not limited to horror works; however, any pitched manuscript must contain an element of horror or darker writing. Examples of such categories include pure horror novels, dark fantasy, murder mysteries, psychological horror stories, non-fiction works about darker subjects, etc. MG, YA, NA, and adult age categories are welcome.”

See More Details Here

Do NOT Write a Book

Image Made With DALL-E AI Art Generator

The title may seem like odd advice since this is a blog for writers.

Isn’t the first step of being a writer to … you know… write?

That may be true, but there are several good reasons not to start off your career as a writer by writing a book.

I just read a great article by Medium author Akshay Gajria called, “Please Do NOT Write a Book.” I highly recommend it.

The point Akshay makes is that a large number people have dreams of writing a book. And many of these people often have unrealistic expectations.

While there are all sorts of workshops and books out there training people how to write “12k” words a day, Akshay reminds his readers that much much more goes into a book than simply getting words down. There’s also editing and research.

While it may take 6 months to simply write a first draft, polishing that first draft into a quality product can take years. For me, it takes 2-3 years on average to write and finish a book. And that includes working on said book about 5 days a week.

Writing a book is not a mere passion project. It’s a major commitment. And it’s something that takes skill. One must know how to structure a story, create compelling characters, have a logical plot, good pacing and quality description.

A great point that Akshay made is that one should build their skill by writing short stories first. Short stories require a much smaller time commitment. They are also much easier to get published than novels. A publisher takes a smaller financial risk on a short story than a novel.

Many of the most famous authors today got their start with short stories, including Stephen King and George R.R. Martin.

Short stories are also a good way to build your portfolio, get your name out there and build an audience before you make the major commitment to write a book.

If you enjoyed this advice, please read Akshay Gajria’s article, “Please Do Not Write a Book.”

AI Art Generators For Creative People

(Picture of “tall colorful mushrooms at night” generated with DALLE-2)

The ability to use AI to generate realistic-looking art is revolutionary for all the creatives out there. These tools are even useful for writers. You can use these art generators to make a logo for your website, an image for an article, or a cover for a book. It can also be useful for stimulating your creative juices.

Check out Gizmodo’s Recommended Free AI Art Generators

An Alternative Ending for Loki Season 1

Disclaimer: Spoilers included. Also, much of what is included here is my own personal opinion on the ending. I don’t claim that this opinion is authoritative or the best. Please let me know if you have a different opinion.

Overall, season 1 of Marvel’s Loki television show was enjoyable.

The Loki series takes place after the events of the film Avengers: Endgame, in which an alternate version of Loki creates a new timeline, diverging from the events of The Avengers (2012). The season sets up the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).

What I Liked:

The show centers around Loki, Marvel’s most entertaining villain. And indeed the show is a lot of fun as we see the God of Mischief butt heads with a fitting foil: the TVA (Time Variance Authority), the most powerful bureaucracy in existence. The TVA is so powerful that their employees treat the infinity stones as if they are mere objects to store in a desk along with paperclips and pencil erasers.

Owen Wilson is one of the TVA’s bureaucrats. He’s cool and collected in contrast to Loki’s brash and hot headed manner. Owen takes Loki under his wing and explains the TVA’s purpose: to protect the one true sacred timeline from the threat of multiversal war. This is accomplished by pruning people called ‘variants’ from the timeline.

The employees at the TVA are all told that three lizard-like beings (called Time Keepers) created the TVA with the purpose of protecting and guiding the sacred timeline.

The show is an interesting mix of sci-fi, fantasy, police procedural, and 1970s retro style.

I ended up binge watching the whole season in one night because each episode kept me intrigued about what was going to happen next.

Where the Show Lost Me:

Unfortunately, much of the build up that kept me intrigued ultimately left me confused with the reveal at the end of the season’s final episode, episode 6.

By episode 3 we get our “aha!” moment when one of the time variants, a female version of Loki named, “Sylvie,” reveals that the agents of the TVA are actually brainwashed variants from Earth who got their memories wiped by the TVA.

Once it was revealed that the employees of the TVA were deceived, the audience was left to wonder about the real motives of the powerful time agency. By episode 4, Sylvie beheads one of the Time Keepers, only to find out it was just a lifeless machine. It is revealed that there is a true mastermind behind the TVA pulling the strings of the organization in secrecy.

Classic Loki and Sylvie end up at the Void at the End of Time, figuring that the clandestine mastermind of the TVA would be hiding at the end of the known timeline. There they find a world of Loki variants. Instead of cooperating with each other to escape the Void, this motley collection of Lokis fight with one another endlessly and stab each other in the back—as Lokis are known to do. However, a small band of Lokis cooperate with Classic Loki and Sylvie to help our two protagonists escape the Void and arrive at the Citadel at the End of Time. There they finally find the mastermind behind the TVA, He Who Remains, a person who is revealed to be…

*Drum roll.*

JONATHAN MAJORS, who was officially cast as KANG THE CONQUEROR in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Devout comic book fans and Marvel movie fans may enjoy this easter egg. It’s a cool set up for Ant Man. But for people who are not as familiar with all the comics or every movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this could definitely be unclear. Kang the Conqueror only gave his background story in this episode, but not his name.

Maybe Kang the Conqueror will play a bigger role in season 2, but it would have been nice to see him more involved throughout season 1, so there would be more payoff when he was revealed as the big bad in the end.

Not only that, but He Who Remains says he actually wants to protect the timeline from multiversal war, just as the TVA originally explains. So…why all the cloak and dagger? Why the need for the animatronic space lizards? In fact, when the memories of the TVA employees get wiped and reset, they have a new statue of He Who Remains. At the end, it seems to me there wasn’t much reason to hide that Kang was pulling the strings. But maybe something will be revealed in season 2 that may explain this?

Alternative Ending

For me, I would have preferred it if the big bad was a Loki variant. There’s literally a whole world full of them. There’s a kid Loki. There’s even a freaking alligator Loki who gets a lot of screen time. The antagonist at the end could have considered him or herself, “The Ultimate Loki.”

This Loki could have bragged that they were a variant who found a way to do what our Classic Loki originally wanted to do, but failed to do: control reality. This would have created a legitimate reason to hide the original mastermind behind the TVA. A Loki variant would want to trick the other Lokis and destroy them so he or she could rise above them all and become the ultimate Loki. And this is indeed a theme the show even alluded to when they showed Classic Loki being insecure about the existence of other more powerful Lokis.


I know that this is just the first season, and perhaps its purpose is to set up something more interesting in season 2, along with other Marvel movies. I am definitely open to watching season 2 because most of season 1 was pretty good.

I will also admit that keeping all the various Marvel plot lines tied together is probably a very difficult feat. Writers for the Marvel Cinematic Universe have to constantly balance satisfying their more active fans who keep up with every comic and movie, along with viewers who are less active, and are simply dipping in for the occasional show or movie.

If you have a different view on the ending, feel free to comment.



The Rings of Power is Enjoyable as Amazon Fan-fiction

There’s been a lot of hate for Amazon’s new Tolkien inspired fantasy series, The Rings of Power. ‘Rings Of Power’ Is Getting Review Bombed So Hard Amazon Suspended Reviews Entirely. On Rotten Tomatoes, while its critics score is 84%, it has a 36% audience score. This means that the Rotten Tomatoes Audience reviewers actually hated The Rings of Power more than Troll 2 (one of the most hilariously bad movies ever made).

While The Rings of Power is not the best show ever, I was honestly surprised by all the hate. I didn’t think it was Troll 2 bad.

Deciding to investigate, I scanned through about four pages of Rotten Tomatoes reviews. The reviewers said they were angry about bad writing, slow pacing and the drastic change in Galadriel’s character from wise sorceress to elf Rambo. But the biggest complaint of all was that people felt that the show was unfaithful to Tolkien’s source material.

The show itself is based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s appendices. It is produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with Harper Collins and New Line Cinema, in consultation with the Tolkien Estate.

If you think about it, The Ring’s of Power is basically fan fiction. The show writers are using the world building Tolkien provided in his appendices, and populating it with their own plot lines and dialogue. Why? Because they are doing their work based off an appendices, not a written novel with its own dialogue and plot. So it’s just not going to be the same quality as Tolkien. We can’t expect it to be unless they can somehow bring Tolkien back from the dead and make him write it. Maybe if Amazon called the show, Amazon’s $465 Million Tolkien Fan-fiction, people would have been less upset?

If one approaches the show as fan fiction, rather than expecting it to be on the level of Tolkien, one can enjoy the show more.

While I was not blown away by the show, I was entertained enough to keep watching. I think Tolkien’s original theme of good versus evil, and corruption versus nature were intact. The New Zealand landscape was visually stunning, along with the depiction of Númenor. There’s likeable characters. I’m genuinely enjoying the friendship between Nori Brandyfoot and The Stranger (who may be Gandalf). Perhaps what the show writers are setting up is an explanation for Gandalf’s love of little people. I’m also enjoying the humorous exchange between young Elrond and the dwarf, Prince Durin. And I’m genuinely excited to see what the orcs, and their leader, Adar, are going to do next (I find them pretty interesting).

Compared to other fantasy series out there on TV, I think The Rings of Power is not bad. And given that a record breaking 25 MILLION other viewers are watching season 1 along with me, how bad could it really be? I am looking forward to watching more.

I also do think it’s getting better. Even the audience reviews (which are currently almost below freezing) seem to be thawing ever so slightly.

If I had to give The Rings of Power a rating between Valinor and the Southlands, I’d give it a rock solid Khazad-dûm.