As is always done, let it begin with some music!
Flying High, by Samael
Samael in full swing are a heavy metal band from Switzerland, one that experiments with adding a lot of more unusual and varied elements into their music — and some of their broader experimentation was showcased when the band’s founding members (Xy and Vorph, actually brothers) produced a side-project album called Era One, which completely abandoned the metal aspects, and instead married Vorph’s croaking vocals with Xy’s keyboard electronica.
I may return to that album in the future — most likely, with Sound Of Galaxies — but in addition to the main album disc, Xy contributed an all-instrumental bonus disc, called A Lesson In Magic #1. I really loved both discs, but the Lesson in Magic most of all — and of the included pieces, Flying High is my favourite.
But there’s more than just music, of course!
Really, it’s been this way for a while now in practice, but it’s now my official role, as the company I worked with slowly dissolves into dust. I still work with the people who formed the company on bits and pieces, though, so it’s a kind of dissolution that leaves a sticky web residue behind.
Technically, we’ve planted hibiscus and hummingbird vine, but if you were to look outside, you wouldn’t know it — many times, our planters have produced a beautiful cat instead…
All those brain games around the web, and it turns out none of them does a damn thing — instead, you’re better off learning a language. So says a BBC article on polyglots — according to cited studies, mental decline is delayed five years for knowing a second language, six years if you know a third, and nine whole years if you know a fourth. Who’d have guest that an actual useful skill would trump a bunch of daft puzzles for mental health?
So, what do you do when you’re three weeks before a submission deadline, and you realise the ending for your new story is junk? You switch it out! I’m now preparing to sub in an older story to the Writers of the Future, one where I like the ending, and where I’m happy with what it’s done and what it is. So even if it doesn’t win, I’ll at least know that it was still the story I wanted it to be.