The Merchant and the Swordsman

[Scene Practice | First Draft] I wrote this on a whim, for fun and to let my creative self kind of spill out onto something other than my manuscript. It’s a rough, first draft, and I’ll probably, maybe, go back over this, rewrite stuff and see where it takes me. I won’t subject anyone to the various iterations, but if it becomes something good, perhaps I will for comparative reasons.


From a wooden pipe, smoke curled and splayed out into the hanging jars of dried herbs and pickled limbs. The merchant, unbelievably fresh-faced for the age of forty-two, sat relaxed watching the wanderer pick through his wares. The merchant, with eyes squinted and mouth turned into a thin grin, inquired a second time, “You’re mission is of secrecy you said?” The wanderer nodded, her hands caressing a vial of blue liquid, she glanced at him, her orange eyes studying his own grey ones. The merchant’s grin widened, “I do love secrets, they hold power, in the right hands, magic can well from them, land can quake, plants can wither or flourish.”

The brunette warrior brought the potion to the merchant, “You’re a strange man.” She eyed up his peculiar items, “And you stock things I’ve never seen, strange… wizardry things.”

The merchant reclined and exhaled more smoke, “I’m not but a humble merchant, but, my kind hear stories and legends. Tales of the mystical, and the mundane.” He frowned, “Unfortunately, I’ll soon have to be passing through he Blackwell Marshes. Dangerous location, goblins, diretoads, and the like lurk, could use another mercenary.”

The swordsman shrugged, “Sadly, I’m not for hire, as said, I’m bound to another contract.”

The merchant finished his pipe, “Well that is a shame,” he fetched some more tobacco from a polished case, “I pay well, either in coin or in materials,” he lit his pipe, “Where did you say you were going again?” He exhaled smoke that suspiciously danced.

The swordsman shut her eyes in frustration, “I told you, it’s confidential. I will not betray my employer.”

The merchant frowned, “Well, fine, fine,” He then beamed, stretching his limbs, “To business then!” He took the potion from her, “Hm…? What would you have use of this? You’re no mage.”

She leaned forward, “Never-mind that, what is it’s cost? No price was labeled.”

He tapped the potion, “That’s because this rarity is worth more than you have.” She glared. He waved a hand, “Calm, calm, I can give this to you, if you tell me the secret.”

She turned from him, “I’ll find someone else.”

He called, “Fine! Wait!” she did. He slumped forward, “Another price then? If you join my trek, you can have this potion-you-cannot-use.” She didn’t move for a time. He contorted his face in defeat. No good then, this little Sword-Swinger must not quite like me, is it my smile?

“Fine.” She returned with one her black gloved hands outstretched. He pulled the potion back from her, “No no, not yet. When you have reasonably accommodated me you can have this potion. After all, what good is it if I give you it now? You wouldn’t show. I leave in three days.”

She folded her arms, “Three days, Strawman? That’s far too long. My mission doesn’t have three days to wait.”

His patience thinned, “Pushy woman. Fine. Two days?” she glared. “We’re on another’s scheduled as well, Tempress.”

She folded her arms, “Fine, Merchant.”

“Please, Felix, Miss. Swordsman.” He outstretched a ringed and scarred hand. She didn’t take it. He dropped it with a smile, squinting his eyes, “If all proceeds from this point on accordingly, we will leave, the day after tomorrow, at dawn. Please, await at Wheatwell’s Inn.” She made to leave. He called, “No name for you then? Shall I call you the Glaring Swordswoman?”

She looked over her shoulder at him for a spell before leaving his caravan and disappearing into fogging city depths.


[Scene Practice | First Draft]


The Merchant and the Swordsman

Music and Ambience to Enhance Creativity

Storm Bitc

“… take your time”


In order to survive, to nourish my fortitude so I might complete my artistic endeavors I use a wide array of music and ambience in order to facilitate inspiration. I feel, that through tempering the psychic atmosphere with music befitting your work (or just something you enjoy), not only is one’s productivity increased, but, it sets an artist’s mind in a dimension that will create and discover unique percepectives. Such as, with the right music, a scary scene might be described in ways you didn’t think of without the use of scary ambience. More than anything, to cultivate exemplar narrative and dimension of all aspects within fiction, it requires time, patience, introspection, and passion. So take your time (within reason of course, if under time constraints such as a contract deadline)

I also find that ASMR, though, not my immediate recommendation (as it relaxes/makes one drowsy), it too is a source of relaxing, which means a more fluid and a less distracted mind. I have numerous playlists, most of which are a mix of different musics, as I’m inept/impatient at specifically organizing music befitting certain tones or scenes in my manuscripts.


However, when I was working on my voice-actorless audio book, I did do rewrite through not only by meditating on the scenes but too the music I chose, and the sound-effects I cobbled together. They inspired me to increase detailing here and there, or alter things slightly as the imagery I created through sound and music was richer than it’s earlier form.46d8487370b10fe5c797922c14edc428c791a141_hq

I absolutely recommend using music, ambience, and if stressed, asmr. There are caches of resource on youtube alone, and while this might appear to be an elementary methodology, I myself don’t believe I used the right kind of music for scene setting growing up, nor did I consider ambience as a source of tempering. So, perchance I’m not special, and others too caren’t to consider this method. Hopefully, they might if they are having some creative stagnation.

Much luck to all your creative endeavors.

Music and Ambience to Enhance Creativity

Two Sides [5.28.18] 日記

In another’s presence, we perform, actors of roles thrust upon us since birth. When alone, away from the watchful churning masses, when we can dispatch the mask, our true selves surface. Our secrets expressed and interests explored. Self-forms society may never know. Secret ways to persist as true selves, through art and anonymity, but longing remains. A cavity somewhere inside. Without another in our presence, for whom we needn’t perform, the disconnection will persist.


Two Sides [5.28.18] 日記

Comfortable Bed

Too long was he beaten, eroded, without rest. Furthering him from the social ecosystem. He was an alien, and never could forget the traumas, betrayals and failures, but if he could sleep, if he could rest, he’d feel better. His only wish he asked the genie for was the most comfortable bed, one that would gift him instant slumber when laid upon.  The genie promised a bed that would give him the rest needed to strip his weighted form.

With that the genie conjured his bed, the man laid upon it, and never woke.

Comfortable Bed

5/11/18 「英語日記」Keep Pressing On


At a certain juncture, no matter a story’s medium, after continual consumption and introspection, there is a widening in one’s psyche. Imperceptible dimensions of fantastical expression lengthen with tremulous persona.

No matter if you read blogs, novels, dissertations, watch television, film, or play video-games. In a moment, perhaps seeded years prior, you’ll see your microcosm, no longer crooked, no longer immaterial, but palpable like the weight and heat of vibrant dreams.

5/11/18 「英語日記」Keep Pressing On

Of Editing and Being Poor

I read this article when seeking advice about what to do should hiring a copy-editor not be financially viable, and disagreed heavily with the very forward assertion that if you can’t afford an editor, you shouldn’t be publishing. Following this, after several sites, I uncovered an article regarding agents remarking on whether to get an Editor Prior to Querying Agents.  anime-typing-gif-2.gif

This topic has bothered me for years, and although I am querying agents with my manuscript hoping to get it published, I often find many advocating getting an editor in either case of trade publishing or self-publishing. Moreover, despite how I agree that one ought to have their work as glossy as possible prior to publishing; one should be intelligent about it and treat this hiring as ideal, not necessarily ‘either hire an editor or abdicate’

The Grand Order, my manuscript, is at 120,000 words (apx). On average, for a copy editor, many charge around $0.02 per word[1]. That would cost me roughly $2,400, which is considerably out of my price range. While it is assumable that this might fluctuate, it is still far too expensive for me to afford.

The agents within the top link mostly do not advocate hiring an editor if seeking traditional publishing, unless one can afford it. And by afford it, I believe they mean without costing you your home, food, healthcare, etc.



However, if self-publishing, an editor becomes an assumably major necessity. Many writers just aren’t flowing with cash and opt to instead self-edit. By using a program such as ProWritingAid, and even paying the comparatively inexpensive license fee, one can use it to tidy up their book. (I advocate such programs if one writes often anyway) Three or so passes through, and editing things like grammar, dialog, plot, characters, perspective, etc; one might present a well-pruned work.

While not a seemingly popular opinion to opt out of copy-editing, (or any form of editing, like line-editing and content-editing), if one is poor and wishes to show their work to the world, they shouldn’t be shackled by their financial deficiency, nor mocked by others for not having the sufficing budgetary dais. Ideal is it to have a professional editor inspect your work so you might improve it; better to have at least edited yourself using an affordable method, opposed to leaving it as is, or abandoning your endeavors.



[1] What Does Editing Cost


Of Editing and Being Poor

Tallying My Rejections

Perhaps it is too premature to record my failures at publishing my first novel (though I’ve begun it a while ago). Perhaps it is best to wait till hindsight to put forth, the seeming cul-de-sac, that is amassing rejection letters. Perhaps, I’m not so intelligent and thus do it now.

I have two major types of rejections.

Six I assumed rejection due to no response despite my fluttering eyelashes.

Seven, actual rejection letters. These vary from totally informal/near-automated response to ‘personal’ or at least, more personal than impersonal letters. Complete with one apologizing for the impersonalness of the what I assumed ‘personal rejection letter’ would be like (I’m deprived).

I recently sent out two new queries.

I think it’s prudent to understand that I’ve established ’rounds’. That is to say, I only send out a few queries per ’round’. Between each, I refine/edit the query, go back over ‘how to query’ guides, and so forth.

I have noticed, after my third official iteration of my query letter, I’ve gotten nearly always a rejection letter. (I used ProWritingAid. I purchased the lifetime license and so far worth it. Just be mindful when using it, not everything it suggests you should change you should change.) But, so far, only rejection letters. I suppose that’s obvious from everything aforementioned but.

Although I have yet to have anything published, and thus probably a terrible candidate to mention anything about perseverance, but, I do believe a relentlessness is necessary. But, not a blind perseverance. If you notice your query needs revamping, or even your manuscript, do not be afraid to (within reason) edit.

If there is anything I can mention so far, that might improve your outlook should you be (or will be) querying as well, that don’t fear reworking what you have. Editing and changing can lead to better reception, and a better overall work. I’ve redone the ending of my book, added entire near-chapter’s worth of content, and scrapped chapter’s worth of content. I don’t advice editing beyond what sanity would recommend, but it has helped me improve upon my work, and it may for you too. Since several edits of both my manuscript as well as my query, I’m actually getting responses now.

Hopefully, eventually, the Grand Order will be published lest this post be a mark of my silliness.



Tallying My Rejections