Crystal Keeping You

Just because the sky turned black doesn’t mean it was ever grey

Just because it’s time I lack doesn’t mean I cannot stay

Some things are acute
A sort of sudden risk of peace
Another chance to break the crystal
And keep it from eating me

I needed to find a way to you
A way to make us see
A whole entire mess of life
A wicked anthology

And now it stands completed as if it ever was a task

And now I let it feel defeated as if apology we lack

I just wanted to find a way
A solution to see it through
And yet it seems I cannot break
The crystal keeping you

I drum upon it fiercely, hoping it may crack
But crystal is stronger than flesh
Blood bodies on their path

So what is left inside of us and is it something pale?

So why now does hope question time and what does it unveil?

We chase the stories
See them through
And still it’s not enough
To break the crystal keeping you
it still isn’t enough

Coming up with story ideas

I got a question on my Twitter asking how I come up with fantasy story ideas, and felt it merited more than 140 characters to reply. This will primarily focus on fantasy, but is useful for any storytelling. There are two methods that I’ve used to come up with the majority of my story ideas.

Many of my story ideas come from dreams. Dreams sometimes feel like “cheating,” because you didn’t have to wrack your brain coming up with an idea–it’s more like binge watching your favorite science fiction shows, go to sleep, wake up with a new story idea. But you arrived at that idea by the investment in exposing yourself to creative media, and eating well/being healthy to get a nice sleep cycle. When you wake up reflecting on a cool dream you had, write it down immediately. Not only do you have it written down to take a look at later, but it will help improve your dream recall for the future.

But dreams aren’t consistent. That’s where my next favorite method comes in.

I like to try and see fantasy in the mundane. For most things in everyday life, there is a simple, immediate explanation. But letting yourself play pretend with more fun explanations is a great way to prompt a story idea.

Maybe you woke up to see that a tree has fallen in your backyard. Sure, it was probably the storm last night but what if it was a dragon that knocked it over? What was a dragon doing in your back yard?! That’s something that a story could help answer!

But a big creature knocking over a tree is too obvious. Besides, what do dragons have against trees? What if something small was responsible? Who else likes trees? Woodpeckers like trees. Well, they like the bugs in trees. But they have to spend a lot of time and effort to drill the bugs out. What if woodpeckers have started an illegal logging operation in your backyard and are trying to take trees for later bug-extraction? This is a much more original (and thoroughly absurd) story prompt.

Little kids do this all the time. “Magical thinking” is a term to describe the common behavior of children connecting two completely unrelated events as cause-and-effect. For example, when I was very young, I ended up in the hospital with a nearly fatal case of pneumonia the night after visiting the Camp Snoopy theme park at the Mall of America. Here in Minnesota, we have Minnesota-themed things, because we are proud of being Minnesotan. The log flume ride is themed after Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox.

I was terrified of Babe the Big Blue Ox.

The true face of terror

The true face of terror

So, logically, to my very young self, Babe the Big Blue Ox, the most terrifying thing I had ever seen, had made me sick and was responsible for my trip to the hospital. Were this actually the case, it’d be one heck of an interesting story.

Little kids are natural fantasy story tellers. As we get older, we get used to the rules of reality and stop coming up with absurd explanations for things we experience or see. When coming up with story prompts, sometimes it can be helpful to let yourself make up more interesting explanations for the world around you. Depending on how realistic a story you are going for, come up with a more realistic way to connect the cause and effect, but you can more-or-less pick any two things and try and invent a reason that they are cause-and-effect to tell a cool story, from mysteries to fantasy to sci-fi.

I like Urban Fantasy because it invites exactly this. On your morning commute, try looking at the places you pass through and thinking about what kinds of stories could be told there. Interesting architecture and fire escapes are easy, but what about the lonesome street corner? The office building that you’ve gone by a hundred times and never seen anyone actually go in or out of? What stories can be told, and what explanations can you make up?

Coming up with story prompts is practicing the skill of imagination.


A square of light in a dark room
Time glued on the wall
An open vent but dusty flume
And never did time fall

Then harvest came
And with it new
And places we would go
Down by the sea and twists of trees
For never did we crawl

Because while laying down is easy
And standing up is hard
It doesn’t change that I still stand
So I’ll have to take it on

Then flowers grew
And with them me, me you.
Mechanic springs as sprigs of wings
To see ranges off radar.
While tulips would stick in the glass
They’d only burn a silent scar
Continue reading

Half Full, Full Spilled

Tumble towards the suffering twice had
under the yielding shadows of deep noon
Till the seeking has it’s vehement comeuppance
And the cup can spill half full


Author’s Note: I realized I hadn’t written anything here in a while. I’d like to fix that! I’m also going to spruce this place up a bit to feature and my new fantasy Za’nar.


With time to write more tangents I define the way behind
A traffic jam before the rail house where the rejects hide
A sole reminder of the past, a broken coffee mug
Over the rails a solemn remainder, refrainer steps
and searches through the wreckage of the
wake, and takes a path anew, to head onto
new surfaces to cling upon like a reptile on a screen
leaching through the glass for a glimpse of something warm



Author’s Note: Was in the mood to jot down a poem, so I did as much! I think I’m going to make an effort to write poems more frequently and post them here–if you’ve enjoyed poems I’ve written, I hope you check back to see new ones!

Fremitus Resistance

I’ve been getting requests lately to tell more about the story I wrote for the LARP challenge on King of the Nerds, so I’m going to do that!

First off though, I wrote the majority of the story/did the world building, but Jack, Nicole and MK had significant impacts on their own characters of course. With that said, and the acknowledgement that I might get some of the minor details about other people’s characters wrong, I’d love to share about the world I came up with! Also, if I got any of the Latin correct, I’d be shocked–I don’t speak it, but as Brandon said on season 1, Latin sounds cool.

Based on the classes we had to LARP, it set itself up for a world with musical undercurrents. We spent some time brainstorming, decided on some kind of dystopian and I started spit balling the ideas that became the actual story. Jack decided someone needed to die and I was cool with that. Nicole came up with the idea of her character actually being the real villain, which was cool and we all loved.

Sound became the theme, both literal (Spell Singers, Bards and my rather loud and aggressive warrior) and less literally by means of rebellion. Let’s start with the cast!


Magnus a Warrior of the Fremitus Resistance, played by Zack/Myself
A member of the untouchable Clamore, he lost his father to the Eodem Sono and joined the Fremitus to fight for freedom and individuality in Melodia. Improving his skill with the sword, he worked his way up through the ranks of the Fremitus to become one of their top fighters and will stop at nothing to see Melodia restored and the Eodem Sono destroyed. In protest to the “One Sound” government he aims to disestablish, he always speaks strong and loud.

Lady Aria a dubious Bard with a tragic past, played by Nicole
She grew up in a horrible situation and learned she could control people with her song. She thought that everything would be better were everyone the same–less violence, more understanding. She took control over the Sacre Monje and joined the Fremitus as a double-agent, using her knowledge to keep them a non-threat and ultimately aiming to plot their complete destruction.

Kahlan a Spell Singer of the Cantio, played by Mary Kate
An incredible fighter and master of Spell Singing, Kahlan works with the Fremitus as one of their top fighters. Like Magnus, she wishes to see her world returned to one of many sounds so that she may continue to sing her spells as she likes.

Sacre Monje the leader of the oppressive Eodem Sono, played by Jack
A previously calm, well measured man twisted by Lady Aria. During the Tympanum, he plays steady beats on a drum to remind the populous of his control and their unification under the Eodem Sono.

_________________________The Story and World________________________
(this all comes from a document that I typed up prior to the Nerd War and then distributed to the rest of Midas Touch Attack–This is what I came up with when Nicole asked me to make the story.

The Fremitus Resistance (What you saw in the Nerd War)
Magnus, Lady Aria and Kahlan are members of a resistance fighting against a fantasy dystopian government which has suppressed the individuality and innovation (the very same drive that makes nerds nerds!) in an attempt to maintain control over it’s populous. They call themselves the Fremitus, and aim to overthrow the Eodem Sono. While there are many members of this rebellious movement, three are sent on a mission to try and dispatch the Sacre Monje, the leader of the Eodem Sono. Little do they know that Lady Aria’s Bard spell has put her in control of the Sacre Monje–and now that she has a chance to take on Magnus and Kahlan, two of the most powerful members of the Fremitus, with the help of the Sacre Monje, she aims to quiet the Fremitus once and for all.

Click more for lots and lots more! I don’t want to flood the homepage.

Continue reading

Stompy Story

I wanted to post this because, yes, there was an actual short story (children’s story) in that picture I posted on Facebook. It was written in about two and a half minutes, but I still wanted there to be SOMETHING on the page. I put too much work into these pics…stompywrite

A Projection On Paper Story by Stompy the Triceratops

Once upon a time there were a bunch of dinosaurs running through the Dark Valley in search of the delicious fruit tree. One dinosaur, a triceratops named Stompy, went on ahead to scope out the path. He passed by a tall tree which was in front of a craggy cave. Although it was off the path, Stompy loved adventure, so he took a peek inside the cave’s mouth. Inside, he saw nothing because it was dark. So he left and went back to Toothless the t-rex and the Spike the stegosaurus who he was traveling the Dark Valley with and told them that the way ahead looked safe. Then they went along the path through the valley and found that it widened until they reached the bank of a river. They could see the delicious fruit tree on just the other side! The river was deep and the rapids were fast, and they had no way to cross! Not knowing how to go forward, Spike suggested they just turn back and go home. Toothless agreed that there was no way to cross, but Stompy told them to wait. In the sky, Stompy caught sight of a pterodactyl! He rawred, and the pterodactyl swooped down to meet his new friends. Stompy informed the pterodactyl of their predicament, and he agreed to help by carrying them across to the other side! When they got there, Toothless smashed his tail into the tree and down came the delicious fruit! Stompy shared the fruit with his new pterodactyl friend, and they flew back across the river with his help and went home. But Stompy knew that his next adventure would be to explore that cave…

–Below Title Here–

Random word poem via typing random letters and then filling it in afterwards. Also, this is the poem title. It’s much longer than the poem. I could say this is some kind of experiment, or I am trying something new, but in reality the below poem lacks meaning other than it being random words that came from random letters. I typed it while surrounded by art students, an unusual place for me to sit when I normally write in my apartment, to try and see if placing myself somewhere new could allow me to see something new. Maybe even to absorb the energy in the room, like an experiment. That’s an experiment. This poem isn’t. And this is just me trying to explain why the below poem is so short and meaningless and this title is so long. It worked, though. I met three new faces as well. Three people I would not have crossed paths with. I don’t remember their names though, so maybe it doesn’t matter too much. I mean, if I wasn’t there, I don’t think their lives would have gone much differently, you know? Me being there probably didn’t change much. But I did meet three new faces. And that’s not to say that I don’t change things. I’m sure I do. And meeting anyone changes everything. We really see so little in our own bubble after all. I guess that goes back to what I was saying about wanting to put myself into a new set of surroundings in the form of different people. I can’t see very much on my own, and they can’t either, but I guess together we can see something. Except I don’t remember their names. But I did write this poem. I mean, the thing below this. This is just the title. There’s no meaning in the poem. It didn’t matter that it was there and met people either. But I’m sure that if this poem was a person, it’s field of view would feel expanded right now. I guess it’s how I’ve always thought about the world. I talk to people at bus stops. Not afraid to say it. It’s great. I see everything as a character, and every time I meet someone as a chance to learn more about life through them. If that’s not what socializing is about, than I don’t know what it is. Just an ego boost or something. I do hear people with high self-esteem are happier. But there’s more than that. Because sometimes you do change things, and those times make all the times you don’t worth the awkward moment of saying “Hello, my name is XXXX” and getting a grunt in response when you hoped the other person would introduce themselves back and maybe you could get to know each other, be friends, get help with homework or even just have them give you the time. Or maybe if you were attracted to them, you wanted to go on a date and became disappointed that nothing happened when you said hello. But you still met them, and while we forget things said in passing, you now know that some people won’t check their watch or phone for you and would rather grunt than give the time. That was still an impact, even if you didn’t change much. Because now there’s this story about you walking up to someone at the park bench and asking for the time by being all friendly and getting less than friendly back. And that’s okay. Your bubble got bigger, and so did theirs. But I’m getting ahead of myself when this is just a title and the poem is so insignificant and meaningless – A Projection on Paper poem by Zachary Storch

Gorgeous loop wizard cage jim cave us soul leap goal score deacon ID Rosa in an axle whoa sail rattle



Author’s Note: I am soooo performing this next time I have a chance to open mic.