Weekend Roundup: May 22-28 with a Blog Chain

Tweet of the Day: Writing Urban Fantasy Without Vampires, Detectives or Tramp-Stamped Chicks


Before we go to the main event, I present to you the week in post:

Sun: Some of the Dumbest and Smartest things a fellow author did on her way to publication.
Mon: Royals who actually do something, brought to you by TV Tropes.
Tue: Hardening (Your) Sci-Fi without turning it into a fossil.
Wen: On Wizards’ World War– A fiery sermon brings down Fire & Brimstone.
Thur: May’s Writer’s Challenge Entry: The Tour.
Fri: The start of a new blog based serial: Severus the Rogue.


Oh boy! Here we go again. I knew I shouldn’t have but I checked the Absolute Write forums, to see what Blog Chain they had for next month and…well…I sort of a..umm agreed to participate in THIS month Blog Chain. Yeah, I know: one Blogathon, one Writer’s Challenge, One Interview with a Character and now this.

(Checks calendar)

Yep, and just four days to go till the end of the month. This means another flash piece in four days? Yeah. I’ll let you read the instructions first so you can see what I gotten myself into:

This month’s prompt: Relationships

Show a character’s approach to relationships in a short scene. A harmless exchange between mother and daughter? A submissive character overwhelmed by a dominant partner? A passionate lover’s quarrel? A forlorn, unrequited letter?

Use your characters’ interaction to show the dynamics of their relationship, show how they’re growing together or growing apart, or just have silly fun. Character descriptions at the beginning are forbidden this time around–let them speak or act for themselves!

There’s no word limit, but do try and keep it under 1k for your fellow chain members’ sanity. Read and comment on other participants’ posts if you possibly can–they’ll be doing the same for you!

You have two days to complete your post. When you are finished, please post a link to your post on the thread so I can let the next person in line know that their turn is up. If you signed up but find yourself unable to participate, please PM me or post in the thread. If you fail to post on your blog and on the thread within two days, I’ll bump you down to the end of the line on the third day.

Please include a list of all participants’ blogs in your blog post, and keep in mind we’re not starting until Monday to give people time to sign up.

I decided to go in an unorthodox direction, at least for me.


A Mass Effect 2 fanfic.

Breath, please! Cool, not only that, but a video game fanfic using a preexisting ship.

Yes, shipping.

No, I’m not a 14 year old girl.

No slash/fic for me, it’s straight out of  the game storyline, just something that I expect to see in the second game based on something in the first. I hope it works even if you never played the game.


The crew of the Normandy sat on the ship’s mess, eating breakfast. Garrus Vakarian, nibbled at some nuts made for Turian physiology while the other enjoyed a bowl of their favorite cereal.

Miss Lawson-” said Garrus.

She cut him off with a raised hand, “Call me Miranda. This is not a military vessel.”

Garrus tilted his head toward Shepard. She nodded. “Sure. Miranda, I noticed this ship doesn’t carry a Mako.”

Tali jumped into the conversation, “Keelah! Thank the ancestors! I remember that thing. What was the Alliance thinking when they built a vehicle that could ride up the side of a mountain?”

“I don’t think the Alliance meant for anyone to drive it up the side of a mountain. But then again, I don’t think the designers were counting on Shepard’s driving it!” said Garrus.

The others laughed.

“You’re right Garrus, if they thought someone would use the retro-rockets on in to launch themselves from mountain tops to  the valley floor below they would have scrapped that thing,” said Tali.

“Well, this ship is bigger than its predecessor and wasn’t built for planetary assaults,” said Miranda.

“Thanks the spirits! I know humans like roller-coasters, but if they are half as crazy as Shepard’s driving-”

“Garrus?” growled Shepard from her end of the table.

“-I would never pay to ride one. I guess is true what they say about human female drivers.” asked Garrus.

The laughter stopped. At that moment Joker, data pad in hand, pivoted as fast as his brittle bones would let him and he hobbled back to the cockpit. Jacob choked on a mouthful of soggy flakes. Miranda’s eyes grew wide. All eyes were on Shepard’s face. Her usual fair complexion matched her dark red hair.

Miranda got up first, “I have check a couple of personnel files.”

Jacob put aside the cereal bowl, “Time for my morning crunches.”

“I don’t get it?” said Tali, looking about as everyone abandoned the table. “Well, I’ll be down in engineering if you need me. Donnelly asked me for some recalibration tips to the drive core. See you.”

Although Garrus didn’t get exactly what he did wrong, he knew he had screwed up, “Jenn, I was only joking. I didn’t mean to-”

“We are on a first name basis now, Garrus?”

“Sorry, I’ll let you eat,” he grabbed a handful of berries and got up.

“Garrus,” said Shepard still seated, “as Miss Lawson pointed out, this may not be a military ship, but I’m still in command. What you said was rude and extremely sexists. Would you have said something like that a female superior officer in C-Sec or in the Turian military?” She fixed him with her eyes.

“Of course not, but this is not the Turian military or the Alliance. This is completely different…” her eyes did not waiver, “but you’re right, you don’t need me to undermine you’re authority. May I be excused?”

“Of course,” she looked down on her bowl, “at least you don’t have to worry about fixing the damn thing after every trip planet side.”

Garrus spotted the ghost of a smile underneath the crimson shadow of Shepard’s hair. “Yeah, the front right wheel was always a bit out of whack. Well, I got to get back to work.” Which he did, with a spring in his step, as the humans say.


And now for the other blog participants:

orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Proach – http://desstories.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Yoghurtelf – http://thefarseas.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
AuburnAssassin – http://clairegillian.com (link to this month’s post)
aimeelaine – http://www.aimeelaine.com/blog (link to this month’s post)
Della Odell – http://dellaodell.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
jkellerford – http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
LadyMage – http://www.katherinegilraine.com/ (link to this month’s post)
pezie – http://www.erinbrambilla.com/ (link to this month’s post)
xcomplex – http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Inkstrokes – http://drlong67.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
ElizaFaith13 – http://www.girlspwn.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines (Ce’st Moi!) – https://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
juniper – http://www.katjuniper.com (link to this month’s post)
Steam&Ink – http://steamandink.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)




23 comments on “Weekend Roundup: May 22-28 with a Blog Chain

  1. […] (link to this month’s post) Ralph Pines – https://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post) juniper – http://www.katjuniper.com (link to this month’s post) Steam&Ink – […]


  2. Fanfic, in my experience (coughFireflycough), is always met with a raised eyebrow, but writing is writing. It’s one thing to have the props and actors, it’s another thing entirely to know what to do with them.
    So, not being familar with the game, some of the terms were confusing BUT the character interactions went from light and airy to awkward in a smooth heart beat. Nicely done.


    • Yeah, I haven’t done fanfics in a long time. While using established scenery and characters helps if someone (in this case someone like you or anyone else for that matter) doesn’t know the universe or has no experience with the characters it tends to fall flat.

      Glad it worked and welcome to my blog! 😀


  3. Not familiar with the game, but you did a great job with the interaction.


  4. Fanfic marked the start of my writing. I’ll admit I did a few slashes in my day and no, not even close to being a 14 yo girl either.

    Glad Shepherd called him on his remarks but sad that human females have bad driving reps even in the galaxy world. LOL


  5. I’ve never tried fanfic, myself, but I know many writers get their start that way.

    Nice interaction and I suppose some stereotypes “bad drivers” are true no matter what the vehicle, huh?


    • Well, the first game did encourage players to drive up the side of mountains and you could play a female lead so…. I thought using the stereotype would add an extra punch.


  6. That took some guts, RP. I’m the first to admit a bit of an anti-fic bias (as long as you overlook that inconvenient Marathon Infinity piece I wrote in 1997), but I found it to be readable and mostly true to the world I’ve sunk 100 hours of my life into.


    • “Readable” well, I can live with that…. 😀

      And yes, getting the feel of an established setting is hard, specially when you want to fix it to fit your own expectations.

      As for the 100+ hours, well I replayed it a couple of times (both games) and downloaded The Arrival. Short but fun. Now I’m thinking of doing another replay with The Lair of the Shadow Broker thrown in for good measure. 😉


  7. […] (link to this month’s post) Ralph Pines – https://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post) juniper – http://www.katjuniper.com (link to this month’s post) ElizaFaith13 – […]


  8. Don’t know the game but I got a good idea of who the characters are. I agree, too bad us female humans have such a bad rap behind the wheel, our reputations extending beyond earth …

    I get the feeling something may be brewing for Garrus and Shepard … some interspecies romance?


    • Cool! Distilling the essence of a character in so few words it’s not easy. And yeah, I went for the cheap joke at the ladies expense. My bad! As for the romance, well you got to play the game and see if you can romance Garrus. Gives it a bit of depth.


  9. Good for you, Dale, to step outside the box. Poor Garrus. Talk about opening mouth wide and and inserting foot. Me thinks Garrus and Shepherd may just like each other in that love/hate relationship. Great job. This is a genre I wouldn’t even know how to begin to tackle.


    • It’s more of a mentor/pupil kind of way as well as a clash of cultures mixed in for good measure.

      As for genre, well, like every genre it’s about the the characters, get those right and the rest rolls off effortlessly.


  10. Great job here 😀 Very unique take on the interaction.


  11. […] to this month’s post) You are here Ralph Pines – https://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post) juniper – http://www.katjuniper.com (link to this month’s post) ElizaFaith13 […]


  12. Oh… the Mako…
    I could never understand why my crew didn’t just rebel and take over driving. This was very funny. I particulary liked it when Tali went: Keelah!
    Nice one buddy.


  13. Well I am not a ginger, but I do like redheads. I guess because they are so rare around here, except for the bottle jobs. Not the same.


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