Writing, Writing, and More Writing

(C) 2020, JJ Shaun

According to Grammarly, I wrote almost sixty-one thousand words last week. I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, considering how much copying and pasting I do. What I consider more impressive is that I’ve got writing data going back one hundred and thirty straight weeks. Not only that, but the app has checked almost 2.2 million words in the last five years. The Ubiquitous They (TM) say that the more you write, the better you get. I must be an expert by now. (LOL)

Yes, I use Grammarly to run an initial check on my work. And, no, I don’t take all of the suggestions. I’ve mentioned before that I’m no Grammar Queen, and I don’t have an editor in my back pocket, so I lean on software to help. I think it’s working because I’m getting tagged with fewer errors these days.

Here is one of the pieces I wrote recently. It is part of the backstory for my character, Skrie Tripfoot. This was a contest entry for a daily piece of flash fiction. The requirements were that the story uses the day’s prompt, had to be original, and couldn’t be more than three hundred words.


Skrie stared at the rubble that was left of the tavern. Weeks had passed since the fire had destroyed the Jaunty Traveler, her parents’ inn at the edge of the halfling quarter. The young Hin hadn’t been able to approach the wreckage until now. Every time she thought about going, her guts knotted, and she raced to the nearest outhouse.

Having begun to get closure with the death of one of those responsible, Skrie steeled herself and began picking through the ruins. Orienting herself in the debris, she found where her parents had stood when the mercenary threw the oil flask. Stirring the ash with her foot, she found a tiny bone, slightly larger than one of her finger joints. Lying next to it was a lump of metal, the melted remains of her father’s Tavern Guild medallion. Skrie used the hem of her shirt to wipe the worst of the grime from the objects, then slipped the items into her belt pouch.

Turning toward where the bar had been, she searched for other remnants of her fractured childhood. Most of what she found was barely recognizable, except for the handle from her father’s favorite ale mug. She cleaned that, and it went with the rest of her treasures.

“OI!” a shout startled the halfling. “What ye be doin’ thar?”

Turning, Skrie saw a city guardsman stalking toward her.

“I used to live here,” she said, choking out the words.

“Ah,” the man softened a bit. “I heard one o’ the littles survived. Must’a been you. Still, I canna let yer poke around. ‘T’aint safe, they tells me.” The man flipped her a silver piece as she emerged from the pit. “Get’cher self summit ta eat,” he said, walking away.

“Me thanks, sir,” she said to his back.

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