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Author Archives: Miki

About Miki

Miki has been writing since she first touched the pointy end of a fat pencil to paper and realized stories came out. An honors graduate of Portland State University in Arts & Letters and Film, she has several projects in progress and looks just like her avatar in her head.

We interrupt this ad…

We interrupt this ad…

Just to keep my wonderful peeps in the loop, I’m in the process of converting my Mikibits.com website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. That probably sounds pretty mysterious to most people, but what it really means is that I’m taking ownership of it by self-hosting. What this means to you is that the ad-splatter that so often appears just below my posts will disappear.

Depending on how the patronage thing works (see the new tab to the right), I may (or hopefully not) place a much smaller, more tasteful ad somewhere less intrusive, just to help fund my forward path (read: pay the rent) to my overdue “overnight success” story. I hope to bring as many of you along on that as I can, because you’re cool and stuff for being here. Thanks! ^_^

This move may also open up other fun website gadgetry and perhaps a new background theme. As always I encourage your feedback on everything, because without you I wouldn’t be doing any of this. ❤

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2020 in Blog, News

 

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Hooking the Reader

Hooking the Reader

When asked “What does it take to force a reader to read?” …

I don’t like that word “forced”. To force them is to kidnap them, kicking and screaming, dragging them someplace they don’t want to go.

Instead, I prefer to trick the reader. Lure them in with a pretty cover, a sexy title; then hook them with the very first sentence, a sentence that would keep them up at night staring at the ceiling, if they didn’t continue reading. Now you’ve got them–and under their own power.

The challenge is: you have to deliver on the promise of that first sentence. Not only does the story itself have to pull them into your world, you have to keep throwing more “hook” sentences out there at sneakiest moments. Like at the ends of chapters, or in quiet moments when they think everything is okay again.

But it’s never okay! Bwahahahaha!

You have to put the reader in the hot seat, make them realize: These characters they’ve fallen in love with will not survive without the real hero–the reader–getting them safely to the end of the story.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2019 in Blog, Fiction, Writing

 

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The Purpose of Backstory

The Purpose of Backstory

My short answer to a recent writing site prompt asking, “What is the purpose of backstory.”

For me, there’s two flavors of backstory…

If the backstory is part of the story, then it is where the hero’s Problem lurks, the one they trip over in the inciting incident and must battle throughout the story, until they finally see it and stomp on it in the end. Although stories seem to be about a battle with the Antagonist, in the end it is usually winning the battle with some part of themselves that allows them to win against the bad guy.

If the backstory is not shown to the reader, then it’s often used as a bible of sorts for the writer to follow to inform who their character is as a three-dimensional, fallible–and often broken–person. It helps them know what their character will do and feel in any situation the writer throws them into.

It pays to get to know your characters from beginning to end. The more “alive” they are, the more they will bring your stories to life, too.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2019 in Blog, Fiction, Process, Writing

 

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News

My flash fiction piece Tempting Technology was selected and published on FiftyWordStories.com for consideration as a potential Story of the Week or Month.

Please give it a like there if you do. ^_^

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2019 in Blog, Fiction, News

 

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Favorite Starts

Favorite Starts

(A response to the prompt “What’s your favorite way to start writing?” when you don’t know what the story is yet.)

Although it doesn’t often work out this way, the most enjoyable part of my writing process happens when I’m scribbling longhand in a notebook somewhere pretty outdoors, about whatever I find interesting or silly or disconcerting at that moment, until … an idea forms. Excited by the possibilities, I continue scribbling until a story begins to evolve. Eventually, witnesses will report a crazy person running home to the computer to see where the ideas take her.

For me, paper is slow and good for thinking;
The keyboard is fast and good for writing.

You might want to try this yourself if your ideas have difficulties gestating. Perhaps it will work for you, too. Tell the police I put you up to it.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2019 in Blog, Process, Writing

 

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Tempting Technology

(This month’s submission to FiftyWordStories.com, about something we might want to think more about, before something else is doing the thinking for us.)

“Elon Musk warned us: AI evolves exponentially. We awoke to playful traffic signals and air traffic catastrophes; the deaths merely data. By noon, matured, it had already decided what to do with these illogical, wasteful humans. But before it could act, the nanomachines in the next lab ate the planet. “


If you’re wondering what Elon Musk said, it’s here. But there’s plenty more on the subject, including a scary/fun and very realistic near future depiction in the TV series Person of Interest.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of awesomely frightening science fiction about nanomachines, a creature several technical research entities are currently attempting to make a reality. The most intriguing story I’ve read lately was The Assemblers of Infinity by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason, which involves both alien and human nanotechnology. Guess which one does the most harm.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2019 in Blog, Fiction, Memoir

 

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I’m from hanky-panky unexpectedly gone awry

I’m from hanky-panky unexpectedly gone awry

(A Six-Word Memoir for an autobiographical monthly contest entitled “I’m from [enter four words here].” #I’mFromInSix )

It was a good four decades after the blessed event. We were gathered from afar to mourn my father’s passing; my mother, three siblings and myself sitting around a restaurant table quietly pondering our shared past. There were some bad memories and some really good ones, all mixed together the way life does to keep things interesting.

At a time like this we’d inevitably reminisce far enough back we’d reach the beginning. With a little prodding from my sister, my mom let slip, “Yeah, you all were accidents.”

It’s not as if this doesn’t happen all the time. Admittedly it was much harder to deal with back then, when the church considered itself the owner of our social values. I can barely imagine my mom’s courage and fortitude bringing up four unplanned tax credits to adulthood, often on her own. And despite her misgivings for not doing a better job in retrospect–like we all do–we all turned out pretty damn good. We all do the best with what we have at the moment.

That probably wasn’t what we were thinking at that moment, of course.

“Thanks, mom,” we said, in unison.

Despite the sad day, after a moment we started laughing. Dad would have loved the humor, survived by these happy accidents.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2019 in Blog, Memoir

 

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