Code Compliance


29 June 2017

To the Dark Forest Code Compliance Office,
I am sending this letter in reference to the numerous notices and fees I have received from your office concerning  the overgrown condition of my yard.
Firstly, let me remind you of the past accolades my yard and home have earned.
• The Yummiest Yard Award presented in May 2014, 2015, and 2016 by the Little Gnomes Society.
• The Delectable Décor Honor presented in August 2014 and April 2016 by The Munchkin League of Fairytale Land
• The Stripes are Scrumptious Medal presented in June 2014, 2015, and March 2016 by The Fairies for Equality Foundation.
• The Editable Construction Certificate presented for the year of 2016 by King Phillip –himself!
As you can see, I am not in the habit of letting my property fall into ruin. Maintaining a gingerbread house is a full time investment. However, because of the debilitating injuries I suffered in an unfortunate incident earlier this year, I’ve had no choice but to fall behind on the maintenance of my estate.
Surely, you read about the incident in the Princess Daily Press. Although the article was extremely one-sided, making me out to be some kind of monster, I’m sure you’ll be reassured once you hear my side of it.
It was in early May when I found two children nibbling away at the siding of my home. Of course, I felt sorry for the poor dears. They were obviously very hungry, so I invited them inside. If only I knew what was to come.
Once inside my home, the boy, Hansel, went into a frenzy, eating and licking everything in sight. I thought the boy foolish with hunger so I placed him in an enclosure to save the integrity of my home. I instructed his sister, Gretel, to assist me in whipping together a batch of my famous chocolate chip butter cookies. Sure, the children ate the cookies without complaint, but when I insisted Gretel help tidy up the preparation mess, she threw a huge temper tantrum. I explained the concept of cleaning up after oneself but there was no calming the child. – I blame the parents –
Seeing I would get no help from the children, I went about cleaning the oven myself. It wasn’t until I felt the firm push that I realized my mistake. Those horrible, ungrateful, evil children had pushed me in and closed the door. Consequently, I suffered major injuries. I spent weeks in the hospital and am still recovering. Thus, all of this has hindered me from keeping up my home.
I should hope you understand. I am asking for the full dismissal of the accumulated warnings and fees your Code Compliance Officer, Miss Priss has nailed to my front door. And, compensation for the damage said officer has caused to the door with said nails. Thank you.
Awaiting Action,
The Witch in the Gingerbread House on Canetree Lane

P.S. I was sorry to hear of Hansel and Gretel’s recent disappearances in the paper. I’m sure they’ll turn up.
P.P.S. Please extend an invitation to Code Compliance Officer, Miss Priss. I invite her to come to my house for milk and cookies. She knows where I live.


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First Draft’s Promise

First Draft’s Promise

by J. Rae Moore castle_in_the_clouds_by_mad_computer_user-d4o967e

I thought of this while reading the first draft of my new paranormal manuscript. I know it will be something special – eventually.


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Just keep writing


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Sharp, Focused, and Deadly


With 2016 almost in the books, I am looking at 2017 with new focus.

My writing goal for the year of is to complete first drafts for books five and six of my series. I’ve tapped out loads of words in the past few months – completing the first book of a second series this December – and I want to ride this wave while it’s still swelling. Of course, this goal will need to be accommodating to any work that comes my way regarding my first book. My agent; Hubert O’ Hearn of Four Freedoms Publishing is working to get it assigned with a publisher. Any revisions for that novel will take priority over everything else on my desk as they come.

I am also looking forward to writing several short stories, both independent and in parallel to the novel series. I am currently working on is a twenty-five hundred word story that sends one of my novel characters into a minotaur’s maze. I have several more ideas for shorts, but they’re still floating.

As for you, my friends and readers, I hope that 2017 will bring you joy, fortune, and the fulfillment of many accomplishments. Stay sharp, be focused, and meet your challenges with a deadly intensity.

Sincerely, J. Rae Moore

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The World Runs on Stories

The World Runs on Stories

The world runs on stories. Watch television. It could be the five o’ clock news, a sitcom, or children-round-globepestalozzi_animateda movie—they’re all stories. Listen to the radio. The lyrics to the songs, a Dj’s repartee, and the advertisements you’ll hear are all stories. Every single second you spend on social media, you’re bombarded with them—stories on which celebrity did what, on which team beat which team, or what juncture each of your friends are at in their life. Blogs, advice columns, rant rooms—there’s no escaping them. Even after you click off that electronic device, stories are everywhere—in jokes told, in gossip spread, in simple conversation, or even within our own minds. We are a world of many cultures united in the enjoyment a good story can bring.

And who brings all these stories to life? A writer, of course. Without writing, where would we be? Word of mouth is only trustworthy for so long before it stretches and bends into something else. History is only solid when it is written down. That story bouncing around in your head won’t stay there forever. It needs to be written.

While we, as people, crave stories as a world in whole, as individuals, we each seek out stories as diverse as we are. From fiction to nonfiction, romance to politics, fantasy to historical, there are all kinds of readers out there. So also, does there need to be writers ready to provide it them.

Still, most writers have doubted the sanity of writing at one point or another. Some question the worth and value of their works. Others routinely feel guilty about the time they spend scratching on paper or tapping keys. Then there are those who view the time they put into writing as self-indulgent. And, most writers worry that there are other, more important things they should be doing with their time.

Such drivel!



Writing matters because the world needs stories.

So, writers, do not doubt the worth of your work. When you find yourself questioning the sanity of spending hours on end putting down words, remember that the world runs on stories: big and small. Whether it’s happy, sad, fantastically bizarre, written to upset the status quo, funny, or comforting, your story will be written in the unique way that only you can write it.haveafantasticday

(Photos from Bing images license: free to share

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Creators of our Destinies


We are the creators of our destinies. There is no master itinerary written out, planning our lives step by step. We make our own choices. Ultimately, these choices lead us all to the same destination—no one gets out of here alive, right? But, the sights we see along the way are totally dependent on where we decide to look. I’m not the only one who thinks like this. Here’s a list of quotes by some famous folks about the power we have over our own destinies.william_shakespeare

*   It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. William Shakespeare

*  The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Ralph Waldo Emersonrwemerson1859

*    Every people should be originators of their own destiny. Martin Delany


*   Control your own destiny or someone else will. Jack Welch


* Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved. William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan

*  Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences. J.K. Rowlingjk_rowling


*  The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. Albert Ellis


*    Destiny is a feeling you have that you know something about yourself nobody else does. The picture you have in your own mind of what you’re about will come true. It’s a kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it’s a fragile feeling, and you put it out there, then someone will kill it. It’s best to keep that all inside. Bob Dylan

* I believe we make our own destinies, every last one of us. Morgan Rhodes (Rebel Spring)morganr

* Know what you want and reach out eagerly for it. Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great Mind)lailaha

* You speak of destiny as if it was fixed. Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass)


* It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.  Tony Robbins

tony_robbins  authorprofilepic6-copy-2-copy

*Go, set goals, strive for greatness, find your destiny, and stop waiting around. Then, instead of  letting things happen to you, you’ll make things happen. Only then can you honestly say, “I did that.” J. Rae Moore

(All photos from Bing Image, License: free to use and share)
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Brain to Keyboard Connection Cable Needed


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Necessary Torture

Torture with a deliberate purpose (as posted on The Missing Comma Club blog)

Main characters.

They steal the show. A ton of time and effort is spent finding them suitable names, the right appearances, and personalities that will turn these figments of the writer’s imagination into believable people. Once they are fleshed out and filled in, they are a writer’s pride and joy. Depending on the work—a short story, a book, a book series—a writer should expect to spend weeks, months, or even years with these characters. It’s a long-term relationship. Unfortunately, for the most part, it’s also an abusive relationship.

Physical, emotional, and psychological pain are all in a writer’s demented arsenal of torture weapons used against their very own creations. The ways in which writers inflict this torment would normally be considered illegal if used outside the realm of literacy. These may include actual injury, the killing of loved ones, mutations, consistent anxiety, or even the extinction of the entire human race. Writers are sick people, right?

Of course, what would a story be without a little suffering and angst?sorrow

Given, a writer has free reign on how to make their characters suffer. But, if a character suffers for the sake of suffering, it creates a certain numbness in the writing. Their pain must mean something and must be done with a deliberate purpose.


A character’s suffering must add to the plot. Characters don’t always want to go where the writer wants them to, so a simple nudge (or a violent shove) might be needed to get them heading in the right—or wrong—direction. This can be anything from burning down the character’s house, to making the character an orphan, to maiming said character. Tragedy is a very motivating factor but it must be used sparingly. Again, too much will deaden the emotional impact of the event.


Doling out physical harm to main characters is a good way to remind them they are not invincible. In the real world there are very few folks who fight in a battle and come out unscathed. Why should main characters be any different? Injuring main characters adds realism to the story. So, in this case, battle scars are a good thing.


Also, physical pain can add to a story’s threat factor. Who doesn’t like the heart racing moment when a main character trips and gets impaled in the leg as they are running from some man-eating beast? The sight of blood or the crack of bone makes the danger feel more real and will convey a sense of urgency into a scene.


Sadistic obstacles placed into the story to frustrate a character’s goals are fun. No story is complete without them. Perhaps the loss of a mentor, the pain associated with a car accident, or being at fault for the death of another will affect a character. Their personalities will determine if these obstacles will ultimately crush them or drive them forward. Although these setbacks can be incredibly painful for the characters, they are expected. How the characters handle them will add texture and dimension to not only the characters themselves, but to the story as well.

EMPATHYsad baby

Brutalizing the main characters of a story may also be used to create empathy. Everyone knows what it’s like to experience loss or pain. If written well, a reader’s heart will go out to them for what they are suffering. They’ll feel sorry for the pain the characters are feeling and become more attached.


A main character who stays the same during the course of a story is boring. Writers allow pain, sorrow, and suffering to shape and condition their main characters. Torment can make characters pliable—just right for reshaping and improvement. In the same way, the identical circumstances may cause the character to become angry, bitter, or jaded.  Either way, suffering brings ample opportunity for change.


In closing, writers are unapologetic murders, kidnappers, arsonists, robbers, sadists, and torturethemtormentors. They take joy in the suffering of their main characters. As long as all is done with deliberate purpose, it’s all good.

(Photos from Bing images license: free to share and use)

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Playing Pretend


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