Week 17 2016 – A to Z Concludes

I finished the A to Z challenge. I feel like I stumbled across the finish line in much the same way I stumbled into the challenge. I did not start off with a clear cut theme.  It was not until H that I caught my stride. I am glad I did this even if it did pull me out of my much needed edits. Tomorrow, I will enter the world of Aerda and I do not intend to come out again until I have wrangled an agent.

Here is the break down of my last week in the A to Z challenge.

unibrauetroisMonday – Ugly Shack Pub – #AtoZChallenge  The story explored a pub that allowed those in despair, near suicides to recover and find themselves again.

Brewery: Unibroue  (Quebec, Canada) Beer: Trois Pistoles  Type: Belgian Strong Ale


VictoryGoldenMonkeyTuesday – The Volcano Tap #AtoZChallenge  A tavern where monkeys are the wait staff is at the base of a newly active volcano that houses a dragon.

Brewery: Victory Brewing (Downingtown, PA) Beer: Golden Monkey Type: Tripel (3 x malt than average brew)


WestbrookWednesday – The Wayward Tavern #AtoZChallenge This was a bit of a cheat. Taverns play a huge part in my fantasy series, Idylls of Alleysiande, and I introduced one of those taverns in a bit of a preview.

Brewery: Westbrook Brewery (Mount Pleasant, SC) Beer: Dark Helmet Type: Schwarzbier(i.e. Black Beer)


xinguThursday – Xanthe’s Refuge #AtoZChallenge  Xanthe means stranger in Greek. This story finds a group of people having beer with a kind stranger after the apocalypse. For myself, I have always wanted to have a beer with Jesus. I figured post-apocalypse will be my best shot, provided I am not proven to be a goat.

Brewery: Cervejaria Kaiser (Brazil (no X breweries found) Beer: Xingu Black Beer Type Schwarzbier

YellowRoseBuffaloFriday – Yellow Rose #AtoZChallenge  In this tale, a young woman is finally going to meet a mysterious person who has been sending her yellow roses once a year since she was thirteen.

Brewery: Yellow Rose (San Antonio, TX)  Beer: Buffalo Butt Type: American Dark Wheat Ale


ZephyrSaturday – Zero Hour #AtoZChallenge  – In this story, a woman makes a decision about the path her life is on, and decides to do something other than the safe and easy path. So many I know struggle with this every day, and it is a theme I always seem to find in my writing. A feeling that society is not quite right, that it has become a steel trap instead of something that nurtures all of our potentials. Ah well, it is a fitting conclusion to my A to Z journey.

Brewery: Zephyr (Denver, Co) Beer: Naked Blonde  Type: American Blonde Ale



Week 16 2016 -Headaches and Anticipation

QueryCatThis week saw me go O to T in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Is that the end of the alphabet I see there? I hope so. I must admit this has taken away from time I might, perhaps,  have better spent editing, revising, proofing, and polishing my current project for submission. Ah well, publishing isn’t going anywhere and this has been terrific practice and enforced a bit more discipline on me. I had a migraine that stretched Wednesday – Friday and I still managed to keep up.

Here is the week that was:

Ommegang_2– MondayOlde Town Bar #atozchallenge . This story told of a young girl kidnapped from the UK twelve years prior and taken to America, assisted by mysterious forces, and finding her way back home. In anticipation of tonight’s premiere of season 6 of Game of Thrones, I featured Ommegang’s line of Game of Thrones inspired beers. These are actually very good. Ommegang is a brewery out of Cooperstown, New York.

PirateBombTuesdayPirate’s Pier #AtoZChallenge  – I revamped a story I wrote in high school which eventually resulted in my fantasy series The Idylls of Alleysiande. It featured an American Double/Imperial Stout with a hell of kick (14.00 ABV) called Pirate Bomb from Prairie Artisan Ales out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

QueensLagerWednesdayQuery Pit – #AtoZChallenge – I was inspired by my time spent swimming in the Reef, an affectionate name for agent extraordinaire,  Janet Reid’s Award-Winning Blog which is frequented by writers, agents, readers, and editors of all walks of life. Regardless of what your career model is as a writer, traditional publishing, self-publishing, or hybrid, this is a literal treasure trove of knowledge that will only help you as a writer. For this tale, I featured Queen’s Lager out of Queens, New York in honor of QOTKU (The Queen of the Known Universe which is Janet’s official title and should be on her business card).

RedHare_WatershipThursdayRabbit’s Rebuke – #AtoZChallenge This little story was in many ways inspired by my daughter and my own struggles against societal norms. She is graduating from college in two weeks and does not wish to take the normal road. I believe she will be happier for it. A lot of my knowledge of beers comes from her. She is a bartender and loves it. She is also artistic and full of wanderlust. I hope she sees the world instead of hides from it as most seem to do. For this little story, I featured beers produced by Red Hare Brewing out of Marietta, Georgia.

StoneRuinationFridayStorm’s End Cafe #AtoZChallenge Finally, the week drew to a close and I challenged myself to take a broad cast of characters and bring them together. I really needed several more drafts, but it was a good exercise. I love stories that take seemingly unrelated lives and crash them into one another. I also left much in this tale up to the reader’s interpretation because I believe the best writing involves the reader bringing their own voice to the tale. I don’t know if I managed that, but it is something I strive for. The great stories do that. It’s why something like Harry Potter works so well because so many readers can bring their own experience to it and take something more out of it. I feature California’s Stone Brewing Co’s Ruination IPA as the beer in this story.

HatTrickHopSaturdayTower Peak #AtoZChallenge  A very short tale of an angel that falls quite unintentionally by trying to help. This rides along a theme that has long fascinated me ever since I encountered J.R.R. Tolkien and his Inklings. It shows up over and over again in literature through the ages. It is a constant struggle that so much evil done starts with a good intention. For this story, I featured Montana’s Tamarack Brewing company and their Hat Trick Hops IPA.

So now my watch is done for this week. Thanks for stopping by. For one more week we will travel to the end of the alphabet. For all of you participating in the A to Z challenge, good luck. See you on the other side of Z.

Week 15 2016 – Beers Ago

For the last couple of weeks I have been participating in the A to Z blog challenge. Basically, I have been taking a favorite beer (usually a craft beer) and associating it with either a new short story or some aspect of my new fantasy series. I thought for those that are also interested in beers, I would provide a guide of all the beers that have made an appearance in the blog so far. Enjoy.

Date Post Brewery Beer Type Abv
04/01/2016 >Apocalypse With Allagash White #atozchallenge >Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, Maine) >Allagash White >Witbier (White Beer) >5.10% AllagashWhite
04/02/2016 Baggins, Beers, and Story Ghouls #atozchallenge
04/04/2016 Creep to Creature Comforts #atozchallenge Creature Comforts (Athens,GA) Cosmik Debris American Double/Imperial IPA 8.3% CosmikDebris
04/05/2016 Dragon’s Milk #atozchallenge New Holland Brewing Company (Holland, MI) Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Stout American Double/Imperial Stout 11.0% IMG_0166
04/06/2016 Evil Twins #atozchallenge Evil Twin Brewing (Brooklyn, NY) Extra Fancy IPA American IPA 6.3% ExtraFancy
04/07/2016 Fire Snake, Fishing, and My Father #atozchallenge Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI) All Day IPA American IPA 4.7% FoundersAllDay
04/08/2016 Goblins, Ghouls, and Ghastly Beasts #atozchallenge Tamarack Brewing Company (Lakeside, MT) Green Goblin American Double/Imperial IPA 10.5% GreenGoblin
04/09/2016 Heaven by way of Hell #atozchallenge 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA) Hell or High Watermelon Fruit/Vegetable Beer 4.9% HellHighWaterMelon
04/11/2016 Invoking Spirits – A Gamble #atozchallenge Wild Heaven Craft Beers (Decatur, GA) Invocation Belgian Strong Pale Ale 8.5% Invocation
04/12/2016 Juggling Jinn – #atozchallenge Jester King Brewing (Austin, TX) Omniscience & Proselytism American Wild Ale 5.0% JesterKing
04/13/2016 Kraken – #atozchallenge Bell’s Brewing, Inc (Kalamazoo, MI) Kalamazoo Stout American Stout 6.0% kalamazoo
04/14/2016 Lycanthropy Alley – #atozchallenge Lagunitas Brewing Co. (Petaluma, CA) Lagunitas Sucks American Double/Imperial IPA 7.85% LaguinitasSucks
04/14/2016 Lycanthropy Alley Lagunitas Brewing Co. (Petaluma, CA) Undercover Investigation Shut-Down American Strong Ale 9.30% Lagunitas
04/15/2016 Minding the Minotaur – #atozchallenge Monday Night Brewing (Atlanta, GA) Drafty Kilt Scottish Ale 7.20% draftykilt
04/15/2016 Minding the Minotaur Monday Night Brewing (Atlanta, GA) Eye Patch Ale American IPA 6.20% EyePatch
04/16/2016 The Nymph’s Nest – #atozchallenge New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO) Fat Tire American Amber/Red Ale 5.20% NewBelgiumFlatTire
04/16/2016 The Nymph’s Nest New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO) Hoppy Blonde American Blonde Ale 5.70% NewBelgiumHoppyBlond