You Dedicate Yourself to the Dragon’s Cause

This is a continuation of one of the story lines in Kerri Cuevas’s Year of the Dragon Blog Hop. Click on the badge to start your adventure. You’re here because you chose to Dedicate Yourself to the Dragon’s Cause!

You dedicate yourself to the dragon’s cause.

“R-r-relic?” you stammer. “Okay. Could you, uh, put me down first?”

The chuckle grows deeper, but the beast lowers you back to the earth. “I was once like you,” he goes on. “So young and eager to please the Sensai. He woos young minds with tales of courage and honor and loyalty to the dojo above all.”

“You were like me?” you echo, disbelieving. “But you’re a DRAGON!”

“All is not as it seems.” The creature’s laughter has disappeared, replaced by a hard edge of anger. “I am not truly a dragon. And Sensai is not truly human.”

You blink up at the blinding sun again, wondering if the heat is making you see things. You’ve been practicing so hard lately. Sensai warned of a mysterious test approaching. This test, he said, would be like none other, and you wanted to be prepared.

Maybe you’ve been overdoing it.

The dragon roars. The sulfur stink of rotten eggs billows around you. “Listen to me! We haven’t much time. He keeps this relic hidden, and it will only be within your grasp for the next twelve hours. He’ll have it somewhere in the dojo, but not on his person. You must find it–and destroy it.”

You shake your head, liking this less and less by the minute. He’s asking you to betray your Sensai. “Why should I help you? Sensai must have imprisoned you for a reason.”

“He did,” the dragon answers. “He imprisoned me in this body–in his body–to take over mine. And you should help me because I believe he plans to do the same to you.”


Do you: believe the dragon and run to the dojo to search for the relic?

Or do you: run to tell Sensai about the dragon instead?

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Start Over

Writing Tools: Cool Finds

Check out my favorite writing tools for the week—websites to inspire, encourage, and help you on your writing journey. Enjoy!

Written? Kitten! Type in your target word count (100? 200? 500?) and receive an oh-so-cuteee reward (to quote my 13-year-old). And big thanks to Lori Oster for reminding me of this fun site!


Autocrit Editing Wizard: Thanks for this great suggestion from Angelica Jackson, who says this software “analyzes your work for overused/unnecessary words, cliches, and so on. Won’t take the place of a crit group imo, but makes those passes for your tell words like “that” and “just” a lot easier. You can use the wizard on the site for free with some limitations”.


And the Plutchik-wheel, just because it’s so darned amazing—and I’ve never thought about emotions in this way before:


Finally, I posted earlier this week about ways writers can use Microsoft Word more efficiently—and I neglected to mention the time-saving advantage of learning those keyboard shortcuts. I have a friend who’s a wizard with Adobe Photoshop, and I swear he barely touches his mouse. He does most of his graphic editing via keyboard shortcuts. If he can do that in Photoshop, we should definitely be doing the same in our word processing programs! At least, if we’re professionals, right?

Thanks muchly to Russel V J Ward for this terrific link of Microsoft Word shortcut keys:



How about you? Any more amazing sites or writing tools to recommend?

10 Ways to Use Microsoft Word More Effectively

Microsoft Word

Love it or hate it, this word processing program is the industry standard and, for most of us, a daily tool of the trade. It’s so easy to learn the program’s basics , most of us start using it without taking the time to delve more deeply into its features. Why should we? Once you know how to type, format margins, and maybe do a search-and-replace, you’re ready to go. At least, that’s usually my attitude. I don’t want to learn the program. I just want it to work!



Over the years, though, I’ve discovered that Word has a number of time-saving tricks…tricks that convinced even this impatient writer that it was worth my time to learn to use this writing tool more effectively. Some are basic, and will help the computer-phobic to make Word operate a bit more efficiently. Others are a bit more technical, so that (hopefully) the list will have something to offer even to the experiences Word user.

10 Ways for Writers to Use Microsoft Word More Effectively

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