3 a week… 2 a week… 1 a week…

Maybe once or twice every month or two…

Maybe once more, come the blue of the moon…


^ The pattern of the Ever On Word blog.

And ‘Never’ is a strong prediction, of course. Never can’t yet be known.


I keep turning over the thought of trying to make just one more post. A declaration of (non)intent. A formal acknowledgement that I’m aware, I see the space has gone derelict. Maybe a walk through with some of the ghosts. Will and Allyn pointing out this feature and that. ‘Remember when…?’ Luc and Uri ‘n’ ‘em shaking their heads at the crumbling ruin, mumbling judgments…

What can’t be conveyed is the way they’re still with me, the ghosts. The way I dream of them. Dream as them. Even the ones who never saw the light of publication. The ones who (strong word) Never will.

Who even would I tell? Who remains, after so long a silence? Could even the faithful be blamed for falling away? Life happens to us all. Priorities shift. If ever we were important to each other, what of now? I’ve turned my back. I keep it turned.

‘You don’t call.’

I don’t write.

(Not in the way I used to mean.)

And most of you don’t miss me.

Sometimes I do.

Miss me, not you.

The ‘I’ that once I was, she is among the ghosts.

These ruins are beautiful, for ‘twas I who built them new.

I will not erase them.

I suppose Time one day will. A technological earthquake, or the like.

That will be sad.

There’s sadness now, in the way of the graveyard.

But not everything is buried there.

Spirits untethered wander where they will.

‘Is this goodbye?’

A goodbye as certain as Never.

I do not think I’ll want to speak again.

There’s better for me elsewhere.

I’m in a better place.

By Any Other Height

I’ve noticed something peculiar about me.

Say I’m imagining Sleeves, my rock ‘n’ roll dragon homeboy from the “Big City, Little Magics” ‘verse. As near as I can figure, Sleeves happens to be about 5-feet-6-inches tall. And yet, in my imagination, I tend to be viewing him from above. As if I am more than 5-feet-6-inches tall.

Same thing happens when I envision myself alongside my “Wilderhark Tales” / “Outlaws of Avalon” minstrels, Gant-o’-the-Lute and Allyn-a-Dale – both of them in the neighborhood of 5’3”, 5’4”.

And mind you: I too am 5’3”.

So why in the worlds do I picture myself as being so much taller?

For that matter, how much taller do I seem to think and/or feel I am?

As tall as Robin Hood’s right-hand Merry Man, Little John, at 7 feet? No, not nearly; everyone, including my imaginary self, has to look up at him.

What about Sir Wilbur Lamb, from my “Inspired” novels? His in-world author Annabelle marked him down as 6’1”, and I find myself looking up at him, too.

So, good, we’re narrowing this down. Do I think I’m 5’11”, as Manchester Leif noted himself to be in “The Self-Construction of Couch” (BCLM, book 3)? Not quite; he feels a little taller than me – as does Will Scarlet, at 5’10”.

That leaves me apparently thinking I’m somewhere between 5-foot-7 or -9-inches tall – at least on the inside.

I have no idea why my brain behaves this way, but it’s easily the least of my problems.


In marginally related news, I’ve lately written another “Big City, Little Magics” short story!

Starring whom: Manchester Leif.

Set roughly when: A short while after Book 3.

What it’s about: Coming out of a soul-fog and into yourself.

The title: “By Any Other Name”.

You’re welcome to read it for free (in the “Extra-Little Magics” section) on (also known, AO3).

‘What?’ says somebody. ‘Not on’

Nah. I’ve removed all of my works from that platform. Short answer, the terms of agreement there meant Wattpad would be permitted to make money off of my story ideas, and I’m not interested in allowing them that option. But no need to fret, because – like this newest short story – all the BCLM fics once on Wattpad can now be found on AO3. Enjoy at your leisure.

‘Til next I imagine out loud,

~ Danielle

Little Thoughts on a Big Part of Me

Thinking aloud about Couch, today. (From the “Big City, Little Magics” stories, of course.)

About what an actual horror she is.

About how one of the first things we know about her is that she kills people. Like, a lot.

And yeah, turns out it’s never on purpose. Doesn’t make the people any less dead, though.

And it’s not like she wouldn’t kill on purpose. Just, so far, she hasn’t had to, because she ends up destroying them involuntarily.

Which is, you know, not better.

Also, she’s angry. Pretty much all the time.

Because she’s anxious. Pretty much all the time.

She’s grouchy and picky and not very nice.

She’s a neurodivergent dragon in a world that doesn’t much like anyone of either of those descriptions.

The band knows all this about her.

Yet they still include her as a friend.

Because mixed in with the wrath, the danger, and the nuisance of her, there is also this:

Her consistent gentleness with Harkness.

Her availability to drive Sleeves around the AU Bay Area, despite not particularly enjoying Sleeves or driving.

As brave (and reckless) as it was for Amygdala to try to make a friend of Couch, it was likewise brave (and imprudent) of Couch to let her, and to reach back in mutual goodwill.

She shows Manchester much-needed kindnesses.

She is generous with her time, her things, her space – incredibly so, when one factors in the stress such generosity causes her.

In light of the whole of her, the band continually treats Couch as a creature worthy of love, care, and understanding.

This means the world to me – on a deep-down level – because Couch is (100% deliberately) a fictional manifestation of very real aspects of myself.

And if there are other characters inside me who can care for Couch that way, then that means I’ve got what it takes to demonstrate self-love.



Because I’m worth it. Darkness, weirdness, and all.

Big Personality! (Little Else Known)

Trying to pin down what Amygdala Wroth looks like has been tricky from the start because, unlike with the majority of my characters, I just jumped in assuming that she looked like me.

Not identical to, but like. And like can mean any number of things.

“And oh, Amygdala was so very happy. So excited. Her eyes sparkled like the world.” (Harkness, “Odd Pod”)

Often, when one hears a Person of Color talk about someone who looks like them, they mean merely someone who shares their race. By that measure, the only criteria for Amygdala’s appearance would be ‘apparently Black, apparently female’. Worlds of wiggle room, there – and at that point, nothing to differentiate her from Couch, until the narrative lists some dragon-specific features that will necessarily set the roommates’ looks apart.

Her presence turns his pathetic closet into a different world. A world half again as small, of course, but twenty times as bright. (Telemachus Cannon, “Chess Not Checkers”)

Eventually, we see Amygdala describe her hair as ‘wisteria-like’. When I wrote it, I intended to evoke the full, fluffy shape of a blooming wisteria tree bough. It wasn’t until I started fooling around with online dollmakers ‘n’ such that I realized Amygdala may have also been describing her hair’s color – a sort of soft purple-pink.

So, hair: Check. Skin: Brown. …Though I wasn’t 100% clear on the shade of brown. Darker than Harkness’s ‘a brown more creamy-fair’ was all I had in mind for sure. But what in relation to Couch? I didn’t want my brain to default to the assumption that Couch – as the dangerous, monstrous, moody one – was the darker of the two. That would be colorist AF. And in the title image I’ve been using since Big City, Little Magics” went up on Wattpad, the Amygdala face ended up being quite a dark shade of brown indeed – which, for all I knew or cared at the time, may have been close enough to her truth.

On the other hand, there were my collection of Picrew avatars and whatnot, in which her skin sported a rainbow of browns, some of them rather light.

Mixed messages a-go-go! Part of that, of course, being due to the limitations of the medium (it’s Picrew; you get the palette you get), the rest being my own indecisiveness.

In her voice is all the power of the ocean. In her eyes, all the blessings of the stars. (Manchester Leif, “Big Feels, Unlimited Magics”)

More than a year now into the BCLM-verse, I believe I’ve decided on where to land. First idea, best idea: Amygdala looks like me. Her face is her own, but our skin tones more or less match. Lordy, though, was that face of her own hard to reach on ArtBreeder! I may have accidentally spent something like two hours trying to manipulate images into a semblance of hers.

But fortune favors the persistent! I am hella happy with the results of my latest labors. Behold ye!

More than wisteria-like hair, more than a Danielle-like complexion, we’ve got that unmistakable, instantly recognizable sunny sparkle spirit. This picture isn’t just her face. It is Amygdala Wroth.

Obscure Little References, No Big Deal

Alright, lovelies. I teased in my last post that I had a new “Big City, Little Magics” story hanging out just beyond your reach. But you’ve been waiting long enough – (or have not been waiting, because you forgot I mentioned any such story… or you never read that post in the first place… and lol, for all I know, there’s nobody reading this post now! But carrying on regardless…) – so today’s the day.

It all started when I remembered, ‘Oh hey – I can make my characters’ faces on!’ I’d taken advantage of the site months ago, doing my best to create approximations of Amygdala, Couch, Manchester, and Sleeves (as seen in the title image for “Big City, Little Magics” and the band poster for Manchester Leif). Then the website’s existence got lost in the memory fog of my brain for a while… then I woke up and crafted a portrait for Pot Chip (as debuted on the BCLM band’s Tumblr).

And now that the muse and I have found it again, we’re eager to expand our BCLM character portrait series. As of this post’s drafting, I am most interested to get some good takes on Travis Marina and Harkness. In the meanwhile, though, I happened to end up with my first-ever rendering of Glass.

For any casual readers wondering, ‘Glass who??’: First briefly introduced in Book 2/”Big Feels, Unlimited Magics, then seen again with a bit part in “A Thing About Sleeves”, Glass is Sleeves’ coworker and friend – and this new short story of approx. 2000 words shows how that came to be.

Timeline-wise, the story spans from right after “Dearer Than Dignity” to an early-middle point of Book 3/”The Self-Construction of Couch”.

Title-wise, I call it “Riding High on Love’s True Bluish Light”. (Which may or may not be obnoxiously esoteric of me, but I have yet to think up a different title I enjoy more, so here we are. Love it, hate it, ask me to explain it… you’ll be valid, honey.)

Link-wise, you can read it on Wattpad here (for free! …or, if you’re inclined, for Ko-Fi tips).

That’s all I’ve got for now, m’dears.

‘Til next my quiet creative storm touches down,

~ Danielle

A Lotta Little Magics Add Up

What’s this? A once-in-a-blue-moon blog post? You can probably guess what that means.

…If you guessed I’ve made another “Big City, Little Magics” fic, you’re right. XD

Matter of fact, I’ve got a few little pieces I can share (and/or have already shared on the BCLM band’s Tumblr).

Two of them have been added to the “Band Chats” section of “Extra-Little Magics” – an “A Thing About Sleeves”-era text exchange between Sleeves and Manchester, and an interview with music group Manchester Leif.

Also to be found inside “Extra-Little Magics”: A collection-in-progress of diary entries from Amygdala Wroth. After all, this whole story universe started with Amygdala’s desire to be a diarist. It’s only right that I give her space to keep up the practice.

There are 3 entries in “Big Thoughts, Little Scribbles” so far. No promises that more are coming, but I’ll be surprised if that’s not the case. As ever, I’ll toss up a blog post when my Wattpad gets a content boost.

And wouldn’t you know, I started drafting this post with the intention to talk about and link to another short story entirely… only to realize how many other fic bits had gotten backed up in the queue. So as to leave you wanting more (#ShamelessTease) (#VillainLaugh), we’ll save that story for another day. Feel free to enjoy any and all of today’s goodies in the meantime.

‘Til next I wend my way Ever On Word-ward,

~ Danielle

Little NaNo, Big Successes

A text from a cherished friend: “Forgot to wish you happy NaNoWriMo!! Are you participating this year?”

What I say: “Not officially. If the muse allows, there are a handful of projects I’d like to work on. But I shan’t pressure myself to meet any metrics of progress. We’ll just keep it chill and see what art gets made. ^_^”

My panicky ass while composing the text: Can you even call it NaNo participation if you don’t sign into the site to announce a project and count your words? And without that day-to-day accountability, will you actually force yourself to accomplish anything? Yeah sure whatever, this isn’t supposed to be about ‘forcing’ anything, I know… but will the ‘keep it chill’ method /really/ result in art getting made, or will the 30 days of November slip by with little to nothing to show for it?

And legit, at the time, I had my major doubts. But the view from today – a third of the way into the month – is a different matter.


NaNo Project #1 (Ongoing): Hell Will Be Lucky to Have Us*

Perhaps it was only a matter of time. But you guys… I’ve given the “Big City, Little Magics” band their own Tumblr blog.

I wanted them to have a space to talk about whatever and share stuff they like and whatnot. And I figure it’s only fitting that the blog get its start now, during the one-year NaNoVersary of BCLM’s creation.

So if any of you like hanging out on Tumblr, feel free to follow my fictional faves @assortedbaysidebitches

*Blog title inspired by that one line from Pot Chip in Book 2, pah-haha


NaNo Project #2 (Complete): The Love in the Lines

From post-draft reflections in my journal:

I’d thought at first that this story needed to be a longer journey, like “The Self-Construction of Couch”. But when I tried starting the story that way, it didn’t feel right. Too… distant? Too dry?

In any case, when I tried this new way in, the words flowed much more comfortably. It put me in that space I love – sitting with the characters, watching how they live, listening to their chatter.

It just felt good, good, good. Making that story happen. Showing Amygdala and Sleeves in their togetherness. Granting Sleeves a joyful gift I’ve been wanting for him in canon.

Interested readers can find the completed short story here, among the growing BCLM collection on (It’ll live in the “Extra-Little Magics” section.)


NaNo Project #3… (As Yet Unstarted)

I won’t talk about this one yet, because sometimes it’s easier to do a thing when no one else knows anything about it. Maybe I’ll break ground on this project within the next few weeks, or maybe I won’t. I’m less scared at the notion of the latter now, having already made myself this pleased with Projects 1 and 2.

Also helping me maintain some of that chill I’ve aspired to, the coming across of the following poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

What is Success?

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

To realize how many of these things I have accomplished in these first 33 years of life is a comfort to me.

This may not be the NaNo-est NaNo I’ve done. But I’m sure Ralph Waldo Emerson would agree: It is a Success.

‘Til another successful day,
~ Danielle

Chess Not Checkers

I’ve done it again, folks. ‘It’ being the writing of another story in the “Big City, Little Magics” ‘verse – this one longer than a flash fic, shorter than a novella. Think the same sort of scope as “A Thing About Sleeves”.

Timewise, this story starts at the end of Book 1’s climactic moment. Voicewise, this is our first BCLM tale narrated by Telemachus Cannon. Plotwise, it’s about Manchester’s fears and Tel’s desires and the struggle of learning to live with yourself/selves.

Titlewise, I call it “Chess Not Checkers”. And you can read it here, grouped within my “Extra-Little Magics” collection.

What made me want to go back and explore that piece of the greater BCLM story? Ha, what else? The want came from Tel. I felt it in a dream one night, and was compelled to follow it onto paper. And actually, I’d thought that this project would require an Act II to go with the section I was working through. But ultimately, Act I felt whole on its own, so I let it reach its natural end, and we’ll just have to wait and see whether the Act II thoughts I had ever end up in another story down the line. One never knows.

Case in point: This time a year ago, my AU San Francisco full of witches (and not-witches), dragons, selkies, etc. wasn’t even a twinkle in my authorial eye. I was straight-up doubtful that I would ever complete a new writing project again. Yet here I am now – 100% trash for this world, a diehard groupie for the band, with three novellas and hella small fics (and counting) up to share on

Hashtag blessed, y’all.

‘Til next we wanna,

~ Danielle

Deep Change, Therapeutic Magics

Hypothetical reader(s): “Wow! The climax of your latest novella, ‘The Self-Construction of Couch’, was really something! How did you come up with the magic system used to send your dragon protagonist through time??”

I’m glad you hypothetically asked, friend(s)! Like much of the stuff my ‘Big City, Little Magics’ stories are made on, I based Couch’s renovative journey on aspects of my actual life – in this case, my exposure to a little magic (and by ‘little’, I do somewhat mean ‘massive’) magic known as Transformational NLP.

But I’m really not the best person to talk to you about that. If you want to hear from someone better informed, allow me to introduce (and interview) my most beloved friend, Tavern Duncan!


What even is Transformational NLP? (as asked and answered on Tavern Duncan’s website)

Tavern: NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, seeks to offer a user’s guide to the human brain.

Transformational NLP takes a more holistic and flexible approach than more traditional iterations, respecting the vast complexity of human experience, recognizing that creating deep and lasting change takes more than a recipe book of techniques, and honoring the original value of maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

We use precise questions and physical anchors to create new neurological connections, working with your inner landscape until the path to your desires becomes the path of least resistance.

How did Transformational NLP come into your life?

Tavern: It all started with my next sibling up, who walked this path long before me. They didn’t hasten me into their footsteps, but when my life was at a point of particular despair, they gifted me a book – Money Magic, by Michelle Masters, who was trained by NLP Marin – and I grabbed it like a lifeline. When the book wasn’t enough to do the trick for me, I decided to attend a 2-day course of the same name. (“It didn’t work? Try  it harder!” is probably not an ideal way to approach my life, and it’s certainly gotten me into trouble before, but I lucked out in this instance.) In-person practitioners brought NLP to life in a way a book simply can’t. 30 days after the course, I had a new job in the location we wanted to live in. 30 days after that, we were unpacking in the apartment of our choice.

I kept taking NLP Marin’s courses whenever I could afford the time and money, and everything in my life – professionally, relationally, psychologically – kept improving. That trajectory definitely… took a nosedive when the pandemic hit. But NLP had positioned me to survive it, in a way I genuinely might not have without it. And now my trajectory is recovering from the trauma of the pandemic, even while we’re still very much in the thick of it.

What motivated you to go into this field professionally?

Tavern: NLP Marin extended me a unique opportunity to take one of their biggest courses, The Core Competencies of Communication and Change, on a payment plan I could afford. Unlike the little 2-day or evening courses I’d done before, this 100+ hour training is their practitioner certification course. I wasn’t planning to be a practitioner when I started – I just wanted the tools, to use for myself and for, well, you. 🙂 But it wasn’t long before I realized that, not only do I have a knack for the work, I find it deeply satisfying and exciting.

Having earned my NLP Marin certification last month, I’ve continued on to their Master’s course even while I begin my practice!

Who is your target clientele?

Tavern: On the one hand, I’m naturally inclined to want to help people whose struggles have been similar to mine – namely, neurodivergent and/or queer people dealing with trauma and/or anxiety. People who feel overwhelmed and desperate, like the treadmill of life is too fast and too steep – I would feel honored to help that treadmill slow down and even out, to give them a chance to breathe.

But I’ve enjoyed working with people struggling with work/life balance, addiction, procrastination, perfectionism, and relationship issues – basically, I’m happy to work with anyone who doesn’t like their current experience, or wants an experience they’re not having!

How does a session with you work? (as answered on Tavern Duncan’s website)

Tavern: My sessions are an hour and a half long and conducted via Zoom – and we dive straight into the work of change!

We’ll talk about your current experience, determine what you would like to be different, and find ways that you, your habits, and your brain can get on the same page about creating your desired reality.

(I might ask you to do a few odd things, like hold your eyes in a certain direction, squeeze your own arm at a certain time, or exercise your imagination.)

We give the effects a month to get settled – even when your mind is past ready for change, the body needs time to integrate! – then we can have another session.

Many outcomes can be reached within 6 monthly sessions, so that is my recommended course, though you would be free to opt out sooner, or keep going for as long as you choose.  

Now that you’re officially open for business, what are you most excited to achieve?

Tavern: I really look forward to being a part of people’s journey to better. I feel like I’ve found my true work, in a way I haven’t felt with any other job, or even with my art. I want to wake up looking forward to working with people, and go to bed happy that I did. I am most excited to turn this practice into a way of life!


Thank you, Tavern! – on behalf of both Couch and myself. ^_^ If any readers of this blog post feel that there’s an overlap between what they would like and what Tavern has to offer, I encourage them to visit Tavern’s website – – and, well, reach for the deep change they desire.

‘Til next our paths of transformation traverse,

~ Danielle

Big Heart, Little Braveries

I mentioned in my last post that I was working through some personal issues – how else? – by writing yet another sequel to “Big City, Little Magics”.

Since that post (*waves back to distant mid-July*), I am happy to report that:

1) I have bid farewell to a workplace I was more than ready to leave and gained temporary employment elsewhere. To leave the devil I knew was brave. To try my chances with the devil unknown, also brave. Plus the temp gig’s duties include making a lot of phone calls, and if that doesn’t take bravery, what does??

2) Five years after falling into obsession with the soundtrack – and fifteenish months after the heartbreak of our tickets to the show succumbing to the plague – Tirzah and I finally got to watch the musical “Hamilton” onstage. Strangely enough, allowing yourself to reach for a good time can take more bravery than you think. Not just the part where you have to find decent parking in San Francisco, either. The part where you have to make your heart big enough to hold old wounds and new joys together.

3) And oh yeah, I finished the story! A brave project to undertake, yet less scary to try than this series’ first installment. After all, with every little magical tale I create with these characters, the surer I am that it wasn’t a fluke – I’ve really rediscovered my writing.

Presenting my latest from the BCLM world:


Once upon a time, there was a road trip…

Farther back.

Once upon a time, there was a slaughter…


Once upon a time, an unbearable goodbye…


Once upon a time, there was a monster…


Once upon a time, and again, and again,

Several times upon a time, there was a darkness.

And the dark contained a demon – or, perhaps, a deity…

Certainly, the dark contained a dragoness.


But ‘contained’ is not the word. Nothing kept in check about it,

Though she fought to hold herself controlled and tight.

Shadows leaking out the cracks, blackness creeping past the edges,

And we all know only wrongness shuns the light.



What if

Once and twice and thrice the monster reached across the times,

Claiming all the potent power of the inverse of the sun?

What if

Time could be rewritten through the act of self-alliance?

If the dragon truly saves herself in this one?


What would having that do?

Dream it true.


The Self-Construction of Couch” – now available to read (for free! Or for Ko-Fi tips, if it please ye) on

‘Til next we brave this life together,

~ Danielle