Devils Dreamscape by Kate Rose is available on Amazon Kindle.

This story is about a fourteen year old girl named Callie with a special mission. Her destiny hinges on passing three trials set forth by angels after she is summoned into a nightmare where she fights demons to protect a little boy named Max. Should she accept her destiny, she will not only be a chosen one, but the leader of all the chosen. While fighting in the dreams, she discovers that her injuries are real and carry over into the physical world. Each of the chosen has a special dream power, including Max’s older brother Chrystyan who, luckily, has the ability to heal. However, her injuries are not the only thing that follows her into the physical world as she is attacked by people shrouded in darkness and controlled by the demons. Will she pass the tests and become a leader or will she walk away from her destiny?

The Sandwich Perfectionist (A True Story)

Security Officer Bryan Holland’s stomach was rumbling by the time he made it to “Subway” during his lunch break. He chose “Subway” not because it was the tastiest of all the options to choose from in the food court, but rather, because it was the one store that had the least amount of people in the line. Bryan got in behind a woman in her mid fifties, wearing what seemed to be a powersuit consisting of all J.C. Penny’s. Bryan figured ‘well, if there’s one person in this line, I can be in the office eating with at least twenty minutes to spare’; little did Bryan know that this was not exactly going to happen.

“No no no… You did it wrong, again…. I want you to cut it open with finesse, not vigor. I thought you knew how to design a proper sandwich.” She yells at the Subway man as if he had just done something wrong. At first Bryan thought she was being funny but after a quick look at the Subway employee’s face, he realized that she was being dead serious. She spends time teaching him exactly how she wanted the bread cut which of course, wastes Bryan’s time.

“Alright, now, don’t just put the meat in there, I want you to fan it out, respectfully. It has to be done respectfully. Make sure to start with the Mayo first because I need it to be laid out properly along the bread…”

At this point, Bryan’s looking at her with wide eyed disbelief. Luckily she hadn’t noticed that he even existed.

“No, no, NO!… Not in a zig-zag pattern. Swirl it like the letter S and repeat from one end to the other, SMARTLY!” She says. “Get me another loaf of your finest… We’re going to do this again.”

At this point, the guy behind the counter looks at Bryan since he’s wearing the security uniform. Bryan looks over to the woman and finally, she looks at him and then eyeballs him up and down, as if to size him up. She makes a ‘pssh’ sound and looks back to the man behind the counter.

“Well, are you going to wait there all day? Or do I need to go somewhere else?” She asks rhetorically to her slave. “… and remember… Lay it down respectfully and cut it right. No zig-zag, I want the swirl, and when you’re done, lawyer the the cheese at roughly a five degree angle. Provolone has to be laid this way or else it doesn’t taste proper and you need to be proper. Do it smartly!”

Bryan forgot that his jaw had dropped a moment because at this point, three customers have piled in behind him and laughed at his reaction. He watches as the ‘sandwich-artist-micromanager’ sticks her finger on the glass and taps it so hard that, you’d think there was a special tap sale going on at tap city — BUY ONE TAP, GET ONE TAP FREE! It was that violent…

“Do you even know what five degree’s is?! CHOP CHOP!”

“Excuse me,” Bryan finally cut in. “There’s a line.”
“Sorry… I just need to make sure this is done right.”
“He knows how to do his job!”

She turns her head and motions the man behind the counter to move the sub over and start putting other things on it. She points to some sort of seasoning and snaps her fingers instead of actually asking for it.

“Pepper it… Don’t dash it… Pepper — I need it done…”
“Excuse me…”
“Excuse — MEEE!” She yells at me suddenly. “I’m paying this man for a service and I’m getting it done right.”

Bryan looks at his watch… It’s cutting into his meal time. She turns back to the man behind the counter.

“No… No that’s a dash… Pepper it… I want to see flare… There must be flare or else you won’t be getting my money.”

“Aren’t you going to do something?” Asks the customer behind Bryan . Bryan turns to the girl behind him and shakes his head.

“Like what? Detain her for demanding a smartly done pepper rather than a disrespectful dash on a designer $8.99 Sandwich? The nerve…”

That got a few chuckles from everyone behind Bryan and the woman in front of him finally shut the hell up and sped up the process on her precious sandwich.

Lunch break was officially the hardest part of the day.

Too Much Marketing, Too Little Imagination

With many writing groups on the internet, we find people writing about things that get us all riled up with “what is a real writer”, “how should we define ourselves”, “what publishing route we should use”. If we are lucky, we have threads that start us on projects, and groups that promote the actual writing of fiction. Most of the time, however, all we’re going to find is a bunch of people standing around talking about how we’re going to sell it rather than fun and interesting ways we’re going to create it. 

This may have a lot to do with why I don’t sell much. I’m just having too much fun writing content than I am worrying about how I’m going to market it. Marketing is all well and good, but, we’re missing the foundation most of the time. We’re spending too much time worrying about what type of writers we are, arguing about what a “real” writer is, and bragging about who’s paying their rent with their writing than we ever do actually developing our skills as a writer.

Sure, I see it sometimes, in writing groups; on a good day. Most of the time, however, I see this place like my local mall when it comes to variety; closing down one store to put in another clothing store, across from the clothing store, which happens to be between two clothing stores. What I see here is post after post of marketing strategy, judgement over how we define ourselves (What does it mean to be a “Writer” or “Author) and other people (endless arguments over whether we should call Jack a “Writer” or an “Author”) when we’re missing out on the fun of writing.

I feel this place needs more topics related to sentence structure, plot ideas, ways to make characters believable, and world-building.

These online writing groups remind me of a bunch of divers, floating on the surface of the ocean, talking about how to monetize their diving and forgetting that they need to do that back flip and actually get into the water. They’re all for talking about what tanks to get, but rarely ever talk about ways to regulate their breathing, or methods to clear the mask to make the experience of diving more fun to begin with, but they sure will be willing to direct you to the best wet-suit dealer, or express their opinions on what type of a diver you are, without having ever really dived in with you.