inter_linked: All About Robots

In inter_linked, the androids are the stars of the show but they’re not like the ones you’ve seen before in fiction!

Fast Learners

Photo by Negative Space on

The androids of inter_linked aren’t hard-programmed and made with specific rules or Laws like in Assimovian fiction.

Instead, they are tested extensively to learn from human behaviors and develop stronger reasoning.

In the real world, this is a concept called “Machine Learning”, which is currently being studied and nowhere near the intelligence level of a fully-functioning android. (they can play Atari, though!)

Mirror, Mirror

Image result for human and robot

When machines learn from humans, however, it means that sometimes they pick up behaviors or ideas from us that don’t exactly make sense to them.

In one chapter in the second half of the story, an android hurts himself and Anny treats him with a bandage – even though some glue and duct tape would do fine. The android sees the bandage as a symbol of healing and caring, even if it isn’t the most practical solution.

Looks Are Everything

blue plastic robot toy

The androids may seem pretty human, right? Well, they sure don’t look it.

There are two major manufacturers of androids so they come in two varieties:

One are shaped like humans, but they’re made entirely out of metal and plastic parts and have bright LED eyes that can display a myriad of different expressions. Many androids Anny and WISR meet along the way look like this.

One are shaped like humans, but they’re made entirely out of metal and plastic parts and have bright LED eyes that can display a myriad of different expressions. Many androids Anny and WISR meet along the way look like this.

The other kind are made with soft and squishy with huggable silicone and lightwight plastics to make them more human-like. But unfortunately, regulations gotta regulate and budgets gonna… budge? So instead of spending the time and effort and money and research figuring how to articulate a face and make it not creepy, they slapped a big ol’ computer monitor on the top and called it a day. Androids like WISR can display tens of emoticon expressions and maybe play Pong if he gets bored.

He also wishes you would not hug him.

Come meet these amazing machines!

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read:

The World of Faehunter: The Tuann (and New Release Update!)


I am so pleased to announce that I have a novella in the works, a small project that I work on when Faehunter gives me agida.

Potentially titled Into the House of Souls, it will be set in the same world as Faehunter but far away up in the mountains of the south with characters completely unrelated to Mara, Deaglan, Finnian, and Shannon. My tentative release date will be some time in November for another Pippi Longstocking birthday gift to all you dear readers!

Instead, it focuses on The Tuann (too-ahn), a loose group of people who gather in family clans and travel from place to place as it pleases them, inhabiting houses and castles left behind by others, are known for being skilled craftsmen and artisans, and operate with a very loose set or rules and laws. The Tuann do as they please.

Looking For Group

Tuann clans can be as small as 20 and as many as 200 people, generally big extended families with long histories together.

Each Clan has its own colors, banners, and sigils, although these vary wildly. Some Clans may adopt elaborate coats of arms like the nobility in the North, while others may carry flags with simple stripes or checkered patterns with their family colors.

One simple way to distinguish which Clan someone belongs to is by their cloak, or taeocai (tay-oh-kai), huge quilted fabric pieces designed to keep the Southern chill at bay. Each one is sewn and dyed with the family’s crest and colors and are worn at all kinds of Tuann gatherings – or whenever it’s cold.

The main character of my upcoming novella, Hopper, belongs to Clan Dennach who wear orange and blue.

Say What You Want to Say

While most Tuann have since learned the Common Language of the North, there are many words that lack translation. These words are often spoken in Tual (too-ahl), their unique language.

Few speak it fully, however, aside from some remote Clans with little outside contact.

What’s In a Name?

Tuann names generally refer to a characteristic, talent, or appearance of the person. These names are given by the Canneral (can-uh-rul), the head of the Clan on the person’s fifth birthday but can be changed at their fifteenth and fiftieth or with specific petition. Until their first Naming, children are often called various terms of endearment (“my dear”, “sweetheart”) or by their relationship with others (“Potter’s daughter”, “Fletcher’s son”).

Tuann names include Hopper, Weaver, Mason, Tailor, and Walker.

Heavy is the Head

Tuann may lack a central organization or government, but one Clan has been the representative of the Clans to the nations of the North for generations. Generally, the Clans accept this but some – often the more wild or remote groups – resent the “oppression”.

The Canneral of this Clan and his closely chosen allies help settle inter-Clan disputes, visit with foreign dignitaries, maintain a roll of all recognized Clans and record and legitimize new ones.

Faery Friends

The Tuann are much closer with their local faery Firelights Court than the other peoples of the North. Faeries will often travel and trade with mortal merchants, entertain the children, offer healing to the sick or elderly, and are known to be generous gift-givers.

Unlike the mortals of Twinefold that see the closeness of the fae as a curse, there is a much more benevolent relationship between the two among the Clans.

Tensions can sometimes be high, however, Hopper and her Clan struggle with a local faery noblewoman who has less than good intentions for her people.

Stay tuned for upcoming news on the Tuann, Hopper, and Into the House of Souls!

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: Magic
The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”

The World of Faehunter: Magic

Magic is an important part of the culture, industry, and lifestyle of Rosinaire and the world of Faehunter, but it isn’t always an easy matter.

Mortal Magic

Magic for mortals is incredibly difficult and cumbersome, usually requiring long preparations or very involved rituals for anything but the most simple of tasks.



At the very least, a spell requires a catalyst, some kind of stone or cut piece of glass with many facets to multiply weak magical powers. The average person can light a candle or cigarette with a small piece of glass, but the more geologically complex the stone the more powerful the potential for magic. Diamonds are highly sought after for this reason.

Those who regularly draw on magical powers will often wear a number of rings with inset stones to have spells ready on-hand (so to speak). Bars and inns will have small bowls of cut glass for lighting smokes, and jewelry among the rich usually serve some magical purpose.

Furthermore, stones can be carved with runes and symbols to “tie” a spell to it. Instead of constantly concentrating on one action, one can focus that energy into the stone where it will last until the spell or catalyst is broken.



Herbs are an important part of any major ritual, from purifying sage to banishing nettle and rosemary.

Herbs will often be burned as a part of the ritual, the smoke permeating a space with its magical effects.

Symbols and Runes


Symbols, runes, and other powerful imagery and writing can help guide energy as well as focus it to certain places, objects, people, or intentions.

Runes are most commonly used although the Shard Islanders of the North use Ogham lines and the Challissani to the West are famous for the symbols of dots and lines.

Limit Break

Mortal magic is extremely limited, only certain people are able to harness it, and even then there is only so much that can be done.

While there is no true ceiling on the possible, the common person can really only light a candle, generate a small breeze, freeze a small amount of water into ice, or change the color of a small object.

When one reaches the limit of their powers, they feel weak and fatigued. Often, food or drink – especially the variety high in sugar content – will remedy the physical affects, but continuing on will only worsen these feelings.

If one pushes their limits too hard, the results may even turn fatal.

Faery Magic


Faery magic is different in mortal magic in that they do not need catalysts or symbols or really any other focus on their energy.

The main component of faery magic is concentration as well as intention; so long as the faery wants something strongly enough, it is done.

That being said, should that attention divert or their concentration break, so does the spell.

Always Glamour-ous

The fae are also capable of powerful transformation magic, called a glamour. They can transform any object into another, change their own appearances, and even generate new matter so long as they concentrate, focus, and remember the changes that were made. The spell will break, however, as soon as the object leaves the faery’s line of sight. Transforming a copper coin into gold may serve its purpose only up until it is placed in a pocket.

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things
The World of Faehunter: Twinefold
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness

Images from and Wikimedia

The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things

Please do not use the following information to treat, prevent, or cure any ailment or disease. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements for treatment.
And don’t eat Tide Pods.

Herbs, plants, and roots are all very important to the people in the world of Faehunter. They’re used for healing, for food and, of course, for magic.

So, to research a bit more about the plants and herbs that appear in Faehunter, I went to Flower Power Herbs and Roots in New York City and took a look at what magical stuff was in store.



Baskets of candles, potpourri sachets, and bundles of sage for smudging sat between shelves heavy with scrying glass and magic mirrors and other helpful tools of the trade.

In many cultures from Native American tribes to Witchcraft, burning sage (or “smudging”) is used to purify an area, person, or even an object.

Sage for smudging will often come in small bundles that make burning easier and the smoke smells fantastic.

In Faehunter, sage smoke is often used for similar purposes, to purify before conducting any major magical undertakings. Magic for mortals – beyond something simple like lighting a candle – takes a lot of effort and preparation.



The clearing before her spread a wide circle tucked into the cradle of a gently rising slope, ringed with small, white stones and dotted with thorny Hawthorn trees.

One of three plants considered sacred to the fae in Celtic literature, hawthorn is often viewed as the most holy. It is believed to mark the entrance to the Annwyn (an-NOON) or the “Otherworld”.

Legend tells that it is incredibly unlucky to cut down a Hawthorn bush when it is not in bloom, although it is an integral part of Beltane (May Day) traditions.

In the city of Twinefold, hawthorn shrubs grow abundantly, especially in Langley Park. They surround and protect the holy faery Rath where the Court of Air and Darkness meets under every quarter moon – and every seven years for the Tithe.

Milk Thistle

Deaglan swept a fingertip along the delicate trickle of crimson blood at Mara’s wrist before Shannon could apply the pungent ointment, sticking it in his mouth.

“Sleep Toxin,” Deaglan named, “And a lot of it. Concentrated essence of nightshade, we need milk thistle.”

Milk thistle is currently being studied for its detoxifying properties and potentially as an aid for alcoholism, liver problems, and cancer prevention.

As large-scale agriculture is hard to maintain in the dense forests of The Cradlelands, milk thistle roots are often eaten for food in the city of Twinefold, most typically roasted with butter.

Its healing properties are also invaluable when healing magic is often difficult for others to manage. It is used in oils, ointments, and poultices and is integral in first aid when it comes to poisonings and toxins.

Morning Glory

More and more arms of ivy, living and green, climbed up and around the spindly metal desk and twined with morning glories and lilacs.

Morning Glory is said to have magical properties relating to peace-keeping and preventing nightmares, much like lavender.

In the city of Twinefold, morning glories often climb up walls of buildings as well as twining in the trees, blooming in the late mornings when the sun climbs over the treeline.

Outside the city, the “water spinach” variety blooms in the Adalasia River which forms the city’s southern border. The water spinach is harvested and eaten for food.

And who can forget, of course, the most powerful spice of all?


Thanks again to Flower Power which is located at 406 East 9th Street, between Avenue A and 1st in New York City.


See Also:

Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
The World of Faehunter: Twinefold
The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness

The World of Faehunter: Twinefold




Twinefold is a city that isn’t simply tucked away into the forest, it grows and twines around the trees, it is a part of the forest.




The city is plagued by what many call “The Great Curse” or “The Jinx”. Doing anything that may displease the fae, from using or carrying iron, operating factories that pollute the air or even doing so much as picking a flower often has tragic consequences. Men have gone mad, women have turned murderous, and children have been carried off if the faeries think they have anything to do with such a transgression.


Where the Maps Don’t Help

Streets, buildings, and other infrastructure within the past century or so has to be built around the trees due to The Great Curse. Buildings tend to be very tall and narrow to accommodate tight spaces, and the streets are winding and twisting, and often forming rotaries and roundabouts around larger trees. It’s said that anyone caught cutting down a tree will be driven mad by the fae, although this wasn’t always so.

The Boulevards are the only straight roads in the city. Some one hundred years prior to the setting of Faehunter, a woman named “Tressa the Tree-Killer” is said to have personally cut down over a thousand trees before driven to madness and death by the fae. Her work paved the way – quite literally – for the three major Boulevards: Norwood, Branch, and Morningside.

Distinct Districts

The three Boulevards form the border between the three major Districts of Twinefold: Benwick, Greenleah, and Oakton.

Much of Faehunter takes place in Benwick, it’s where the Wayworn Inn where Mara and Adalee live and Shannon’s shop – “Enchanting Magical Needs and Spell-Gems” – are.

Where We Call Home

Benwick divided into six Neighborhoods: Birch Hills, Endralaine, Clannshaven (a neighborhood where former Rovers of the south gather), Forest Grove, Benwick Beach, and Nor-Low (named for its bordering streets, Norwood Blvd. and Wilow St.)

Shannon’s shop and the Wayworn Inn are in the Nor-Low neighborhood which is known for being a popular spot for travelers.

Park it Right There

In the heart of the city is a large clearing sacred to the fae, nobody is permitted to build or develop this valuable, empty land.

When some intrepid builders attempted to make use of this space, they found the land had already been bought by one of the city’s wealthiest families, the Langley’s, who declared the area belonged to the fae in perpetuity. Thus, it has since been called Langley Park.

Twinefold is a city unlike any other. While they may have their problems with the fae, it’s a part of what makes the city unique. One wonders, however, how long this uneasy peace can last…


See Also:

The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness
Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”
The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things
Twinefold Begins

Faehunter Characters



The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae


Time and Tithe

The Tithe is a very important and sacred ceremony for each faery Court, it ensures the fealty of the Solitary Fae who live in their lands. For the Court of Air and Darkness, this is the Cradlelands, The Court-Upon-the-Sea holds Jewelhaven province, and The Firelights Court has Dunsmere in the south.

The Court monarch makes a sacrifice, either transforming a mortal into one of them or killing them. Often this mortal is someone valuable or intriguing to the fae: a poet, an artisan, one with the faery Sight.

This show of blood and power reminds the Solitaries the consequences of rebellion.

The Court holds their Tithe every seven years in turn (i.e. The Court of Air and Darkness one year, Firelights the next…) on holidays sacred to each Court.

For the Court of Air and Darkness, this is Samhain, for Firelights this is Beltane, and the Court-Upon-the-Sea is Twelfth Night.


Mortal Matters

The Solitary Fae – much more than the Court Fae claim – are facinated with mortals and their lives. Many will watch around the windows of inns and taverns and even homes, following their daily tribulations the way one would follow a novel series or a serial play.

They also become deeply offended by the seeming rejections of the mortals. Skeptics and scientists who attempt to disprove their existence is one of their greater sorrows and they take growing industry and urban sprawl as a personal slight.

They are much more friendly – and have a more tangible influence – with the Rovers of Dunsmere to the south who are far less industrious and leave a less permanent impression on the earth.



A House is a Home

Solitary Fae often gather in Houses, Clans of fae who share common interests. Examples include The House of Masks, The House of Music, The Equestrian House (for riders and centaurs alike), or The House of Magic. There are hundreds of Houses as small as 10 members and as popular as over two hundred.

Fae can join as many Houses as they like and are asked to make no Vows, but as the politics of alliances and enemies can be complex and dangerous, a faery must be careful of the company they keep.

Any House found conspiring against their monarch is put down very quickly and some fear Houses may not be permitted to form or meet in the future.

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness
Faehunter Characters

The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness

The mysteries of the night belong to the Court of Air and Darkness, fae (faeries) who live for ruthless political intrigue, secrets, and lies.

Their Court lands are the Cradlelands and their main seat of power is in the city of Twinefold.

Black Pawn crowned - chess

Gods Save the Queen!

The Queen of Air and Darkness is generally chosen by some show of force – a coup d’etat, assassination, or on rare occasion a duel or trial by combat.

When she is crowned, she gives up her name and simply becomes “The Queen”. Her previous name isn’t exactly a secret, but it isn’t spoken or used either.

The current Queen of Air and Darkness came into power almost one thousand years ago and while many have challenged her rule, none have succeeded.

Phases of the moon as it is eclipsed

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Under every quarter-moon (both halves and every New and Full Moon), roughly once a week, the Court holds a Gathering. They discuss recent happenings, political news, and mortal movements, as well as new orders from the Queen and the successes or failures carrying out previous orders. The Queen makes announcements and all listen.

Fear My Rath

The seat of the Court’s power and where all Gatherings are held is the Rath, a circle of white stones set into a small hillside.

Towards the back, against the hill is a half-circle of white stone carved with flowers and plants and vines so realistic they seem to be alive.

On this dais is the Queen’s throne, a rough-hewn chair made of stone.

The vaulted ceiling of a very dark cathedral

Royal Palace

Set into the hill is a door of white stone, with carvings similar to the dais.

Inside is the Queen’s palace, which seems much bigger than the small hill can hold.

Within are dining halls, libraries, services like laundry and tailoring and kitchens, as well as the prisons and torture chambers.

Few mortals have seen the palace and none have left it alive.

All the Lords and Ladies

Other nobles of the court include the twelve Lords (and Ladies) of the Hours, who are appointed – or dismissed, and often violently – by the Queen.

The Court also includes the royal guards, other fae who have made Vows to the Court, and of course, the Solitary fae living in Court lands, should the Tithe be completed.

Photos from Unsplash and MorgueFile

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
Twinefold Begins
Faehunter Characters

Twinefold Begins

The city and setting of Twinefold is a very personal one as it is a culmination, combination, and amalgamation of different parts of my past. Growing up in New England meant being surrounded by trees. Streets became tunnels under the leaves, houses lay hidden behind the thick curtains of green and a multitude of secrets were waiting within the sea of dark trunks.

Who knows what’s waiting just a few steps away from the road?

When creating Twinefold, I also drew from the memories of meandering and twisting roads among the hills and forests. Twinefold also takes a lot from my adventures in New York City. A city built in the wake of World War One’s victories, many parts still breathe life into what the world was like a century ago. Neighborhoods like Gramercy Park – the Wayworn Inn where Mara resides is very much inspired by The Players Club there – or the beauty of Central Park were huge inspirations.

Gramercy townhouses

Gramercy Park is like a time capsule to the early 1900s – a huge inspiration for the setting of Faehunter.

Many subway stations still contain the same beautiful Art nouveaux and Beaux-Arts traditions that were the foundation of the city and lend their image and feel to Twinefold’s setting.

I think Grand Central Station is one of the most beautiful places in the whole world.

Except for the New York Public Library, of course.


See Also:
The World of Faehunter: Twinefold


Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and myself (NYPL photo)!