Tag Archives: writing

Put Your Arms Around Me (Preview)


Written: 23.06.27

Words: 1,044

Teen!Chesters, Sabriel, Fluff

Prompt: Punch Day (Sept. 20th)

“Ugh!” Sam let out an annoyed groan and pulled uselessly on the untied tie hanging around his neck, “Come on!”

He stomped a foot in agitation and frowned down at the piece of fabric. Surely tying a tie wasn’t supposed to be this hard? His eyes flicked up to the clock on the wall and he groaned again, I don’t have time for this.

Not wanting to be late, the teen shoved the stupid article of clothing into his pocket before grabbing his suit jacket off the back of his chair. He shrugged it on and took one last look at himself in the mirror, here goes nothing.

“Whoa, Sammy!” Dean came running out of the kitchen, mayo-ed knife nearly slipping from his grip as he leaned himself against the front door, blocking the youngest, “Where’s the fire?”

“Move, dude.” Sam pulled on his brother’s arm in a failed attempt to get him off the door, “I’m already late.”

“You’re such a nerd.” Dean settled against the hunk of wood and raised an eyebrow, “Haven’t you ever heard of being fashionably late?”

“I don’t want Gabriel to think I stood him up.” Sam tugged on his brother’s arm again, harder this time, “Come on, Dean!”

The whiny tone did nothing but make the blonde laugh. He gave his brother a once over before letting out a low whistle, “How come you never dress this spiffy when we go out?”

“Because I don’t care about you.”

“Ouch,” Dean placed the hand holding the knife over his heart and stumbled away from the door a few feet, “That hurt, Sammy.”

Sam let out a breath as he finally managed to rip the door open, bolting down the driveway, “I don’t care!”

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Miracles (Preview)


Written: 23.06.27

Words: 1,000

General, Funny

Prompt: Double Cheeseburger Day

“There’s no time to explain!” He grabbed an empty bag and gestured for the youngest to follow him, “Hurry up!”

The urgency in his brother’s voice helped wake Sam up, getting his Hunter Instinct to kick in and he nodded, grabbing a bag off the table before hurrying up the steps after the blonde. He steeled himself as he made his way through the open door, needing to squint as the sunlight hit his eyes.

Once his eyes adjusted, he stopped short as his brother rushed toward the street – which held an overturned transport truck – and raised an eyebrow, “This was the big emergency?”

The blonde fell to his knees in front of the giant pile of burgers that had flooded out into the street and began arm-sweeping the treats into his bag, “Uh, yeah! I gotta save them!”

“Save… the burgers?” Sam made his way closer and took a curious look up and down the road. Other than the truck and his brother, it was empty, “From what?”

“Haven’t you ever heard of the 5 second rule?”

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Writing with Music: Crazy or Genius?


It never fails to blow my mind the way people react when I tell them I write with music on. There’s always some form of utter confusion, as if I’d told them I birthed a puppy or something.

This got me thinking: is writing with music really that weird?

Back when I was on Twitter, I used to see fellow writers debating about this, as well. And while we all know there’s no one size fits all, I found it weird by just how many people said they wrote in silence, or worse: with lyric-less music. It was practically half of the writers I followed!

The other half of writers swore by writing with music on, but only if the music didn’t have any lyrics. Surprisingly, they had the same reason as my friends seemed to: music with lyrics would be “too distracting” to write with.

Uh… what?!

I don’t understand how so many people don’t understand that it’s actually quite easy – and even helpful – to write with lyrical music on. I have music on for any kind of writing I’m doing, whether it’s my short stories, books, or website articles. Hell, I even have music playing right now writing this article! (23.06.26, AC/DC’s Shoot to Thrill)

I actually find that not having music on and trying to write in silence is distracting. It’s like my brain can’t think when it’s silent. I need the blanket of music to be able to barf my creative ideas all over the room. Writing in silence just does not work for me.

That’s not to say any music will do, though. I find it especially helpful to have music going that matches the emotional vibe I’m going for in a story. I pull the emotion out of the songs I listen to and inject them into what I’m writing. Every single one of my books has their own playlist. I also have a general playlist for when I’m writing short stories, and if need be, I create special playlists for those, too. Or if I’m basing a short story on just one song, I’ll listen to just that one song until I’m finished the story.

Writing with lyrical music on is something I’ve been doing literally forever and honestly now, it’s just second nature. I don’t even have to think about it. When it’s time to write, I turn on my playlist before even opening Word.

Now, you may be thinking “okay, fine, you write with lyrical music on, but you probably have it so low you can barely hear it, which is why you don’t find it distracting” and if you are, you’re 100% wrong!

I have music not quite blaring, but it’s definitely loud enough to drown out any potential background noise. (And definitely loud enough to not hear if someone calls my name) The perfect level of music for me is being able to hear my fingers hitting the keyboard, and nothing else. Funnily enough, if my music is too loud and I can’t hear myself typing, I get the same type of brain-fart as if I were writing in completely silence. It’s a delicate balance between having it loud enough to suck out the emotions from the songs, and not being so loud that it drowns out my own thoughts.

Y’know when it gets too loud and people say they can’t hear themselves think? That’s exactly what happens if my music is too loud.

Writing, and honestly just life in general is so much better when you give it a soundtrack. Whether you’re doing the dishes, working out, or even just walking down the street. Having music on just brings an extra little boost to your day.

If you’re someone who writes in complete silence (or with lyric-less music) and you find yourself sort of stuttering in your writing, try finding a song or making a playlist of songs that matches the emotions you’re going for. You might just find yourself getting unstuck, and who knows? You might realize you’ve been writing wrong and change your ways. 😉

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No Kind of Plan (Preview)


Written: 22.10.21

Words: 527


Prompt: Toasted Marshmallow Day (Aug. 30th)

“Ah,” Dean let out a content sigh as he watched the flames on the pyre in front of them flicker against the dark sky.

Sam snorted and shook his head, “Only you could be happy watching a body burn.”

“Pfft, please,” The blonde waved a dismissive hand before making the short trip over to the car, opening the backseat door, “how could you not be happy knowing there’s one less Wendigo running around?”

“I still think it’s weird you built a pyre for it.”

“Oh, sure,” Dean rolled his eyes as he leaned forward, digging the cooler off the floor, “next time I’ll just let the forest catch on fire.”

“That’s not-”

“Didn’t they teach you fire safety at Stanford?”

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You Want Me (Preview)


Written: 23.06.08

Words: 412


Prompt: Bacon Lover’s Day

“Whatcha doing, Dean?”

The blonde half-turned, gesturing to the radio and his cell, “What’s it look like?”

Sam resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he plopped down into a chair, “Good luck.”

“Pfft, please. I don’t nee- sh!”

Dean held his free hand out to hush the giant as Connor took his shot.

“Uh, is it Boys Are Back In Town by Twisted Sister?”

“Yes!” Dean spun around on the spot, wide smile splitting his face, “I knew you were a moron, Connor!”

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Cracked Skin (PHSH Effect #25)


Since it’s summer, I thought I’d stay on theme and show you how to make a cracked skin effect.

Not only is this effect relatively easy (and fun) but it can also serve as a good reminder to wear sunscreen and lotion!

Step 1

As always, you’ll want to make sure you’re starting in a New Document. You’ll also want to use a picture of a person for this tutorial as well as a cracked texture of the ground. If you missed the first tutorial in this series, you should be able to find either of these pictures on a royalty free image website such as pixabay.com. You’ll need to make sure you’re using royalty free images if you plan on using them for your book’s cover or promotional posters.

If however you’re here just for fun or practice, you can use a search engine to find the pictures you need.

For the cracked ground picture, you’ll want to use one that has no obstructions, many cracks, and is more or less level.

For the person picture, you can use any picture you’d like, as long as there is a clear spot of skin somewhere. I haven’t tried this effect on clothing, but I’d imagine it would still work. Any picture with a clear spot of skin will do.

To keep things simple, these are the pictures I’ll be using.

Once you choose what pictures you’d like to work on and have them in your work document, go ahead and Duplicate the person layer. If needed, you can also rename the layers to keep things straight. I renamed the original person picture “Woman”, the cracked texture “Cracks” and the duplicate layer “Duplicate”.



Step 2

Now that you have yourself all set up, change the Cracks layer Opacity to about 50% or lower. You’ll want to be able to see the face underneath, but you’ll also want to be able to see the cracks. If needed, you can also Hide the original person layer by clicking the eye next to it’s thumbnail in the Layers panel and/or rearrange the layers so the Cracks one is on the top.

Once you’ve changed the layers Opacity, go ahead and align it over your person picture if you haven’t already done that. If needed, you can also rotate and/or resize the picture. The goal here is to get the best looking cracks over the person’s face.

Make sure you don’t resize the cracked texture picture too much, you’ll want to keep it slightly bigger than your person for the following steps. Don’t forget you can always erase what you don’t need at the end.


Step 3

Next, using the Polygon Lasso Tool, select the parts of the cracked photo that are NOT over the face (the ones you don’t need) and then Delete them.

You can Delete your selections by hitting the Delete button on your keyboard.

You’ll also want to make sure you leave some of the texture over the hair and neck (for example) because we’ll need a bit of wiggle room to work with in the next few steps.


Step 4

Once you’ve removed most of the unneeded parts of the Cracked picture, right-click on it, and select Warp from the drop-down menu.

Next, Warp the Cracked layer to fit the face on the below layer. Do this part as slowly as you need to, doing a little at a time. If you warp the cracked texture too much, you may end up doing so to the point it doesn’t look good.

Once you’re happy with the amount of warping, click Enter to apply the changes.


Step 5

Bring the Opacity of the Cracked layer back up to 100% and change it’s Blending Mode to Multiply.


Step 6

Next, you’re going to create a New Adjustment Layer by going to the Adjustments box that’s on top of the Layers panel, and clicking on the Levels button.

In the Properties panel that pops up, check mark the square at the bottom (next to the eye) this will Clip to Layer. (Meaning the effects will only affect the Cracks layer, instead of the whole project)

After that’s checked, drag the Midtones arrow toward the left. You’ll want to drag it until the Cracks are roughly the same shade as the skin of your person. For me, this was about 2.24.

You’ll also want to drag the Highlights arrow to the left to even out the lighting. Again, this will depend on the picture you’re using, but for me, it was 158.

Once you’re happy with the adjustment, go ahead and close the Property panel. Do this by clicking on the double arrow at the top right corner of the box.


Step 7

Next, we’re going to create a Layer Mask for the Cracks layer. To do this, head to the bottom of the Layers Panel, and click the Layer Mask button.

Once you have a Layer Mask, make sure your Foreground colour is set to Black, then use your Brush tool to mask the areas of the Cracks picture you don’t want. You’ll want to make sure the Brush Opacity is at 100% and the Hardness is semi-hard. (Anything over 50% Hardness would work)

You can also use this method to get rid of extra cracks that are on the persons face. (If you feel there are too many)

Alternatively, you could just use the Eraser tool for this, but you’d have to be more careful when erasing the cracks over the face.


Step 8

After you finish that, we’re going to add another New Adjustment Layer. This time, it’ll be a Hue/Saturation layer.

Just as before, make sure the box on the bottom of the Properties panel is selected so the Hue/Saturation layer is Clipped to the Cracks layer.

You’ll want to change the Saturation to something low (mine looked best at -66) so the Cracks layer is almost indistinguishable from the skin colour of the person on the other layer.


Step 9

The next step is to Merge our layers. To do this, hold down Control on your keyboard and click on: the Duplicate, Cracks, Levels and Hue/Saturation layers, then right-click and select Merge Layers from the drop down menu.

After you’ve Merged these layers, you may want to change the Layer name again so you know what it is. I went with Cracked Person, to differentiate it from the original person picture that’s still in the file. However, the name can be anything you want.

And after you’ve done that, you’re done!

You may be wondering: why did I ask you to duplicate the person picture if we didn’t end up using the original?

That’s a good question!

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it in past tutorials, but duplicating your “base” image is a great hack when you’re learning new PHSH skills. In case you mess up, you can just delete the duplicated (messed up) layer, and start over with the original. Keeping it in the work file allows you to keep working without having to stop what you’re doing to go digging through your cache of pictures to find it again.

Don’t forget to save a PHSH file (.psd) of your work, as well as a .jpeg/.png. That way, if you want to go back and edit or change anything (or remember what you did) you can use the PHSH file to help jog your memory.

I hope you had fun with this tutorial. The next one isn’t coming until October, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice!

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Written: 23.04.25

Words: 395

General, Funny

Prompt: Ice Cream Month

“What did you call this, again?”

“Ice cream.” Dean slid the bowl across the kitchen island, unable to help but smile at the confused head tilt of his recently exed-angel. “It’s good.”

Cas inspected the dessert with the intensity he usually glared down suspects with. It wasn’t until the blonde put the tub back in the freezer and spun around with his own bowl that he even attempted to pick up the spoon.

Dean noticed his face and raised an eyebrow, “It’s not gonna bite you, Cas.”

“That would be improbable.”

The blonde rolled his eyes as he picked up his own spoon. He did his best to ignore the staring as he scooped some ice cream up and brought it to his mouth. He had to avert his gaze to the counter as he chewed. Cas may have been human now, but he had yet to perfect relaxing.

Or blinking.

After he swallowed, he gave him a tight smile, “See? It’s fine.” He nodded to the bowl sitting across from him, “Now eat it before it melts.”

Cas nodded at that and straightened his posture as he reached for his spoon. With far too much concentration, he picked it up, scooping a bit of the dessert into it before he raised it to his mouth.

He hesitated as he held it up, prompting Dean to slam a hand on the counter. “Just put it in your mouth!”

The ex-angel wasted no more time and shoved the spoon in his mouth. His eyes glazed over as he lapsed into thought, mindlessly staring at the wall. The blonde shook his head at the seriousness, it’s just ice cream. Not like he’s hunting down a vamp nest. He leaned down so one of his arms was resting on the counter before tucking into his own bowl.

Dean continued eating in silence, Cas seeming to be stuck on whether or not he enjoyed the dessert. He kept flicking his eyes up every few spoonfuls to see if the ex-angel’s demeanour had changed. It wasn’t until a few minutes later when Dean was scooping up the last of his snack that the raven-haired man came back to the moment.

His semi-wild eyes scanned the room before they landed on the blonde.

After another moment of silence passed, Dean raised an eyebrow at the intense stare, “Well?”

“I like it.”

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Let Them Rest (Preview)


Written: 23.04.19

Words: 906

C2C, General

Prompt: Mojito Day (July 11th)

“We are having a proper vacation day.”


“No complaining.” He poured half the blender contents into a tall glass before dropping a crazy straw into it. He then carefully balanced what the giant was really hoping was a type of herb and not a random leaf from out the bunker’s front door between it and the rim before sliding it over to the table. “You’re welcome.”

“Uh…” Sam couldn’t help raising an eyebrow at the concoction in front of him, “What is it?”

“It’s a drink, Sammy.”

“Yeah, I can see that.” The giant rolled his eyes as his brother made his way back toward the counter, “I meant what kind of drink is it?”

“A Mojito.”

Sam barked out a laugh at that. His laughter died down as he watched the blonde flick the towel he was holding up onto his shoulder before crossing his arms over his chest, “Seriously?”

“You got a problem with that?”

“No, no, no problem,” Sam held his hands up in mock surrender before turning back to the cocktail in front of him, “Is it…” He frowned, tilting his head to one side as he stared at the glass, “Are you sure it’s a Mojito?”

The narrowed eyes from his brother was all the reply the giant needed before he reached for the glass. He let out a breath as he brought the drink up to his face, I don’t think they’re supposed to be red…

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Watching the World (Preview)


Written: 23.04.10

Words: 937

Sabriel, Fluff

Prompt: Iced Tea Month

Sam ducked behind a large rock just as a blast was fired toward him. Shit, that was close. He adjusted his stance in the sand, doing his best to not be distracted by the way it squished between his toes as he chanced a glance around the rock.

Shit, he’d lost visual on his target. He shook his head as he took a moment to make sure his gun had enough ammo to finish this fight. They’d fought their way down almost the entire length of the beach, and there was no sign of the fight letting up.


Sam spun around at the voice and scrunched up his face as he was assaulted with water. After a minute, the spray sputtered and finally stopped, much to Gabriel’s disappointment.

Sam swiped a hand down his face, effectively getting some water out of his eyes, “You said no powers!”

“Pfft, please,” Gabe sent his lover a lop-sided grin as he rested his now empty water gun against his shoulder, “There are no rules in war.”

Sam rolled his eyes but sprayed the angel’s shirt anyway.


The giant couldn’t help but chuckle as he darted around the smaller man, continuing to spray him as he moved away from his wrath, “You just said there were no rules.”

The angel held up his hands in a futile attempt to keep his shirt dry, “Yeah, for me!”

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His Pride and Joy (Preview)


Written: 23.04.07

Words: 1,587

Destiel (Implied), Dark-ish

Prompt: Picnic Day

“Have I taught you about shot-gunning yet?”

“…The car game?”

“No, not the car game.” Dean shook his head as he grabbed the other juice box, “Well, you’re gonna learn today. Okay?”

All trace of her tears were gone as she enthusiastically nodded, “Okay!”

“Okay, so first,” He punctured his own juice box, before placing his knife down, “you stab a hole in the drink.”


“Next is the fun part. You chug it down as fast as you can and try to beat the other guy.” Dean picked his juice box up, raising an eyebrow, “Wanna try?”

“Try? Pfft, please.” Taylor grabbed one of the juice boxes, giving the blonde a mischievous grin, “I’ll beat you.”

“Oh, you think so, eh?” Dean shook his head, “I wouldn’t be so sure about that, Sweetheart. I’ve been shot-gunning drinks a lot longer than you.”

“True, but you’re like a billion,” A smirk pulled at the corner of her mouth at the offended look, “I’m young.”

Dean couldn’t help but smile at her logic, “Alright, Ms. Cocky. Does that mean you’re ready?”

She hunched forward, fingers twitching around the sides of the drink, face growing serious, “Ready.”

Dean snaked a hand around his own drink, unable to help but smile at her intensity. He took in a big breath and lifted the box, “Go!”

“No fair!” Taylor fumbled for a minute before bringing her juice box up to her mouth, messily chugging down the purple liquid.

She tilted her head in an attempt to keep an eye on her competition, effectively spilling more of the quick-staining liquid onto her dress.

Dean flicked his eyes over to her as he swallowed for the first time and resisted the urge to shake his head, Cas is gonna kill me.

“Oh my God!”

Dean’s head whipped up at the startled cry from in front of them and lowered his juice box as he saw a soccer mom whip out her phone, eyes transfixed on the knife that was laying beside him.

“No, wait!” Dean fell over himself as he attempted to stand, “It’s not what it looks like.”

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