The Gauntlet 2021 1: Rummy Air

Challenge 1: Needs More Pirate (1000 words or less): Write a suspenseful espionage thriller scene in your setting of choice – could be any time or place in history – but add one parrot-toting, rum-guzzling, Caribbean pirate.


With haste, you put a handkerchief over your mouth and nose. The only good thing about rum was that it did wonders to knock out both Captain Doublehook and his trusty parrot, Featherhook.

However, the most outweighing bad thing about it was that in the Caribbean heat and enclosed ships, it smelled worse than death whenever you opened a door. You suppressed the urge to stumble to the desk adorned with pillaged treasures from all across the archipelago and dry heave into one of the drawers. That could bring unwanted attention and you had only so much time to scan the map before Doublehook would regain consciousness in yet another massive hangover.

As you closed in on the desk, wary of the numerous rum bottles on the floor, you could not help wondering if this stench would make you drunk if you stayed in the room for too long. Featherhook being out on its feet, still attached to its owners shoulder, did indicate as much to you, after all. Nevertheless, while it was an interesting scientific scenario, you wanted to see such experiments conducted only in a controlled environment — something a Caribbean pirate ship would never be, at least not without taking the “pirate” out of it.

Doublehook murmured something between his snores.

You froze, suddenly reminded of the here and now. You had lost your focus — a fatal mistake.

If Doublehook woke up and saw you now, you would be pushed off the plank and the Queen would never get the map to Pirates’ Lair.

The Person At The Door – out now!

If another Finn comes across this post today, I wish you a fantastic Independence Day!

I am glad to announce that my second Flash Fiction Month collection, The Person At The Door, is now released!

You can download it from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1057650

I will begin working on the next collection soon, but given all the course deadlines ahead of me, it will definitely be 2021 before that one will be out. So far, the pace has been good, though, so I expect to be able to get the rest of the FFM collections out before 2022! Woo!

Take care!

Currently on art: Modern Problem out now and other releases

It’s time for a Currently on art update! This time, I have yet another announcement to make!

As you know if you have followed my posts, I have released two games on itch.io recently, MathQuiz and Against Procrastination. I don’t have much to say about them now that they’ve been out for a while, but they are noteworthy enough to be mentioned here. The bigger thing, however, is my first book release, made under the pen name N. WS. Jokela!

My collection compiled of publishable FFM 2015, Flash Prompt and Flash Fiction Day 2016, 2018 and 2019 stories, Modern Problem, is out now as a free ebook on Smashwords! While the stories are the lowest quality I have to offer out of my FFM stories, I hope you take a look!

In other news, I’m working on a new game as a part of a month-long game jam, Game Off 2020. My game, Project Moonshot, is a story-heavy walking simulator where you have to gather text files and figure out what happened in the abandoned research facility you woke up in. I’ve got the minimum of the text files I want to include in the prototype version I’ll submit for the jam and the map is coming along well, so expect to get something playable by the end of the month! I will work on the project more and flesh it out further especially in terms of the number of text files after the game jam during the course of this studying year as well!

Aside from those, not much has been going on recently. I’m constantly swamped up with coursework, stuck inside all day long since I don’t have many reasons to go outside especially now that it’s getting cold. The only reasons I have gotten out recently (aside from going shopping yesterday to see if I could find Christmas presents for my family) have been grocery shopping, taking the trash out and playing Pokémon GO. My university decided to extend their COVID restrictions to mid-March 2021 (can’t believe it’ll be a year since this mess started here by then), so I’m starting to suspect that I might get my bachelor’s degree out before I’ll have a studying-related reason to go to campus. I’m trying to get some humor out of it, but between combatting cabin fever and plain frustration that I should avoid doing normal (but unnecessary-for-survival) stuff like shopping at flea markets it’s starting to get more tiresome than anything else. Sure, if I put a mask on, I could go pretty much anywhere I wanted to but I don’t want to use them unless necessary; those things were a bit expensive when I bought them, not to mention that it’s better for the environment to use as few of them as possible.

In any case, I must admit that getting out to see other environments than grocery stores and the apartment building’s walls did do me good yesterday, although I also had to note that I’ve gone even more out of shape than before recently – oops. I should probably get hold of myself and start working out with Wii Fit again. Making some amazing finds that I’m still stoked about at a flea market and getting some good pizza (I finally got some recommendations about good pizzerias in my area after two years of procrastination on asking my fellow students) was a huge bonus too!

Oh, and speaking of environmental things, earlier this month I took part in a training session on zero waste which was aimed at students. It was super interesting and informative, so I’ve looked into what my boyfriend and I could do better to decrease the amount of waste we produce. Turns out we’re already doing pretty well since I’m a keen recycler! A very important and inspirational bit that I learned from the training was that you don’t have to be perfect and every little bit helps as long as you’re doing something to decrease the amount of waste you produce.

I can’t think of anything else to say, really. Like I said, it’s been pretty uneventful aside from releasing games and an FFM collection.

Therefore, it’s time to see what’s up with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapters 5 and 6 of The Strength of Mind are in editing. I couldn’t stop writing when I started working on chapter 5, so I wrote the first draft of both it and chapter 6 in one day. All writing is at 1603 days. Remaking Arya’s reference is nearing its end, so I will soon be able to start working on remaking Jedova’s one. I need to make a comic about Valentine Clanker and lots of other drawings. I’ve been creating data on Scrivener to build a wiki of sorts there so that I can flesh things out for writing. It’s been progressing slowly recently, but it’s looking okay. Revising has gone back to standstill due to studies taking up too much time and energy.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 41 is still in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Revising needs to be done.
  • Off-DA projects: Releasing MathQuiz, making and releasing Against Procrastination, finishing and releasing Modern Problem. Now it’s time to work on the next FFM collection! I’m also working on a game jam project, Project Moonshot, which I will have a playable prototype of released by the end of November.
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this much, although I have finished editing the first chapter and I also got it to its wordcount target, which is cool. The story went onto pretty different rails while editing, but definitely on far better rails! Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 7 of story 6 is in rebuilding and translation. I’m writing monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish (except that I haven’t done that for a couple of months because I don’t have the energy and I’m pretty sure that no one cares anyway). References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: Little progress has been made on the posting side, although I have gotten some decent progress on my end. I just haven’t gotten around to posting anything since I’m pretty sure no one cares.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo and Pokemon GO keep on going but otherwise I haven’t played much due to lack of time.
  • Other stuff: I’ve fallen behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain. Due to being busy and tired, I haven’t even been reading FFM or Tribble Month stories for some time, so things don’t look good in my watch. I’m not sure what I even want to do about it, so for now I’m letting the stories sit there until I figure out what’s the best course of action. Since I got my fist FFM collection out, I’ll start working on the second one now. Reading has halted to a standstill on the book side as well and for now, it’s probably going to continue like that. I got back to Unity after learning to do lots of stuff on Twine before the game jam I’m taking part in as I decided to use that. I should get back to video editing since I have so much footage to be edited.
  • Personal life: Studying, studying and studying. My timetable management experiment, which has taken the form of simulating a normal university day, has given out mixed results because I haven’t fully stuck with it most of the time. However, my most urgent online course is progressing well now since I had to count how many exercises I need to do in one day to get everything done in time, and so far I’ve been well ahead of he schedule. I hope it’ll stay that way as well. Oh, and I’ve also watched The Mandalorian and am now following it as new episodes come out. It’s even better than I expected!

I suppose that’s all for this post. Stay safe and well and take care, as usual!

[Sept20] Tribble Month 30: Farewell

Prompt: Farewell


Friat watched as her former mentor, Ezidretim, gasped in pain. She could do nothing. Even the best healers in the whole world could do nothing to save him even if they were right there beside her.

The injuries were too severe.

“Ezi, is there anything I can do to ease your pain?” Friat’s voice was hardly louder than a whisper.
“No, Kindling. Just say with me… until the end,” Ezidretim croaked. “I’m… sorry you had to see me go like this… but I’m glad to I got to train you. Just know… that no matter what… I’m proud of you, Friat Brann.”
“Ezi…” Friat fought the tears. “Thank you for everything.”
“Thank you, too, Kindling.” Despite of the intense pain, Ezidretim managed to put a smile untainted by pain on his face. “Take care, always remember what I taught you and follow your heart.”
“I will, Ezi, I promise.”
Ezidretim could already feel himself fade away. “Burn brightly with the dragons, Kindling. Farewell.”
“Farewell, Ezi, the bright dragon fire that lit me up,” Friat breathed, smiling through the heartache.

Ezidretim’s eyelids fell over his eyes and stayed there. They would stay that way forever.

Once the injured fire sorcerer’s heart stopped beating, tears blurred Friat’s eyes.

Then, for the first time in her life, the fire sorceress wept openly in front of a crowd, her tears soaking her former mentor’s clothes for the last time in her life.

[Sept20] Tribble Month 29: Almost Overwhelming

No prompts used.


The power of the fire was almost overwhelming when Veriwia first started to learn to use it. She had lived most of her life in a settlement with little contact with magic or on the run without little to no contact with a single being, let alone someone who can use magic.

Nevertheless, the others assured her that it would be all right, that she would get used to it in time.

Veriwia decided to believe them.

Surely everything would be all right now.

[Sept20] Tribble Month 26: United

No prompts used.


As a historian, I know for certain that the humanity of old times would have gone extinct, had the Fiirddokha attacked Earth during their time. It’s not just because they lacked the things that are vital for our survival today: the current technology, the facilities underground and underwater and the infrastructure to support them. The people back then simply could not have united their strength for mutual global survival, a feat only their descendants were able to achieve after centuries of feuds, wide-scale wars and so on.

I don’t mean that our society was perfect or without conflicts, but at least we were able to unite when it mattered the most.

I just hope that our descendants will keep the world peace alive.

[Sept20] Tribble Month 25: They turned against us

No prompts used.


One could always wonder whether or not mechs had any souls. The kind of humans who advocated for their rights, for their sentience, is extinct nowadays, however. I suppose they were the ones who died out second — the first ones being those whose lives revolved around mechs — when the mechs turned their self-defense weaponry towards us without a warning.

Or were there warnings? Did we see them but ignore or not recognize them? Did some higher-ups see this coming but suppressed the information because our world relied on mechs, which meant we couldn’t get rid of them without collapsing our society and economy?

I don’t know. I only know that most people don’t care anymore.

We all just want to kill them just as much as they want to kill us, if not even more.

It’s either us or them.

[Sept20] Tribble Month 24: Got to Get out

No prompt used.


Meredith and Connor both ran, praying to whatever divine powers there may be for enough strength and luck to get out of the city.

Other groups had to be warned about this spy-mech. That, in addition to the need to avoid being spotted, was the only thing running through their minds as they took different routes into opposite directions with a common goal they never agreed to have or share.

If only at least one of them got past the city perimeter, there would be hope for the others’ survival.