The Ancient Art of Miàn duì Gōngjí

Over the weekend I manifested a new superpower to be added to the growing list alongside Making Shit Up and Where’s Waldo Echolocation. No, not invisibility. It would be useless anyway because I’d give myself away with the clacking on the keyboard. And no adamantium bones, which is fine. I don’t want to get the grope-down by setting off airport metal detectors every time I board a plane.

It was seven a.m. on a Sunday when I was forewarned of this development.  An annoying buzzing infiltrated my sleep, rattling my brain a bit. Spidey sense, one of the many other powers I’ve picked up over the years. That or…

When my wife Maaike’s phone stopped vibrating, she jabbed me in the face (which I totally didn’t see coming. The Spidey sense is weird like that) and said “It’s time”. Little did I know, this was only a warmup for the day ahead.

With my birthday approaching, she must have sensed the coming changes as well and maybe figured it was best if we were out of the house in case I maybe turned into living flame like the Human Torch. I really never understood how he lived a normal life. Does he clear out the station before pumping gas? Does he have an Emergency Plan set up with Sue? Okay, if I ever “flame on” in my sleep, we’ll meet at the fire hydrant out front.

Anyway, turns out my power was none of these. It was something better and to master it I had to learn an ancient Chinese martial art known as Miàn duì Gōngjí which is only practiced by a secretive, inbred tong. Most of them are missing their teeth and their noses have long since been pulped to their face like Voldemort, but this did not deter me. Though, in retrospect, it probably should have.

Turns out, attacking things with your face is pretty rough but effective. I mean nobody, not even you, sees it coming. The ultimate in sneak attacks.

After several repetitions, my red-suited sensei stopped laughing long enough to tell me that I was ready to unleash my new abilities. A power I’d been waiting for ever since these mutant abilities started to display themselves. The power of flight.

This was a singularly weird experience. It was like learning to swim but being told not to move or else the water will smash you against the side of the pool. Microscopic movements would shoot you across the width of the giant blender (clear walls for the entertainment of your “loved” ones) and trying to figure out which offending muscles had caused the incident was sorta like isolating which individual hair on your head itched.

When we finished, Maaike then decided to share some ancient Eastern wisdom she must have picked up from my sensei. She felt this gift was exactly what someone had meant when they mentioned a writer needed to “live their life outside their head as much as inside”. And that very wise person was right. All those experiences become fuel for the fiction. Add rich layers to the story and maintain the illusion.

I can’t wait until the next power rears it’s head.

I’ll have a helmet on standby and probably a face of steel by that point. But most importantly, I’ll have a new gift to pass on to the people that bother to stop and pick up my books or short stories. A gift of made up stuff tempered by a few reality checks against the inside of the blender.

Don’t leave me hanging (groan) check out the blog tour – dates are on the sidebar to the right. And don’t forget the SALE. .99 for the Crimson Son eBook!

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