Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 4

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I’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

“The what?” Jane said, trying to gather her haphazard limbs into some semblance of decency. With her palm, she rubbed at the gloppy coating on the right side of her face, smearing it more than anything else.

“We ask the questions,” said the one who appeared to be the leader, as his hat — a stovepipe made of macaroni noodles, a wholewheat spaghetti ribbon and a carrot brim — had a fancy red pepper flourish.

“Mwaahhh haaaa haaa,” taunted the cone, whose name we recently learned was Barry. “Wait, what? What’s going on down there? I can’t quite see.” It shifted over the hole, blocking the light, narrowing the light, blocking the light, and narrowing it again.

“I said we ask the questions,” said the leader, jabbing his spear up in a wobbling arc as his hands were rather jiggly. “And will you stop doing that, because it’s kind of annoying.” His head landed back into a neutral position with a squelch, and he fixed his olive-slice eyes on Jane. “I will not ask you again. As the Grand Fermenter of the Tufurati, I demand you explain yourself.”

Jane flipped herself over and sat up, her hands behind her, the left one now in the puddle, the sauce oozing over to the back sides of her fingers. The leader’s lackeys loomed above her, appraising her coolly with their own olive slices. Except for the one in the in the corner. Jane got a glimpse of those pimento pupils and shivered.

“Hey,” said Barry, trying to maintain a tricky angle for a pointed cone, “I shrank her, so technically she’s mine.”

“Your what?” said Jane.

The leader straightened his non-shoulders and tightened his black bean lips. The growing rage floated from him, along with the tang of tamarind. “Pardon me, sir–”

“Uh, I would like to point out that I, like all ice cream cones, do not have a gender.”

“Fine,” said the leader, a flush of red pepper rising to his tofu cheeks, “Pardon me, Cone–”

“That’s better. But you can just call me Barry.”

“Berry?” said the Grand Fermenter of the Tufurati.

“BA-rry. Sheesh, why is this so hard?”

“Uh, hello?” said Jane. “Remember me? I just want to get out of this freezer.”

“That will not be possible,” said the Grand Fermenter. “As you have illegally crossed the border into Vegania, and from here there is no return.”

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

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Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil, Part 2

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I’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016.  During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

“I really wish you’d stop doing that,” Jane said, crisscrossing her forearms to rub her goose-pimpled flesh with her numbing fingers. She shouldn’t have left her jacket in the car. But it was a warm day, and she was only running in for an ice cream cone.

“I’ve been practicing my laugh for centuries,” the cone said, one sprinkled eyebrow arched high, “and I’m going to make the most of it.”

“You’ve been in this freezer?” Jane leaned against the freezer wall, but as the ice bit into her back, thought better of it.

“Yep.” The ice cream cone nodded, which looked mainly like the ice cream trying to wobble its way off the soggy waffle base.

Eyes narrowed, Jane angled her head. “For centuries?”

“Yah-huh.” With scrunched frosty lips, the ice cream cone leaned menacingly toward Jane. “Got a problem with that?”

“Yeah. Freezers have only been around for like, a hundred years or something.”

“I’ll have you know the first ice-making machine was invented in 1854!” the cone roared, close enough to Jane to cast her in a cloud of his chilly vanilla-scented breath.

She stepped a tad closer to the cone to get another whiff of a delicious exhale, the box under her bowing a little more. “But that’s not a freezer. And it’s not even enough to say ‘centuries.’ One-and-a-half, tops.”

“It’s called hyperbole!” Like a simmering volcano of frozen confection, a flow of chocolate fudge started at the top of his swirly peak and ran slowly down, gliding lumpily over the sprinkles. Jane couldn’t take her eyes off it. “Do not underestimate powers of my creamy magic!”

Without even thinking, Jane took another step nearer, reaching out with curved fingers for a swipe of that enticing chocolate rivulet.

“Do you have to yell everything? We’re in a closed freezer, I can totally hear–” is as far she got, as the frozen breakfast box buckled beneath her. Down, down she plunged. She clawed at the remains of the box, trying desperately to slow her descent, the soggy cardboard tearing away in her hands.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Jane Storegoer and the Cone of Evil: The Complete Stories, Part 1

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I’m taking a badly-needed technology break! To keep you entertained without my daily nonsense, I’m posting the complete stories of Jane Storegoer, a character who sprang to being during the #AtoZChallenge in 2016. Hope you enjoy!

NOTE: This series started as an A to Z Blogging Challenge post (V for Villain) last year, and morphed into an entire saga! During my break, I’ll post the installments daily. Can’t wait? Catch the rest of the posts here. They start from the bottom.

Couldn’t resist bringing Jane to you for J!

You can’t have a story without conflict. I mean, I guess you could, but I’m not sure how far it would go or how interesting it would be. Let’s try it:

Jane went to the store. Jane dug an ice cream cone out of the deepest corner of the chest freezer, loosening the ice around it to pry it out. Jane paid for the ice cream cone, got in her car, and drove home.

Whew. I don’t know about you, but that had me on the edge of my seat. So how do you get conflict?

Add a villain:

Jane went to the store. Jane dug an ice cream cone out of the deepest corner of the freezer, loosening the ice around it to pry it out.

“How dare you disturb my frozen rest!” the ice cream cone bellowed, shooting a barrage of sprinkles at Jane. She felt herself growing cold. “I curse you, I curse you, Jane Storegoer, and all of your descendants. My expiration date, long since past, earned me eternal freezitude, and you have defrosted it.”

Jane tried to loosen her grip on the cone, but like a tongue on a cold fence pole, her hand stayed put. The shelves around her wavered and dissolved into a crystal white, extending far beyond her sight and high above her. The ice cream cone grew and grew until it towered, glaring down at her with its peanut eyes. Walled in on all sides, ice clumped like boulders along the vertical expanse, she felt a smooth surface beneath her feet. It gave slightly.

“Where are we?” she said. She bent, brushing the fallen ice beneath her shoes. Was that…an Amy’s frozen Breakfast Scramble box? “Is this the freezer? Am I in the freezer?”

“Mwaahhh haaaa haaa,” laughed the ice cream cone evilly.

“But if I’m in the freezer, how can you curse my descendants? I don’t have any, unless you count my parakeet. You wouldn’t count a parakeet, would you? I think there’s something wrong with this plan here.”

“Mwaahhh haaaa haaa,” said the ice cream cone again, mainly for emphasis.

***

So I think we can all agree I’m having a weird morning ((Update: Still true. I must have a lot of weird mornings) Update to the update: YEP.) That aside, without an antagonist, your protagonist has nothing to do. Enter the villain. In this case, an ice cream cone. And here’s the thing about villains: they need to have their own agendas.

Villains need to be as complex as heroes. They need to have a why; that they’re just plain evil is as unsatisfying in fiction as it is in life. Our ice cream cone just wants to rest.

Or does it?

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

And somehow it’s Wednesday

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white and gray bird on the bag of brown and black pig swimming on the beach during daytime

I mean COME ON, it’s a pig giving a bird a ride. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve interrupted myself between the title and the body. That has to be a new record! I was making a list.

I have not yet checked it twice.

We’ve stumbled along into Wednesday, that day people call “hump day,” and yet I kind of see it like a well in the middle of the week, a depression. Not that kind of depression, though for a few people, no doubt it feels that way.

Some things have gotten done and others are falling by the wayside. Prioritizing. For example, I wanted a haircut this week, but it will have to wait, off in the distance of later. My stylist is in a small shop with her husband, and I haven’t been able to get hold of her. The rush is something entirely created by me, and thus can be dismissed just as easily.

Other things await on my list, some actually more fun than others, including picking out some books for my kindle. The Chicago Public Library has an amazing collection of ebooks you can check out from your couch. Feel free to leave suggestions!

Forward I go, perhaps into some serious consideration of reverting back to half-caff, and I wish you the power to dismiss the non-essentials from your list today too. It’s pretty fantastic.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Mellow Tuesday? Ha!

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sliced of citrus lemons

Does this have anything to do with post? Who cares, it’s a great photo. Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com 

 

Am I less frazzled than yesterday?

Eh.

Still trying to get a bunch of stuff done. And still trying to do it all at once. And this may be where all that yoga can prove helpful.

To slow down. To be in this exact moment when all I need to focus on, all I need to do is this blog post. Only the other part of my brain is doing that banging on the fish tank thing: “Uh, HELLO? What about the software you have downloading on another device right now? Don’t you need to see about it? And how about the laundry, huh? THE LAUNDRY. Forget your pesky words. LAUNDRY.”

That glass tapper sure loves to think about laundry.

If the meditations have taught me anything, it’s that I’m supposed to be able to recognize those thoughts, acknowledge them, and let them go.

But the letting them go is so much harder than it should be, when I could just, you know, get them done. Well, not the laundry, the laundry is a process, but you get the idea.

I will take a moment to breathe, yoga taught me that, too. And ah, that’s better.

Part of the problem of life is this desire to make the stress go away, to tame it, to control it. But we can’t do any of that; stress is a wild beast that always finds a way in.

Always.

The only thing we can change is how respond it it. Huh, maybe I’ve learned something from that yoga after all. Now, about that laundry…

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

I’ve nothing to say, so buy my books

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By FotoDawg (originally posted to Flickr as Baby Turtle) [CC BY 2.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve got nothing to say today, really. As a person who went through law school enthralled by the Constitution and with faith in the wisdom and impartiality of the Supreme Court, today is one of the darkest in American history.

So far.

Cheer me up, buy my books, read my books, and enjoy my books, let me know you enjoyed them.

We’ll chat again.

Like my political side? Read my opinion pieces here.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Instant escape

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Sometimes, when things are overwhelming here on Earth, which, these days, they frequently are, I like to imagine other planets way, way out in the reaches of space. I imagine what they look like, from a distance, blends of colors, nothing more than distant marbles.

And then I try to envision their surfaces, or what it’s like to be in a planet that’s only a ball of differently-colored gasses. The color of the sky. If they have rainbows, how they change depending on the atmosphere. What a storm is like.

But those aren’t my favorites.

My favorites are the ones where I imagine life, teeming life, different than ours but still alive. What sentience might look like there; what vegetation might look like there.

It gives me comfort to know that out there in the universe, life exists. It must exist, because the numbers of stars and their halos of planets is just too too vast for there not to be life.

Way out there, in that part of the universe we’ll likely never see, we are no more than a shadow passing in front of a star, our conflicts and problems concealed by endless space.

I’m sure those faraway planets have their own issues, but the ones I flicker into existence in my mind don’t. They’re calm, serene places where everything happening now here is nothing more than the imagining of a curious alien being.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.