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Short Stories – Skeletons in the Closet

Sunday, I presented a new story at The Encyclopedia Show in Minneapolis. The theme of the show as Pirates.

Since I’ve been writing short fiction, my typical focus for these shows is to put together a short story.  Initially, I’d been thinking about a time travel story involving Blackbeard. But then I decided I’d write about something I knew a little better.

I also drew a tiny bit from a story some friends told me about this attraction. I’m afraid there are no Jungle Book skippers in this one. Literally five people will get that reference so I left it out.

For those who read my stories, thanks! I’m going to try to work back up to once per week (from once per month)!

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Short Story – Chole the Andean Marsupial Tree Frog

I wrote a piece for the Encyclopedia show this weekend. The topic was marsupials and originally, I’d planned on writing some mad libs because last week was a crazy week and mad libs are funny and easy to write. Also, audience participation is awesome!

So as I was doing research for my Mad Libs, I discovered marsupial tree frogs, which are a real thing. Zoologically speaking, they aren’t “true” marsupials for a whole lot of reasons that are not the least bit interesting or relevant here.

But having discovered the marsupial tree frog and being fairly certain I would be the only presenter at the show who talked about them (I was right), I decided to scrap my original, easy, idea and instead write a short story about all about a Andean Marsupial Tree Frog named Chloe. And zombies.

And so I did. And here it is. My inspiration was true life nature documentaries. And Andean Marsupial Tree Frogs

I hope you like it!

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Short Story – The War For Christmas

Two weeks in a row!  Go me!

This story started as I was thinking about The Last Jedi, which I really loved, and wondering about the people who really hated it. I mean, I understand not liking it but I think the hatred is pretty extreme.  So I set about trying to create the worst movie imaginable.  Then my thoughts naturally turned to the consequences of making such a movie.

So here we are. There are no heavy themes addressed here. It’s just a story about the catastrophic results of making a catastrophic movie. Also don’t worry – the picture of Jennifer Lawrence will make sense pretty quickly.

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Short Story – The Last Tour

I haven’t been writing anything for a few weeks. Just kind of hit a wall.

Sometimes, though, you need to just do something. And writing is something I just needed to do.

This week, I have a short story that inhabits a world I’d really like to flesh out a little more. The idea here was to create a world beyond the edges of the story. A world that made you go “whoa – what’s going on?”

The basic concept was a 40’s or 50’s elevator operator at the Empire State Building and the woman who operated the souvenir stand on the observation platform. It grew from there.  

If you’ve been reading my blog and have noticed I’ve been gone for a month – sorry about that. Sometimes we all need a break.  I hope you enjoy!

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Short Story – The Last Morning

I’ve been having trouble staying focused and getting my stories written so let’s say this is me trying to re-commit to my daily/weekly writing sessions.

This actually isn’t a short story. This is the first chapter of a longer story that is probably not novel length but we shall see.  It is very much science fiction although there aren’t too many indications of what is going on in the first chapter. It is setting up a lot of things that will become a lot more clear as the story progresses

I had the idea as a sort of dystopian near future where the rich have gotten a lot richer and the options for the poor are a lot more dangerous and dire. I looked at the way we view immigrants in this country and imagined that things were going to get worse even as taboos around things like same sex relationships become less important to society as a whole.

I also decided to make my main character a person of color because I think diversity in storytelling is important. I admit I’m still wrestling with how much or how little the color of her skin will have to do with the arc moving forward.

Anyway, for those of you who have been asking for me to write some more, I’m sorry it took so long. For those of you would didn’t really miss it, you were probably fine anyway!

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Short Story – Hot Tea

Hot TeaIt has been a while since my last short story.  Fortunately, I signed up to do a storytelling show about dragons and I was compelled to write something new!

This entire story grew out of being amused by the idea of a dragon sipping tea.  I don’t know why that image really stuck with me but it resulted in what I wrote here.

I also made the decision to avoid giving the dragon a gender.  It is not the same as creating a truly gender neutral character – something I hope I can do in a future story – but I didn’t feel the gender of the dragon was relevant.

As always, I hope you take a moment to read, comment, share and enjoy!

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Short Story – Dark and Stormy

The inspiration for this story began with the cliche opening “It was a dark and stormy night.”  While I’m not the first writer to try to come up with something interesting to do with that sentence I can say that I am, for a brief period of time, the most recent.

Because the line is a well worn cliche, I chose to use a character I created for a radio play about three years ago.  Rick Dickerson, cliche private eye, seemed like the best character to deal with the most cliche opening line ever.

The result is a short piece that is, I hope, pretty silly.

I’ll be reading this story live during the pre-show to Power Point Karaoke on Friday, April 14th.  If you are in the area, you should come and watch!  Two other writers will be presenting stories as well!

As always, you are free to comment and share!

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Short Story – Collecting Lives

This week’s short story was written to be presented as part of The Encyclopedia Show at Die Laughing.  The theme of the show was public transportation.

The format for The Encyclopedia Show allows performers to present anything that connects to the theme.  Because I’ve been writing a lot of fiction, I decided to write a story about a bus driver

It’s a much more bittersweet story that I typically write and it is more of a character study than anything else.  But hey – it’s about public transportation!  Sort of.

For being written in a state of sleep deprivation at 8:00 in the morning, I feel like it turned out well.  As always, feel free to read, comment, and share!

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Short Story – The Forest

This week’s story is a very brief little horror piece.  In a rare occurrence, the entire narrative came to me all at once.  I knew the beginning, middle, and end.  Often, I know only the end or the beginning when I start writing.

When I think about horror, sometimes what I’m looking for is an object that isn’t particularly dangerous but has a hidden feature that makes it dangerous.  In this story, I picked something that often ignite people’s imaginations but aren’t inherently dangerous outside of your own fears.

Then I asked myself “what if there was a really good reason to be afraid?”

As always, I hope you enjoy and please comment and share if you are so inclined!

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Short Story – Farmer’s Almanac Gordon

This week’s short story is a weird one.

A few weeks ago, I wrote this story to be presented as part of a show called The Encyclopedia show.  Performers are asked to come up with a presentation on a specific topic and it is always interesting to see the variety of work the topics inspire.

The topic for this show was Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts.  I assumed (correctly), that most everyone was going to talk about the Girl Scouts in some way shape or form.  So I opted out of that concept.

Instead, I decided to write about her youth, when she was known simply as Juliette Gordon.  Further, I decided to write about her youth in post Civil War Georgia as if she was the protagonist in an Encyclopedia Brown story.  I can’t ever be certain if anyone in the audience completely understood what I was going for that evening.

Anyway, here is a story about a little girl in post Civil War Georgia who helps her father solve crimes.  Or rather…well, you’ll see.

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