Category Archives: Life

Writing: A Marathon

A victory smile with sister Selena Jones. We fell over seconds later.

Me and sister Selena Jones with victory smiles. We fell over seconds later.

Not a marathon of writing, but rather writing of a marathon. Instead of crafing a witty blog post Sunday night, I was soaking in Epsom salts – having completed the Carlsbad Marathon earlier in the day. For those of you not particularly predisposed to running in a long and mostly straight line, the following is a taste of the mental fortitude (read: insanity) required to survive one of the most grueling endeavors you can pay good money for. So go grab your Ultima sports drink and foam roller and let’s begin, shall we?

In a Car
You are in your car. It is dark outside. Piles of running gear surround you.

6:08am >LOOK AT GEAR
Of note are your racing bib, a set of pins, your gel fuel and your GPS watch.

6:08am >PUT ON RACING BIB
(with the pins)
You secure the bib to your shirt.
Your bib is pinned too high. You might rip your nipples off.

6:08am >ADJUST BIB LOWER
That’s better.

6:08am >GET GEL AND PUT ON WATCH
Taken.
You are now wearing a GPS watch.

6:09am >GET OUT OF CAR
Done, with pain. Your muscles feel very tight.

Parking Lot
You are in the mall parking lot. There is abundant activity to the west.

6:09am >WEST
Done, with pain. Your muscles feel very tight.

Near the Start
You are in a parking lot, surrounded on three sides by an endless sea of portable bathrooms. Marathon runners mill about, enjoying the easy access to relief (which will be impossible shortly due to the 7,000 half-marathon runners en route). There is a starting line visible to the south.
You hear announcements droning on in the background.

6:11am >LISTEN TO ANNOUNCEMENTS
A very excited individual is ushering people to the starting line. You take a moment to ignore him and wonder if you’ve paid your utility bills this month.

6:12am >STRETCH
Your calf muscles cramp violently in response. You are now filled with sporting terror.

6:13am >INV
You are carrying:
GPS watch (wearing)
gel fuel
a measure of sporting terror

The droning voice rises in tone and excitement.

6:13am >SOUTH

Starting Line
You are in a public street that is closed to traffic for race day. 1,999 eager runners are packed into the lane in front of you. An eager and nervous chatter fills the area near the back of the herd.

6:14am >LISTEN TO CHATTER
People wearing trash bags are complaining about the 50 degree weather. You stifle a cruel chuckle.

6:15am >PUSH THROUGH HERD
You’ve done this before. Nothing to be gained up there.
With the blast of an air horn and a resounding cheer from the crowd, the marathon begins.

6:15am >WALK TO START LINE
You follow the shuffling herd. As you cross the timing strip on the ground, someone shouts, “Moo!”

6:16am >START GPS
You wisely remember to activate the GPS Watch. You will now be ready to panic with scientific accuracy.

6:16am >RUN

Mile 1
You are plodding along and conserving energy, just ahead of the walkers.
Spectators with signs are cheering madly nearby.

6:27am >RUN
Your solid tempo takes you past the 4:30 pace runner. You would LOVE to finish in 4:30!
A sound like an airy thump-thump-thump approaches from behind.
A man bouncing a basketball catches you and matches your pace.

Mile 2
There is a man running and bouncing a basketball here.
Spectators with signs are cheering madly nearby.
A water stop is just ahead.

6:37am >GET WATER
You slow for a drink. The basketball guy nearly mows you down.

6:39am >RUN FASTER
Your pace increases. The thump-thump-thump of basketball remains close behind.

Mile 3
There is a man running and bouncing a basketball here.
Spectators with signs are cheering for the man with the basketball.

6:47am >SLOW DOWN
Your pace decreases. You can see the basketball thump-thump-thumping just steps ahead.
At a slight bend in the road, you all must stop for the basketball guy to manuever.

Mile 4
The road is still nice and flattish.
There is a man running, bouncing a basketball, and pissing you off nearby.

6:58am >PASS THE DAMN BASKETBALL GUY
He accelerates in response and mercifully vanishes into glory.

Mile 5
Just ahead the road leads up an on-ramp and begins to climb.
Spectators with signs cheer near a water stop.

7:07am >READ SIGNS
The signs offer messages about family, zombies and bowel movements.

7:07am >RUN

Mile 6
You are going uphill. A man is setting cups of beer on the sidewalk. A punk band is rocking out nearby.

7:16am >EAT GEL FUEL
Mmmmmm. Black Cherry.
The man slaps a cup of beer into your hand.

7:16am >DROP BEER
Wise move.

7:16am >RUN TO TOP OF HILL
A surf-rock band waves at you as you pass.
You hear an airy thump-thump-thump as the evil basketball guy goes charging past you back down the other way.

Mile 9
You are at the summit. There are no spectators here as this hill sucks.

7:43am >RUN DOWN HILL
Wheeeeeeeee!!!! That was fun! This might not be so terrible after all!

Mile 12
You are running through a business park that smells of salt and fish.
Medics are here, waving sticks covered in petrolium jelly at you.

8:12am >EAT GEL FUEL
Mmmmmm. Black Cherry.
One of the medics offers you pain killers, which you decline.

8:12am >RUN
You run strong and hard, filled with sporting joy and the rush of endorphins.

Mile 13
You are leaving the business park area, looking at a sharp, short hill. A ukelele band is rocking out nearby.

8:22am >RUN
The sharp, short hill hurts. A lot. Your sporting joy splatters on the ground. You rejoin the main race course and crash into a horde of 7,000 rabid half marathoners who started running 90 minutes after you did.

Mile 14
You are being passed by lots of fresh half-marathon runners. There is a band here, playing nothing and starting at you.

8:31am >EAT GEL FUEL
Mmmmmm. Black Cherry.
You realize you could really go for that beer you don’t have anymore.
A spectator leans into your path and screams, “You’re almost there!” You ignore him and continue on.

8:31am >RUN TWO MILES WITH CAUTION
You thankfully avoid being trampled. You are feeling nervous: This is where your stomach usually cramps up like a nightmare.

Mile 16
You are near the turnaround of the half-marathon. A sign on the side of the road invites you to keep going. A lone spectator waves a placard that reads, “Glad you picked the long one?”

8:50am >RUN
As you run, you sense that the flat looking road is actually angled downhill. You manage two miles without the need to vomit or otherwise dive into a portable restroom or large bush. Perhaps this year your stomach will cooperate!

Mile 18
You are at the final turnaround point for the full marathon course. You can confirm now that, yes, you had been running downhill. Three miles of gentle uphill are staring you in the face.
You cannot feel your hamstrings.

9:10am >RUN
You can’t do that.
A spectator leans into your path and screams, “You’re almost there!” You mutter a gruff, “Excuse me!” and continue on.

9:10am >JOG?
Fellow marathoners are falling off left and right with tight quads and rolled ankles. They protest your assistance and wave you on.

Mile 20
You are back at the turnaround point of the half-marathon course. All participants are back together for this final leg of the race. Lots of cheerful walkers and slow joggers fill the road alongside you.
You cannot feel your hamstrings.
Your hips feel sore.

9:32am >RUN
Not possible, Ace.
An elderly saviour offers you some orange slices. They taste like eternity and sunshine and unicorns.

9:32am >JOG
You continue on, adopting a bit of a duck waddle to get feeling back in your legs. As you pass a water station, a volunteer empties a cup of water onto your shoe. They apologize and offer a cup of pretzles which you hungrily devour.

Mile 23
You are in the adorable, quiant village-like setting of downtown. Tired spectators stand behind colorful signs and say little.
You cannot feel your hamstrings.
You cannot feel your calves.
Your hips are grinding sources of pain.

10:06am >DO ANYTHING BUT WALK
A spectator leans out and screams, “You’re almost there!” You snap the man’s neck and discard him in the bushes.

Mile 25
You are so close that you can feel the finish line beckoning you forward.
Strange, you cannot feel your body but you feel a lot of misery.

10:32am >RUN
You have inhaled a gnat.
Your gait has changed, you will be crippled soon.

10:32am >COUGH AND RUN
Cough, cough.
There is a gnat wriggling in your throat.
Your gait has changed, you will be crippled soon.

10:33am >SPIT AND RUN
Hack, cough, wheeze, *spit*.
You have swallowed a gnat.

Mile 26
You are near the finish line. A steep .15 mile long hill stands in front of you.
Your legs are disembodied.
Your hips are blinding points of agony.

10:44am >LOOK AT GPS WATCH
You see that you’ve already run 26.2 miles, due to dodging and weaving. Well, that sucks.
You are passed by an energetic looking runner holding a 4:30 pace banner.

10:44am >SPRINT LIKE THE DEVIL IS AFTER ME
You growl and charge ahead. You blow spittle through your clenched teeth. You draw strength from the cheers of the spectators. You scare the crap out of slower runners as you pound up behind them.

At the Finish Line
The finish line catwalk is before you. The announcer is calling your name as you thunder down the flat home stretch.
There is a photographer here.

10:46am >POSE FOR PHOTO
Your calf muscle asserts itself and cramps up. You stumble and nearly eat crap. The photographer flashes an evil smile and offers a sarcastic thumbs up.

10:46am >RUN
You jump/hop/flail across the finish line and end your epic journey. A kindly volunteer approaches and places a shiny medal around your neck.

Finishing Chute
You are in the finishing chute, a narrow pathway lined by chain link fence and filled with volunteers. More able bodied runners are dodging around you. There is an expo to the east.

10:47am >EAST
Sorry, your legs no longer work. You manage one single, gimpy step in that direction.

10:47am >EAST
Sorry, your legs no longer work. Another runner offers assistance, which you stupidly decline.

10:47am >EAST
Sorry, your legs no longer work. A volunteer offers chocolate milk.

10:47am >LOOK AT MEDAL
It is shiny, but it is not magical. It cannot help you walk.

10:48am >DRINK MILK
You drink it. It does not help.

10:49am >LEAN ON FENCE
Aaahhhhhhhh… Wise move.

*** YOU’VE WON!!!! FINAL TIME 4:29:53! ***

[To be followed up in 2015 when I go for 4:00 flat.]

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Of Writes and Wrongs

yac 1-16-14 glasses book

A Sidewalk Cafe
You are in a sea of wicker tables, most of which are filled with hipsters and stay at home parents. A caboose converted to a freestanding coffee bar serves the uncaffinated masses. The aroma of freshly ground coffee and sugary additives envelopes the scene in a comfortable home style haze. There are shops to the west.
(You are currently seated at a round wicker table.)
There is a laptop here on the table.

>LOOK AT HIPSTERS
The tablet wielding hipsters mingle and frolic in their impeccably mish-mashed clothing.
(Somehow you never managed to be this cool.)

>LOOK AT PARENTS
The stay at home parents laugh gaily and sip drinks in a well-rehearsed, relaxed fashion.
(Somehow you never managed to be this cool.)

>LOOK AT LAPTOP
Your laptop is on. Chapter 13 is on the screen, awaiting completion.

>WRITE NOVEL
(on the laptop)
A barista enters the area and stands at your table.
barista: “Sorry. You have no coffee. You can’t work here.”

>BUY COFFEE
barista: “You don’t seem to have enough money.”

>INV
You are carrying:
an arm
a leg
a list
laptop
money ($3.00)

>LOOK AT ARM AND LEG
arm: it is an average arm.
leg: it is an average leg.

>GIVE ARM TO BARISTA
barista: “What kind of place do you think this is?!”

>READ LIST
1 – buy lots of milk, cheese, yogurt.
2 – buy veggies
3 – write

>GET LAPTOP AND STAND UP
Taken.
You rise from the table. The hipsters snicker at your jeans and Atari T-shirt.

>WEST

Organic Matter Dairy
You are standing in front of a store called Organic Matter Dairy. Cheeses, yogurts, and milks of all variety assault your visual and olfactory senses. There is a coffee stand to the east and farm stand to the west.
A cashier is standing in front of the store with a knowing smile.

>ASK CASHIER ABOUT DAIRY
cashier: “Just name it and I’ll run inside and gather it for you!”

>GIVE LIST TO CASHIER
The cashier reads the list with a nod.
The cashier disappears into the store and returns with two nylon bags heavily loaded with dairy. You take the bags and sling them over your shoulder.

>PAY CASHIER
cashier: “$3.00 is not enough, sir. That’ll be an arm or a leg, please.”

>GIVE LEG TO CASHIER
That would make your remaining shopping rather difficult.

>GIVE ARM TO CASHIER.
cashier: “Thank you, come again!’
Your bags of organic dairy slip from your shoulder and clatter on the ground.
A pair of hipsters strolls past and chuckles at your domestic futility.

>GET BAGS
You wisely put the bags of organic dairy on your remaining good side.

>WEST

Farm Stand
At the west end of the strip mall area is a huge pop-up canopy festooned with cardboard replicas of roots and tubers. There are pre-packaged sacks of vegetables piled up in two mountains. An eager looking farmer stands between the piles.

>LOOK AT PILES
One pile of sacks is labeled ‘ORGANIC VEGGIES’. One pile of sacks is a labeled ‘CHEAPER CONVENTIONAL VEGGIES WITH ADDED PESTICIDES AND CHLORPROPHAM’

>GET VEGGIES
(which ones, the organic veggies, or the cheaper conventional veggies with added pesticides and chlorpropham?)

>GET CHEAPER CONVENTIONAL VEGGIES WITH ADDED PESTICIDES AND CHLORPR
I don’t know what you mean.

>ASK FARMER ABOUT VEGGIES
Farmer: “Got two types, kiddo. Your choice.”

>ASK FARMER ABOUT CHEAPER CONVENTIONAL VEGGIES WITH ADDED PESTICID
Farmer: “Didn’t quite get that kiddo, you ran out of space.”

>ASK ABOUT VEGGIES
Farmer: “If it doesn’t fit in the parser limit, you probably shouldn’t put it in your mouth.”

>GET ORGANIC VEGGIES
Done.

>PAY CASHIER
farmer: “$3.00 is not enough, sir. That’ll be just under an arm or a leg, please.”

>GIVE LEG TO FARMER
Farmer: “Thanks much, come again!”
The farmer hands you back some change.

>INV
You are carrying:
a list
laptop
bags of organic dairy
a sack of organic veggies
money ($8.00)

>EAST
You wobble/hop east, using the weight of your bags for balance.

Organic Matter Dairy
A cashier is standing in front of the store with a knowing smile.

>EAST
You shuffle/scoot east as best you can.

A Sidewalk Cafe
The hipsters titter and gawk at your awkward entrance on the scene.

>SIT AND OPEN LAPTOP
You seat yourself at a round, wicker table.
You open your laptop. You novel is back up on the screen.

>WRITE NOVEL
(on the laptop)
A barista enters the area and stands at your table.
barista: “You again. Can I help you sir?”

>BUY COFFEE
barista: “Oh, I’m sorry. The hipsters and stay at home parents have drank it all.”

>KILL BARISTA
barista: (laughing) “Oh, you’d have to take a number for that. You are welcome to stay while you wait!”

>WRITE NOVEL
(on the laptop)
You are too frustrated to write Chapter 13 right now.

>WRITE BLOG
(on the laptop)
Done.
One of the hipsters places a card on your table.

>READ CARD
“Next time, keep your limbs intact. Check out a site like LocalHarvest.org. Stay healthy, stay in one piece. Oh, and nice shirt.”

photo credit: Camera Eye Photography via photopin cc

The Creative Process

yac 1-13-14
You Are Carrying: The Creative Process
Copyright (c) 2014 Cordell Falk. All rights reserved.
Revision 42 / Serial Number OU812

You are a creative mind caught in a world of awkward impetus and grey malaise. The fulfillment of your every imaginative whim lies just over the horizon where the rising sun kisses the mountain peaks… behind the hilltops… over the ocean… and beyond the wasteland where you now stand.

A Dark and Lonely Starting Place
You are alone. There is an endless endlessness all about you. Obvious exits are in all directions.

>STATUS
You are in good health and spirits.
It has been one move since your last creative work.

>RESTORE GAME
Saved Game Name? >DAY3
Restored!

>LOOK

Kitchen
A standard issue kitchen setup sprawls before you. There is a well-stocked pantry to the south and the dining room to the east. Your office is to the West.
Your spouse is here.
There is a chicken dish on the counter.
There is a pile of vegetables nearby.

>LOOK AT SPOUSE
Your spouse is on soup detail, stirring and chopping with abandon.

>STATUS
You are tired and distracted.
It has been 1,823 moves since your last creative work.

>LOOK AT OVEN
The oven is pre-heated, awaiting your culinary talents.
Your brow perks up. You could write a cooking blog…

>SOUTH
Spouse: “Where are you going? Cut up that tomato and onion and get that chicken cooking!”

>LOOK AT CHICKEN
A masterfully spatchcocked chicken lies in a glass pan.
Your brow perks up. You could write some erotica…

>CUT TOMATO
You hand bounces off of the tomato harmlessly.
Your brow perks up. You could write a kung-fu comic…

>GET KNIFE
You don’t see one here.
Spouse: “What’s the hold up? The kids are starving!”

>ASK SPOUSE FOR KNIFE
Spouse: “In the drawer! Get it your damned self!”
Your brow perks up. You could write a demonic horror story…

>OPEN DRAWER
The open drawer reveals a collection of store receipts, assorted whisks, and a knife.

>GET ALL FROM DRAWER
knife: Taken.
receipts: You can’t allow your spouse to see those.
whisks: The whisks form an immovable tangle, a vision of metallic kudzu, invincible and taunting.

>CUT TOMATO
(with the knife)
The knife makes swift, clean slices through the ruby flesh. You imagine how such a weapon would fare against a hedge of metallic kudzu.

>DROP KNIFE
Dropped.
Spouse: “Really? On the floor?”

>GET KNIFE
Taken.
Spouse: “Get to that onion!”

>CUT ONION
(with the nasty knife)
Spouse: “You can’t use that, this floor is filthy!”

>WASH NASTY KNIFE
Water cascades in dual waterfalls around the blade of the knife.

>CUT ONION WITH KNIFE
Your grip on the wet knife fails. You deftly flip your wrist and the errant blade executes a single flip and lands back in your outstretched palm.

>DRY KNIFE
You dry off the handle and instinctively flip the knife around once more.
A vision of jungle adventures in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk universe has entered the room.
Spouse: “Seriously, any time now!!!”

>CUT ONION WITH KNIFE
Before you can cut, a tribe of cannibals enters your mental scene, swinging handfuls of the wickedly sharp metal kudzu vine in a terrible arc of terror and menace.

>STATUS
You are energized and horribly distracted.
It has been 1,839 moves since your last creative work.

>PUT CHICKEN IN OVEN
Done. You feel like you forgot something. The imaginary tribesmen cheer your success and you perform a double flip of knife to show off.
You wisely put down the knife before you accidentaly decapitate someone.

>KISS SPOUSE
Your spouse pulls back, noticing a familiar gleam in your eye.
Spouse: “Oh crap. You’re going to your office, aren’t you?”

>WEST
The tribesmen in your head follow you.

(Disclaimer: The oft-distracted author of this entry has never forgotten his children at the store or at school, but if anyone has seen his car keys, please respond!)

Photo credit: michael pollak
via photopin cc

The Parenting Game

medium_4684467836
photo credit: peasap via photopin cc

Today finds you, a harried and hopeful author, on babysitting duty at your sister’s cozy house. A 15 month old toddler could be a handful for some, but you have nothing to worry about. After all, you are a master of creative dilemmas and hectic deadlines.

Cozy Living Room
The smallish living room contains a fuzzy rug, a set of couches and a bookshelf filled with colorful, rhyming books. There is a hallway to the east and a kitchen to the south.
There is a diapered toddler here.
A dog is here, circling your legs expectantly.

>INV
You are carrying:
a proof copy

>LOOK AT PROOF COPY
Your only copy awaits nap time for final editing.

>LOOK AT TODDLER
Sweet. Innocent. He coos at your attention.

>SOUTH
The dog tags along behind you as you depart.

Kitchen
You are nearly blinded upon entering the room. The all white floor, walls, counters, and appliances are awash in glorious daylight from large windows over the sink.
There is a note on the counter.
A towel is draped over the oven handle.
A dog is here, circling your legs expectantly.

>READ NOTE
(Taken)
“If you fail to find the coming events humorous, Joelle Wisler offers a brief child rearing tutorial: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR KIDS SO THAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO LIVE WITH THEM
You don’t have your smartphone, so you discard the note.
The dog voraciously eats the note and lies down, satiated.

>GET TOWEL
Taken.
You hear crying from the living room.

>NORTH
Cozy Living Room
There is a diapered toddler here, crying.

>GET TODDLER
You trip on a lump in the rug and crash headlong into the corner of the bookcase, knocking yourself unconscious.
*** You have lost ***

(Quit, Restore, Go Back?) >GO BACK
Done.

Cozy Living Room
There is a diapered toddler here, crying.

>EXAMINE RUG
You spot an unusual lump beneath the rug. You lift the edge and retrieve a rubber tow truck. The dog enters the room and consumes the tow truck as if starving.

>GET TODDLER
No, he might wrinkle your proof copy.

>PUT PROOF COPY IN BOOKSHELF
Done.

>GET TODDLER
Taken. He winces at ceiling lights and screams wildly. The dog rushes into the room, all barking and slobber, and smashes through the front door, never to return. You don’t know how you’ll explain this one to your sister.
*** You have lost ***

(Quit, Restore, Go Back?) >GO BACK
Done.

>TURN OFF LIGHTS
The toddler falls silent. There is an awful sound and an unpleasant smell.

>TURN ON LIGHTS
Cozy Living Room
An undiapered toddler is here, giggling.
There is a small poopy here on the rug.

>GET POOPY
You are interrupted by an awful sound and an unpleasant smell.
(Which poopy, the small one or the orange one?)

>LOOK
Cozy Living Room
The smallish living room contains a fuzzy rug, a set of couches and a bookshelf filled with colorful, rhyming books. There is a hallway to the east and a kitchen to the south.
An undiapered toddler is here, giggling.
There is a small poopy here on the rug.
An orange poopy lies nearby.

>GET SMALL POOPY
You are interrupted by an awful sound and an unpleasant smell.
Your path is blocked by a wide, runny poopy.
The toddler wobbles out of the room and to the south.

>LOOK AT ALL POOPIES.
small poopy: You see nothing special.
orange poopy: You detect carrots.
wide, runny poopy: Something is not right here.

>PUT TOWEL ON RUNNY POOPY.
You are no longer cornered by the wide, runny poopy.

>SOUTH
Kitchen
An icky trail on the floor heads north back to the living room.
An undiapered toddler is here, giggling.

>GET TODDLER
You yank the child into the air, holding him at arms length. Best head for the bathroom.

>NORTH
You slip on the icky trail and hear a sharp *SNAP!* as the tendons in your ankle cease to agree with each other. You drop the toddler protectively onto your chest as you fall. Your shirt is likely ruined.

>CRAWL NORTH
Cozy Living Room
An undiapered toddler is here.
There is a small poopy here on the rug.
An orange poopy lies nearby.
A soiled towel is covering a wide, runny poopy.
A dog is here, growling at the bookcase.
The dog is carrying:
an unused diaper (attached)

>GET PROOF COPY FROM BOOKCASE
You protectively reach for your precious novel and the priceless edits within. You accidentally knock the diaper loose from the dog, further angering it. The dog tugs the proof copy from your grip and consumes it with gusto. The child claps and squeals with joy as you hear the sounds of a car returning home out in front of the house.
*** You survived! ***

You conclude your babysitting experience disappointed, frustrated, and severely injured. You also left the house in 235% worse shape than you found it. This gives you a score of 52 and a rank of ROOKIE PARENT (8 months exp.)

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY AGAIN?

>HELL NO

Thanks for playing! Comments left below from similarly experienced parents and/or authors may appear in future installments.

C:\WRITING\YAC>run

zorkbannerbarYou Are Carrying:
Copyright (c) 2014 Cordell Falk. All rights reserved.
Revision 1 / Serial Number 69,105

Dining Room Table
You are seated at a round table in a smallish kitchen nook. The wooden table top is etched with the scars and ghosts of one published novel and a dozen abandoned attempts. The kitchen proper is to the south.
There is a laptop(closed), an adult beverage, and a menacing dread of 2014 here.

>LOOK AT MENACING DREAD
The menacing dread of 2014 is of a standard variety. With luck it should be smaller and gentler in three months.

>SAY HELLO
(To meancing dread)
“Hello sailor!”

>SOUTH
You’ll have to stand up to do that.

>STAND UP
As you start to rise, the menacing dread of 2014 glowers at you and makes a low grumbling sound. You remain seated.

>INV
You are carrying:
nothing

>GET BEVERAGE
Taken. You notice something written on the side.

>READ BEVERAGE
“WARNING: Fizzy Pizzy drinks can be fatal if comsumed near or inside of menacing dread.”

>OPEN LAPTOP
Before your hands even brush the laptop, the menacing dread of 2014 thwacks you on the side of the head.

>G
As your fingers near the lid, the menacing dread of 2014 bellows gibberish in your ear, distracting you.

>G
As you move for the laptop, the menacing dread of 2014 softly sings a sad ballad and you collapse, weeping.

>KILL FEAR
With what?

>WITH HANDS
As with most mental fabrications, the menacing dread of 2014 slips through your clutching grasp.

>KILL FEAR WITH BEVERAGE
The menacing dread of 2014 gleefully devours the adult beverage. It appears to have weakened slightly.

>OPEN LAPTOP
The laptop whirs out of sleep mode. A hodgepodge of fiction in various states of not-quite-perfect fills the screen. A bright yellow TO DO BOX in the corner has one entry.

>READ TO DO BOX
TO DO BOX: “Have more fun and write more stuff.”

>SAY GOODBYE
(To menacing dread)
The meancing dread of 2014 looks back expectedly at you.

>CLOSE FICTION WINDOWS
Most of an empty workspace is now visible on the laptop screen.

>CLOSE TO DO BOX
The workspace is clear and ready for greatness. The menacing dread of 2014 shuffles uncomfortably nearby.

>START BLOG
You type the first letters and the menacing dread of 2014 disintegrates in a swirling cloud of blurry pixels and monochrome ansi graphics.

>LOOK

Dining Room Table
You are seated at a round table in a smallish kitchen nook. The wooden table top is etched with the scars and ghosts of one published novel and a dozen abandoned attempts. The kitchen proper is to the south.
There is a laptop(open) here.
An oppressive guilt of 2013 wanders into the room. It notes your fresh blog and then shuffles back out of the room with a sheepish apology.

>SAVE
Game Saved.