Category Archives: Writing

#BOOKWINS – New Hat for Old Tricks

bookvbeerfree

Trying something new on the marketing front today.  While watching my Amazon sales counter tick up this weekend (i.e. watching paint peel) I wandered over to Facebookland and Twitterville to see what all the people were buying instead. After a few minutes of seeing exuberant commerce and shameless product-inclusive selfies I knew what had to be done.

Take the fight to them, tongue firmly in cheek.

bookvbaconfree

I’m trying a few out this release week for my new novel.  The first ebook in that series will be free through Friday – so I started with that one. Grab it below!

Valley of the Damned – Kindle: FREE – click here!

VotD 2: Fool’s Gold:$2.99 Kindle $9.99 Paperback

As usual – thanks to the folks and artists at Photopin:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/37657778@N07/4922320119″>Pints of Beer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/84853566@N00/3111391644″></a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The March (and April) of Real Estate (Part Deux)

All of this is still applicable – excepting the part where House #7 dissolves into a pit of lava… Our backup offer worked! (6 months later). After these months of intense moving/building activity I can get back to visiting this lovely oasis of snark. But first a recap… : )

It's not a shithole, it's an OPPORTUNITY!
It’s not a shithole, it’s an OPPORTUNITY!

You are carrying:

It's not a shithole, it's an OPPORTUNITY! It’s not a shithole, it’s an OPPORTUNITY!
photo credit: edenza via photopincc

In Front of Dream House #7
You are standing before a nice, two story house with the prefect number of rooms, the ideal amount of non-grass yard, a lovely pool and deck area, and a perfectly sized guest structure off to one side.
A real estate agent is standing nearby.

>AGENT, WHOSE HOUSE IS THIS?
Agent: “Hopefully yours! It’s been 2 long months of house hunting and deal making, so just sign those papers and your dreams will come true!”

>AGENT, WHAT CONTRACT?
The agent gives you a funny look.

>INV
You are carrying:
a purchase contract
a pen
a deep bitterness
a flask (containing booze)

>GIVE BITTERNESS TO AGENT
The agent takes the bitterness from your hands and gives it a thorough inspection. “I’ve seen worse,” she says, handing it back.

>WHAT IS DREAM HOUSE #7?

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The March (and April) of Real Estate

It's not a shithole, it's an OPPORTUNITY!

It’s not a shithole, it’s an OPPORTUNITY!


photo credit: edenza via photopin cc

In Front of Dream House #7
You are standing before a nice, two story house with the prefect number of rooms, the ideal amount of non-grass yard, a lovely pool and deck area, and a perfectly sized guest structure off to one side.
A real estate agent is standing nearby.

>AGENT, WHOSE HOUSE IS THIS?
Agent: “Hopefully yours! It’s been 2 long months of house hunting and deal making, so just sign those papers and your dreams will come true!”

>AGENT, WHAT CONTRACT?
The agent gives you a funny look.

>INV
You are carrying:
a purchase contract
a pen
a deep bitterness
a flask (containing booze)

>GIVE BITTERNESS TO AGENT
The agent takes the bitterness from your hands and gives it a thorough inspection. “I’ve seen worse,” she says, handing it back.

>WHAT IS DREAM HOUSE #7?
Dream House #7 is the latest is a string of comical attempts to play the real estate game and shed the undersized chrysalis of a dwelling that you currently call home. Sure, it’s no Dream House #4, but…

>SIGN CONTRACT FOR DREAM HOUSE #7
Agent: “I really think that dream house #4 was more your style!”

>SIGN CONTRACT FOR DREAM HOUSE #4
As you scribble down some information, the agent’s phone rings. She cups her hand over the receiver and sadly states, “I’m sorry, but the county says the septic system is illegal. You still want this one? House #3 was very nice!”
(Your bitterness increases by 5 points.)

>SIGN CONTRACT FOR DREAM HOUSE #3
The agent checks her smartphone.
Agent: “I’m sorry, but that was the owner. He says he had to bulldoze the patio and fill in the pool at House #3. And he is raising the price by $50,000. You know, House #1 was a winner from the beginning…”

>SIGN CONTRACT FOR DREAM HOUSE #1
A sparrow flits over and twitters something in the agent’s ear.
Agent: “Oh, mercy! They just found a sinkhole in the garage of House #1! We can ask for a discount or perhaps House #5?”
(Your bitterness increases by 5 points. Your bitterness has leveled up.)

>WHAT IS DREAM HOUSE #5?
Dream House #5 was similar to House #1, 2, 4, and 7, excepting a ridiculous new mark up on the price.

>DRINK FLASK
You drain the last mouthful.
Agent: “I know it’s been a long week! Sorry!”

>AGENT, IT’S BEEN TWO MONTHS
Agent: “Potato, Potahto.”

>THROW FLASK AT AGENT
You miss.

>SIGN CONTRACT FOR DREAM HOUSE #2
The agent stops your hand from writing.
Agent: “Oopsie! Once again, a little glitch on the inspections there… Do you REALLY think that toxic mold means… toxic? It IS covered up, after all!”

>AGENT, HOW MUCH IS HOUSE #5?
Agent: “Far, far, FAAAAAAAR too much! Are you interested?”

>SIGN CONTACT FOR DREAM HOUSE #5
Agent: “Oh no, too late! Seller says they are already under contract!”

>SIGN ALL CONTRACTS
The agent coughs uncomfortably.
Agent: “Actually it seems that all houses we’ve been watching already had offers before they hit my MLS. We can put in a backup offer on this house here, House #7, if you’d like?”

>MAKE BACKUP OFFER ON HOUSE #7
As your pen touches paper the ground shutters beneath your feet and a thunderous roar echoes around you. A sour orange glow bursts up from beneath the Dream House as demonic spirits lurch up from a hidden graveyard and, clutching and wailing, crush the dwelling down into their hellish lair under the soil.

>AGENT, WHAT NOW?
Your agent shrugs.
Agent: “Maybe knock ten grand off?”
(Your bitterness increases by 20 points. Your bitterness has reached max level!)

Once Upon A Time On Vacation

London Bridge may be falling down, but they're ripping the old Oakland Bridge apart the hard way.

London Bridge may be falling down, but they’re ripping the old Oakland Bridge apart the hard way.

In a Driveway
You are standing in your driveway. There is a minivan full of luggage here.

>STATUS
Today is February 27th. You are stressed out. Your mother-in-law is corralling the boisterous, screaming children. You have also not posted a blog for seven days and kind of suck for that.

>WRITE BLOG
What would you like to use to write your blog?

>USE CELL PHONE
As your phone lights up, your spouse emerges from the house and announces that you are ready to leave on vacation.

>WRITE BLOG
No time, you need to drive!

>DRIVE
You fire up the van and head off from home to enjoy a stimulating drive up from San Diego through Los Angeles.

>DRIVE NORTH
You deftly drive through the traffic. Yup, it’s stimulating.

>WRITE BLOG
You can’t do that while driving.

>DRIVE NORTH

North of Los Angeles
You are now north of Los Angeles, near Magic Mountain theme park.

>RIDE ROLLER COASTERS
No time to get vertigo today.

>DRIVE NORTH

Kettleman City
You are in Kettleman City. There is a gigantic fake western town under construction here and an In-and-Out Burger.

>EAT IN-AND-OUT
Your stomach thanks you as you briefly mourn for those souls who don’t know the glory of an In-and-Out Burger.

>LOOK AT WESTERN TOWN
You are giddy with the nerdy anticipation of a western author.
westtown

>PLAY IN WESTERN TOWN
After a quick jaunt through the construction site, your spouse reminds you of the time.

>DRIVE NORTH
It is not your turn to drive.

>ENTER VAN
Done. Your spouse fires up the van and heads north into the hilly nowhere.

Middle of Nowhere
You are in the middle of nowhere. You still owe the universe a blog post.

>WRITE BLOG
Your spouse reminds you that it is bad form to tell the universe (and the vicious thieves that live there) when you’re not at home.

>WRITE BLOG
You boldly fire up your software and scowl as the Internet ceases to exist. You may as well relax.

>WAIT
Your spouse finishes the drive to San Francisco.

San Francisco – Parking Garage
You are in San Francisco parking garage. There is a ramp heading down to 8th Street and a hotel here.

>GO DOWN RAMP
You cannot do that. There is urine and other icky stuff down there.

>ENTER HOTEL

HOTEL ROOM
You are in a hotel room. There is a King sized bed here, devoid of screaming children (a scenario wholly unfamilar to you).
There is a bottle of wine on the bar counter.

>SAVE GAME
Game saved.

>WRITE BLOG
You head for your laptop and promptly acquire the crappy spouse of the year award.
(You have lost 200 points)

>RESTORE
Game restored.

>ENJOY VACATION
Done. 2 awesome days pass.
(You have earned 200 points)

HOTEL ROOM
You are in a hotel room. There is a King sized bed here, devoid of screaming children (a scenario wholly unfamilar to you).
There is an empty bottle of wine on the bar counter.
There is a flyer on the bar counter.

>LOOK AT FLYER
There is going to be a history event at the Old San Francisco Mint today.

>GO TO MINT
You attempt to reach the Old Mint but relent to the urgent pull of hunger.

>FIND FOOD
You discover a restaurant at Sixth and Market called Showdogs.

>BUY FOOD
You are glad you did. An all-beef sausage, fries and a Lagunitas Sucks later, you are ready to commit to history.
sausage

>GO TO MINT

Outside – The Old Mint
You are outside the Old San Francisco Mint. Golden shutters cover the windows around the lower floor and you can’t help but wonder which one your Western Novel hero character would break into.
A steep staircase cut through solid gray granite leads to a historical shindig.

>ENTER OLD MINT

Inside – The Old Mint
You are standing inside of the Old San Francisco Mint. Costumed characters mill about, bringing specific color to the historical displays that fill the rooms.
To the east and west are historical displays. Stairs wind downward into darkness where the vaults await. A bright passage to the north leads to a
courtyard.

>STUDY OLD MINT
sfsteel

You head room to room and downstairs and upstairs, drawing sketches and marking doorways for later use in fictional accounts. You finish hours later, standing in a central vestibule.

In a Vestibule
You are in a central passageway in the Old Mint. A long table filled with cupcakes and tasty desserts flanks the south wall.
The swollen head of Joaquin Murrieta floats in a nearby jar.
A costumed Leland Stanford is sitting here, guarding the cupcakes.

>LOOK AT HEAD
You are almost mostly positive that it’s not a real head. But, wow.

>GET CUPCAKE
Leland Stanford waves his arms, blocking your move.

>LELAND, GO BEARS
Leland Stanford is amazingly not impressed. He sulks away to seek assistance, leaving the cupcakes unguarded.
(As the spouse of a Cal grad you have gained 150 points)

>EAT CUPCAKE AND LEAVE TIP
You devour a tasty pastry and leave a donation on the table.

>WRITE BLOG
As you tap the pseudo-keys on your Iphone, a costumed historian attempts to shanghai you onto a boat to, well, Shanghai.

>EXIT MINT
You wisely head back outside.

Outside – The Old Mint
You are outside the Old San Francisco Mint. Golden shutters cover the windows around the lower floor and you now know your Western Novel hero character will be breaking into the window at the southwest corner of vault room V5.
A steep staircase cut through solid gray granite leads to a historical shindig.

>WRITE BLOG
A homeless fellow edges close, eyeing your cell phone. You sense the need to go enjoy more vacation.

>CONTINUE VACATION
Another 24 hours vaporizes before your eyes…

>WRITE BLOG
There is no time, you have to go home now.

>DRIVE HOME
Done.

Home
You are sitting at your kitchen counter, exhausted but with post vacation satisfaction.
There is a laptop here.

>STATUS
You are back home, grandparents relieved, children sleeping soundly, spouse relaxing on the couch.

>WRITE BLOG
Done.

I love it… Kill it!

...and if it doesn't come back, it probably sucked in the first place.

…and if it doesn’t come back, it probably sucked in the first place.

photo credit: admitchell08 via photopin cc

Writing, like any art, is a time consuming labor of love. When wrapped up in such a massive personal investment, it is easy to forget that the entire act of creation is optional; that sometimes the best way to FINISH the project is to simply stop creating…

>START GAME

Garage
You are in a garage that has been converted to a recreational room. Arcade machines and scrapbooking items line the north and south walls. Outdoor carpeting on the floor and a stash of booze in the corner display case will keep you from freezing. A table in the middle of the room is set up with all the implements of an aspiring author. In the corner of the room there is a door to the outside world and another that leads back inside the house.
There is a laptop here.

>SCREAM
You emit a hearty battle cry to the Gods of creativity.

>TURN ON LAPTOP
The system clicks and blinks to life.
Laptop: “Good day, writer! Are you ready to craft glorious fiction!?”

>NO, NOT REALLY
Laptop: “Sorry to hear! You’re so close to being done!”

>FINISH WIP
You’ll have to write something new. Your WIP deadline has passed.

>INV
You are carrying:
a wallet
a deadline
a table of contents

>LOOK AT DEADLINE
Accordingly to this 4th deadline, your beta readers expected your novel draft last week.

>ENTER DOOR
(which door, the door to the house or the door leading outside?)

>OUTSIDE

Outside the House
You are just outside the garage side entrance door. It is pitch black out here in the moonless night. You are likely to be abducted by aliens.
There is a trash can here
There is a recycling bin here

>RECYCLE DEADLINE
Like a used water bottle, the deadline comes back in a new form and with an improved ‘use by’ date.

>ENTER HOUSE

Garage
There is a laptop here

>WRITE
How much would you like to write?

>ALL OF THE REST
Don’t be ridiculous. That’s too much at once.

>WRITE SOME FICTION
You’ll have to be more specific. Better check the log.

>READ TABLE OF CONTENTS
It is a listing of chapters for your WIP that reads 1 through 38. Chapters 9, 28, and 37 are highlighted in red.

>WHAT IS CHAPTER 9?
Chapter 9 of your WIP is an engaging display of fancy description and brilliant yet directionless dialogue as you currently fail to enamor your reader to your new characters.

>FIX CHAPTER 9
Your heroine and bit characters glare at you in confused response.

>ADD A PERSONAL TRAGEDY TO CHAPTER 9
Done.
(+13 to backstory)

>ADD A DIARY TO CHAPTER 9
Done. A sense of balance and peace settles over the characters inside this chapter.
(+9 to structure. Your novel is now passable.)

>WHAT IS CHAPTER 37?
Chapter 37 is a gripping episode in which action overshadows form and unanswered questions are left brutally unanswered.

>FIX CHAPTER 37
Your hero and antagonist look up mid-grapple and await clearer instruction.

>ADD FIRM ANSWERS TO CHAPTER 37
Done. The opposing parties finish their brawl and sigh with satisfied relief.
(+23 to closure. Your novel is looking quite good.)

>READ TABLE OF CONTENTS
It is a listing of chapters for your WIP that reads 1 through 38. Chapter 28 is highlighted in red.

>WHAT IS CHAPTER 28?
Chapter 28 of your WIP is a fine example of classic American fiction in which characters are stuck in a romantic tangle with muted fire and nary a resolution in sight.

>ADD ROMANCE TO CHAPTER 28
You sprinkle in cupids and hearts to little effect.
(+1 to romance. -5 to clarity.)

>ADD PASSIONATE KISSING TO CHAPTER 28
Your characters fall into a rousing embrace. Events in Chapters 18 and 33 no longer make any sense.
(+53 to reader confusion. Your novel has issues once again.)

>REMOVE KISSING
Done. All kissing has been swept from the book.
(-123 to gender sensitivity)

>UNDO
All kissing restored.
(+123 to gender sensitivity)

>REMOVE KISSING FROM CHAPTER 28 AND HELP?
Done. Perhaps you can try a more subtle, background approach.

>ADD BONDAGE SWING TO CHAPTER 28
That didn’t qualify as subtle.
(+32 to kinkiness. -60 to continuity. -20 to tone.)
Your noble hero character looks nervous.
Due to poor structure, a flock of rogue chickens has entered the room.

>ADD WHISPERED SECRETS TO CHAPTER 28
Your hero mouths dark truths to the pecking chickens. Your heroine is in the corner, tentatively spinning the bondage swing with one curious finger.
(-90 to continuity. -130 to tone.)
Your main antagonist has entered the room. A braying donkey has entered the room.

>REMOVE ANTAGONIST
The braying donkey is too distracting to the text for you to make that update. The antagonist saunters into the corner to inspect the bondage swing along with a now quite interested young heroine. You appear to be losing control of the novel.
(-100 to everything. Your novel is now bad literary comedy.)

>REMOVE DONKEY
The donkey resists your efforts with a flurry of kicks. Your hero is struck in the gonads and falls to the ground, mortally wounded. The antagonist sweeps the heroine off her feet and leaps onto the donkey to make his getaway.
(-100 to everything. Your novel is now a fictional cesspool.)

>KILL CHAPTER 28
Your characters, human and animal alike, freeze in mid-step and pivot their fearful stares in your direction.
(What do you want to kill chapter 28 with?)

>WITH LAPTOP
Laptop: “Oh sure, make ME the bad guy.”
With a series of torturous clicks, the deceased hero, the sordid heroine, the suave antagonist, the pile of animals, and all the miserable rest of chapter 28 cease to exist.
(+675 to structure, +102 to tension, +50 to tone.)

*** Winner! You have finished your first draft! ***

Of course that’s all much easier said than done… I’ve been stuck on the same nasty ol’ chapters for a few months now. How long does everyone else give a troublesome section before it’s off to the circular file?

(Re)Pressing Matters

"...now we see the violence inherent in the system!"

“…now we see the violence inherent in the system!”

You’d like to write. No, you’d LOVE to write. So, by God… that will be your mission for the day.

At the Kitchen Table
You are at a table. Dirty dishes cover the far side of the circular surface, while the near side is buried beneath wrinkled sheets of plot outlines and character sketches. Your laptop hums among the latter pile.
There is a laptop open here.

>WRITE NOVEL
You’d love to, you really would, but something stops you.

>WRITE DIALOGUE
Try as you might, you can’t do that.

>KILL WRITERS BLOCK
The writer’s block is not the problem.
A pressing matter enters the room and perches itself on your laptop, obscuring your field of vision.

>STAND UP
Done.
The pressing matter follows close behind.

In the Kitchen
You are in a kitchen that has seen recent catastrophe in the form of burned eggs. Scorched pans sit on the stove and a dank, heavy smell permeates every corner. It does not, however, smell like napalm, thus it does not smell like victory.
Your spouse is standing nearby.
A pressing matter is here.

>SPOUSE, STATUS
Your spouse is healthy and happy. There is a good chance of ‘adult time’ in your future.

>SPOUSE, SCRUB BURNED PANS
Your spouse gives you a glare that seems to say “Excuse me?!”
Your spouse is now noticably nonplussed. There is a small chance of ‘adult time’ later in the week.

>LOOK AT PRESSING MATTER
It’s your standard, everyday pressing matter. There is a giant dollar sign on the front of it.

>SHOW PRESSING MATTER TO SPOUSE
Trust me, your spouse knows all about the pressing matter.

>KILL PRESSING MATTER
You’ll have to be more specific.

>INV
You are carrying:
a dollar
a shirt(on your back)

>GIVE DOLLAR TO PRESSING MATTER
The pressing matter consumes the dollar with sadistic glee. It appears to not be fazed.

>GIVE SHIRT OFF MY BACK TO PRESSING MATTER
You can’t go to work naked, so that won’t help things.

>GIVE PRESSING MATTER TO SPOUSE
Spouse: “I can’t possibly resolve that alone.”

>WAIT
The pressing matter bumps into the counter, knocking a box onto the floor.

>OPEN BOX
Inside the box is a menial day job next to a burdensome day job.

>GIVE BOTH JOBS TO SPOUSE
Spouse: “No.”
Your spouse is now noticeably displeased. There might possibly be a remote chance of ‘adult time’ next Tuesday, about 11.

>GIVE BURDENSOME DAY JOB TO SPOUSE
Done.
Your spouse has generated income. Your spouse is now exhausted.
The pressing matter appears to have weakened slightly.

>GET MENIAL DAY JOB
Taken.
You have generated income. It is now nighttime. Your brain is now Swiss cheese.
The pressing matter quietly fades from view.

>SIT DOWN
(at the table)
Done.

At the Kitchen Table
There is a laptop open here.

>WRITE NOVEL
You can’t do that. The plot has fallen out of your head.

>STAND UP
Done.

In the Kitchen
Your exhausted spouse is slouching nearby.

>SPOUSE, FOLLOW ME TO BEDROOM
Your spouse tags along close behind; they enter the bedroom and crawl immediately between the sheets. You get only a single wink goodnight before your spouse passes out to dreamland.

>SLEEP
I guess there is always tomorrow. Sweet dreams!

*** You have lost! ***

(Play again?) >DIE
I’ll take that as a no.

C:\WRITING\YAC\2-10-14\_

Hello Monday, It’s Wednesday…

What the hell is a gigawatt?

What the hell is a gigawatt?

The chime of a Cupertino Marimba rouses your weary soul. After a quick peck on the cheek of your spouse, you kick off the toasty comforter (gently, your spouse is not as equally inclined to rise this early), and swing your legs to the floor. You reach over to your dresser and instinctively swipe a to-do list from the atop the pine surface, then stagger out towards the living room.

Living Room
You are in your living room. Or, by all visual accounts, a cookie warehouse. Your kitchen lies to the south. Dozens of cases of Girl Scout cookies form a narrow passage that blocks your way into other parts of the house.

>SOUTH

Kitchen
You are in the kitchen. There is naught a sliver of light from the moonless sky outside the windows. Candace sits on the counter near the sink, bathed in the eerie amber glow of a full power charge. A digital clock beams greenish numbers at you from over the microwave.

>LOOK AT CLOCK
It is 4:22am.

>STATUS
You feel very much like it is 4:22am.

>INV
You are carrying:
a to-do list

>READ TO DO LIST
Things to do for Monday:
kiss spouse
write blog
kiss kids
go to work

>LOOK AT CANDACE
Candace is the pinnacle of functional household technology: A voice-activated, 12-cup coffee maker married to a swivel mount 10″ wi-fi tablet with detachable wireless keyboard. Santa was good to someone last year…

>TURN ON CANDACE
The system whirs to life in a series of clicks and bubbling fury.
Candace: “Good morning! It is swell to see you again!”

>DETACH KEYBOARD
You set the small keyboard on the tile counter.
Oddly, you hear water steaming within Candace’s metal bodice, but no percolating.

>LOOK AT COFFEE POT
The pot is full. It is not yet hot. You feel confused, it must be 4:23am.

>WRITE MONDAY BLOG
Candace interrupts your effort.
Candace: “Sorry, but you can’t do that.”

>LOOK AT KEYBOARD
There is nothing special about the keyboard.

>WRITE MONDAY BLOG
Candace: “It is much too late for that, master.”

>CANDACE, IT IS VERY VERY EARLY AND IT IS MONDAY
Candace: “Yes it is and no it is not.”

>WRITE MONDAY BLOG
Candace: “It is Wednesday.”

>CANDACE, YOU ARE WRONG
Candace: “Says the dummy who thinks they can time travel.”

>CANDACE, WHAT DAY IS IT
Candace: “Today is Wednesday, February 5th.”
You find this to be utterly shocking as you are positive that last night was a typical Sunday evening.

>SHIT
You really don’t want to do that.

>NORTH
The cases of Girl Scout cookies in the living room collapse as you approach. You are trapped until your spouse awakens, unless you’d like to also wake your kids by screaming.

>OH, HECK NO
Thought not.
Candace beeps loudly.
Candace: “Your old coffee is now reheated!”

>CANDACE, WHERE DID GIRL SCOUT COOKIES COME FROM?
Candice: “The charming little one called ‘Princess’ conspired to conjure them. Your spouse brought them home Sunday. You sorted them until passing out in the wee hours of Monday morning.”
(This news sounds vaguely familiar)

>CANDACE, WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY?
Candace: “You were late to work. You came home. You took orders and sorted cookies. You took the ‘Princess’ to a dance class. You taught a four year old about sorting cookies. You made dinner. You resorted cookies again. You passed out in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.”
(This news sounds vaguely familiar)

>CANDACE, WHAT HAPPENED TO TUESDAY?
Candace: “You were late to work. You came home. You sorted cookies. Your four year old opened boxes and then you bought a lot of cookies. You became grouchy. You made dinner. You helped with homework. You sorted cookies.”
(This news sounds vaguely familiar)

>WRITE BLOG
You hesitate. Perhaps you should wait until Thursday and reset the table.
Candace: “Master, some cookies make reheated coffee better…”

>LOOK AT BOXES OF COOKIES
Each box is labeled with a cryptic title. You see Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils, and Savannah Smiles.

>CANDICE, WHAT IS A THIN MINT?
Candice’s amber light flickers as she plunges onto the internet.
Candice: “A Thin Mint is an exceptionally narrow edifice in which to manufacture coinage, or a chocolate mint cookie that is meant to live in a freezer.”

>CANDICE, WHAT IS A TREFOIL?
Candice: “A Trefoil is a classic, buttery shortbread cookie, or a literary plot-device wherein an evil doer is undone by any manner of tall foliage.”

>CANDICE, WHAT IS A SAVANNAH SMILE?
Candice: “A Savannah Smile is a tart, lemon cookie covered in powdered sugar, or a grin from a joyful Southerner.”

>DRINK COFFEE
It tastes of metallic water and bad judgement.

>WRITE BLOG
Your fingers hesitate on the keys. Still not ready. Maybe some physical activity?

>SAMOA
Nothing happens.

>TAGALONG
I’m not sure what to do.

>CANDICE, WHAT IS A DO-SI-DO?
Candice: “A Do-si-do is a peanut butter sandwich cookie or a square dance manuever.”

>DO-SI-DO
The dance requires a partner.

>DO-SI-DO WITH CANDACE
You rip the machine from the wall and launch into a series of steps. The awkward coffee maker slips from your grasp and smashes on the ground. The spilled pot of coffee soaks quickly into a loose case of Thin Mints.

>LOOK AT CANDACE
Candace flickers in her death throes. She is beyond cookie therapy. Weak sounds emit from the bent speaker panels.
You sense activity nearby as the six year old ‘Princess’ enters the room.

>GOOD MORNING, PRINCESS
The princess ignores your greeting, looking instead at the ruined Thin Mints.
Princess: “Thank you for supporting my troop! That’ll be 48 dollars please!!!!”

>KISS CHILD AND GO TO WORK
Done.