The Randomness Story-Creating Machine of Us Here, Now

Happy New Year’s. Or new ears, if you’ve received hearing aids or those teeny-tiny globular batteries as a gift. Or as a hint or some’n.

I’m gonna go mash-up, mix-up, random live-stream on you, raging modernist and techie though I am.

I’m going to go off-script here and do something spontaneous and–for me–a bit crazy. As Seal said, we’ll never survive unless we get it a little bit of it, from time to time.

Okay, here’s the idea. Incoherent as it is. Play along as much or little or none as you want.

Let’s create a story together. I know it’s been done on Twitter, but let’s try it here in the comments, if that works for you. (I’ve developed an allergy to eggs, so I haven’t tweeted for quite a while. I should, but I can’t.)

Here’s a story I’ll throw out, probably making liberal use of some beauteous or bizarre turns of phrase and situations from the stories, articles, graphics/memes, music, other media, and poetry I’ve enjoyed in the last couple days. Use these scaffolds as you wish or not, and I’ll write along, too. Shall we build together? Til’ around midnight, EST, or whatever.

What the heyย  . . . here goes. And, above all, have fun, Pen-ball Wizards.


You've got big boots to fill, co-pilot-writers. I know you can do it. :)

You’ve got big boots to fill, co-pilot-writers. I know you can do it. ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Be a Woman in the Center of the Earth and Which Way to Go from There


Good madness is the kind you find looking (you, looking; it, lurking) under the carotid-red pillow at Grandma’s house. The one she sewed herself of the cheery holiday dear, leaping. (Wounded?) The one she continued on, she told you with a quiver of tears, that her mom never finished before she died.

Well, Grandma, she uses tinsel and a real tree because she’s got no cats. Nope, none of those little curious hair-pillows leaving vomitus that you’ve stepped on before you know it. (Another story for another time: how the black cat piled the dead thing’s organs up in a darkling heap on the sidewalk steps of mottled concrete.) Emergency veterinary clinics, 24-hour joints, cash-laden, sardined-crammed with people who crave the willy-nilly of chaos like catnip craves, well, a cat. It’s that whole one-hand-clapping, tree-falling-in-the-forest-who-hears-it conundrum. If a want is never wanted, does it cease to be? Do you cease to be if you have no wants? Who in the hell carries a loaded, cocked pistol in their purse with young, hence handsy and pilfery, children nearby?

Well, this fiction wasn’t supposed to be about pussies. Or pusses. Or pus or pluses, for that matter. Besides, I’m math-averse. And I despise guns, and boots stomping on historic human faces forever.

Sifting through a purse, I find a vignette I haven’t used before. A spill of light, the shape of a crescent. I’m a bit overwrought with that last bit, so I guess I can edit it to say “a crescent roll,” not the arty crescent or, still yet, the noble star and crescent associated with modern Islam.

And barnacles of bark, green and yellow in tooth and claw, are growing on this vignette. Humming, a veritable beard of bees. By the way, I pronounce vignette to rhyme with cygnet, or young swan. I used to mispronounce many words and was mistook for a Lafayette lass once. Now, nonce.

Dawn was a particular bitch gone–caught–in my mis-gated teeth.

Invalidated is the word of the month, I’m told. Regardless of your gender, sex, or otherwise. Have you ever felt invalidated? Inactive? Ennui’ed? Tired of life? I would say keep it up, but the joke’s been taken already. Probably in a Montgolfier balloon, too.

So, when I found the vignette, I thought, what better way to give it life than to throw it out there to the webs committing us, one to the other. And, so, I created Calineapurnielathea-Su, a fictional character portmanteau.

Change her, rearrange her. Add people to the rooms of her mind, wind them up, burn them down, whatever you can concoct.

Put them in a Pizza Hut and let them go. Have them playing football, but, please, not American football, which seldom uses the foot. Go figure.

You could begin with this (or not):

“Afterwards Cal walked into a fine drinking establishment with five characters. It was secreted in the Oort cloud. Either that, or a cloud on Venus. It was called, simply, The Space Bar. Mostly inhabited by writerly types. That, and Cal’s companions. They were her soul’s doppelgangers (or pentagangers?): Creativity, Nature Girl, Mother Woman (thank you, Kate Chopin), Anxiety, and Self-Worth. Anthropomorphize or animalize them as you see fit.

Now, go!*


*Unfortunately, time being what it is in this universe–namely linear, as far as we know–you will probably want to keep your comment shortish so I can respond/gatekeep and all that good jazz before the clocks strike midnight EST and we all turn into pumpkins. Oh, okay, I’ll settle for a “normal” person, whatever the hell that is. Of course, keep it relatively clean, no racism, homophobia, religion-bashing, over-the-top animal or human cruelty/abuse, misogny, that kind of stuff. In other words, play nice y’all.






13 thoughts on “The Randomness Story-Creating Machine of Us Here, Now

  1. How to Be a Woman in the Center of the Earth and Which Way to Go from There

    The Space Bar. What else could it be named? Outside of Lexus 5, where the Romnian war had raged for two trillion point-three parsecs, the Oort cloud was the best place for a writer or other creative type to be. Time being what it was, is, and will be, meant that the creative animal could find herself putting the cart of denouement before the horse of prologue. The coda before the intro. And, as it’s all prologue, “beware Greeks who you’re at war with and who suddenly want to give you a giant wooden friggin horse,” Cal thought to herself. She vomited the bullet-like paper capsule and made an vis-aud note then inserted it up her nose with the small yellow LEGO provided by her friend Dante. He was good for such major things as toys and trifles.

    She wasn’t shocked to find five characters trailing her into the place. They’d been following her since the All-Souls Diaspora. Not everyone had wanted a Ninja Splitter, but she’d been at the front of the line. It diced and julienned personalities and psyches. And carrots. It even made a splendid LED smoothie for the mech types who floated in from time to time, AWOL from the Corps, ragged from copper epaulet down to steel sandal.

    The Creativity Stream of Self began nibbling at her neurons as she sidled up to the private cave-table and hooked the worm to her left temple . . .

  2. A banjo comes across the screen. And my kid is dancing to it. “Dammit,” Cal roars at the worm. It’s giving her the wrong imagery. Must have been the normal-looking dude back near port seven. How the twelve hells can I get my pinch on if I don’t get the right stuff, the spice, the spam-with-a-plan?
    Her grumbles didn’t go unheard. Order a putrid pizza while you wait. Frell! The app-advert for Store Wars had followed her here, too, trying its damndest to out-compete The Space Bar and its odd-petizers via sheer volume, as if shrieking the loudest sold stuff. Salty squid-selenium souffle. Fondant of phagocytes. It catered to everybody, regardless of method of locomotion. You could ciliate, shimmy, schlep, swim, scan, swoop, or schwarp yourself into the bar. As long as you had the means.
    Give me my memories! Otherwise, how can you call yourself a memory bank? She didn’t have to yell it. She felt it, and that was enough. The maroon recliner in the corner–the one pulsating what she presumed to be music but which sounded like meteor strikes on tin to her–was burping. She’d just noticed it. She pressed the scope to get a better view from her comfy cave.

  3. Turns out, the chair had just eaten the waiter/ress. Must’ve been the service, Cal’s Creativity Stream of Self, stripped away from the bulkings of its four compatriots, was getting snitty.
    The periscope wasn’t the best either. Cal craned her neck to reach the lens. The worm banshee’d its disapproval at being disconnected from its symbiont. A photograph of a rose and a dahlia, a prototype of the moving-emanating-picture, wrinkled and writhed on the cave’s sweaty wall in an all-out attention-grab. It wafted a pleasant rose scent that Cal would doubtless have recognized, had she been fully human. The aud file at the tail-end cheered: courtesy of Cee’s Photography, specialists in 21st-century imaginings.
    The chair must have been junk-drunk. Creativity kept that to herself, tossing the curly ringlets that orbited in a nimbus around her squared-off head. She was trying out that style until she got tired of it or the juice ran out. Whichever came first.
    The ornate footrests were digging into Cal’s feet, unshod as they were. The calming clove-leaf liquid injected by the worm was beginning to wear off. Reality had begun to chip away pieces of the shell. Cal was wavering, switch-flipping guises from male to female to enhanced purple she-wolf to human to . . .

  4. . . . unclassifiable. At least not in any common bestiary. I don’t know if I’m me or if I’m someone I’ve read, sloughing off selves left and right as they wear thin. Static was steadily rising in the urn of her skull, and she didn’t need Nature Girl to tell it to her straight. She had to grab onto some star of suspended disbelief, hang on with all her might, to put these streams back in their rocky banks.
    One memory circled low down in the mirk as if hesitant but then began to glide like a koi to the surface of her mind. Her girl self, green: How do you get rid of mice? whispered. She loved animals. She didn’t want to ask, but she had, a ragged nail seeking a scab. Each hangnail a little suicide with her. In the dream, her mother, cavalier, folded her small hand closed. The wedding ring sank into the finger, and leathery skin spilled over the sides. The girl didn’t have to see the mouse to know the outcome.
    That’s history, dear. Makes you wretch your guts out sometimes. Mother-Woman, also masquerading as mother-wife, had habituated herself to lecturing, nagging, and proselytizing.
    Cal clawed to regain her hard-won imagined reality. She was just out for the night, to slake an unidentifiable thirst to be a creator and not a destroyer. She’d learned humans were born butchers, but she wanted more. Even as a half-human, she knew the nature of yearning, the nebulous quality of hope. She knew . . .

  5. . . . to be a woman was to tolerate balances; to weather time, which was always terminal; and to push borders, shoulder them wide open; and to aggressively seek your solace.
    Self-worth threw a life preserver. Did she want to grab it by its skinny neck or just let herself be bog-lost? Cal had wandered, wondered through precious philosophies and pugilist pacifisms, reinventing herself so many times, she didn’t know if the primal kernel of her remained.
    It took a kitty cat to reel her in. The mackerel-patterned Persian took a rough tongue to her hand, and Cal noticed for the first time in the now–but she had a sneaking suspicion she’d seen it before–the bite marks on her right set of hands. She tried focusing on the arm and realized it swam through her vision. Perhaps it was only one arm, lightly sprinkled with brown hairs.
    How banal!
    Perhaps there’s only one reality.
    Perish the thought!
    She drew up the sleeve on the bitten-hand arm. It was all there in the mirrored words, a blood-trail of ink staining skin.
    Life is If, not When. How, not Who.
    And, peeling that away, there is only Love.
    Or else nothing.
    ~~Have a creative 2015!~~

  6. How to follow that Leigh?!

    Anxiety slumps at the bar, ooze-green tentacles a waving, growing penumbra eclipsing the plush pile on the walls. She was late for the feast, bringing ingredients that likely would make the stew turn sour…

    • Goodness, I guess it was a happy New Year. Darned if I remember it. I’m still digging out from November-December. Our house is awash in LEGOs, so it’s not all bad, of course. Keep rockin, Pen-ball Wizard Sheena. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’m way late (same story of my life, different year.) I enjoyed this. I had to laugh at the tinsel and cats. Not a good combo indeed… can’t have ribbons or bows, either. Perhaps cats are grinches in cute furry disguises!

    • I definitely see some Grinchy qualities in some cats and the overall perception of cats’ personas. Great point there, Janna. I see you’re kicking off mid-January (the whole month really) with lots of fiction and writing fireworks. Good for you. I’ll be catching up with you soon, I hope. Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Me, too, Hilary. Half-a-month later, still wading through holiday mails and posts (thankfully, the posts are the pleasant part, but the spams are not). Aye-yai-yai. Hope your 2015 is swimming along strongly so far!

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