Aww-some open mics.

audience-awOpen mics uncover good lines.

At one open mic, I performed “The Malevolent Mystery Meat” starring The Puppy Brothers: two grade-school brothers with super puppy powers who save Super Holly from the evil school lunch ladies. I’d read what I’d written: “Tucker bit the door handle and yanked off the door: KA-RUNCH! Near the barrel, Holly was still passed out.” On an impulse, I ad-libbed, “And still pretty.” A young lady in the audience smiled and said, “Aww!” That ad-lib went into the final draft.

At another open mic, I read an upcoming short story where Super Holly had performed her comic book in the children’s ward in a hospital, ending it on a cliffhanger. A little girl in a wheelchair asked Holly to tell her the ending now. Holly said she’d read it next time. The girl said, “I’m not gonna be here next time.” “Aww,” said a young lady in the audience. I knew what Mario Puzo knew when he wrote, “I’ll make him an offer he cannot refuse.”

Kid-sitting one evening for my cousin, his kids asked me to read a Super Holly story. They liked her fighting Billington Stumpfinger. When Holly’s boyfriend Cal kissed her and said, “I love you,” and Holly kissed him back and said, “I love you more,” the kids said, “Ew!” I told this to their mom. She said they just started doing that. I’ll keep that kissing.

Listen to your audience. Small words can mean big reactions.

Trump kicked my butt and I liked it!

trump-frankensteinMy money-eating, Trump-inspired supervillain, Billington Stumpfinger, has given my novel storylines a much-needed kick in the butt. I was gonna go easy on the not-always-nice Amurricans. But they elected a bully. So how about those sexists/racists/other-rotten-ists are conned into electing Stumpfinger president and he fills the White House with supervillains! This is likely to be in the story I’ve wanted to write for a long time: civil war with a cowboy theme! Except this time, the rebels will be the good guys. I think. Sort of. I got outlining to do! (It’ll be fun! The main con man, Flim Flam Shrub, will be a combination of Davros and J.R. Ewing. But I got so much more writing to lead up to that, and real life moves faster. Sigh.)

I was gonna do a vampire/werewolf/Frankenstein’s monster novel. Now, I think more of a novella. Who needs monsters in books when we got them in the White House?