I blew up a puppy!

At an open mic a couple weeks ago, a lady liked my performance enough that she asked me to perform at her daughter’s birthday party. So I’m writing (now editing) a short story starring Holly’s cute little fangirl Kittygirl (the eight year old with kittycat powers). I titled the story, “The Sinister Sugar Rush!” Here is an excerpt.

The skinny lunch lady laughed. “YAH HAH HAAAA! Go ahead, Super Holly, I’d love to see you go boom!”

Super Holly hugged herself, trying to slow down, but she still vibrated like a paint shaker.

Kittygirl and Lily gulped and said together, “Did you say, ‘Boom?'”

The big lunch lady smiled super-mean. “Yeah. All these bratty kids who ate our super-frosting will reach critical mass in a couple of minutes. Allow us to demonstrate with this cute little puppy!”

The skinny lady had a puppy in one hand and a cupcake in the other. “Here, puppy, have a treat!”

Kittygirl’s face got cold. “Don’t eat it!”

But the puppy gobbled up the cupcake! It squirmed into a blur, went “ARFARFARFARFARFARFARF,” and blew up: POW!

That’s right, I blew up a puppy! MOO HAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

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More Super Holly art: Yeti and Noir

Last weekend, I was at the San Francisco Comic Con. I bought a graphic novel called This Yeti For Hire! or The Yeti with the Lace Kerchief. The story of a Yeti police detective. I had Sean Morgan draw Super Holly turned into a yeti (abominable snow-woman), with my barber Lash sizing up the situation and using one of my favorite lines from the old Johnny Quest cartoon.

I also bought another issue of Afterburner: Tales of the Cool and the Wicked. On Friday, I talked to Robert Stewart about his art and writing, and I showed him some Super Holly artwork I had with me. On Saturday, he pointed to his portfolio of artwork, and said I should check it out. I saw this on top.

Wow. Super Holly as film noir, as Heavy Metal. Cool and Wicked. I bought it. That was very nice of him to draw for me before I even asked. Or maybe when he looked at me, he saw a dollar sign. I gave him a little more than his asking price.

My critique group goes to work!

If you write, join a critique group: other writers who read and critique your writing. Yesterday, my critique group liked the conclusion of “The Criminal Cupid!” (click to read it) I’ll share their comments. (And I will likely do that again for future critiques.)

One newer lady had said this was the first story I’d turned in where she could easily visualize what was happening. She said I had a little more description that slowed down the action and let her keep up. (I still have concerns that I skimp on description.) An older lady who wrote wonderful prose-poetry said, “This is slower?”

My methhead description felt awkward. (I agree.)

One writer said the Billy Jack banter felt flat and did not contribute to the story progress. Another writer really liked it. (That bit is there because Bennie is delaying the arrow girl so Holly has a chance to break free, and so I can take a shot at Billy Jack. I’ll rewrite it to show the former.)

Late 60s Bennie the cop needed to resist 25-year-old Holly more lest he come off as creepy. (I am putting more effort into Bennie holding off love-arrow-smitten Holly. I must make sure the reader knows what Bennie is thinking: Holly needs to back off and get back to police work! It’ll make for better, funnier conflict.) And as a corollary, a writer also said the badge cam felt creepy. (The camera stays! All the cops wear them! I will foreshadow the camera earlier, Holly will also wear one for her day on the police force.)

When Holly struggled against her bonds, followed by her dialog, one writer did not know who was speaking. (I have erased dialog tags too often! Readers MUST know who says what! I will tag that.)

I stole a line from Time Bandits when the villain is about to cast a spell: “Half-warthog? Half-donkey? Half-oyster? Half-carrot?” Arrow girl says, “Half hippie. Half hipster. Half commie. Half socialist. Half angry poet. Half stoned rock star. Half vegan. Half beatnik. Half tie-dyed anti-war protestor. And no cop!” One writer said, “That’s a lot of halves.” (I added a Bennie wisecrack about the girl being bad at math.)

One write gave me the line “untidily bowled over” for the shattered toilet knocking people down. (I took it!)

A writer wants a better description of the arrows. (I will describe earlier in the story, maybe Holly can say superpowered exposition stuff?

A writer liked the collard greens joke and the mocha brown face and Holly’s pale Swedish face gag, but did not get Holly’s beaky nose as deadly weapon. Also said the fascist references seemed to refer to our current government. (Actually, that came from annoying Marx worshippers I met decades ago in college. They’re likely tea-partiers now, wimps who always stuff their little pea brains into a comforting ideology. “Ew, this capitalism sandwich tastes like crap! I’ll hoark down this communism sandwich in one swallow, I don’t need to smell or taste it, it must be good cuz the other is bad!” The epitome of willful stupidity!)

P.S. Ugh, the story is up to 7000 words, that is TOO MUCH! But I have the middle and beginning to rewrite, and a big scene to cut out, so I hope to get it to the ideal length of just over 5000 words. Ideal in not too long, and maybe can be split into 2500 parts for shorter audio files.

Sweetpea reads my book!

For an upcoming live performance of a couple of my Super Holly short stories (details coming!), a fellow writer asked me to take more photos of me, the author, reading to one of my cousin’s dogs. Tucker, the black dog heading my website, was not cooperative (just wanted to lie down and rest his old bones), so I read to squirmy little Sweetpea. Sweetpea’s light coloring and expressive face made for some decent photos.

Will be at BayCon tomorrow selling my little Super Holly book and CD

I will be at a table in the dealer room with a few local authors. I will also go to a panel or two. If you are going, stop by. The table will have a lot of books on it, one book cover will show an irritated superheroine in a barber chair.

The San Mateo Marriott is at 1770 S Amphlett Blvd, San Mateo, CA.

A couple of Free Comic Book Day sketches

On Free Comic Book Day on May 6, at Comics Conspiracy in Sunnyvale, local artists were doing free sketches. I asked for some Super Holly Hansson art.

This is from Leann Hill. She has a sweet and expressive style, check her website!

And here is one from Lane Terasaki, who does not have a website yet for me to point to. He was drawing a dark and grim Batman sketch, so I asked for Holly looking grim and drinking coffee. (The word balloon is mine.)