Good Stuff From Grover: Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Slow Cooker Eye...

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It's been way too long since I published a Sunday Dinner post. Today, Ornery Owl shares how to turn an inexpensive roast into a delicious dinner with a few simple tricks.

Thirsty Thursday: A Journey to Xura


Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay
The sight that Robin and John saw on their arrival in the Dreamlands looked a little bit something like this.

The Adventures of Robin Roberts and Little John Tamboli: A Journey to Xura

Genuine discourse

“Are you comin’ tonight?”

A burly ghoul wearing a faded green and brown checked newsboy cap, a tattered gray cable-knit sweater over a threadbare collared shirt, and ragged brown trousers sat on a filthy futon in a cavern crafted by ghoulish hands beneath London’s Royal Horseguards Hotel. He had a map and a musty old tome in front of him, which he was studying by the light of a dim lantern. A Victrola sat in the corner, playing “Nearer My God to Thee.”

The large chap glanced up from the tome to see a diminutive ghoul clad in a reddish-brown newsboy cap, a gray sweater over a collared shirt, and a pair of ragged blue trousers. This was the same outfit that Robin Roberts wore every day, the same outfit that he had been wearing on the day he and John were placed in the mass grave in Crouch End on the 8th of June, 1918.

“Aw, Rob, mightn’t we Scapa Fla ter the bloomin' carnival anovver night?” John pleaded. “It’s been there since afore we were even a thought, and it ain’t likely ter disappear anytime soon.”

“You’ve been sayin’ that fer a fortnight,” Robin countered, taking the needle from the record. “Why're ya listenin’ ter this maudlin dirge? At least pop on a bit of ragtime or sum sha tunes, summit a chap can snap ‘is Longers & Lingers ter.”

“Cause those kinds of tunes will make me plates of meat set ter tappin', and then I won't get aahhht done. Ya kna that I Kathy Burke Mae West chicken pen I earwig ter melancholy music. Anyways, that's the bloomin' last Ding-Dong that the band played aboard the Titanic ‘fore she sunk ter the bottom of Davy Jones Locker. There's a benefit ter raise funds ter commemorate the saucepan lids 'oo perished chicken pen the Titanic sank, and I wanna donate a few Bin Lid so's the Bruce Lee nippers can be 'onored as they deserve ter be.”

“So yer plannin' ter rob sum rich evil blighter and donate the bloomin' proceeds ter 'onor the chuffin' kiddas 'oo went daahhhn wif the bleedin' 'appeny dip,” Robin realized. “That's a jolly Robin Hood scheme and wite up me alley. But we can't Kathy Burke on an empty stomach, Johnny. Come ter the carnival wif me. We'll fill our bellies and 'ave a giraffe and then we'll come Hammer and Tack 'ere and plan the 'eist.”

“Come ter fin' of it, I do 'ave a rumblin' in me tum,” John acknowledged. “A sugar and spice slice of plump rump sounds loike just the Bat and Wicket ter take the edge Frank Bough. You've talked me into it, Rob. A strappin' lad loike me needs ter eat 'is fill if 'e's gonna plan and scheme.”

“Na yer gettin’ the picture. Come along, there ain’t a moment ter spare, fer I’m so chuffin’ ‘ungry I could scarf down a whole bear!”

Planning the Journey

“So, ‘ow much urgency is there in yer need fer speed in reaching Xura?” Little John inquired. “Do we wish a leisurely stroll with lots of adventure in between? Shall we go by way of the tunnels, shall we travel through the Dreamlands, or shall we just pop off through a gate?”

“’Eaven and 'ell, I am keen ter steer clear of bof 'ip 'oppin' 'oodlums and rash inducin' radishes, so I suggest we avoid the city,” Robin replied. “’Owsomever, just thumb-suckin' Frank Bough through a gate does seem a bit anticlimactic. Oi'd say me preference is a stroll along an earthen frog and toad wif impenetrable bushes on either side, just for a Randolph Scott of eerie atmosphere, ya kna.”

“So, through the bleedin' Dreamlands, then. Oi've a Bruce Lee thought on that. If we take the bloomin' tunnels, we lessen our chances of encounterin’ a 'uman.”

“I daan't give a Kate Moss abaht 'umans. Fickle blighters they are. If it's an inexperienced dreamer that we encounter, they'll scream and Donald Duck Frank Bough daahhhn a steep Jack and Jill, likely fallin' wite Hammer and Tack into their body. If we 'appen on sum sort of maniac 'avin' a lurk in the bleedin' bushes, we'll Ian Beale wif them as necessary. Daan't be a fusspot, China Plate. It's been altogether too long since we ‘ad an adventure.”

“That it 'as, you'll get nah argument from me there. Since that's settled, let's Crust of Bread through the bleedin' gate ter the bloomin' enchanted Do Me Good and make Robin Hood on the opportunity ter dine loike kings.”

“Kilts and kings an’ quilts and queens, I don’t care a fig fer any of them things,” Robin smirked. “Fill me quiver wif liver and give me a skull fer a bowl, and I’ll be as happy a ghoul as ever ya saw.”

Robin snapped his fingers, twirled around like a ballerina, shuffled back and forth while chanting arcane words and waved his hand. An arc of silvery light appeared on the earthen wall.

John’s mood was much spryer than it had been when Robin first entered the room. His tummy rumbled and his feet grumbled as he stood. He crunched his toes against the floor to alleviate the stiffness, then skipped towards the portal, which caused Robin to burst out laughing.

“Oi, Petunia, wait fer me!” Robin called as John sashayed through the gate.

The wiry ghoul performed a swan dive into the portal. Moments later, he and John tumbled from a gate in the trunk of a tree into a grassy glen in the storied Enchanted Wood of the Dreamlands. They lay looking up at the clouds in the clear blue sky.

“It’s much too bright, it gives me a fright!” Robin complained, although his fit of tittering gave away his good cheer.

“Least we ain’t trolls, so it ain’t like the sun will petrify us,” John reasoned.

“The bleedin' Dreamlands are always so beautiful, ain't they, Little John? Daan't matter if it's day or night, they're a grand old sight. Leaves me verklempt, it does.”

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors
I'd be doing this if I could

Note: This piece contains the first two segments of a new chapter that I'm writing for my ongoing Forever WIP. I will be finishing the chapter tomorrow and will upload it to Reedsy. If you want to check for it next week, go here.

All my writing on Reedsy is free. If you like it, share it.

Further notes:
The Tale Weaver prompt asked for a story from the perspective of a villain. I was already writing this piece when I saw the prompt. My interpretation deviates from the prompt in that Robin and John are the unlikely heroes of the first book in the Tales from the Dreamlands series. Yes, they are ghouls. Yes, they eat rotting flesh. But they aren't actually evil. they're just interpreted that way.

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Purchase the PDF from LBRY
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Xura is the creation of H.P. Lovecraft. It makes its initial appearance in The White Ship, first publication The United Amateur #2, November 1919.

Ghouls such as Robin and Little John make occasional appearances in Lovecraft’s work. They were initially described in Pickman’s Model, first publication Weird Tales, October 1927.

Prompts Used

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Photo Challenge

Tale Weaver



























Verklempt- overly emotional and unable to speak.


Putting My Feet in the Dirt



Submitted to the Write about an introvert and an extrovert who are best friends prompt.

The piece was also inspired by these prompts:

Write about someone who wants to stay home alone, only for their plans to be disrupted.

Start your story with a character saying, “Are you coming tonight?”

 The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is the intellectual property of Naughty Netherworld Press/Poetry of the Netherworld.

Reblogging is acceptable on platforms that allow it. Odysee’s reblog function is called repost, which makes things confusing since reposting is considered a no-no on most platforms. It’s fine to share the post using the repost function on Odysee. It is not okay to copy-paste the material into a new post.

Sharing a link to the post is acceptable.

Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

Want more?

Get it here!

Shadows of Yesterday is FREE From July 13 - July 18 #MFRWHooks #MFRWSteam #MFRWAuthor #8Sunday #RainbowSnippets #SnipSun


M/M erotica, sci-fi

3000 words (approximate)

Mature Content Advisory:
Although this post doesn't contain explicit content, it makes no (ahem) bones about the explicit activities occurring in the mysterious (and sexy) Temple Bratuns. So, if that sort of thing really is not your bag, Baby, this is your cue to return from whence you came and give this post a miss.

The story that the excerpt is taken from does contain explicit content. 


Peregrine Varga is deep under Finn Storm’s spell. The mysterious monks of Temple Bratuns have never combated the influence of a siren before. They will need to dive deep into Peregrine’s psyche and open the shrouded passage of his subconscious if there is any hope for the enchanted roughneck to ever regain control of his senses.

Short Snippet:

“Release the supplicant from the bondage bench,” Brother Mateus ordered.

“Do you think that’s a good idea?” Iker inquired. “He tried to run last time you did that. My knees are still shaking after the pounding that Brother Saiful here just gave me. I’m not sure that I’d be able to subdue him if he decides to bolt.”


If all you wanted was a tiny taste, you're done here. But if you're ready for a full scoop, keep reading!

Buy links follow the rest of the snippet.

Extended Snippet

“I think he has been subdued by the masterful probing he just received from the delightful Ohannes,” Brother Mateus reasoned. “I believe that he is ready for me to begin a different kind of probing. Brother Peregrine, we will begin by shining a luz into the hidden passages of your mind before my staff stretches your back passage to its outer limits. What do you say, meu caro amigo1? Would you care to join me for um pingo?”

“Yes, I’d like that,” Peregrine replied, a docile smile on his face.

“Esplêndido! Oh, we have tapped into something here. It is as though a própria vida2 has simply drained from your strong body. Such a segredo terrível3 you must be holding onto! Well, amigo, there is no secret that can maintain its power when exposed to a luz. Fear not, we will draw this shadow out, at first gently, then we shall hit it with everything we have in our arsenal. No more will it plague you, and if I am correct, you will be free from the clutches of a sirene du mer. Brothers, release your supplicants! It is time now to relax and enjoy um pingo and easy conversation.”

“Perry, you look terrible,” Iker noted, hurrying to his friend’s side. “Are you sure this is the right time for a coffee break, Brother Mateus? He looks like he needs a hospital!”

“A hospital has no medicine that can heal him, meu amigo,” Brother Mateus cautioned. “This is a sickness of spirit, not of body. This shadow has had its hold over your friend’s mind long before a sirene du mer cast his spell. The harder he fights, the stronger its grip becomes. We must draw it out slowly if we are to have any hope for o triunfo.4 Amigos old and new, sit down, relax, enjoy um pingo! We grow os grãos de café5 here in our own gardens and the milk comes from os grãos of the prized Gakels bush. I have been told that os grãos de Gakels produce the creamiest milk.”

A battle raged in Peregrine’s mind, but he was too defeated to rage or attempt to run. He wrapped himself in the comfortable robe presented to him by one Brother Parry Anish Balodis, a tall, sinewy young fellow with flaxen hair and sparkling blue eyes the color of the skies in pictures that Peregrine had seen from Homeworld Earth.

“If you cannot save me, Brother Mateus, release me to the ocean to live out the remainder of my cruel life,” Peregrine murmured as he sipped the coffee beverage the high priest placed in his hands. “Either that or kill me. Death would be preferable to this war raging in my soul.”

“I know you are unhappy, meu caro amigo, but give your cares to me for tonight,” Brother Mateus implored. “I truly believe that we can heal this wound from which bleeds your happiness.”

Buy Links

Always free from Kindle Unlimited.

Free to own from 13 July - 18 July

Regular price 99 cents.

This story is also available as a PDF for my patrons at any level, starting at just a buck a month.

You can purchase the first five hot Cloned Heat Cliffhangers for your erotica collection, or read them free with Kindle Unlimited. 

For the foreseeable future, I will be posting to the Big Four blog hops once a month and the Roost Recommendations at will be a monthly rather than weekly feature. 

I will be publishing far less WIP material. It doesn't generate much interest, and it takes a lot of time and effort to create the posts. My first thought when I wake up in the morning is "oh, hell, not this shit again." So I need to scale back the amount of promotion I'm doing and allow myself and my stories to heal.

Again, I am deeply grateful to everyone who donated to Tara's chemotherapy. You really did make things easier.

Let's Go To the Hops

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is the intellectual property of Naughty Netherworld Press/Poetry of the Netherworld.

Reblogging is acceptable on platforms that allow it. Odysee’s reblog function is called repost, which makes things confusing since reposting is considered a no-no on most platforms. It’s fine to share the post using the repost function on Odysee. It is not okay to copy-paste the material into a new post.

Sharing a link to the post is acceptable.

Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

Want more?

Get it here!

Update: Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost


The Tower from the Azathoth Tarot Deck

Hello Naughties and Roosties.

Things are going to hell in a handbasket, and every time I think that I'm okay to keep pushing myself, that ends up being not true. I'm afraid that I've behaved like a bit of an ass, and to anyone who was on the receiving end of that, I apologize. 

For the time being, I'm going to confine myself to doing one session of blog hops when the new Cloned Heat book comes out. This means that for the foreseeable future, the Roost Recommendations posts will be monthly rather than weekly. 

I will still do the Insecure Writers Support Group.

I may occasionally do other blog hops outside of the Big Four, but I've honestly found that I don't get much feedback from participating in these. 

While I'm not going to stop writing entirely (like anyone cares if I do or I don't), I'm going to keep my WIP stuff a lot closer to the chest. I always thought that people would enjoy watching a work in progress, but nobody seems to be very interested. It takes effort to create the posts, so if they don't have an audience, I don't see any reason to make them.

I learned a long time ago that for people to take an interest in a woman's work, she has to be pretty. I'm not and never have been. I guess I kept hoping that people's attitudes would evolve and that we as a society would come to realize that looks are an overall meaningless attribute, but, if anything, things have only gotten worse.

Somebody once said that music was better when ugly people were making it. I think the same is true of writing. People who are writing from the most wounded part of themselves often produce the most powerful work. 

The general public doesn't want the kind of work where someone has torn out their heart and spilled their guts. They want the shiny, the sparkly, the effervescent, soda pop, bubblegum. They don't want to see the scars behind the mask of perfection. I give the people the scars.

Oddly enough, after seeing the Black Mirror episode "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too," I think that Miley Cyrus may understand this better than just about anybody except for Britney Spears.

Anyway, after sitting there shaking and feeling like I am utterly losing whatever is left of myself and my questionable sanity, I realize that I really need to take care of myself. I'm 56 years old and my health isn't great. I need to tend to my body's needs and cultivate the haunted garden of my heart so I can keep pissing people off for at least another 40 years.

Your support is appreciated more than you know.

~Ornery Owl (still not Charlotte) Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

Believe me, if I could get away with it, I'd be doing this.

Insecure Writers Support Group 7 July 2021


Well, what do you know? Here I am a day late and a dollar short, like usual.

This month's question:
What would make you quit writing?

I may have already come to that point. 

I'm tired as hell of knowing my work will never find an audience because I'm just a huge weirdo who is going to write what I like to write regardless of whether it's popular or not. 

I have tried time and again to write according to a formula and every time I end up going back to writing what I want.

I'm tired of the things I write being torn apart so I end up hating them.

I initially liked this story after I wrote it. After everyone else got through picking it apart, I came to hate it.

I think I'm there. I think I'm done. 

My stories will die with me, and neither will be missed.

Readers Roost: Roost Recommendations 5 June 2021

Readers Roost: Roost Recommendations 5 June 2021:   Image by lil_foot_ from Pixabay How are you doing, Roosties? For many of us in the Northern hemisphere, it's too hot outside. Stay in...

Despite falling apart at the seams mentally, I've got the Roost Recommendations up and running! I wasn't sure that I'd be able to. Spread the word and help your friends and family find their next great read.

Reflections Of #8Sunday, #MFRWHooks, #SnipSun

Good morning, afternoon, or whatever. I had a dandy week going off the rails, how's your life been?

I sincerely wish to thank everyone who has contributed to helping with Tara's medical costs. We have a long way to go, but your assistance has made it a little easier. There will be no new AC for my car. The compressor is blown and it would cost $1300 to replace it. I need to make this car last for another 3 years until I can tap my 401K, get the RAV4 Hybrid that my son and I have been discussing ever since we moved out here to Podunk on the Plains, and relegate the poor old Fusion to being an auxiliary vehicle.

Moving on, I have a depressing not-so-little slice of creative fiction for you. For those who wonder if I write anything besides dumb erotica that nobody reads, the answer is, yes indeed I do. I write poetry, fantasy, science fiction/speculative fiction, and moody, broody reflections on my extremely fucked-up life that nobody reads. 

I will provide the first eight sentences below, and if you wish to read beyond that, it's up to you. Links to the writing prompts and acknowledgements follow the piece.

Reflections Of

I am the monster of every story.

I am an overgrown and unappealing flower with fading petals.

The knot of tears around my throat has crystallized into my design, creating a hard lump in the notch of my collarbone.

In my youth, the contour was visible, and predatory men longed to sink their teeth into it.

I wish that I could at least exchange youthful beauty for the wisdom of age, but although my face is wizened, I am not wise.

I have always been a dowdy mutant with the vague shape of a woman.

Never was I a pale and delicate artifact to be treasured like precious jewelry carved from mother-of-pearl.

What slight appeal may have been endowed on me in the morning of youth continues to dwindle with every passing day in the afternoon of my life. 

If that's all you wanted, you're dunzo, get outta here.

If, on the other hand, you're a glutton for punishment, stick around.

I trade chicory for coffee because they have a similar taste, but I can no longer tolerate caffeine.

Day by day life loses any sense of exhilaration.

I remind myself that most of the stimulants I chose were artificial.

Caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines.

I was always running from myself.

Always fleeing the monster in the mirror.

I thought that if I ran fast enough, I might escape the hideous reflection looking back at me, if only for a while.

I ran into the clutches of liar after liar promising me that I was his one and only, his forever, his girl.

Only to have him turn out to be another abuser, another loser, another cheat.

“You bring all your misery on yourself,” one of them sneered at me as I stood hollow and lost in his living room that smelled like urine.

There were bandages on my wrists from self-inflicted cuts.

He had introduced me to the tramp that he was fucking on the side.

After he told me I was the only one.

He forced me to watch pornography.

Not just humans, mind.

He made me kiss his feet.

He told me that he would take his love from me if I refused to obey.

How could I think that was love?

Why did I stay?

The pretty people can never understand.

When you are as hideous as I am, the monster in the mirror gives the orders.

“Find someone to gimme shelter,” she demands.

So, when men would lie to me and tell me that I was pretty, it didn’t matter how ugly they treated me.

Being told that she was beautiful was the most important thing to yesterday’s stupid girl.

A shambling mound, a loathsome lump, a parody of femininity.

When you are these things, you allow anyone with slippery words to tear your heart to pieces.

Twenty-three years have gone by, and I still feel sick when I think back on it.

Men don’t treat you right when you’re the monster in the mirror.

I know I’m better off alone, but I find no solace in my own company.

I would never look at myself, but I still must brush my hair.

I would tell any man who approached me these days with slippery words and predatory intent to go fuck himself sideways.

I don’t have the patience for lying lotharios.

I would rather keep the company of listless lions and doomsday dungeons.

I convinced myself that my stories would be my salvation.

I hoped my peculiar little tales would find an audience.

So far, I have lied to myself as much as those hopscotching hillbillies and hurtling hitchhikers of my yesteryears lied to me.

This is the danger when you are the monster in the mirror.

Everybody lies to you.

I learned the truth long before I was seventeen.

The author of that song said that dreams are all they give for free to ugly duckling girls.

But she lied too because dreams come at a price.

Besides, she has made clear her position on large women that she deems unattractive, so I don’t trust her very much.

I have always related to the protagonist in Mr. Lovecraft’s tale of The Outsider when he realized why the partygoers screamed and ran into the night at the sight of him.

For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men. This I have known ever since I stretched out my fingers to the abomination within that great gilded frame; stretched out my fingers and touched a cold and unyielding surface of polished glass.

I am the monster in the mirror.

I am the outsider.

I will never be anyone’s first choice.

I am not even the consolation prize.

I am the one that men sniggeringly dare each other to have sex with.

I am the butt of the joke.

I am not even seen as human.

Once I dreamed that love would come in and sweep me up away.

But the monster in the mirror shall not find love even in her dreams.

The little friends who once gave me love have been gone for years.

It is too expensive to keep pets, and my heart will never heal from those losses.

Every day is a struggle to keep going.

Even the stories in my mind begin to grow dim.

I have found nobody to care for them after I am gone.

Without an audience, they will die with me.

It seems that nobody wants even to share in the flights of fancy of someone so far removed from beautiful.

I wish that I could say that I have made peace with what I am.

That I have triumphed despite being horrible to behold, but I have not, and I never will.

I am doomed to walk into the darkness alone.

There will be no kind words, no acclaim, and it will be no great loss, for I was never anything but the monster in the mirror.

The sight of me is hideous, there is no doubt, but there is an aching sweetness buried within.

A thousand pinpricks in my sorrowful heart remind me daily of all I’ve lost and what I never had to begin with.


“The Outsider” is a story by H.P. Lovecraft, first publication Weird Tales April 1926.

The line “the knot of tears around your throat is crystallizing into your design” comes from the 1967 song “Albatross,” written and performed by Judy Collins.

“Gimme Shelter” is a 1971 song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and performed by The Rolling Stones.

“At Seventeen” is a 1975 song written and performed by Janis Ian.

“Once I dreamed that love would come in and sweep me up away” is a line from the 1977 song “Here Come the Tears,” written by Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton and performed by Judas Priest.

The line “besides, she has made clear her position on large women that she deems unattractive, so I don’t trust her very much” refers to derogatory remarks that Ms. Ian has made about big women on various occasions. While I still like her music, I have been disappointed by her intolerant attitudes towards people that she deems physically unappealing.

Prompts Used

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

First Line Friday

Music Prompt




Fading Petals


Pin Pricks








Putting My Feet in the Dirt

Listless Lions and Doomsday Dungeons

Hopscotching hillbillies and hurtling hitchhikers


Submitted to the Write a story that involves a reflection in a mirror prompt on 5 July 2021.

 Let's Go To The Hop

 The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is the intellectual property of Naughty Netherworld Press/Poetry of the Netherworld.

Reblogging is acceptable on platforms that allow it. Odysee’s reblog function is called repost, which makes things confusing since reposting is considered a no-no on most platforms. It’s fine to share the post using the repost function on Odysee. It is not okay to copy-paste the material into a new post.

Sharing a link to the post is acceptable.

Quoting portions of the post for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

Want more?

Get it here!

I'm going for Baroque today!

Readers Roost: Roost Recommendations 27 June 2021

Readers Roost: Roost Recommendations 27 June 2021:   Image by congerdesign from Pixabay Sorry to have missed last week's Roost Recommendations. You'll find the explanation in the pre...

I almost forgot, the new Roost Recommendations are here! I've finally finished posting all of the WEP challenge entries. I swear I don't think I've gotten through a single WEP Challenge without a hitch this year. 

I liked my entry when I wrote it but I kind of hate it after re-reading it. This is one that got a lot of criticism (although not a pile-on like that one time) and I don't do well with that.

Anyway, the Roost Recommendations are back!

Double Rainbow: The Sad Cafe + Fukt 2 Start With #8Sunday #MFRWHooks #RainbowSnippets #SnipSun


My friend Walt Cessna (July 24, 1970 – March 15, 2017) is the inspiration for the character Parker who appears in this segment from my WIP, Galaxy Girl.

Today I hope you will indulge me as a share a Double Rainbow: six sentences from the latest segment for my WIP, Galaxy Girl, and six sentences from Walt's book, Fukt 2 Start With. Further details follow the snippets.

Galaxy Girl: The Sad Cafe

June 12, 1988

The café began to feel like Pepper’s only real home. It was a place where she could be anonymous and articulate, letting her stories meander from her mind into the notebook that her theatre geek friend Parker had given her when she told him that she wouldn’t be returning to KU in the fall because she was pregnant.

Parker had designed the notebook cover himself. It was a light grape shimmer honoring Pepper’s love for purple. There was a flourish of light blue lace around the border and a little pouch inside for Pepper to store her writing and drawing implements. When Parker handed the notebook to Pepper, he said that it was imbued with magic to bring the thoughts that transpired in her head out into the world so the magic could be shared with anyone who read them.

Where to get the rest of it:

This piece was submitted to Reedsy on June 22. They have approved all but one of my submissions (sometimes I get a little too real), so it is likely to appear there before June is out, but I make no guarantees. Anything that has been approved by Reedsy is free to read. If you like it, a share is appreciated.

Don't want to wait around for Reedsy? Want to give me a tip? The piece is available as a PDF on Odysee for 15 LBC (approximately $0.45.)

An LBC is a form of cryptocurrency. If you don't have an Odysee account, you can get one here.

Fukt 2 Start With: Pretty Vacant

Going full force into the forbidden reaches of her own mind had at first seemed like a good idea, but as Veruca fell deeper and deeper into a bottomless K hole, she began to seriously wonder why she spent so much of her free time a fucked up mess. Veruca was willing to try anything at least once. If she liked it, she stuck to it like glue. If she didn't, then it got the boot. At sixteen she was living an utter virtual reality, juxtaposed of conflicting multiple personalities, moods and awkward exaggerations. Her body and her mind had developed early, like at twelve, transforming the former fat and nerdy child into a freaky deaky Russ Meyer super vixen.

Where can I read more?

The buy link is in the dedication portion of the post.

The Necessary Notes + Crazy Creative Ruminations, Acknowledgments, and Blah de Blah


This story is dedicated to Walter Cessna (July 24, 1970 – March 15, 2017), a beautiful soul whose life was cut short by AIDS. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to know him and wish that I had been able to know him better.

Walt said that I inspired him to put together his book, Fukt 2 Start With. I am so pleased that I encouraged him in this endeavor. His words live on here.

I encourage everyone to take the chance and get to know a wonderful soul.

You can also read more about Walt in this 2012 interview.

There is also a mention of his death in Queerty. The comments are pretty toxic and absolutely undeserved, and I wish an epic infestation of crotch lice plus MRSA of the rectum on those who felt the need to be so entirely hideous.

This is Walt’s Facebook page.


I was also inspired by watching the documentary of Howard Ashman, the playwright and lyricist who co-composed the lyrics for several of Disney’s classic movies including Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and the Little Mermaid. He also wrote the screenplay for Little Shop of Horrors (1986) and contributed two of the songs.

I had one of those weekends where I almost stopped writing for good because I feel like it isn’t leading anywhere. But I think that perhaps Walt wouldn’t want me to do that, so I’m going to give it another chance even though I am feeling very discouraged by life right now.

For anyone who wants to give the old “you’re just a baby beginner, success will come with time” spiel, don’t. I’m not a “baby beginner.” I’m 56 years old and I’ve been writing with the intent of being a published author since I was a teenager. I have several published books.

I don’t think that I’m a bad writer, my style and subject matter simply don’t have popular appeal. I’ve tried to force myself to write popular appeal stuff. It never works. I always go back to writing what I like to write.

I also have a quirky and somewhat abrasive and defensive personality. My self-esteem is shaky at the best of times, I have ADHD (and no, I don’t want to medicate it) and my baseline mood is moderately depressed (I have no desire to medicate that either, particularly since all the medications I tried for it made me manic, psychotic, or both.)

What I do suck at is promotion, but I don’t have the budget to hire someone to do it for me.

At this point, I keep writing because when I try to quit, I also quit everything else. Like cooking, washing the dishes, and housework, such as that is. The one thing I may suck even worse at than I do at promotion is housework.

The story is autobiographical, albeit with a great deal of artistic license taken.

So, there you have it—a fractured story with broken characters written by a shattered spirit and dedicated to a beautifully flawed soul. Enjoy or don’t. I can’t make the decision for you.


The Sad Café is a song written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and J. D. Souther about music club the Troubadour in Los Angeles, and all the musicians that would be hanging around there at night, singing together. It was performed by The Eagles, appearing on their 1979 album “The Long Run.”


Writing Prompts

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

First Line Friday


Putting My Feet in the Dirt


Write a story about somebody reminiscing on an event that happened many summers ago.

Submitted on 22 June 2021.

The Hops

I will be getting back in the swing of things with Roost Recommendations this week!

Charity Sunday + Naughty Netherworld Update 27 June 2021: Tara's Chemotherapy & My Car Needs AC


This is my most recent picture of Tara. She's had her first dose of chemotherapy and is kind of in hiding right now. I don't think she feels horrible because she still pushes her way into the bathroom when I go in there (the door doesn't latch properly) but she hasn't been too interested in doing much of her usual activities. Mostly she's a bit lethargic.

The chemo drug itself isn't the biggest cost. Fortunately, it's a pill rather than an infusion. It costs $48 per pill. We're giving her prednisone at home. Having taken prednisone myself, I know it can sometimes make one feel a bit wackadoodle. 

The first time I took prednisone, I felt kind of dizzy and weak. However, I was also recovering from pneumonia and a severe laryngospasm that sent me to the hospital overnight. The second time I took it was to give me some relief from sciatica pain. I begged for more when it started to wear off, but the doctor refused to give it to me.

Anyway, that's ancient history, 2002 to be exact. My paternal grandmother died not long after this incident, on December 24, 2002. I felt like hot garbage when my father, my son, and I flew back to New York for her funeral. Less than 2 years later, my father would have a major hemorrhagic stroke.

I'll try to keep the trips down memory lane to a minimum. 

The biggest costs for Tara's treatment right now are the $165 per week of blood panels and physical exams. The next chemo dose will be given in three weeks. 

There was an unexpected abdominal ultrasound because the oncology doctor wanted to do a recheck and make sure the mast cell tumors hadn't spread to her abdominal organs. This procedure sang the discordant tune of $612 all told. I'm not even figuring in the cost of gas to go to the appointments. We live 60 miles from CSU where she is getting the chemotherapy and 50 miles from her regular vet, who is doing the blood work.

On top of the fun of making these trips, my car does not have a working AC, so we are driving with the windows down and it isn't much relief. Also, this happened.

I took this great picture of my own arm. You can click it to enlarge it. As well as the peeling skin, I also had weeping blisters. For those who may be wondering, the tattoo is permanent, not a temporary one. I got it close to 5 years ago.

Depending on what's going on with the AC, it could run anywhere between $200 and $500 to get it fixed.

I hate like hell to ask for money from people. Most of the time my son and I get by on my disability check ($1340 per month) which pays the bills with a small amount remaining. I make a small amount doing book reviews for the Online Book Club but it isn't by any means a steady income. 

I really appreciated the donations I received from a couple of great people following my post last month. If anyone else can kick in a little something, it would help a great deal. My Paypal is

I haven't done Tarot readings in a hot minute, but I'll do a reading for anyone who donates at least $10 and lets me know they want one. My offer for a promo post at Readers Roost ( for a donation of $5 or more still stands. Again, let me know if you want one by replying to this post with your email address.

You can also support me by subscribing to my Patreon. As little as a buck a month helps a lot and gets you free PDF copies of all of the smokin' hot Cloned Heat stories. 

Speaking of Readers Roost, I need to apologize to the last batch of participants in the WEP Challenge. I promise you that I will share your stories on the next Roost Recommendations. My mental health is kind of precarious on my best day, and last weekend the town where I live had an unexpected parade (I wasn't expecting it anyway) and yard sale day. 

I kind of liked watching the parade from my window, but I was unsettled by the people parking in the area in front of my house without asking if it was okay. I didn't want to make a fuss, so I didn't say anything. It was Food Bank Day later that afternoon, and I was very overwhelmed. 

I had a bit of a mental breakdown where I couldn't make myself do much of anything and started feeling like maybe I should just stop writing or interacting with people forever. I decided to take a week off of blogging rather than closing up shop permanently. 

Anyway, this is where things stand with me. Other than this post I may not blog again until it's time for the monthly MFRW Steam Hop on July 13, at which point I will hopefully be ready to get back up and running at full capacity again. It may be sooner, but I'm giving myself the option.

Again, I thank anyone who can help in any way with my cat and car expenses. Sharing helps too if you are unable to donate. I really appreciate it.

And now, since I'm oversharing everything anyway...

Some of you may have wondered why I am so reluctant to share pictures of myself and tend to use illustrations instead. Well, a picture is worth 1000 words, and this picture reveals the awful truth. I really am extremely ugly and have rather severe skin problems (rosacea, and yes, it is being treated). 

I am a large person, and people tend to think it's okay to ridicule and berate people of my size. This is why I don't share pictures of myself and instead usually close my posts with a picture of my alter-ego, Ornery Owl. Admissibly, I'm pretty ornery-looking in my regular form too.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Crap, I almost forgot. Please be sure to visit the other Charity Sunday posts.

Ornery Owl Has Spoken

Free Use Image from Open Clipart Vectors

WEP Challenge June 2021: The Great Wave


Free use image by Owensart on Pixabay

The Great Wave


On the last day of Atlantis, Salgeth Ozell stood at his post in the outer circle surrounding the great city. The young guard enjoyed being assigned to night duty because the sirens often came to keep him company.  The sirens liked Salgeth because he was kind to them and didn’t chase them away as some of the other guards were wont to do.

Salgeth was a slender, handsome youth with wavy, shoulder-length hair the color of brown seaweed washed up on the shore. He had tawny eyes and a fallow complexion. The name Salgeth meant “where the ocean meets the shore.”

Most of the time, the sirens that visited Salgeth were female. The young man had a reputation among the lovely denizens of the deep for being a passionate and compassionate lover. Many young Atlantean women were enchanted by Salgeth’s beauty, but the handsome guard preferred the company of the sea maidens, who had no expectation of monogamy and were happy to share their delightful catch with one another.

Salgeth was also on good terms with many of the male sirens. His friends Ukveds, Ulmoix, and Vrusae often apprised him of gossip from the underwater realms, and Salgeth reported these findings to King Croncar and Queen Qaangrin.

Salgeth was great friends with Prince Ovril, the presumed heir to the throne of Atlantis. Ovril often joined Salgeth at his post, and together the pair would cavort with the lovely sirens. Salgeth, Ukveds, Ulmoix, and Vrusae noticed that Ovril’s affections for the siren princess Unda had deepened beyond casual enjoyment, and they cautioned their friend against falling in love.

When Ovril failed to heed their warnings, Salgeth took Ovril to the tower of Cronoth, the oldest and wisest sorcerer in the realm of Atlantis. The young guard hoped that even if Ovril would not listen to the advice of his friends, he would hear the wisdom of Cronoth.

“Your desire is working its way into your heart like the thorn of the Gri’ots,” Cronoth warned. “The Sea Princess enjoys your company and lusts for what lies between your loins, but she has no plans for a permanent union with you. Sire, how could she? She is, after all, immortal. Your life will pass by in the blink of an eye, and with the ages, you will be forgotten.”

Ovril, however, was obsessed with the idea of making Unda his bride. Salgeth, Ukveds, Ulmoix, and Vrusae felt that they had no choice but to speak to Unda directly and advise her to reject Ovril before his obsession with her led to tragedy.



Upon their next meeting with the sirens, Ovril was dismayed to find Unda’s demeanor considerably cooler. She advised the smitten prince that she could never be his bride, for she was the bride of the sea.

“A siren can never be betrothed to a human lover,” Unda explained. “I am immortal, and you are but a breath of ocean mist. I am sorry, Ovril, but what you wish can never be.”

The stricken Ovril watched as Unda walked away from him and dove from the cliff, disappearing in the seafoam. Mad with grief over the loss of his beloved, the prince turned to forbidden magic. At the next full moon, he brewed an elixir of dreaming according to a recipe said to be older than the Earth itself.

Into a flagon of pure water from the Spring of Ozuns, the prince mixed six drops of his own blood, five Qhod berries, four thorns from the Struuvied bush, three bitter drops of Xarrods, two yellow Phasiens gems, and a single drop of Nem’ill, a plant whose leaves could cure or kill. He quaffed the potent potion and fell into a deep slumber.

Ovril found himself on the shores of the lost continent of Lemuria, where he was approached by Draattux, a renegade priest whose wicked ways were said to have brought about the destruction of that once-mighty empire. Draattux advised Ovril to summon the fearsome sea-demon Quyagen, who would wash the world clean of inferior land-dwelling life forms and grant Ovril immortality. Thereafter, Ovril would rule the new ocean world side by side with Unda.

Ovril was charismatic, and his sycophants obeyed him despite his obvious descent into madness. He promised them a place at his side when he became king over the newly cleansed earth. He bade him bring the six priestesses of the Temple of Fuphir to Braalxeoks Cove, where they would become the Brides of Quyagen.

Realizing what was at stake, the denizens of the waters summoned Nodens to prevent the rise of Quyagen and the other Great Old Ones. Ukveds, Ulmoix, and Vrusae then hastened to warn Salgeth of what was about to transpire.

“Nodens will do what he must to prevent the greater devastation of the Earth,” they warned. “If we cannot stop Ovril and his lackeys, then the realm of Atlantis is doomed to fall.”

Salgeth and the sirens bravely battled the mad prince’s forces. But Ovril was by this time convinced that Salgeth was at fault for his abandonment by Unda.

“You wanted her for yourself, Traitor!” Ovril shrilled, setting upon Salgeth with his enchanted blade drawn.

Salgeth hoped that he could convince his friend to stand down, but Ovril’s blade hit home, thrusting upward into the guard’s heart.



As Salgeth’s blood washed into the water, the ocean began to roil. The minutes became hours as the waters rippled and foamed. Suddenly, a great wave reared up and crashed down, destroying the once-mighty realm of Atlantis.

With her salty tears hidden by the ocean’s spray, Unda carried the still form of Salgeth away under the tumultuous waves.

948 Words


Unda is a character appearing in H.P. Lovecraft’s 1919 poem, “Unda; or the Bride of the Sea.”

Quyagen is the creation of E.P. Berglund and Crispin Burnham, appearing in their 1974 story, “The Thing in the Library.”

Nodens is a Celtic deity associated with the sea. He initially appears in H.P. Lovecraft’s story, “The Strange High House in the Mist,” first publication Weird Tales, October 1931.

This story was written for the June 2021 WEP Challenge prompt “The Great Wave.”

The story also utilized the Reedsy weekly story prompts Write a story involving a character who cannot return home and Write about someone who’s desperately trying to change their luck. It was submitted to the “write about someone who’s desperately trying to change their luck” prompt on 15 June 2021.

Happy 82nd birthday to my mother, who likely will never read this story. She doesn’t particularly care for my writing.


 The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)

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