NaPoWriMo – covidku

I’ve missed a few days of NaPoWriMo. My muse had the sniffles, and I thought she might succumb to her symptoms if I didn’t spend all my energy taking care of her. Or maybe I was just lethargic. In really badass pain. Too tired to raise my head. All of the above.

Meanwhile, I and my kind have been writing haiku and senryu as we observe our place in human history vis-à-vis Covid-19. Some are calling our pithy poems covidku.

mona lisa
taking off her mask
is the new first base

near extinct
spotted in its habitat
last pack of TP

ugly faded t-shirt—rockin’ DIY mask

oh, grocery deliverer
why hast thou
forsaken me

they are sheltering together
must be love


Photo: sumanley on

NaHaiWriMo – Day 1

National Haiku Writing Month starts today! What better reason to end my long hiatus from blogging?

If you love haiku, haiga, senryu and haibun…or you just love watching some poor sap like me struggle to come up with a tiny idea from her feeble brain once a day, then I hope you will join me for an interesting month of poetry.

I plan to write at least one poem per day, sometimes using prompts from Facebook or Twitter. The Facebook page for NaHaiWriMo has lots of visitor posts, so feel free to read along or post your own.

Today’s prompt: hand

Piano keyboard



Summer Re-run

It’s vacation time at Friday Fictioneers! Actually, it’s not much of a vacation for our leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who is under a deadline for her third novel. So she is re-running a favorite photo prompt from 2012, and I am re-running the story that it inspired.

I love cheesy science fiction movies from the 1940s and 1950s. The preposterous plots and archetypical characters provide not only entertainment but insight into the sometimes hilarious cultural stereotypes of the era. Some of my favorites are:

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (you can see the zipper on the back of the Martian’s costume)

The Thing (an evil alien, a nebbish reporter and an inept military)

The Beginning of the End (giant locusts eat Chicago)

The Blob (bad boy turns out to be the hero)

This is a piece of fan fiction based on The Blob. I believe it was Steve McQueen’s first feature film role. His character had to fight off an alien creature, a growing pink gelatinous blob. He discovered it was vulnerable to cold, and he convinced the townfolk to get a bunch of CO2 fire extinguishers and freeze it to death before it “ate” the diner and all the people in it.

The 1988 remake had a similar gooey blob, but it turned out to be a mutation of a biological weapon invented by–wait for it–the U.S. Department of Defense. The film was set in a ski resort town, so Kevin Dillon and his hot girlfriend killed it (well, most of it) with a snow-making machine.

The photo reminds me of curtains hanging in a diner, like the imperiled diner in the original movie, so I invented a sequel. I hope you enjoy it! I’ve included the old movie trailer for extra chuckles.


Photo copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Ice Ain’t Nice

(with apologies to Steve McQueen and Kevin Dillon)

by Jan Brown

It was a viscous combination of sleet and snow, and it was coming at us horizontally. Each icy fragment hit our unprotected faces with the force of a miniature missile. We ran as fast as the slippery street would allow, finally reaching safety inside the diner.

We couldn’t resist staring out the window as it was pelted with the same sideways slush. Then we realized that safety was just an illusion. With a deafening crack, the glass fractured and the slush quickly coated every available surface. The Blob was back, and this time it wasn’t afraid of the cold.

For more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:


Fan Letter

Our NaPoWriMo challenge today is to write a fan letter. I’ve chosen to do this in the form of an ode to a certain famous blonde-haired, orange-skinned businessman and quasi-politician. The identity of the narrator may be a bit of a mystery until the sixth or seventh stanza.

Odes come in three basic types, and infinite permutations thereof. This doesn’t fit the classic rhyme schemes, so I’d have to say it falls in the category of the “Irregular Ode.” I kind of like the concept of being irregular, and it certainly fits the subject matter.


Oh, blonde delight, you thrill me when you speak

Your fake hair in a Fibonacci screw

Upswept there by hot air that blew

Your voice so gruff when in a fit of pique

And nothing that you say makes any sense

To thoughtful brains and ears, you seem so dense

Comedians love you, and the “common man”

But they’re the only ones who really do

Save trophy wife and kids who work for you

And, of course, the mental giants of the Klan

But still you thrill me and I think you know

Why I follow and encourage you so

You know my name but say it in a murmur

Your mind swirls with delusion and denial

You’re puzzled: why’s this journey such a trial?

You thought we could not lose, but now you wonder

If Lucifer and Mammon are enough

Perhaps your flagging campaign needs to get tough

Surely if you threaten to leave the GOP

They will back down and let you win

But your exit could compel a campaign flop

And rob the happy flush from your orange skin

I’ll still be behind you, all the way

But be careful not to fall too far

When you misstep, I’ll step out of the fray

I won’t wish on a falling star






Kip and Dredge in Outer Space

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers!  We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories every week, based on a photo prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.  This week’s photo is graciously provided by the wife of fellow writer, Russell Gayer. Thank you, Connie!

Photo Copyright: Connie Gayer

Photo Copyright: Connie Gayer

Kip and Dredge in Outer Space

by Jan Brown

The landing module began its approach to Mars’ surface.

Kip pointed to the viewer, excited. “Look! The settlers are welcoming us. They painted a smiley face on the landing site.”

Dredge groaned in response. “Don’t be an idiot. That’s a cable. It feeds electricity to the underground city.“

“Then why is it above ground?”

“My guess would be erosion. Our settlements have had adverse effects on the planet’s surface.”

“If we’re living underground, who cares if we mess up the surface?”

“Look, moron, we colonized Mars to get away from the Earth’s poisonous atmosphere. We ruined Earth. Now we’re screwing up Mars, too!”

“One planet at a time….”


To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

Kip and Dredge Go to the Beach

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where every story is a surprise!

The photo prompt this week is mysterious. Could it be mutant leeches crawling up from the ocean? Or a giant chain? What’s it doing there? Will Kip and Dredge, notorious slackers and mental giants, figure it out in time?

If you would like to read other Friday Fictioneers’ work, click the blue frog below my story. If you would like to create your own 100-word work of art, visit our fearless leader’s website–Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple.

Photo Copyright: C. Hase

Photo Copyright: C. Hase

Kip and Dredge Go to the Beach

by Jan Brown

Kip and Dredge were participating in their favorite activity, dumpster diving, on an abandoned film set.

“Wow, look at this. Must be a prop from the old ‘King Kong’ movie.”

“This is no prop–it’s solid metal.”

Just then, a huge beast emerged from the ocean. But it wasn’t King Kong. It had a head like a meat cleaver.

“Oh, man, is that Guiron?”

“Yes, I’m Guiron.” The beast spoke English! “Are you the lunch guys?”

“No, man, we don’t have any lunch.”

“You misunderstand.” Guiron brought his cleaver-head down close. “You’re a little scrawny, but could be crunchy appetizers!”

Guiron - Image Source:

Guiron – Image Source:

Kip and Dredge Get Down with Science

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers!  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields leads our international band of fictioneers by providing a photo prompt to inspire us each week. Writers from around the world post 100-word stories, based on the prompt. You can see them all here, and you can post your own story, too!

Many thanks to Erin Leary for this week’s photo.

This week my favorite slackers, Kip and Dredge, found some back issues of Science and Discover magazines while dumpster diving. Fortunately, there are lots of cool pictures in these publications, which helped the guys get through all the science-y stuff.

Photo Copyright: Erin Leary

Photo Copyright: Erin Leary

 Kip and Dredge Get Down with Science

 by Jan Brown

“Hey, Dredge! It says here they found a mushroom on Mars!”

“Read the article, dumbass. It’s just a rock.”

“Well, this other article says they found meth on Mars!”

“I think you mean methane.”

“They say it could have come from Martian bugs.”

“What kinda bugs are on Mars? I thought it was all frozen.”

“I dunno, but they must be HUGE. Look at the size of the hole they made!”

“That’s a crater, dumbass. Anyway, it’s not living things that make methane. It’s their poop.”

“Where do bugs poop?”

“On Mars, apparently.”



There has actually been a frivolous, but amusing, lawsuit filed against NASA for “covering up” the existence of the alleged mushroom. See the links below for more info about some of the Curiosity rover’s discoveries.

NASA Mystery Rock Lawsuit

Curiosity Detects Methane Spike