Weird Halloween Stories

New story – a couple of Weird Halloween Stories. Click HERE for the podcast, and if you’re old school, text version is here. I got a new webcam and this time I recorded the podcast using the microphone from the webcam. Sound quality is okay, but I still prefer using the microphone from my headset. I found it picks up a bit more ambient noise and when editing the sound afterwards, it’s a bit noticeable for me.

And in Halloween related news…I thought about going as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski but I don’t think my hair’s quite long enough and I don’t have the funds to buy either a beige nightgown, or a Cowichan sweater. Although a few friends have helpfully suggested I go as the “I’m not saying it’s Aliens….but it’s Aliens!” guy. That’s a nope for me. So when I’m at work, in a mask, I’ll use my fallback costume of a homicidal maniac. They’re scary because they look just like everyone else.

Short Theatre Stories

So, while I was posting these short theatre stories on another site, I thought “Ummmmm….maybe put this on your website?” So here are a few short Theatre stories from my youth:

Theatercraft
Our instructor for Theatrecraft 101 was a real easygoing guy, probably about 35. This course covered the basics of creating a set, lighting, costuming, sound, etc. And he had a lot of stories…from an insane stagehand who made a large set piece (house roof) come screaming earthward for shits and giggles to an incompetent assistant who nearly electrified the instructor. But the one that is relatable is on X-acto blades. As we were working in foamcore to build set dioramas and cutting it with X-actos, he made sure we were careful and used cutting surfaces. Because when he was in school (back when X-actos were a lot sharper and unsafe), a classmate was cutting foamcore with his jeans, skin and muscle as a cutting surface. Idiot Classmate finishes, stands up, notices his jeans are shredded, notices the blood starting to seep out, and then notices the pain. Blades back then were surgical sharp. Ouch.

Oh Apollo!
Theatre History 101. Our instructor, Alex, was a big bear of a man, 6’3″ and a little chunky. He’s got this deep baritone voice, and one day while studying an ancient Greek Tragedy, he mentions how sometimes a translation can miss the subtle directing cues the original work has. He describes a scene from Oresteia (an ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus) where Cassandra cries out in despair to the Greek god Apollo as she knows what’s going to happen to her. The English translation is essentially “Oh! Apollo!!” and Alex said this is where the translation fails. So – picture this bear of a man, a professor, mid-50s, inhaling in such a way it felt like he was trying to devour the air, then a split second later:

oooooOOOOOOOOOO!O!O!TOOOOYTOOOYYYYY!!​!! APPPPOLLLOOOOOO!!

Cue the class in shock, people in the front row with their hair blown back, and the DudeBro Frat guy in the back flicking his Bic lighter like he’s at a concert.

Drying or in character?
An actor can forget their lines (or “dry”) for various reasons…but the weirdest situation is when they forget the line because the actor is no longer there but their character IS.

So, theatre school, final project. We stage The Sport of My Mad Mother. I play the naïve American tourist. The rest are members of a London Cockney street gang. V—-, playing one of the gang, has a scene with me where we are comforting the female lead. I’d just said my line, and was waiting on V—-. And waiting.

Now to be fair, actors performing operate on stage-time (where every second for the audience is 10 seconds to the actors) and I have ADHD which is hyped by my adrenaline from the performance, I’m operating on a level of Matrix-like Bullet-Time.
I look over at V—-.
I realize V—- isn’t here anymore.
I then think “ohshiatnowwhat…hey, do I need to pick up milk later? No, no, I’m good…could do with some butter….okay where are we in the play again?” I mentally page through the script to his line, and quickly reword it so I can say it. The next actor picks up her cue, and the play goes on as normal. Afterwards, I ask V—- about it and he says “No, I said the line” to which everyone else in the green room says “Nope”. He genuinely did not remember. I’m glad it happened in a quieter moment, not in the middle of a fight scene.

Bonus Theatre “Cool Story Bro”: Accidental transposed line from Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas at the Walterdale Theatre in Edmonton. This play has a cast of dozens along with about 5-6 stagehands and crew. The original line spoken by the First Voice is “Heads are picked, noses are wiped”. Unfortunately, (and you should NEVER DO THIS TO ACTORS OR PEOPLE SINGING SONGS unless it’s Weird Al Yankovic or someone similar) during rehearsal, someone in the cast jokingly made parody scenes and lines. The actor had heard the joke version, and that night transposed the nouns in that sentence. The First Voice caught her mistake and paused for a split second. Meanwhile, the entire cast and crew backstage and onstage are quietly exploding in laughter. But we continued on with no issues other than sore abdominal muscles from clenching them to prevent laughter.

Taste the Memories: new fiction!

Alrighty. NEW PODCAST! “Taste the Memories” click here for podcast, or for the text version, click here.

What else? Oh, yes, a Table of Contents (TOC) for my Library of Stories. After installing the widget and poking at it for a few weeks, being generally afraid of the work I suspected was involved, when I was posting the text version I saw there was a toggle button for a table of contents. One click later and “ta-da!” You can click on the icon on the top left of the TOC to expand or collapse it. For my next trick, I may do pages, or some sort of “back button”.

Other than that, as I peer out the window, it appears the snow squall forecasted has arrived. Music that might help: 1960s Jazz Music.

I was listening to some Lalo Schifrin and Jerry Goldsmith movie soundtracks from the 60s/early 70s. There’s something about the music of that time…yes some of it verges towards elevator music, but there was a lot of good stuff like the background music for the 1967 Spider-Man animated series. Yes, really. Or to get a really good idea about the energy of the music, try Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island.

Both Sides of THE End – flash fiction

Well, I finally got off my ass to post this. Reading it and the actions that occur, I hope you end up thinking “what…wait, why?” and wanting more. That’s the essence of #flashfiction – it’s a quick snapshot. The difference? A novel would be the equivalent of describing a house, the property it’s on, and the contents of a house. A short story is describing the contents of one room. A flash fiction is essentially you walking by a room and looking in at what’s happening as you walk by. Text of the story is available by CLICKING HERE or if you prefer to hear it as a podcast, go to my Podcasts page, or to my Podbean site.

The Missing Menu – a new flash fiction

The Missing Menu – a new flash fiction available in either podcast format or in text format! This flash fiction covers the thoughts and musings of some…thing as it’s sitting down to a meal.

Posting this was my challenge – and finally, with the help of some Ultra Sour sativa and playing “Eye of the Tiger” on a loop, I got it online. Although the tenth repeat the bird got pissed and started squawking in protest.

Why the delay in posting new creative? Well…I’m working on other stuff offline, and my laptop was going senile. So June was a write off as I tried to work around it. Fortunately a friend who works at Best Buy suggested I switch my hard drive out for a solid-state drive. And whoa, boy! Behaves about the same, but faster on startup. Unfortunately, while they were able to preserve a lot of my files, my desktop and any apps I need to download (Firefox, Audacity, GIMP) had to be updated.

Which also caused some issues. Yet, I persevered! True, I had to sigh and quote Dorothy Parker “What fresh Hell is this?” but…I’m also going to look at the Library of Stories page and think about how I could better organize it…maybe a table of contents? We’ll see.

Alone Plague Journal and…

Days 10-12 of the Alone Plague Journal are now up. How would you like it? A text version? The podcast on my Podcasts page? Maybe through Podbean? It’s your choice, but if you could either follow me here, on social media, or even better, donate to my Ko-fi account so I can continue to maintain my parrot in kibble and seeds, that’d be swell.

Besides that, I finally figured out the problem with a video version of one of my stories. I’m taking the audio from my stories and posting it into a PowerPoint presentation which I convert to video, so I can also post to YouTube; but it’s a bit slower. Yet, if you’ve not yet heard my one story “Seeds of Time” you can click on the hyperlinked title and watch it now on YouTube.

Ehhh…what else? Why not a picture of Diva?

quaker parakeet
She looks innocent, but she’s plotting.

The Washroom Preacher – a weird encounter

Hello. I’m aiming for multiple updates this week, but first off, The Washroom Preacher – a true life encounter with a weird situation – is available either on the Podcasts page or as a text version. As well, here’s the link to the song mentioned if you need to listen to it afterwards.
This podcast is available on Podbean, iTunes or Google Play podcasts.

Alone Plague Journal – Days 8 and 9

Latest in the fictional serial journal of someone experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic in Calgary Alberta. The framing device is that this is from some kind of museum display 50 years in the future. Text version here or for audio, go to Podcasts (note, podcast also available on Podbean).

I also add some comments about the writing process…I’ve said it before, but sometimes perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. It’s a work in progress after all.

What else…oh, it’s Diva’s 16th birthday today. She’s getting all sorts of treats (nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, birdie bread) and of course, lots of attention. And she’s being such a good girl. Look for yourself:

Man with bird on shoulder
“What…no kiss? Hmmph.”

Karenpocalypse – new fiction

Karenpocalypse, or Dicks Demise is now online! So today I decided to list off the ways you can access this new original story about why you should be nice to essential workers like retail staff all the time:
– Evankayne.com – either Library of Stories for the text, or Podcasts for the podcast
– Podbean – here’s the link to this story specifically, and the link to my main Podbean site with other stories.
Also, pay what you can to support me by visiting my Ko-fi account – it’s that green “buy me a coffee” button located on the side (desktop) or the bottom of the page (or you can click this link).

As for the whole “Karen” meme, first off I’m including “Dicks” whenever I discuss Karen behavior. Why? Well, “Dick” behavior was there first. By behavior, I mean the self-centered “it’s all about me and you making me happy” behavior some people exhibit towards people working in the service industry or arts (so, retail staff, doctors, nurses, artists, actors, restaurant staff, etc.).

The “Karens” and the “Dicks” of this world want what they want now. If they’re caught in a mistake, they never admit they were wrong. They’re always the victim of bad service. And they ALWAYS have bad service. When I worked at Shell, I arranged a celebratory dinner for 100+ people in our lunchroom. It was transformed into a dining hall with white tablecloths, silverware and china. The food was amazing from start to finish. And yet, a “Karen” whined that her dessert was a little dry, therefore her entire meal was ruined. She was quickly put in her place by some other coworkers and myself, but you got the impression that she didn’t change her opinion, she just learned in this situation and with these people, she should keep her thoughts to herself.

Look, sometimes you have to make a complaint. But treat the person to whom you unload like a friend or family member you respect. Ask for other solutions. Yes, if you’re not satisfied with the answer at one level, do not immediately “ask for a manager”. Try “you’ve been helpful, but can I see if the manager has any other solutions? That way you can get back to helping other people.”

If the answer is “No” accept that. You could try calling corporate or the owner, but try weighing the cost of your time versus how much this purchase or service cost you. Because I feel, and I’ve seen that essential workers have zero patience for dick behaviors and karen entitlements. When you ask “may I speak to a manager” you may get the answer of “No”. When you snipe “Well, I’ll never shop here again” you may get “Good, because you’re banned from this store.”

We’re all under a lot of stress. Be nice. Now and in the future.

Alone Plague Journal – Days 5-7

Today I threw in three days. Also, on the podcast ONLY I have a short note on the writing and creation of this journal and how it has changed from when I first started writing this fictional journal. The Podcasts page has the links to the text (with – once again – bonus songs to play if you prefer to read rather than listen).