Oh, you’ve been to concerts?

Made merrye have I on many occasion, but of all these arrayed tales lurks an single instance wherein have I covered truth in deception’s cloake as a hunter hoods his hawk, confounding you by a false night!

1) The baiting of bear, which slewe two great slaves from the Northlynds
2) A jester, covered in filth, speaking against the king
3) A soft-headed friendly fool who aite a score of eggs to much acclaim
4) A philosopher, drunk in a ditch, urinated upon by my own selfe among many
5) A trump and flute duo: Melryn and The Hound
6) A turnip that looked like the Manor Lorde
7) My children, felled by The Plague, appearing in hovering form and forgiving me my ill tempers and every trespass I made against them in life
8) A party, erupted by occasion on the burning of a landlord’s home
9) Howling at the moon, enraged by something in our bread
10) The Spice Girls

Can’st thou guess which are true and which would fetch me time i’ the stocks?

SO YOU’VE SUMMONED AN UNQUIET SPIRIT… NOW WHAT?

SO YOU’VE SUMMONED AN UNQUIET SPIRIT… NOW WHAT?

Look, it happens, so start by giving yourself permission to have made a mistake. Who among us hasn’t, on a dim night among broken branches and oily mist, accidentally made a pact with a creature from beyond the veil that, on reflection, doesn’t really suit our needs or match our preferred profile for companionship?

1) – Discover its name (if unknown). Keep guessing ’til you get it. TIP: Some computers can guess FOR you, with thousands of guesses per second!

2) – Write the name down & burn it.

That’s it! Anyone who tries to tell you it’s hard is probably also a ghost & they can eff off.

Every Bit Helps

If you like what I do, please like, comment and subscribe, give money to my sponsors and support my Plantreon.

It’s easy to do.

Go out into your garden and dig a hole. Into that hole, say “I support you, Plantreon!”

In 6-8 weeks a plant wearing my clothes will knock on your door and move in. Feed it oatmeal. Be nice to it. In this way, I will be satisfied and able to continue my very important work.

Looking on the Bright Side of Undead Disposal

When most of the reanimated dead has been destroyed (garlic in mouth, dismembered, buried at the crossroads, rice and salt scattered), don’t feel any shame if you still wish to keep one of the hands for yourself, for cold lonely nights, to let it lay on your lap and give you a friendly squeeze every once in a while, whenever the hand’s master dreams its dark dreams.

lost time incident 57 – uplifting sloths because we can

lost time incident 57
Greetings from the dark shores of adulthood! Just yesterday, I passed a milestone, having now circled the sun 41 times (according to people much smarter and older than me). It’s not a big round number so I spent the day as I spend most weekends: Just kinda puttering around the apartment.

I’ve got a book I’m reading. Made a fish curry. Played a board game. Listened to music. Watched some TV. Uplifted a mammalian pre-sentient species and had them join my interstellar federation of planets, just because I had the power to do so. That’s one of them at the top, there. I added the animated halo as a representation of my species’ godlike power.

I should probably clarify that this happened in a video game called STELLARIS. My brother, in a well-meaning act of sabotage, sent me the game as a birthday gift. I’ve lost so many hours to it, folks.

In the game, you pick a species based on how you feel about their core values, and then you’re handed a home planet and the capability to travel between the stars. So you set about some mundane tasks like sending science ships out to scan systems and find out what’s out there, and build a navy in case you meet anyone scary, and before you know it you’re colonizing other planets and researching alien artifacts. All good fun.

The first time I played, I didn’t want to be distracted by warfare… not when I had a whole gorgeous star system to fly around in. So I decided to play a pacifist race that’s essentially sentient mushrooms. However, after expanding a bit, I ran up against the limits of pacifism, as one of my neighbors in the universe didn’t share my beliefs, and promptly destroyed my navy, my space station, and bombed my home planet until they got bored.

I thought that would be the end of the game, but nope. I was welcome to try to rebuild and keep exploring… until I got too close to the same bullying neighbors and got beat up again.

It must be possible to be a space pacifist, but maybe that’s a bit advanced for one’s first game. So I started a new game as the human race and I gotta tell you, fellow humans… we’re pretty good at this thing (in a game designed by humans).

Anyway. I’ve torn myself away long enough to put a newsletter together, so without further adieu…

witches.town
I joined Twitter in 2008. Nine years later, I have 144 followers on my account, most of which are inactive, or followed me primarily to promote their own brand. It provided a fun platform to watch comedy writers work, and try to fit joke/story ideas into a tiny box. But more and more, I think I’m done with it.

A journalist I follow on that site, Sarah Jeong, wrote an article about a Twitter competitor called Mastodon that was gaining traction. It was called Mastodon Is Like Twitter Without Nazis, So Why Are We Not Using It?

Mastodon is a free, open source platform. This means that anyone who wants to can set up their own instance and run it on their own server. In fact, you have to… there’s no corporate-owned Mastodon site. If you want to join, you have to find someone’s Mastodon and see if they’re allowing new users. Each instance is also federated, which means there’s not just a local feed of posts from everyone in your instance, but also a “global” feed of every post from people in other instances who someone in your instance follows. The more people you follow outside your instance, the more you introduce them to your instance-mates and the more threads connect all the different Mastodon environments.

I settled into a Mastodon instance called witches.town. For one thing: it had the best name. Its admin is a French person who represents themselves with an illustration of a winged unicorn-horned fox and who says “Witches Town is made to provide a nice place on Mastodon for queer, feminists, anarchists and stuff as well as their sympathizers.” In the few weeks I’ve been there, our admin has gone about relabeling all the site elements to keep a witchy theme. You don’t “fave” a post, but you “place a sigil” on it. It’s cute.

Anyway, I’ve been using it as a space to write short, witch-themed whatsits, and have been amazed at how much easier it is to get engagement on that platform. It’s small so the local and global feeds aren’t impossible to follow, so most people are keeping tabs on what strangers are posting.

Take this post for instance: It takes advantage of a “content warning” feature built into the platform (and isn’t that nice?) to lure the reader in with a meme-phrase:

Then expanded:

Mastodon tells me that this little post has thus far collected 140 “likes” and has been reposted 90 times. By comparison, my most popular tweet ever got less than 30 retweets. I’ve already got over 100 followers on Mastodon and it’s only been a few weeks. For a writer, that’s a lot of validation on tap.

Granted, it’s also a “big fish, small pool” thing, when most other posts are folks microblogging, or talking about Mastodon itself. Not much competition yet. Anyway. That’s where I’ve been.

imported content from witches.town
You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but you do need to supply us with a hank of hair, a vial of blood, complete the three day chant of binding, sign a nondisclosure agreement, summon a minor thoughtform and have it perform up to three tricks or japes, get fitted for a hooded robe, sage your cubicle, and give a cancelled check to payroll.

(tarot reading)

*flips over cards reading STOP EATING GARBAGE and GET REGULAR SLEEP*

“That’s the thing with the Tarot: It’s so open to interpretation. No way to know what it means.”

BEST HEALING SPELL 2017

“Forget” – This medium-effort spell has made big inroads this year as people found more and more things they didn’t want to remember… and who can blame them? An incantation and drinking an anise-flavored vial of fluid, and it’s done. Simple and true.

BEST OFFENSIVE SPELL 2017
“Forget” – The votes are in and nothing can beat newcomer spell “Forget”! Easily reversible, this spell guarantees the target must face the very regret they thought they were free from. If the weight of this reversal is severe enough, it can be crippling.

BEST SELF-EXPERIMENTATION SPELL 2017
I don’t remember. I honestly don’t.

 

ending theme song
Okay, folks, that’s plenty of words all in a row for this week. See you next time!

—Michael Van Vleet

Spell Awards 2017 (perhaps a bit early)

BEST HEALING SPELL 2017
“Forget” – This medium-effort spell has made big inroads this year as people found more and more things they didn’t want to remember… and who can blame them? An incantation and drinking an anise-flavored vial of fluid, and it’s done. Simple and true.

BEST OFFENSIVE SPELL 2017
“Forget” – The votes are in and nothing can beat newcomer spell “Forget”! Easily reversible, this spell guarantees the target must face the very regret they thought they were free from. If the weight of this reversal is severe enough, it can be crippling.

BEST SELF-EXPERIMENTATION SPELL 2017
I don’t remember. I honestly don’t.

Tips For If You Wake Up Underground Possibly In A Grave:

Tips For If You Wake Up Underground, Possibly In A Grave:
1) If your face has room, try to spit. If the spit falls away from your face, you’re face down. You need to flip before climbing out of the damp earth
2) Think back: Did you say anything that could have been construed by the Thrice Charmed Lady of the Swamp as an insult?
3) When you surface, look for a tombstone. Is there one? With your name? If so, everything makes sense. If not, then…
4) Spit up mud, prepare vengeance as needed.

Baby Teeth Warehouse

Here at Baby Tooth Warehouse, we get asked a lot: How do you provide such low prices on teeth?

VOLUME.

At Baby Tooth Warehouse, our buyers compete in the Far Kingdom’s Tooth Fairy Markets to bring you the BEST prices on top shelf baby teeth!

They spend years there in the Far Kingdom on our customers’ behalf (though it only seems like weeks to those of us still here). And when our buyers return to the modern world, dazed and disheveled, their families and lives are long gone! The only touchstone left for them is bringing you those good, good bargains!

Please. Please just buy the baby teeth. They have nothing. The Fairy Market took everything.

Coffee is Important

Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee, or until the salt circle has been confirmed inviolate, the sacred stones lit, the Soul Blenders put on standby, the Circle of Eight gathered, the chanting of the verses that unstick time completed, the clouds have fallen, and The Queen of Blue Sorrows is ascendant.