Sunday, August 30, 2015



Years ago, my neighbor Ronan bought an 18th century hand-painted mug for a handsome amount. “It’s an investment,” the seller had told him.
After losing his job and struggling for years, Ronan tried to sell the mug back to the same seller. The man sneered.
“But… I paid you a fortune,” said Ronan.

Yesterday, I went to the store. Ronan was behind the counter.
“Are you the owner now?!”
He nodded.
“Where’s the other guy?”
“I don’t know,” he sneered, while taking a beautiful long-knife from my hands. “Don’t buy this, it’s a fake.”
Yes, Ronan is a good man.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Story Waiting to Happen: StoryBrooke Gardens

Originally posted at the Virtual Writers, July 20 2015.

This month we’ll visit the wonderful StoryBrooke Gardens, a small plot created by Lauren Bentham above Baja Norte’s beach.

I must admit I’m not sure I’m the right person to write this month’s column. I have never written children’s stories and I know them only as a reader. Yet, being absolutely mesmerized by this gem, I couldn’t resist. The fact that Lauren has done an impressive job will definitely make my task easier.

Upon arrival, the visitor is greeted by two friendly bunnies. Now, which way should we go? The warm welcome makes it difficult to decide. Ok, southbound.

A child jumps merrily, followed by his dog. Is he going on a trip? He looks happy, but he’s carrying a bindle. Is he running away from home? Or is he simply embarking on an adventure?

Within spitting distance, a fairy talks to a giant bee. Her small little feet splash playfully in the water of an old fountain. Nearby, a magical bicycle waits. It’s propelled by colorful balloons and if a dreamer sits on it, it will take him on a magical journey.

A track of colorful stars leads the way into a big tree trunk. It’s hard to resist, so here we go.

On the other end of the trunk, we turn left and almost trip on a gardener tortoise who insists that we must read the Book of the Butterfly. “The best is yet to come.” A few flowers grow from one of the pages. It must be magical too.

The tortoise then urges us to talk to the magician. The initial plan was to find ideas for a story with lots of fairies and bunnies and… Oh, well, let’s go talk to the magician.

Tea is brewing and, at the tempting offer of a cup, we spot a cauldron filled to the brim with incantation books and a skull on a stack of novellas guarded by a doll plagued with a mysterious pestilence. Umm… Caution is of the essence.

In the meantime, the magician foretells a rather eerie and enigmatic future at the sound of a haunted music box and the cawing of crows in the distance. He sends us off to search something. He means characters and stories, most likely. In doubt, we hurry away.

Back on the main track, let’s follow the flying ladder. White balloons are always a good omen.

Right around the corner, a white fox and a family of mice seem to be extremely busy – happy mouse, mommy mouse, two mice in love, a few sleepy ones and Excalibur. Excalibur likes to fly, something his family and friends find totally preposterous. A mouse was not made to go around flying, especially not holding on to such a fragile leaf. After witnessing an endless family argument that follows with Excalibur throwing a tantrum and defiantly flying away, we move on.

Oh, gosh, Humpty, what happened to you? He doesn’t reply. He wiggles his legs back and forth, sitting straight on his chair to avoid spilling over. We tiptoe away. We don’t want to distract him and be the cause of a disaster.

Back at the original landing point, let’s now turn left, following a path of stars once more.

A bunny boy and a bunny girl sit by a camera. The two friends wait for the perfect moment to take a snapshot of something mysterious only the two know of. They point west.

“Why west?”

They say that that’s where the story is. We believe them, although… There seem to be stories everywhere.

We stumble upon another family. This time, it’s a family of foxes and bunnies. Intriguing…

“Cookie?” offers a fox, holding a lamp. “Momma fox is baking,” he adds.

“I’m looking for a story,” we start. And he points west. I don’t argue. I just follow the magic unicorn and drag you, dear fellow writer, along.

A baby giraffe, two ducks and a kitten guard a pile of books.

“Do you have my story?”

They smile and point.

Ah, here we are! A crane lights the way to the house of dreams while a boy holds his pet fish. A panda rows a colorful paper boat. We go inside the house to find these words “all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”, a quote from Poe’s poem.

Reality and fantasy, family and friends, dreams and struggling to grow up, these are but a few of the themes we could write about.

StoryBrooke Gardens is an astounding location, filled with small details we can draw inspiration from. There is much more to explore than is shown in this month’s column. I have only provided you with a small taste, a very small taste, of Lauren’s creation. She quotes Steve Jobs in her profile. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” That is so true.

I invite you to drop by and grab a few ideas for stories because… there’s a story waiting to happen at StoryBrooke Gardens.



A Story Waiting to Happen is a series of monthly articles about sims in the virtual world of Second Life®. The goal is to trigger ideas for new stories, new characters and new settings. If you write a story prompted by the following post, do consider leaving it in the comments or a link to it. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Virtual Writers and I are in no way affiliated with any shop located in the sims featured in this column, nor do we intend to promote them.

Note: One of the characteristics of Second Life is the fact that it's constantly and rapidly changing. Sims come and go; others look quite different, as time goes by. Do take that into consideration when using the links provided.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

He Who Has a Why To Live


“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” He carried this quote in his wallet. The tiny piece of paper had been folded many times. It was so well hidden that he had completely forgotten about it. He married, had six children and worked hard to raise them. He lost his wife and many good friends. He now had 20 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. At his death bed, his surviving daughter asked “How did you manage to do all you did, Dad?” That’s when he recalled the quote and replied “Look around. I had a why.”

(Prompt: Your favorite quote)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Saw House

Cica Ghost

The “event” was that day of the year when the black house demanded feeding. They tried small animals and big animals; these always came back unharmed. As revenge, the house would draw people in. They would simply disappear, only to be spit out in pieces throughout the next days. The town learned. They started with the “As”, moving on to the “Bs” the following year. It was terrifying for everyone; for everyone except for 101010010. His parents wanted to choose a name starting with an “R”. They couldn’t figure out which, so… He was extremely fond of his robot name.
100 Word Stories
(Prompt: Saw)

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Independence Day

When the dancer moved her body sensuously, the crowd gasped. They were mesmerized by her beauty. She roamed the stage in slow motion circles, her arms contouring her breast and hips. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she had a small snake in her hand. The snake slid around her arm up to her neck. There was an odd look on the snake’s eyes, but then again, snakes always look odd. As the snake slowly wrapped around the dancer’s neck, no one did anything. By the time the police arrived, the snake was long gone. They found it later during the autopsy.

Sunday, August 2, 2015



Sound Stage 2 was a kid-free zone. The director hated children.
When he realized his main actress was pregnant, he started paying alimony but fired her.
Years later, a kid asked to talk to him. He refused.
The director was then forced to work on a show for children, go figure. Yes, the kid was 14 but he was the owner of the studio.
One day the director went crazy; he abhorred kids and he would have plenty of time to dwell on that, right after the trial ended.
The studio had become a kid-free zone again, that’s for sure.