Riding an Electric Skateboard – Coolest Grammy on the Block!

Would you ride an electric skateboard, or have you?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

A couple of weeks ago, my nephew brought his home-built electric skateboard to a family get-together. You hold a remote control to make it go or to brake. This one works with an index finger trigger.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Apparently I’m a goofy footer. Makes sense considering I’m an A-1 goofball. Actually, the term “goofy foot” means you lead with your right foot and your left foot is in the back near the tail of the board. Regular stance is when you lead with your left foot.

Yes, I know I’m a bit extreme with bending the knees. Seems to help me balance better.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

This was an amazing feat for me since my balance isn’t the greatest, due to low-grade vertigo. I can’t even play Ring Around the Rosie with the grandkids anymore because I get too dizzy, but riding an e-board required no spinning.

Malfunction? Say What?

Must have been my lucky day because the brakes worked! Nephew’s girlfriend rode the board last. She rides fast and went all the way down the hill, and apparently the remote control malfunctioned because the brakes wouldn’t work as she neared an intersection.

Smart girl that she is, rather than risk facing a possible oncoming car, she bailed. Took a good tumble, scratching up both knees, and bruising her hipbone, but she’s athletic and used to minor injuries. I guess her ribs were tender, too, but thank God she was fine.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I can thank my lucky stars the remote worked when I took my turn. Face plant on asphalt? Ouch! Would I ever ride an electric skateboard again? Not likely, unless I lose my mind.

I can relive the thrill anytime I want by watching the one-minute video:

Here’s  a link that explains more about this little “people mover.”

The history blows my mind. The article states, “Back in 1975 the first motor based board ‘electric skateboard’ was actually non-electric!” Check out the picture in that link. Pretty funny. It has a gas motor rigged to the back of the skateboard, with a cable and remote attached to it.

Who Woulda Thunk?

I never would have guessed they had something like that back then. I graduated high school in ’74. However, electric skateboards didn’t take off until the late 1990’s “when Louie Finkle introduced the world to a new type of skateboard which was the new wireless form of electric skateboards.”

Very interesting. I’m still waiting for hover boards like the ones in Back to the Future, not the kind that catch fire and blow up, but that’s a whole other blog post.

What are your thoughts? Are you familiar with electric skateboards? Would you give it a shot? What’s the latest daring activity you took part in? I’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Toys, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What Are Your Fears?

What are your biggest fears?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I’m afraid of horror movies.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Ma Cobb, Grammy Gets It

My three-year-old granddaughter Chatty Girl is afraid of some of her toys. These are the ones that are banished to the closet:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Are you surprised a cute baby doll is scary to a child? That adorable doll and all dolls creep out my son-in-law Bryan and probably a lot of other people, too.

My oldest daughter, April, will sometimes prank Bryan by hiding a similar doll in conspicuous places, like on top of the shower head so that when Bryan tries to take his morning shower, he endures a heart-stopping moment to kickstart his day.

This doll below, Charlotte, is my mom’s. She keeps it for her great-grandchildren to play with when they come to visit:

Chatty Girl isn’t afraid of this doll and loves to play with it, but my sister Cindy thinks the doll looks like Chucky.

Image on Amazon

Mom isn’t amused. “Charlotte is an expensive doll,” she says, “from Germany, 1962, a limited edition.”

Still, people who have a fear of dolls don’t care how valuable they might be. Gives them the heebie jeebies, regardless. If the doll wasn’t a collector’s item, I’d ask Mom if I could have it to wrap it up as a gag gift for my son-in-law. Gee, I wonder where April got her jokester genes?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Bryan and April

Bryan gets annoyed at such antics, but overall he’s a good sport.

In addition to having an aversion to certain dolls, Cindy also has a fear of clowns. Our mom is a bit of a prankster, or at least she used to be. She once wrapped up a clown doll for Cindy’s birthday when she was maybe 14 years old.

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

Cindy flipped. Mad, mad, mad! That didn’t stop Mom, though. Another time, she put the clown doll on Cindy’s bed under the blanket. She freaked out again.

Did these pranks damage Cindy for life? You betcha.

She turned into a bigger prankster than our mother. Read my post from 2012, Mom Pulls Scary Prank or watch my YouTube video where I tell the story:

I showed the clown below to Cindy at a family get-together a few years ago. It’s probably the scariest, ugliest toy clown in the world and has an evil laugh when you squeeze it:

Her reaction? In a stern voice, “Put it away.”

I myself am a clown lover. I collect clowns, plus I was a clown at my son’s birthday party when he turned four.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

None of my kids are afraid of clowns, but all of them are part prankster. I’ll save those stories for another post.

I have a friend, Annie, who’s afraid of sock monkeys. Every time I see one in a store, I’m tempted to buy it for her. So far, I’ve restrained myself for fear of ruining the friendship.

HomeMaker - Pixabay

For those who love scary stuff, especially spooky dolls, my friend Maria Cisneros Toth made a video of 13 scary dolls:

Not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

What are your thoughts? Do you like jokes and pranks? Do you have a lot of fears, or do you like spooky stuff? I’d love to hear from you.

Photo credits: Clown doll – Alexas Fotos; sock monkey – HomeMaker – Pixabay

 

Posted in Creepy, family, Funny, Holidays, Jokes and Pranks, Lynn Kelley, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Bargain Alert! Cute Fairy and Bug Wings at the Dollar Tree

Do you love a bargain?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I stopped in at the Dollar Tree yesterday to buy a simple Thanksgiving decoration. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any pilgrim stuff, but they’re well stocked with Halloween decorations and novelties. Some look cheap, but others are amaze-balls.

So, I grabbed my cell phone and shot some videos. Here’s just a sampling of what’s on the shelves:

We don’t get many trick-or-treaters anymore, so I don’t decorate for Halloween, but if I did, the Dollar Tree is where I’d go. I don’t like the super scary stuff, but the funny-spooky decorations are cool, and they have plenty of fun stuff that won’t frighten the little ones.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

These solar-powered skulls and jack-o-lanterns have flashing eyes. They’re as heavy as rocks, so perfect to line a walkway to light up a path.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

For hanging decorations, the paper lanterns would look festive dangling from a tree:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I don’t like spiders, but these paper spider-decor lanterns are neat looking:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

This Dracula is creepy cool, and apparently it’s a mirror clinger:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Best find of the day by far:  ladybug wings, bumble bee wings, matching skirts, and matching wands. Watch this video to see how cute they are:

They also have the same fairy wings I bought last year for my granddaughters to play dress up in.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

The fairy wings and skirts were a huge hit. They didn’t have the green wings last year, so I got a pair this time.

A pair of fairy wings: one dollar. Hours of playtime: priceless!

Do you have a Dollar Tree or dollar store near you? If you’re like me, you need  to stay out of the store so you don’t spend too much money. If you like to do arts and crafts projects, dollar stores are full of treasures.

Hope these tips are helpful to you or someone you know who might want to grab some bargain deals.

What are your thoughts? Is Halloween one of your favorite holidays? Do you like to decorate? Do you like good bargains? I’d love to hear from you. 

Posted in Holidays, Lynn Kelley, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rats! I Hate Rats!

Rats!

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Ma Cobb, Grammy Gets It

She’s back!

“Who?” you ask. Why, the Queen of Macabre, Ma Cobb, who else? If you missed her the other day (sharing some wild Edgar Allan Poe quotes), go here.

Today, Ma Cobb has a fun chant for you. Are you familiar with “I Hate Rats”?

When my youngest daughter Suzee was a kid, she taught me the rat chant. We’d say it together, saying it faster and faster each time it was repeated. It’s great for grins and giggles. Lots of giggles.

Definitely an activity for kids, but I’ve had fun saying it with some of my kid-like writer friends, too.

Here’s how the rat chant goes:

Rats!

I hate rats!

They drive me crazy.

I was crazy once.

They put me in a room,

a rubber room with rubber rats.

Repeat, but say it faster and faster each time. See if you can keep from cracking up once you reach your limit!

Most people actually do hate rats, but there’s one rat who’s quite popular, especially with kids. He’s a talking pirate rat named Vlad, and he’s a main character in BBH McChiller’s Monster Moon adventure series.

Meet Vlad:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

You can learn all about him in my post, Interview With a Pirate Rat.

Get to know him even better by reading Book 1, Curse at Zala Manor.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

It’s almost Halloween, and twelve-year-old AJ Zantony’s world is threatened by an ancient curse that releases wicked pirates who had been trapped for centuries in his Aunt Zsofia’s creepy mansion, Zala Manor.

The pirates–a vampire count, a pegleg skeleton, and a zombie–have three goals: to find a lost treasure, unleash the restless dead from their graves, and to settle a very old score by destroying the Zantony bloodline.

AJ has to stop them before midnight during Aunt Zsofia’s annual Halloween party. Except he has a big problem–monster phobia! He’s scared to death of monsters. But if he doesn’t act fast, the streets of Craggy Cove will be crawling with zombies. Who will be alive when midnight tolls?

Perfect read for Halloween, and the ebook is only 99 cents on Amazon.

Do you like spooky stuff? The Monster Moon series is spooky fun. I’m a big chicken, so I had to add some humor to the stories in order to be able to sleep at night, so no worries about it being too scary.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Ma Cobb should go on a date with Uncle Fester from The Addams Family? Or Lurch?

Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester) and Ted Cassidy (Lurch)

Uncle Fester and Lurch from The Addams Family

Had you ever heard the rat chant before? Do you like rats? (Couldn’t keep a straight face asking that question.) Would you try the rat chant on a dare? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

Posted in BBH McChiller, Creepy, Grammy Gets It, Kids, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Disappearing Body Trick

My son cracked us up with his disappearing body trick at a family get-together. The video is only 13 seconds long:

I grew up in a funny family. Likewise, our four kids also turned out a bit quirky. For instance:

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, BBH McChiller

The grandkids don’t stand a chance, considering they’ve likely inherited the goofball gene, too. I mean, look at this:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

Our ancestors were quite a wild bunch:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

In the video below, more disappearing-body fun. The whole family had to get in on the act. Yes, we’re easily amused, and that’s a good thing. Listen to all that laughter. Let those endorphins do their glorious healing.

What are your thoughts? Are you easily amused, too? Do you know any similar nifty tricks? Do you like quirky people? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in family, Funny, Grammy Gets It, Jokes and Pranks, Lynn Kelley, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes Shared by Ma Cobb

Ma Cobb is at it again. In this video, she shares some of her favorite quotes by the King of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

Before you faint-hearted folks freak, this is just spookylicious fun. So, grab a mug of hot cider, light a jack-o-lantern, and chillax.

For fans of Poe’s most famous poem, here it is again for nostalgia’s sake. If any of you aren’t familiar with this piece, enjoy!

The Raven

by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

            Only this and nothing more.”

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

            Nameless here for evermore.

 

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—

            This it is and nothing more.”

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

            Darkness there and nothing more.

 

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

            Merely this and nothing more.

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

 

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—

            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

            With such name as “Nevermore.”

LoggaWiggler</a> / Pixabay

 

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—

    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

 

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

 

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

            She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee

    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

StarGlade</a> / Pixabay

 

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—

    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Alexas_Fotos</a> / Pixabay

 

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Ma Cobb

For a fun, spooky short story told by Ma Cobb, go here.

What are your thoughts? Are you an Edgar Allan Poe fan? Do you like this poem? Do you think Ma Cobb is cute? Or spooky? I’d love to hear from you!

Photos courtesy of Alexas Fotos, LoggaWiggler, and StarGlade – Pixabay

Posted in Creepy, Funny, Holidays, Lynn Kelley, Poetry, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Dancing Skeleton Limber Jack

Limber Jack is ready for Halloween.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton

Do you like the fun music I found for the skeleton dance? The song is “Tiptoe Out the Back” by Dan Lebowitz.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, dancing skeleton

This Limber Jack is the best toy ever! I get the biggest kick out of it.

So, he shed his pirate costume from Talk Like a Pirate Day and is now dressed as a skeleton.

I seem to have a thing for dancing skeletons. Check out my other dancing skeleton post. Can you figure out how I did that special x-ray effect?

What are your thoughts? Had you ever heard of or seen a Limber Jack toy before? Do you think it’s cool that it’s a toy and also a musical instrument? And can dance, too? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Posted in Dancing, Grammy Gets It, Holidays, Lynn Kelley, Toys, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Parenting – It’s a Scream!

This is a real-life parenting story, one that gave me tons of gray hair.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Parenting Plights and Delights

I revised one of my favorite parenting stories and then recorded it. At the time it happened, it gave me quite a scare that caused a full-blown panic attack.

For anyone who can’t watch the video, here’s the manuscript:

Back in October 1997, all four of our kids still lived at home. It was a few days before Halloween, and I dragged my husband, George, with me to a play at the Montclair Plaza, leaving 16-year-old April in charge of her two younger sisters, Amy and Suzee, ages 12 and 8. Our eldest, 17-year-old Mike, wasn’t cut out for babysitting back then. I’ll leave it at that.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Parenting Plights & Delights

The play was titled “Everyman in the Mall, ” a modern spin  on a morality play from the late 15thcentury titled “Everyman.” The performance started in the evening after the stores had closed up, and the audience followed the characters through the Montclair Plaza, up and down escalators and elevators and all over the place to view the various scenes.

The theme was “death” and how every person must face it sooner or later. The grim reaper character creeped me out. So did the spooky, eerie atmosphere.

Let’s just say I don’t deal well with the horror genre and can’t watch movies like Friday the 13th.

About halfway through the play as we headed to the next scene on the lower level, a security guard walked up and read my name tag. Then he asked, “Is there a ‘George’ in the crowd?”

“Yes, right here.” I pointed at my husband.

The guard spoke into his walkie-talkie, “Okay, I found them.” He pulled us aside and told us to call home, that there was some kind of emergency.

My stomach clenched. I was at a play about death and now something terrible must have happened to one of my kids. I dialed our home number, but my chest tightened up and I couldn’t talk, so I handed the phone to George.

A moment dragged on in slow motion as my imagination conjured up horrible scenarios, too horrific to even mention. I prayed silently throughout the full-blown panic attack.

Finally, George told me, “They’re all right. It’s not an emergency.” I caught my breath as I listened to George tell April she almost gave her mother a heart attack by calling us.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Parenting Plights and Delights, Grammy Gets It

As it turned out, April had started feeling sick and was running a fever. Mike and his friend, Brad, had dressed up as the killer from the movie “Scream” and were banging on the windows and scaring Amy and Suzee. Next, the boys climbed up onto the roof.

Their stomping back and forth and pounding on the skylights set off Amy and Suzee’s hysterical screaming and our two dogs barking and howling at all the commotion.

April tried again and again to settle everyone down, to no avail. She was afraid the neighbors might call the cops, so she resorted to calling us at the play. My cell phone must have been turned off, so she got a hold of mall security and stressed to them that it wasn’t an emergency but very important that she reach us.

Apparently, security didn’t listen to that part. Maybe the background noise sounded like bloody murder with the screaming and barking, but they treated it like it was a dire situation that demanded our immediate attention.

It was hard to follow the rest of the play after that, but that was okay because we were thankful our kids were all right. We grounded Mike for life, and that was letting him off easy.

What are your thoughts? Have you had any experiences like this, either as a parent or as a prankster trying to scare your siblings? Please share your story in the comments and I might feature it in a future post. It’s okay to change the names of the guilty parties. 🙂 

Posted in BBH McChiller, Creepy, Grammy Gets It, Humor, Kids, Lynn Kelley, Parenting Plights and Delights, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hollywood Boulevard – Part 2

In Part 1 of Hollywood Boulevard, we covered how George and I ventured to Hollywood and Vine to meet my online writer friend, Cait Reynolds.

I shared photos of some of the sidewalk stars with the names of famous old-time movie stars.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

While waiting for Cait to arrive at our meet-up spot, my imagination got the best of me as I gazed out the window of  The Pie Hole, intrigued by the assortment of fashion statements and hair styles, the wide range of expressions on some faces and yet others masked with blank stares.

Such a strange mixture of sights in that massive city: towering buildings interspersed with small businesses sporting creepy signs, plus the nonstop noise of traffic battling through mazes of streets, racing to get ahead in the rat race.

Definitely felt displaced and sensed a pinch of paranoia creeping in. Thankfully, Cait and her husband arrived just in time to save my thoughts from plunging into a deep, dark worm hole leading to Planet Nerdout. Whew!

It was awesome to meet Cait in person. She’s an instructor for WANA International, an online hangout for writers founded by social media guru and author, Kristen Lamb.

WANA stands for We Are Not Alone. Writing can be a lonely business, so it’s important to connect with other like-minded beings. Fiction writers can be quirky, with mind-bending ideas that often scare regular folks. Many writers manage to evoke an image of normalcy, so kudos to them. Maybe one day they’ll share their secrets with us.

Cait is friendly, full of spirit, and has a sharp sense of humor. We discussed some of the concepts she had taught in a WANA class a few days prior. Picking the brain of a brilliant creative is like eating a piece of inspiration pie. Boom! The brain explodes with more other-weirldly ideas. (Thank you, Cait!)

How ironic that I had just taken Kristen and Cait’s speculative fiction classes, which included Building Planet X, Populating Planet X, and Beyond Planet X, and now here I was meeting up with Cait in a real-life dystopian setting. No wonder I was on the verge of a panic attack.

In Beyond Planet X, Kristen covered topics such as building parallel timelines, time travel, non-linear, unreliable narrators, and much more.

Kristen Lamb and Cait Reynolds

When they get together, those two are a riot (as in funny, not a mob wreaking havoc on Pandemonium Boulevard).

I’d be willing to bet they’re destined for galactic domination. Check out this short clip:

Part of the description for the Building Planet X class stated, “Is Soylent Green gluten-free? All the questions you need to ask about your world, but didn’t know…and how to keep track of all the answers.”

Soylent Green? Ew, blech, gag! Can’t even imagine what it tastes like or what kind of consistency it would have. Hmm, that might be a great writing prompt challenge, huh?

If the thought of eating that slimy green concoction grosses you out, let’s change the subject to more appealing food. The Pie Hole’s Earl Grey Tea pie is to die for, and their pumpkin pie is spicy, zesty, and scrumptious. Mm-mmm.

Oops! My mind is wandering again, so I think I’ll go along. Wanna come, too?

How do you think old-time movie stars would react to present-day Hollywood if they were beamed through time and landed on the giant X in the middle of a Hollywood intersection?

Would they freak, or would they be fascinated? Or something else?

What are your thoughts? Do you like speculative fiction? If so, what kind? Would you enjoy hanging out on Hollywood Boulevard? Do you like pie? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Authorly Stuff, BBH McChiller, Friends, Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stars on Hollywood Boulevard – Part 1

Have you ever walked down Hollywood Boulevard?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

The other day, my husband George and I ventured out to Hollywood to meet up with one of my online writer friends, Cait Reynolds. She lives in Boston, and I was looking forward to meeting her in person.

While stopped at a traffic light at Highland and Hollywood, I noticed the intersection had diagonal crosswalks. There’s a giant X painted onto the street. Are you familiar with that kind of crosswalk? Maybe I’ve been living under a rock?

You wouldn’t believe the crowd of people who had crossed the street before I snapped this photo. It was wild to watch them crossing diagonally and how they had to maneuver around each other when they merged in the middle of the X.

Honestly, I felt like I was thrust into one of the dystopian novels I’m a fan of. Neat to read that kind of stuff, but I must confess I felt uncomfortable and claustrophobic in this real-life setting.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Once we found the public parking structure, we walked along Hollywood Boulevard toward our meet-up spot, The Pie Hole.

It was so cool to see all the stars in the sidewalks. I snapped pics of some of them. This was on the corner of Hollywood and Vine:

Jimmy Stewart! My all-time fave. I love George Bailey, the character he played in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” James Stewart is a legend.

And the Apollo XI astronauts! Wow, out-of-this-world thrilling to see their names inscribed in the sidewalk and preserved for future generations to discover.

George and I got a kick out of the sidewalk stars, though there were many names we’d never heard of. It reminded us of the Kinks’ beautiful and poignant song, “Celluloid Heroes.” Man oh man, it evokes so many emotions. Actually, brings me to tears.

Are you familiar with it?

Here are more stars of old-time favorites:

Once George and I settled in at The Pie Hole to wait for Cait to arrive, I spotted Capitol Records in the distance:

George reminisced about his teenage days when his friends and he liked to hang out on Hollywood Boulevard. People passed out copies of the Free Press, and he said it was kind of like the Haight-Ashbury of L.A.

Hmm, married for 42 years and I never knew that about him.

Looking out the window from my seat, I had a prime view to people watch. Unending characters scrolled past us. Crowds and crowds of people. As I looked closer, I realized each person had a unique look, their own distinct vibe, and I’m sure if I sat down with each one, their life stories would move me. I reflected on how easy it is to get lost in the shuffle of humanity in a big city and a world full of billions of souls.

My muse was having a field day messin’ with me.  Thankfully, Cait Reynolds arrived and yanked me back to the third dimension.

Tomorrow, in Part 2, I’ll share more about my adventure on Planetoid Hollywood.

What are your thoughts? Have you walked down Hollywood Boulevard? If not, would you dare to? Does your imagination sometimes get the best of you? I’d love to hear from you. Please share! 

 

 

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