Category Archives: humor

Miss Terry G.

terry

Miss Terry Consuelo Guerra

As a school teacher, you will simply have to accept that, no matter what you do or say, some students are going to love you, and some students are going to totally hate you.  You can’t control that.  The only thing you can control is how you feel about them.

She came into my classroom that first day in August, and I knew from the very first glance that she was one of a kind.  She was very angular of feature, standing, walking, and sitting in a very stiff and upright posture.  She did not bend easily, in body or soul.

She insisted on having a front seat so she could learn, and I had to move one of the other girls who really didn’t care where she sat so that Miss Terry could have a front seat.  She was a note-taker who constantly noted practically everything.  I think she even noted down some of my jokes in the precise order that they were told.  Disorder had no place in her world, and she did not tolerate disorder even from a teacher.

And Miss Terry Consuelo Guerra (not exactly her real name) never smiled and never laughed.  So you can guess what my primary objective was whenever I had her intense little face in front of me.  She hated it whenever I made her smirk or lose control of a slight giggle.  And the few times I ever got a real, unguarded smile out of her, she was absolutely beautiful.

The little raven girl would often snipe at me when she answered in class.  She often told me that my discipline was too lax, that the lessons weren’t ordered in a way that was efficient, and that I really wasn’t as funny as I thought.  And I didn’t let that get to me.  I know from faculty lounge conversations that she often got on the nerves of almost all of her other teachers.  But I unconditionally loved her.  And I know I got to her more than merely once or twice.  If we were keeping score, I was winning.  But we were not keeping score, and I let her think she was completely in control of her own education.

Her senior year in high school, she and another girl whom I loved and was also graduating came back to visit my seventh-grade classroom.

“You know, Mr. Beyer, looking back on junior high, of all the teachers I had, your class is really the only one I remember.  I liked your class.”

Naomi, the girl who came with her, was also a little shocked by Terry’s pronouncement.  But she quickly added, “You were the best teacher we ever had.”

“Well, I don’t know…  Yes, I guess you are right,” the raven girl said.

“Thank you, that means a lot coming from you,” I said.  “By the way, who are you again?”

Her eyes got wider.  “You don’t remember me?”

I laughed.  “I tried hard to forget you.  But it didn’t work.  You are Homero’s little sister.  You were one of the best students I ever had, Terry.”

The smile I got from that lame joke was the best one.

4 Comments

Filed under education, humor, kids, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, teaching

Sci-Fi Characters

I have slowed down on revamping Aeroquest.  You may have noticed, I did not spit out the next Canto yesterday.  But I am still noodling around with the characters and the story.  I took as my model the short chapters and many characters of Frank Herbert’s Dune series.  And since it was intended as a comedy novel along the lines of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it has a lot of ridiculous things in it that subvert the plot and the many subplots.

The story is salvageable.  But I will have to do some very big changes.  I need to streamline the plot.  I need to cut out unnecessary characters.  And I need to give more extensive development and stage time to the characters I keep.

So here is an insight into critical characters and who they are.

The Aero Brothers are the two main characters who give the book its name.  They were not created by me, but, rather, by one of the high school boys who played the science fiction RPG Traveller with me back in 1985.  He created both characters loosely based on Han Solo from Star Wars.  Ham was a hotshot space pilot.  Ged was a rogue hunter who developed the psionic power of changing his shape.  He was so powerful that he could use this mind power to change not only his size and shape but also his species.  The boy who created these characters was a natural born leader even though he was small for his age and often taken for granted by his fellow players in the game.  So these characters both reflect his real-life personality.

Trav Dalgoda, known as “Goofy” for his weird obsessions (like the eyepatch he doesn’t actually need), is a clown character who is constantly driven by his worst impulses to move the plot forward.  He doesn’t mean to betray anybody on purpose, but he is obsessed with treasure hunting and watching things blow up.  He can’t help causing massive destruction on planetary scales.  Tron Blastarr, the scar-faced space pirate, is a bad guy turned hero who is often on the wrong end of Goofy’s plot-moving missteps.  He ends up deciding that instead of merely being a pirate leader, he needs to lead a rebellion and form a new interstellar government.

These four are the most important characters in the entire story.  I cannot rewrite it without any of them.  All four of them are based on real people who played the science fiction role-playing game with me in the 80’s.  I will tell you more about Aeroquest characters in future posts.

3 Comments

Filed under aliens, characters, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, science fiction

Characters in Colored Pencil

As a novelist, certain characters, as I understand them, have to be portrayed in a certain specific way.  It may be because the character is based on a real person, so those characteristics are tied to reality and changing them will impair the character’s realism.  It may also be because the character has a very special function in the story, possibly a metaphorical or thematic function so a change in those particulars can derail the entire story.  But portraying them in colored pencil is not nearly so arcane.  Colored pencil is my own preferred medium, the one I know best how to use as an artist.

Snow Babies 2

Snow Babies

These characters are not specifically people.  They are created in nature when a person dies in a blizzard by freezing to death.  They act like banshees in that they serve both as omens of impending death, and collectors of the spirit forms of the deceased.  Snow ghosts after a manner of speaking.

They are from my novel Snow Babies and give the book its name.  Of course, they are not the only snow babies that the title refers to.  But they are essential to the basic theme of the story.

brent12

 

Brent Clarke

Brent is the leader of the Pirates.  He appears in the novels Superchicken, and The Baby Werewolf, though I have another couple of stories in my head where he plays an important role as well.

Brent is an amalgam of two real people.  One was a boy from my boyhood gang, and the other was a student I taught more than a decade after that.  He is a farm boy, naturally outgoing and athletic, but also a bit of a bully and a bigger bit of a jerk, especially around girls.

 

morgan12

Miss Francis “Franny” Morgan

Miss Morgan is a middle school teacher based on a real-life colleague who had a gift for reaching and teaching challenging kids, though she’s also got a bit of me in her since the major challenges she faces in the story are mostly things that happened to me, and I made her an English teacher like me instead of the Science teacher she really was.  She is the main character in the novel that bears her name, Magical Miss Morgan.  She is also a minor character in Superchicken, almost twenty years earlier in time.  I pictured her wearing a purple paisley dress to represent her magical abilities.  That magic is, of course, the ability to make stories come to life through imagination and creativity.

cudgel12

Sean “Cudgel” Murphy

Cudgel is “Grampy” of the Murphy Clan, living in the home of his eldest son Warren.  He is basically a clown character, being an irascible, evil old man who loves his family, only ever drives his beloved Austin Hereford motor car (“the best goddam car in the whole goddam world from 1954”), and will fight for any reason or excuse at the drop of a hat.

He has already played a role in the novels The Bicycle-Wheel Genius and Snow Babies.  And I hope to use him in several more.  He is loosely based on several old men I have known throughout my life, but he functions mainly as a clown, a comic relief character that breaks up the tension in developing plots.

So there you have some characters that I have written about in my novels and illustrated in living colored pencil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under characters, colored pencil, humor, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney

Hidden Kingdom (through page 15)

flute cover 4a

HK1x

H21x

HK41

 

HK31

Hk51

HK61

hk71

hk81

hk91

hk101

hk111a

hk121a

hk131

hk141

hk151a

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under comic strips, fairies, Hidden Kingdom, humor, Paffooney

What I Spent the Day On

elf2a

Perhaps it was a total waste of time.  But I committed willful acts of art today instead of doing anything useful.

Do you see the fairies in the picture?  They weren’t visible when I snapped the picture.  Ironically, that is both the literal truth and a  complete lie.

 

2 Comments

Filed under artwork, fairies, humor, Paffooney

Why I’m on This Aeroquest

Aeroquest banner x

For those of you who are breathlessly following the weekly episodes from my first published mess of a novel, I apologize that I am not following through on my regular Tuesday feature today.  Of course, I know that the number of regular followers of this novel is actually zero.  Understandable because of what a confusing mess it is.  But I need to explain things anyway.

This whole saga began back in 2006 when I had time on my hands from being laid off from my teaching job by the Wicked Witch of Creek Valley.  I had two years worth of substitute teaching because said witch first hired me for my teaching philosophy, and then fired me for implementing it in my classroom.  (She had never actually been a teacher herself, just an administrator.)  I found myself with ample time to do a lot of writing, and I created my first published novel.  It was inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune saga combined with Douglas Adams’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series.  So, naturally, it was doomed from the very start because it had too many characters in a long and rambling plot that was three novels too long in only one novel.

9_101_o

And on top of those serious rookie-writer mistakes, I added getting it published long before I actually had it ready for publishing with a fly-by-night publishing house called Publish America whom I can safely ridicule and defame here after they have been sued by authors numerous times because my contract with them expired in 2014, well after the company had morphed and changed its name to avoid paying any of their authors damages.  They did all the things they were accused of in lawsuits to my book.  They published it without reading it (proven by some of their authors who copied and pasted Wikipedia pages and got the company to publish that in book form).  They screwed up my chapter numbers and font styles intentionally to get me to pay for publishable revisions.  And they marketed my book only to friends and family for five times the price of a normal paperback.  They were the worst publishers I ever dealt with.  But in the end, I didn’t pay them a cent.  My relatives, however, bought the horrible book and refused ever after to fall for buying another Mickey Book.

The result is a large pile of garbage chapters with some good things and funny moments in them that I can use to mess around with, rewrite, reorganize, post here weekly, and eventually form into new novels.  That’s why I claim that this Tuesday feature is about novel writing in categories and tags.  I will take the first part of this mess and whip it up into a new book called Aeroquest 1: Stars and Stones.

It will have the whole first adventure on the planet Don’t Go Here where the entire planet’s population is trying to live within an episode of the Flintstones cartoon show.  It will reach the point where the three main characters will split up and go their separate ways, Ged Aero becoming the prophesied teacher of Psions known as the White Spider, Ham Aero becoming the rebel hero in the fight against the Imperium, and Trav “Goofy” Dalgoda taking his chaotic clown act to depths of dangerous depravity.  I am not, of course, trying to claim it will be good for anything.  But never let it be said that Mickey ever wasted a really bad idea.  Or even a really, really bad idea.  Or a terrible idea.  Or… well, you get the picture if you were fool enough to read this far.  If you put in that kind of effort, you certainly deserve to give yourself a “Yay me!” in the comments.

Leave a comment

Filed under aliens, artwork, goofiness, humor, novel, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, publishing, satire, science fiction

Hidden Kingdom (through page 14)

flute cover 4a

HK1x

H21x

HK41

HK31

Hk51

HK61

hk71

hk81

hk91

hk101

hk111a

hk121a

hk131

hk141

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under comic strips, fairies, Hidden Kingdom, humor, Paffooney