Mystery

It’s a mystery as to why I can’t find a job. Why I would start my own business. What the name of my new party planning pop-up is going to be called.

Any suggestions???

Premise:

I wrote this murder mystery and published on Amazon: Updo! Now, I’m going to start hosting this adult role-playing game in my own local community. I’ve already done this with my friends, back in KC. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had at a party. And totally original. I also threw a similar party for my daughter, but age appropriate. They seemed to really like it. It was more of a junior high adventure with clues. I could even write new, customized mysteries for any theme: Western saloon, 50s diner, 40s detective noir.

The mystery for this one is: someone is murdered at a salon and all of the party guests are a character from the story. While relaxing with spa-like activities, the guests participate in clue-revealing sketches. Everyone takes a “stab” (LOL) at guessing who the killer is at the end. There are stations, silliness and a very funny makeup and hair makeover contest for all the ladies.

What should I call my new business?

Martha’s Murder Mysteries?
Pop-up Party Mysteries?

What would you call it? I would love your suggestions!

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Party City

Tried this flamingo hat on at Party City the other day. Is this a good look for me? If you can’t wear a bird on your head every once in a while, what’s the point of living?

I remember the day my dad tied two free helium-filled balloons to his ears and walked out of our local department store. I was embarrassed on the outside (because I didn’t understand whether it was funny or not, it was), but learning the internal lesson of standing out for laughter’s sake.

You know, I’m sure someone had a better day because they saw an old, crazy, fat man wearing two balloons on his head. Something to talk about.

Dad was balding, tall and overweight. He wore overalls on most occasions. Typically paired with a short-sleeve western shirt. In a mixed town of country folk and suburbanites, seeing someone in denim overalls at the store was not shocking. What was shocking was seeing a middle-aged man with balloons tied to his balding head and greeting customers in the parking lot.

“Thank you for shopping at Wal-mart! Have a nice day!”

My sister almost cried, threw up or had an anxiety attack at his ridiculous display. I feigned upset, but was cheering on the inside. That took balls.

Dad wanted to become a country singer/guitar player. He infrequently got the steel-string acoustic out and plucked a song or two. He had a good voice, but someone told him, “You got no rhythm.” No one from our family. That would have hurt him deeply and caused years of turmoil. But he definitely wanted to stand out. Be seen. Be creative.

I have always thought that I was a mix of my father and mother. Restrained and refined in some circles, but sometimes, in the right circumstance, not afraid to stand out. I am an actor, creative, designer, artist. I can’t sing, but I have other talents to display. To have a space to shine is, IMO, a required psychological exercise. Anyone who doesn’t have a special thing would feel pretty sad and isolated. Maybe he felt that way sometimes. Unspecial.

I’m thankful for my blog. For acting. For art. It’s kept me sane. Okay, less crazy. 🙂 Art is therapy. So is writing. I worked through much trouble with writing over the last decade. All for free. Thank you, Internets!

Dad would have loved Party City.

Would you invite the devil over for tea?

I wouldn’t sit down
And have a simple snack
With Devil or demon.
You’d have to watch your back.

Would you talk to Satan?
Would you want to hear his side?
Would you trust his story?
For centuries, he’s lied.

I wouldn’t sit with Satan.
I wouldn’t believe a word.
He wants me to fall with him.
Bring down this broken bird.

Most people wouldn’t eat or drink
With a red-faced, horn-graced beast.
But do you invite this angel
Frequently to your feast?

If you:
Complain
Grumble
Covet
Lust
Envy
Gossip
Lie
Hurt
Hate?

You’re dining with the devil.

If you long for what your neighbor has
And don’t appreciate your mess?
Then Satan has had his way
And he has been your guest.

If you lie about who you are
To have another follow?
Then Satan has gladly baked the cake
That you so greedily swallow.

If you hurt or hate,
Live to watch another trip?
Then ol’ Guess Who is pouring
From the cup you eagerly sip.

You deny your frequent visitor.
You deny he even exists.
But he continues to come to tea
Because your negativity persists.

stop

5th-Grade Death Race

Slumber party. 5th grade. Cray-cray.

I was not popular. I was on the fringes of popular. And that’s okay.

My best friend in 5th grade was invited to a sleepover. Quite a few of the 5th-grade girls were invited to the birthday party, but I was not. I felt left out and disappointed. But as I look back, it shouldn’t have been such a big deal, I wasn’t good friends with the birthday girl anyhow. But FoMO. Am I rite??

If my best friend was going to an overnight slumber party, would she still be my best friend??! Also, looking back, my best friend? She was close friends with everyone. BECAUSE! she was so great. I was just clingy. I mean, she was funny and cool and comforting. The person you can’t live without because they entertain you. The person who draws fake boobs on everything. The person who shares your first fart joke. The person who finds your eyes when something’s funny. The person who can make you feel like you’re the only person in the room. Everyone wants that.

“So don’t go without me!” is what I was screaming. In my mind.

My friend could tell I was tormented, so she begged Birthday Girl to invite me. I’m in! Who’s birthday is it now? lol (I loathe my childhood self. Needy, demanding and oh-so tragic brat. I’m better now.) 🙂

We all arrive that Friday evening to BG’s house. She lived in the country and had a house with a downstairs rec room (split-level ranch). I was always fascinated by basements because our house did not have one. Basements were the first whiff of independence. Parents directed minors to the partially-finished basements of their homes, never to check on their welfare again. It was a laissez-faire lounge of anything goes. What happens in the rec room, stays in the rec room.

Most rec rooms were designed for active children. You usually couldn’t break anything, even if you tried. There was usually an old TV and stereo. Outdated pieces of furniture, matted and discolored carpets, junk-food snacks and unheard-of board games. A pleasure-dome palace of epic proportions for preteen parties. Perfect.

When most of us had grown bored of board games and bedlam, in the strained hours before pretending to go to sleep, someone suggested Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. A new “board” game?

“What is it?”

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board is stupid. That’s what it is. A girl is supposed to lie down in the middle of a circle. Each circle member puts two fingers (index and middle) from both hands under the body of the immobile girl in the middle. Everyone’s supposed to concentrate and quietly chant, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.” (At a 5th grade slumber party? Fat chance!) And then the girl should rise effortlessly off the ground and levitate.

LOL

It could happen. In 5th grade, anything was possible.

So, we turned out all the lights in the already-dim basement and made a skinny girl (better chance of lifting her) lie down in our covenly circle. I was serious, but most were not. There were titters and giggles from every participant at one point or another. It was hard to tell who was breaking, but from the sounds, it was practically all.

After minutes of trying, I got frustrated. Not so much at the gigglers, but having all the lights out. I didn’t like being in the dark. In my previous story, I explained. I just hated being completely blind. I had a terrible fear of someone sneaking up on and grabbing me, attacking me, biting my toes, killing me, whatever. Irrational and overwhelming. I had to have all of my body parts under a blanket at night or I freaked out. Even if it was dead of summer and I was sweating bullets. I slept with a night light until the age of…last night. I know, it’s stupid. But I just accept it. Everyone hates it, but it’s just who I am. You’re welcome, for not stubbing your toes at night when you patter off to the bathroom.

So, after several minutes of quite seriously trying to lift a girl off the floor in the complete black of BG’s basement, I freaked out and went to the top of the stairs and flipped on the light. Phew.

Then all hell broke loose. It sounded like hell anyway. All I could hear were girls voices whisper-screaming at each other to:

Try again.
Calm down.
Turn that light off.
What’s going on??
Lay down!
Use your fingers.
Stop laughing.
*Gasp* Did she move?
Who farted??

LOL

I also heard shuffling, scurrying, stifled sighs and laughter. After a few minutes, some of my more concerned friends (or other dark-fearers) softly approached me on the stairs.

“You okay?”

I nodded.

“Coming back down? Come back down!”

I vigorously shook my head no. And they stayed for a while, attempting to comfort me.

Inevitably, some noise would draw them back down at a chance for fun or fright. But I stayed at the top until they eventually tired and turned on a light. If this was a horror movie, I would have been the survivor.

I don’t think the game, or anyone, got off the ground. A few people claimed that so-and-so moved slightly, but that was a stretch. Others denied it. Others were confused. “No one will ever know if it worked or not.”

Yes. We will. It didn’t. Pretty sure! LOL


This story was mainly to show the ridiculous nature of preteen girls and the power of suggestion. Most primary-school slumber parties ended with a horror movie and/or dabbling in the occult. We watched Death Race 2000 with Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine. A Friday Fright Night TV airing of a cross-country automobile race where the drivers try to hit people and kill them with their cars. For points! We also listened to a spooky radio show on the stereo while trying to drift off to sleep. Stupid! Not going to sleep! Ever.

Some people just like to be scared. I’d rather have another slice of pizza, please.

Murder Mystery Spa Party!

Would you buy this roleplay manual on Amazon?

Excerpt:

“Get ready to relax, kick back, laugh and have a grand old time with your
best galfriends! This party is so fun and easy to throw. Every woman already
has all the props in her bathroom! The host does need to read the entire set of instructions, lists and scripts to prepare and understand game play. The party is even more fun if you’re serving cocktails, not just water. Like cucumber martinis for those tired ladies with a cucumber garnish for those tired lady eyes! You’re trying to solve a murder, but you’re also trying to relax and pamper yourself. Might as well, you’re at a spa! So. There’s been a murder! Obvs!

Barbera Bouffant, the salon owner of the Updo Salon and Spa, was found in the tanning booth…fried! She’s been murdered. Someone tampered with the bed and she’s toast. She’s dead, but her tan looks amazing. She’ll be the prettiest corpse at the funeral home. Madge, the manager, finds her first. The back door was closed but unlocked. However, Barbera could have accidentally forgotten to lock up. She did that often. You and your guests have to figure out who the killer is. Some of you work at the salon and some of you are clients, but you’re all suspects. Everyone had a motive and opportunity to kill Babs. Dun-dun-dun!”

Available now! Click here to check it out. Really low price, as low as I could make it-$2.99.

And starting tomorrow, you can download my other book for free! FREE! Limited time only. Please check it out, it’s a quick read and you can’t beat the price. 🙂 It’s quite a departure from the game above, but it’s some of the best writing I’ve done IMO.

Oh, and I graduated today! I finally have my associate degree in graphic design! Great day for me! I hope for you, too. Hit me up if you need a design or logo. 😉 If it’s for a good cause, I usually volunteer.