Square Pig in a Round Hole-December 8, 2018

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

It’s that time of year when I just want to stay indoors and bake Christmas cookies! For the sake of these and other fine bands, some of us need to venture out to shows. Maybe now that it’s not quite so cold…

Lost in the Tracks

Subliminal messages, small items dropped in a subway tunnel, or the state of being totally into an album.

nothing, nowhere.

Reply to a text asking what are you doing and where are you going? Or: scene right before the Big Bang.

Saving Abel

Time-traveler wanting to solve the problem of violence goes back and stays Cain’s hand. Returns to the future and finds nothing has changed, except Genesis now says Abel killed Cain.

The Sometimes Island

At high tide, a shallows. At low tide, a peninsula. At just-right tide …

St. Panther

Feline saint seems like an oxymoron. (As the inventor of a fictional garage band (and superhero) called St. Rage, I like finding other saints in the listings.)

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, available now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Shelter

20171224_114500Many years ago (2003 or ’04) I wrote a Christmas story to share at the Seattle Writers Association holiday potluck. I didn’t think about it again until December 2018 when the organizers of an online author event put out a call for short stories to use as prizes. I remembered this story but couldn’t find it on my computer. Believe it or not, I turned up the hard copy! It was short enough to retype and update, and I enjoyed reading it again. I hope you will, too.

SHELTER

Christmas, Anna thought, was like a big cup of Diet Coke. It promised sweetness and abundance and refreshment, but when you finally took a sip, it was flat and artificial. That was the problem: all the stress and none of the sparkle. Christmas had lost its fizz.

Anna remembered Christmas magic from long ago, when she was a little girl. And as a mother, she had made the magic herself. Even after Will died and she had to go back to work at the hospital in order to support three children, all by herself with no help from anyone, thank you very much. Those children were now grown and too mature for magic. They still expected lavish gifts from their mother, though they had yet to present her with grandchildren. There was no one to make magic for.

To battle holiday blues, Dear Abby advised helping those less fortunate, and then the church bulletin had asked for shelter volunteers for Christmas Eve. Full of enthusiastic good intentions, Anna signed up. She pictured the hospitality and Christmas cheer she would offer, a hostess to the needy young guests in this, her second home. Their gratitude would warm her heart, and just like in a TV movie, she would rediscover the true meaning of Christmas.

Late on Christmas Eve, Anna sat on a metal folding chair, watching people sleep. Rather than joy at sharing, she felt battered by the invasion. They had tromped in, armored with piercings, grimy backpacks, and attitude. Anna soon gave up trying to converse. She didn’t know their families (did they have families?), disqualifying that small-talk staple. They didn’t care that this building was erected in 1927 and nearly lost in the Depression, or that the congregation had been organized over 100 years ago, or that Anna had had her wedding reception in this very room, long before anyone thought of running a thrift shop or hosting a homeless shelter in a church fellowship hall. It was like trying to communicate with members of another species.

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Square Pig in a Round Hole-December 1, 2018

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

I finished National Novel Writing Month with a 45,000 word draft of a fantasy novel that’s been waiting almost 3 years to be written. In celebration, we ventured out on a dark and rainy night to far-flung Maple Valley to hear Denise Glover and Friends play two engaging sets in a genre I call pretty-guitars-without-effects-pedals. Hope they come to Seattle soon! While we wait, here is this week’s batch of creative band names:

The Chocolate Watchband

A messy idea if taken literally but it sounds beautiful and sweet.

Fuzz Droner

I have to respect a name that describes the sound right up front. (See also: Low Hums.)

Great American Trainwreck

I can’t think of a better description of our current moment.

The Languid Current

Poetic and a touch melancholy. (Humorously, the listings ran them together with another band on the bill to create The Languid Current Heir Apparent, which sounds like a character in a 19th century comic novel.)

The Number Twelve Looks Like You

I always appreciate an extra-long name, especially when it’s a complete sentence, even more so when it is a touch surreal. To those of us with number-form synesthesia, this actually makes sense.

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, available now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 24, 2018

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

I understand today is Small Business Saturday, when we are encouraged to patronize our local mom & pop shops, which I would say includes dive bars, record stores, book shops, and indie authors and musicians. I’m sure these bands would appreciate your custom:

Brian Lee and the Orbiters

Music gives us the power to achieve escape velocity and view the world from a higher perspective.

Mmuumm

Seems perfect for the Weekend of Leftover Pie.

Rain Delay

The rain itself was delayed but showed up in time for Thanksgiving travel.

Smuggling Croissants

Butter-stained pockets, all because of 45’s croissant tariffs.

Billy Brandt w/ The Thing and the Stuff Band

This variation on classic X and the Y structure elevates generic nouns and includes a bandleader other than X.

 

Strongly Worded WomenSHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, available now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 18, 2018

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

Heading into Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for the bounty of band names that appears to have no end. This week the cornucopia gifts us with these:

Diced Candy

Chopping sweets as if they were vegetables for soup. Does it make them good for you? (Personal note: when I was a child, my mother had a recipe for rhubarb marmalade that called for diced orange gumdrops. It was the most delicious spread ever invented.)

Die Nasty

When a ruling family goes down, they go down hard. (Confession: I’ve seen this one in the listing for years and only saw the pun this week.)

Look Vibrant

When looking alive is not lively enough.

Model Snake

Setting the example for all serpents. Or: freaking out the fashionable as it slithers down the runway.

Murphy’s Lawyers

Who you call when everything goes wrong, or the reason everything went wrong in the first place?

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, which will be released on November 20 and is available for pre-order now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 10, 2018

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

My National Novel Writing Month project is going better than expected, so I’m releasing myself from the NaNoWriMo cave to geek out about some band names. And be sure to read to the end for an exciting announcement!

Aurora Motels

Replete with local flavor, this one evokes the Jet City’s grittier, lower-tech past.

Drippy Baby

Human infants happily dribble from almost every orifice. We’re all lucky that human parents find enough other things about them endearing. (This was the first listing this week to make me laugh out loud, perhaps because one of my children was such a reliable and prodigious spitter-upper.)

Mr. Twin Sister

On top of the gender ambiguity, I love how the rhyme is invisible. They’d fit well on a bill with last week’s pick Brother Wife. Or with:

The Mrs. Bill Larsens

The old-fashioned patriarchal formality seems at odds with the freedom and agency of women who rock. That it’s plural adds a disturbing yet humorous note.

SURETHING!

Overwhelming enthusiasm, up for whatever.

 

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, which will be released on November 20 and is available for pre-order now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 3, 2018

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

A batch of band names is just what’s needed to brighten this gray and drippy November Saturday! That, and yesterday’s rainbow.

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Brother Wife

Imagine the alternative culture where this is unsurprising. Family is about so much more than gender.

Mr. and Mrs. Muffins

More wholesome family values! I really did make muffins this morning, too.

Nap Eyes

Eyelids … heavy. Must … rest. (Unless it’s unsafe to do so, give in. Naps are good for you.)

Off by an Inch

Missed me by that much! (Any other Get Smart fans out there? Anyone?)

Soaked Oats

I like the irony of associating pop music with something wholesome and bland.