Little Red Designer Hoodie | Writing Warm-Up

Just for fun.

If you want to do your own warm-up, try making a fairy tale or other legend more modern.

Once upon a time, there lived a little girl who always wore a red designer hoodie. One day, her mother asked her to take a basket full of gift cards to her grandmother’s house. The gift cards were so the grandmother could feed her Candy Crush addiction through micro-transactions.

Happy to help, the little girl took the basket of digital goodies and journeyed deep into the forest. It was not long before a strange wolf-man dressed in black and wearing dark sunglasses popped up before her.

He wanted to know where she was going and what she had in the basket. Even though her mother warned her about the big, bad scammer who lived in the forest, the little girl in the red hoodie still gave him her information.

“I’m taking this basket of gift cards to my grandmother who lives just outside these woods on Eastbrooke Road,” she said.

“I can come with you, My Dear,” said the sly wolf. “These woods are much too dangerous for a young girl such as you.”

Being a strong, independent young woman, she replied, “No thanks. I’ve got this.” She than left the scheming, scamming wolf and continued her trek with a joyful song in her heart.

But the wolf would not be deterred so easily. He knew of a shortcut to the old woman’s house. He soon arrived at the modest cottage. Once he arrived, he did the most horrible thing imaginable: he cut off her Wi-Fi. When she went to her closet to reset the router, he locked the door behind her. He then proceeded to steal her identity by dressing in her nightgown and hopping into her bed.

The cunning wolf welcomed Little Red Designer Hoodie when she arrived.

“My, Grandma, what slender fingers you have,” said the innocent girl.

“All the better to text message you with, My Dear.”

“My, what fancy sunglasses you have.”

“All the better to block out screen glare, My Dear.”

“My, what large and pointy ears you have, Grandma.”

“All the better to hear my YouTube notifications with, My Dear.”

Finally, the sweet girl seemed to realize something was amiss. She gulped before saying, “My…what big…teeth you have.”

“All the better to devour you and steal your identity with!”

The wolf then leapt out of the bed preparing to attack the helpless child. Suddenly, a white hat hacker broke through the front door. With a mighty click of his wireless headset, the heroic hacker derezzed the villainous wolf.

With the online predator defeated and the grandmother’s Internet access restored, they all lived happily…until the EMP attack of 2023 that shutdown all electronics.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

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Getting Organized | Behind the Scenes

You’ll probably call me crazy for how I organize my day, but it works for me. Maybe it’ll work for other creatives.

I’ve set up my schedule/To Do list similar to the format of a TV show.

First is the teaser. During this short period of time (shorter than the other segments) I do the responsibilities/goals that are short or warm-up the day; such as, check email or get on Twitter. It can also be things like read a comic strip. It doesn’t have to be hardcore responsibilities like paying your bills, unless you want it to be. This is the time to get pumped for the day.

Second is the first act or beginning. It is the start of the episode or the normal day moment of the show. These are the day’s duties that aren’t your favorite but also not your least favorite; you’re just kind of meh about them. This is the time period when the protagonist is going about their normal life before the conflict begins.

Next, you take a short “commercial break.” You take a few minutes to do something fun, like read one chapter of a story or take some pictures for 15 minutes. Up to you.

Now it’s on to the second act or middle. This is when the episode takes off. The trials and obstacles get in the protagonist’s way. This is when you do the stuff you don’t like–pay bills, chores, etc.

It’s time for another break. Take another few minutes to do something enjoyable.

On to the third act or ending. This is when the climax hits and everything comes together. This is when the protagonist wins! So here is where you do the longer fun stuff; such as, play a video game, watch a movie, paint a picture, etc.

Finally, the credits. The episode is over; the protagonist has reached their happy ending. Now, you wrap up the day. Do whatever it is so you feel victorious about the day: drink some tea, take a walk, get a list ready for the next day, whatever.

Another thing I do is I have each month be a TV season. I plan for a bigger chore or goal, like cleaning out the garage or getting my book edited, as the “big bad.” It is the antagonist that is behind it all. This goal is something you know won’t be solved within a few days. Setting this “season” allows me to set a deadline on my goal. I can work on the big bad over the course of the month bit by bit instead of trying to do it all at once.

Also, I look at my chores not as this boring thing I have to do but as the forces (or episode’s antagonist) that is trying to stop me from reaching my goals. I do not have to do the laundry…it is the vile Laundromat who is stopping me from spending time with my family and must be stopped.

About midway through the month I have the mid-season finale. For a little bit of time, a couple of hours or a day at most, I take the time off. I relax and think of (or do) something else. Then it’s back to work. Near the end of the month, I have a season finale; I take a little more time off then the mid-season finale, such as a couple days. By taking time off I don’t necessarily mean I don’t go to work. I don’t do the things that can wait a moment; such as doing the dishes or dusting.

Don’t worry about not beating the antagonist by the end of the episode…that’s what part 2’s are for. And don’t worry about not completely reaching your season goal…villains always return. Mwa-hahahahaha!!

How do you organize your day? Let me know in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Dino Mall | Behind the Scenes

I had a silly and crazy dream. It starred this couple who were close to divorce. They accidently uncovered that their local mall has cloned extinct animals, such as dinosaurs, so they can operate the mall. The extinct animals make the food and maintain the building, among other chores.

Over time the couple learns that the owners, also a husband and wife duo, have cloned some cavemen/cavewomen to run things like the stores and food court thus kicking out the ones who used to work at the mall. They also replaced the mall cops with their own tougher security guards.

The dream ended with an epic battle between modern animals, like tigers and elephants, versus the extinct animals, like saber-tooth tigers and wooly mammoths. There are also teens in food vendor and department store uniforms battling the cave-workers. The mall cops were also there battling the security guards. The hero husband and wife took on the mall owners.

I woke up about the time the two forces collided.

“What on Earth did I eat before bed to get that dream?” I thought. I think it came from a mixture of watching the “The Golden Years” episode of The Commish on IMBd TV and the Jurassic Park dub video by How It Should Have Ended.

However, that being said, I am working on refining the dream into an upcoming story.

Who do you think would win in a fight between a tiger and a saber-tooth tiger? Let me know in the comments section.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

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Hostage Night | Story Sample

The following is a sample from my current work in progress. It is unfinished so the final product may look different.

A 4,112 word short story about a date night gone wrong. Joe and Sally go to the movies but the theater is soon under siege.

“Oh wow!” said someone nearby. “You guys are seeing Dragon Reign?! That movie was great! I really liked the part when…” A holographic gag appeared over his mouth with the word “Spoilers” written across it. Even though he continued to speak, we couldn’t hear him.

Sally glanced over at me while the man waved his arms in excitement. “I love the new spoiler warning feature added during the latest Omni-Cuff update.”

Finally, the spoilers gag disappeared. “I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.” The man waved then faded into the crowd.

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.

Who wouldn’t want a spoilers gag feature added to their mobile device?

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

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12000 Angry Viewers | Story Sample

The following is a sample from my current work in progress. It is unfinished so the final product may look different.

I finally was able to get some writing in and finished a 1,630 word short story. In the future, court cases are livestreamed and run about an hour long. The audience is also the jury; they get to live chat and vote on the outcome of the trial via the comments section. 

“Objection!” shouted the prosecutor pointing directly at Hunter. “You can’t have a surprise witness! Both parties must be aware and have equal access to any evidence and witnesses prior to the trail.”

The judge banged his gavel. “Since this case is being livestreamed, I’ll allow it. Audiences want an exciting trial full of drama.” He faced the hovering cameras that tracked the movements of the participants. “And don’t forget to like and subscribe to be notified of any new court trials. Also, remember to vote in the comments section if the defendant is guilty or not guilty after the trial.”

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

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The Coming of the Machines | Writing Warm-up

Just for fun; not heavily edited. 

If you want to do your own warm-up, you can use the prompt “Write a suspense story about a machine uprising.”

The crackle of the machines signaled to all that danger was nearby.

The time of the machines was slowly coming to the world of man. The next day, everyone watched in awe as the behemoth rose from the depths of the oily machine plant.

“Oh no!” cried little Jonny.

The clanking, hissing machine reached down towards the small, defenseless child. A hush of fear passed over the crowd like news of pop quiz on a Monday. With its mighty hand the robot hovered over the child’s head. A long, silent moment passed before the machine made its move. It softly patted Jonny on the head.

The crowd sighed in relief as the machines explained they had no intention of enslaving or eliminating the human race. They wanted to work with mankind so that machine and man could benefit from each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

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Terror of a Salesman | Writing Warm-up

Just for fun warm-up; isn’t heavily edited. If you want to do your own warm-up, you can use the prompt SALESMAN.

Writing warm-up begins in 3, 2, 1…

Fred, the door-to-door salesman, made a terrible mistake by ringing the doorbell of Mack Orbits. Orbits appeared at the doorway like a specter, a red liquid splattered across his face. The liquid also stained Mack Orbits’s dark clothes.

Fred stepped backwards watching the liquid fall from Orbits’s fingertips.




“Is there a problem?” asked Mack Orbits. He motioned towards a canvas just inside the home. The painting consisted of wild splatters of red paint. “I was just finishing up.”

Fred sighed in relief; his tense shoulders relaxed. Orbits invited the salesman in for coffee stating he would like to paint him. Fred nodded, entered, and the door slowly creaked closed behind him.

Not much is known about what happened next except that Fred was never seen again, but Mack Orbits’s painting of a terrified door-to-door salesman cowering in the corner became one of his most well known pieces.

The critics all loved the realism of it.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

The adventures continue in the Dogboy Universe

You ready for more sci-fi stories? Hungry for some fantasy? Longing for adventure? Consider purchasing a Joe Rover book today!

The books are available at many online retailers; click below to find out where. Or, follow me on Amazon to receive updates of book releases.

What genre do you write? | Author Q&A

If you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments section.

What genre do you write?
I focus mainly on science fiction and fantasy. My books have a lot of alien invasions, time travel, magic/superpowers, advanced technology, and more.
I enjoy sci-fi because it is as close to magic in the real world as we’ll get to (at least at this time). I enjoy how you can let your mind run wild. There are restrictions but not many. It is hard to have characters go on magical journeys if the story is set in the real world.

I also focus a lot on superhero type stories because I like how 99 percent of the time the story ends happily. Horror stories, for example, rarely have a happy ending or closure; they usually have some kind of ending twist.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

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The Impostor Word | Among Us

That’s right, folks. Hold on to your web browser…I’m doing a post on Among Us, the game developed by InnerSloth where you suss out the most sus(picious) sus(pect) by using your over 500 IQ.

Why am I doing this? A) Among Us is one of the most trending games at the moment, so I’m going to ride those virtual coattails. B) It’s near Halloween, and what better spooky topic than a shapeshifting murderous space parasite that causes you to be sus of your own friends.

I’m not going to talk about over 500 IQ strats or touch on the lore–there are plenty of those on YouTube and other blogs. I’m not even going to discuss my theory that the game is so popular because it features people in space suits trying to carry on with their daily lives while dealing with a infectious creature that kills their friends and family during a pandemic in the real world. You can thank The Game Theorists video on the Among Us lore for that connection. MatPat talks about how there are so many body snatching alien movies during the 1950s, which was the height of the Red Scare.

Nope. I’m going to talk about the latest buzzword/slang “sus.” It is used as a chat shortcut for “suspicious” or “suspect”…most often for “suspicious.” For example, “I saw Red standing over the body; it’s very sus.”

With the growing popularity of Among Us, more and more people are using “sus,” mostly as a joke. I’ve been through many trending slang words over the years and most of the time they don’t bother me. I find some of them even funny and some I start using. But, for some reason, “sus” got on my nerves right away. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. “Those young people and their silly slang; why can’t they just speak normal like the rest of us? Oh, hey, George…whaaaazzzzup?”

No, I think the reason “sus” bothers me is because it’s an impostor.


Most other buzzwords can be silly, fun, or in some way positive or neutral. “Sus” on the other hand is negative. You’re telling someone you are suspicious of them or suspect them of something. Even if you don’t really mean it, it has that connotative meaning behind it. You are implying guilt. The word pretends to be a happy, friendly word–“Oh, look, isn’t that just sus. Hahahaha…”–when in fact, it is a word that causes distrust and blame. In the game, you use it to point the finger at someone or to pass blame on to others.

Also, everyone acts like saying “sus” is some new, creative thing. We’ve been using the word “suss” for years to show that you are trying to figure something out. A detective will try to suss out a criminal. A student tries to suss out their homework. And if you just Google search “suss” and look at the dictionary, “suss” was an abbreviation for “suspect” or “suspicion” in the 1930s…weird, almost a hundred years ago (now that’s some Halloween spookiness right there). People have just dropped the extra “s” much like they drop a “g” in something like “going.”

And “sus” isn’t the only impostor. The whole “over 500 IQ” statement is an impostor. Like “sus” it can carry an negative connotation. It makes you sound like you are bragging or that you are better than everyone else.

We’ve got to launch these villainous slang words out the airlock before they completely infect our language. We must not become lazy and complacent in our writing!


No. I was only kidding, Red. Heh, heh. It’s a Halloween post. It’s just for fun. No. No need for the spike tongue. NOOO!!


Happy Halloween…and I’ll see you next wormhole. Thanks for reading.

The Beast of Camp TimberWolf is on sale till Nov. 1.

The Terror of Night Dad | Halloween Special

Vincent Tyler wanted nothing more than to be a father. Except he couldn’t have children. His grief, and possible madness, became so strong that one day he unlocked superpowers. He delve even further into madness by deciding to use those talents to protect the innocent. Vincent Tyler would remain a accountant during the day; but at night, he would transform into the terror of the underworld, Night Dad.

As Night Dad, Vincent possessed the power to persuade the guilty to do as he wanted by using his “dad voice.” He also knew how to embarrass a criminal and share this weakness with all present. His last talent is the ability to inflict pain through his cringey “dad jokes.”

Night Dad stalks the shadows in his white shirt and green sweater vest. So, be on the look out for his Number One Dad hat and listen for the soft whipping noise of his blue tie blowing in the wind. If he catches you…he’ll remove his belt and…


The villains jerked back in fear and gasped in terror.

The storyteller’s eyes took in the sight of the gathered fearful fiends with morbid glee. General Destruction chuckled to himself.

Rat Fink nervously thumbed his fingers; sweat dripped down his long nose and into his whiskers. The whiskers bobbed up and down as the sweat fell off and down to the floor. “Has this guy never heard of adoption?”

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.

The adventures continue in the Dogboy Universe

You ready for more sci-fi stories? Hungry for some fantasy? Longing for adventure? Consider purchasing a Joe Rover book today!

The books are available at many online retailers; click below to find out where. Or, follow me on Amazon to receive updates of book releases.