What Your Favorite Type of Pie Says About You

I love pie. Pie is everything cake wants to be without all of the disappointment of being terrible 30 minutes after you cut it. When people ask me what kind of cake I want for my birthday, I say ice cream cake. But when they tell me ice cream cake is too expensive, I say I want pie. And because my birthday is close to Thanksgiving, nearly every year someone obliges.

Everyone has their own favorite kind of pie. I’m a fan of pecan myself. But did you know that your favorite pie can tell other people a lot about you1It can’t.?

It can’t2Nope.?

You’re saying I’m just using Buzzfeed-like listicle science to get you to keep reading3Yes. Stop it, Tim. You’re better than this.?

Have you had pie4Well, yes. But that’s not the point.?

Well then come along on a journey wherein I help you learn what your favorite kind of pie says about you5Goddammit..

Cherry Pie

You’re a simple person who enjoys simple pleasures. You love how a warm, flaky, buttery crust tastes when it’s pressed up against tart cherries encased in a sweet, sticky sauce. You also giggle when someone mentions pie because you listened to too much Warrant and wanted to sample the People’s Strudel. You’re straightforward, yet complex. Just like this classic pie.

Pecan Pie

You love Thanksgiving and you’re not ashamed to admit it. In fact, you’re so unashamed of your love for Thanksgiving that you’re more than willing to tell your dentist that the reason your temporary crown broke for the third time in six weeks is because you managed to get your hands on a pecan pie not only for your birthday, but also for Thanksgiving. Black Friday visits to the dentist are so fun. Wait. What was I talking about again?

Rhubarb Pie

You’ve been lost in the wilderness for 16 years and are trying to readjust to society. As someone who has been in society for the last 16 years, I can promise you’re better off not knowing what’s going on out here.

Lemon Meringue Pie

On the outside, you’ve got a bubbly, airy personality. People want to be you because you look like you have the most glamorous life. On the inside, you’re a mess of all the ingredients that went into making your what you are today — and you’re not sure if the sum of all the parts is better than the ingredients by themselves. On the plus side, you’re awesome at making small children cry.

Apple Pie

You’re an American and you love your country. You want nothing more than baseball, Coca-Cola, and a hot dog after a long day at the business factory. Like America, your pie could be improved by being Dutch. And even if you know there could be better alternatives out there to your hobbies or favorite pie, you stick with what you know. Because you dislike change. And the Dutch.

Pumpkin Pie

Your favorite pie is Cool Whip.

Banana Cream Pie

You’re health conscious, but you love to indulge from time to time. You want to find the best of both worlds between taste and restraint. You want to integrate more fruit into your diet, but you hate the texture of berries and the smell of citrus fruit. You own stock in Nilla Wafers and loved Bananas in Pajamas. Above all, you’re confused why some pies have top crusts.

Key Lime Pie

You like your coffee black, your chili spicy, and your beer ice cold. If food could punch you in the face, you’d welcome it with open arms, then suplex it the fuck over your head for trying. One day, you plan to retire to a small fishing village in Spain where you can harpoon your own octopus for breakfast. You’re also very confused why anyone would waste a lime on tequila when there’s pie to make.

Pot Pie

You’re not a fan of sweet food, but are smart enough to know rhubarb tastes like a leather sandal in a slimy mud puddle feels. You may have your preferences to filling — be it chicken, turkey, veggies, or beef — but you just want the sugar kept as far away as possible. You think a tomato is a vegetable and will politely debate anyone who thinks otherwise. Your middle child is named Gravy.

Empanadas

You like pie but don’t own a fork or spoon. Either that or the business factory made your life very stressful and you have to eat your lunch at your desk. I should really look into getting some empanadas for work.

Peach Pie

You love everything about peaches except for the fuzzy outer skin. At birthday parties, you’re the person who walks up to the magician after their show and tries to show them your magic tricks. You have a Super Mario Brothers fetish, but only a little bit. Your iPhone actively suggests the peach emoji to you when you type butt.

W(h)oopie Pie

You don’t understand what pie is. Please reload your page and try again6To those unfamiliar with woopie pie, it’s essentially two pieces of cake and some icing or marshmallow fluff made into a sandwich. It’s a cake..

Moravian Chicken Pie

While your brother/sister/cousin named their middle child Gravy, you were busy going to culinary school and getting your degree in saucery. You don’t think of gravy as a topping for mashed potatoes, but an art form meant to be shared with all of humanity. You’re likely from North Carolina and have never left the state. Colonel Sanders once sued your grandmother.

Flan

Okay…that’s neither a pie nor a tart…but it’s part of the same pastry family. So…sure. Why not. Flan’s delicious. Your blood alcohol content is 65% caramel color. House eggings upset you because it’s a waste of good food. You spent one semester in Spain and now all of your friends want to kill you in your sleep because you keep pronouncing Zaragoza with a ‘th’ in it.

Pi

Okay, smart ass.

Pinkie Pie

I mean, probably best pony7The Great and Powerful Trixie is also an acceptable answer here.. But not pie.

Pizza Pie

Again, not a pie.

Cookie Cake Pie

Now you’re just listing three desserts in a row to see if I’ll buy it8This is actually a pie. I’m just as shocked as you are. But I’ve never had it, so I can’t comment..

Cheesecake

No. Wait…actually, that is a tart, so that works. You consider yourself to be so adventurous, but have bought the same brand of white bread for 37 years. You’re really into telling people that you’re Taurus-Gemini Cusp any time the month of May comes up in conversation. Your favorite alcohol is rubbing and your favorite dehumidifier setting is Sahara. The best way to eat ice cream to you is to pick all of the chunks out and to leave the creamy parts in the carton for everyone else.

Chess Pie

How are you even reading this? Your favorite pie is literally baked sugar and butter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing. But you can only have one piece every ten years or you’ll go into a coma. Chess pie is a family event because feeding one pie to your entire extended family is the only way to avoid mass casualties. The bottle of corn syrup you’re hallucinating is telling you to chill the fuck out with the sugar.

Blueberry Pie

You’re just happy to be included.

Mid-Month Short Story Challenge #7

Welcome to the short story challenge that you’ll have the least amount of writing time on all year. With February being the shortest month of the year, you get only 14 days to complete this prompt rather than the standard 15 or 16 days, depending on the month. Not that it’s a concern — in this month’s prompt, you’ll take the point of view of a very hurried woman and tell her story. Now rush along and write your story.

Your prompt is for this month below. Your story should be posted on March 1, 2018. Be sure to link back to this post so I can see your story and share. Thank you so much to Stephanie for her help in coming up with this prompt.

  • Suggested number of words: 1000 word limit
  • Seven words to work into your story: Dangling, aquarium, stroller, data, orthodox, handbag, berries
  • Genre: Slice of life/melodrama
  • Rating/Content Limitations: Your choice
  • Topic: You are an elderly woman who is rushing through the terminal of an airport. You are wearing three hats on your head, trying to balance them on your head as you drag a small rolling bag behind you.

WIP Update #1

A couple of months ago, I mentioned in my charity drive wrap-up post that I wasn’t particularly sure where I wanted to go with my writing. At that time, I was pretty down on how things had gone with said charity drive. In a way, I took the results of that effort as an indictment on my creative writing. I clearly have never been the best at marketing my writing — and by extension my book — and despite the book’s good ratings on Goodreads and Amazon, I ended up in a bit of a rough place mentally with how I viewed my own writing.

At the same time, just as the charity drive was wrapping up, I finally finished an outline for a project that I’ve been wanting to work on for some time now. Last year, I wrote a prompt-based short story that ventured into the realm of artificial intelligence. More specifically, the short story focused on whether or not humans and artificial intelligence could love one another, as well as the societal implications of that thought process. I actually did three short stories of various lengths on the topic last year1I’ve taken all three down off this blog, as I may end up using them in the future as part of this project (or another)., however the first one from that series is what prompted the outline. Said outline was originally 42 pages in length when I finished it, though it’s since grown to nearly 50 pages as I’ve added additional notes to it for my own reference.

A little more than a week after I wrote that charity drive post, something clicked. I wish I could tell you what it was, but I really don’t remember. I just wanted to try writing — to try working on this project that I had created a giant outline for. So I spent the better part of six hours between two plane rides working on the project, getting to almost 10,000 words in the process. I excitedly took a screenshot of Google Docs’ word count feature and posted it to my Twitter, getting better than I expected reception to the work I had done. No one had read the work in progress. Hell, only one person knew what said work in progress was related to at that point. The reaction still made me happy to see all the same.

We’re a little more than two months on now from the point at which I started working on this new project. Since starting, I’m at just over 24,000 words in the project. This accounts for about one-quarter of the chapters in the story’s outline. Even then, there’s really just been a lot of world building done at this point2There’s a surprisingly high amount of world building I’ve felt like I’ve needed to do with this story, even though the technologies within it aren’t that far-fetched from what exist today., as the main story itself has only just started to take shape in the last chapter or two. I’d ideally like to have the first draft of this book written by the end of spring, though we’ll see how much I can get done over the next couple of months.

I’m not necessarily writing this post for anyone. If you’re interested in the writing I’ve done and would like to stay up to date on the work in progress I have going on now, great. I’ll (hopefully) be posting additional updates about it as I continue working towards completing it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a handful of people approach me about wanting to be beta readers for the story once it has gone through an initial edit, which is something I didn’t have with my first book3I had beta readers, however I had to proactively seek them out. Seeing people actively want to be beta readers for me is a welcome surprise.. With this book likely being my first novel that I actually try to do something with4I’ve written a full novel for NaNoWriMo three times now (twice in the time limit, once with some extra time needed). That said, I don’t feel like continuing work on those for various reasons., there’s a long way to go. That said, I’ll try to keep doing these posts, not only for my own self-accountability, but also to let you all have some insight into my writing process, if you’re interested.

And hey — if you are interested in seeing more posts like this, let me know in the comments. I can’t really know that people want to see more about this project if no one says so.

Precarious

For the second week in a row, you guys get a picture with my post. I feel like I’m turning into Laidig, only with less artistic talent1And no Scottish accent.. I’ve been doing far more travel than I’m used to over the last year, which means I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in airports. Sometimes, that travel leads me to see awesome things, much like the sky pothole in last week’s post. Other times, I run into things that are less well put together.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the worst time to be without power while travelling during the time immediately before your flight. The time leading up to a flight isn’t particularly boarding. After all, even if you get to the airport far earlier than you need to, there are generally televisions everywhere, with at least half of them not tuned to a news station. It’s not difficult to amuse yourself in an airport.

That said, the time leading up to a flight is a significant battery drain on your electronics, should you choose to use them. Considering the fact that many people choose to take advantage of mobile boarding passes, use their cell phones for ride sharing services, or spend their time in airports playing Pokemon Go2I’ve learned that some airports are better than others for Pokemon Go. O’Hare and Newark? Awesome. Cleveland and Las Vegas? Good, but not great. Atlanta? Hit or miss, depending on what terminal you end up in. Sacramento and San Diego? Eh…, good luck keeping that mobile device charged though being at the airport…and the plane ride…and getting through your destination airport…and in the car you’re taking to get to your hotel3Or wherever you’re staying. I’d also like to point out I’ve spent too much time in hotels in the past year..

And so we must rely on airport power outlets to charge up. In a best case scenario, the outlets are open, they function correctly, and they let you charge while taking advantage of airport wifi4Boingo wifi is a joke. Thank you to airports like Cleveland and Sacramento that give free wifi.. Sometimes, that leaves you in a situation where you have to use a not-so-stellar outlet like the one I had to use before my last trip.

I’m sure there’s some sort of deep life lesson in the balancing act my laptop’s power cord is performing. It’s probably something about how no matter how close to the edge life seems, just keep hanging on and doing your job. Eventually, you’ll find a place where you fit in better, no matter how precarious your position seems. That’s probably the lesson. I prefer a different lesson though.

Always bring enough spare batteries to power a small city.

Your Order Is Ready

This post is a response to January 2018’s mid-month short story challenge. Click on the link in the previous sentence to read the prompt, share your story, and read those written by others.


I miss it, you know? The calm, faint jazz music in the air. The antiquated computer systems set up on the far wall providing forever unused free internet. The clamor of touque-clad locals thinking it’s cold outside even when frost can’t form. It was a surreal place to be.

“Darren!” shouted the girl with deep red hair from behind counter. “Ice caramel latte with sweet cream for Darren.”

I watched as gray-haired man in a tan suit strode up to the counter and took the drink from the girl. She gave him a wide smile, though his face was angled away from me, preventing me from seeing if he’d reciprocated. Most people didn’t. I doubt he did.

Fall is a fickle time in the upper Midwest. You never know from one day to the next if you’re going to wake up to late-summer heat, bone-chilling Arctic plunges, rain that soaks through ever article of clothing, or unpredictable winds that blow umbrellas away from unsuspecting tourists. Today was one of the few lucky days before the birds flew south for the winter that nearly everyone seemed happy about the weather.

The variety of clothing in line at the register amused me greatly. At the end of the line, a short, bulky man in his later years wore khaki pants and a white button up shirt. He carried a book and a newspaper under his left arm, clearly set on using the coffee shop as a place to read. Why even bother dressing up? Behind him, a woman and her daughter wore matching outfits — a t-shirt about a 5k run that had taken place earlier in the day and a pair of black sweatpants with white lines running vertically up the side. Next in line, a woman with impatient eyes pulled a lint roller out of her purse, carefully removing every stray pet hair from dark blue top. She scoffed every time she rolled over a hair, only to have to go back to the same spot and try again. Finally, a young man in a dirty sweatshirt and stained blue jeans nervously fumbled with his hard hat, trying to find a way to balance it in his right hand while playing a game on his cell phone with his left.

I love visiting coffee shops. Aside from fulfilling me primal desire for caffeine, they allow me to watch as little moments within the stories of so many lives that take place independently of one another become ever so briefly intertwined.

“Arnold!” the girl with the deep red hair yelled out. “Black coffee with room for Arnold.”

The elderly man in dress clothes moved slowly toward the counter, grabbing his coffee once he arrived. The girl behind the counter gave that same wide smile I’d watched her give so many times before. The elderly man thanked her and made his way back to his paper and novel.

I missed that coffee shop in Arizona with the jazz, the computers, and the people who didn’t understand the cold. The drinks weren’t markedly better than they were here. Sure, I liked the weather here than there, but I could get authentic baklava with my iced coffee there. There’s nothing quite like eating a Greek pastry with Colombian coffee while sitting on the patio and listening to American jazz music as the smells of the Mexican restaurant next door waft past your nostrils.

There was a sense of community there, even if it was largely an unspoken one. On more than one occasion, I left my computer alone at my table while I ran off to the restroom. I knew no one would touch it while I was gone. That type of action wouldn’t have fit into the coffee shop’s community.

“I’ve got a french vanilla cappuccino for Karen and a strawberry Italian soda for Kat,” said the deep red-haired girl from behind the counter. She didn’t have to shout this time, as the mother and her daughter were waiting there for the drinks to finish. The child in particular was excitedly impatient for them to get done. The girl behind the counter added a friendly wave to the little girl to her smile, causing the child to chuckle.

The deep red haired girl behind the counter was particularly fascinating to me, as she was the lone like — aside from coffee, that is — that tied the two places together. The name on her name tag was Izzie, at least it is here. That said, when I first met her ten years ago in that coffee shop in Arizona, she introduced herself to me as Becky.

Izzie, or Becky as she was then, got in line behind me as I was waiting to order my coffee. Our meet cute, as Izzie insisted on calling it, involved Izzie not watching where she was going as I turned around from the counter. She ran into me hard, knocking the lid off of my coffee and spilling it down the front of her mint green and white polkadot dress. I apologized profusely for my own inability to keep the coffee in the cup, but she was too busy laughing at my failure to get a reasonable amount of napkins out of the holder to give to her to notice.

“Chai tea latte with skim milk and a shot of hazelnut for Miriel!” Izzie shouted to the woman still struggling with her lint roller. The woman tossed her lint roller into the trash, grabbed her coffee and stormed out the door.

I offered to take Izzie out to dinner to apologize for ruining her dress. She accepted, only to wear the exact same dress to dinner, just to prove it wasn’t ruined. She surprised me midway through dinner by kissing me on the cheek as she came back from the restroom, then surprised me further by taking me back to her immaculately cleaned apartment later that night. That kind of flattery got her everywhere. For as well as our first few dates went, the magic fizzled out quickly. Izzie and I broke up less than three months later.

Shortly after we split, I got a promotion at my job that relocated me to Fargo, North Dakota. I jumped on the offer and moved away, ultimately kickstarting my career. I only have to go into the office one day a week, meaning every other day, I can work from home — or as I prefer to do, work from the coffee shop. The last ten years have treated me quite well.

I wish I would say the same for Izzie. I ran into her in Fargo for the first time just over six years ago, with her behind the counter of a local coffee shop in Fargo, just as she is today. We recognized each other immediately, though she didn’t speak to me. As I was waiting for my order, Izzie told me to meet her outside as soon as I got my drink.

I got into her small sedan with pitch black tinted windows and listened to how Izzie’s life had gone south over the past three years. A later boyfriend of hers was a major drug dealer in the area, not to mention he had a nasty habit of killing anyone who crossed him. When Izzie agreed to flip on him in court in exchange for going into a witness protection program, she jumped at the chance. It meant not being Becky anymore — not going to a college where she had great friends and good grades, not living minutes from her family, not being who she once was, not dying her hair away from the deep red natural color she hated. But it meant she got to feel safe.

Every day during the week except Tuesdays, I sit in the coffee shop and do my work. I watch the people coming in and out. I’ve begun to recognize their faces, their habits, and their drink orders. I’ve learned to watch for that wide smile of Izzie’s to know everything was okay with the person she was helping. If something did go awry, I’d be there to help her.

“Decaf cafe latte for Aurelius!” Izzie shouted.

She handed the coffee to the man with the hard hat. He held his phone in his lips, placed his hard hat back on his head, then grabbed his phone and coffee and left. With no one in line, she shouted over to me.

“You need any more coffee?”

“No thanks,” I yelled back. “You guys going to start carrying baklava?”

Izzie laughed as she wiped off the counter with a wet rag.

“I’ll have to ask the manager.”