Tag Archives: Minnesota Author


Once upon a time, I set my sights upon a little known professional internship. The below link is the short, short script sample I wrote with a limited amount of words allowed to convey a full short story and based on a prompt about an infamous Captain.

Little Sparrow


Sleep tight for me, I’m gone.



It started out like any other day at The Greasy Burger. Jake, Dave, Ryan and Val stood around, chatting about being bored and what their weekend plans were, as they waited for lunch rush.

The main dining room was clean, bathrooms were pristine, all the condiments were filled, including a bin overflowing with packages of butter medallions. The soda fountain percolated with fresh carbonation canisters and the ice machine was filled to the brim. They were ready. Ready for battle.

As the first few hungry customers filtered in, Ryan leaned over to Val and whispered he hoped the lunch crowd would only take condiments they needed. He oversaw refilling them and witnessed customers leave piles of ketchup packets or butter on the table every…single…day. It infuriated Ryan because he would have to throw out unused packages merely because they had been removed from the bin. He thought it was a huge waste.

Kristi, the manager, stood gallantly off to the side, watching her strategically placed staff as they began to service more hungry patrons. Jake and Ryan took their stance at the cash registers while Dave and Val worked feverishly in the back fulfilling orders.

Within an hour, the crew was inundated and The Greasy Burger was filled to capacity. Kristi noticed they were busier than usual but her staff seemed amped and ready to go. Dave and Val were bouncing on the balls of their feet as if about to perform a tag-team wrestling match on WWE.

Beads of sweat dripped from Jake’s pulsating temples. Kristi spoke into her intercom, directing Dave to swap positions with Jake. Dave jumped up, smacked his hands together with over-enthusiastic excitement and tapped Jake on the shoulder, signaling he was ready to take over.

People stood shoulder-to-shoulder as the lines became longer and tighter. Customer complaints that began as a whisper intensified into a rumbling moan. A large man at the center yelled as he was nearly hit in the face by another man who was fervently waving a piece of paper around in the air. The paper-waving man hollered back. A woman behind him passively told him to “shut up,” while others began to push their way forward, shoving and shoulder checking one another like a mosh pit. When the paper-flailing man finally reached the front of Ryan’s line, his eyes scowled like a beast about to pounce on his prey. He slammed his receipt onto the counter.

Ryan leaned in to listen to the man’s complaint over the mob. The receipt wielding man’s accent was so thick, Ryan could barely make out his complaint about receiving a wrong order. He diligently reviewed the receipt and remembered entering it into the system. Ryan tried to explain he had given him exactly what he ordered, but the man’s rage boiled over as he shouted and pounded his fists on the counter, making it harder for Ryan to decipher the man’s words. Ryan’s chest heaved with each quickened explanation, his voice becoming louder as his impatience grew.

Kristi walked over to Ryan’s cash register to gauge the situation. Another customer began to shout about empty condiments. Ryan’s eyes twitched.  Jake bounced over like he was on a springy mat and tapped Ryan on the shoulder. Ryan clapped his hands together and swiped them out like a blackjack dealer walking away with clean hands and made his way to refill the condiments.

Across from the order counter, as he was filling condiments, Ryan heard Kristi shout for him to return to the register. She seemed angry.

“Do you want me on condiments or on the register?” he snipped at her.

Ryan quickly filled what condiments he could, then squeezed his way back through the crowd and stood next to Jake still working with the same disgruntled customer.

Ryan waved his hands in the air, “Look! I can’t understand what you’re saying!”

Before Kristi could intervene, Ryan reached into his apron pocket, grabbed a handful of packets he had left from refiling the condiment bin, tossed them at the man and said “Here! Have some butter!”


Sleep tight for me!



Sometimes there just is no logical explanation for the things that go bump in the night…unless it’s all in your head. Or, is it?

I have to admit. This story has been in my head for a long, long time. It has gone through numerous revisions and title changes. I have struggled to find the best way to tell the idea that swims in there, toying with me like a killer clown illuminated by a dim street light.  That is what keeps me up at night.

Blank Spaces

Sleep tight for me, I’m gone.

The Daydreamer Releases 10-31-16

steam-train-512508_1280-3It’s official. My new book, The Daydreamer, is set to release on 10-31-16. Like last time, it will be an e-book.

Tell your friends, tell your enemies…you can even tell the apparitions lurking in the darkest corners of your attic or in the cobwebs of your mind. Cliche, I know but I had to.

If you have read any of my other work, you just may find an Easter egg or two. Keep your eyes peeled.

Until then, feel free to view the book trailer.

The Daydreamer, by January Rain, releases 10-31-16. Submerge yourself into a world where creative thought is nearly lost where two longtime friends must escape exploitive military experiments or die.

Sleep tight for me!







Al DrumsOkay, listen…this is probably more of a former concert photographer’s confessional, but the title will make sense if you just hang in there with me. It’s late (or perhaps early) and I should be in bed, as per usual. I’ve been working on a number of fiction projects lately and just can’t seem to stay focused on one or the other at the moment and so tonight, inspired by music, I subject you to a random meandering–sort of.

I’m not entirely sure why, but tonight Psycho Stick infiltrated my mind. It could be the fact that I’m drinking a beer at the moment and their song “Beer” popped into my head. I’m not much of a beer person. I try. Apparently, I prefer the darker and more bitter beers—whodathunkit!

Anyway, that band popped into my head and I suddenly remembered a time when my husband and I went out to see a large show at the Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota. For some reason, I don’t remember what other bands played that night, but I was particularly interested in Lacuna Coil. They played well and on our way out some really drunk guy mistook my husband for the male singer and wouldn’t let him leave without autographing his shirt. After professing he is not, in fact, that guy, my husband gave in (because the dude persisted) and signed his own name. I’m sure that the dude woke up the next morning wondering who the hell signed his shirt. To this day we laugh about it.

Regardless, as we left, we noticed the band hanging out by their bus at the back of the venue and I actually got to meet the female singer. I was pretty stoked about it, mainly because, as a vocalist myself, I admire her range. Unfortunately, that band has become so popular and over-produced that they just don’t have the same sound anymore, but I digress.

Later I eventually took that band’s photos when they played live at Station 4. I knew them and how popular they were at the time and so it was a personal challenge to remain professional rather than “fan girl.” I think I managed alright. I got some decent photographs too.

Okay, so back to that night…after my husband and I had the little meet-n-greet with Lacuna Coil, we wandered over to The Rock, which was just a few blocks away. Earlier in the evening someone in the balcony at The Myth had tossed down some free tickets to see Psycho Stick at The Rock and so we decided to check it out just because my son, who was in his very early teens at the time, really liked that “Beer” song that played on the radio.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we ended up having a really good time. I never thought the “Hokey Pokey” could ever be so cool and so heavy. About a year later, I ended up taking their pictures too. It was at a different venue but nonetheless, I was pretty stoked about taking photos for a band that was regularly played on the radio. And, of course, there was also the factor of the child with stars in his eyes because his mom was able to introduce him to the lead singer (clenches fist, blows on it and rubs it across chest). Proud moment.

That leads me to the main story. While I knew who those bands were when I took their live concert photographs, there were plenty whom I had no idea who they were. I often took concert photos at Station 4, which was typically known for the metal scene. Oddly, I was never all that into the type of metal they played. “Metal” had changed significantly since I was a teen. Once upon a time it was short for “heavy metal,” which is now referred to has “hair metal,” unfortunately. But now I have given away my age.

At any rate, I did not grow up in the Twin Cities and so did not experience the versatile music scene like many of my friends, acquaintances, and clients did. My husband did. And, so, when I was commissioned to photograph a show that DRI played I did not understand his excitement. He immediately turned into this boy with stars in his eyes. When I did not match his excitement, he asked me if I knew who that band is. Of course, my answer was a resounding “no.”

Oh lord! I never heard the end of it. I still don’t. It was “how can you not know who DRI is?” Of course, I’m probably exaggerating somewhat and only paraphrasing, but the sentiment is the same. I clearly did not know the caliber of the band I had photographed, which was often the case. My husband knew of many of the bands I had photographed and was geeked about it, especially DRI. My reaction was a shrug and “eh.”

In many cases, this aided in my ability to photograph them. Because I did not know who they were or that they were as famous as they were, I did not have stars in my eyes or the “fan” mentality while eyeing them through my lens, which gave me a unique perspective.

The only time this really backfired on me was when a band was fairly well-known, at least more well-known than I ever knew, and they expect me to know that they had some sort of clout. When I treated them like a regular human being but they expected to be handled like they were more famous than I thought they were…well, let’s just say they were severely disappointed. Sorry. No offense. I just didn’t know.

By the way, I know perfectly well who the guy is in the photograph I chose for this post. He is an amazing musician who has had a great distinction here in the Minneapolis music scene. He has since ventured on to greater pastures. But, I thank you, Al, for letting me attempt to play your kit, for teaching my kid, and putting up with my lens in your face.

Sleep tight for me. I’m gone.


zombie-979358_1280After a horrible family tragedy, Aliyah keeps herself hidden and glued to her studies until her friends cajole and dare her into a night of drinking and urban exploring to redeem her tarnished reputation and prove the legends and hauntings of the house on East Wind Road are untrue.

The spirit of the house awakens with a vengeance after the group reads from a forbidden book, written by a mysterious and missing author, leaving Aliyah to discover how to purge the evil but becomes the victim of her own devices.

If you dare, click the link below to read the short screenplay. But, beware what lurks in the corner shadows.

East Wind Road

Sleep tight for me!


woman-1335487_1280When I think of a gamer, I think of someone who is super into video games—the kind that are played on an Xbox or PS4 console, etc. I would even consider those who are so into PC games that they would lug all of their heavy equipment to another person’s house just to hook up and play with others as a gamer, or someone really into internet gaming. My husband and son would fall into that category, especially considering my son worked at GameStop for years—it was his dream job. He is the guy you want to ask all your gaming questions because he is very knowledgeable. So is my husband. My husband, however, claims that I am a “closet gamer.” I’ll get to that later.

The first experience I had with a video game was as a child, on an Apple II, playing Oregon Trail. Granted, as a child, we would play other games (role playing, i.e. pretend—often I got stuck playing Daisy Duke, just because I was the girl—board games, sports, etc.), but Oregon Trail was the first game I played on the computer. It was addicting, fun and certainly spawned emotions, most particularly disappointment because I killed my crew by making a bad decision at the general store.

As I got older, I plunked a lot of quarters into arcade machines. My games of choice were either Pinball, Tekken or other similar fighting games, or driving games. I had an Atari and played a few games hooked up to our television (usually Space Invaders, which I took pride in whooping every adult that ever challenged me) and played Mario or Tetris when my friends all got Nintendo. But, as the games began to advance and become more accessible at home I sort of lost interest—getting my driver’s license may have had something to do with that.

So, as a kid, I could say I was a gamer. As an adult, not so much—except when my husband and I were dating. He happened to bring his PS2 over and tried to get me to connect with his love of games by appealing to the arcade kid in me with Street Fighter. He left to run an errand and I powered it up to check it out. By the time he came back, he claims he could hear me cussing and swearing (lots of F-bombs) as he walked up to the door (yet another emotive reaction a game apparently pulled out of me). Between that and the fact that I have beaten my husband at games like that (or even Pinball, which is now on PS4—just so you know), which infuriates the avid gamer in him who has spent years crafting his game play and learning very specific button combinations, I am what he calls a “button masher.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why he calls me a “closet gamer,” because I can beat him but have not admitted to being a gamer that could. In the game of pool, he calls me a shark. Really, I am not all that great at billiards.

Despite games drawing out emotion, whether as a kid or a grown-up, we all know that it is play, or pretend and are still grounded in our own reality. A perfect example would be my youngest who, at the age of 2 or 3, had imaginary friends. Some of the things she would say or do made me a bit nervous, wondering if she really believed. One day I asked her a question about her friends and she gave me this very perplexed look as if to say “Mom! You know this isn’t real, right?” It was she who was checking my reality.

“Human beings are capable of understanding the difference between the playing activity and the non‐playing activity, and he describes that phenomenon as a theoretical paradox. Framing is Bateson’s term for the playing activity initiating ‘this is play….’” Karoff, H. S., Ejsing-Duun, S., & Hanghøj, T. (2013). Playing and Gaming – Studied in an Informal Learning Setting. Proceedings Of The European Conference On Games Based Learning, 261- 267.

Moods in life are produced through our participation in the world around us as in gameplay are expressed through the action of such play when the person participates in the pretend world. Through game play there are four moods: (1) devotion, most attributed to being in a state of “concentration and focus”; (2) intensity, most attributed to physical play and the feeling of “butterflies” or an adrenaline rush; (3) tension, “fight or flight” is attributed to taking action or “being ready to perform” in a game; and, (4) euphoria, most attributed to silliness and laughter and is considered to be the most “open minded” of all moods because it allows for continual change. Karoff, H. S., Ejsing-Duun, S., & Hanghøj, T. (2013). Playing and Gaming – Studied in an Informal Learning Setting. Proceedings Of The European Conference On Games Based Learning, 261- 267.

Whether watching my children play or engaging in some form of it myself, I can see how all four of those moods come into play, as well as know that while we are all engaged we all still know it isn’t real. I am curious, however, how this may shift once virtual reality becomes more advanced. I had read an article once, a long time ago (by whom I cannot recall), that talked about a study they conducted whereby the subjects felt actual physical pain in the real world while experiencing being stabbed in the virtual world. Once we have advanced to actual Holodecks, will the lines between real and fantasy or play be blurred?

And finally, while my choices of video games are vastly different from what my husband or son would choose (they prefer fantasy role play or first-person-shooter), I, unfortunately, must concede that, by technicality, my husband is correct—I am a closet gamer.