I finished yet another story on Wednesday, Jan 17th -- this is the one I called The Dream Ends. I have serious doubts about the quality of some of the stories I've written this week, but I think this one probably works. At this point, in order to completely finish everything I intend to put into Book 9: My Gun Is Sharp, I simply need to complete the story Enigma, and write The Tremor of the Earth, and also come up with a story that actually has the title My Gun Is Sharp. I'm not even sure if the latter is absolutely necessary, but eh.
This was also story number 299. My numbering system is a bit wonky because I have a few stories numbered that have never been finished, and I've also "inserted" some stories into Book 1, which gives me a story 00 and a story 05a and 05b. But roughly speaking I'm at 300 stories now.
I've been reading a manga called The Flying Witch. It's kind of a low-key, slice-of-life story with no major plots going on -- just the tale of a young girl learning to become a witch, and her interactions with friends and cousins and strange creatures. It kind of reminds me of Yotsuba! in the way it tells little stories of little consequence, but which are still very enjoyable to read. There's an anime out too, I only discovered this past week.
Last night I read a story that involved a visit to a witch's cafe restaurant. The building looked like an old, abandoned temple until you performed a proper prayer ritual before entering, which broke the spell and revealed a nice, modern cafe. The waitress was a ghost whom no one could see (messages from the ghost would appear as written notes laid on the table), until the witch cast a spell that revealed the ghost to everyone.
They had a good lunch and talked to the witch who ran the place. There were some misunderstandings, and the ghost was shy and put on a mask for a while after she realized they could see her. Nothing important happened, but it was a charming little story anyway. ^_^
So I got to thinking, could I tell such a story set in my Grandpa Anarchy universe? I had just the day before reread part of The Ring of Hanubatum, and in that it's established that the Society of Intergalactic Space Babes has a space station Terra orbiting earth, and that they also have set up a steampunk-style space station above the fantasy land of Amethyst, and that you can travel from earth to Terra Station to the Amethyst station and then to Amethyst relatively easily and quickly. One of my most recent stories took place station Terra as well.
First idea: What if there were a gateway in the New York headquarters of the League of Two-Fisted Justice that led directly to the space station? I could write an interesting story about how the league's secretary routinely travels to the fantasy world of Amethyst, just to grab lunch.
Come to think of it, one of the characters in Amethyst is Tony the Fry Cook from New Jersey, who has a magical skillet that produces whatever food you want instantly -- at least, diner-style food. Maybe he's married in Amethyst and runs a diner, and his wife bakes wonderful cakes and pastries?
I'm still working on the details of this largely plotless story idea, and so I don't know if it will work or if there will be some kind of joke or way to wrap it up at the end. But my mind went from that idea to others.
Second idea: Grandpa Anarchy has an interstellar gateway in his basement, his "Anarchy Cave". I haven't used it too much but I've already established that one place it can connect to is Happy Jack's bar in the interdimensional city of Intersect, where they also have a gateway. So far I've treated it as something only used in emergencies or on other important occasions -- for example in My Sister the Computer when F8Wasp and Amelia Bloodraven used it to travel to Intersect, with no plans to return for maybe years. But what's to stop Grandpa Anarchy from popping over to his friend's bar for lunch?
Third idea: In two very old stories, The Chef that Time Forgot and Historically Accurate, I established that Marianna Kidd is a time-travelling chef who runs a place called the Slice of Time Bar and Grill, which uses ingredients exclusively from past periods of history. It's exclusive, membership is by invite only -- but I never actually established where this restaurant is, nor used it much after those stories from Book 3 (stories 71 and 80 out of 300 that I've written -- these are from sometime in 2013 I believe).
Fourth idea: Dark Dr. Dark teleports around the globe and has bases for himself and for the League of Two-Fisted Justice scattered around the world. Where does he pop off to for lunch? Possibly his private monastery retreat in Nepal?
I don't really know where I'm going with these ideas, but right now I'm hoping to write 3-4 stories just about people popping out for lunch in unusual places. ^_^