Dani Stone

I Hear Laugh Tracks


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Kansas, We Need To Talk

kansas wheatfield

Kansas. You’re killing me.

As a lifelong resident I’ve played on your prairie land, attended your schools, hidden from your tornadoes and always maintained a sense of pride about hailing from the boxiest  state on the map. Over the years, I’ve cringed when the media called you, “backward,” “slow” “unhealthy” and that time you were named the worst city to live in for allergy sufferers. *reaches for another Kleenex* Even though I think that one is. . . *sniff*. . . totally true.

I’ve endured countless jokes about the Wizard of Oz connection and when I’ve traveled beyond these flat plains, I’ve laughed politely when people in other states reminded me, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, are ya?” Ahhh, that never gets old. *whisper* It totally does. Hell, I’ve even paid tribute to and capitalized on Kansas’ kitsch by making it a central theme in my short story, “No Place Like Home,” as well as, my novelette, “Next Left.” *ahem* Shameless plug.

But now, Kansas, you and I have a problem. Lately your lawmakers have been drinking the crazy Koolaid and once again, the world is taking notice. Last night I saw this tweet from The Daily Show:

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Sleigh Read Tour and a Delicious Coffee-Fueled Contest!

What is it about winter time that turns me in to a hopeless romantic?

It certainly isn’t the temperature. I detest it. When the first cold snap hits in mid-October I swear I won’t be warm again until May. Then I spend the rest of the season bundled up in layers of clothing and wear my electric blanket as a cape, moving from room to room with the little electrical cord dragging behind me.

Then there’s the cold and flu season. An entire season dedicated to coughing, sneezing and the dreaded snot-snuck. I’m woozy just thinking about it. Phlegm noises make me irritable and I tend to shout irrational things like, “Blow your nose or I will come use the baby snot-sucky-thingy on you, I don’t care if you are 46 years old.”

Yet here I am, ready to launch another romantic winter tale, Next Left.

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