Who wants to play “Once Upon a Time”?

“Once Upon a Time” is a cooperative storytelling card game. The object of the game is to work together taking turns telling a fantasy story. The game is part cooperative and part competitive. Each of the players has their own story elements and ending card. When one player uses all of their element cards and reads off their ending card, that player wins. Because of the drive for the players to win, the game devolves into saying a word or two and throwing your cards on the table. This is not how the game is supposed to be played.

In my house, we have changed the rules. Instead of trying to tell one story where each of us try to steal the story from each other, we take turns telling the story we have come up with from the cards in our own hands. This makes it a fun game to play with your kids that helps teach them storytelling structure. At the same time, it is a good tool for practicing storytelling skills in a nonthreatening way.

If you choose to participate with me, feel free to write your story as short or as long as you like and comment a link of your story to this post so that everyone can see the differing stories that come from the same story telling elements.

The rules:

  1. The story starts with, “Once upon a time.”
  2. Use as many of the seven story element cards as you can.
  3. End your story with the phrase on the ending card.
  4. Have fun.

July Poem 25: No, it Wasn’t the Charger, Dickenson

Confusion comes from the difficulty

In bananas. Danny Dickenson’s poems

Are the peels we had to get. I ate as

Many as my moms had flagrant toothpaste.

Framed by the use of a knife to cut them

The words like a cigarette. Cut the words

Into lean smoking story. Her poems make

Rehab came back out lit. The innocence.

They looked like a canned smoke rose. Her poems had

The lady in back with resurrection.

Had just blown the end off Danny. We sent

The money. Had always gambled wrongly.

Could use some innocence even loss of.

July Poem 20

Is the governess a prologue?

James’s discursive field of letter.

The governess said after and then repeated governess.

This phrase could be sign that he had himself.

The reappearance of a story to tell his story

Creates an area of discourse.

I saw he was not hand.


James following this, I took for an argument.

Yes, the competition, the went.

This nothing two more times,

James Douglas.


Elsewhere, Francesco and Miles

Repeat the word. Up until page 6.

Before Miles admits to having

Opened the story to the group.


Before the fact, the manuscript arrives.

And how the author’s hand postpones his telling

Should be referred to as the hand of agree.

July Poem 6

Douglas waits for days to tell his story

Without the story.

That before telling is one that questions:


Griffin’s ghost of the child line.

The screw that innocents.

The turn of the manuscript.

Tomorrow as a work of fiction.

Douglas tells about the element that has nothing.

Ambiguity having reached candlestick hits.


How does the may not exist made up?

The four lack of the frame.

Douglas does not bring out observation that drew

From each earth’s elements phrase in his author’s hand.

The key the town had contained

Conspicuously missing.


The guests of the story also contained nothing.

Douglas’s actions account ambiguous.

He grabbed a candlestick postponing the affect.


He began telling the reappearance in another way.

Going to bed with the amount in June before you.


Douglas, not immediately, began to read.

Douglas tells this story

In stating that the story was something to produce

And the context of what seems written by Douglas, himself.

January Rant: What is a story?


A story is when you ask someone how was their day. They say that they went to the store and the line was long and some ass decided to pay with a check.




That was a story. There was no buildup. There was no climax. There was no conclusion. They told you their story. It was true. You liked or you didn’t, but you were entertained.




But if you really need it to fit the format of a story. The buildup is that there is a person in front of you. The climax is that they are in front of you. And the conclusion is that there is still a person in front of you. You wanted to hear a story. You were told a story. It was a story.




Fiction stories work the same way. You want to hear a story. You are told a story. Whether or not it fits your expectations of a story. It was a story.




You wanted a story. You got a story. Because it existed, it is true. You liked it or you didn’t. You were entertained. It was a story. Freytag’s triangle can lick my balls. It was a god damned story. Fuck you!


October Poem 20

I got that bread home with them.

I got to smell the story

The whole way home.

I think it in my head.

The story, the whole way home.


Its air, selfish that involves

The progresses to completion,

To all bread you knew before,

To all loving king falling into place.

Its air, selfish that becomes clearer.


You asked me to get it,

That, the snag.

The story becomes clearer

As it involves the calling fish.

I am fish.


Though it be no I rinsed

In the water if the lord god.

I very much couldn’t eat any

The first day for already being teased by

The pretentious, the prisoner of knowledge,


Interested in all sorts of assgrabbin

Found sitting here.

Just because I can’t eat story

Doesn’t mean I don’t want to eat it

In a scholarly literary way.


Smelling reading and writing of genre

Makes me hungry.

If you are on a diet, then literary fiction writing,

Suffering an element within you, excretes the stool.

Your world, suffering all the things that you are not,

Knocks at your door.

September Poem 30

Here is the pizza

That you turned around

Too quick for maintaining grounding.


Myth will use six character

Blurring to create cheese sauce

Baking feet over an ambiguous narrative.

The possibilities of the aliens to compensate

Had me get the hot whiskey.


This story will be ready and never ready,

So I slipped already repurposing Cian to wait in line

And smell that pungent aroma of the re-sod lawn.

He was arguing perspective,

A refresher of intellectual expense.