Story Cubes

Dear Eleanor: I posted my latest email to you via this blog entry, due to all the images included. And as author-to-author, I am most eager to share this with you, first. Feel free to post your response (if any) in the comment section below. Likewise, anyone else who’d enjoy the challenge.

I could have fun with this:

Got it at the Walgreens across from Uncle Benny’s Donuts & Bagels, because I needed some cash in my pocket in order to purchase my usual, under-$5 coffee and (sometimes) a blueberry jelly donut or two French crullers (one w/chocolate, the other w/maple or vanilla icing). But I’ve also been eyeing this Rory’s Story Cubes game the last several times I’ve strolled the aisles, looking for a practical purchase to justify the $20 cash-back. Usually, that would be some disposable razors, dish soap, or a cheap snack. But this time around I decided (as I rolled the box in my cupped palms, caressingly it sweetly with mesmerized fingertips):

“What the hey, it’s only $6.99. Besides, it could prove to be a pleasurable diversion for /This/ Vainglorious Hyperbolizer!”

Who knows, Ellie? Maybe rolling these authorial dies will stimulate my creative juices in strange ways not accessible via digital screen and keyboard. These cubes /are/ bewitching, no question. Whoever invented this game must surely be a Wordsmith Warlock of great genius! (Or perhaps that’s the spell cast in the spirit of these cubes, to make me believe so. I don’t care; I gotta have them.)

So here it is, unboxed:

And here’s the enclosed description/instruction flyer, quite diminutive in size: three inches high by two long. First, side 1:

Then, side 2. You may click on it for an enlarged version:

Finally, my first roll of the cubes, ever. There are three different ways to play Story Cubes, but I choose #1, in which you roll all nine die, pick one image for the starting point, then create your tale by choosing whichever order you want, of the remaining cubes. Don’t forget to start your written (or spoken) output with: “Once upon a time.”

If it so intrigues you, please /do/ compose a fable of your own, based on the topside images shown below. I’d love to see what a hyper-clever mind like yours comes up with:

This game even has its own web site, worth a gander at least: links to a blog and an app, among other kewl features. Figures Story Cubes can also be played on a computer, for it obviously lends itself very well to that medium. Though I, for one, relish the idea of getting away from digital mode and going analog now and then.

I can also see what a great pastime this could be, among friends. Maybe you could get Mitch to play, though he does seem to have his plate full these days, what with saving the world and all. Little does he know we’ve joined noggins and already took care of that…but let’s just keep that little secret between ourselves for the nonce, okay, My Osmium Empress?


Soon as I arrived hovel, I tried my hand at Story Cubes, based on the toss of the dice shown above. Here we go:

Once upon a time, it was a dark and stormy night [ligntning cube], and the hour was late [clock cube]. I was feeling sad [unhappy face cube] because a bumblebee [bee cube] had stung me on the lower lip this afternoon, and the persistant sting kept me awake. As if that weren’t sad enough, my bare feet [footprint cube] had picked up a splinter from the ancient, softwood floor that has sorely needed a new carpet since I ripped the old one out four years ago.

But I lived in this single room for so long, under rent control, I couldn’t possibly convince the absentee landlord to either sand, wax and varnish the floor, or cover it with tiles or fresh carpeting. For my disability stipend is my only source of income, and I could not afford to move. Nor could I afford to rock the boat, the only thing keeping me afloat, that I do not fall into the perilous sea of homeless scavengers.

After removing the splinter with a piece of scotch tape, I put my massage-sole Speedo floppies on and grabbed a jar of applesauce [apple cube] from the fridge, to sate my sorrows with esophageal pleasures of a modest sort. A little extra cinammon and some freeze-dried raspberries from Trader Joe’s made the perfect post-midnight repast. That, and two, large scoops of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. The large daisy [flower cube] street buddy Axel brought me last Tuesday (plucked from a garden on Sanchez Street two-and-a-half blocks away) had finally begun to wilt.

No amount of fresh tap water would revive the dying plant at this point. So I decided to toss it out, along with the can of Red Bull Alex had left behind, which I used for the vase. But just when I grasped the flower by the stem, I noticed a little, golden-red beetle [beetle cube] no larger than my pinky’s fingernail, snug between two, overlapping petals. So I gently lifted the pretty insect with the edge of my Muni transit card [some-type-of-card cube, I think, not really sure /what/ it is], and flipped it out the window.

By now, the sting in my lip had gone, and I finally felt sleepy. Curling up beneath a light comforter decorated with angels, stars and comets, I dozed off, thinking:

“Now wasn’t /that/ a nice, first story to conjure up with those tall-tale dice?”


Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2017 23:25:12
: Re: Story Cubes (just for Eleanor)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

On Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 10:44 PM, Eleanor Cooney wrote:

{{ I’m on it! }}

Ha, ha, have fun! I’ve fallen in love with these story cubes…and
there are two more versions to order online! I actually composed my
first tale with them, already, but I don’t know if you’ve read it yet.
Since I appended it to the blog entry, and don’t know if you loaded
that page before or after the addition. If not, may as well wait until
/your/ tale is completed. I certainly look forward to reading it.

Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2017 23:36:37
: Re: Story Cubes (just for Eleanor)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

Wow, there are a /lot/ of Rory’s Story Cubes variations…there’s even
a Dr. Who and Batman set! Not a fan of either, but those who are
should have oodles of fun playing them. See:

I decided to go for the deluxe package, here ($39, well worth the price). Description:

9 original dice, 9 Actions dice, 9 Voyages dice.
3 fairy tale themed dice, 3 dinosaur themed dice, 3 crime themed dice.
3 sports themed dice, 3 outer space themed dice, 3 medical themed dice.
Encourages speaking skills, creativity, confidence – no reading required.
Use them individually or together for unlimited story possibilities.


Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2017 23:38:39
: Re: Story Cubes (just for Eleanor)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

OH NO, THEY ALSO HAVE A SCOOBY DOO SET! Obviously, kismet so deems that I buy /that/ one for Larkin…it was meant to happen! I just ordered this for Larkin, $16, will arrive around the 17th.

Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2017 23:41:27
: Re: Story Cubes (just for Eleanor)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney


You know, you can mix dice from one set with one or more /other/ sets!

Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2017 23:44:57
: Re: Story Cubes (just for Eleanor)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Eleanor Cooney

AND GLOW-IN-THE-DARK STORY CUBES, TOO! Well there goes all my pocket money for the month…birthday gift to myself. Oh, wait, those glow-in-the-dark scary cubes are from another company…but, hey, gotta have ’em!

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