At Cotton Candy Beard, your satisfaction is of the utmost importance. Please take a moment to

answer this brief 8 Question Survey so that we can continue to entertain you in ingeniously

modest ways.

1. How would you rate your enjoyment of Cotton Candy Beard?

A. I love it!

B. I love, love, love it!

C. I simply adore it!

D. All of the above.

2. What is your favorite part of Cotton Candy Beard?

A. The stories!

B. The poems!

C. The surveys!

D. All of the above.

3. When do you read Cotton Candy Beard?

A. Every day!

B. Every hour!

C. Every second!

D. All of the above.

4. What would you change about Cotton Candy Beard?

A. Nothing!

B. I would make it so I could pay for the content.

C. Or could I send lots of comic books?

D. All of the above.

5. Which is the best letter of the alphabet?

A. B

B. D

C. A

D. C

6. Which one of these is all of the above?

A. That one

B. The other one

C. The one below

D. All of the above.

7. If you mix root beer and Gummi Bears, what is the ratio of sucrose to yellow number 5?

A. X=77

B. 5/square root of beer

C. @~<<<’;“

D. All of the above.

8. Lastly, pick one.

A. Okay

B. No

C. Why?



Welcome back, prose. Remember me? I’m Cotton Candy Beard. You’ve not been around here for a long

time. But now you’re back, and better than ever! Right? Right?

So, the goal for 2014 was to write 500 poems. I did not. Go ahead and count them, it’s not 500. Not

even close, actually. (Secretly, I pretty much knew I wasn’t going to hit that goal. It wasn’t about hitting

the goal so much as generating new poems. If I had hit 500 poems in a year, I would surprised/pleased/


BUT! I did write a whole bunch of poems, including haiku, which it turns out are super-fun to write. Who

knew I could rock the haiku? Not me, that’s who. Anyhow, now that I tried that little experiment, expect

to see lots more prose and other types of writing here. But there will be more poetry, lots more! And a

big thank you for all who started following me during this last year. Countless poetry bloggers found me

and followed me, thus introducing their blogs to me. Welcome, and I hope you enjoy the fun posts to

come. Coming Soon: CCB Lists and Dialogue! Stay Tuned!


We made it! We made it! 30 posts in 30 days. And they said it couldn’t be done! Fie on them, I say. A pox on their houses. Okay, not really. No house pox, but definitely fie on them.

This was super fun, and I’ll definitely do it again next year. It really forces you to just write every day, and not really think about it. Which is how you end up with haiku about owls with pipes. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed it, and welcome to those of you who’ve started following this month.

I hope to do a bit more posting in the next month, but what I’m really excited about is my plan for next year. You may have noticed I enjoy writing poems. My goal for next year is to write 500 poems. That’s kind of a lot, you know. I hope I can do it!

Thanks again!



Greetings, faithful readers! We’ve made it to Day 15 of National Blog Post Month, and I’m still going strong. Granted, I haven’t posted every single day, but I’ve been able to double up to make up for those days, so whoo-hoo me!

I’m not sure how many folks are reading this blog for the first time, thanks to this marathon blogging month, but welcome to you all! I hope you’ve taken the time to check out some of my other posts, because they are somewhat above average! Yay for being a bit better than normal! And other sentences ending in exclamation points!

Here’s what I love about NaBloPoMo: it’s forcing me to write way more than I normally do. Sure, maybe not everything is a work of genius, but let’s face it: the majority of it is. A work of genius. Seriously. O. Henry would be all, “I give up, this guy’s got the goods,” if he could read anymore. And maybe he can! I don’t really care.

Anyway, 15 more days of genius posts to go! I’ll check back in on Day 30 and wrap up. I’ve got some fun and surprising news in store! See you then!

Yes, I’m Late To The Party, NaBloPoMo, But I Brought Delicious Cake!

Okay, so I didn’t bring cake, but I promise to post 30 times in the month of November. Please consider this Post the First. Stay tuned later today for additional posts, and enjoy!

Hey, for those of you who maybe stumbled upon my blog based on my tag, please take a look around and enjoy. And let me know what you think! I’m looking forward to a very productive month.


The word is out! Cotton Candy Beard is hip, trendy and oh so now. I couldn’t be more prouder or grammaticably entrenched with effusiveness at all the excitement! And other sentences!

Just look at these praises:

KATIE: I discovered your page and noticed you could have a lot more visitors. I have found that the key to running a popular website is making sure the visitors you are getting are interested in your subject matter. There is a company that you can get traffic from and they let you try their service for free. I managed to get over 300 targetted visitors to day to my website. Check it out here:

GET MORE INFO: Suffer from kidney disease? aussie naturopath tells all – how his patients avoid dialysis

HACK EMAILS: eminent send and i like to materialize your posts

CALEB: Spot on with this write-up, I really think this amazing site needs considerably more consideration. I�ll apt to be again you just read much more, thank you for that details.

Truly words to live by. Or at least near. So, please! Come read what these folks are spamming all about. Peruse the blog all you want. And be excited, because new posts will be appearing thrice weekly, with a brand-new completely made-up as I go along story starting next week. It may be awful, it may be unreadable, or it may be the greatest story in the history of this blog post. Only time will advise us of this. And you! Keep checking back for more fun, like my best friends Caleb, Katie and Hack Emails.


Hello, Cotton Candy Beardos! My sincerest apologies for my sporadic posting as of late. I haven’t forgotten you, my four or five readers. I’ve just been a little busy lately. Too busy to write for your blog, you ask? You must have been crusading against the forces of darkness, or at least shadyness. What could possibly keep you from posting on a bi-weekly basis?

I have an awesome excuse, though. I became a dad in October. So, I’ve been busy playing with him and trying to catch some sleep when possible. But I haven’t been completely dormant! In case you didn’t know, there is an official spin-off blog that’s been up for a couple of months now, entitled The Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem. So far, there have been a number of re-posts from this blog, but there is and will continue to be new content in the near, distant, and chubby future. You can read all the evil excerpts here:

So, I promise to keep posting, though perhaps not as consistently as I have in the past. What I would like to focus on next is a new project I thought of not long ago, and I’d love you, my readers and fellow writers, to assist me. I call it The Fingertips Project. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the songs that make up Fingertips by They Might Be Giants, from their album Apollo 18. What I’d like to do is write a story, or short play or make a drawing or some such thing inspired by each mini song from this series of songs. If you are interested, please let me know in the comments and we can all (or both or none) confab and try to make this a super-excellent collaborative project. What do you say?


Soooooooo, what did everybody think of this little story experiment? I hope you had fun with it. I sure did, though I’m not sure how I feel about the final product. I made a conscious effort not to read the passages as I wrote them, except for confirming character names so I didn’t have spelling inconsistencies. Obviously, in my head some characters would have been more developed than they ended up being, but there were a few fun surprises along the way. I never would have guessed Becky and Leopold would have had as large a role as they ended up having, but I suppose it’s not surprising, given my mindset these days.

Anyhow, I asked for theories on the last installment as to why Cassiopeia Birnbaum was not harmed by the laser blasts that struck her chest. I received a grand total of six (6) theories, so thanks to all who contributed. Which is to say, thanks Nick Clark! I think my favorite theories of yours were numbers 4 and 5. That Trentoteps missed and Cassie was struck by the notion that she should pretend he hit her. It ties in with the Unreliable Narrator concept I kept mentioning early on and then apparently forgot about. And of course, if she was able to breathe on the moon due to her genetic make-up, it would make sense that she was impervious to lasers, though perhaps to only lasers shot from the metallic fist of a Space Mummy. Other lasers are fair game.

But, let’s talk about what all you Cotton Candy Beardos want to address, and that is what’s in store for stories for the future! Not much, really. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. Beginning next week, I’ll be posting material best described as ephemera. Stories and poems and song lyrics from other places (including a few family friendly pieces from my previous, more adult-centric humor blog.) I’ve really enjoyed revisiting these, and I think they are among my best writing, so I hope you enjoy them.

In August, the updates will be more sporadic, probably only one a week or so. But I know there will be a Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem and Edgar Euphonium, and a Fishy Flummoxing Snooper Spies. After that, I’m afraid the website might be quiet for a bit, as I prepare for a Major Life Change. But never fear! Cotton Candy Beard will not be dormant for long, I’ll see to that. And in the meantime, you can go back and re-read your favorites of my over 100 (!) posts. Thanks all!


Hello, Cotton Candy Beardos! I hope you’ve enjoyed the Fishy Flummoxing Snooper Spies as much as I have. And if you missed the surprise Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem post last evening, go back and give it look. I’ll wait.

Fun, huh? But do you ever find yourself asking yourself, “Me, what would these delightfully well-written Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem stories sound like read aloud? More specifically, what would they sound like read aloud in a hotel restaurant in downtown Des Moines?” What a coincidence! You can actually hear them read by myself and others tomorrow evening at the Des Moines Social Club, whose temporary residence is the Kirkwood Lounge on 4th and Walnut in Des Moines, IA. I know that a lot of you live in other cities, states, continents, galaxies, or altenate versions of reality, but if you do live in the Des Moines area and are a grown-up, you may want to check it out.

The event is called Open Circus: Mark J. Hansen & His Heartbreaking Works of Staggering Adequacy. It takes place during Open Circus, the weekly open mic night and will feature readings of many pieces you have read and/or enjoyed on this blog. Full Disclosure: there will also be material, by myself and others that is not suitable for children. Parental Guidance is suggested. Hope to see you there!

In other news, I have an exciting and potentially disastrous idea for next month on Cotton Candy Beard. Much like last year around this time, I will be presenting a serialized story that will be posted throughout June. The difference is that this year I have no idea what this story will be! I will be making it up as I go along (though I do have the vaguest inkling of what the bare bones of the germ of the idea will be) and posting the freshest, firstest draft I can produce. What will it be? Will it be a surprisingly successful experiment? Or a hideous mess? Either way, I’m sure it will be lots of fun. Guaranteed!* See you next month!

*Not guaranteed.


Hello, dear readers! I hope you are all enjoying the new look of the old blog. I must say, I think it’s more festive and exciting; more of what this website is all about. You know? Sure, we all do.

I also hope that you are looking forward to next month as much as I am. April is National Poetry Month, and I have eight new poems composed just for you, and anyone else you can convince to read them. They are at once tragic, hilarious, astounding, frightening, and rhyming. Enjoy!

The real news is that in the month of May, I will be providing four new installments of one of my favorite new serials, Fishy Flummoxing Snooper Spies! I will be posting these at super secret times on shocking and surprising days of the week. So keep your ears peeled and your eyes sharpened, and your wits unwithheld.

What else? Well, I don’t know what else. You will just have to stay tuned. So, do that.