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Updated: Nov 7, 2023


Our stories can come from and involve a multitude of aspects, feelings, or people, but there is one inspiration that sparks our story.

In this month’s short story, my BlogStory, Storyteller Candles is spotlighting BANANA NUT BREAD scented candles. That means from November 6th-30th, BANANA NUT BREAD is 20% off. Order now and save!

Without further ado, may I present A WARM GAME CHANGER.

“Could these pieces be any more stale?”

I am alone in my studio. Slouched in a modern meshed armchair and glaring at my Wacom tablet. I am surrounded by shelves of my favorite books. The Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina, Invisible Man (etcetera), the Dark Tower series, along with works by Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, and Bill Watterson. Each book is fronted with framed pictures of my most enjoyable hikes, and my successful children’s book covers and pages on the walls.

I roll my eyes at the lot of them.

Successful. What the hell does that even mean? I wonder.

I have been tasked with designing a label for a local bakery, Baked Inspirations. They are a huge bakery in town and their popularity is growing beyond the state and into the entire rocky mountain and southwest regions. I’m a prolific artist and I truly should be creating labels, but I’ll admit to just this one thing, nibbles of my heart are dedicated to this project for reasons that I cannot expel beyond this crumb.

I’m reviewing the first image, a mini bakery scene, I had doodled. Before I can even survey what is wrong with it, my mouth distorts into a curled orange peel of a cringe and tension digs its gnarly knuckles into my shoulders like pretzels.

“Damn,” I say out loud to myself. “This is shit.”

I close my eyes and inhale. I’m switching gears, I think, chiding myself.

I shake my head at the absurdity of my own negativity. There is a lot going on with this label. The hues are warm and inviting and the lines are clean. The people are chirpy, the baked goods look scrumptious. Pumpkin cheesecake, carrot cake, scones, banana nut bread, and cookies. Damn, they look really good. Probably the best thing about the scene, I’m getting kinda hungry, and… there’s too much going on.

I pull out a nicotine pouch from my lower lip, I select File and select the delete option.

A prompt appears on the screen and I am asked if I am sure that I want to delete this file? Without a doubt, I am sure.


I had been drawing (doodling, really) all morning with a lot of effort and very little success. I use the word ‘success’ very loosely, because what I did “accomplish” was barely usable that I just deleted it.

And there’s that word again. Success. I clearly have an issue with repeated success. If I’m honest with myself, I’m putting too much pressure on myself.

I need a break. And when I’ve come to this point in my art. I need to snack, but I’m feeling the urge for something warm and inviting.

My eyes meet the white page on the screen where a label for baked goods should be. And all I want is to indulge in something warm and inviting.

With a single spark, I am craving my grandmother’s banana nut bread.

Thank you for reading this bi-monthly BlogStory. Stay tuned for the second half of A WARM GAME CHANGER when it is published on November 20th, 2023.

A WARM GAME CHANGER is a short story written by Valerie Baeza. Storyteller: Author | Poet | Candlemaker

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