Monthly Archives: November 2014
On the science/science fiction site I09, there is a story about the Throckmorton Sign. In clinical radiological terms, it is the shadow of the penis that sometimes shows up on x-rays. Frequently, the member points towards a hip injury. This is more out of positioning to favor the injured hip than any diagnostic powers of the penis.
I was doubly amused by this because one of the characters in Camp Arcanum is named Throckmorton. He is a police detective who pursues a decade-long homicide investigation of the big-bad and makes life difficult for my heroine Brenwyn. Looking at it from her point of view, he was something of a dick, though not highly diagnostic.
If you would like to see the article yourself, follow the link below. It is mildly NSFW due to radiological penis shadows.
In the nineteen-eighties and early nineties, before I became the dour man-in-black with a handlebar mustache you see in my profile pictures, I was a mime. I was goofy and loose-limbed and adept at falling down on all sorts of surfaces. I even had rainbow suspenders. Though not working enough to support a middle-class lifestyle, I could earn as much as ninety dollars an hour. Not bad for a long-haired, silent leaping gnome. I became an extremely minor celebrity in Columbus Ohio.
Toward the end of my career, I was approached by a young woman who wanted to perform as a mime, but with her act being informed with the light of her Christian faith. I didn’t exactly register how that was going to be done. Still, I gave her what advise and encouragement I could.
The upheaval in my life at that time, along with the increasing number of pains in my back and joints, dulled my enthusiasm for performing. Slowly, the jobs started drying up. It wasn’t just that my normal contacts began to forget me. The aspiring lady mime had begun to tell my former clients that I had left town, or even died. That were her actions illumined by her faith.
Now I’m primarily a writer, I have learned by the mistakes of my former occupation the importance of reasonable and sustained self-promotion, because otherwise the people who might buy your stuff will think your dead. So here I am, telling you I’m not dead.
My first novel, Camp Arcanum is a horror/comedy about sex, magick and power tools. It has been available on Amazon and B&N since March 2014 to modest sales and very satisfying reviews. My publisher, Post Mortem Press, was confident enough in it to contract its sequel, Proserpina’s Bower. That will be available May 2015. If you’re in the market for a couple of smart, funny books, I know where you can get them at a reasonable price.
And I’m not dead.
I have been fighting off the plague for the past week or so: some flavor of bacterial bronchitis that had pushed my wife to the edge of pneumonia. As you might guess, this cut heavily into my creative input. This morning I sat down with my tablet to draw a little cartoon I’ve had in my brain for a while. Technically, not excellent, but I taught myself a few techniques while doing it. Enjoy!
Once again, Kit and I took a day off together to drive up to Amish country in Berlin Ohio. This time it was a Monday, so the various shops were actually open when we arrived. We started at Kit’s new favorite fabric outlet, Zinck’s. where we filled the trunk with inexpensive fabric, notions, and trim. The Amish may be dedicated to a simple, godly life, but they loves themselves some capitalism. Kit and I wallowed around in it for a while at the antique mall, then had an early dinner at an Amish diner with constantly piped-in Christian music.
I did not burst into flame and the pulled pork sandwich was delicious.
We hit a few other places: emporiums for Victorian goods and garb, concrete yard animals and a magic shop. By a strange coincidence, the magic shop owner was a business acquaintance of Kit’s who had been at The Alley before. As he only infrequently came into Berlin from his home over an hour away, it was only the luckiest happenstance that he was there when we were. We three had a chance to discuss our work with Greenlawn Abbey, where the famous magician Thurston is buried and we at the Alley assist to raise funds for rehab.
Our conversation on the dark country roads back home covered two topics: How events come together sometimes to make good things happen against all odds; and Why the Hell our phone navigator was forcing us to take a route home that had us passing every sheep, cow and horse in Northeastern Ohio. About fifteen miles north of Johnstown, we got an idea why we were where we were when we were.
I passed a rather large truck stopped in the oncoming lane. Something yellow was sprayed behind it for a few yards and a small car was stopped in the debris field.
Oh yeah. The hood of the car was crumpled.
It took me a few seconds and about fifty yards to realize that this was a car on soybean truck rear-end accident which had just happened moments ago. I made an awkward three-point turn and pulled up behind the car. I put on my hazard lights to make sure no-one came up behind us and contributed to the accident. I stopped several yards behind it, since the engine had finally caught fire. In spite of Kit’s concerns, I walked towards the burning car. She called 911.
In my adolescent daydreams of superheroics, I would have torn off the door and dragged the driver to safety. Instead, I stood just outside the driver’s open door, assessing. The driver was alone in the car, slumped over the dash and the remains of the steering wheel. I played out the odds of him having a spinal cord injury versus the guarantee that he would become fricassee in a burning car. A woman was there beside him, another passer-by who stopped, urged him to get up and out of the car. Kit joined in the encouragement as I stood ready to do…something. Fortunately, a local firefighter also stopped, expended his personal fire extinguisher to slow the fire, and stepped in to pull the driver clear of the wreck. The steering wheel evidently was not folded on top of his legs as it first appeared.
The firefighter dragged the injured driver down the road to examine him. I, at least, provided the light on my hip to help examine him. Another local firefighter did a more complete exam as he radioed for assistance. Apparently, in that county, the entire fire/paramedic force is volunteer and just wanders the roads looking for this sort of thing. The driver of the grain truck just stood by, looking more bewildered than anything else. He was an older gentleman, a little taller than myself, with a grey handlebar mustache. I hoped no-one would get us confused.
Kit and I assisted some: Traffic control and hauling the injured further from the vehicle on another passer-by’s horse blanket. By then, the car was completely engulfed in flames and burning steadily. I quipped to Kit: “I promised to show you a good time” which I’m sure caused some consternation amongst the other drivers stopped to see the wreck. At that point, the firetrucks were arriving and we were taking up space, so we left.
It was a quiet drive home after that. When we arrived, we unloaded and Kit went off to bed. When you’ve spent a date day together driving and shopping, nothing can top a burning crash with soybeans.
Kit and I