Monthly Archives: May 2015

No Wicked Vintage Parties

It all started with our son and the cat. Convinced that Kestrel had a secret life of catnip and carousing, my son would admonish the cat when we left the house with: “You’re in charge, Kestrel, but no wicked cat parties.”

The we opened The Alley, a vintage clothing store. At the end of each day, my wife would shut off the lights, set the alarm, and rush for the door. As she locked the doors, she would call out to the dark room filled with dresses, hats, and furs: “Good night, Alley. You did great today. No wicked vintage parties.” Usually nothing happens overnight, except for that one morning she came in to find the front window mannequins wearing just dickies.

One night this week, we got a call from the alarm company. After a mad dash to the store, we found nothing amiss. All the windows were intact, the doors were all locked. There was nothing dislodged from the walls or moving in the air currents to set off the motion sensors. It was a complete false alarm, and a mystery.

Our son began checking through the security camera footage. Our system, which is not connected to the alarms, had night vision cameras that are motion activated after hours. He found that DOZENS of times in the last few months, the cameras kicked on to record for a few minutes in the middle of the night. Nothing is visibly moving, nothing is out of place as if it had fallen and set off the motion sensors. Lots of nothing, over and over again.

Now, it could be air currents from the HVAC doing something funky in the IR range we’re just not seeing. Maybe, its movements of our rambunctious neighbors from the nail salon or the massage parlor on either side of us. The nail techs have knocked things off our walls during business hours.

Or perhaps, with our store filled to the gunwales with clothing and accessories of the deceased, there’s some residual spiritual energy attached to them that needs to bust out every now and then. Think “Heart-shaped Box.”

Whatever the rational or irrational explanation, as we looked over the multiple incidents I told my wife: “Gee honey, I think we’ve got the documentation of those Wicked Vintage Parties you’re always talking about.”

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Filed under True Life Misadventure

I Win the Commute…

AS anyone who’s read my blog knows, many of my greatest real-life misadventures happen behind the wheel of a car. I have spent the last eighteen years taking, processing, or consulting on insurance claims. Any time I make it out of a mall parking unscathed I give thanks to whatever gods hold sway. But still, this week I had my weirdest morning commute yet.

I was zipping along my city’s outer loop on my way to work when traffic slowed suddenly to accommodate construction a few hundred yards ahead. I was in the passing lane when I decelerated from sixty-five miles an hour to roughly ten. A little white car in the center lane did the same.

Unfortunately, it nosed down, almost scraping the pavement with its front bumper. Then, its driver’s side front wheel snapped clean off. The errant wheel rolled on at speed, crossing in front of me without contact. It then passed the car in front of me on the left side and continue into the distance along the shoulder.

The white car was not so lucky. It continued in its original Newtonian path, throwing up sparks as it went. I switched on my hazards and pulled back to give the driver a clear path to the shoulder. Looking like a Fourth of July sparkler, the white car crossed in front of me as its wheel had done to come to a safe stop ahead of me and to the left.

I snuck a glance at the driver as I passed. A heavy, harried-looking man of late middle age, I could tell he was thinking three things as he bowed his head over the steering wheel.

“I don’t believe that this just happened.”

“I don’t believe I survived what just happened.”

“I’m really glad I wore dark pants.”

Though another co-worker passed a three car chain reaction accident at roughly the same spot later that day, it was generally accepted at the office that I had won the morning commute.

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Unleash the Minions with Hedgetrimmers!

After a little over a year, it’s official: “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove”, the sequel to “Camp Arcanum”, is available. It has all the magick and twice the sex and power tools of the first volume.

After only a few weeks in Arcanum Ohio, Marc Sindri finds himself in love with Brenwyn the witch; hospitalized by Jeremiah Stone’s sex-conjured demon; and woefully behind in his construction deadlines to open the new renaissance faire by May first. Moving in with Brenwyn for protection from further supernatural attacks during his rehabilitation, Marc delegates the work on Arcanum Faire to his minions, Eleazar the ren faire libertine and Michael the overwrought artisan.

The path to the faire’s opening day is not smooth, obstructed by invisible tentacle demons, undead skinless bunnies, interference from OSHA and even the Vatican, but Marc slowly recovers. With luck, he will soon be healthy enough to lift a chainsaw or survive sex. Through a vegan Thanksgiving, a tool-bedecked Christmas, and lovers’ spats with a woman that can throw lightning bolts, Marc makes his way mostly unscathed.

If only his semi-erotic dream about hedgetrimmers and a sacred grove didn’t end up leaking into Brenwyn’s sleeping mind.

I am already currently working on the third book, its working title “The Beltane Faire”. It will prove to be as great a battle between Good and Evil as Pellenor Fields, if fought between reanimated road kill and renaissance faire performers.

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Eating My Words

For much of the last decade I’ve had reading parties as a way of beta testing my screenplays and plays. This gives me a chance to hear how the words actually sound and gives me the benefit of the experience of the readers. I get their opinions and avoid foolish mistakes. Thanks to my reading group, I now know that depressed witches do not wear red satin pajamas.

This process, of course, means multiple copies of the same manuscript when all is read and done. The parties usually end on the back patio around the fire pit. Scripts without useful notations are cast into the flames. The next day, the ashes go into the compost pile to eventually fertilize the tomatoes.

The comedy gives the veggies a hint of sweetness. The sex scenes add a touch of savory. Graphic violence and gore taste sharp and hot like ghost peppers.

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