Monthly Archives: April 2016

Love Amongst the Vikings

This weekend, Kit and I will be gong to the Ashville Viking Festival together. This is a follow-up to our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary last weekend when we attended Ohioana  and the Statehouse reception together, I helped her tag Victorian clothes at The Alley and we fell into unconscious heaps on the bed. We also exchanged wheeled carts: a rolling garden seat for her and a folding dolly for my fifty pounds of books. Apparently, Twenty-Eight years is the Rolling Cart Anniversary.

So.

Come down to the park in Ashville OH. See the Vikings and other reenactors of many ages. Peruse the many renaissance faire style vendors, from food to leather to books. Meet my lovely wife Kit, the Demi-Goddess of Sales and Shopping.

And me and my Arcanum Faire Books, of course. I will even have a few copies of the flash fiction anthology 44 Lies by 22 Liars that includes my flash horror piece about fishing with cormorants.

I kid you not.

Here is the link to actual information:

http://www.ashvillevikingfest.com/

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Rough Sex

It’s been a fun week with a successful Ohioana Book Festival, prepping for the Asheville Viking Festival this weekend and reuniting with my old writer’s group buddies. Beyond the accelerated writing schedule for Book 3 of Arcanum Faire and promotions, there’s been little time for proper blogging.

So, I’ll leave you this. Enjoy!

CARoughSex

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Selling Books with Grown-ups

This Saturday, April 23th, I will get to rub elbows with ninety-nine other authors and meet and greet thousands of Ohio book-lovers. It is the Ohioana Book Festival that features Ohio writers, and/or Ohio content. Since my Arcanum Faire books “Camp Arcanum” and “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove” are set in Arcanum Ohio, Darke county , and I live in the wildlife-rich Columbus suburb of Worthington, I finally qualified.

I will also get to sit on the first literary panel of the day “Urban Fiction and Dystopia” with local genre authors Matt Betts, Laura Bickle, Lissa Bryan and, Terri-Lynne Smiles. Several accomplished genre authors will be sitting in my corner of the hall, so it should be quite a party.

The authors’ reception at the Statehouse afterwards should be a blast, too, though it may be entirely too respectable for the likes of me.

To find out more, check their website:

http://www.ohioana.org/programs/ohioana-book-festival/

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Shrimp clubbing

My wife and I were driving past the Worthington Dairy Queen this afternoon. It was a lovely spring day and many families were congregating outside the walk-up window. There was one little girl, probably four or five, holding her daddy’s hand. She was wearing a gauzy tutu dress of a deep pink color.

I pointed her out to my wife and said:

“She looks like a shrimp.”

“Yes, she does,” Kit agreed. “She’d better not go to Toledo.”

That little exchange makes sense if you go back thirty years and one marriage ago. I was working as a balloon delivery guy and my highly gullible co-worker asked what my first wife and I had done that weekend.  I told her that we had attended the Midwest Shrimp Clubbing Jamboree.

“You see,” I started, “I have this friend in Toledo. He really loves seafood and he has a lot of money. So, he paved about a half-acre of his property in concrete, put a foot tall wall around it and filled it with salt water.

“Then, he stocked the pond with about a million shrimp. Right next to that he set up big  cauldrons of boiling water and picnic tables stocked with all the condiments. He also got in a whole bunch of long sticks from the lumberyard.

He invited everyone he knew, gave them clubs, and let them eat all that they could stun.”

I must have been highly convincing, because, when we picked up my first wife from her job, she asked:

“Did you enjoy going shrimp-clubbing.”

The terse but cruel response explains why that job, or that marriage, didn’t last much longer.

 

 

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Run-ins with Rodents

Over the last few months, I have been having problems with wild rodents. My neighbor’s cat, generally a feline defective, caught a mouse. The cat had no idea what to do with a live mouse and ended up releasing it into the walls. We realized it had worked its way over to our side of the building when it started leaving little presents in the pantry that definitely were not capers.

My wife, being as adverse to vermin as she is, immediately pulled all the food and utensils out of the cabinets, scrubbed all surfaces with antiseptics, and then sealing anything edible in plastic. I was given the task of the interloper’s capture and execution.

I have never been fond of the old -style mouse traps since my teenage years. After a long evening of watching horrible horror movies, I was awakened in the early morning by a metallic crash in the kitchen.  A quick search showed nothing out of place and no rational cause for the noise. When I went to my parents’ room, to voice what I thought were normal concerns, my father taunted me with remarks about “The Curse of the Devil’s Kitchen” Mwha-ha-ha-ha!

I didn’t get any apologies later when I opened one of the cabinets and was bombarded by a stack of  Revere Ware. It seemed a mouse had gone after the cheese in a trap and  received its Eternal Reward instead. The torsion of the trap catapulted both wooden base and cooling cadaver into a stack of pots and pans which fell against cabinet door.

So, no spring traps to avoid re-living past family trauma.

I picked a few of the new “spin traps.” Little plastic death chambers the size of a hockey puck, they were reputed to quickly and humanely snap a mouse’s neck. Either that, or overwhelm it with vertigo, forcing it to run outside and throw up its cotton candy just like at King’s Island.

Several days passed without dead bodies or pink mouse vomit, so I moved on to the classic glue trap. We caught him in less two days, a single hind foot adhered to the bottom of his cardboard abattoir. I normally would have put him out my misery, but Kit was feeling compassionate. I put the whole trap into the trash and assured her that the rodent would be able pull itself free and have an enjoyable ride to the city dump where it would be able to start a new and loving family.

*

Shortly after that, a squirrel went sky-diving behind our garage. My son found it splayed out like the letter “X” flat on the pavement. Having seen me take in all sorts orphans and wounded critters, he tried to make it comfortable in a towel-lined shoe box with food and water close by. I came home a few hours later to find it a rigid ex-squirrel. I tucked him into his box. My son wanted to bury it in the garden once the weather cleared.

When I checked the box the next day, there was a rather large hole chewed in the top of the box. There was no squirrel inside.

I know that I made no mistake about it’s being dead; I could have driven nails with its little head.

My Arcanum Faire books are hip-deep in undead rodents, roadkill and sacrifices possessed by ancient demons bent on bringing about the end of the world. As amused as I am about tiny quadraped zombies, I refused to believe it was happening in my garage.

I checked the box more carefully, then. The tooth marks were on the outside, and  from the needle-like canines of a cat. My neighbor’s cat had gotten into the garage and made its own disposal arrangements.

God, I hate that cat more than the rodents.

 

 

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