Category Archives: Silly stuff

WIP: Opening Day at Arcanum Faire

It is May Day and I am drawing close to putting the third book of the Arcanum Faire trilogy to bed. The action of all three points to one thing: Opening Day for the renaissance faire at Arcanum, Ohio. And that day is May the First, or Beltane. To celebrate and give you all a taste of what I have in store, here is a behind the scenes look at the two queens preparing for their first parade.

Enjoy, and Merry Beltane!

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Eleazar had been pleased to find the Faerie Queen underneath two stilt-walkers in a travel trailer, but there had been considerable wear and tear on the merchandise. Titania received last moment make-up and wardrobe assistance from Amber, Crystal, and Ivy, and they were doing magic with concealer, rouge and body glitter. As she was being made presentable, her Faerie court, in wings and bits of stylized armor, formed up on the gravel track behind the jousters’ stables.

Queen Elizabeth and her own court jockeyed for position ahead of them. A dozen lords and ladies in velvets, brocades and pearls tried to look cultured and elegant in spite of the dust and rising heat.

The Teufelkindern Landsknecht unit squared up in their tercio formation to lead the parade and escort the queens. The arqubusiers looked away with guilty expressions as the battered knight from their ill-advised black-powder demonstration cantered up on his butterscotch steed. He had little time to notice them.

Queen Elizabeth waved her fan and shrieked at the horsemen:

“No, no, no, no! You— go back there!” She gestured to a position behind Faerie Court. “I am your Queen and there is no WAY that I will march behind the horses!”

“Relax, Peggy. Nothing’s going to muss up your embroidered slippers,” said Lord Pumpkinpants. Eleazar couldn’t remember the actor’s name, or his persona’s, but his globular pantaloons were certainly the largest in the Faire.

“And I was supposed to have a carriage!” she shouted to no-one in particular. “What the HELL happened to my carriage?”

Eleazar rushed over to calm the raging queen.

“Milady.” Eleazar quickly was reminded of her position by the flames in the Queen’s eyes and the flare of her nostrils. He bowed low. “Your Majesty. There was simply no way we could acquire two fitting carriages before the festivities.”

“I only need one carriage,” the Queen said regally. She had always refused to accept the unorthodox arrangement of two courts royal courts.

“Extra wide!” Titania hooted. The Fae felt no need for courtly behavior, especially when hungover.

“I will kick your bony elfin ass from here to Pennsic!” Elizabeth snapped.

“Can you lift your leg that high?”

Queen Elizabeth snapped her fan shut, rendering it a sandalwood truncheon she was known to use frequently.

“Come at me, Tinkerbell!”

Titania closed with Elizabeth, but two of her court grasped her to prevent regicide. Eleazar stepped in between the two hotheads of state, though unwillingly.

“Ladies! Ladies! My most august royal personages. You have your champions to fight for your honor upon the list fields.”

“I’d rather pull out her cheap red hair with my own hands,” The Queen of All Faerie snarled.

“Like you’re a natural blonde,” Good Queen Bess retorted.

“I need you both to behave like the magnanimous historically-inaccurate potentates that you are.” Eleazar realized there was too much naked steel and horseflesh around to allow this conflict to continue.

“She started it,” Elizabeth muttered.

Titania made a response that was all vowels and exhalations.

“Or I can summarily declare this faire to be a democracy and fire you both.”

The prospect of losing a paying position as royalty quickly enough put cold water to hot tempers.

“I can save it for the jousting field,” Elizabeth said.

“I can, too.” After a surly moment of thought, Titania added: “My Oaken King will pop open your champion like a can of Spam.”

The other Queen slapped her closed fan across her palm with an audible crack.

“Sir Pepin will squash him like a bug.”

“That’s the spirit!” Eleazar cheered. “Now, off to your neutral principalities, just like Switzerland.”

The queens glared at each other and returned to their positions in the parade.  Eleazar began creating space between , first by wedging in the merchants and artisans, which was then vetoed by Titania as a diminuation of her prestige. Finally, a second honor guard was improvised from Vikings and assorted re-enactors to escort the Faerie Queen and to act as a buffer between the courts.

As the procession ultimately made its way onto the Faire grounds proper, Eleazar wondered if there existed a Renaissance World Peace Prize he should be nominating himself for.

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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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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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Naked Pagans

I have been having trouble getting up to speed after the Halloween season, but I’d thought I’d post this little morsel to entertain you until I had something more substantial. Bon Appetit!

CAmeme Ad1

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Some early Thanksgiving left-overs

turkeyday

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November 26, 2015 · 9:01 AM

Back in the Day…

A friend posted a video clip from our old days as costumers at Marcon when we had two entries in the masquerade competition. The first was K’hoji, Secret Emperor of the Klingon Empire: a friends poodle with a warbled rubber forehead and pleather armor. The other was Zathras from Babylon 5. He had been my victim in a makeup demo earlier that day. The pretty woman he propositions is my wife in her Queen of Cups costume.

Good times.

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Josef Matulich, blog guest & give awayer

This week we have been busy on the publicity front. The nice people at Dread Central have arranged to publish an excerpt from Camp Arcanum and give away an autographed copy of the novel of sex, magick, and power tools complete with the special shovel and pentacle charms. You can catch that here:

http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/87955/win-a-signed-copy-of-josef-matulichs-camp-arcanum-horror-comedy-novel/

I also get to do an author’s confession and electronic giveaway on I Smell Sheep, a blog near and dear to me for my son’s nickname Sheep. Those goodies are not up yet, but here is their main site:

http://www.ismellsheep.com/

and you thought the undead skinless bunnies were all made up…

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At a New Age Bookstore…

This was very popular on one of the Facebook pagan groups, so I thought I’d share it with you all:

True story: I once was in a New Age book store and it had an old Timex Watch display near the counter. The rotating Lucite case was just filled with pentacles and crystals and such. I looked it over carefully, sidled up to the owner and asked: “So, does this mean it takes a Wiccan and keeps on tickin’?”

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Come See the Invisible Rabbit

When I was a tween, I was a weird kid in suburban Sacramento. Among the many things that set me apart from all that was good and normal, I was heavily involved in the 4H rabbit project. It was not only that we had a few bunnies in the backyard. Hobbit Haven Farms, as my father named our one and a half acre spread, had up to a hundred pedigreed rabbits at any time. These were not only the prosaic Californians and New Zealand Whites raised for fur and meat, but also the fifteen to twenty pound Flemish Giants which outweighed most people’s cats. I bred and raised these fluffy creatures, and showed them at official American Rabbit Breeders Association events. I even taught one Giant named Mickey to play dead.

As you might have guessed, I did not get a proper date with girl until I was almost out of high school.

Each summer, 4H would have livestock exhibits for a few weeks at the State Fair. Lucky and responsible child that I was, I got to be one of the three or four kids that watched everyone else’s rabbits for the time of the exhibit. This involved water and feeding all the animals and watching to be sure that no-one walked by a carried off a rabbit that was not their own. It was not very stimulating work; during the average day, there might have been two to three dozen visitors.

The rabbit exhibit was housed in an old wooden barn where a multitude of pigeons nested in the rafters. One year, a baby pigeon got pushed from its nest and wound up in our rabittry. We put the bald, quivering thing into one of the empty cages and came up with a bizarre plan to alleviate our boredom.

Starting well outside the rabbit exhibit’s barn, we posted hand-made signs which read:

COME SEE THE INISIBLE RABBIT!

Arrows on the signs pointed passers-by into the barn. At the entrances, more signs pointed visitors into the center of the exhibit. Along the cages, more hand made signs egged people on to their goal. That was the cage which housed the  foundling squab. A very large hand-made sign proclaimed:

BEHOLD THE INVISIBLE RABBIT!

AND ITS COMPANION, THE INFANT VULTURE “GRONK”!

It was ridiculous, but it pulled in two or three times the normal number of visitors that day. As they came, my friends and I would regale them with stories of the rabbit’s activities and his more visible avian roommate, who was promoted from pigeon to a far more exciting bird. Of course, no-one expected to see an invisible rabbit, but our sincerity and industry encouraged strangers to take a look and engage for a moment.  It was in some ways a kind of lunatic magick that gave everyone a smile.

That’s what I want to remember about book promotion.

My first novel Camp Arcanum came out last March. With a minimal budget, I set out the equivalent of gaudy hand-made signs to pull readers into my world, regaling them with the stories of the characters only I could see. Six months in, though, I began to let up. I was afraid I was annoying people. I didn’t entirely believe the rabbit was there.

I pushed on past that, connecting through social media and live events. Feedback came in on the book, some times strangers saying that they didn’t normally like “that kind of book” but they enjoyed mine. Other authors, ones that didn’t owe me money or favors, praised my work.  As “Gronk” the foundling vulture napped in its nest, I began to catch the outline of our invisible rabbit.

 

 

 

 

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Wherein I Learn to Argue on the Internet

I have for the longest time, I’ve engaged in the time-honored sport of Arguing on the Internet, pitting my Left-Middle views against the Rightest views of longtime friends and curmudgeon strangers. I parried with well-reasoned retorts and riposted with cut-and-paste sections from Snopes. The engagements were no more glorious than shrieking slap-battles in the dressing room of a strip club, but I knew no better.

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook a remark about the recent normalization of relations with Cuba. I posted that I thought it was a good thing, because it was only through Coca Cola, blue jeans and MTV that we defeated the Soviet Union. I was expecting rabid anti-Castro replies. The argument came from an entirely different quarter.

A friend of my friend (which does not make him MY friend) stated that we did not beat the Soviet Union through relentless Pop Culture, but their attempts to keep up with our Space Program. He gave a dissertation which lasted five to eight paragraphs.

I could have given any number of replies, but I had an epiphany. Anything more than the absolute minimal was a total waste of time and typing.

“You’re wrong,” I posted.

The friend of the friend seemed irked and gifted me with multiple paragraphs which pretty much said the same thing as the first eight. I stuck true to my enlightened course.

“You took three more paragraphs to say the same thing,” I posted. “You are both inefficient and wrong.”

He didn’t immediately succumb to my brilliance but I still consider it a win.

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