In my Car after IT

For those not familiar with it, there is a charity event known as Red Nose Day. It is to raise money for sick children through comedy. On that day this year, one drug store had a bin of red rubber clown noses one could buy. I laid down my dollar for sick children everywhere and stuck the red rubber nose on the edge of the passenger side visor in my HHR.

Sunday, I took my son to see IT. (Sorry Sheldon, he couldn’t wait.) After two-plus hours of jump scares, music stings, and creepy atmospherics, I got back into my car to go home.

In the dark parking lot.

Alone.

I reached up to open the sunroof and let in a little cool air. That’s when I noticed the red rubber clown nose peeping out from the space between visor and roof.

My first thought was: “Oh my, how did that get there?”

I followed up with “Surely Pennywise couldn’t squeeze himself int a space that small.”

Which is why transdimensional psychic vampire clowns don’t hunt old farts like me. Not enough excess emotional energy to let out a shriek of terror when appropriate.

 

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See Me in Circleville

I know this is short notice, folks; it requires wit, discipline, and lung capacity to get back under the horse. Be that as it may, I will be joining other local Ohio authors in the Author’s Alley adjoining Keystone Books & Gifts today.

Along with both of my books, I will have news of my third. Stop by if you’re in Southern Ohio.

 

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Time to Get Back Under the Horse

Michael handed the knives back to Eleazar.

“I think I’ll wait on that second throw.”

Eleazar refused to accept the proffered blades.

“Don’t be discouraged, man.”

Eleazar pushed him back to the firing line.

“You’ve got to suck it up and face your fears,” Eleazar urged. “When you get trampled by a horse, you have to dust yourself off and get right back under it.”

Michael looked at him in dismay. Eleazar shrugged.

“I got that from my Uncle Albert,” said Eleazar. “He took his own advice a little too often.”

– Camp Arcanum

 

I have not been up to the madness of the convention circuit and general self promotion, but now I have finished the third book of my Arcanum Faire and recovered from last year’s pnuemonia. So, with a new book under my arm, I have made plans to promote the crap out of myself. I promised to clean up afterwards.

Next Saturday, I will be in Circleville at Keystone Books & Gifts’ first Author Alley event. Stop by between 9 am and 3 pm to see me and other Central Ohio authors.

https://keystonebooksandgifts.com/happening/author-alley-at-keystone-books/

I will also be a guest at Imaginarium down in Lexington KY on the first weekend of October. Unsure what they will have me talking about, but there is always some way for me to embarrass myself.

http://www.entertheimaginarium.com/

There are other things on the horizon which are less than definite. I hope to be able to slip in under the radar of the Ohioana Book Festival’s radar in April and we have plans for a Book launch party at The Alley and an event at the Book Loft. Those last two will depend on the final release date for “Ren Faire at the End of the World.” If you want to nag my publisher to finalize that, feel free. I promised him that I’d stop.

There are other opportunities within a day’s drive of beautiful downtown Riverlea, but I am always open for more. Any of you people connected with conventions, as con-com or attendee, that believe I might be a good fit as a panelist or bad example, please feel free to throw me under the horse.

authorjosefmatulich AT gmail DOT com

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Poem full of wind

There was a time I would go down to Bernie’s Bagel every day. I would nurse a single cup of coffee for hours and write poetry on the back of the paper place mats. I have not indulged in that kind of Bohemian lifestyle for a long time, but I did write a poem today.

Take it for what it’s worth:

 

If a breeze

murmurs through the trees,

does a cross wind

simply grumble?

 

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Various People Looking Dumb at the Worthington Farmer’s Market.

A nice older woman speaking to the owner of a obviously mixed breed dog.

“So what kind of dog is he?”

“Brown.”

#

The author walks into a coffee house/art gallery the size of a supply closet. The name is redacted out of a sense of fair play. It sits directly off of the main drag of charming Downtown Worthington, a spot the pentagenarian passes twice a week. The pleasantly vague man with the black hat and the mustache says:

“So, you’re new here!”

“No,” says the very young cafeinnista, “we’ve been open a year and a half.”

The man with the black hat is feeling more vague and less pleasant.

#

The author dissembles by examining the art work on the walls: paisleys and polkadots painted on plywood planks. Rothko has nothing to worry about here. Considering how long he has been dead, Rothko has nothing to worry about.

Hoping to redeem some of his lost coolness in the eyes of totally uncaring strangers, the author orders a coffee. Not the usual ‘Murican coffee that he drinks night and day, that comes from a can you can use to store fishing weights afterwards. No, he orders something he’s never tried before, something experimental and cool that won’t make him look like somebody’s disreputable uncle who’s wandered off before morning medication.

It sounded like “Marquisdesado”.

As the caffeinista falls to her task with the focus and energy others might mistake for hatred of all Mankind, the author pays at the iPad and looks over the snacks left to snag the attention of customers that must wait while the Ritual of the Coffee is performed with stainless steel spoons, chalices, and foam. There are cupcakes in sealed plastic containers. Each treat is covered with hand-piped polychrome flowers and leaves, all very pretty and realistic. Almost a shame to eat them.

The day-glo orange labels on the  containers read: Mom’s Vintage Treats.

“Vintage,” says the vague man in a hat. “Does that mean they’re all really old?”

“No,” says the check-out person, “they’re just… just…”

“Vintage style?” the author suggests.

“Yeah. Yeah, inspired by vintage snacks.”

“So, they’re only supposed to taste really old?”

The checkout person stops talking.

#

“Marquisdesado up!” the caffeinista calls out as if the customer is not less than two meters away. Everything in this establishment is less than two meters away.

The vague man in the hat and mustache takes up his paper to-go cup, noting that he has received doses of Nyquil in larger cups. He politely thanks one and all and leaves while he is still allowed. He suspects there is a crawlspace filled with uncool customers below his feet.

The author waits until he is down the sidewalk and out of the line of sight before he takes his first sip. He has never been a member of frou-frou coffee society, and this will probably not be his membership ticket.

Marquisdesado tastes like burnt insoles and leaves the author with the same emotional hangover as binge-watching nun porn. If it hadn’t cost nearly as much as a pound of generic coffee, he would have thrown it out.

Instead, he continues to sip the bitter draft until it is gone and can harm nobody else. His nipples feel like they are slowly turning inside out.

#

The author wrote an entire blog post referring to himself in the third person. He wound up looking pretentious and dumb.

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The Vague Book

I am almost finished with Book Three of my Arcanum Faire trilogy, something I have been working on for the last two years. If there is going to be any catalog of work left when I go paws to Jesus, I’ve got to turn things out faster than that.

As an exercise in speed, hopefully without sacrificing quality, I am taking a fallow screenplay project and turning it into a novella. I won’t tell you which of my old stories, but it was one that I abandoned when a big name director made a pitch trailer for essentially the same film. He has done nothing with it since then, but I am moving on.

The plan is to have it written, re-written, and formatted for self-publication within three months. This should provide a glowing sense of achievement and another item for sale at event tables by Halloween.

In the first two days, in spite of three trips downtown to the Pride Festival and Father’s Day activities, I was able to lay down the first chapter. A whopping eight-hundred words, but eight-hundred more than I had on Friday.

Keep your eyes on this space for news of my progress.

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And there was great rejoicing.

Slowed by pneumonia, lung issues, family issues, cowardice, and sloth, I have finally finished the third book of the Arcanum Faire Trilogy.  Two years after the release of the second book, and maybe two and a half decades after the original conception, seems like a long time. In the words of the great Ian Malcolm: “Must write faster!”

Or something like that.

Book Three has all the sex, magick, and power tools of its predecessors with additional miraculous healings, shovel-wielding, Bobcat wheeling, brightly colored pike tercios, jousters, meat puppets, a dead black chicken, and two raging queens. Of course, I will do some truly terrible things to Eleazar and his beloved Toolcat Theodora.

Naturally, neither Marc Sindri or Brenwyn come out of this unscathed.

Anyway, in spite of my concerns of it actually being too long, the manuscript has come in under four-hundred pages with room to cut out more if absolutely necessary. It is off to my beta/gamma reader and a final sweep before sending it off to my publisher, Post Mortem Press.  My working title has been “The Beltane Faire”, but that is a limp and nondescriptive title compare to “Camp Arcanum” and “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove.” I may use “The Ren Faire at the End of the World” if we can fit all of that on the cover. Any better suggestions will be appreciated and stolen.

Watch this space for further developments.

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A visit to Arcanum

Tomorrow I will be at Arcanum for Old Fashioned Days, selling my books and trying to stay out of trouble. There will be food trucks, chainsaw sculpting, youth groups, and most likely, beer.  Come visit me. I’ll be down one of the side streets… lurking.

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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!

#

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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Happy Vernal Equinox

Happy Vernal Equinox everyone. This is the first day of Spring, the beginning of the work week, the onset of our later lives. With some helpful changes in our home life and changes in my medication and supplement regimen, I hope to opening up a happier, more productive period of my life.

The twenty-second anniversary of my daughter’s death is also coming up this week. Hard to have much to say in that context that isn’t like opening a vein. And I’ve made promises that I would not be opening any veins in the foreseeable future.

Move forward, look back, take your vitamins.

Smell the flowers for me.

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