Tag Archives: Arcanum Faire

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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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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October Surprise

Yesterday was a very good day for me on a literary scale. I found that Kristin Dreyer Kramer had released her review of my second book “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove” yesterday on Lakeshore Public Radio. It was very pleasant to hear her take on my work, even when she pointed out the weakness of it being a transitional middle book, which it is. Just wait until you see what happens in “The Ren Faire at the End of the World” when it comes out next year. No laid-back, transitional there, I promise you.

Anyway, it was very nice to hear, very nice to learn that it is broadcast in Indiana, also. The segment will broadcast on my Columbus local NPR station WCBE Monday evening at 8pm. I’ll save any links until then.

I also found yesterday that I will be a panelist at World Fantasy here over the Halloween weekend. I will be speaking on the panel about Masks in Fantasy Thursday afternoon, and I will have a reading from my WIP RFEW on Friday morning at 10:30 am. All times, I’m sure, will be up for last minute changes. Terry-Linn Smiles and I will be sharing a table in the Dealers Room, so you should be able to catch me and my Arcanum Faire books there throughout the convention.

Last but not least, this weekend will be my first appearance at Imaginarum in Louisville KY. I will be doing panels on writing RPGs, scripts, and Steampunk in general. Unsure if I got a signing slot or not this weekend, but I or my books will be at the Post Mortem Press table in the Dealers Room on a regular basis.

So, Goodbye, thanks for all the literary love and remember to register to vote. Your ballot will be the one to save us from mandatory Federal Spray-Tanning.

 

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ICBM: Intercontinental Bibliophilic Missile.

This week a dear friend flew in from Japan and I was able to put my two books in her hands. Once she gets home, that will be four continents where I will have a literary presence, as sparse as it may be.

You don’t have to fly twenty-five hours to get my books. In fact, if you live in Southern Ohio, I will be coming to you. Friday evening, I will be at the Grand Opening of Keystone Books & Gifts in Circleville, between 6 and 7 p.m.. Come down and you will be able to see the sights before all the pumpkin tourists arrive.

Home

Saturday, the good Lord willin’ and the crick don’t rise, I will be with my publisher Eric Beebe and other members of the Post Mortem Press Cadre to sell and sign books. Our own if we can, or forge others if we have to. My friend Seth Lyons will be there and this event is billed as Stan Lee’s last appearance ever. Join the fun, this will be my third year in a row.

http://cincinnaticomicexpo.com/

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Arcanum Old-Fashioned Days

I’ve been thrown off my rhythm by events that didn’t happen a week ago (keep an eye out for a post titled “I Made It All Up”), but  I thought I’d pop in to announce I will be in Arcanum Ohio today, tomorrow, and Sunday. I will be selling my books set in the fictional Arcanum Ohio within a stone’s throw of the lovely cottage that is the Arcanum Public Library.

Saturday is National Readathon Day, so read lots, preferably mine, and stop by the family festival with lumberjacks and chainsaws. I’ll be the man with the black hat, a handlebar mustache and a little red tent.

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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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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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