THE GOTH GIRL HAS RABBIT EARS

THE GOTH GIRL HAS RABBIT EARS

I started this short story last night after a day-long adventure yesterday with my youngest daughter. She was the inspiration for the story although the main character has been changed around quite a bit, and is really a composite character. This part is the first draft of the introductory section though I shall not post anymore of the story here because I plan to finish writing it and then submit it for publication. Probably, given my other work-loads, in the next couple of weeks.

The Goth Girl Has Rabbit Ears is a phrase I now apply to my youngest daughter and I am thinking I will use it here as both a stand alone short story, and as an on-going idea(l) in my youth/young adult series of books entitled The Totally Random Childhood Adventures of Sweet Katie Awesome.

I hope you enjoy this introduction and that the story interests you.

Have a good weekend folks.

THE GOTH GIRL HAS RABBIT EARS

Her boots were parade issue patent-leather black, her pants were deep sea wine-dark, her blouse was sable and silver and see through near her navel, her hair was jet-black, tousled-curly and plentiful, stretching half-way down her back and partially gathered like an uneven inky crown in a sprouting fountain atop her much-troubled calvaria, her eyes were coal-deep and banners of baffled boredom, her face and arms were sugar-pastry white (they would have been her habitual pasty-white but her father had made her spend at least one hour a day outside over the past week – she insisted she hated that as it unnaturally tanned her), her nails and toes were all painted like raw, dusty slate, except for the one on each hand and foot that was jaundiced yellow, and her blood red lips matched the sanguine, thrice-inscribed rough-cut crystal talisman she wore around her neck.

She also sported a silver-smooth moon amulet on her right wrist and the remains of her grandmother’s old rosary on her left forearm (wrapped tightly there like an antique torc) to ward off those tiresome and insipid boys who thought she “looked cool or sexy.” Sometimes it even worked. To her amazement, her delight, her disbelief, and, of course, her typical regret.

Of all things that she found most distasteful though she hated above everything else to have adventures (as her father liked to call them). How bourgeois and burgher-like she would proclaim any time anyone other than her old man even dared mention “an adventure.”

“I am legally obligated to kill you,” she would nonchalantly exclaim to everyone else “if you even suggest such a thing in my presence.”

Her second favorite declaration at the suggestion of an actual adventure was to look languidly side and slow-eyed at the offender and to announce, “Now we’re gonna fight.” She never did of course, out of an old-fashioned sense of religious and dutiful disinterest. But she did entertain the thought often in her imagination. It made her want to smile and to train for hand to hand combat, though she was very careful to never attempt those things either.

Nevertheless, secretly, and deep in her arcane soul of souls, she loved adventures. She would never admit that out loud to anyone else, or even much to herself, as she disdained the very thought of what to her was “so common.” For her primary mistake in life thus far was to blindly assume that most people like have adventures. Or that they had any interest in them at all. Almost no one does. Not real ones anyway. However she was sure, given her experiences with her father, and a few of her friends, that everyone loved to seek out and execute adventures. And the thought of that made her very uneasy. After all she did not ever want to intentionally appear bourgeois and burgher-like.

She thought, in her obdurate mind of minds, that raves and ecstasy parties and urban slam poetry contests and week-long, anemic semi-political/semi-philosophical Goth vampire games, and hole-in-your-clothes midnight club gigs, and a general disdain for all normal human society just naturally qualified as either a real adventure, or as some kind of higher substitute for the basic human enterprise. Obviously, as you and I know, they are and do not. But she was young and jaded and searching for the cracks in reality and still eating lotus and had attended public school. Much like most modern kids. So you can fairly allow her some leeway if you wish. I did, and still do. After all she’s not a half-bad girl, just a Goth one. And I am her father, whether she likes that or not.

Yet she did have one particular problem which was continual with her and never failed to vex all her personal quests mightily. For, you see, this Goth Girl had rabbit ears.

Now what are Goth Girl Rabbit Ears and what does that phrase even mean when you say it like that you might understandably ask? Well, I could simply tell you and then you would say, “ah-ha! How quaint and clever for a Goth girl!” And you might even be right. But that would never do the phrase any real justice, nor would it in any way truly explain all of the underlying and invisible implications involved. There are many by the way.

So instead I will weave a tale of her for you, much as a lonely nocturnal spider weaves a waiver’s web in the silent night so that when dawn arrives and the sun rises just above the horizon and the dew is still visible to all you can yet see every thread as if it were covered in thick and colorless but transparent honey. The honeyed webs of what has already been written but not yet said. You might say. As the ancient Greeks might have also said. And probably did, even if it went wholly unrecorded. For such threads are both the tightly-woven tapestries of all our old childish nightmares, and the prayers by which we trap and catch the unknown future in ourselves.

And this girl had rabbit ears. So, you see, she heard it from afar and knew it was coming…

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Anastasia, Dora, and Sophia – The Resurrection, Gift, and Wisdom of Love

Anastasia, Dora, and Sophia – The Resurrection, Gift, and Wisdom of Love

Last night I entered my first chapbook of poetry for publication. To the Emrys (and I am a member of Emrys, and like and recommend the organization) chapbook contest.

I have never before entered a chapbook (or any book of poetry though I have finished three long books of poetry – over 250 pages each – and probably have material for two or three more) so this was my first entry in that regard.

But using my new marketing and submissions technique I have now submitted over 30 (not counting this book which consisted of twenty poems) separate pieces of literary work, mostly poetry so far, but a short story as well. And that’s just in the past two weeks.

In the hopper to submit in the near future I also have several short stories (mostly science fiction, literary, and children’s stories), loads of poetry, some completed books, various articles, some inventions, two business plans, some scientific papers, a few essays, song-lyrics, and complete songs and musical scores.

As I said my new technique is working out very well indeed as I am submitting for publication at least one work per week-day, sometimes up to five or six per weekday. (A coupla days I was traveling and could not submit.)

As far as this small book is concerned, and they set the compositional and publication standards or it would have been far longer, because it was so compact I decided to make it entirely a book of Love Poetry, though my definition of “love” might be different from that of the norm. There were romantic pieces, Italian sonnets, classical poems, ancient styles, free verse, and even a song for the concluding piece. It was mostly geared towards romance and courtly love, but also included darker pieces and some erotic poetry.


Anastasia, Dora, and Sophia
(using the Greek variants of their names) is titled for my wife and two daughters, all of whom have poems in the book, though it also includes far older works, running all the way back to some love Sonnets I wrote in high school.

Anyway, if I win (and I feel that if I don’t that I damn well should, but it is not for me to dictate the tastes of the judge/judges, that’s their call) then I get a grand and a week at a writer’s retreat (apparently expenses are included) in the Appalachian mountains near Greenville (I’m assuming it’s up nears Traveler’s Rest or near the state line).

Never been to a Writer’s Retreat before. To me that would be the very best part of the prize. I would hope it would be a little bit like visiting a monastery (which I really like to do).

Also I like this thing of submitting through Submittable (and most of my entries have been through Submittable). Makes it very easy to track and manage them. Though I handle my end through a loguebook.

One last thing. Yesterday I really racked up for my own library. I bought Libraries in the Ancient World (which should be very helpful with my historical novels generally speaking but especially with the Kithariune) which I got from Robert Jordan’s old personal library. I have purchased many titles from his personal library which I have often mentioned elsewhere. They were also displaying some new volumes of his dealing with ancient history, math, physics, etymology, and even two volumes on Renaissance and Ancient swordfighting techniques (taken from the manuals) which I am anxious to get my hands on and which I think will improve my own swordfighting and maybe even close-in combat techniques.

Then I went down to 2nd and Charles where I got some useful materials and then, in their free bin, scored big by getting the Norton Anthology of English Literature, the Concise Anthology of American Literature, a huge Webster’s Thesarus (which used to be housed in the Navy Library in San Francisco), another Anthology of Ancient Literature (these should all be helpful in my career as an author), three books in Spanish (I’m finding it so easy to read Spanish nowadays that I just decided to take it up as another reading language), The Everything Prayer Book (which looks like it could be useful for my Aesic and Theurgical practices), Food Chemistry (again, helpful for Alchemy, Medicine, and Theurgy), Physical Chemistry, Stryer’s Book on Biochemistry, and Zubay’s textbook (which included the separate Student Solution’s Guide) on Biochemistry.

Although Physics and Epigenetics remain my chief scientific interests and preoccupations my longtime interest in chemistry and biochemistry has returned recently with a vengeance. So I am looking forward to reviewing these books as soon as I can. Probably after the kids get off to college.

Greenville sure has some excellent bookstores.

As a little sidenote while I was looking through the free books an old man came up to me and complimented me taking note of my beard. He asked me how I kept it “tamed” and so well groomed. I told him I really didn’t, it just sorta grow this way and occasionally I trimmed it. (He had a nice beard himself, longer than mine but thought mine nicer.) Anyway we talked beards awhile, made some jokes, I thanked him for his comments on my face and he went on his way. I enjoyed that. Nice fella.

Well, I’d best get at it myself. Stayed up until 0300 working and so got a late start. Lots to do today though, and since it’s only gonna be in the 80s I’m gonna see if I can get Sam to run today (he’s already trotting, and at 13 I’m proud of that but I also think he might be able to run again). Also, given the moderate weather I’m gonna pull my chainsaw out today and see about clearing some land.

Have a good day folks.

LONG LIVE – THE KING IS GONE

LONG LIVE THE KING IS GONE

“Long live, the king is gone
Dark nights, an empty dawn
Where now do I belong – without him?
 
These lines were running through my head and being sung operatically by a huge crowd and by one man in particular (who had an excellent baritone voice) as I awoke from a dream this morning.
 
My Aesic practices, my practice of Theurgy, and of Raja Yoga, my Psikonic exercises, all have had a very good effect upon my both my dreams and my overall creativity. My dreams especially have again become quite detailed and numinous.
 
Anyway, although the dream was actually about a king I couldn’t help but feel that both in the dream and out of it (on waking) that the song was a metaphor for Christ.
 
This shall make the beginning of a very good choral section for one of the scenes of the libretto I am writing for one of my operas.

By the way I have this particular opera (the one below) by Purcell in my personal music library. I quite like it, especially given it’s age and the time period of its composition.

The vocals and music in my dream were quite different and far darker, stronger, and more melancholy, but still it made me think of it.

THE FOUR INHERENTS

Last night and during the early morning hours (from about midnight until 0200 local time) I collected and collated all of my major papers and notes (on the subject of psychology) and began outlining the skeletal form of the Four Inherents, which will be my meisterwerk on psychology.
During the week I tend to primarily (not always, but primarily) work upon my novels, short stories, poetry, songs, musical compositions, and business and entrepreneurial projects. I also tend to travel, train (physically and for skill improvement or acquisition), and socialize, and clear land during the week.
But during the weekends I tend to recreate, tend my estate, and work on my inventions, scientific experiments, practice Theurgy, and work on my non-fiction writings.

Lately I have been doing a lot of work on the weekends on what I call my Seminal Works (my primary written life-works, in this case my non-fiction works), such as: the Anassanon (theology), Empiricum Experimentalis (science, technology, innovation, invention), Genius, Muse, and Enthusiasm (literature, music, and art), Apographics, The Great Enterprise (business, investment, capitalism, economics, and entrepreneurism), the Chimerikon (politics and untruth), the Theophilos (a series of instructive and pragmatic works on Christianity and modern man), Cure and Eminence (health, medicine, and physicks – in the ancient sense), the Didactions (self-education and the life-long Renaissance Program), the Holon (philosophy), and of course, the Four Inherents (psychology), which I am discussing here.
I will of course write other books covering the various fields of psychology, such as a book I plan on my own Theory of Personality (going back to my days in college and my work with a Russian psychologist), and Cure and Eminence will deal directly with psychology (in part), while many of my other works (such as the Holon) will indirectly touch upon psychology as warranted.
But The Four Inherents will be my magnum-opus in the field of psychology.
That being said you will find the skeletal contents outline of the book below (as I now envision it), though that will no doubt change over time as I add things to the book and better arrange and organize it. This is just the first draft of the Table of Contents.
Have a good and productive day folks. And enjoy much success.

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THE FOUR INHERENTS

THE FOUR INHERENTS: PSYCHE, SOMA, NOUS, AND PNEUMA

The Human Inherencies

Pneuma
Soma
Nous
Psyche
Nature
Character
Personality
Behavior

The Drives of Man

Arête
Kratos
Thumos
Telos (Teleos)
Exousios
Virtues
Liturgos
Theurgos

Disease and Disorder

Psychological Disorder
Psychological Disease
Psychopathosis and Human Psychopathogens
Diagnosis and Diagnossos

Personality: The Conditional States and Their Outlooks and Influences on Human Behavior *

The Subnormal Person
The Normal Person
The Abnormal Person
The Supernormal Person

Sthenosos and the Psyche

Sthenotic Psychology
Sthenotic Somation
Sthenousos (The Sthenotic Mind)
The Sthenotic Psyche
Sthepneumos (The Sthenotic Spirit)

Epipsychosos and Psychological Self-Manipulation

Epipsychosos
The Epipsychic Man
Auto-Didaction
Auto-Didaction as a means of Beneficial Self-Manipulation
Epipsychosos as a means of Self-Advancement and Self-Improvement
Meaning and Action/Activity

The Reality and Weight of Human and Psychological Evil

Ghosts of the gods (Ghosts of Dread Flesh)^

The Archetypal Imperative

Intelligence and the Psyche

Mnemonics and the Mind

Genius and the Polyman

Behavior and Nature

Traits and Influences

Wyrd and Fate

Manhood and Womanhood

Human Happiness

Man as a Created Being

Man as a Self-Made Creature

Psychological Self-Discipline and Self-Possession

Psychotherapeutos *

Biopsychosis: Reliance and Refinement

Theopsychosis: Expectations and Limitations

The Theonic Impulses

Theosos
Apotheosos
Individualization

Christopsychosos

The Construct of the Human Being

The Hypopolinic and Hyperpolenic Influences

The Weltanschatten: the World-Shadow
Urbanis: The Corruption of the Urbanized Man and his Corrupting Worldview of Life
Strenuosos: The Strenuous and Virtuous Life and the Rural Man
Ambiversion: The Desirable State of Personality
Poliperversion: The polis and politics as perversions of the true Nature and States of Man
Sociosis: the Enslavement of the Individual to the Group and to Society
Sanscivilis and Vero-Civitos: The Social Impulse as a counter-civilizing motivation, and the Nature of True Civility in the Self-Possessed Individual
Chivalry and Charis
Malignosis: The juvenile tendency of mankind and of modern men to become enamored of malignant and homicidal and suicidal psychological states, societies, philosophies, and political impulses
Auto-absorption versus Self-Realization: the pathetic and bathetic self-absorption of modern men versus the benevolent impulse to Self-Realization
The Ancient Man, the Medieval Man, and the Modern Man as Psychological Types
Self-Improvement: assets, liabilities, and the detrimental effects of pop-psychology on the individual and upon society
Psychoptropics and the Serpentine Underbelly of the Psychiatric Chemical and Drug Culture

Methods of Altering and Improving the Psyche

Gamos (marriage of the Psyche to High Endeavours, Objectives, and Virtues)
Gamosos (gaming the Psyche)
Athletopsychosos (training the Psyche)
Mythopsychosos
Objectivization (objectivising the Psyche)
Active and Passive Psychomanipulation (the active and passive self-manipulation of both beneficial and malignant psychological traits)
Histyriopsychosos (the historical and lifelong development of the Individual Psyche)
Psikonics
Analytic and Forensic Methodologies
Logical and Mathematical Methodologies
Philosophical Methodologies
Religious Methodologies
Epipsychosos

The Real Superman

The Psychological Equations and Useful Orders of Human Behavior

 

THE GHOSTS OF DREAD FLESH: Ghosts of the gods

THE GHOSTS OF DREAD FLESH

I know I’ve probably mentioned this before but the older I get and the more I study ancient and pagan myth (and I’ve studied them since I was a teenager, and a lot in college when I majored in religion and philosophy) the more firmly convinced I am that myth was not a religion or religion at all (certainly not as we think of religions) but was actually proto-psychology and in some rare cases, primitive observations on natural phenomenon (proto-natural-science).

All of the pagan “gods and goddesses” were far too human to be anything other than psychological (psuche – soul, as the Greeks would say) observations upon human nature and the human soul. Plus all pagan “gods and pantheons” tended to behave abysmally, at least from time to time and as the mood struck them, with even the chiefs of gods being immoral at a whim, or at the very least amoral. And the more “moral gods” were almost universally relegated to background or secondary positions of no real power (other than that of cunning and craft). Precisely why Socrates could not believe in the gods and preferred his conception of God.

No, the ancient pagan gods were all soul-gods, that is to say “human gods” not spiritual gods at all, as we would think of God.

(That meaning a Real God who supersedes his Creation and who supersedes human behavior by being absolutely moral. Though the Norse gods and goddesses tended to be far more moral than let’s say the Greek or Asiatic ones and I think that to a large degree this was precisely because of the fact that they knew they were doomed and would be called to account at the Ragnarök. They knew they were limited in lifespan, they had no illusions that they were either omniscient or omnipotent, and they knew they would be eventually destroyed and replaced. It was hard-wired into their very prophecies and that kind of thing tends to often act as a governor against immorality – intentional malignance, and against amorality – not caring one way or another.)

When pagan myths were not proto-psychology they were observations on natural phenomenon and on things that could not be explained by a very limited proto-science, such as Chimeras.

No, over time I’ve come to realize that the ancient and pagan gods were real alright, and are still real, just not as really having anything to do with religion or the spiritual or God at all. They were real as proto-psychology, not as religion, and later and even today they have been largely absorbed into modern psychology as archetypes of human behavior and as exemplars of the human soul. But not of the Spirit. They are the Ghosts of Dread Flesh, not the Holy Ghost.

And this is why I think, that relatively speaking, they were later so easily overturned by and replaced by religions (like Judaism and Christianity and even to some extent by Hinduism and Buddhism – though Buddha himself was an atheist, so again, it depends very much upon your definition of “religion”), and that is because, as much as I like and respect the Psyche, it is very small and limited in relation to the Spirit, and to God.

The gods were absorbed into psychology (which still serves a very important function, just not a religious and spiritual one), because in fact, that’s what they were – soul-gods, and replaced by God, the Spirit-Lord, against whom no soul-god can really compete or is really qualified to compete.

Just as no man can compete against God, he can only ally himself with God and seek a beneficial relationship, or reject and rebel against God.

(I’d go ahead and turn this into a decent essay but I’m pressed for time right now with my novel and with my other works. Maybe later. Though I may also turn this idea into a lecture, and/or add the concept as a chapter to be included in my Meisterwerk on Psychology, The Four Inherents.)

WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

“When you’re young you’re naïve enough to think everything is about your own personal ideals and view of the world. When you grow up you become experienced enough to think everything is about the way the world actually operates. When you become old and truly wise you come to understand that the world is about both your own personal ideals and the way the world actually operates, and what you can do to make both work together cleverly enough to transform things into the Kingdom of God.

For what does it matter if your ideals are all perfect and yet the world is still broken, or if you’ve perfectly mastered the ways of the world, and it is still but a cesspool of wrong?”

from Memorable Literary Lines

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Great morning. I’m listening to Buddy Holly and the Crickets while I work.

Love that Midnight Shift

 

I MET HIM RISEN

I MET HIM RISEN

I met Him Risen from the Tomb
His grave the pangs of Heaven’s Womb
His flesh all healed and yet still scarred
His soul shone on, undimmed, unmarred
To man he graced an endless Gift
Life Unending, clear, and swift
Death a villain nevermore
Evil vanquished, God restored
A keyless Kingdom free to all
Let any man but heed his call
The Earth a shining, darkless Realm
The Easter’d Captain at the Helm, and
Kurios! the angels sang
I laughed to hear the bells had rang
Ascensions told, and service wrought
The Promise that all men had sought
Salvation from the lower things
That occupied his dreadful dreams
A New Man born, and so we all
He told me “John, now heed the call
Run and tell them ‘I await!’
The sky draws near, the seas elate
The mountains leveled, the valleys rise
The beast and men again allies
Just tell them come, I watch for them
The Son of God and Man I Am
Let none now linger, time bears on
The Harvest comes and comes anon
Yet all are welcomed who now thirst, and
Hunger still for their Rebirth!”
His eye did shine, his laugh was bright
His Glory rose, there was no night
I took him manly at his Word
He was Just, and he was firm
Yet Mercy Graced his countenance
A kind of Holy Radiance
I took to mean my embassy
To echo his Divine Decrees,
And so I bend my humble verse
To honor him, and reimburse
Some small measure of my debt
He ransomed me, and brought me rest
Set me free of doubt and strive
Renewed my Mind, affixed my Life
Bound my sins, crowned my Heart
Advanced my Soul, set me apart
Made Wonders in my Spirit grow
Blessed my Work, above, below
Built mansions in his Paradise
For me to Home and occupy, and
All He asked of me in turn
Was Faith in Him, and Friendship earned,
How could I spurn such potent gifts?

My Lord I’m yours, and yours to give…

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It’s not much I know, but every year I try to turn my verse to do some honor of Him.

Thank you Lord, please accept my token, and my poem.

#Easter #2018 #Christ #poem #work #writing

BETA READERS AND COMPOSING PARTNER(s) WANTED

BETA READERS AND COMPOSING PARTNER(s) WANTED

I am in immediate need of Beta Readers for both my fictional and non-fictional writings. These writings will include everything from my fictional science fiction, fantasy, detective, mystery, espionage, military, historical fiction, thriller, regional (Southern Western, and frontier writings), and literary writings to my middle grade and young adult and children’s stories and books. Non fictional writings will include my essays, articles, scientific papers, religious writings, writings on Theurgy, detective work, some of my business plans, and books on a variety of subjects. Other materials might include song lyrics or entire song cycles (such as for an album) and poems or games or other such matters I have created.

Rewards for giving me useful feedback will include things like autographed copies of my books, advance copies of works, discounts on published works, free copies of works, advice on how to get published, information on how to secure investors, adding you to my networks, etc. And, of course, if I can repay the favor in other ways I will endeavor to do so.

If interested then contact me or leave me a message here.

To see copies of my works visit this site:

https://wyrdwend.wordpress.com/category/my-writings-and-work/

____________________________________

Also I am looking for a composing partner who can take my song lyrics and help develop fully realized songs out of them. As an historical example think of Bernie Taupin and Elton John. My job would be that of Taupin (the lyricist), your job would be that of Elton John, though I could really care less what instrument you play. Although I am also open to writing song lyrics for bands. I write a variety of song lyrics in different styles and genres (rock, country, bluegrass, R&B, popular, jazz, sacred, etc.) and you could take your pick. I can also provide you with themes and motifs for various songs but at this time I do not have time to compose full music for these various song lyrics. So your job would be that of composing the music for these songs. Our relationship would be that of a standard split for song writing credits.

To see copies of my songs and lyrics visit these sites:

https://wyrdwend.wordpress.com/category/lyrics-2/

https://wyrdwend.wordpress.com/category/song-2/

THE SPOOK

THE SPOOK

Dark and tattered
Grey and grim
A Spook now moves
Among these men
For what he sees, and
What they can’t
He cannot leave
To fate and chance

(Chorus)

The Spook is lonely
Wind is cold
The creatures creep, and
They are bold
He sees them stalking
Hears the ghosts
Can he find them
With their hosts
Tonight?

Wet and weathered
Weary too
The Spook among them
Moon so blue
The clouds are heavy
Stars are dim
What awaits him
What within
The empty tombs
He haunts?

(Chorus)

The Spook is shadowed
Darkness holds
Things come crawling
As was told
He hears them whisper
Feels their shades
Do you know them
What they’ve made
This night?

Witches weaving
Wolves all howl
Demons laughing
Warlock’s cowl,
The Earth all bloodied
Churned like mud
The Spook encircled
Cloak and hood
Torn like flesh, and
Dead to Life
Numb and senseless
Endless strife

(Chorus)

The Spook is haunted
Nothing’s changed
The Old World’s coming
Bones and chains
He feels them waiting
Smells their lusts
Do you see them
What they must
Again attempt
Tonight?

The Locus Eaters
Watch him pass
The future written
In the past
Spirits silent
Faint and bent
The coven hovers
Black intent
The Spook will hunt them
They bite back
All have vanished
Men lose track

Another World
Has opened here
The prophets spoke it
Song of Seers,
The Spook has found them
Restless Dead
Sleep uneasy
In their beds

The Sea will swallow
Cities sink
The Locus Eaters
Sit and drink,
The Grael – their table
Where they dream
Dreading nothing
So it seems

The spook ignores them
Passes on
A world beyond them
All alone

(Chorus)

The Spook is lonely
Tired and cold
But he tracks them
He is bold
He comes stalking
Hunting ghosts
Can he kill them
Nethermost
Tonight?

I wish him Fortune
Pray him well
Men know nothing
Like his hell, yet
Still he haunts them
Monsters all
Through the Heavens
Down the Halls
Where witches weaving
Charm the Beasts, and
Locus Eaters
Sit like Priests
To drink the drink
That measures out
The moment’s passing
When the doubt
Of Life, and Death,
Or endless dread,
Is just the path
We all must tread…

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Last night, around midnight, I was up and reading The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by Tolkien, which I had recently obtained. Many of the stanzas or lines were kind of clunky and even awkward (especially for Tolkien), and you could tell it was an early work, but much of the verse was simply superb. Despite it’s somewhat unpolished style I highly recommend it for it’s narrative pulse and tale. (Too bad, that aside from songs, the narrative poem has practically disappeared from the West replaced by that self-indulgent, mostly illiterate modern shit.)

Anyway, when I put the book down for some reason it immediately reminded me (in atmosphere, ambiance, and tone) of The Spook’s Apprentice, sometimes called The Last Apprentice, one of the finest set of children’s books I’ve ever read.

And that gave me the idea of writing a song about such a Spook. So I did.

Now this song is not truly about the character from the set of books of the same name. Rather it is about a literary allusion to such a Spook – as in the song my Spook is also a monster-hunter, but he is also a metaphor for Man himself, and as to whether the monsters he hunts are supernatural creatures (like those the book character hunts) or other men, or Life and Death themselves, or all of these things, well, I leave that up to the listener to decide for himself.

After I began writing the song however it occurred to me that it would be a perfect fit my my album of songs, the Locus Eater. So I wrote it in such a way that some of the Locus Eaters appear as secondary and passive characters in the song, observing the Spook (or he them) as he proceeds at his tasks. So I am going to make place form the Spook to appear as one of the songs on the album. It is, after all, a concept album.

As for some of the other songs on the album and how well the Spook should fit among them I’ll include some of my earlier posts on the album below.

Locus Eater: see the following – Lotus Eater, Cave of the Unknown Prophet, Baba Yaga, Guild of the Golden Door, etc.

I plan to find a composing partner (though I have already sketched out some themes and motifs for myself to use as a basic musical framework for some of the songs) and finish Locus Eater(s) this year. It is one of my projects to complete for 2018. I had planned to finish it earlier but so many other projects and things interfered I had to put it on the back burner.

As for this song (The Spook) I envision it as a weird and eerie song,a  throwback to the best weird and eerie type songs of the height of 70s rock, and it will of course be a very long and involved and complicated song, with several instrumental solo and group sections (free of the lyrics) as I wish to make the song both psychedelic and almost transcendental in nature. As well as seeming metaphysical and mythical in nature. For much of this song is inspired both by myth and by literature, and has several such allusions contained within it.

As for the album itself you can read about the nature of it in the other associated links.

If you have any comments you’d like to make on the song then feel free to do so. Look forward to your observations.

I apologize for having been absent for so long but I’ve been working like a madman at any number of projects and I’ve also had to attend to many personal matters. That’s life I reckon. Still I plan to post more regularly this year.

Now, it is such a beautiful and sunny day that I think I’ll go outside and work awhile. Clear some land maybe.

By the way, if you are a composer or a band or a band member or individual musician who can write music and would be interested in writing full and complete songs with me (for you to play and for us to publish) then contact me. We’ll see if we can work together.

If you are an agent looking to represent a writer, poet, songwriter, and screenwriter then contact me. You can find links to my works throughout this site.

If you are an investor then contact me. I also have a couple of start-ups and inventions underway.

UNDER THE MOON – Song of the Winter Moon

UNDER THE MOON
(Winter Moon)

The river is wide
The water is deep
I dream of forever
While you still sleep
Beside me this evening
Under the moon

The sky is so open
The dawn is so close
I look for your rising
Though you’ve never known
What is hiding within me
Waiting for you

The stars have gone missing
Their light burned away
You’re closer than ever,
But what can I say?
You’re here and you’re never
You’re not and you’re there
I wish for forever
If forever might care
What I want

The sea is so lonesome
The shore is so far
Too long have I waited
To know who you are
Is it hiding within you
Still looking for me?

The Earth is so empty
Wandering unknown
I dream of forever
Not forever alone
Are you here on this evening
Or is it just me?

The stars have gone missing
Their light burned away
You’re closer than ever,
But what will you say?
You’re here and you’re never
You’re not and you’re there
I wish for forever
If forever might share
What you want
But won’t tell me
Under the moon…

_______________________________________________________

 

Took a walk after sundown in the woods near the river. As I did so I wrote (in my head) what will probably be my last set of song lyrics for 2017. They just kinda came to me as the moon rose through the hazy clouds.

Hope you like it… and Happy New Year

THE VIPER

THE VIPER (first draft of scene)

Maugham walked back over to Steinthal.

Steinthal asked him, “Who is that?”

Maugham was uncharacteristically blunt, and voluble.

“That is the toughest son of a bitch I’ve ever met in my life,” he told him.

Steinthal almost flinched. He had never met anyone tougher than Maugham and wasn’t much sure he liked the idea.

“Also,” Maugham went on almost to the point of being prolix (for him anyway), “he is meaner than hell and he may even be your equal in cunning and craft.”

Steinthal whistled appreciatively, just barely above the whisp of a dog-whistle. He looked hard at the man Maugham had just been conversing with when suddenly the guy looked over at him. Had he heard Steinthal’s whistle? Steinthal wondered if that was even possible.

The guy rose up from his table and just stood there, unmoving. Was he waiting, just watching, or coiling? He was short, shorter than Steinthal, and wiry, with cords of muscles that stood out up and down his neck. He had a couple of facial scars, one a long straight slice and the other maybe a burn, and sported a multiply broken nose and the look of a man who had been stabbed a few times to the point of aggravation.

He was dressed so that you couldn’t tell if he was a day laborer or an informant. Or both. His clothes looked washed out, as if they could fade smoothly into the backgorund, and like they didn’t quite fit. Or he did. Or both. He carried himself as if he could have been concealing no weapons, or any number of them.

He looked directly at Steinthal and he smiled, only it wasn’t really a smile. It was more like when a snake’s jaw unhinges and its flat lips curl back to swallow something. Steinthal wasn’t really sure if that was for his benefit alone, or just directed at the world in general, but whatever the intent it was threatening, and patiently sibilant – all at once. And about as creepy and surreal a disposition to strike as possible for anything shaped like a man.

Steinthal looked at Maugham and Maugham looked at him.

“Do you know this guy?” Steitnhal asked.

“Yeah,” Maugham said, in his typically taciturn manner.

“Know him well?” Steinthal asked again.

“Well enough,” Maugham replied.

“How?” Steinthal said seriously, more in the way of an interrogation than a friendly question.

Maugham shook his head like a bull being called in from the field. Steinthal knew that that meant and just nodded.

“Anything else?”

“Yeah,” said Maugham. “When we first met I thought you might be related.”

Steinthal furrowed his brow. Steinthal raised his hand horizontally so that his forefinger pointed at Maugham and his thumb pointed back at himself.

“You thought we might be related?”

“No,” Maugham said flatly. “I thought that you two might be related. Why I didn’t kill you immediately.”

“You didn’t kill me because you happen to like this guy?” Steinthal asked, fishing for the reason.

“No,” Maugham said shaking his head as if the question were silly and somehow self-negating. “I didn’t kill you because if you two were related then I wasn’t absolutely sure I could.”

Steinthal nodded, accepting the comment, but was doubtful that was the whole story. It was Maugham though, so what could ya really do?

Then Steinthal looked back over at the stranger. For all he knew the guy was still breathing, but if he was then he showed no signs.
Inside his own mind Steinthal shook his head while watching the guy, but as far as anyone else knew he just stared silently at the stranger.

“Why’d you set this up Maugham?” Steinthal asked. “Couldn’t have been easy to get him to play along.”

“He’s not playing,” Maugham replied. “And no, it wasn’t. But I thought that maybe, just this once, we could use him.”

Inside his own mind Steinthal nodded, but to Maugham he shook his head so that no one else would notice.

“So,” Steinthal asked. “What do I call it?”

“You don’t,” Maugham answered. And it didn’t seem contrived at all.

“Well then, should I approach it, or let it approach me?”

“Yes,” Maugham said. “That should work.”

Steinthal nodded still intently studying the other man.

“Well then,” Steinthal finally said. “Best clear the room. If we’re gonna see what happens.”

But when Maugham made no reply, and Steinthal glanced over to check on him, Maugham was already gone. And when he turned back to look for the other guy the other guy was already in his face.

ANYBODY

ANYBODY

“Anybody can be ambushed,” Steinthal told her. “By some evil-souled, sneaky, cowardly little sonuvabitch. That is never the victim’s fault. However being naive enough to think that you will never be ambushed, or reckless enough to never prepare for the possibility, that is the victim’s fault. By victim I mean you,” he said pointing directly at her.

“You just got lucky tonight my dear. And that’s good, but that’s all. Cause luck ain’t a plan and there ain’t much of a future in habitual bad habit. So learn from this mess. And next time you be ready to do the killing. Understand?”

She nodded slowly and then looked up at him.

“I understand,” she said.

“Good,” he said. “Because that was the point.”

from The Detective Steinthal

THE ESSAYS ON GAME (and WORLD) DESIGN

ESSAYS ON GAME AND WORLD DESIGN

I had originally intended to write and post all of these essays in the order listed below. But life, hurricanes, a heath problem with my child, work, seminars, my novels, start-up ventures, college (my children going to and entering college), and attempting to get my work published interfered with that intention.

Nevertheless, on the weekends, I have been working on these essays, poco-a-poco, and most are already finished though not yet posted or published. I’m working on that though.

Most of these essays deal with fantasy gaming, role playing in general, and even specifically with Dungeons and Dragons and those types of games.

My overall ambition in writing these essays is to give the game designer, the game master (or DM/GM), and even the player a basic (and hopefully very beneficial) philosophical and design basis for the construction of their own backgrounds, characters, milieus, worlds, and works (from a gaming and design point of view, of course).

However I believe that many of these principles can also be easily and readily applied to the creation of fictional worlds and systems for genre writers of fantasy, science-fiction, horror, and pulp type works. Therefore these essays can also be looked upon as providing the philosophical and structural basis for fictional world design as well.

At present my total number of Essays on Game Design stands at seventeen (17), with most of these having already been written and the rest already sketched out. However this number may very well increase over time. Actually I expect it to, and eventually I expect to collect and publish all of these essays in a book on Game and World Design.

ESSAYS ON GAME DESIGN

INDEX:

Essay One: Crawling into Oblivion

Essay Two: To Hell With Balance

Essay Three: Where Has All the Magic Gone?

Essay Four: The Heroic Impulse – Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

Essay Five: The Tomb of Myth

Essay Six: Why the World Exists

Essay Seven: Why the Game Exists

Essay Eight: What is Modern Fantasy Anyway?

Essay Nine: Where Has All the History Gone? On Heirlooms, Legacies, and Inheritances

Essay Ten: U Plus (U+)

Essay Eleven: Luck Be Not Lazy

Essay Twelve: The Blood of Uncanny Monsters: Parts One and Two

Essay Thirteen: Scientifica Magica

Essay Fourteen: The Ability Hoard

Essay Fifteen: The Interactive Essay

Essay Sixteen: Where Have All the High Homes Gone: The Heröon, the Hometown, and the Mansion or Fortified Keep?

Essay Seventeen: Where Have All the Liturgists Gone?

THE ECLIPSE OF THE LIGHTLESS MEN

THE ECLIPSE OF THE LIGHTLESS MEN

From the face of the moon do the gods watch the sins
Of the dim absent dreaming in the darkest of men
Do the stars in their orbits, falling to flare
Alight in the cities, or ignite in the air
To illumine the blindness, unruly console
When the blackness eclipses the depths of their souls?

The mirror is silver, the heavens are deep
The eyes of the lightless like death do they sleep
Their tribes all afire, rimmed by the blaze
Yet their hearts are all stone, and their minds all a maze
Where the light cannot shelter, nor sun still abide
No thread to remember, no savior arrives,
For the men who are lightless grow great in their herds
Yet of hope or of Wisdom nothing is heard
An Eclipse of the Silence, the cold and the still
The Furies unfrozen, a debt to fulfill
For the Plague that was promised is spoken again
The Cure long abandoned, a whispering wind,
The masses are metered, each measured alike
For man is as nothing when compassed by night
The Earth is ill-favored, the moon eats her share
The darkness within us escapes to the air –
Though who bothers to repent, or lust for the light
When the lure of the eclipse burns yet so bright?
Encased in our Eclipse who yet occupies
That nature eternal that never can die
Or wonders to wander where darkness is rare
Where men yet make marvels, not terrors declare?
I would I could tell you, I would that I knew
For the lies of the lightless have eclipsed me and you…

______________________________

My poem commemorating the Solar Eclipse in the year of our Lord, 2017, and the current (and constant) nature of man…

I began it around midnight yesterday and concluded it about 0200 hours today (8/21/17).

#writing  #poetry   #eclipse

 

WE’LL WORK ON THAT

WE’LL WORK ON THAT

The place was dark. Very dark, all things considered. The whole house seemed closed off into small compartments. However there was still light streaming in from a full moon by a window to the right of the room.

Precisely why Steinthal had chosen this night. He knew that because of the full moon his night vision equipment could make good use of the available ambient and residual light and he could operate “in the dark” without giving himself away.

Time to put on my googles he thought.

He heard a small creak.

Instinctively he ducked low but something still hit him from behind and from his left. It had struck the top of his shoulder, the backside of his neck and the base of his skull. It was wide whatever it was. And it had only been a glancing blow but Steinthal saw a flash from the impact, heard a ring in his ear, and stumbled forward a few feet. Then as he caught his balance he ran forward another five or six feet and swirled as fast as he could recover.

Someone stood there. A big someone. Big and dark. If it had growled Steinthal might have taken it for a bear. As it was Steinthal thought it might be even more dangerous.

The thing seemed to just pause there as if considering what to do next. Steinthal’s head cleared completely and he started to make for his gun when the shape charged. It came in close almost instantly and surprised Steinthal, not with a jab or a horizontal swing, but with a ferocious right uppercut. Steinthal barely had time to react but twisted some and got his left arm stiffened and intercepted the shot down low. That took most of the punch out but the guy was still so strong that he lifted Steinthal onto the balls of his feet just from the sheer momentum.

Steinthal counterpunched furiously with his right. Hit the guy solidly on the left side of the front of his neck. It should have rocked the guy on his heels, caused him to splutter and choke. He hadn’t hit the trachea but it still would have stunned most men.

As it was the only two things that seemed to happen as far as Steinthal could tell was that it made a sound like the guy had been hit with a wet fish, and the man stepped back one step. He hadn’t even bent over.

Realizing fully what he was now facing, Steinthal swiftly backtracked three or four feet and grabbed his revolver with his right and his combat knife with his left. He had only glanced down for an instance to retrieve his weapons but when he looked up the guy already had a semiautomatic in one hand and a shiny machete in the other. Where the machete had come from Steinthal had no idea but it did impress him.

The guy was now closer to the moonlight. You could partially make him out. Steinthal decided he wasn’t big after all. He was monstrous. But he didn’t look stupid. No, there was a kind of set to his face and a sort of light in his eyes that Steinthal took for real and raw intelligence. Even more dangerous.

There were several moments of tense silence while they pointed their weapons at each other.

“That kind of hurt for such a little fella,” the big guy suddenly said and spit. There might have been some blood mixed in but it was too dark to tell. “What’s your name?”

“Huh?” Steinthal said.

“I said, ‘what’s your name.’ I don’t like having to repeat myself.”

Steinthal cleared his throat.

“John,” he replied. “But most everyone calls me Steinthal.”

The guy seemed to mull over the answer.

“Yeah, you’re the one,” he said as if mentally verifying a fact-sheet.

“What one?” Steinthal asked.

“The one I’m meant to kill tonight,” the big guy said.

“Well then,” Steinthal said. “You’re one up on me. I usually know nothing about most of the people I kill until it is all over.
“Why is that?” the big guy asked.

“Because they tend to ambush me,” replied Steinthal.

The big guy chuckled quietly.

“Well then, are you going to shoot me?” he asked.

“I’d rather not,” Steinthal said warily. “But at this point anything seems possible.”

Seemingly to spite himself the big guy chuckled again.

“I like you.” The big guy said. “You’re funny.”

“Trust me,” Steinthal said. “I’m not trying to be, but if helps any then let’s just go with that.”

The big guy seemed blithe. “Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to snap your neck, but now I sort of like you.”

Steinthal noticed that despite the relaxed and easy going tone of the man’s voice his aim had remained absolutely fixed and his breathing so steady that he seemed motionless. Even while he spoke.

“Yeah, well,” said Steinthal “We all do what we can.”

The guy laughed again. If not for the circumstances then to Steinthal this would have seemed ridiculous.

When the guy finished laughing he said, “Seems kind of a shame now though.”

“Don’t it,” said Steinthal. “But, you know, the guns and all…”

The big guy looked at Steinthal’s revolver.

“I’ve been shot before you know,” he said. “By a lot bigger and more powerful weapons than that. Never killed me.”

“I’ll bet,” said Steinthal. “But there’s always that first time. And I’m pretty damned determined.”

“Also I’m armored,” said the big guy, as if he hadn’t noticed Steinthal’s reply.

“Thanks for the heads up,” said Steinthal. “Now I know where not to aim.”

There was silence again. But no movement.

“Say,” Steinthal finally said. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the distinct feeling you’re not just playing for time here. Do you get the idea that there might be something else going on with this whole affair that neither of us are quite square on? And that maybe we should skip the strangulations and compare notes about in private?”

More silence. But then the big guy shrugged nonchalantly and holstered his gun. It kind of disappeared entirely into the huge black mound that was his chest. But the machete remained. And the guy had never even shifted his gaze.

“Maybe… Probably… Yes. I’ve had that idea for some time now,” he said. “But I didn’t want to make any snap judgements.”

“Yeah,” Steinthal said. “It’s one of the things I appreciate most about you.”

“People think I’m stupid, you know. Because I’m so big,” the big guy said. With a kind of sad resignation that seemed almost fatalistic.

“Well fella,” said Steinthal. “I’m not most people. And whereas you are stupefyingly big, you are most definitely not stupid.”

The guy chuckled again. Then sighed softly.

“You going to lower your gun now?” the big guy asked.

“I’m thinking about it, but, you know, I’m not exactly stupid either.”

The machete clattered to the floor.

“Very nice. Now can you do that with your hands, arms, and most of the rest of you as well?”

The guy smiled in the dark. And it seemed completely friendly.

“Probably not. I come this way,” he said.

“Alright then. I’ll just take your word for it.” And Steinthal holstered his gun and knife.

“Say,” Steinthal said relaxing a little. “Since you know so much about me what say you tell me your name?”

“You’ll laugh,” the big guy replied.

“Well, if I do, then don’t take it personally. I have an excellent sense of humor.”

“Okay then. It’s Maugham,” said the big guy. “William Somerset Maugham. But my friends call me Angus.”

Steinthal whistled. “Well I’ll be damned. I’ve read all your books!

“Yeah,” the big guy looked sheepishly at the ground. “My mother was real big on literature.”

“Nothing wrong with that,” Steinthal said. “But say, you’re a lot bigger in person than you look in the papers. Or the history books.”

“Yeah, I hear that a lot. Well, not a lot. Not recently anyway. Most people don’t read anymore.”

“Yeah, that’s a real shame, ain’t it? But that being what it is I’m not calling you Angus or Bill either,” Steinthal said.

“Well then, what are you going to call me?”

“I’m gonna call you Maugham,” said Steinthal. “Because you remind me of W. Somerset Maugham. If, you know, he had been as big as a damned Angus.”

Maugham nodded.

“What say though we get outta here now Maugham?” Steinthal asked. “Before they send in a troll?”

Maugham shrugged. “Okay. I’m game if you are.”

As they were sneaking out Steinthal said, “Say, what you said back there. Is that true?”

“Is what true?” asked Maugham.

“Do you really have friends?”

Maugham stopped in his tracks and seemed to mull over the question quietly in his mind before replying.

“You know, I’m not really sure.”

“Well,” said Steinthal. “The night is still young. We’ll work at it awhile. Then see what we can come up with. One thing’s for sure though.”

“What’s that?” asked Maugham.

“After tonight I owe you one. If you’ll take friendship as payment then I’ll sure call it square.”

(This is the first meeting between Steinthal and Maugham.)

From The Detective Steinthal.

THE PIXILATED MAN

THE PIXILATED MAN

There are at least two consistent themes running through many (if not most) of my science fiction stories. One is of turning technology (such as data, information, Intel, electrons, etc.) into “solid or substantial things.”

And the other is of people finding multiple uses for a single piece of technology (a design idea I always try to practice when inventing) and of people accidentally discovering hidden or secret functions or uses for common pieces of technology (radios, TVs, satellites, etc).

Well tonight I was studying the etymology of some rare Anglo-Saxon and English words when I ran across this word: Pixilated.

Now pixilated has not the same meaning as our word pixelated but upon reading the definition I immediately saw the parallels. Forward (taking pixelated to its logical conclusion), and backwards (by becoming unpixelated a man becomes, so to speak, also unpixilated).

Pixilated, a very old word, means to be bewitched as if by pixies, or, to be bewildered, confused, charmed, or intoxicated, as if by pixies.

Which made me think immediately of a computer screen and the internet.

I am already writing a story in which a computer and screen basically and accidentally serves as a (Tolkienesque) Palantir-like artefcat. Though it has a second meaning: Palantir the company.

But after reading about being “pixilated” I have also decided to write a parallel story about a pixilated man. Though the way in which he becomes pixilated is by first becoming enpixelated.

Which I think will also serve as a sort of related piece to my Eye in a Distant Sky story.

NOT TO BE OUTMARTYRED

NOT TO BE OUTMARTYRED

“And what of the monk Baelwich?” the boy asked.

Alternaeus smiled gently as he moved objects about the table to his satisfaction. To his apprentice he seemed harried in his manner, but also utterly engrossed and happy at his task.

“Baelwich it is hard not to love. He is fearless, and smart, and cunning, and even wise. He is one of the old monks, the ancient kind of monk,” the Wizard replied. “No matter what the high nobles and the rudely ambitious think of him I count him as one of my most trusted friends. Perhaps even, a kind of brother.”

“But he is still considered a young man, is he not? Surely he may even be younger than you. How is it then that you call him ancient?” The boy seemed genuinely confused by the Wizard’s response, or openly curious as to his true meaning. Or both.

Alternaeus halted at this labors for a moment, raised his eyebrows at the question, and looked directly at his apprentice.

“You mistake my meaning boy. He is an ‘ancient kind of monk,’ not in his mortal years but in his immortal nature. He is very much like the Apostles of old in that he fears no power on or in the Earth. His only concern is God and what is Just and Right. Such men are easy for me to befriend, and once befriended, easy to maintain in my heart. Ignorant men may call my efforts fernal-craft and sorcery, but they understand me not at all. For when it comes to what is truly essential in this world, indeed in any world, of all men there is in me no sorcery at all. Only an enchantment with the Truth.”

The boy considered the remark with some seriousness. Alternaeus returned to his labors and worked until his personal expectations were met and his meticulous arrangements fully completed. When the boy saw that the labor of the Wizard seemed finally finished he risked another inquiry.

“What then of the priest Plontius? Is he also your friend?”

Alternaeus looked at the boy somewhat skeptically and scoffed.

“As long as monks and priests are willing to martyr themselves for God, for the Right, and for the innocent then they are the most courageous and admirable of all men, and have my utmost admiration and respect. Such is Baelwich.

Yet monks and priests who watch other men struggle with wrong and will neither physically fight that injustice, nor risk the martyring of themselves to prevent such evils have neither my Earthly esteem nor the friendship of my soul.”

The boy nodded twice thoughtfully at the reply but continued to stare at the Wizard as if he still wished a more direct answer to his questions.

Seeing this Alternaeus said, “To be blunt boy, and to be brutal to your brutishness, I think little and less of the small priest Plontius. He is no friend of mine, and often I wonder if he is even a man at all.”

From the tales of Alternaeus the Wizard

GOODLY EVILS, AND THE EVILS OF “THE GOOD” – TUESDAY’S TALE

Continuing my tales of the Wizard Alternaeus and his apprentice.

GOODLY EVILS, AND THE EVILS OF “THE GOOD”

“I have no satisfactory answer for you lad. Because to this very day, my boy, I am still amazed at those quantities and diversities of important things that evil men will fearlessly attempt over the paltry count of those same things that good men will attempt. Not because evil men are so much more numerous than good men, they are certainly not, if anything they are the distinct minority of all men. Nor because evil men are so much greater than good men, because by both inner nature and by outward behavior, they are not.

No, it has been my perpetual and sad observation that evil triumphs so often in this world not because evil is so irresistibly inconquerable in number, or because evil is so inherently imposing in nature, but merely because men who profess themselves to be good are so very often so very, very afraid.

Now that might very well seem to you like a bleak prophecy about the nature of men in general and the rather uncommon occurrence of real manhood in this world. And to be honest it truly is. But as far as foretelling what you must become, or any man must necessarily be, it says nothing about either of those things by any means.

So, if you have heard and understood all that I have said then this is the only answer I have for you. For all of that, still, be a good boy, and an even better man. For those two ends are very worthy ambitions.

Just remember this though as you mature; be yet far more courageous than most self-described good men.

For to be good without courage is no real ambition at all. And as a matter of fact it is the timid good man who is the certain mid-wife and the sure wet-nurse of most of the goodly evils that men do.”

Alternaeus the Wizard to his young apprentice.

MY HOPES FOR TODAY

MY HOPES FOR TODAY

I hope to write and post two papers today (in addition to my normal work) if I have the time: one on Syria and what we can, should, and cannot (hope to) do there, and one on self-editing (your own work).

I also, however, definitely plan to spend time working on my Philosophical Sphere and my Cosmic Egg (Theurgy), repairing the house (from the storms), clearing land, working on my novels, my new album, my start-up, and training (Body Beast).

So, we’ll see how it goes.

For now though it is time for me and Sam to go catch a hike.

I’m behind on my hiking.

Have a good day folks.

I GOT SAD TODAY

I GOT SAD TODAY

Rarely do I actually get sad. Well, not about myself anyway. But today I got sad about myself.

Oh, on occasion I become melancholy, but I enjoy being melancholy. But I do that primarily for aesthetic reasons (it helps me with creativity) and for personal enjoyment. But I do that intentionally. That is, I intentionally, from time to time, put myself into an intentional state of melancholy.

But rarely do I get sad and only on very, very, very rare occasions do I ever get sad about myself.

Today, however, I got sad. After taking Dorett to pick up her car I stopped by 2nd and Charles and Mr. K’s.

At Mr. K’s I picked up Les Fleurs Du Mal by Baudelaire in English translation. (The Flowers of Evil.) Perhaps my favorite foreign book of poetry read in college. I tried to get it in French to practice my French (I’ve been getting old texts in Latin and Greek and other foreign languages to work on my language mastery) but no such luck.

At 2nd and Charles however I got four CDs – the 36th and 38th symphonies of Mozart, the 6th symphony of Mahler, the 2nd symphony of Enescu, and four symphonic poems of Bax including Tintagel and the Happy Forest.

I was riding home listening to Tintagel (a favorite symphonic poem) when I suddenly thought of all of the symphonies and tone poems and concerti and operas and far lesser musical compositions I have either already sketched out or are in various states of composition and it made me very sad.

For lately I have felt a really pervasive, almost all-pervasive, desire to compose music. (Maybe because it is springtime, I don’t know, or maybe it is just one of those phases that hit me occasionally.) But I know I have no time. Certainly not the time I would need to do the kind of quality compositions I wish to do. For I am a self-taught and slow composer I have great ideas but am slow in execution.

And between my attempting to become a published fiction author, an established poet, a song-writer, seeking funding for my inventions and start-ups, and helping my wife establish her career and getting my kids through college (or into college) I simply have no time for anything else, and often not enough time for any of the things I am already doing. And that saddened me.

As a matter of fact I have come to the conclusion that I may never have enough time to do all that I wish. For their will always be other things that will also demand my time (children, family, friends, grandchildren, etc. and I am not complaining about those things, as they bring me satisfaction and joy, but I acknowledge the truth that they are a drag on my work efforts) and if I live to be one-hundred or more I may still not do all I have assigned myself to do. Or simply wish to do.

And unfortunately, given my current situation, music and art must take a back-seat or go completely ignored for the sake of my other efforts (which are likely to prove far more profitable and important anyway).

(I often, still to this very day, wonder if I did indeed choose the right careers to pursue, and should or will I ever be able to pursue all of the things I so very much desire to pursue. I guess only God knows, as I suspect I may never know. Not, perhaps, in this world anyway.)

But still, if I had the time then I could spend many a day in composing music and drawing and painting things.

I simply do not have the time.

So I don’t.

But if I had the time it would make me quite happy to do so.

Yet because I don’t have the time it makes me sad that I cannot…

SUBJECT MATTERS FOR THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN

A LIST OF SOME OF THE SUBJECTS AND SUBJECT MATTERS I PLAN TO ADDRESS IN MY BOOKS THE CHRISTIAN HERO, THE CHRISTIAN WIZARD, AND THE CHRISTIAN SAINT

These are more general subjects and not specifically geared towards the peculiarities of any of them. I had planned on further developing these today but my wife needs me to take her to the airport today. These are only recent Subject-Matter additions to the books as they are further developed.

And although these books are addressed to the Christian Layman I think that I shall develop a different term for him/her that shall encompass all of the aspects I mean by Layman, such as: worker, disciple, hero, wizard, (lay or common man’s) saint, and skilled spiritual and psychological craftsman.

I shall have to think on the term first of course, and all that it should imply.

SELF-EDUCATION/AUTO-EDUCATION

DISEASE

INJURY

REST AND RECOVERY

VACATIONS

AVOCATIONS

VOCATIONS

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

TRAINING

WORK – beneficial, good, profitable, productive, clean

THEURGICAL PRACTICE

THEURGICAL WORK

FORMS OF BENEFICIAL ENTERTAINMENT, RECREATION, AND

HEALTH AND HEALING

RESEARCH AND STUDIES

VIRTUES

NAMES

STEWARDSHIP

RELATIONSHIP TO NATURE

THEORIES

GEAR AND EQUIPMENT

CREATING YOUR OWN OBJECTS AND POSSESSIONS

SUB-CREATION

PURSUITS – ARTISTIC, BUSINESS, FINANCIAL, INVESTED, MENTAL, PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, RELIGIOUS, SCIENTIFIC, SPIRITUAL

TREASURES AND TREASURE HOARDS

HEIRLOOMS

ARTEFACTS AND RELICS

ANIMAL COMPANIONS

PARCHMENTS, SCROLLS, AND WRITINGS

NOTEBOOKS

ANCESTORS AND ANTECEDENTS

CHILDREN AND DESCENDANTS

WHO SHOULD TRAIN TO BE A WIZARD, THEURGIST, OR PSIKONIST

EXPLORATION AND VADDING

GRACES, GIFTS, AND TALENTS

ABILITIES, CAPACITIES, CAPABILITIES, AND SKILLS

ATHLETICS, EXERCISE, PHYSICAL CONDITIONING, AND SPORTS

SACRED SPACES

THEURGICAL SPHERES? AND RITUAL ARENAS

AREAS OF BEAUTY AND LIFE

SIN AND SINCERE REPENTANCE

TYPES OF SIN: INTENTIONAL AND UNINTENTIONAL

THE SEVEN STAGES OF REPENTANCE: RECOGNITION, REMORSE, RECOMPENSE and RESTITUTION, RECTIFICATION, RESOLUTION, REPENTANCE, REFORM

CHRISTIAN LOVE (PHILOS AND AGAPE)

FORGIVENESS: GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND MAN’S FORGIVENESS

WHAT CAN THE CHRISTIAN OR CHRISTIAN LAYMAN TRULY DO ABOUT REAL EVIL?

THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON EARTH

THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN AS MISSIONARY

THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN AS INFILTRATOR

THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN AS AMBASSADOR OF CHRIST

THE OPEN WORK AND THE SECRET WORK

REVERSING WRONG

POSSIBLE SPECIALISTS (SUB-CLASSES OR SUB-TYPES)? CRUSADER, EXPLORER, ADVENTURER / SAGE, PROTO-SCIENTIST or NATURAL SCIENTIST, PSYCOPHYSICIAN / SEER, COUNSELOR,

HOW THE CHRISTIAN LAYMAN’S HOLY VOCATIONS SHOULD RELATE TO HIS PROFESSIONAL AND MUNDANE OCCUPATIONS AND VOCATIONS

APPRENTICES, APPRENTICESHIPS, AND DISCIPLESHIP

THE LORD AS THE GREAT MASTER

PROMOTING THE GOSPEL

CONVERSION AND THE LAYMAN’S PATHS

THE LAYMAN’S WEAL

THE WORLD’S WELFARE

THE PROVIDENCE AND PROVENANCE OF GOD

BEING “LED”

YOUR PERSONAL CALLING

OCCULT KNOWLEDGE AND GNOSTICISM VERSUS RARE KNOWLEDGE AND RARELY PRACTICED NOESIS

MYSTICISM AND THE MYSTERIES OF GOD

THE SUPERNATURAL AND HOW IT MAY BE DEFINED

ACTION AND ENTERPRISE

MORTALITY AND IMMORTALITY

YOUR LIFE’S WORK (OPAE VITAE)

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD

DISCIPLES AND FRIENDS OF CHRIST

HOST AND HOME OF THE HOLY GHOST

IT’S ONE OR THE OTHER

IT’S ONE OR THE OTHER

“Yeah, well now, time might not heal all wounds but it will either significantly assure that you will succeed on time, or dramatically increase the odds that you won’t. Now how that works out precisely is pretty much up to you, but if I were you I’d spend less time bitching about your wounds and more time getting your ass up off the ground so we can succeed in getting the hell outta here.”

The Detective Steinthal

RUNNING THE TABLE

RUNNING THE TABLE

“A modern investigation is simply another way of saying that nothing of any real importance will ever be truly resolved, nor anyone of any real consequence ever tried or convicted.

Therefore fuck their investigation. I’m after Justice, and if possible the prevention of future evil. Let them investigate. If they wish to do so. That will keep them out of my way effectively enough.

As for me I have an entirely different goal. And the intent to go with it.

We’ll see in the end who has the most success. But if I were a betting man Maugham I’d run the table.

Because God-damnit, and you know I mean this, I’m gonna run the fucking table.”

And as he listened to his friend a sort of weird and horrific chill ran up Maugham’s spine.

from The Detective Steinthal

THE CRAFT OF FOREIGN FEATHERSTONES

THE CRAFT OF FOREIGN FEATHERSTONES

I thought that I had injured
That with which I thought
Only then to understand
The fault that I had wrought,

My imagination
Turning as it slept
Found itself abandoned
While to other lands I crept,

The hills of high philosophy
The mountains of the moon
The blood of war, the boatman’s fee
(That endless shore, an anchored leevariant line)
Upon these I was hewn,

The craft of foreign featherstones
A science, or an art?
What matter to that one dethroned
Whose will will soon depart?

Clever in the market stalls
Cunning in the wares
What happens when intent appalled
Is taken unawares?

Creation is a fakir’s cheat
The muses whores of fate
Yet man is just an instrument
Come often, or come late,

If he would be a better thing
He must to something else
Bend himself in constant chase
And sometimes so with stealth,

For he commands that lofty globe
Granted him by God,
Yet even so, he must still show
He knows of the façade,

For art is nothing but the world
Dressed up as if were true,
Therefore man has no real art
Without what he first grew,

Within his mind, upon his heart
He wrote, he sketched, he drew
Then he found that thing profound
When nothing yet is due

Thus (and therefore),

Art can nothing to this world
It did not first possess,
Yet turning so with twisted charms
Man does acquiesce

That in himself creation roams
Seeking whom (and what) to eat, but
First that man must eat this world
For him to be complete…

__________________________________________

Usually I post my verse on Mondays. For First Verse.

But I have been very busy lately and have had scant time for composition. Today though a friend of mine mentioned something about “creation” and since he is an artist I went ahead and wrote a poem I’ve been meaning to write awhile on the subject of art and creation anyway.

I have my own definition for the term “featherstone” in relation to creation and art. Or indeed in relation to anything at all.

I use it in this way: it refers to a magical or mythological Xoanon (that falls from the heavens and is taken as a god or carven into an idol and worshiped), to a thing that cannot in reality exist (because it is entirely self-contradictory), to polish away all of the weight of a thing and leave behind only the most opposite (and usually useless) thing, and even to Potmos, and the Residuum.

By foreign featherstone I mean that featherstone not native to one’s self, or that featherstone one must seek out elsewhere or that lures one elsewhere.

THE NECESSARY MAN

THE NECESSARY MAN

Vlachus laughed at his commander and freely drank of the dark wine.

“Spoken as a true soldier. But let me speak as a former farmer and a monk of God. There is much pleasure, my friend, in the creation of new life. That is indeed true. Yet there is an even greater joy in the fostering of it.

Any man may plow the field, and enjoy the swift and sweet sweat of that labor. Yet only the True Husbandman labors long at the profit and the produce of the fruit. Sow where you can commander, but gather where you may. And if you see another field untended and the crops therein languishing to fail then are you not lawfully allowed to step into it that field and harvest what was already planted so that they are wasted not? Indeed, are you not obligated to do so?”

Marsippius looked at Vlachus in consideration of his speech, but then opened his hands as if in supplication or supposition to the priest.

“And what of you?” Marsippius asked. “Are you unfit to reap what others have sown? Are you not also obligated?”

Vlachus handed Marsippius the wineskin. Marsippius immediately noticed how much emptier it seemed. Then Vlachus wiped his mouth upon his long decorated sleeve, rubbed his hands briskly together, placed them closer to the fire and glanced admiringly upwards at the bright alien stars. Finally he looked back across the flames and drifting smoke at his friend.

“Oh, I am certainly fit to reap and even still to sow,” Vlachus said, his long untended beard casting weird shadows in the firelight and making his face seem momentarily made more of ethereal questions than earthly answers. “Nevertheless I am a monk. I would make a far better grandfather I think than a sire. This child though needs a father. A real father, truly known and knowing. You are an excellent, if sometimes uneven commander of men, Marsippius Nicea. Furthermore I suspect that you are already a fine father as well. And would be so again if necessary. The question you must ask yourself is this: are you now the necessary man?”

Marsippius sighed and rubbed his scarred sword hand through his now lengthening hair. Vlachus’ gaze seemed to him extraordinarily bright and perceptive in the uneven light of the struggling fire.

“You are also, I have seen, an unfailingly honest man,” Vlachus said. “So, if I have spoken in error of you then correct me now.”

Marsippius studied the monk’s face for a long while, and then his gaze fell back into the fire. He would not say what he saw there, and he did not answer his friend.

Vlachus of Armenia (The Myrelaion Monk) to Marsippius Nicea, Commander of the Basilegate

From the Kithariune

KELBRAE AND THE KITHARIUNE

This (concept, idea) actually occurred to me as a dream this morning right before I woke. It will now go into my various novels about Iÿarlðma (the Kithariune).

To be used as a plot device.

And it will likely go into my various games and role play games (in modified form, of course) to also be used as a plot device.

KELBRAE, KELBRURAE, and KELBRAE-ILAR

Kelbrae is a certain type of secret writing used in Iÿarlðma that is usually inscribed upon parchment in Eldeven ideographic or pictographic symbols (and far more rarely in Elturgical glyphs) though theoretically it can be inscribed on almost anything. It usually consists of raised letters or symbols not unlike a pictographic form of human braille. However by running one’s hand over the Kelbraec script pictures or symbols or ideas are transmitted directly to the mind of the “reader” rather than “reading Kelbrae” being a process of touch interpretation of letter or word symbols, as with braille. Kelbrae is usually written in an open or visible script (rather than in Elturgical glyphs) though it is still Elturgical in nature and therefore only the intended recipient or reader can usually “read” or interpret it. Others who attempt to read it either envision nothing in the chamber of their mind or sometimes they receive false or confused notions of the real message contained in the script.

If the message is important enough the Kelbraec script can be written in Elturgical glyphs which are rendered invisible or camouflaged from anyone other than the intended recipient of the true message. Kelbrae constructed in this way can be usually be placed onto almost any object or item and can even be written in such a way as to fade away entirely or even to destroy or dissolve the object onto which it has been placed once it is successfully deciphered or the message successfully transmitted to the proper recipient. Kelbrae formed in this way are called Kelbrurae.

There is a final known form of Kelbrae called Kelbrae-Ilar. Kelbrae-ilar is typically constructed and written in such a way as to transmit a deception or falsehood even to the intended recipient or reader. It is designed specifically as a trick, a delusion (sometimes as an actual illusion), or as a form of trap. As a trap the Kelbrae-ilar will sometimes not only convey false information but may also confuse or erase the memory of the reader, convince the reader a false message must be true, render the reader temporally paranoid, sicken or disease the reader, curse the reader, or the message or object upon which it is written may even catch fire or explode. Ilar means, variously, to malign, a secret, to blacken, or a thorn.

OLD MAN FUNNY

OLD MAN FUNNY

Maugham laughed at the smartass remark, and then said, “Man, I wish I were as naturally funny as you.”

“Natural, hell,” Steinthal answered shaking his head. “My old man bred it into me. Nothing natural about that.”

Maugham looked at his friend quizzically.

“Seems like to me,” Maugham said almost reprovingly. “That there is everything natural about that.”

Steinthal looked at his friend as if considering what he had said.

“Yeah, you got a point I guess,” Steinthal replied. “But you’d just have to know my old man. He bred funny.”

from The Detective Steinthal

AND THEN THEY ATE

AND THEN THEY ATE…

“You know what I’ve always loved most about you?” she said reaching for his hand across the table. “You never judged me. You always just accepted me as I am.”

He accepted her hand, and held it gently but shook his head dubiously.

“No, my dear,” he said flatly. “You are entirely wrong on both accounts, and could not be further from the actual truth.”

She withdrew her hand in surprise, a deepening frown creasing her puzzled brow.

“What do you mean?” she said nervously.

“I mean I judged you constantly,” Steinthal said. “I still do. That is what I do. I watch people. I study people. I come to understand a person, and then I judge them. In a brutally honest fashion. I judge everyone this way, including myself. You are certainly no exception to the rule. As a matter of fact there are no exceptions to the rule.”

“Oh,” she said hollowly.

He looked at her intently, staring relentlessly into her face for a moment, and then continued.

“I am no modern man,” he said, as if reading the barometric pressure on a gauge before a storm. “I do not believe in the ‘man without judgment.’ The man without judgment is simply another term for an absolute fool. I am no fool my dear, and when it comes to judgment I attempt to do something far braver and much more vital than avoid judging people, I seek to judge them accurately and in truth.”

She looked down at her plate as if suddenly uncomfortable, or in shame. There was a long pause while she tried to think of what to say. Not knowing how to respond she whispered out loud and to herself,

“What must you think of me then?”

He nodded slightly, though she did not see it. He waited a moment to see if she would say anything else or look up but she did not.

“Since you asked I will tell you precisely what I think of you and how I have judged you,” Steinthal replied, accepting her unintended cue. “I adjudged you in this way. I never accepted you as ‘you were,’ and I will not in the future. Furthermore I judged you not for what you were, but for what I fully suspected you could be. I did not take you for how you appeared, but for how it appeared to me that you could be, if you ever decided you would. And as far as I can see, you did. And did rather well at it. Does that really surprise you?”

She looked up again and stared at Steinthal, but whether more in shock or gratitude neither was certain.

This time he offered his hand across the table.

“I like to think of myself as a very good judge of character,” he told her. “And of potential. I would not waste my time or effort with or upon anyone who did not demonstrate an aptitude for both. So, do not prove me wrong and I shall not have to judge you otherwise. And that will be more than enough for me, assuming it is enough for you.”

She looked into his eyes and could find no hint of guile, or of misdirection. He seemed perfectly sincere. And it occurred to her, maybe for the very first time, just how perfectly sincere he usually was.

She reached back across the table, took his hand, smiled, and said softly, “I think I love you.”

He gently squeezed her hand in reply.

“I am aware of that,” he said.

She kept smiling but sighed with a deep resignation.

“Though you truly can be something of a real bastard.”

“I am aware of that as well,” he said, smiling in return.

Then he dropped her hand and took up his fork. He pointed it at her.

“But how bout we eat now and save the romance for later? After all we have the entire evening, and this meal is hardly the limit of my current ambitions.”

She laughed and took up her own fork.

And then they ate.

from The Detective Steinthal

________________________________

Note: this was not the scene I had intended to write tonight, but my router blew out and that delayed me working on the other scene and since this one seemed to flow kinda nicely I just worked it instead.

THE SECRET ACCORD

My opinion is this. A man’s true Word-Hoard isn’t just what he knows, for not all coins are of the same weight and measure. Rather his true Word-Hoard is what his treasures will buy and sell, and often and uppermost, in secret…

 

THE SECRET ACCORD

I dug a Word Hoard
Connate and wide
To bury the Wealth
That often abides
When the Weal and the Wisdom
That cannot be spread
By exchange in the markets
Still dwells, it is said,
In the bed of Procrustes
Asleep for awhile
In dreams made of amber
For this mind of exile
Has mastered the tongue
Of the treasures beneath
Subterranean efforts
In caverns replete
The facade of the fashion
A looking-glass hall
Where the hordes
Glom the gilt-work
And the herd is a-stall
There’s an ark, and an archway
A cup dipped in brass
For written upon it
Inscribed is a task
In proesy a notion
An omen you say
That word is prophetic
Indemic, assay
What you will
Of what cannot be termed
For the fire is sire
As the Worm of it turns
Broken and paltry
Forgotten and lost
The Latin beneath us
The Greek at all cost
The Wales of the Harlech
The Angles at Wrox
Gold-banded the cold Danes
With the Norsemen at bay
All did they answer
More did they say
Of the Word-Hoard we carry
When tarry we will
At the heart-spring
Of language
That flows from us still
Neath that Selenic moot
When nothing may be
‘Cept the terms that you loot
When demanding you seek
To be understood
In the things that you know
When the other is clever
Ingenious and bold
Having bled in his efforts
To get a Word-Hoard
He can share with his brothers
With a secret accord.

THE DARK

I’M NOT A LOSER, BUT I DO KNOW THE DARK

You know, it’s funny. I never actually feel like a “loser.” I have absolute confidence in my own capabilities and talents. No worries for me there. Never have been. I don’t face personal doubts about myself. I have limits, I know them well. I have many extraordinary abilities. I know that too and precisely what they are. I also understand that usually my extraordinary abilities far outweigh my limitations.

On the other hand I do often feel like the Batman sitting atop a gargoyle 60 stories up in the pouring rain on a cold, moonless, pitch black night completely unnoticed and scanning the city for some sign of life. Which is exactly the way it is supposed to work when you’re the Batman.

When you’re a writer though… well, the dark is not your friend.

It’s Normal to Feel Like a Loser

by Michelle Griep

So you’re writing a novel, la-de-dah. Typing away like a rock star. Day after day after day.

After day.

And then, out of nowhere, whap! A horrific thought slaps you upside the head, yanking you out of the story and paralyzing you so that your daily word count takes a serious nosedive. Suddenly you wonder if you’re an author, that maybe all the things you write are just slobbery bits of drivel bubbling out of you. Panic sets in. Perhaps you’re not a for-real writer. Maybe you’re an impostor. A poser. An orangutan mimicking kissy noises in front of a mirror. Or worse — maybe the zombie apocalypse really did happen and you’re nothing but a body operating on rote memory because shoot, if you read what you’ve written, those words certainly look like a person with no brain wrote them.

Or maybe you’re just a loser.

Never fear, little writer. I’m here to tell you that you’re not a loser. You’re normal. Every writer hits this point at some time in every single manuscript they write — and sometimes more than once. Hating your writing and feeling like pond scum is par for the course. Why?

Because creation is the process of making something out of nothing, and that something takes blood, sweat, and tears to mold into a beautiful masterpiece.

Think about this . . . Babies don’t pop out of their mothers all smiley faced and swaddled in fluffy rubber ducky blankies. They come out screaming and howling, all mucked up with oobie-goobies and require a good cleaning and lots of love. You don’t think that mom had second doubts during the heat of labor? She’d have packed up and gone home at that point if she could.

That’s how it works for your story, too. Don’t pack it up. Press on through the birth pains. Push out that ugly story so that it can be cleaned off and wrapped up into a beautiful book cover.

The only way out is through, folks, no matter how you feel. Take your hand off your forehead (yes, I see that big “L” you’re making with your forefinger and thumb) and get those fingers on your keyboard instead.

KNAVES AND FOOLS

KNAVES AND FOOLS, BOYS AND WIZARDS

Suddenly Alternaeus looked up to see the boy standing beside him. How long the boy may have stood there patiently waiting for him to finish or may have attempted to summon him from his numinous labors he knew not.

He looked back down at the grael. The roiling and lotic liquid was lentic and smooth again, untroubled and clear. Not a shadow lingered, not a ripple disturbed the surface or the depths. It was as if the grael were one more and without any apparent transition a spotless and terrene lens by which to view our naïve and evident world. Or at least some sort of polished glass to see blemishless to the bottom of the Black Sea. From whose distant waters Alternaeus had filled the grael.

“What is it boy?” Alternaeus asked.


“You are summoned sir.”

“By whom, to where, and for what possible reason?”

“I know not the reason sir, I am but a boy,” he said. “But it is by the lord Drew and by master Iter, and to the main hall and hearth. They wish to converse with you, I think.”

“I see,” Alternaeus answered. He rose stiffly. How long had he sat hunched over the bowl this time he wondered?

The boy stepped back with that certain kind of awe reserved for children in the presence of people they considered dangerous or miraculous in some way.

“Did I disturb you sir?” he asked Alternaeus with unfeigned reverence.

“What?” the Wizard asked. Then realizing the boy’s intent he smiled sympathetically and said, “No more so than usual.”

“What I mean is sir, were you able to finish? I waited as long as I dared to signal you as I feared you might be deep in some vital craft I cannot understand,” the boy said in a hushed tone. “But my masters demanded you come quickly.”

Alternaeus placed his hand lightly upon the boy’s shoulder.

“You did well lad. However you reacted. Though I was merely in my private communions. Nothing more. I will come with you shortly. I need merely drain this grael and wash my face and hands. Wait for me at the door.”

“Yes sir,” the boy said, but he did not move.

Alternaeus noticed his non-compliance and motioned for the boy to speak again.

The boy hesitated but then pointed at the grael.

“Is your cup enchanted? Or is this more a cauldron for mixing poisons and curses?”

Alternaeus almost laughed.

“I mix medicines, not poisons. And that requires a mortar, not a cup. Also I never curse anyone or anything. Well, only once have I ever done so. And that ended very badly. This then is neither a Warlock’s cauldron nor a Wizard’s cup. This is but my grael.”

“The Lord’s Grail!” the boy said too loudly and in shock.

“Lower your voice boy, and no, not the Lord’s Grail,” Alternaeus answered firmly. “Though I would certainly pay all I have or know to but discover and examine it for a short time. No, this is but a far less impressive thing. This is my Grael of Spirits.”

The boy considered the meaning of the answer.

“Do you then call up and speak with the dead sir?” the boy whispered, conscious of his manners this time, but still awed. “That seems very impressive to me.”

“Perhaps to you it might.” Alternaeus said. “But, no, you err again, but only from inexperience. I do not call up and speak with the dead, or with any spirits. I am forbidden to converse with or to seek the counsel of the dead or of any spirit not of this world. I merely watch them, and mark their habits, and from time to time see what I may learn by my observations.”

The boy nodded slightly, then continued with his inquiry.

“My mother, sir, says that those who practice traffick with the dead are damned and should be avoided at all times. For the good of my soul. Should I therefore avoid you?”

“Your mother is wise,” Alternaeus answered. “It is a hard enough thing and a complicated enough thing just to try to understand the living and those who inhabit this world. One should not place too much emphasis on the actions of those in other worlds. Their behaviors and motivations are indeed very hard to read, their worlds are yet alien to us, and we can know little of their true intent.”

The boy was quiet and pensive for a moment.

“You are a very strange Wizard sir,” he said after a while.

Alternaeus laughed.

“You think so? Then help me boy to drain this grael and to return these waters to their proper vessels. Your masters await us and my strange assistance.”

“Yes lord,” the boy said with a slight bow.

“And never call me lord. I am no man’s lord, and have no desire to be,” Alternaeus insisted.

“Yes sir,” the boy replied. “But I am not a man,” he then protested as an afterthought.

“You come much closer than many men I have known for far longer.”

“Yes, lor… yes sir.”

Alternaeus pointed out the vessels for storing the waters and when the boy had fetched them they set about their task. Then, after completing their work the boy walked to the door and Alternaeus ritually cleaned his hands and face in a small pewter basin.

“There,” he said. “Let us now see what lord Drew and master Iter require of me. Then, after that is concluded, you will return to this chamber and explain to me how and why you know such much for a mere serving boy, and how your language has flourished so being as you are so often surrounded by knaves and fools.”

“Yes, sir,” the boy answered doubtfully. “But if I do will you promise not to hex me?”

“Oh, I may do far worse than that,” Alternaeus said craftily.

“Sir?” asked the boy, his eyes widening in surprise.

“I may very well apprentice you…”

from The Wizard and the Wyrdpack

Note to my Readers: Recently I have been moving between my main novel, this novel, my detective novel, and writing short stories. So I’ve been posting here some of my work as I have been creating it. Just been in one of those moods.

Hope you have been enjoying it.

And have a good weekend folks…

IS THERE NOTHING ELSE?

IS THERE NOTHING ELSE?              

“You look very young to be a Wizard I should say,” she replied confidently, and yet quite demurely.

“Yes, well,” Alternaeus said, staring at her searchingly for a moment. “I’ve never been as young as I look my dear. Or as young as I desired to be. But some things are not within our mortal sphere of action, choice, or circumstance. Though once, long ago it now seems, I was almost young enough to wish to remain happy for a while. But, as with most things, Fortune did not favor me.

I suppose, now that you have made me reconsider my unlikely fate, that my lifelong argument with Fortune is perhaps the chief reason I became as you see me now.”

“Sir?” she asked. “Mayhaps I do not fully comprehend. You seem to me the very most fortunate of all men. Kings consult thee, lords fear thee, wise men seek thy company, men of war avoid vexing you, high and low churchman both look upon you with some measure of real wonder, women seek thy weird but alluring charms, and I have even heard that demons and many other forms of diverse spirits bow before thee and thy power.”

He placed the instrument he held back upon the table very carefully, as if he exaggerated in his own mind some memory of it, and then turned his attention solely to her once more.

“Indeed, my lady. If only men were what was said of them then our reputations would be our lives. And our portion in life. But we do not so easily gainsay Good Fortune, or Evil Fortune, or our unsleeping and jealous God.”

She smoothed the folds of her gown, moved closer to him, touched his hand and looked studiously into his face.

“Are you indeed only a man, sir Wizard?” she asked him questioningly.

He sighed. Deeply.

“I am, in both nature and in deed, only a man, my good lady,” he answered sincerely.

“Is there then nothing else?” she inquired.

“Indeed,” he whispered wistfully. “Is there nothing else?”

Alternaeus the Wizard and the lady Cynewise

from the Wizard and the Wyrdpack

https://www.artmajeur.com/en/art-gallery/amelni/258892/663-jpg/7539862

YOU CAN NEVER GET TOO MUCH PRACTICE

YOU CAN NEVER GET TOO MUCH PRACTICE

“Maugham, do you remember that time a few years back when I drew my revolver on you and shot you in the face with a blank round?”

“Hell yes I do,” said Maugham. “Scared the shit out of me. I thought you were really going to shoot me.”

“I did shoot you, you idiot. Just not with a bullet. But tell me, what lesson did you draw from that?”

Maugham looked at his friend, then squinted.

“Never assume I guess,” he answered.

“Then you drew the wrong lesson. The real lesson was ‘always assume.’ That the other person is dangerous. Cause they are.” Steinthal countered.

Maugham looked thoughtful for a moment.

“What are you saying then?”

“I’m saying that just because she is pretty and sexy, and nice, and smells good, is fine in bed and is maybe even sincere doesn’t mean she won’t shoot you in the face. If she needs or wants to. As a matter of fact maybe she already has and you’ve been too busy or too stupid to notice.”

Maugham looked thoughtful again. That’s twice in one day Steinthal thought. Hat trick coming?

“Yeah, I guess love will do that to you,” Maugham finally conceded.

“Or being pussy-whipped by the wrong woman,” Steinthal said. “Or, even the right one. Take it from a man who knows.”

Maugham nodded as if he agreed, at least in theory. After a moment or two of silence though he turned sinister to look straight at his friend.

“By the way. I never asked you Steinthal. Why did you shoot me in the face with that blank?”

“Because someone else tried it on me.”

“They shot you in the face with a blank,” Maugham asked, kind of surprised.

“Not exactly,” Steinthal said. “They tried to shoot me in the face with a live round. Luckily they missed.”

“Was it a lady?” Maugham asked.

“Hard to say,” Steinthal replied. “You never really know about that kind of thing nowadays, do ya?”

Maugham laughed.

“So then, you were trying to forewarn me?”

Steinthal smiled broadly. Then he clapped his friend on the shoulder.

“Maybe. That, or I just needed the practice. You can never get too much practice shooting someone in the face.”

“Yeah,” said Maugham kind of wistfully. “I’ve had the same thought myself once or twice.”

Steinthal smiled again. But this time he kept it to himself.

from The Detective Steinthal

MUCHA NOTHING

MUCHA NOTHING…

“A man ain’t much without his tomorrow. But he’s absolutely nothing without his yesterdays.”

Sole Patterson, The Lettered Men

I HAVE NOTED

I HAVE NOTED

That, generally speaking, when I am happy and full (of life, love, the future) that I use very simple and physical words. Sun, soil, blood, bone, terms like that. Vague and fuzzy words, but words well known to all and understood by all.

When I am curious, or fascinated, and stimulated in mind or soul then I use very complicated and extremely precise words.

But when I am melancholy and pensive, or brooding, or sick of something I use very antique and ancient words. And/or words with multiple meanings or encoded words. Words, and terms, and phrases I know that others are not usually aware of or will have to wrestle with or discover for themselves. Or such things (terms, phrases) as I devise myself. As if I am engaged in a sort of literary and psychological or spiritual cryptological enterprise.

This is mainly sub-conscious, and by long habit. I am rarely intentionally attempting it in the act but always am vaguely aware of it as it unfolds and can easily see it afterwards.

But I often wonder…

Does this happen to you as well? Or something like it?

Do you have a different vocabulary for different states or moods, as well as for different genres or subject matters?

It would be interesting for me to know if this happens to or with others as well…

 

THE CHRISTIAN WIZARD

THE CHRISTIAN WIZARD

I now have about 75 pages typed of the Christian Wizard with about half that raw text and the other half notes for section and chapter development. But I have much more done on it already.

Just in hand manuscript form.

THE STHENICIST

THE STHENICIST

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now. I’ve started a new sci-fi story I’ve entitled The Sthencist. It will take place in the future and for about 2/3rds of the way through it will seem like an interesting (but not a spectacular) Mundane Science Fiction story.

Then it will take a really hard turn…

GOOD NIGHT LADIES…

GOOD NIGHT LADIES…

“Oh, I understand you completely madam, but, perhaps not in the way you presume I do. You see the thing that may disturb me the most, it certainly repulses me the most, about you supposedly ‘civilized people‘ is that you are always unfailingly polite, and extremely well-mannered, and pretentiously and profusely diplomatic. Your high ideals are on constant display for all to hear, and although I rarely see them or detect them in actual action, I must say they get a whole lot of airplay on rebroadcast.

On the other hand the pointless wrongs you people encourage, the self-absorbed misdeeds you recklessly commit, and the evils you so callously allow strike me as rather atrocious. Just. Fucking. Atrocious.”

Suddenly her serving man snorted. Or scoffed. It was difficult to say which but otherwise he remained unmoving and at attention. Steinthal carried on as if he had failed to notice.

“So please excuse me if I decline any further excuse to endure your company. I suddenly feel the need to take a hard, dirty shit. And probably a long shower.

Good night my dear. Good night ladies.

Let’s not do this again, real soon.”

Steinthal placed his untouched whiskey glass back upon the silver serving plate, tapped the phone in his trouser pockets, then turned and walked for the door.

Just before reaching it he turned again and bowed graciously.

“My apologies. That was rude and somewhat misleading. I’ve reconsidered. Let’s not do this again – ever.”

Then he left.

The Detective Steinthal

WHY WOULD HE?

WHY WOULD HE?

“I should think the answer would be self-evident, even to you. Why would I wish to have adventures only in my mind when I should have them with my body and soul as well? In his own mind a man is always but an unchallenged and untested king upon an imaginary golden throne of plenty. But to thrive in the world about him he must be something far greater, far more cunning, more dangerous, and far more wise – a Wizard of Many Things.”

Alternaeus the Wizard

(from The Wizard and the Wyrdpack)