Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Speaking Engagement From You Know Where

This is a true story of the worst public speaking experience I have ever had. Now I speak in public a LOT, but this experience was truly awful.

From an old blog dated June 17th, 2009

Well, I spoke this morning at a local summer writing workshop run by a local library. Twelve young writer wanna-be’s were present and all in all, it was one strange experience.

First, let me say the therapeutic mascot animals that were present at the workshop were awesome. The cat was a Maine Coon and one of the most incredible examples of felinity I have ever had the delight to meet. The dogs were a purebred collie, a purebred basset hound, and a border collie mix.

However, when I was introduced as a member of the clergy and nothing else was said about me, I knew I was already dead meat on a stick. When you are in a profession that is below an Al Qaeda terrorist on the social scale and when the 12 children and 6 adults are only told that a preacher is going to talk to them, you already have an uphill battle.

I had already been reduced to 20 minutes to speak and the cat sat in a basket right in front of me. I told everybody how beautiful I thought the cat was and then was publicly chided by the group leader for not looking at the cat correctly. Evidently, I was staring at it too wide-eyed and so the first few moments of my presentation I was made to practice slowly blinking at the cat to convince it I was its friend.

It went w-a-y downhill after that.

I had index cards distributed to teach a writing technique that I use.

I was interrupted to be told that it was a writing “strategy.”

I smiled and continued.

Then I was told that the kids really did not need the index cards, but even the leader had second thoughts in mid-stream as somehow I was actually the invited guest (and speaking for free), so the kids were made to recopy everything on the index cards into their note books which ate up a lot of time.

I smiled and continued.

After that the next 20 minutes were my saying something and then the leader interrupting me and clarifying my position or “correcting” my errors. In one instance, I was rebuked in front of everybody for telling the children what “first-person” meant instead of asking them.

I smiled and continued.

It was a truly amazing experience of public humiliation.

The 20 minute presentation grew to 30 because I was committed to teaching the children something, of which I actually spoke maybe about 18 minutes.

When I was done, I thanked the children for their attention, praised the therapeutic animal program, encouraged them to think of the library as their second home, not become discouraged by rejection, that all good writers are also readers, and I was then escorted to the front door which was locked behind me.

All in all, it was an odd experience.

But I did get to pet a beautiful Maine Coon.

When Cooking With Brandy ...

I'm going through a very old blog that has been pulled from public display in the Internet and finding old posts that are many years old.

I can't believe this, but I created a post with the following quote:
When cooking with brandy,  its presence should be hinted at, like the chaste, shy embrace of a very young girl. There are times when its presence may be more like a stolen kiss from a 16-year-old lass on her first moonlight walk.
But if its presence reminds you of your 500-pound Aunt Tillie's slobbering, cheek-pinching assaults, you have certainly used too much.
I do not remember writing that entry.

I think that many, many years ago, I must have been awesome.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I Make a Lousy Stalker

(My explanation: Years ago on an old blog, I confess I was somewhat of a fanboy... (oh, who am I kidding...I still am) for a very lovely lady and talented artist and let's just say my accolades drew some good-natured jibes from others that I was stalking her. Well, I'm a rather silly person so i started making up stories of stalking the object of my gushing praises (WHICH SHE STILL DESERVES!) and I ended it all with this little piece. Enjoy. Or not. To protect her privacy, I have changed her name to Molly Ladanyi, a more popular literary character of my own invention.)

Today I was at the Gettysburg Walmart pricing new glasses that I desperately need when my jaw suddenly dropped and bounced off the floor. Just three aisles down, I could see Molly Ladanyi browsing the electrical widget section.

I could not believe my luck! Two years of fruitless stalking and there she was! Right in front of me! I dove into a nearby duct tape bin (advertised as "For Eyeglass Repair") and peeked out at her for a good five minutes before she moved on.

Ignoring the five-year old who started screaming when I popped back out of the bin, I chased my very elusive quarry into the lingerie section where I found her browsing the aisle. With an evil snicker, I hid among the frilly things and waited for her to move on. You can imagine my surprise when she actually started moving closer and you can imagine my chagrin when she parted the petticoats and crinolines to find me grinning stupidly back at her.

This is where I realized I had made a very serious mistake due to my seriously out-of-date eyeglass prescription.

I have met Molly Ladanyi once and I can affirm she is a very lovely lady. Her husband is one very lucky fellow.

However, this woman was not Molly Ladanyi. Unless she has suddenly tattooed her face with little skulls and daggers and developed a one inch overbite. And grown a mustache. And filed her teeth into points.

"Hi!" I said trying to hide behind a mountainous brassiere.

This is where I made the fascinating discovery that due to my myopia I had not only foolishly mistaken a complete stranger for Molly Ladanyi, I had also inadvertently stalked a Kung Fu master.

In an attempt to diffuse the situation with some casual banter, when she assumed a very elaborate martial arts stance, I nonchalantly stated, "Oh, that's the famous 'Holy Tiger Guts The Gazelle' position."

"Correct," she said, and proceeded to do so.

"And this is the 'White Crane Moons the Rising Sun," she said again and I lost all feeling to my extremities.

Ignoring my screams for mercy she then said, "And this is 'Constipated Temple Monkey Finds Relief'."

The prison hospital is very comfy though the serial killer in the bed next to me is looking at me rather strange. I should be out in a month or so, but I sadly have to say that I have given up stalking Molly Ladanyi. She is still a wonderful human being and an amazing artist, but as she lives thousands of miles away from me, stalking her in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania seems to be an exercise in futility.

My Carcosa Bible

For those of you who are not fans of H. P. Lovecraft, the Old Gentleman of Providence and his related Cthulhu Mythos, this post will be nothing but boring and confusing and it is safe to move on.

The Carcosa Cycle (aka The Hastur Cycle) is a series of stories that range from the sublime (The Yellow Sign, by Robert W. Chambers) to the unspeakably absurd (The River of Night's Dreaming, by Karl Edward Wagner). The stories, as is befitting myth, are inconsistent and contradictory. However, the cycle appeals to me to the point I have written one Lovecraftian pastiche (The Mirror From Carcosa) and in the story co-written with Ken Pick and published in Twilight Times Press' anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God, I have Father Eric Heidler scouring the universe for the Carcosa Artifacts.

What follows is my interpretation of the Carcosa Cycle and, rest assured, there is many an author who will rabidly disagree with my interpretation. I borrow heavily from Chambers, James Blish, and (I say with deep shame) Lin Carter. Feel free to mock, laugh, point fingers, and disagree.

My Carcosa Bible

General Setting

Our setting takes place on an anonymous planet (sometimes erroneously called Carcosa) circling around an anonymous star in the Hyades Cluster. In the geographical area where my stories take place, a large lake (the lake of Hali) about as large as Lake Superior has served as a prison for one of the beings known as The Great Old Ones, ancient evil beings of immense power. This demon-god's true name is not known and later inhabitants of the lake shore will refer to it as The Unspeakable or He Who is Not to be Named. Eventually, this being will take on the name of the city that arises on the lake shore: Hastur. I will refer to this being as Hastur for the rest of this essay.

The lake appears to be more of a crater and as far as the eye can see the lake is bordered by high basalt cliffs. Every night, after the setting of the twin suns, the crater is filled with a large fog that undulates like the waves beneath it. Illuminated by the over-sized moon, the site of the cloud waves breaking upon the basalt cliffs is a memorable one.

Hastur the Unspeakable

Hastur the Unspeakable has slept under the waters for countless kalpas of time and the legends say it will arise "when the stars are right." As to why it is there, there are two conflicting stories. The first is that it is imprisoned because of its rebellion against the Outer Gods and along with the rest of the Great Old Ones is sealed in a prison in a state of stasis, unable to directly interact with the universe except through the dreams of humanity. Other Great Old Ones are Cthulhu who sleeps on Earth in the sunken city of R'lyeh, Ithaqua the Windwalker, confined to earth's polar regions (but, oddly enough, very much awake, Chaugnar Faugn (location unknown), and many, many others.

The second theory is that there is no captivity, no greater Outer Gods, but simply that the Great Old Ones have gone into willful somnolence to wait for the time they will arise and rule the cosmos as they did in eons long ago.

I opt for the former explanation in a nod to the cosmology of mythos writer, August Derleth.

The Coming of Humans

At some time in the distant past, humans from Earth found themselves on the shore of the lake where Hastur lies imprisoned, How they got there is a complete mystery, but it is evident that they are human and in their transition from Earth they were thrown far back in time, probably by one or two billion years. Snatched from all over Earth from its various epochs, the majority of humans originally came from North Africa. The result after millennia is a genetic mixture of predominantly Egyptian, Libyan, Tunisian, and Moroccan races with a fair smattering of other genetic stocks from around the world.

Somehow, either because they were physically changed in the transition or because the planet had a dramatic impact on their biology, humans here live to be at least seventy million years old and the birth of children is a very, very rare event.

The Building of the Cities

Eventually, the humans built a city on the lake that came to be known as The Lake of Hali, named after a prophet that rose from their ranks. Through his dreams, Hali the Prophet was able to tell them about the horror that dwelt at the bottom of the lake. This city was named Hastur for unknown reasons. After the appearance of the daemon-haunted city of Carcosa that appears nightly either on the waters of the lake of Hali or on the far shore, a king arose named King Aldones. With his queen, Cassilda, Aldones sired two sons and a daughter, respectively Uoht, Thale, and Camilla.

Eventually, a rift occurred between the king and queen and Aldones went into exile taking many of the residents of Hastur with him. Aldones settled many miles away along the shore of a much smaller lake named Dehme and built a new city, Alar.

The cities grudgingly became involved in a type of Cold War, conflict without open war, but lots of threats and saber-rattling.

The Appearance of Carcosa

During the time of the Prophet Hali and just before the coronation of Aldones, a marvel appeared on the lake. A bright and shining city with soaring towers appeared with four singularities:
  1. that it appeared overnight,
  2. that no one could tell whether it sat upon the waters of Lake Hali or beyond them on the unseen farther shore,
  3. that the rising moon appeared to be in front of the city's towers rather than behind them,
  4. and that one knew immediately the city's name to be Carcosa the moment one looked upon it.
Cassilda wrote a song about Carcosa:
Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.
—"Cassilda's Song" in The King in Yellow Act 1, Scene 2
There is a fifth singularity, but it concerns the city's sole inhabitant and not Carcosa itself.

The King in Yellow and the Yellow Sign

It is said Carcosa's king is known only as The King in Yellow and is a fantastic, demonic creature: "He is described as a hunched figure clad in tattered, yellow rags, who wears a smooth and featureless 'Pallid Mask.' Removing the mask is a sanity-shattering experience ..."

During Aldones' reign, before his rift with Cassilda, Aldones bragged that one day his city of Hastur would be as famous as Carcosa. That night, the King in Yellow sent the upstart Aldones the Yellow Sign.

The Yellow Sign is described as a glyph in no known human tongue, a brilliant yellow against a backdrop of black onyx. It is suggested that "anyone who possesses, even by accident, a copy of the sign is susceptible to some form of insidious mind control, or possession, by the King in Yellow or one of his heirs."

Also, to be sent the Yellow Sign means that the King in Yellow sends his messenger to retrieve it, a rotting corpse referred to as the Phantom of Truth (though the Phantom of Truth may be the King in Yellow himself). Most times the encounter is fatal.

The Identity of the King in Yellow

The bottom line is that the King in Yellow is actually the dream avatar of the demiurge, Hastur and here we mention the fifth singularity: that Carcosa is a place of exile for the King in Yellow as he used to reign in Aldeberan.

So Hastur's body sleeps imprisoned under the lake of Hali unable to interact except through his dreams which consist of the ethereal city, Carcosa, and his avatar, the King in Yellow.

Thank heaven, Hastur sleeps. His dreams are deadly enough. Let's not think of what our life would be like if he wandered loose and awake.

The King in Yellow: The Play

In the United States in the 1890's, an unknown playwright wrote and published a two-act play entitled, The King in Yellow which told the story of Aldones, his queen, their respective cities, and their ultimate downfall at the hands (or claws) of The King in Yellow (see James Blish's short story More Light for a wonderful recreation of the play.

"Those who read the play The King in Yellow go mad and/or meet horrible ends." It is a terrible gift given to humanity and transmitted through Hastur's dreams.

As Chamber's describes it in his story:
We had been speaking for some time in a dull monotonous strain before I realized that we were discussing The King in Yellow. Oh the sin of writing such words,−−words which are clear as crystal, limpid and musical as bubbling springs, words which sparkle and glow like the poisoned diamonds of the Medicis! Oh the wickedness, the hopeless damnation of a soul who could fascinate and paralyze human creatures with such words,−−words understood by the ignorant and wise alike, words which are more precious than jewels, more soothing than music, more awful than death!
Now there's a play for Broadway!

And it is from this compilation of facts, my Carcosa stories arise.

Friday, September 25, 2015

You Think What I Write Is Odd? Try Real Life...

I do write some odd stuff. The Pig, The Pond, and other tales that I have penned are called weird fiction for a reason.

Here are some real life situations for you and are all within a few hours of my home:

Raymond "Ray" Robinson (1910 – 1985) was a severely disfigured man whose years of nighttime walks made him into a figure of urban legend in western Pennsylvania. Robinson was so badly injured in a childhood electrical accident that he would not go out in public, so he went for long walks at night scaring people who came across him. Nicknamed The Green Man, after his death he became an urban legend that haunts the Morado Bridge, outside of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. You can read his story here, but be aware that a picture of his face may be disturbing to some.

Artist Unknown
The snallygaster is a mythical dragon-like beast said to inhabit the hills surrounding Washington, D.C. and Frederick County, Maryland which is just south of my home. German immigrants in the 18th century settled the land there claimed the encountered the creature several times. Wikipedia describes it as such:

The Snallygaster was described as half-reptile, half-bird with a metallic beak lined with razor-sharp teeth, occasionally with octopus-like tentacles. It swoops silently from the sky to pick up and carry off its victims. You can read more about the critter and its enemy, the Dewayo, here.

The Mount Everest of haunted houses is close to my home and for the sake of privacy, I will not be revealing its location.

An old stone farm house built in the late 1700s its exterior walls are composed of large blocks of stone stained red by the amount of iron ore embedded in the rock. As the iron is slightly magnetic, the entire house is encased in a large magnetic field. The most common phenomenon that is experienced are known as time slips, the most dramatic as related to me by the individual who experienced it:
"When I was a young boy I was eating breakfast alone at the kitchen table when I happened to look out the kitchen window at the barn that was across the wide driveway.

"There I saw several men loading hay onto a horse-drawn wagon. However, the barn had not been used in years. There was no hay in the building and we did not own any horse-drawn wagons. On top of that, all the men were dressed in very old fashioned clothes.

"I got up and went to the kitchen door, but when I opened it, there was nothing there but the barn. When I returned to my seat, the view outside the window was back to normal."
I asked him what he thinks would have happened if, instead of going to the kitchen door, he had gone to the window and crawled outside instead. He had no answer.

Interestingly, the house and 39 acres of farmland are for sale, but only if you have $399,000.

I wrote about the Black Andes in Dark Dreams And Darker Visions, my collection of dark fantasy, but what you might not know is the the Black Andes were an actual location on the South Mountain range. Here's a description of the place from my short story, Through the Black Andes. This part is true:
However, not too far from Big Flat on another natural plateau stood an ancient stand of white pine trees that had grown so intimate with each other that the soft, floor of the forest lay swaddled in perpetual night.
The name Black Andes was first given to this primordial stand of pine and from its first discovery, hunters and charcoal makers made every excuse to avoid the area. Birds never called out or sang there. Game avoided the area.
On cool autumn nights, the men of Big Flat would let their dogs run loose to harass the local wildlife. As they told tales and drank bootleg whiskey around a fire, they would listen to the baying of their hounds. Each hunting dog had its distinct voice and they would listen to the baying of the hounds content to follow the chase from the intensity of the cries and the direction from which they came. Occasionally, the hounds would tree a cougar, bear, or raccoon and—if the spirit moved—the men would leave the fellowship and warmth of the fire for meat and fur.
However, the hunters quickly learned to steer their nightly activities well away from the Black Andes. Any hound foolish enough to pursue game into the sanctity of the pines would simply never return. And no hunter ever found the bravery to plunge into the eternal darkness of the stand to discover the fate of their animal.



If you live in the United States, you can buy the paperback here and the ebook version here. If you do not live in the United States, your country's Amazon also carries them and are easily found with a search.


Monday, September 14, 2015

March of 2007 Was One Weird Month

People wonder where I get my odd ideas for storytelling.

It's called life.

These two entries were published in an old blog in March of 2007:

Mar. 12th, 2007


This morning my son answered the door to find a man who gave him a piece of paper, telling him "Pastor Loewen will know what this is."

I don't. Any guesses? It looks like Hebrew.

Though highly unlikely, if I ever get to the point where I can actually earn a living from writing, I am going to boobytrap my house and surround it with signs asking visitors if they can outrun guard dogs and bullets.



Addendum: Fortunately, two Jewish scholars who read my blog identified the writing as Hebrew, written incorrectly and accidentally scanned by me upside-down.

Specifically, it's the Aaronic benediction, except it's written wrong. Hebrew should go from right to left, top to bottom, and this goes from right to left, bottom to top. It says, "May Yahweh bless you and protect you. May Yahweh make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May Yahweh turn His face to you and give you peace."

To this day, the person who gave this to my son has never been identified.


I do not like mysteries. They disturb the placidity I strongly desire in my life.

On Monday in the late afternoon I walked into the living room and saw a figure on the other side of my curtained front door standing on the porch. The silhouette was very evident, a tall individual standing a little off center. Head, shoulders, and upper torso clearly visible.

Just as I registered there was somebody on my porch, the figure moved rapidly to my right (illogical as the porch's only entrance steps would have been behind the figure and moving to the right just goes a few feet to a porch swing and a elevated porch wall some five feet off the ground).

Thinking one of my boys had become stuck outside (after five years of living in Baltimore, I always lock my doors), I speedily opened the door to discover nobody there. I quickly walked around the house.

Nothing.

All three of my sons were inside, none having gone outside and none as tall as the figure I saw. Nobody had the time to do a swan dive off the eastern side of the porch (onto a gravel driveway), especially with the speed at which I opened the door.

I've stood in front of the curtain several times since then watching the curtain and there was no way I saw the silhouette of a vehicle of any type traveling on the road that fronts my house.

It was a person I saw and contrary to popular opinion, I am not losing my mind.

First, it's some guy passing me Hebrew epigrams and now it's shadowy figures on my front porch.

I'm not afraid or nervous or anything. Over the years I have lost my apprehension for the weird and now I'm only mildly intrigued at best or mildly annoyed at worst. And like Cain McBree, my narrator in the short story The Pig, I'm not above facing down the natural or the supernatural with a lead pipe.

Preacher Noir

"Hmmm. Why can't there be preacher-noir?" he asked.

So thinking there might be a market for the local country preacher portrayed in the same vein as a hard-bitten detective ala Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler, I decided to give it a go.
Every town has its secrets and only the local preacher knows them all. My name is Rev. Boxer. I wear a clerical collar.
or
It was a day as gray as the hair on a church granny, rain staining the sidewalks like Sunday School kids unleashed on the nursery walls with those slate gray Crayolas. She came into the office, and she was no granny. Her eyes were red from crying. "Pastor!" she said, "I don't like the color of the church carpets!"
or
They don't pay me enough for this job. I keep a bottle hidden in my desk. A bottle of Malox.

Nah. On second thought, I'll stick to writing fantasy. ;-)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Paranormal Romance? Let Me Give It A Shot. Oh, Man, I'VE OFFENDED MYSELF!

Of all the literary genres out there, the one I loath the most is what is known as "paranormal romance," Mary Sue-type stories about women, human or otherwise, making it with other types of creatures, human or otherwise.

It's dreck, no matter how you serve it up; porn for the housebound heart and not a trace of real romance in the whole story line.

Many years ago on a list for Christian writers, I made a humorous post about the genre, but one of the members got her knickers all up in a knot and called me on the carpet for it. She recommended I read two other paranormal romance books that evidently were the cream of the crop and so I dutifully looked them up and read some excerpts.

Literary ipecac ....

But who am I to judge? Paranormal romance certainly has an audience out there or they couldn't sell it by the manure shovel loads, so let me try my hand at some.

Warning. This stuff below is sheer dreck. I found it painfully easy to write, but if you continue, I don't want to hear complaints about its tastelessness. The Sinister Minister has warned you.

Full Moon Evangelism


Mary Beth Wazorski ran nimbly through the misty, moonlit woods, only allowing the whisper of her leather boots and the hem of her long skirt brushing the leaves to mark her passing.

Drops of blood glistened, spattered on the dry leaves, the spoor reflecting the moonlight for her well-trained eyes to follow.

Almost soundlessly, she leapt a small fallen tree without missing a beat. In one hand she carried a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with silver slugs and in the other a cross bow armed with special arrows whose points had been dipped in holy water.

She had been trained well.

The elders of the First Apostolic Holy Fire Church of the Thrice Baptized Remnant had brought her up making sure that Bible verses were memorized along with the names of deadly poisons and that daily prayers were accompanied by assassination techniques.

For evil was afoot and the Church just wasn't playing nicey-kissy any more.

She sensed before she saw that her prey had stopped running and in a millisecond, she burst into a clearing with the full moon pouring down its light on the waiting werewolf like divine judgment.

And it had already lunged for the attack.

Mary Beth parried a paw with the shotgun barrel, but still the claws raked her wimple and tore it away from her head releasing the glory of her hair. Bright golden locks flowed forth from their confinement, catching the moonlight and scattering a glorious nimbus about her head making her look like Eve in some primordial, pristine Eden. Each strand captured and reflected and refracted each moonbeam making the wooded clearing glow with an even greater intensity, not from the moonlight itself which appeared to dim itself in shame that it dared to compete with this greater glory, but from the hair itself or, maybe, some observer may have thought, from the pure and illuminated thrice-baptized soul of Sister Mary Beth.

And the light illuminated her eyes, making the emerald pools reflect back glory that revealed her flawless, creamy skin, flawless except for one simple beauty mark that highlighted a dimple on her right, pert, little cheek.

Somewhere, a bird sang.

But all of this happened as fast as the blink of an eye, for Mary Beth had already drawn her shotgun and the night erupted with the roar of gunpowder expanding in the confines of a barrel.

Death shot toward the blasphemy, but it had already spun aside and the bullet went wide of its mark. Without missing a beat, the night thrummed to the sound of a crossbow bolt being loosed, but again, the diabolic creature managed to turn in time.

But not in time to avoid a well placed boot to the wolfish face.

Monster or no, a well placed kick to the side of one's head traveling twenty-five miles an hour is certain to deflect the charge of even the strongest creature.

Suddenly a beam of light from the rising sun peeked over the horizon.

The werewolf dropped to the ground and begin to howl its agony as the transformation forced the beast back down into the human form it wore except when the three nights of the monthly full moon held sway.

In moments, all that was left was a man huddled and shivering in the clearing.

Mary Beth stopped in surprise and she allowed her eyes to trace the well muscled form, each sinew forming rills and hills on the man's skin she found quaintly appealing to her eye. Long dark hair, shining in the opening moments of dawn framed a perfectly chiseled face with a large, intelligent forehead, a perfect nose and chin and large eyes with long lashes that Mary Beth knew instinctively that when they opened would be a perfect hazel.

Somewhere a bird sang.

The man opened his eyes and Mary Beth smiled to herself when two hazel pools stared back at her.

Another bird joined the growing chorus.

"Are you going to kill me?" the man asked, the timbre of his voice making Mary Beth feel strange vibrations in places long dormant.

"Um ... no?" Mary Beth replied.

"Why not?"

"Well, um ... you're not a monster anymore?"

The man shook his head. "You forget the quatrain: Even a man who his pure in heart and says his prayers at night, can become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the moon is big and bright."

He knows poetry! Mary Beth thought to herself, her heart fluttering in her chest. "Well, I don't think I want to kill you just right now. Maybe tonight?"

The man shook his head again. "The last night of the full moon is over. I will not experience the curse again for another 28 days."

Mary Beth dropped the barrel of her shotgun to her side. "Oh," she squeaked.

The man smiled. "Harold," he said, "Harold Ironside. And even though you might not be killing me tonight, maybe we can discuss future prospects over dinner this evening?"

Mary Beth stared at him. "Um ... I don't date guys.

"Normally," she added hastily. "I mean ... well, that didn't sound right. I don't date anybody.

Harold cocked an eyebrow.

"Well," she continued. "my church is having a potluck supper this evening. I think you could take me to that."

"I think that can be arranged. Should I make a dish of baked beans?"

He cooks! Mary Beth thought joyously. "Yes, yes. That would be great."

Monster and monster killer stared at each other for a few moments as unspoken words transmitted themselves between the two beating hearts.

"But you don't mind that I become a monster for three nights every 28 days?" Harold asked plaintively.

He's a bad boy, Mary Beth thought, but I bet I can fix him. Mary Beth shook her head in response to Harold's question.. "Well, I guess I won't judge. I become a little bit of a beast myself every 28 days."

For a moment longer two pairs of eyes stared deeply into each other then impulsively, they rushed together for a long and passionate handshake.


- The End? -

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Look Up!


Me and the Whining Malaysian Nose Flute

Years ago when I was but a small twig, I was touring the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. when I came across a case of exotic musical instruments.

There nestled among the outre and bizarre things humanity has built to make melody was a hollow stick with some holes in it. The little card underneath it said "Whining Malaysian Nose Flute."

And for the first time in my life I fell madly, passionately in love.

Say the words out loud. Go ahead. Allow the words to roll of your tongue and marvel at the wonder and the questions that come to your mind.

What does it sound like? Why would somebody invent something like this? How do you play it when you have a head cold?

My mind rolls back the centuries and I see a nerdy looking Malaysian guy. He's sitting there and suddenly he is struck with a Eureka! moment.

I shall, he says to himself, invent a new musical instrument!

It shall be a flute! And I won't play it with my lips. Oh, no! How common! How vulgar!

I shall play this one with my nose.

And it won't be melodious. We have too many melodious flutes in this world.

Mine will whine.


And thus was born the Whining Malaysian Nose Flute.

I want one.

I want to hold one in my hands before I die and if the gods look upon me with favor I shall, first making sure it is clean, put it to my nose and bring forth whiny music into the world.

It is my dream.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Horror... The Horror...

As Jared has opted for homeschooling again this year, because the one subject is way beyond my capabilities (Chemistry) we have joined a homeschooling co-op in Hanover where somebody far, far better qualified than me can teach Jared how to make high-powered explosives in the kitchen sink. He is also taking another class and, because it is a co-op, I not only take the chemistry class with Jared, but I have to help with two others: American History and Culinary Arts.

The Culinary Arts class is a class of seven little ladies all under the age of 10 and I stand there while the teacher does her thing, but if she has to miss a class, it is my job to step up to the plate and teach it in her stead.

This terrifies me.

First, though an accomplished cook, I don’t know if I can effectively communicate the art and secondly, I view all females under the age of 21 as fabulous creatures best kept at arm’s length. Lacking sisters and daughters in my life’s experience the feminine world leaves me, at best, completely befuddled.

I fear if I had to teach a series of classes on culinary arts, the third week would go something like this:

“Good morning, ladies! In today’s class we are going to learn how to boil water.”

“But you taught us that last week!” “And the week before!”

“Ah, yes, but you see today we are going to learn how to boil water by using an intense stare. Now you will discover that it will take the entire time we have staring at the water in our cups, so please start and do so silently and don’t make any sudden moves or noises that would scare me.”

“This is silly!” “I don’t want to do this!”

“Now, now. Look at my cup. See! It’s steaming already!”

“YOU POURED YOUR WATER OUT OF A THERMOS! IT WAS ALREADY HOT!”

“You know, you kids have it all too easy! When Laura Ingalls Wilder was six, she fought a cougar bare handed and stitched herself up afterwards with her mother’s sewing kit!”

“That’s gross! That never happened!” I’m telling the director!”

“But it’s true! I saw it on Little House on the Prairie. (Hummpphh! Should have named it Little House, Oh So Dreary.)”

“Mr. Loewen?”

“Oh! Yes, ma’am! Welcome to our class. Umm, can I help you?”

“Are you trying to teach these children how to boil water again?”

“Well, yes. All good recipes start with boiling water. It’s how I make my famous Pasta With Tomato Aspic.”

‘MRS. DIRECTOR, THAT’S JUST SPAGHETTI WITH KETCHUP ON IT!”

“Now, now, children, we must have order. Now Mr. Loewen, teaching culinary arts is clearly not you’re…let’s say, gift. I think we need to move you to a better class more suited for your skills.”

“Well, ma’am, if you think so.”

“Please report to the Room #5. We have you reading Little House on the Prairie to thirty eight-year old girls with ADHD and authority issues. ... And please stop crying and wailing in front of the children. It’s not proper.”

Notes On Writing Weird Fiction, by H.P. Lovecraft

I never knew this essay ever existed and from what I can gather, it was published posthumously.

Please be aware I have committed blasphemy by bringing some of the spelling to modern usage

Notes On Writing Weird Fiction
by H.P. Lovecraft

My reason for writing stories is to give myself the satisfaction of visualizing more clearly and detailedly and stably the vague, elusive, fragmentary impressions of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy which are conveyed to me by certain sights (scenic, architectural, atmospheric, etc.), ideas, occurrences, and images encountered in art and literature. I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best - one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being to achieve, momentarily, the illusion of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations of time, space, and natural law which forever imprison us and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces beyond the radius of our sight and analysis. These stories frequently emphasize the element of horror because fear is our deepest and strongest emotion, and the one which best lends itself to the creation of Nature-defying illusions. Horror and the unknown or the strange are always closely connected, so that it is hard to create a convincing picture of shattered natural law or cosmic alienage or "outsideness" without laying stress on the emotion of fear. The reason why time plays a great part in so many of my tales is that this element looms up in my mind as the most profoundly dramatic and grimly terrible thing in the universe. Conflict with time seems to me the most potent and fruitful theme in all human expression.

While my chosen form of story-writing is obviously a special and perhaps a narrow one, it is none the less a persistent and permanent type of expression, as old as literature itself. There will always be a certain small percentage of persons who feel a burning curiosity about unknown outer space, and a burning desire to escape from the prison-house of the known and the real into those enchanted lands of incredible adventure and infinite possibilities which dreams open up to us, and which things like deep woods, fantastic urban towers, and flaming sunsets momentarily suggest. These persons include great authors as well as insignificant amateurs like myself - Dunsany, Poe, Arthur Machen, M. R. James, Algernon Blackwood, and Walter de la Mare being typical masters in this field.

As to how I write a story - there is no one way. Each one of my tales has a different history. Once or twice I have literally written out a dream; but usually I start with a mood or idea or image which I wish to express, and revolve it in my mind until I can think of a good way of embodying it in some chain of dramatic occurrences capable of being recorded in concrete terms. I tend to run through a mental list of the basic conditions or situations best adapted to such a mood or idea or image, and then begin to speculate on logical and naturally motivated explanations of the given mood or idea or image in terms of the basic condition or situation chosen.

The actual process of writing is of course as varied as the choice of theme and initial conception; but if the history of all my tales were analyzed, it is just possible that the following set of rules might be deduced from the average procedure:

  1. Prepare a synopsis or scenario of events in the order of their absolute occurrence - not the order of their narration. Describe with enough fullness to cover all vital points and motivate all incidents planned. Details, comments, and estimates of consequences are sometimes desirable in this temporary framework.
  2. Prepare a second synopsis or scenario of events - this one in order of narration (not actual occurrence), with ample fullness and detail, and with notes as to changing perspective, stresses, and climax. Change the original synopsis to fit if such a change will increase the dramatic force or general effectiveness of the story. Interpolate or delete incidents at will - never being bound by the original conception even if the ultimate result be a tale wholly different from that first planned. Let additions and alterations be made whenever suggested by anything in the for mulating process.
  3. Write out the story - rapidly, fluently, and not too critically - following the second or narrative order synopsis. Change incidents and plot whenever the developing process seems to suggest such change, never being bound by any previous design. If the development suddenly reveals new opportunities for dramatic effect or vivid story telling, add whatever is thought advantageous - going back and reconciling the early parts to the new plan. Insert and delete whole sections if necessary or desirable, trying different beginnings and endings until the best arrangement is found. But be sure that all references throughout the story are thoroughly reconciled with the final design. Remove all possible superfluities - words, sentences, paragraphs, or whole episodes or elements - observing the usual precautions about the reconciling of all references.
  4. Revise the entire text, paying attention to vocabulary, syntax, rhythm of prose, proportioning of parts, niceties of tone, grace and convincingness of transitions (scene to scene, slow and detailed action to rapid and sketchy time-covering action and vice versa... etc., etc., etc.), effectiveness of beginning, ending, climaxes, etc., dramatic suspense and interest, plausibility and atmosphere, and various other elements.
  5. Prepare a neatly typed copy - not hesitating to add final revisionary touches where they seem in order.
The first of these stages is often purely a mental one - a set of conditions and happenings being worked out in my head, and never set down until I am ready to prepare a detailed synopsis of events in order of narration. Then, too, I sometimes begin even the actual writing before I know how I shall develop the idea - this beginning forming a problem to be motivated and exploited.

There are, I think, four distinct types of weird story; one expressing a mood or feeling, another expressing a pictorial conception, a third expressing a general situation, condition, legend or intellectual conception, and a fourth explaining a definite tableau or specific dramatic situation or climax. In another way, weird tales may be grouped into two rough categories - those in which the marvel or horror concerns some condition or phenomenon, and those in which it concerns some action of persons in connection with a bizarre condition or phenomenon.

Each weird story - to speak more particularly of the horror type - seems to involve five definite elements: (a) some basic, underlying horror or abnormality - condition, entity, etc. - , (b) the general effects or bearings of the horror, (c) the mode of manifestation - object embodying the horror and phenomena observed - , (d) the types of fear-reaction pertaining to the horror, and (e) the specific effects of the horror in relation to the given set of conditions.

In writing a weird story I always try very carefully to achieve the right mood and atmosphere, and place the emphasis where it belongs. One cannot, except in immature pulp charlatan-fiction, present an account of impossible, improbable, or inconceivable phenomena as a commonplace narrative of objective acts and conventional emotions. Inconceivable events and conditions have a special handicap to over come, and this can be accomplished only through the maintenance of a careful realism in every phase of the story except that touching on the one given marvel. This marvel must be treated very impressively and deliberately - with a careful emotional "build-up" - else it will seem flat and unconvincing. Being the principal thing in the story, its mere existence should overshadow the characters and events. But the characters and events must be consistent and natural except where they touch the single marvel. In relation to the central wonder, the characters should shew the same overwhelming emotion which similar characters would shew toward such a wonder in real life. Never have a wonder taken for granted. Even when the characters are supposed to be accustomed to the wonder I try to weave an air of awe and impressiveness corresponding to what the reader should feel. A casual style ruins any serious fantasy.

Atmosphere, not action, is the great desideratum of weird fiction. Indeed, all that a wonder story can ever be is a vivid picture of a certain type of human mood. The moment it tries to be anything else it becomes cheap, puerile, and unconvincing. Prime emphasis should be given to subtle suggestion - imperceptible hints and touches of selective associative detail which express shadings of moods and build up a vague illusion of the strange reality of the unreal. Avoid bald catalogs of incredible happenings which can have no substance or meaning apart from a sustaining cloud of color and symbolism.

These are the rules or standards which I have followed - consciously or unconsciously - ever since I first attempted the serious writing of fantasy. That my results are successful may well be disputed - but I feel at least sure that, had I ignored the considerations mentioned in the last few paragraphs, they would have been much worse than they are.

HERE is The Man Who Should Be President of the United States!

Forget Hillary! Forget Trump! Forget them all! Here is the only individual who should be president of the United States. At least we know beyond a shadow of a doubt how much trouble we're in. 

"Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, a close-shaven skull, and long, magnetic eyes of the true cat-green. Invest him with all the cruel cunning of an entire Eastern race, accumulated in one giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present, with all the resources, if you will, of a wealthy government--which, however, already has denied all knowledge of his existence. Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man." ~ Nayland Smith to Dr. Petrie, The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Man Who Loved A Doll: A Parable

Once upon a time, a man loved a doll.

And nobody chided or ridiculed the man because everyone who saw the doll, even those with the most cloddish of hearts, admired it for its exquisite workmanship and beauty.

But the man was unhappy for the doll would not return his love, but merely sit in her chair, her beautiful face frozen in unblemished porcelain.

And the more he wooed this creation of silk and china, the more frustrated he became with himself, for surely it was his own deep flaws that prevented the doll from returning his love.

So eschewing the love of flesh-and-blood women who offered him their hearts, after many years of self-recrimination and self-hatred the man died alone and despondent.

Yet before he drew his last breath, he entertained one rogue thought that maybe the reason the doll did not love him was not because he was deeply flawed, but simply because dolls of silk and china cannot return love.

But then, of course, it was too late.

What Is Success?






This was sent to me as a guide for success in life and I have posted it exactly as it came to me, typos and all, but with one sexual vulgarity removed.

Allow me to assure you that this is almost completely, Grade-A, 90%, USDA-approved crap. Take a gander and than I'll tell you why after the cut. However, one item of interest: I do believe that points 1, 2, 7, and 9 have true wisdom behind them as well as the phrase, "conscious mind focus leads to focused energy.".

The author put this in the public domain


First, let me address one issue and that is why I think I'm even remotely qualified to talk about success. I am, after all, nothing more than a country-bumpkin preacher, writer-wannabe with only a handful of published stories. I wish I had time to tell you my story, but trust me. With my early physical and emotional challenges, years of abusive schooling and background and other hurdles and walls, I'm a success story. True, I'm no Bill Gates, but people who knew me 50+ years ago are surprised and delighted to see me where I am today. Some of them are stunned.

Specific Goal + Focused Energy = Success is correct. Many of you have heard of the Law of Attraction, a New Age belief that what you concentrate on mentally, you will automatically draw to you like a magnet. That is nonsense, but because it is partly based on another real law, there is some truth hiding behind it. The Law of Focus simply states that what you focus on will become an important part of your life in some manner assuming the object of focus is realistic and attainable.

Case in point: Let's say you want to become the world's greatest expert on Pre-Raphaelite paintings. For the next three years you invest your life in doing nothing but talking about, reading about, studying about, collecting, and immersing yourself in the world of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. After 10,000 hours you will be a recognized expert on the subject. In fact, there is a rather certain rule of thumb that investing 10,000 focused hours of immersion in anything is guaranteed to make you an expert in that field.

And I actually believe that.

However, it does not necessarily mean you are going to have a great life which is why I do not have that highlighted. You may have some enjoyment, but if you sacrifice things like health, relationships, making a living, and other important facets of our everyday existence, your focus will eventually end up biting you in the backside.

Also, because the Law of Focus is such an important part of our growth, you can see why I highlighted conscious mind focus leads to focused energy and #2. Both of these deal with focus, though in the latter, I don't have a clue how to force your "unconscious mind" to do anything. It's unconscious! (or more correctly, subconscious).

And allow me to assure you that #'s 3 to 6 and # 8 are not going to work at all.

Don't even bother wasting your time with "affirmations" and visual imaging. They simply don't work.

What does work is accomplishment.

Here's the skinny. Most of us have an internal critic who is one harsh mistress. She puts you down nonstop and appears to delight in your failure as she constantly screams about your mistakes and errors and points it out. Affirmations and visual imaging are never going to shut her up. NEVER.

The only thing that shuts her up is accomplishment, because accomplishment is the only thing she can't argue against. (By the bye, my apologies. My own internal critic for some odd reason I perceive as female. Your actual mileage may vary.)

Let's say you want to learn to speak Spanish. The internal critic is already giving you reasons why you can never try such a thing even if you have never thought of such a thing before. "You're too stupid." "You don't have the time." "You'll fail just like you've failed at everything you've always touched."

However, if learning Spanish is a true goal of yours and it is a realistic and reachable goal, what you do is start out with what I call "small victories."

That means for the first week, you only learn five words.

Yup. Just five.

You review them on index cards you've turned into impromptu flash cards several times a day. You say them out loud. You review and review. At the end of the week even if you truly are lacking in the IQ department, you'll have those five words down.

Now take another five index cards and add five more words to your growing vocabulary.

In twenty weeks (4 months) you will have the vocabulary of at least an 8 year old for whom Spanish is their first language. How can I say that? Because for every language in existence, most concepts can be communicated in just 100 words.

Not that hard, huh? Reduce it to the ridiculous and you can practically achieve anything.

And you will notice that as time goes by, your internal critic starts losing her authority. She can't argue against accomplishment.

Let's say you want to be a writer? Same strategy.

Just write 500 words a day. Write more if you want, but all you're going to commit to is that you are going to write 500 words a day at least 5 days a week.

It's like eating an elephant. Anyone can do it if they take just one bite at a time.

At the end of the first week, you'll have a short story. In three-and-a-half months, you have a novella. In 8 months, you have a novel.

Got it? Understand it? Questions? Comments? Criticisms? Accusations? Death threats?

No?

Okay. Now taking small steps and focusing on your goal, go out and accomplish.

God's grace on ya.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Yes, Real Men DO Write Poetry


All poetry here is copyrighted to Alan Loewen and may not be copied, duplicated, or redistributed.



These Stacks Of Ancient Books

It's too dim here and blue shadows move through the fog.
Nobody reads my poems for
    the latest fad is
    these stacks of ancient books.


Breakfast With Amy

Amy isn't finished yet
    and it's driving me crazy.
She orders my heart on a platter
    and asks for separate checks.
"Keep the change!" She leaves with
    a smile.

I watch a man and woman
    duel with words over omelets;
Their forks impromptu sabres.


Derek

You don't want to live as
    a starving artist.
They live too fast and die so young.
Despite everything,
    (the earthquake is just beginning)
    they argue about importance and God,
    but their wisdom
    is their own undoing.


William In '71

Tell me you are the man in the moon;
Tell me the truth at last
    at the worst possible moment
    while our shadows get up and walk away;
    while our memories follow them
    to the end of the sky.


As A Gift To Yourself

Proudly display your indifference, someone said
    as a gift to yourself,
    as if you were getting paid for it,
    even though time drips through clenched fingers.
Have old admonitions proven nothing,
    but that a lifetime can be lost?


This Beauty Is More Than I Can Bear

Let me explain my obsession,
    as if you really cared,
    while the darkness wraps around us
    three-dimensional hallucinations
    that have a secret meaning.
This beauty is more than I can bear.


Untitled

Make a list of all your lovers and burn it.
Do it suddenly,
    silently, silently
    as your hair brushes across my face.
Memories scratch at the door.
Certainly there is only one choice
    and there is no need to speak.


The Women

You're still naive enough to think
    that you got what you deserved.
It's the women dressed in rags
     that rule the world.
You may tell them to leave you alone
    and spend time in idle pursuit,
    but your life is not your own.


The Sun Will Rise No Matter What You Do

I know I must softly say my prayers,
    pray,
    and dance alone with the radio.
There's no reason to worry.
The sun will rise no matter what I do.


Beverly, 1976

We dined on rose petals, and planned to meet our Maker
    with appropriate humility.
Your words washed over me like cleansing spring water.
You were so naive about
    the things that I had to say.
Did we know it would end with ghosts?


Painful Memories

When I stop dreaming, I will pretend to know everything,
    sail across the sea,
    and make words rhyme in the face of death.
Until then, I am soothed by the knowledge of painful memories.
Sadly, someone whispers in my ear that this is the reason
    I was born.


Out In The Moonlight

In the dungeons of forgetfulness
    we practice our parries
    against shadows on the walls.
At least, let us speak of genuine love
    out in the moonlight.
Yet you keep repeating your own name
    like a mantra.
Why have you forgotten me
    when I stand in plain view?


A Beautiful Woman-Child

A beautiful woman-child
    displays her power.
She's interfering with your work
    and you are turning into sand.
Her laughter haunts you.


Forget What I Know

There is a time to forget what I know,
    pretend not to be here,
    and journey once again to the
    forest of my soul.
There is nothing wrong about
    minor adventures
    as long as I remember home.


Hunting The Unicorn
Thursday, November 20, 1997


A glint of white
Flashing mother of pearl
I stalk her through
The Wood of the Worlds

Armed with the cold iron of doubt
And melancholic nets of unbelief
For reasons unfathomable
I pursue this symbol

The old lady laughed
At the tale of my quest
"Are you the hunter," she asks
"Or the hunted?"

My quarry bursts through the brush
But not this! Let it be
A spirit of feral hate in her eye;
Not this love! Not this faith!

The spiral horn pierces deep
But no pain from this wound of love
Only the path from death to life
And fear into love


The Wizard And The Poet
Thursday, November 20, 1997


Incantation muttered, the stars
Have gelled in positions ordained.
The candles lit, the words uttered,
Sacrifices made.

The adept pauses, but no
Reality bends to firm will.
With a curse, retorts are shattered
And symbols undone as are years of labor.

The poet pauses with pen in hand
Then writes worlds into existence.
Crafting reality with artful phrase
And creating universes with words.

No demon-haunted wizard can match this power
No mumbling incantation half as strong.
Impotent all before the writing poet
Who wields his words in love and awe.

The Many (Supposed) Faces Of The Rev. Craig "Alan" Loewen

(The risk in writing humor is that somebody is guaranteed to take it all serious. For the 99.9% of you who appreciate wry humor, enjoy. For that one sole person who is going to take this all serious no matter what I say, the following is 100% factual and true. Really. Not a word of satire or hyperbole in the whole bunch. You’re going to believe it anyway.)

Being a regular joe who happens to work as a member of the clergy, I am surprised at the number of assumptions I experience almost every day when people discover I am a “man of the cloth.” Why people who have never been in a church in their entire lives, the mentally unstable, and the anti-theists (not to be confused with atheists who tend to be more rational) prefer the caricature over the reality is beyond me. It normally centers around three viewpoints:

Viewpoint #1 – The Overlord

The Right Rev. Loewen slammed his fist on his throne, meat from the chicken leg that he held in his equally meaty fist spraying over the congregation. “More offerings you gibbering simps! I need a new Rolex!”

A penitent crawled to the throne. “Please, O Great One, my children! My children are starving. May we have just a morsel to keep us alive so we may serve you for just one more day?”

The pastor bellowed with laughter. “You need food for your starving children?” He leaned close to glare into the face of the congregant.

“NO!”

He bellowed with anger as he grabbed a flagon of wine from a trembling servant girl. “Enough of this. Now bring on the dancing bears!”

Viewpoint #2 – The World Conspirator

The shadow was a darker shadow in the alleyway as it made its way to the dead end. It tapped on a secret door, thrice. There was a click of something opening.

“Yes?” came a whispered voice.

“I am Richard Dawkins' worst nightmare,” the newcomer whispered back.

“Welcome, brother!” the opening of a door, a flash of light, and once again the alleyway was dark and deserted.

Inside, seven pastors huddled in a candlelit room—seven being the perfect number for a coven of clergymen—and one by one stood to give their reports.

“I have been elected to the local school board and I have already pushed through an abstinence program!”

There was a mutter of approval throughout the group .

“I,” another said, “got all the Disney DVD’s banned from the local library!”

Again, the muffled mutter of approval.

One by one they all gave their reports. From letting out the air in the tires of the local Freedom From Religion director’s car to posting pictures around town of the current President as the Joker, the litany of evil continued.

“We almost have the upper hand,” the leader said in triumph. “Today it’s our little town, tomorrow the world!”

“Praise God,” came a cry. “Praise God!” said another.

“Allah akbar!”

There was silence.

“Um,” one of the pastors said, “I think you got the wrong paradigm.”

“What does it matter?” asked the leader. “After all we’re just religious fanatics.”

“True!” they all said, and the air was filled with “Praise God!” “Allah akbar!” Odin!,” and “Lindsey Lohan!”

“Remember!” the leader said, motioning for quiet. “We’ll be meeting back here tonight before we go disrupt the local town hall meeting.

“The password is ‘dancing bears.’”

Viewpoint #3 – “I Only Work On Sundays”

“Loewen, get up!” The pastor’s wife kicked the bed again making the figure groan his displeasure. “It’s Sunday. You gotta go preach.”

“Ahh” came a complaining voice. “I worked last Sunday. I need my sleep.”

“You haven’t been out of that bed since last Sunday. Get up and earn your paycheck.”

The figure groaned and buried itself deeper in the covers and pillows. “I’m sick. Tell ‘em I worked too hard throughout the week.”

“Lazy good for nothing,” his wife complained. “I shoulda married that used car salesman.”

And as a puzzled congregation sang through Blest Be The Tie for the tenth time waiting for the pastor to show up, the good man of the cloth drifted back off to sleep to dream about dancing bears.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Almost ALL My My Little Pony Satires

These were written for the enjoyment of my friends many years ago before My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was even a twinkle in some animator's eye. They were also written as a protest against "fanfiction" that brought in adult (Read: VERY adult) elements to a children's cartoon show.

And, yes, I am also evil.


The My Little Pony Bodice Ripper


 Honeysuckle Starshine grabbed her lemon-yellow bodice with her horsey teeth and ripped it off her equine body. "Make me a woman!" she cried, her eyes wild with passion.

The plastic surgeon leaned back in his chair, tapping his metal pen on his notepad. Whoa! he thought, I just struck a gold mine.


A My Little Pony Gothic Romance


Cherry Cheesecake ran sobbing out onto the night-besotted moors. Behind her, Pony Castle loomed into the star-speckled sky spearing the full moon with its turrets.

Her mind reeled from the horror and betrayal as she played over and over in her mind the choked confession of Paul Stallion, the secret that bound him hoof and soul to the accursed castle.

Storm clouds poured in from the southwest as she ran blindly over the moors, ignoring the dangers about her and soon collapsed exhausted on the heather. Within moments, rain mingled with her tears.

(Dear Reader: If you are a real Gothic romance reader, at this point you are clutching your bosom and dabbing at your eyes with a damp tissue ... if not, well, you're not.)

"I have found you."

Cherry looked up to see Paul Stallion standing over her, his manly pastel purple hide shining like a beacon in the flashes of lightening from the growing storm.

"How could you?" Cherry Cheesecake cried, "How could you propose marriage to me when all along the secret of Pony Castle will forever keep us apart!"

"I would crush you to my bosom if I had arms," Paul cried, "but it is not my fault that you discovered what the ghost of Pony Castle really is!"

"Yes,"' Cherry cried with rising horror, "the ghost of Pony Castle is actually your first wife that you keep locked up in the North Tower who occasionally escapes to wander the halls at night. Now I know and I will never marry you!" The growing lightening strikes flashed back fire from her eyes.

"Yet," Paul Stallion cried out in agony, " we never consummated our love. How could we when we discovered from her dying mother after the wedding ceremony we were actually ... cousins. The very revelation drove my wife insane with revulsion, disgust, horror, ennui, nausea, terror ..."

"I get the picture," Cherry interrupted, "but I will never marry a married stallion."

(Dear Reader: If you are a real Gothic romance reader, by this time you are hyperventilating.)

Suddenly, the heavens were split with a massive lightening bolt that struck Pony Castle, shattering its towers and igniting its basement full of powder kegs and cans of stored paint.

"Well," Cherry said, "how ... convenient."

Together they watched the flaming remains of the castle crumble.

"I think the castle will need new drapes," Cherry said. "Walmart is open all night."

Together, they trotted side by side into the dawn of a new day filled with all its promises.

"By the bye," Cherry asked, "is there anything I really should know before I marry you and this whole cycle gets started all over again?"

"Well," Paul said, "I do have an insane twin brother, but we'll just push him over a cliff."

"Good. Now about those drapes, could we get something else besides a pastel? My eyes are yearning for a primary color."



My Little Pony Meets The Alien


Candy Sunshine and Misty Morning stared in surprise at the large grayish, green egg before them. With a noisome sound it split apart at the top while something stirred loathsomely inside.

Candy slowly walked up to this new curiosity and peered inside it. "Oh, look, Misty!" she cried with delight. "I think it wants to be my friend!"



My Little Pony: Left Behind


Disco swished her tail and looked around impatiently. Looking behind every tree, rock, and flower, instead of finding the object of her fury, she instead found Absinthe, Lucky Strike, and Darwin.

"Where's that silly filly, Faith," Disco asked impatiently, stamping her dainty little hoof on the ground. "Where is that goody-two shoes?"

"Shoes is all that's left," Absinthe said. "Lookie." She pointed with her muzzle to the ground where Faith's four horseshoes lay in such a way it looked as if she had been snatched into the very air right off of her horseshoes.

"Oh, no!" Disco cried. "We've been Left Behind! (TM)"

The ponies wailed their misery. They remembered the comic books, the movies, the trade paperbacks, the collectible cards, the Broadway play, the little panties that had embroidered on the cheek opposite the right, Left Behind (TM).

Wisdom cantered up. "What is going on here?" she asked.

Darwin pointed out Faith's empty horseshoes. "Faith got snatched right out of them. We've been Left Behind (TM)!"

"Actually," Wisdom said, "she kicked them off and left them for the farrier. She wanted me to tell you all that she wanted to treat you all to the new LaHaye movie, but when you didn't show, she went by herself. Sorry, but she couldn't wait for you any longer so you've been Left Behind (TM)."

- THE END -

Note: Yes, I am a sickie, but even in my illness, I am not mocking the cardinal doctrine of the future physical return of Christ. I'm just having fun with a certain franchise that has been done to death.



Night Of The My Little Dead Pony


Candy Sunshine and Mint Jelly shook their pastel-colored manes and looked puzzled at Moon Song.

"Graaaasssss," Moon Song moaned.

Candy sighed. "Poor Moon Song. It's no fun being a zombie."

Mint Jelly nodded. "No, she just stands there and decays and moans 'Graaaasssss.'"

"You know," Mint Jelly mused as she thoughtfully chewed on a dandelion, "when you really deal with the reality of it all, herbivorous zombies aren't all that scary."

"You're right on that mark," Candy agreed. "Moon, dear," she suddenly called out. "Mind your left eye! It just popped out!" She shook her head. "It's more of an 'Ick!' factor then an 'Eek!' factor."

As if on cue, Moon Song moaned for grass. "There's some nice grass over there, dear," Mint motioned with her muzzle. "You can terrorize that patch for a while."

(Sorry, but my Incredulous Factor just popped in .... I'll let somebody else finish this one.)



My Little Were Pony


Cotton Candy and Dreamsicle shivered outside Chocolate Mint's room in Dream Castle. Outside the sun was setting and the full moon was just about to rise.

They could hear through the door Chocolate Mint weeping at her fate. Suddenly, there was a horrified scream of agony and her two companions cried out with her as they heard the rending noises of transformation within.

Before they could turn and run for their lives, the door burst open and a little red-headed, green-eyed girl stood in the doorway, her eyes flashing fire.

"I WANT CHOCOLATE," she screamed. "NOW! AND GET ME SOME CLOTHES TO WEAR AND THEY BETTER BE AEROPOSTALE!"'

Cotton Candy and Dreamsicle ran to obey knowing full well what the bite of an angry little girl could do to them, the words of the gypsy they pleaded to for help echoing in their ears:

"Even a pony who is pure in heart
And says her prayers at night.
Can become a girl-child when the malls hold their sales
And the moon is big and bright."



Moby Dick: My Little Pony Style


Call me Heavy Horse.

I am a swab on the Pea Green, a ship captained by Captainess Jezebel. The captainess is a pretty pastel sea-green filly with sea-blue highlights in her hair, but her most distinguishing marks are a captain's spyglass tattoo on her rump and she's missing a leg. In it's place, a thick candy cane announces her arrival on deck with a thump, thump, thump.

"I seek the Great White Koi that took me leg!" is basically the full gist of her conversation.

Sundance is first mate and like the rest of the crew, we're ready to call this quest quits. Especially as we've been on this boat for four months in the middle of this little fish pond. Anyway, if we hear Captaines Jezebel's story on how Moby Koi took her leg again, we're almost ready to make her walk the plank. We normally address the Captainess now with a surly, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."

However, one day that all changed.

"Thar she blows!" Captainess Jezebel cried. We looked to where she pointed with her muzzle. In the middle of the pond, a white goldfish lazily sucked at algae.

"It's just a little fish!" Sundance muttered.

". . . from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." Captainess Jezebel cursed.

"Will you take a freaking Midol or something!" Sundance said.

"Pony the boats!" the Captainess ordered. "We hunt the great white koi."

Unfortunately, we all had reached our limit. We dog-piled ... well, pony-piled the captain, took her to Ponyville's main hospital where we discovered her artificial candy cane leg was fake. She had simply painted red and white stripes on it.

We all decided then and there to run high wattage electricity between her ears until we got a personality we liked.

Now she's moved to a tall, dismal castle on the outskirts of town with a little humpbacked squirrel and changed her name to Dr. Ponystein. We don't think about her anymore as we have other worries. The local cemetery shows signs of disturbance and that has us a tad concerned.