Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12/25/12: The Brothers Karamazov

I'm an uncommon breed of writer: one who is miserably unread. No, not that sort of unread; there are plenty of those writers (though I'm one of that kind too). I, simply, have not read a great many books, even those classics which are considered required reading for anyone who dare spin a tale. My ignorance has both pros (I am without the dogmas and conventions of my better-read compatriots) and cons (my writing is often rejected because I don't adhere to common dogmas and conventions), as well as some in-betweens (I get to think my ideas are original, until I read them in something printed fifty years ago).

This is why I was unmet by The Brothers Karamazov.

Dostoevsky. I knew the author purely in name, and only then amongst a gaggle of other Eastern European-sounding -stoys and -ovskies and -shevs, which seem to have embedded themselves in intelligentsia like Cyrillic insects. They'd bled into one, for me, to the point of facelessness. After today, however, this -ovsky has separated himself from the pack.

It started this morning, while I was waiting for my brother's family to arrive here for Christmas dinner. I took this time to read my current novel, David Lodge's Thinks, in which I came across the following line: "If there is no God, all is permitted, said one of the Karamazovs." I was unfamiliar with the quote, for the reasons stated, though I could gather that this "Karamazov" was a literary figure of some kind, well-known enough to be referenced only vaguely. Still, the passage stood out to me, for its fallacious logic if nothing else.

Some minutes later, I received a knock on my door: my brother's family had arrived.

I promptly forgot about Thinks and this mysterious Karamazov, thanks to a rather delicious turkey dinner. Soon after, however, when the gift exchange began, I remembered rather quick: my brother had bought for me The Brothers Karamazov, the name of which I instantly recognized. My jaw dropped rather comically.

After I'd checked the quote in Thinks, then confirmed that it did in fact originate from the book I'd just been gifted, I shared with my brother how, just minutes before his arrival, I'd encountered a passage from the very book he'd bought for me, and how it had stood out to me significantly enough for recognition. We laughed, and returned to the subject throughout the afternoon, speculating on the chances.

(Sidenote: As it turned out, my brother had chosen The Brothers Karamazov based on a string of unlikely coincidences, not unlike that which its purchase produced. First he'd seen the book featured in an old movie he'd happened to watch, and then, soon after, he saw the book promoted by three separate celebrities on three separate occasions. It had made enough of an impact on him that he felt, illogically, that he must buy that specific book for me as a Christmas gift.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

12/24/12: The 5th of July

Find my bizarre story, "The 5th of July," in issue 7 of Surreal Grotesque, for free.

Link

Friday, December 14, 2012

12/14/12: eHorror

Find my dark short story, "The Briefcase," in the latest issue of eHorror, with the theme of "Bloodless."

Link

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12/13/12: The Clearing

Find my story, "The Clearing," in Paranormal Horror, a new anthology of (you guessed it) horror stories.

Amazon link

Saturday, December 1, 2012

12/1/12: A Six Pack of Stories

Find my weird humor story, "The St. Patrick's Day Massacre," in A Six Pack of Stories: Short Stories To Be Read with a Beer in Hand, a new anthology, whose title speaks for itself.

Amazon link

Friday, November 30, 2012

11/30/12: Something Wicked

Find the reprint of my dark sci-fi short story, "The Treasons," in Volume 1 of Something Wicked's new anthology.

Link

Monday, November 19, 2012

11/19/12: Tales for the Toilet

Find my dark satirical short story, "Danforth Becomes A Priest," in Tales for the Toilet, a new anthology of toiletesque tales, from Crowded Quarantine Publications.

Link

Friday, November 16, 2012

11/16/12: Ginger

Yesterday, I started reading William Gibson's Neuromancer. In the first few pages, it mentioned "preserved ginger." I Noticed this, for some reason.

Minutes later, I opened a package I got in the mail. Inside it, the flap read "Ginger Jar" (it was a repurposed box, turned inside-out for shipping).

This morning, I went to a health store and bought a supplement. Right beside the supplement, was a bottle of "Ginger Wonder" (in a big wall of supplements, the two Just Happening to be side-by-side).

The clincher: a few hours later, over lunch, my mother related a story about ginger -- rather interesting in itself. She had decided to prepare a recipe containing "crystalized ginger," but had never heard of such a thing, and had no idea where to purchase it. Shortly after, however, she'd needed some chili powder, and, despite having several bottles of chili powder, she couldn't find any -- until she went to a forgotten drawer of spices, in which was chili powder ... along with a bottle of crystalized ginger. (As it turns out, my father found a box of random spices some years ago, and put them in this drawer.)

(Well, no, I guess this is the clincher: the "preserved ginger," like that in Neuromancer, is pretty much the same thing as the "crystalized ginger" my mother fretted over. As I understand it, ginger is first "preserved," then processed further, with sugar and such, until it's "crystalized," and the similarity is close enough that the two are called either "preserved" or "crystalized," interchangeably. Like my mom, I had never before heard of either type of ginger, until now, twice within twenty-four hours.)

(Actually, wait -- here's the clincher: this ginger theme comes at a time of extreme digestive problems on my part, for which ginger is, reputedly, rather helpful. I decided to buy some ginger tea, this evening ...)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

11/15/12: Book Synchronicity

Ah, the classic book synchronicity. It's a repeating phenomenon, I've learned, often involving two random books read back-to-back -- yet containing the precise same things.

The books, this time, were The New Alchemists by Dirk Hanson, and Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson, read in that order (arbitrarily, out of a pool of over a dozen recently-bought books). The formats and subject matters of these books could not have been more different, one being a clinical retrospective on the burgeoning computer industry, the other a personal memoir of drug trips, bizarre "coincidences," and their possible implications. Yet, they contained several parallels.

1) Both detailed the life and career of Nikola Tesla, sometimes in overlap.

2) Both quoted Timothy Leary.

3) Both mentioned Thomas Edison.

4) And last, but far from least: the books both outlined RCA's Spectra-70 computer, even mentioning, specifically, how it was discontinued. (To my knowledge, I did not know of the Spectra computer beforehand, or that RCA had ever dabbled in the trade.)

I bought the books on two separate occasions, several hundred miles apart, without prior knowledge of either's existence. Then, I Just Happened to read them back-to-back.

(Also, as implied, this is not my first such experience, nor is it the tenth.)

(Furthermore, it bears mentioning that, just hours before reading the part of Cosmic Trigger in which the Spectra-70 was mentioned, I had the thought of, I need a significant synchronicity, since I haven't blogged of one for so long. This, too, is not the first such time I've had such ask-and-ye-shall-receive.)

(And, more: In The New Alchemists, one chapter detailed how computers were, at the time, being groomed for speech recognition (the book was written in 1981). On the very same day I read this, literally hours apart, I received an old newspaper clipping from my father, completely randomly -- which detailed how computers were being groomed for speech recognition (the paper was from 1984). I had not discussed anything from the book with my father, nor has he ever given me clippings from decades-old newspapers before.)

(Did I mention that Cosmic Trigger was primarily about just such synchronicities?)

Friday, November 9, 2012

11/9/12: For When The Veil Drops

Find my horror flash story, "Nothing Bad Has Ever Happened Here," in For When The Veil Drops, a new anthology of speculative fiction from West Pigeon Press. Available in print and digital.

Amazon link

Sunday, November 4, 2012

11/4/12: Swamp Biscuits and Tea

Find my bizarre humor short story, "The Wedding Bystander," in issue #2 of Swamp Biscuits and Tea, for free.

Link

Friday, October 26, 2012

10/26/12: Chiral Mad

Find my horror short, "The Bad Season," in Chiral Mad, a charity anthology of psychological horror from Written Backwards.

Link

Saturday, October 20, 2012

10/20/12: The Savage Kick

Find my literary short, "Innocent," in issue #6 of The Savage Kick.

Amazon link

Saturday, October 13, 2012

10/13/12: Ephemera Magazine

Find my quirky short, "Tomorrow," in the debut issue of Ephemera.

Link

Don't be a prisoner


Friday, October 5, 2012

10/5/12: "The Dead Man's Phone"

One I somehow missed: my speculative novella, "The Dead Man's Phone," available for free on Fiction on the Web:

Link

Thursday, October 4, 2012

10/4/12: FEAR anthology

Find my horror short, "A Cloud Over The Sun," in FEAR: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror (Volume 1), a charity anthology.

Link

Also, there is a second volume of this anthology available, here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

9/12/12: I Was Just Thinking That

8/18/12: While in the grocery store, I was shopping for canned pineapple, looking specifically for the chunks. I browsed the wall of canned goods for some time, and precisely when I found a can of the chunks, a woman's voice from nearby cried, "Chunks!"

8/19/12: While driving, I experienced a long train of thought which ended, arbitrarily, with a friend's wife, named Mary. Almost instantaneously, I passed a real-estate sign reading "Mary."

8/30/12: During a random conversation with my parents, I had the strangest thought: me, in a cage, up for adoption in an animal shelter. Seconds later, my father cracked a joke: that an animal shelter should put me up for adoption.

9/3/12: While absently surfing the internet, I experienced a long train of thought which ended on an obscure memory: of a mental state completely free of anxiety. Seconds later, I checked my email and my eyes fell on a Dictionary.com Word of the Day email, for "ataraxia," which is a mental state completely free of anxiety.

9/9/12: While driving, I experienced a long train of thought which ended on termites. Within a second, I passed a sign advertising termite control. (Note: the sign had been hidden behind buildings and trees until I came directly upon it.)

9/11/12: While exercising at the gym, I went to sit down at a bench where I had weights set up; however, someone was working near it, so I was forced to move my weights to another bench. As I at last sat down on the alternative bench, the song I was listening to on my headphones said, "Sit down," perfectly simultaneous. Had I sat at the original bench, this would not have happened. (Note: it was the first time I'd listened to this song, ever.)

9/12/12: While driving, I experienced a long train of thought which ended with the planet Saturn. In less than a second, I passed a Saturn coupe. (Note: I'd felt Compelled to drive down this road, rather than a shortcut.)

Review for 'The End of Jack Cruz'

Find a new review for my post-apocalyptic horror novel, The End of Jack Cruz, at Horror Palace:

Link

Friday, August 31, 2012

8/31/12: The Nightmare Frequency

Find my horror short, "The Nightmare Frequency," in the latest (August) issue of The Sirens Call eZine, available for $1.99.

Link

Sunday, August 19, 2012

8/19/12: There's Nothing Under The Stairs

Here's a free horror short, "There's Nothing Under The Stairs," which was published on Circus of the Damned without my being notified, back in March.

Link

Thursday, August 16, 2012

8/16/12: Table Story

Find my weird humor short-short, "Table Story," at The Cynic, for free.

Link

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

8/15/12: The Prizefighter

Find my weird humor short, "The Prizefighter," along with some other gems, in this month's issue of Schlock magazine -- for free, even.

Link

Thursday, August 9, 2012

8/9/12: Some views (and inter- and a rev-)

My interview with Rebecca Snow (I swear it was consensual, really):

Link

A review of my post-apocalyptic horror novel, The End of Jack Cruz, on Snakebite Horror:

Link

Friday, August 3, 2012

8/3/12: The Ten of Clubs

Five days ago, while cutting grass, I picked up, as trash, a single playing card: the ten of clubs.

Today, while cutting grass at an entirely different lawn, miles away, I picked up, as trash, a single playing card: the ten of clubs. It was identical except for the backing, which was red (the first's was blue).

I cannot recall, in nearly two decades of grass-cutting, having ever found a playing card.

What this means, I do not know.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

7/21/12: The End of Jack Cruz eBook

My novel, The End of Jack Cruz, is now available as an eBook, from the usual places.

Amazon link

Sunday, July 8, 2012

7/8/12: Fortune Cookie

I found a fortune-cookie fortune. It was, inexplicably, in the center console of my truck -- a mystery in itself, since I haven't patronized a Chinese restaurant for years. Yet, there it was, and found in the most unlikely of ways.

Immediately, I thought of my friend, who has often employed fortunes as a kind of tarot, much as I do my word ledgers. That very night, I relayed to her the fortune's message: "You will always get what you want through your charm and personality," accompanied by twin smiley faces.

Two weeks later: my friend finds, in her parents' house, an unexpected bag of fortune cookies. She pulls one, following an urge, and it contains the precise fortune I'd unearthed in my truck.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7/7/12: "Drugs Are Really Good For You, Really"

Find my sci-fi humor short, "Drugs Are Really Good For You, Really" for free at The Cynic.

Link

Monday, July 2, 2012

7/2/12: Interview

Suzanne Robb, an author I've had the privilege of sharing several anthologies with, was kind enough to conduct a brief and humorous interview with me.

Find it here.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

6/23/12: Doughnuts

Today I saw a Krispy Kreme box, and it spawned the weirdest thought: Mr. Chihani wouldn't serve doughnuts to his group.

I'll explain.

Mr. Chihani is a character in a novel I'm reading right now. In the book, the man heads a reading group, to which he only serves plain, unsweetened crackers, and other Spartan foods.

That explains why I thought Mr. Chihani wouldn't serve such blasphemous food to his reading group. But as for why I thought this in the first place ...

In any case, an hour after I saw the doughnut box, I went home and read some more of the book. Not two pages in, it described how, because of special circumstances, Mr. Chihani served doughnuts to his reading group.

I stand corrected.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The End of Jack Cruz

My first novel, The End of Jack Cruz, a post-apocalyptic thriller of opiated proportions, is now available, from Montag Press.

Blurb, straight from the back of the book:

"The movies never prepared him for this, even the ones that ended badly. Jack “Colonel” Jones is suddenly alone in the world. After surviving a plague that decimates the U.S., and perhaps the entire human population, he is left in a junky’s nightmare where hard drugs are the only remedy for an ongoing virus and dead bodies are his only companions. Sick and desperate, he meets a savior who goes by the name Jack Cruz. Jack Cruz is a hulking behemoth with a giant pistol and stockpile of post-apocalyptic supplies, but he also has a mysterious past and an increasingly disconcerting obsession with the death and decay that surrounds them. As Colonel's suspicions rise, and he begins to feel complicit in the wrongdoings of his post-apocalyptic roommate, Colonel must grapple new the questions: Can you be moral when there are only two people left on earth? Can there be sanity? And who decides? Is Colonel just paranoid, or are his fears justified? As the stakes heat up and the intensity flares, Colonel must find out the truth and decide – when your only companion in the world might be a murderer, and there is no one left to kill, is surviving worth it?"


Amazon link


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Phlejimalitonitis

Find my humor short, "Phlejimalitonitis," for free at Feathertale.

Link

Sunday, May 20, 2012

5/18/12: What's a brevet?

Brevet. An interesting word, perhaps the name of a freckly and rambunctious redhead boy. It means to be promoted euphemistically, sort of how flipping burgers now makes you a "Food Preparation Specialist."

Anyway.

I was reading a book recently, and it brought "brevet" to mind, for No Real Reason. At the time, however, I couldn't remember the word, nor what it meant, only that there was a word I had looked up a few months ago and that this word was now nagging me to death. For days this phantom word bugged me, making shapes from my subconscious like a cat under a quilt.

Then, after three nag-filled days, I happened to (very randomly) come across the word in my word ledger: "brevet." I recognized it at once. Queue "Hallelujah."

This was enough to net it a "word synchronicity" entry in my log, with my mysterious remembrance of it occurring so close to when I would happen across it in my ledger review (which I do linearly, between the several such word-definition ledgers I've amassed). However, it wasn't upgraded to blog-post status until a few hours later, when "brevet" turned up in the book I was still reading, the very one that had dislodged it from my subconscious.

As it were, the only time I'd seen "brevet" used was in the novel that originally spawned the word-ledger entry, and then in the latter book, which spawned this post.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

5/12/12: Thanks for the gloves

I cut grass. I wear gloves when I cut grass. Since March, when I started cutting grass for the season, I've needed new gloves. However, since I must cut the grass to get the money to get new gloves, I have been going without.

Yesterday, I got my first paycheck of the season, so I planned on buying my new gloves today.

Unfortunately, as it turned out, the place from which I buy such things closes early on Saturdays, and I would had to have made a special, early trip to town to get there on time. Needing new gloves, I almost did this, but was Compelled not to, despite it meaning a delay on said gloves. Strange, since I really, really needed some new gloves.

Today was busy. Since getting paid yesterday, I went about buying all the things that had failed to materialize magically in my cupboard or refrigerator these last couple months. After all was said and done, however, I decided to get one more thing, from a certain supermarket (I almost didn't go, having shopped myself tired, but I felt Compelled to, as much as I'd been repelled from buying the gloves this morning). As I did my business and left this supermarket, I was alerted to something in the parking lot: a glove, lying in a gutter.

I almost ignored it. But then I thought, if there's one glove, maybe there's two.

When I stopped and went back, there were in fact two. As it turned out, they were the thin, tight-fitting kind used for yard work, advertising a brand of tools. They were a little dirty, from being discarded in a gutter, but were otherwise in good shape. They fit perfectly.

A pair of gloves: $15
Finding a pair of gloves on the very day I nearly bought some: Priceless

Friday, April 27, 2012

4/27/12: Oh, you clever bees, you!

The bees first found me some years ago. And so clever they were, enough to infiltrate a certain window in my bedroom, despite it being closed and screened-in. Every morning upon waking, I would find one of the dastardly little creatures trapped inside, smashing himself between the screen and the glass.

I invested much time in trying to explain this miracle -- searching for a nest, a hole, a teleporter -- but they were just too clever for me.

And now, after years of dormancy, the phenomenon has returned: this morning, I was alerted to the same window by the furious buzzing of its captive bee.

But I know how it happened -- I'm wise to you guys! Just last night, I wrote to a friend of mine about the mystery bees of yesteryear -- the first I related the story to anyone, as it were.

The bees have a tap on my email.

And now that they know that I know, they've returned.

4/27/12: Woman in the Window

Find my erotic-horror eBook novelette, "Woman in the Window," on Forbidden Fiction Publications.

Link

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4/26/12: Sick

Find my dark short-short, "Sick," in Short Sips: Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2.

Amazon link

Sunday, April 22, 2012

4/22/12: Corrupter

Find my bizarre horror short, "Corrupter," in the latest issue of Sein and Werden.

Link

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

4/17/12: Not One of Us

Find my dark literary short, "The Waiting," in the upcoming issue of Not One of Us, #47.

Website

Sunday, April 8, 2012

4/8/12: Helpless

Find my zombie micro-fiction, "Helpless," in this month's issue of Z-Composition.

Link

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3/22/12: Needle

Find my gritty crime short, "Mistake," in the latest issue of Needle. Use the code "marbooks12" to get 20% off.

Lulu link

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3/20/12: As Long As You Follow

I went to the grocery store this morning. This was strange, not because grocery stores are especially strange by morning, but because my mornings are typically reserved for writing, and other things that can be done while in a zombified pre-noon stupor. I'll spare you the details of how this came to be -- a story in itself, rife with unlikely things -- but the important part is that I was in the store this morning, forced there by circumstance.

While there, I was struck by the song on the in-store radio: "As Long As You Follow," by Fleetwood Mac. I hadn't heard the song in a while, and the groove hit me just right, sucking me in despite it coming from the radio in a grocery store. I was so enamored, in fact, that when it came time to leave and the song was only halfway through, I wanted to stay and listen to it.

Now, that was this morning. Between then and this afternoon, another long, unlikely chain of insignificant events unfolded, these culminating in my visiting a local pharmacy, some hours after my grocery shopping. When I stepped into the pharmacy, I recognized the song on its radio as the same from the grocery store that morning. Also, it was about halfway through, suspiciously close to where it had been when I last heard it, as though picking up where it left off.

(Note: My first thought on this was that both the grocery store and the pharmacy were subscribed to the same in-store-music broadcast and that this could possibly explain the song popping back up so soon in the line-up (if the broadcast was on a six-hour rotation, maybe). However, this says nothing of my uncanny timing, not only going to a separate store and hearing the same song, but hearing it seemingly where it was left off.)

(Note #2: To my recollection, I have never before heard "As Long As You Follow" on any radio, in-store or otherwise.)

(Note #3: As far as I know, there are no in-store-radio-broadcast guys conspiring against me.)

3/19/12: The Universe Recommends Kaopectate

For the last couple months, I've been on a new, powerful probiotic supplement. Among other side effects, probiotics can sometimes trigger diarrhea, as a sign that they're working. Well, today, I think mine started working.

It led me to wonder if I might need something to remedy this problem, this thought coming to me just before lunch. Then I sat down to eat, and since I study my word ledger when I eat, and today was no different, I opened my ledger.

The ledger's first entry was "kaopectate."

Friday, March 9, 2012

3/9/12: Dark Dispatches

Find my short stories, "Monsters" and "Hunt," in Dark Dispatches, a new anthology from Static Movement, depicting war with a speculative slant.

Amazon link

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2/29/12: Leap Year

My word ledgers. Past posts have described this valuable tool, which, rather than a book of words that I've defined so that I may broaden my vocabulary, has become more of a Tarot or I Ching.

Example, today.

Exhibit A:

Two days ago, I finished studying one such ledger and then picked up a new one, it featuring a nifty string bookmark (why don't all books have these?). When I went to open it for the first time, I instinctively did so from this bookmark, which was set in its middle, randomly, from when I'd last gone through it.

Even though I wanted to start it from the beginning, I went with this funky middle placement. It felt very Right, in the distinct, characteristic way I've come to identify with these things.

Exhibit B:

Last night, I went to dictionary.com and noticed a little thing on their front page asking if you knew the word for inserting a day in a calender, which I did: "intercalate." Everyone knows that (everyone who reads my ledger, at least).

I clicked through the question, and it led to the definition for "intercalary." Close enough.

Exhibit C:

A maximizer, I read my ledgers over meals. This morning was no different. Halfway through my breakfast, however, I gave pause, on "intercalate."

On February 29th.

In a 200-page ledger containing a few thousand words.

When, two days ago, I'd started the ledger and opened it halfway, at the "wrong" place.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2/3/12: Onion

Ever realize something that's always been subconscious to you? Call it a revelation, a broadened awareness, eureka; whatever. Last night, I realized I like onion. Like it very much, in fact, as some people do chocolate or a choice drug. Crisp, zesty, domineering -- that's the onion.

This occurred to me over a friend's email and a dinner salad, which had onion in it but only a minority, as to allow only a few choice bites of oniony goodness, the non-onion bites providing the contrast necessary for me to appreciate my bulbed, eye-watering ally. After several sans-onion bites, I came up with a nice, comma-shaped slice of it, and that's when it hit me, all at once: I like onion. Love it, maybe. So count me as an onion lover, even if it one day gets something of a Star of David on my window.

The epiphany, while grand, did not interrupt the reading of my friend's email (my friend trumps onion, it seems). And then, there it was, in the very next paragraph down: "And as a side note. I love onions." My chewing stopped.

Synchroshock.

Now, my immediate response to this was "peripheral reading," a syndrome I am quite familiar with. It happens all the time when I'm writing: I'll come up with a brilliant, original, perfectly fitting word, only realize I'd used it halfway up the page, or was reading it off a web browser tab or something across the room. We do this, involuntarily and subconsciously, and, besides being exploited endlessly by advertisers and propagandists, it is a constant source for synchronistic false-positives, since the "supernatural" inspirations come from a source beyond your conscious awareness.

Except, I was eating onion before it happened. In the salad, my oniony bite, the necessary ingredient for my realization and its "chance" reiteration. Peripheral reading does not manufacture salads and put them in your mouth, oniony or otherwise.

Update, 2/16:

This one happened again, almost exactly the same: me eating dinner while catching up on email, the email written by the same friend, except this time it involved broccoli. I'd just taken a big bite of the stuff when no sooner did I read, " I think I'll go eat some broccoli." There were no thoughts of admiration as I did so, but still ...

Friday, January 27, 2012

1/27/12: Actuarial

Yep, "actuarial." Ever heard this word? I have, exactly once, as to be noted and defined in my word ledger, and not much else. But this isn't a ledger synchronicity.

It was on my mind when I awoke yesterday, very clearly and distinctly, in the space normally held by "breakfast" or "toilet." Actuarial, actuarial, I thought, and continued doing so off and on all day, haunted by the word's significant presence and improbable arrival. Short of remembering it had something to do with insurance, I knew nothing of the word.

However, yesterday came and went, and I had no further encounters with actuarial, despite looking all over for it as though I'd called it a name. It was this morning that I realized this, also upon waking, "no actuarial" now replacing "actuarial" and its predecessors, accompanied by a despising sense of disappointment. It might have been the name of a woman. I got out of bed, and the word wasted no time leaving my attentions.

Then, this evening, while reading a book immaterial to this occurrence, I came face to face with none other than"actuarial," in context to something even less relevant. Regardless, it was there. There were neither fireworks nor alarm bells upon its discovery.

(It bears mentioning: the word found me only when I'd ceased expecting it. And, also, the word's dictionary definition: "a person qualified to calculate commercial risks and probabilities involving uncertain future events" (the italics are mine).)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1/17/12: Mass Dissidence

Find my bizarro short, "Jane", in Mass Dissidence, a new, dystopic anthology from Static Movement.

Link

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1/10/12: She wore a wimple

I've mentioned word synchronicities, right? When unlikely words pop up in unlikely ways within an unlikely period of time? This was a variation of that.

I went to the market yesterday, and my cashier wore a wimple. Yes, a wimple. A pretty young woman, with bedroom eyes, and hair dyed neon-red, a crafty smile. She looked in no way deserving of a wimple, yet it worked for her. Keep wearing your wimple, miss, if you're reading this.

So, I can now say I've been cashiered by a woman in a wimple. I checked it off my list of things to do before I die.

Now, this morning. While studying my ledger of words to learn, over breakfast, I came to "wimple," which caught my eye -- not so much because I'd just yesterday met the lovely, wimpled cashier, but because I'd written down the word and looked up its definition, as if I didn't know what a wimple was. Sometimes you just have to make sure, I guess. In any case, there it was, and I Just Happened to come across the entry the day after my exciting encounter with the cashier.

But that's not all, folks.

Tonight, while editing a novel of mine, I came across it again, "wimple," one of only maybe two or three times I've used the headwear in my writings.

(Another interesting point: I wasn't initially in Ms. Wimple's line at the grocery store, but while I was waiting, hers cleared and she waved me over. Destiny?)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1/4/12: Birkenstock

Exhibit A:

The day before last, my father gave me a pair of shoes, randomly. I paid the shoes enough attention to see that they were too big, then promptly forgot them.

Exhibit B:

In my thousands of pages of writings, I have, a single time, referenced the shoe company, Birkenstock. And as it happened, I edited that reference yesterday morning, a novel of mine that is fresh from rejection (or, rather, non-reply -- is it a rejection when the publisher just ignores you?).

Closing argument:

Yesterday afternoon, after I'd finished editing my novel for the day, I happened to Notice the gifted pair of shoes that were too big for me. I felt oddly attracted to them then, especially the logo on the side of one, obscured by its positioning. The longer I looked, the more compelled I felt to see the shoe's logo, for no good reason, or even a bad one. I simply had to see the brand-logo on that shoe, or the world would end.

Reluctantly, I went and turned the shoe, and it was a Birkenstock. I have not had experience of anything Birkenstock since the last I'd edited my novel, months ago.