Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5/27/14 - Behind Closed Doors

Find my short horror story, "Freedom," in Behind Closed Doors, a new anthology of dark tales from Thirteen O' Clock Press.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

5/11/14 - You Asked For It, You Got It ...

So it is with Toyota. So it was with the bug.

The bug greeted me at lunchtime the other day, when I went to the cupboard for a bowl. A black, beetle-ish specimen, the bug was trapped hopelessly at the bottom of the deep bowl, and had been for some time, going by the profusion of tiny feces keeping it company.

I took the little prisoner outside, to be released to the Promised Land of my back deck. As I did so, however, I was nagged by a thought: What is this bug called? I wanted to know, with an undue urgency, all through my encounter with the bug; but, having no way of knowing, I soon forgot about it. And with that, I promptly returned to lunch (using a second, clean bowl).

The answer to my question would arrive the next day.

I keep a word ledger, a book in which I write down notable words and then, later, look them up and record their definitions. Every month or so, I review some of my current word ledger, to reinforce the new words and expand my vocabulary. I say "every month or so," but my reviewing of the ledger is rather erratic and random; usually, it only happens when I have some time to kill, or finish reading a proper book and don't yet want to start a new one.

The day after the mystery bug, I finished reading a proper book and didn't yet want to start a new one. I was overdue for a ledger review, so I went to it.

On one of the first pages of words I reviewed, one jumped out at me: "cockchafer." Why, I didn't know; but it stuck with me, looping through my mind, along with its definition: "any of certain scarab beetles ..."

Scarab beetles. That bug from the bowl certainly did have a scarab-like appearance.

Later that day, I did a Google image search for cockchafer pictures, and sure enough, the black cockchafer was a dead ringer for the bug that had been so conspicuously waiting for me in the bowl the day before.

The bug that I'd had the vague-but-distinct yen to know the name of.

What a coincidence: less than a day after "asking" this question, I seemed to have received an "answer," through a chance string of circumstances and events.

(Anyone who's read my book on the subject of synchronicity will detect my subtle sarcasm in this last statement, since the cockchafer revelation was just the latest in a lineage of such "question-and-answer" incidents, all of which conform to an explicitly consistent pattern.)