Tag Archives: novel characters

A Low-Fat Essay With One Third Fewer Calories

Val B22

Yesterday I posted a political satire in which I accused Rand Paul and Chris Christie of being the reincarnation of Laurel and Hardy.  I may have also suggested that Republican Presidential candidates are mostly possessed by the spirits of old comedy teams who share the bully and the idiot style of comedy made famous by Stan and Ollie.  That post had about 380 calories from empty carbohydrates and the saturated fat was off the charts.  If I am to provide a healthy diet of low-quality purple paisley prose to those who ready my pretentiously faux-literary blog, then I need to alternate in some high-fiber, low calorie fare.  After all, this is a place where people come to sample my ideas and my so-called humor.  Any and all fat that they get from here goes straight to their head.  It can clog the arteries of the thinking organ.  So, let me offer something light and fibrous today.

Yesterday I finished the first-pass edit of my novel Snow Babies.  I also got it sent to my editor at PDMI, Jessie Cornwell.  Her edits caused serious pain and minor bleeding, but that is merely an indicator that she is very professional and does the job well.  And on occasion, she makes me laugh.  She identified and corrected my creepy fascination with the word “penis” and cut it out of my novel.  I am sure you can imagine how painful something like that can be.  But I deserved it.  A writer has to be aware that there are quirks in his thinking that interfere with communicating ideas to the reader.  And the nutritional value of the ideas and thinking in a book are not only what makes it worth reading, but worth writing in the first place.

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It is a little odd to be working on a novel about a blizzard in Iowa in deep December when it is August in Texas and we are undergoing 100-degree plus weather during the yearly heat wave and drought.  It is hard to imagine deadly cold and Christmas-wish thinking when you have to sit naked by the air conditioner and you still sweat out gallons.  (Notice I did not use the word “penis” even once in this paragraph, Jessie.)  (Oops!  Okay, don’t count the parenthetic expression, please.)

But I love these characters.20150813_113902

Valerie Clarke, the main character, is an eleven-year-old girl trying to make her way in a cold world after the death of her father.  She finds and latches onto a mysterious old hobo who goes by the name Catbird.  The man wears a coat which is a crazy quilt of colorful patches.  He carries around a dog-eared copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and quotes from it as if it is his Bible.  She gives him a place to stay, with her and her grieving mother in the nick of time before the blizzard hits her little Iowa town.  Valerie is based in part on my own daughter.

A bus gets stranded in the rural farming community and the bus contains four boys who are not only passengers, but runaway orphans escaping from the Illinois foster care system.  The youngest boy is crippled.

So, I am for the moment only posting something light that you really don’t have to work too hard to consume.  The main idea is simply that I have finished another step in the process of publishing my long-delayed novel.  And hopefully this post isn’t needlessly fattening, like many of my posts are.

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Timeline – Finale

MickeyX22

So how do I end this little trilogy of timeline terror?  I have to fit in the remaining novel projects that are related or at least partially done.  And the unrelated ones too.  I have way more in the Mickian bag of tricks than I will ever have the magic-using years to actually use.  The thing about wizards is that, by the time they have accumulated all the knowledge, wisdom, and arcana that it takes to do the wizardry, they are already old and near to death.  How much time is left for the actual magic?  I have been living this weekend in fear of imminent stroke.   But I believe the random brain pain has actually turned out to be sinus problems.   So here are the projects that finish the timeline and are the projects least likely to get written and published.

Galtorr Primexvx

Connected to Catch a Falling Star is its sequel, Stardusters and Space Lizards.  This is a novel I have most recently been trying to finish.  I am in the home stretch at 40,000 words.  It is the story of the failed Earth invaders  continuing their journey to another planet, an even worse place than Earth.  Galtorr Prime is the planet of the humanoid lizard people.  Their world is on the very brink of extinction by global warming, toxic politics, and war.  The remnants of the Telleron aliens who tried to invade Earth and their Earther-human friends not only have to make a colony for themselves here, but have to save the planet itself as well.  It is a cautionary-type science fiction tale in the same comedy-young-adult-novel genre as Catch a Falling Star.  It also happens in the early 1990’s (intended to mean the time on Earth which is not relevant in any case).

The next novel is Monstro, a ghost story in which the Norwall Pirates have to take on the Lonely Ones, the spirit-echoes of the crazy people of the past in a haunted farm house that awakens to feed on the living.  The story is more than half written, but is looking at a near total rewrite to make it conform better with comedy young adult fiction.  It is set in the mid 1990’s, around 1995.

None of my Hometown Novels will go beyond the 20th Century.  Monstro is ostensibly the last of the novels.

I am a science fiction writer as well, though.  The first book I ever published, Aeroquest, is set more than three thousand years in the future, at a time when the Orion Spur of the Sagittarius Spiral Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy (where Earth has its street address) is largely colonized and thoroughly inhabited.  As the novel now stands (a sorry mishmash that no decent publisher would’ve ever printed) it is in need of a total re-write and make-over.  It is a novel that I humorously say is about teachers in space… though I do realize that “humorously” has to be qualified as a big bald-faced lie.

Aeroquest baby ninjas

So this is run-down in time order of all the stuff I want to do as an author.  How much gets done in reality is anyone’s best guess.  Who knows?  I may live another twenty years and finish at least one novel every year.

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Timeline

Editing my novel Snow Babies has led me to realize that I need to align the events and character progressions in all the related Home-Town Novels.  So here is a feeble attempt to make sense of the wealth of crap that this whole project has generated.

The first novel in the series is called Superchicken.

superchick_novelThis story is about a boy who comes to live in the small town of Norwall, Iowa and struggles to make friends and fit in with a close-knit and inter-related group of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.  It contains the origin story of the Norwall Pirates, a boys’ gang and liars’ club who cause most of the chaos in the story.  It is intended to be an Iowa-River version of Tom Sawyer, a picaresque novel where the main character uses his natural instincts to try and gain the recognition of the world that he exists and has worth as a person.

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The second novel is not completed yet.  It is a story called The Baby Werewolf.  It is about the Norwall Pirates pursuing an encounter with a very unusual child shut away in the attic of an aging house by the harried adults in his life.

All of these stories are humor novels written for a Young Adult genre audience.  This one, however, also introduces elements of the horror genre.

anita n supe_nThree more unwritten novels exist between this set of Norwall stories and the next set which introduce a whole new group of Pirates.  Of the original Pirate stories there is an encounter with immortal beings who are somehow more than human and include a villain who is secretly an un-dead Chinese wizard looking to kill and consume another immortal who has taken refuge in Norwall.  This novel does not yet have a name.  The working title is The Forever Boy.  Another novel involving the Pirates is called Sweet Pickles.  It takes up the story of a girl nicknamed Pickles who is desperate to be loved and joins the junior high football team to impress boys.  The novel includes the sexual awakening of more than one member of the Pirates, and though it is half-written, it may never see publication.  I am not a pornographic writer, but the issues of this book have become so explicit, that it would have to be gutted and rewritten completely to be acceptable to my chosen genre.  A more likely story is Under Blue Glass, the story of the Pirates handling their teens and high school and the excitingly horrible prospects of leaving home.

Voodoo Val cover

The next set of Pirate novels cover the 1980’s.  The Captain Came Calling is about the reformation of the Pirates with Mary Philips, the story-teller’s little sister, taking on the daunting task of leading the Pirates through a new decade.  South Pacific island magic brings the cursed Captain Noah Dettbarn to a farm town about as far away in all of North America as you can get from any ocean.  The captain is cursed with invisibility and has to get to the bottom of a terrible family secret to cure it.  Meanwhile, another terrible secret is destroying the family of Valerie Clarke, the main character of the novel.

Snow Babies is actually the second novel of this group, although it is the second novel being published.  I will talk more about it as the process goes along and it actually reaches a state of publication.

tree time banner

After that comes a group of unwritten novels that are nebulously plotted out.  I am thinking I probably need to declare halftime on this post at 600 words and do the second half of this timeline tomorrow.

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Working on Snow Babies

I really don’t have to put very much into this blog since most of my 500 words are already taken up with novel editing.  So I will just put in a few comments on this novel that has consumed me since 2012.   It is called Snow Babies Val at the barn

because it is basically about lost children and a blizzard that threatens to take them away completely.  Now, there are fantasy creatures in the story, child-like ghost-things that come in the teeth of the blizzard to take away the souls of those who die in the cold.  But the title actually refers more to the child characters in the story, Valerie Clarke (as seen above) and the four runaways from the Trailways bus.  It is a story of survival during a blizzard, and survival when you have lost the ones you love.  It is also a story of quilts… patchwork quilts… of many colors and varieties all stitched together seemingly at random.  Because that is what life is like.  Random stuff.  Stitched together…to make something beautiful that can save your life in the cold.

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This novel was submitted in manuscript form to the Chanticleer Book Reviews novel writing contest for Young Adult fiction.  The contest is called the Dante Rosetti Awards as seen in this logo.  The book didn’t win, but of the many manuscripts submitted it made it all the way through to the final cut and was a finalist in the contest.

I am currently working with editor Jessie Cornwell of PDMI Publishing to get the book ready for print.  I hope to have it published soon.  Clay Gilbert, Managing Editor of PDMI LLC recently did a profile on me because of my upcoming book.  Here is the link for that;

Portals and Pathways by Clay Gilbert

Let me leave you with a look at the frost spirits from my novel.

7snowbabiesAI hope you don’t feel hopelessly mooned by that, because there are worse things that Snow Babies can do than that.

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Updating Futzbatter and Foohbah Recipes

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Having already written well over a thousand words today on a different writing project, I don’t really have to worry about length on this one.  But it is intended to be a scrapbook piece anyway.  Thing #1 is the completion of a mini-collection.  I now have all three of the main Minions from the new Minions movie.  From left to right are Kevin, Stuart, and Bob posing for their picture with their fully pose-able arms in the middle of Cardboard Castle.  There are still many many many Minions left to collect, but the first three are the most important bit… I think.

Galtorr Primexvx

I have now reached the climax of the plot in my Sci-fi novel Stardusters and Space Lizards.  I am at that moment in the story when characters, even the most important main characters, may die.  I know, in fact, because of the ending that already exists that some of the main characters will die.  I am not entirely certain that I know which ones yet.  The three I have portrayed here are (left to right again because I am an English speaker/reader and horribly addicted to the same-old same-old) George Jetson, Davalon, and Sizzahl the Lizard Girl.  At least one of them has to die for the plot to work out.  But which one?  I am deeply in love with all three.

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My experimental flower wagon has been producing blossoms, but only one at a time.  Each one blooms, I take a picture of it, and then the hot Texas sun burns the poor thing to blazes, and I have to wait for the next one to appear.

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And finally, I think I need to define the two Mock-Iowegian words in my title today.  Mock-Iowegian (as I am sure you are bright enough to already realize) is a made-up language spoken by Iowan farm folks in Mickian fiction where the object is to capture their eccentricities and mock them ferociously because I love them.  Futzbatter… noun, meaning things that are fudged or made up on the spur of the moment and mixed together into the overall plan (or impending disaster… depending on the situation).  Foohbah… noun, meaning something you tell a fool and expect him to believe, as in a honking-big-fish story, and nobody else will contradict for fear the fool the speaker is trying pull a foohbah on is the hearer, and they don’t want to let on that the foohbah-teller laying the big, fat, hairy foohbah on the group is talking about them, and they are only feebly trying to stop him.

So, there you have it… almost 500 words in spite of myself.

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Notes from the 70’s; the Master Plan

I have wanted to be a writer and cartoonist from childhood onward.  I didn’t really begin in earnest until the last few years of my teaching career with retirement looming directly ahead.  Now I have made the leap off the cliff.  I retired a year ago.  I did everything short of bankruptcy to put my accounts in order, and transformed myself into a starving artist.  I have a full retirement from Texas, subject to a grandfather clause (no relation to the Santa Clause) that allows me to receive enough money to live on for the rest of my life (thanks to the trick of being a teacher back before George W. Bush and Rick Perry came along to pillage Texas education and reduce what they pay those lazy, lousy teachers for their lifetimes of service).  Of course, I must try to limit my expenditures as much as possible, because… well, it is a teacher’s pension.

Norwall

But my plan from the 70’s, begun in high school and carried out through college and my teaching career has allowed me to stay on track to create something massive and complex.  My story ideas have been collected over time and are all based on a very simple rule… “Everything is connected.”  Every story I now labor to put into prose mentions other stories and has story fishhooks in it to catch readers and pull them into something else.  Most of my work is set in farm-town Iowa in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s.  I made them all a part of the 20th Century on purpose because the personalities the characters are all based on were a part of my life then.  Certain elements run through all the stories.  Let me explain a few.

1.  Some characters appear in many stories (sometimes as a main character, and more often as a supporting character.  The French boy who sings karaoke beautifully and makes his cousin’s bar business a success by entertaining people there appears in two stories that happen at about the same time.  Both of those stories are still waiting to be written.  Tim Kellogg appears in my stories from the time he is but a twinkle in his parents’ eyes until he becomes the leader of the infamous boys’ gang of liars called the Norwall Pirates.

Crooner

giant bat2.  Most of the stories are centered around members of the Norwall Pirates.  They are a group of small town boys dedicated to adventure, telling lies, and seeing girls naked.  Much of the magic, science fiction, fantasy elements, and just plain hallucinations in my stories are the fault of boys who tell stories and lies so well that sometimes they believe them themselves.

3.  Character arcs that begin in one book will often continue in another.  Sometimes I go back in time and explain something that happened much earlier.  The Pirate’s club first appears in my novel Catch a Falling Star set in 1990.  The origin of the club is told about in Superchicken, a novel I have blogged about, but not yet published.  That story happens in 1974.  Valerie Clarke is introduced in the novel PDMI Publishing LLC is currently working on, Snow Babies,  which takes place in Winter of 1984.  She is the leader of the Pirates in the finished, but not yet submitted novel The Bicycle-Wheel Genius.  That story spans 1988 to 1991.

peterlie

4. Much of my nuttiness was originally created in the 1970’s.  Even though the stories were given a setting much later, all the illustrated Paffoonies I have dropped into this post were drawn in 1977 and 1978.  I keep these cartoon character model sheets in one of my magical tomes, the Norwall Book, a loose-leaf binder full of drawings and junk carefully preserved in plastic page-protector sheets.

So, this is all the proof that my leap off that cliff into retirement will either make a very big splash or hit the rocks very hard.  It will be very something.  And I hope to live to see it… especially to get all of the stories I can possibly finish written and published… with a ghost of a hope that my own drawings, cartoons, and illustrations will count for something.  So, now my plan is revealed.  Let the enemies plan their counter-moves, and may the devil not move the water at the bottom of the cliff.

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Farming Family

the ClarkesI have been working on the beginnings of the novel When the Captain Came Calling.  It is not the first draft.  It is the third entire re-write.  I wrote this as a graphic novel before graphic novels were an established form.  Then I tried to rewrite it as a traditional novel, and it is now coming into its YA novel form.  But I can’t begin to explain this novel-writing project without telling you about the Clarkes.  Yes, they are a very important Iowegian family who farm and are entirely fictional.  (Kids, what other words do you know that begin with the letter F?)  They are based, at least a tiny bit, on my own family when I was a kid, but very specific parts of it.  My Uncle Larry, mother’s older brother who is now gone (but never forgotten) was the inspiration for Dash Clarke.  Kyle Clarke, the father in the picture, is Dash’s younger brother… though he is not based on my other maternal uncle.  The daughter in the Paffooney picture, Valerie Clarke, is based on my own daughter combined with a girl I had a crush on in grade school and a girl who had a deeply felt crush on me when I was a young teacher.  The Clarkes are third generation farmers, just as my own family were back in the time this story is set.  Unlike my family, the Clarkes do not come out of the 80’s with their family farms intact.  What grandparents built, the sons lose hold of, and the world becomes a much sadder place because of it.  The story is about a lot of things in addition to a family losing their farm.  It is filled with magic, telling sea stories and other lies, and the truth behind both the magic  and the lies.

I posted this today because today is the day I finished the Paffooney illustration that started the post.  Here is what it looked like in progress;

pencil sketchClarkes

Paffooneys are a made-up thing by which I name the whole great glob of artwork and stories I have created that represent the never-ending music in my soul.  I am not a singer or a song-writer.  The only way these tunes come to life is through the toons which I ignorantly call the Paffoons because the loons have nothing on me.

Here is a cover mock-up for the novel which shows another picture of Valerie Clarke, the most beautiful little girl ever born in Norwall, Iowa (a phrase that her Uncle Dash christened her with when she was small, and it caught on with the entire town.)Voodoo Val cover

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Sailing Through a Sea of Ideas

The LadyI have been steadily chipping away at my science fiction novel about planet-saving in a world crashing with biological and political disaster.  It is a comedy about the end of the world… though it is set on a distant planet that is not our world.  It is not the Earth.  It is the fictionalized world of David Icke’s reptilian aliens (for those of you crazy enough to follow loony-tunes tinfoil hat conspiracies with the same ironic gusto that I do).  I call this novel Stardusters and Space Lizards.  The world of the novel is accidentally being invaded by the Telleron aliens who starred in my novel Catch a Falling Star.   They find there a world that is undergoing massive biological crises caused by war using weapons of mass destruction and injudicious exploitation of the environment for the enrichment of the elite.  I know that sounds totally like Earth at present, but that is the purpose of a cautionary tale.  This is the planet of the lizard people, Galtorr Prime.

Sizzahl2

But by now you are aware of the fact that I am a tremendously un-focused divergent thinker, and I already have more stories in the works.  I fully intend to follow up this science fiction YA with a fantasy YA about the Norwall Pirates and South Seas Juju following an old sea captain born in Iowa all the way home from the mysterious island where he earned the curse of invisibility.  It will be called The Captain Came Home or other such nonsense similar to that.

Voodoo Val

The novel about the Captain who is invisible has as its main character Valerie Clarke, who was also a main character in the novel Snow Babies.  This novel is, however, set at a moment of time before the events of Snow Babies occur.

Never one to be satisfied with working on two novels at once, I have started a third.  I finally came up with a name for this story that has been in my head since the 1970’s when I first learned about autism and mental disorders that affect communication.  I am calling this one, for now, Fools and Their Toys.

Fools n Toys

This story is about Murray Dawes, a young man who can’t communicate with others due to autism that finally blossoms when a boy genius builds him a ventriloquist’s puppet in the form of a zebra’s head.  Through the puppet the young man finds he has an awful lot to say, and he begins to bring the world around to realizations of some pretty awful things.

To prove that I have been doing at least my 500 words a day, here is the lead that I created today for this third active writing project that I’ve added to the juggling session of three novels at once.

Fools and Their Toys

I know you will probably say this is totally unbelievable, that an inanimate object… or, rather, a puppet who is animated by others, cannot be the narrator of a story.  You are right, of course.  I can’t possibly be the author of this tale.  I am a modified sock puppet of a zebra with mechanically blinking eyes and mechanically enhanced mouth movements.  My head is full of cotton stuffing and old newspapers.  But I was cleverly put together by a genius, and given life by another.

You have to understand, the human mind is like a great complex Labyrinth where no man has ever mastered every single corridor.  Sometimes the most beautifully complex minds become lost or trapped in a dead-end corridor, never to find the light outside again.   But sometimes a special mind that was meant for special things is helped to find the light again… shown a trap door or a secret exit by another who has mastered at least a portion of the great, overly-complex dungeon.   And sometimes it is possible to slip past the Minotaur who guards the secrets of the Labyrinth and keeps us all from unlocking the magic.

Okay, I know that is barely 200 words by itself… but I do get 500 done per day.  I am writing two other books at the same time for gosh sakes!

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Conversations With the Ghost of Miss M…

DSCN5148Beneath the old cottonwood tree there once stood a one-room school house.  My mother went to school there as a girl, a short walk from home along the Iowa country road.  Misty mornings on a road between cornfields and soybean fields can often conjure up ghosts.

I took this morning walk with the dog while I was visiting my old Iowegian home, and I was writing my fictional story Magical Miss Morgan in my head, not yet having had time to sit down and write.  I was reflecting on times long past and a school long gone, though Miss Morgan’s story is really about my own teaching experience.  Miss Morgan is in many ways me.  But I am not a female teacher.  I am a goofy old man.  So, why am I writing the main character as a female?

Well, the ghosts from the old school house heard that and decided to send an answer.

Miss Mennenga was my third grade and fourth grade teacher from the Rowan school.  The building I attended her classes in has been gone for thirty years.  Miss M herself has long since passed to the other side.  So when she appeared at the corner…  Yes, I know… I have said countless times that I don’t believe in ghosts, but she had the same flower-patterned dress, the glasses, the large, magnified brown eyes that could look into your soul and see all your secrets, yet love you enough to not tell them to anyone else.  Suddenly, I knew where the character of Miss Morgan had actually come from.  I also realized why I was drawn to teaching in the first place.  Teachers teach you more than just long division, lessons about the circulatory systems of frogs, and the Battle of Gettysburg…  They shape your soul.

“You remember getting in trouble for doing jokes in class when you were supposed to be studying your spelling words?”

“Yes, Miss M, but I didn’t make any noise.. they were pantomime jokes that I stole from watching Red Skelton on TV.”

“But you pulled your heart out of your chest and made it beat in your hand.  You had to know that was going to make the boys smirk and the girls giggle.”

“I did.  But making them happy was part of the reason God put me there.”

“But not during spelling.  I was trying to teach math to fourth graders.  You interrupted.”

“You made that point.  I still remember vividly.  You let me read the story to the class out loud afterwords.  You said I needed to use my talent for entertaining to help others learn, not distract them from learning.”

“I was very proud of the way you learned that lesson.”

“I tried very hard as a teacher to never miss a teachable moment like that.  It was part of the reason that God put you there.”

“And I did love to hear you read aloud to the class.  You were always such an expressive reader, Michael.  Do you remember what book it was?”

“It was Ribsy, by Beverly Cleary.   How could I have forgotten that until now?  You made me love reading out loud so much that I always did it in my own classes, at every opportunity.”

I remembered the smile above all else as the lingering image faded from my view through the eyes of memory.  She had a warm and loving smile.  I can only hope my goofy grin didn’t scare too many kids throughout my career.

10931430_1392374101067123_2624334665191497015_n I needed a post for 1000 Voices that was about reconnecting with someone.  I could’ve used any number of real life examples from everything that has happened to me since poor health forced me to retire from teaching  I could’ve written any number of things that would not make me feel all sad and goopy about retiring and would not make me cry at my keyboard again like I am doing now… like I did all through that silly novel I wrote… even during the funny parts.  But I had to choose this.  A debt had to be paid.  I love you, Miss M… and I had to pay it forward.

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Goofy Squared

Mickeynose

There are a number of really, really goofy facts about me that I will reveal in today’s post…  No one is trying to blackmail me over these things, believe it or not.  I have no money.  And I have no reputation to protect.  I am nobody.  Just a silly, goofy, loony old nobody.  But I have a few chuckles now and then at my own expense.

Revelation #1; The clown nose in the picture was a souvenir from Cirque du Soleil.  We went to see them in a parking lot in Frisco, Texas.  They had an actual circus tent.  When I was five, I told my parents I wanted to be a clown when I grew up.  Nobody believes me when I say it, but I achieved that goal.  They say, “But you were a school teacher!”

And I say, “How is that different?”

Honestly, I have worn a clown nose and played harmonica in front of a classroom full of twelve-year-olds.  I can make teenagers laugh so hard the principal has to check to make sure they are not gleefully setting me on fire or duct-taping me to the wall.  (Duck-taping sounds funnier, but you have to be accurate when describing real events from modern schools.)

Revelation #2;  I am a closet nudist.lil hunter2

I used to be associated with the AANR, a nudist/ naturist organization in the latter part of the 1980’s,  I met the nudist publishers through stamp collecting and they tried to recruit me.  I bought books and videos from them.  I have actually been naked for an entire day… once.  I knew nudists in Austin where a former girlfriend stayed over several weekends with her sister who lived in the clothing-optional apartment complex on Manor Road.  I am not brave enough to walk around physically naked in front of people on a regular basis though.  So, I am a closet nudist.  Only a nudist in my closet.  I get a lot of mileage out of naked jokes in my fiction, though, because, well… naked is funny.

Goof  Revelation #3;  I keep scrapbooks filled with collages made of pictures from magazines, newspapers, photos I’ve taken, pictures I drew myself, poems, short snippets of things I find funny or ironic or autobiographically important, and secrets like I am sharing with you today.  (The picture of Goofy seen here is one I colored myself from one of the old coloring books left over from my kids’ coloring book days.  I hate to see unused coloring book pictures go to waste.)  I call these my magical tomes because I use them as source material for the spells I weave in my fiction.  I also use many of the images for drawing and painting as models.  I also discovered I can borrow whole images and make new art using my cheap-o substitute photo-shop program.

Revelation #4;  It is totally by accident that I have come to look like the most important character in Snow Babies, the novel that PDMI is slowly publishing for me.  Catbird Sandman is an old hobo who wears a coat that has so many patches on it that it Catbird Mehas become a patchwork crazy quilt.  He wanders around the country, appreciating the world and its people, and using his considerable store of mysterious abilities to charm, help, and change people.  He carries around a book, a well-worn copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and quotes from it, treating it like a sort of Bible-like source of spiritual wisdom.  The character looks like Walt Whitman.  And now, though not intentionally, so do I.  I grew the beard and long hair because of psoriasis.  It attacks me under the edge of my jaw line and all around the back of my head.  It is easily scratched and bloodied, and then infected when someone cuts my hair or I try to shave.  So I have given up that battle and gone all hippy-dippy.  It sorta fits with the whole jobless, shiftless, former nudist sort of persona that I have been cultivating as an author.

So what is the equation Goofy Squared all about?  Well, if you take the square root of the four Goofy revelations in this post, you come up with Goofy times two.  So Goofy obviously equals one.  And I think I have clearly proven that I am the goofy one.

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Filed under artwork, goofiness, humor, Paffooney