Friday, October 31, 2014


Always a certain shyness around the end of the month because that's when numbers are produced. Looks like One Small Boy might have sold five copies, and these are the sort of numbers that can get the writer of pulp's adrenalin running. I guess too, a Thank You is in order.

I know Pewdesduckle purchased a copy and I have a suspicion The Editor might have purchased a copy. Nor is an editor someone who can be put under the hot lights and interrogated, because that sort of role reversal leads to the anarchy of far too many comma's and might even lead to the chaos of semi-colons, not to mention the apostrophe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Weaver of Inclines

Fiction, Literature, Biographical - is a category. So is - Non-fiction, Social Science, Anthropology Cultural. Tags are a great deal more fun - Boarding School, Detention, Leopards, Steam Trains, Discursive, Episodic, Prolix. Of course to be taken seriously I should really be in the category of Chic-Lit, Sci-Fi, Mystery. With the tags Spaceships, Pretty Blond People, Serial Killer, Sentient Plants, Gorgeous Alien Beings. And I reckon Emma De Lissau by Amelia Bristow, comes under such a category. All though you could try:

 Not quite certain why I like the tags Discursive, Episodic, Prolix. I could argue that these three words best describe the world I share with The Rabbit of Usk. Increasingly however, I have come to understand that not everyone greets Discursive, Episodic, Prolix with the same enthusiasm as I do. The question I guess is, Do I Care? The correct answer to this question is, Yes you should! Anyway, on Saturday the month of November begins and I at least am keenly anticipating holiday shopping, heavy frost, possibly snow, maybe a blizzard or freezing rain, and the arrival of A Weaver of Inclines.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Night Light

Yep, it's got the chill out there in the outdoors. And there's the drip of sad leaves. A sort of dank that brings to mind toast and Marmite. And a host of ghostly apparitions on the struggling hills. And too, there are lights at night which really have no business being on.

 But I guess because it's the nature of many to believe they live in jungle the light grants redemption. Offers comfort. A kind of blindness you might think until you hear the cackle of Barred Owl and stub your toe on an ornamental rock.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Misses Reid

The vicissitudes of Emma continue. The Rabbi has killed himself, which is one way to get rid of an annoying character who appears to be all beard. And Emma has agreed to devote her waking hours to sitting with her insane mother, which is also a pretty good way to dispose of any need for interaction between more than one character. Emma's father or her uncle, and here I wish I had access to volume one of the account, has chosen some very special books for Emma to read. And the other thing about Emma is that she believes she might have caused a miracle, otherwise instead of being insane her mother would have descended to the tomb.

The more I think about Emma, the scarier she becomes. She is the sort of person who would have gone willingly to the Lions, and as she did so her chance at a final monologue would probably have turned the community of Roman Arena Lions vegetarian and put an end to the tradition of tossing Christians into Lion pits. However one of the subscribers to Amelia Bristow's story are call The Misses Reid.  Research suggests The Misses Reid are two sisters and their brother is The Honorable Neville Reid. As well The Misses Reid contributed mightily to the construction of Saint Joseph's Church near where The Rabbit of Usk now finds himself. Saint Joseph's follow the Discalced Carmelite tradition, in other words they are Barefoot Carmelites. So it was meant to be.

Monday, October 27, 2014


There might be an ice cream, some kind of curried meat product, a well rounded rice, raita, large quantities of garlic and I guess too there should be papadum, or are the called chapatti, I can never remember.

As well as something Apple and Orange, maybe a nut and quite frankly to hell with green stuff. And if you have to know, the complexity of this Dish for a Big Day will be better described in Book Nine.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book Three

For Book Three of The Rabbit of Usk, which is as yet untitled, I'm reading Emma De Lissau by Amelia Bristow. I can't find the first volume which makes following the plot a little tricky. But chapter one of volume two seems to be chapter IX in Emma's narrative. So it's all rather confusing. Either way I have reached the part where Emma's grandfather - the guardian of her infant years - is approaching dissolution and there are no words to depict Emma's agonizing feelings. The poor girl has seen many a dear one descend into the tomb. And it is her hope that before he departs she might have a chance to speak to her grandfather about Jesus. Emma of course is a religious nut.

Now there might well be an inclination to ask "Why are you reading a book by Amelia Bristow?" And I agree it does sound a little weird, and it might well be a consequence of not having been much further than the front porch for what begins to feel like a couple of years. All the same, Amelia was born around 1783, her preoccupation was the distinction between Jews and Christians and her very proper character Emma has all the qualities of a lust interest for my own hero's grandfather. Which is also pretty weird because there is a part of our hero's grandfather who was thirty seven years old when King Offa came to the Mercian Throne in the year 757 of the Christian calendar. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Electronic Interaction

Pinterest is one of the less comprehensible of the many, many forms of modern interaction between the electronically connected. Not certain what to call the questioner? He, or she, or it is the one that asks the questions. And then asks more questions. It's not so much the nature of the questions, rather it's the thoroughly patronizing manner of the questions. I, sir, am not in kindergarten even if you might believe you are kindergarten's teacher.

I think it was Plato who had some good words to say about the beginning of things. The beginning of relationships as much as the beginning of States, whether they be nation states or mental states. And I'll tell you this much, Pinterest, you are worse than Google. A more flagrantly depressing experience to my knock on your door would be hard to repeat. And No! I'll not sign in using bloody Facebook, I'd rather go door to door selling second hand extension cords while reciting the Queen of England's first tweet.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Over Half a Million to Go

Great news, and for those in marketing everything is great news, One Small Boy is now ranked 538,221 on the Barnes and Noble. Not quite sure what that means but I have to think that in the beauty contest there are over half a million others ahead of him. One of his fifteen shorter siblings, the story about the bicycle, is ranked 247,948. Which is a little over half a million points ahead of One Small Boy.

I've noticed recently that the DNC and its affiliates have been dispatching emails at the rate of about fifteen a day. I have had letters from Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, the President of the United States, Barbara Streisand and a couple of others whose names I don't recognize. From the tenor of their correspondence, they obviously have much the same problem that I do.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weaver of Inclines

Have to think that a six word title for anything is too long. And here I'm pretty certain that Pewdesduckle and one or other of the several Anonymous might agree with me. Ampleforth, however, has yet to review One Small Boy on the Barnes and Noble, so I've sent him a generous gift token that will enable him to buy a Danish Pastry to go along with his Double Vanilla Latte from that pompous ass coffee outlet around the corner from him.  And I'd just like to point out to Ampleforth, that no one is remotely impressed with his new apple Mack Ping Pong.

It's called 'flutter' or something like that. The algorithm likes flutter, it likes to be tickled and made to giggle. And I don't think Ampleforth fully understands what a happy algorithm is. Nor is denigrating the class of reviewer something we writers of pulp should really indulge. But I would have you know Ampleforth, there is an Anonymous who has been very generous with a few remarks about One Small Boy. It's a five star review, sir. A five star review!   How about "Weaver of Inclines," to go along with this wonderful picture of a Tribal Class 31. A 2-8-4 no less, with smokestack belching.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Weaver of the Elgon Caldera

Episodic Prolix doesn't figure large in the categories. However, one of the observations I'd like to put on the table for any discussion of this sometimes exotic concept of structure is that once something like part one of a story has come into existence, a succeeding part of the story can't just throw up it's hands and say something like, "I want to be alone." A sins of the father kind of thing I guess. A good argument that's been completely spoiled by a domination of particularly absurd idea of forgiveness within the politics of the individual. Blessed are the meek, indeed. "My withered right foot!" which is something I can say.

 The alternative is to come up with equally wonderful absurdities, which in the context of a narrative make perfect sense. Our political class, the boys and girls up there in the higher percentile, do it all the time. "The narrative" they will say "Is the only important thing." Down here of course we have other names for it. How about "A Weaver of the Elgon Caldera" and a picture of Steam Engine 1042 pulling freight wagons. And here, the picture won't actually be The Empress 1042 herself you understand, she is or was too beautiful to have ever been photographed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blob-like and Sluggardly

Not tomorrow, but the next day, I will be without the wooden shoe. I will hang it somewhere as an ornament, and after that I'll have to learn how to walk again. My right foot has become lazy, and I have noticed also that two and a half minutes of any kind of physical activity leaves me in a state of shock.

In short, over the past couple of weeks I have become blob-like and a sluggardly, and unless I am proactive, a few more days of this and I will be feeding through a tube attached to the refrigerator. Sounds blissful I know, but such is theory.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Coyote As Neighbor

The Coyote are beginning to interfere with a person's lifestyle around here. If they could just have their disagreements, or whatever it is, at regular times such as seven thirty to eight thirty in the evening rather than two or three o'clock in the morning all might be better positioned for a harmony and oneness between our disparate communities.

A barking dog is bad enough at anytime of day, but what sounds like seven or eight hundred of them all yowling at each other just outside the bedroom window in the early hours of the morning demands some sort of major gesture. I'm thinking of putting up a placard. Something pithy, like "Go eat Beagles."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ampleforth's Review

Some tension this morning with Ogden Ampleforth III's name. For some inconsolable reason I erred in the spelling of his name yesterday, but fortunately all records have been altered to reflect the proud history of his family, and we writers of pulp do not like to piss off reviewers. They might feast upon our corpses yet we are as nothing without them.

 Ogden's review of Halibut's End Story on the Barnes and Noble was kinder than I'd anticipated from him. Indeed he might even have understood the under harmonies contained in that story. And too he might have come up with a few of his own, which would be magnificent, because it would mean I am a true blue bull-shitter.  I should send the brave man a gift card of $3.17.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


  Day Forty Two about now, I guess this would be. In "Feels Like" terms it seems much longer. But worth noting that in forty two days Spodoptera Exempta, when conditions are right can lay waste to vast tracks of land. 'Spodop' comes from Greek for ash and and maybe something about 'foot.' I think the 'tera' part has something to do with the earth, or that part of the planet that is dry land. 'Exempta' has all the makings of 'exempt.'  Early meanings of 'exempt' include the idea of 'taking out.' So with Spodoptera Exempta, you're kind of looking at a meaning that is thinking in terms of 'Scorched Earth.' And the African Armyworm, can do just that.

I mention this because currently in the world there is someone who is a little bogged down with his titles. Mind you he's not been off his compound for something like three weeks, so these things can be expected. And too, in the grand tapestry whether the title is 'Grand Pombo,' or 'Laughing Octopus Dancing Hippo,' or 'Queen of England' does not make a great deal of difference. But according to Mark Bittman, it's the little things that matter. Quite why he says this, I'm not absolutely certain other than to guess he's completely given up on anything much larger than Cucumber sandwich. How about Ogden Ampleforth, III. Ampleforth is a religious institution in Yorkshire.  The III part is all about provenance and verité.

Friday, October 17, 2014


'Elgon Caldera' is obviously not going to work as a title. And on this matter both Pewdesduckle and Ogden somebody, and a quite a few other correspondents agree. 'Untitled' is also out of the question, I'm afraid. I know this will come as a great disappointment to my anonymous friend from either Romania or Indonesia but let me assure you sir, that I am still very interested in the dietary supplement that will reduce 'swelling of ankle' and promote 'good tooth color.' I suffer from both these ailments, and I'm so glad there is a 'guaranteed cure' with 'lifetime warranty.'

Kind of an exciting day too. I was up early, 2.30 am for the Pewdesduckle review of One Small Boy. And frankly I think I might have to start calling Pewdesduckle by her Christian name. Which is the sort of thing a writer of pulp does when they get a four star review, with just one word out of place, on the Barnes and Noble. Rather dreading Ogden somebody's review. Hope he has a less than engaging surname, so no one will take too much notice of him. Such a pity one cannot reply to reviews. But perhaps there's a gossip column somewhere that I might introduce to a few false rumors about Ogden.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pewdesduckle and Ogden Somebody

In the morning I go boldly to my various places, and as a rule I come away depressed. Completely understand that good news fails to impress the reading public, who I have to say have the admirable quality of being a very tight fisted bunch. So I've decided that along with 'self interviewing' I will conduct a 'self review' of those works of mine that sit on imaginary shelves waiting to be perused. I will have two characters. One who is in favor of my work. The other a bounder and a cad whose opinion, while probably accurate, is shall we say 'not in my corner.' All that remains are names for these characters.

I thought Claudette Pewdesduckle, had a nice ring to it. I think of her as someone who is very well educated in the European tradition of something like 1922. She understands Proust, she's dabbled with the occult. She's a tall, Germanic whist player who is prone to accusing her opponents of cheating. She is more Aunt than she is mother. Her one boy child is called Andy who is a flamboyant participant in Gay Pride Parades and a Dance Instructor. The love of her life is a very bad tempered Toy Poodle. Her current husband is a good looking accessory from Finland. And I think I'd like to have her in my corner. The other reviewer, is an angry drunk from Boston. What he looks like I'm not yet certain. His name is Ogden something. But more later...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cats and Dogs

I've no idea about the title "Elgon Caldera." But I did have an Anonymous correspondent who wrote this. "Thanks very much for finally writing about > Untitled < I liked it." And then there was something about whether I was interested in a dietary supplement that would improve my memory and do away with all need for exercise. Something I am actually very interested in. But of course one does now and then get the odd crank, the odd marble floating around out there, and I can tell you Romania and Indonesia have their fair share of them.

Not certain that this particular Anonymous correspondent, who is rather obsessed by dietary supplements and oddly enough 'photo enhancements,' has quite grasped the problem of Titles. Not every thing can be called "Untitled" because if they were, I have to think our world would be even more confusing. Hard enough already in the course of communication to remember the title of something like a tin-opener, but maybe that's just me. However he or she does have a point. Titles belong to categorization. And I've been told, when writing pulp the title is supposed to both entice and target. "Cats and Dogs on the Elgon Caldera." Not much to do with the story, but Rain Lovers and Pet People might like it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Big Bit of Wood

The big bit of wood has fallen out the Maple, which is nice. It's been there for some years, and I've often wondered how strong a wind it would have to be to persuade that bit of wood to fall.
As well, there was always been a chance it would chosen to fall on a calm, rainless day with light breeze and temperatures in the mid seventies resulting in someone getting bumped on the head. So it's good news from these parts.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Telephone, Custom and Practice

There must be bold individuals who react positively to the telephone. Because if there weren't, then I'd argue it would be safe to assume there would be less random telephone calling of complete strangers by complete strangers. As you know the modern telephone is a miracle of technology and a person once he knows how to, can press a couple of buttons and go back into time, which I guess is a sort of cave, and there he will find a cache of the telephone calls he has received. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of complete strangers with what must have been very important messages which I at least have completely ignored.

If you go back to something like 1965, a telephone would ring in the domicile and all normal activity would come to a complete halt. There'd be yelling and rushing around because back then if a telephone wasn't answered before it rang three times the world would pretty much come to an end. Or at least had a potential to come to end because back then if ever a telephone stopped ringing before it was answered, it was necessary to stare at it for at least five minutes so that blame might be cast, in the event that the world had come to an end. A simpler more innocent time I suppose.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Twonk" in English Usage

How about "Wally Hammond" as a title. Mind you a person would have to be something like seventy five years old, still in possession of his or her faculties and an avid cricketer to know who Wally Hammond is or was. And the thing about Wally Hammond is that he was born in Kent, and when he was chosen to play Cricket for Gloucestershire, Lord Harris noted that Wally hadn't lived in Gloucestershire long enough to play cricket for the Gloucestershire County Cricket Team. And Wally had to play football for a while.

These days, Lord Harris would be what modern English Usage might call a "Twonk." In my view a beautiful word, that may one day indeed find its way across the Atlantic Ocean to meld into the imagination of other English Usage, American, Canadian and so on. For my part, I yearn to hear the word "Twonk" uttered by fellow citizens in the Grocery Store. Probably by a cashier or a cheerful bagger. And one day soon I plan to again visit a Grocery Store, but meanwhile I have a not so fond memory of having seen Wally Hammond's signed cricket bat on the wall of a headmaster's study.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Night Talk

Something of a discussion between Barred Owls down in Robina Wood yesterday evening. It seemed friendly. An apolitical discourse on the nature of being and the importance of at least appearing to be wise. A joke here, a joke there and probably they were sharing cocktail recipes because they paid no attention whatsoever to what some of us have identified as a creature undiscovered by the community of naturalists. I am beginning to believe this creature must be some kind of Griffin. It has feet, it can pad around, it can fly, it can call like one of the larger, more frustrated whales, and there are two of them. Neither sounds like a vegetarian.

Then in the four o'clock hour, which is that time of day we writers of pulp hop from out bed to commune with the perfect sentence, there were Coyote. Some huge disagreement in their clan down in Junk Gully. And my god what noisy and undignified neighbors they make. And you could kind of tell their quarrel was completely unnecessary, it was just their chance for everyone to say their bit, make their point, impress the girlfriend or the boyfriend, and at the same time remind the rest of the world that despite the bounty on their tails there are thousands of them out there just waiting to snap up the odd small pet or doddering old person collecting his mail.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Big time lightning. An inch and a half of rain. Must remember a Jam and Marmite sandwich keeps hail at bay and never put your glasses in the refrigerator. They are hell to find.

In other news our hero is preparing himself for a visit to a headmaster, and when I think back it's an absolute mystery why he's still hobbling around. How about "Leopards and Railway Lines."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Rain Event

This kind up coming rain event plays havoc with local means of communication. And here I am primarily addressing the anonymous correspondent who so recently has dogged me.

 Nor is this anonymous correspondent remotely concerned with a diet plan that is dead simple and easy to do, or the qualification a carpenter might require if he or she is to be considered professional

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"The ELgon Caldera"

I believe when I interviewed myself, I did ask myself a question about titles. Might even be worth my while going back to see what my answer was, because I am pretty certain the title "Elgon Caldera" has all the magic and excitement of a flat tire. Mind you I've completely gone off the title "One Small Boy." There's something really irritating about it, and yet it's kind of too late to do anything to change it, because the damn thing has ISBN numbers, and all that kind of corporate stuff.

I do like the three words "Formerly Known As." They kind of sum the whole pompous ass title business up. I mean why in the first place do there have to be titles. And I could go on, but the new leaf I have turned requires a certain acceptance from me, so I just have to 'Buck up, pull myself together and get with the program.' None of them easy things to do, especially around titles.  So despite the temptation to go for "Jung's Second Big Mistake" I think I might try adding a "The" to "Elgon Caldera" for a bit, see how that goes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Code Red

There must be a rare breed of person who actually likes answering a telephone. And I have to think Cancun is awash with them. Here where I live there's mostly a strong desire to place the onus of answering the telephone upon someone else. And too there are acceptable and unacceptable times for the telephone to ring. My own preference is for it to ring when I'm nowhere near it, and quite why we have one I'm never certain. Then the telephone rings at the waking hour.

"It's code red." I was advised. Not particularly informative, because while there are parts of life that are a tad hazy, I don't believe The Artist was ever once in something like a Commando Unit, or an Urban Attack Squad. All the same her reaction to "Code Red" lacked any kind of panic or concern and she walked to take a good look out of the kitchen windows. For those who might be interested, "Code Red" is a more up to date iteration of that old faithful and infinitely more civilized "get under a sturdy work bench." The hail was about the size and shape of a Lima Bean, or a Broad Bean which cannot be good for Mockingbirds

Monday, October 6, 2014

Real Time

Real Time, means 'as it happens' and there's a good thing and a bad thing about Real Time. If you watch a movie, that's not Real Time. But if you have access to a Real Time Feed then you can pretty much tell what's happening Now. And there is something fascinating about watching a Real Time Feed from somewhere like the gas station that has a doughnut shop at the junction between something like Route 25 and Donkey Tail Road.

And it's always possible this is more like a mono-pedal activity than it is like something bipeds have the patience for. However, I have a Real Time Feed to the comings and goings of One Small Boy as he currently sits out there in the ether. I can see how many times he has been downloaded and I can see how many times the poor little guy has been sold. It's kind of like a cattle market, I suppose, and I'm there in the rafters like two beady eyes watching. Nor am I certain whether this is a healthy activity.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Moon Flower

The Moon Flower is very intolerant of chill. She stumbled in the brisk of yesterday's morning. Through the day she did her best to recover, and there was a sense of hope in her.

But last night and into this morning she cursed the chill and I have to think she's chosen to retreat into an oblivion. My own reaction has been very similar, but without the oblivion part. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Milder Weather

An inevitable cool is upon us, and here I don't mean swishing around in winkle-picker shoes, handing out Gauloises from a silver monographed cigarette case. I mean the kind of cool that's better reflected by hunting down cigarette butts and rolling paper.

The period of winter always seems hungry, its energies more desperate. And yet when you think of what a long summer of drought can do to land, a mind has to pause, consider the little things, permit our own place in the world to accept insignificance. Which isn't something we're very good at doing.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Class Of

I have a series of stories called The Class Of.  The first in this series is The Class of Dog. It goes back at least ten years and has several incarnations most of which have ended in the death of 'Pebbles.'  Which is the name of the dog. One of the more current incarnations of The Class of Dog, has a slightly happier ending for 'Pebbles.'

As with so many things, a person is never certain the extent to which something might be finished and gone. And here I've mostly had an unhappy relationship with dogs and I am extraordinarily fond of the idea that 'Pebbles' should come to some grisly and horrible end. But the more I know of 'Pebbles' the fonder I seem to be of her. Which in my view is a perfect example of the nature of fiction.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


The Laurel is blooming. She usually blooms twice a year, at no particular set date or month. She just blooms whenever she feels able to, or perhaps when she's in a mood to bloom. And it's perfectly possible that one year she might decide not to bloom at all. This year she'll bloom only once. Odds are she'll soon realize the error. But I have to think the production of Little Laurels is not high on her list.

When she came she was just twelve small plants. And these plants grew together to make one large, long, wide plant that stretches a good sixty feet. And her contribution to the state of affairs here has been tremendous. Under her wide skirts there is shade and shelter. The Towhee is devoted to her, the Thrasher had a nest in her. In winter Field and Chipping Sparrow find winter shelter in her. And often there will be Little Rabbit hiding in her skirts where they plot against the Vegetable Garden.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bow Ties and Ice Cream

Big Day Today. And when I say Big I mean huge. There will be ice cream and the bow tie, there might even be a visit to Scary Pile Two. But the point is a Discursive Episodic Prolixity has its first episode. One Small Boy, the Omnibus Edition, fifteen very short stories, has a thread which will amble on into the nether regions of the archives where it will blossom into the fullness of The Rabbit of Usk. And if you wish to look at One Small Boy, admire its cover, you might try this link: One Small Boy

More important is the celebration. I mentioned bow tie and ice cream, because it's well known that during a book signing the proud writer wears a bow tie and eats ice cream. And he or she does this because once the endeavor is through, a demon of doubt sets in, he or she succumbs to ennui - and if they don't there's something seriously wrong with them - so he or she wears his or her bow tie and eats his or her vanilla ice-cream so they might at least have some kind of a fond memory.