Saturday, January 31, 2015

First Bird

Unlike Eagles who are blatantly aggressive and ill mannered a person can never be certain about Turkey. They tromp around in their groups, there's a sort of Hen group, the older boys have their group, then at different times of year there are different kinds of group due to the problem of raising young Turkey. And there's the odd Turkey who's given up on the whole group thing and opted for some kind of solitary life style. And sometimes in their ranks there'll be a huge excitement, they'll run around mysteriously driven by a logic only a Turkey can hope to grasp. Yet they always look as though they're about their own business and whatever it is they're doing makes perfect sense to them.

 I remember reading about the Passenger Pigeon which was once so abundant and which is now gone from the world. Apparently they weren't that smart and fell easily to the appetites of men armed with shotguns. Their complete and sudden disappearance however is a bit of a mystery. Disease has been considered as a possible cause. Another argument is that being social creatures, the Passenger Pigeon, unlike Lot, required a good sized flock in order to pursue the matter of reproduction, and as they saw their numbers decline, they kind of gave up. All the same, in the debate that sadly no longer rages some of us still consider the Eagle or the Griffin a redundancy and he should be replaced by either the Turkey or the Passenger Pigeon as the Nation's First Bird.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Strange Vehicle

What some loosely refer to as The Lane, but which after a period of intense isolation might be referred to as The Main Road does every six months or so get to see a strange vehicle. And I can tell you it's a big excitement. Not so much the 'oh goody' kind of excitement, rather it's the kind of excitement that results in twitching and wondering where the best place to hide might be.

Invariable a territorial imperative soon dominates and as with all territorial imperatives it begins with a strong desire to possess cruise missiles and an aircraft carrier, or maybe a bazooka or at least a couple of hand grenades. The other thing about the road, once committed to it, wheels in motion, there's no place to turn around without being glared at. And I can tell this much "Just Looking" is a wholly inadequate answer.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Spelling of a Name

The spelling "Mathurin" instead of "Maturin" pretty much summarizes your writer of pulp's relationship with his spell checker. And I guess too if he could spell that relationship would be a less antagonistic relationship, interaction between your writer of pulp and his spell checker less fraught by expletives and threats about axe handles and throwing things out of windows.

And too, while your writer of pulp might indeed have grasped that spelling as randomness falls far short of expectations of him, he nonetheless will at times declare his independence. And frankly the word "Maturin" sounds far to like Nicholas or Clotilda both of which are difficult to say without feeling just a little queasy. Mathurin, with the H, is an altogether much happier word and a great deal more heroic. So at least that's settled!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mathurin

Mathurin, or Maturin for the benefit of the spell checker is Maturinus, a man who died around 300AD and is venerated as a Saint in both the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Church. As a youth he secretly converted to the Christian faith, he performed the odd miracle, he had a wonderful ability to drive out demons, calm rowdy individuals and rioters. And probably he was a joy to be around, confident, holy decent and upright.

In the course of the succeeding centuries, and because of his ability to drive out demons he became a Patron Saint for the Insane. Sensibly enough, he also became a Patron Saint for Comedians and Jesters. As well he became a Patron Saint for Sailors and for Tin Smiths, a Gypsy occupation. And for one reason or another he became a Patron Saint for Plumbers. However, there is no Patron Saint of Thieves there is only a Patron Saint of Repentant Thieves. His name is Nicholas, a bossy sort of name, so we writers of pulp do on occasion lean toward renting in twain the whole cloth. Either way, Saint Mathurin figures large in The Rabbit of Usk.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Perfectly Normal

I've been advised to pretty much dip my head in cold water either before or after the morning tooth brushing. It's something people apparently do in the privacy of those first moments of the day, and apparently it's neither strange or unusual, and apparently it's perfectly normal.

The object of this exercise is to freshen the face, give a jolt to the system and rouse the cortex from a condition of sullenness to one of effervescence and good cheer. After two mornings of conducting his own experiments in this area a person can begin to wonder at the definition of the word 'normal.' 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Carol Singers in the Ear

Carol Singers in the Ear is a poorly understood ailment that is randomly exasperated by pretty much anything from dust and dry, damp and moldy, through idle chit chat and reading the News, to getting up in the morning and looking out the window. It probably has a number of other names none of which even get close to a description of the ordeal we sufferers must endure as we go bravely about our business. But there are times when the failure of others to appreciate the depth and cruelty of our suffering does get a little grating.

In every respects we look far too normal, we can walk around, shave occasionally and stuff like that, there's a smile on our face, we nod appreciatively when anyone says anything even if we can't really concentrate on what was actually said because of the high pitched blast from our own personal community of tiny Carol Singers who can sometimes set to work with minute pneumatic drills somewhere around the base of our ears. One answer might be to wear a small illuminated flashing sign on the forehead that reads either "Open" or "Closed" depending on the levels of Carol Singer activities.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Worm-hole Theory of History and Potato

I do realize that making up History is filled with pitfalls. I also share the idea that despite rumor to the contrary the great majority of history has been made up. So my own view is to put value on the sort of history that draws form balls of wool rather than some kind of straight line extending into the distant past when we were single celled organisms. Call this the worm-hole theory of history, if you like.

The other thing I wanted to mention today has to to do with Corporate Potatoes. There is something incredible wrong with the new breed of Potato that fill space in the Grocery Store. I am beginning to believe they are evil. My own attempts to store Potato have been pathetic, just tragic. But the Sweet Potato, the Beauregard, will grow until frost, they keep well throughout the winter and as everyone knows they are a "complete food."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hoshu's Crocodile

Hoshu Qambrani's Crocodile figures rather larger in Book Four of a Rabbit of Usk. The details of the historical crocodile, the actual crocodile, are a little bleary. And the relationship between the Sheedi clans of Lyari Township and the wider city of Karachi are a great deal more than bleary. I could invent a city that looks, sounds and smells like Karachi, but I'm not going to. Instead I will wait for legal notices from well paid lawyers and respond accordingly.

 Always remember a writer of pulp's very first rule, which is, when engaged in discursive prolix a writer of pulp keeps his nose to the paper, his foot on the grindstone. I do remember that Hoshu Qambrani's Crocodile which was supposed to be a boy Crocodile, had two names. The official name was some Sufi Poet, a name I can't possible remember and will probably invent, but Hoshu's own name for his Crocodile was Brian Wilson. And it's true, Hoshu had a bit of a thing for The Beach Boys, and he might still.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Seasons Suck

The band of light snow and sleet serves primarily to discombobulate the senses. There is only one moment when snow has even a little bit of charm. And that moment is the four or five seconds immediately after three foot of snow has fallen. It's a very, very, very brief moment, followed quickly by a sure understanding of what hell might be like.

 For myself I cannot wait for this winter to be a thing of the past. I had attempted to adopt a positive attitude, I considered possibly taking an interest in some sort of winter sport like jig-saw puzzling, I tried to wake up with smile and a song, the Alleluia Chorus or something, I gave some thought to vitamin D supplements, I even tried to give up smoking so I didn't have to go outside every twenty minutes.  All this to no avail.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Four Small Holes

The Compost Piles call. It's the warm spell that does it. And yesterday I dug four small holes, which was nice. The ground was heavy, and I was grumpy because January is more about hibernation than it is about digging holes, and the physical work pretty much exhausted me because I've not done much more than open a curtain since September 9th or 11th perhaps of 2014.

The foot and the knees do occasionally declare independence, they plot and mumble and they write pamphlets and for all I know there's a small business down there that's wholly engaged in designing banners for the purpose of peaceful demonstration which as most tyrants know provide an opportunity for parts to feel useful without actually changing anything. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Titles

 I do realize this current preoccupation with The Rabbit of Usk has dominated the day to day recently. And too I can understand how dull it could be for those who might not be that interested in The Rabbit of Usk. As well there might be some who find the phrase The Rabbit of Usk irritating. And I can say this because sometimes I find the title irritating, which means I regularly have to remind myself why he, she or it is called The Rabbit of Usk.

 The answer has a lot to do with Hedgehogs, Dippers and Offa's Dyke. Sometimes too as a result of exhaustion, inadequate nourishment and bad water a mind can stray into parts which I guess are there to elevate the final moments on earth, give a being it's sense of worth, offer it an opportunity to think that maybe living has purpose and struggle worthwhile. And too I think of this part of mind as a product of evolution, because for those without it sentience makes no sense whatsoever.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Winter Foot

I think possibly of all the bits of a person's body, winter toenails are up there with the least pleasant. The foot hides, the eyesight isn't that good so they're really too far away to see, leaning over makes little sense, humidity levels are low and soon enough you're looking around for some kind of pruning saw with an extended handle.

I've disliked my feet for a very long time. They have this capacity to grow skin that puts holes in socks. It's not a skin that politely disappears but clings on for months around the heels, it turns what I guess is a yellowish ghostly color with hints of green. They should really be soaked in hot water and then sanded down.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Derailment



Some time in the next few hours there'll be a battle between your correspondent and a whole series of technical devices, many of which are prone to asking totally incomprehensible questions. Window 98, second edition is still a mysterious alien super power with very little user friendliness to me, so god knows what's going to happen.

 If successful you might hear a clunking sound as A Derailment hits the ether. If not, this could be farewell because odds are there'll be bloodhounds and zoo keepers with nets hunting the woodlands for a deranged writer of pulp. All the same, go ahead be brave Contact Me for a free copy of either Tim Candler's, A Derailment or for updates from Tim Candler's Competency Hearing.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Editing and Ice Cream

The association between what we writer's of pulp call Launch Day and the Ice Cream aisle in the Grocery Store is I am beginning to believe a Pavlovian one. I am currently thinking Vanilla and some kind of Caramel sauce. Pretty exotic, I know. However there are in the kitchen several communities of apparently peaceful, single celled creatures who are usually very active fermenting this or that.

One of these communities has produced a pinkish Raspberry flavored and slightly fizzy liquid which might go rather nicely with an Ice Cream. The big question of course is will the pinkish thing go with Vanilla. Nor am I a big fan of The Float, I'm not one of those who takes any pleasure from drinking his Ice Cream. Then there's the actual going to the Grocery Store. So it's all kind of tense.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

General Theory of A Derailment

I don't think I'd know what a Novel is if it jumped out of a hole in the ground and slapped me on the face. More worrying, I don't really care what a Novel is and no desire to find out. The word Novel plucks no heart string in me. Rather it makes me think of English Detention.

Granted I spend a great deal of my time thinking about those bits of the past that I can remember, and a lot of it seemed to have been spent in detention. I guess too this particular writer of pulp is rather looking forward to The Rabbit of Usk reminding him of more recent times. Like the 1970's perhaps.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Notes for A Derailment

To address dissociated references in A Derailment I'm going to have to have some kind of notes for the reader. The language of English spans too many continents for it to be a truly shared language. For example "Blue Peter." Not something that comes up often in conversation here where I live. And indeed far from "Blue Peter" being a children's television program, "Blue Peter" in the minds of some reflects what I guess might be defined as cold male genitalia.

 And too there's a depressing side to re-reading A Derailment. For example, I can remember the name of Carl Peterson's evil companion, who went by the exotic name Irma. I can remember her description from Sapper. She was slinky and being an evil female she was more dangerous than an evil male. He stole the second part of the description of Irma from Kipling. The depressing part is that I can remember all this including the name of Biggles' odd friend Ginger, but I can't remember the telephone number I've now had for over ten years.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Reflections on A Derailment

De Quincy is The Rabbit of the Northern Clan's arch enemy. He's Bulldog Drummond's Carl Peterson, if you like. He's Biggles' Red Baron. And I think it might be necessary to have footnotes in the Rabbit of Usk, otherwise a gentle reader might well glaze over and give serious consideration to the delete button.

 As well The Rabbit of the Northern Clans has an intense distrust of Tennyson and the Apostle Mathew, who The Rabbit is convince plagiarized the Revelation of Reason. And too a ripping yarn is not just mumbo jumbo, even if sometimes it seems as though it might be. But I will agree that a flaw in a Persian Carpet allows it to fly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January 14th

Middle of January. The grand Po Pa of Winter is wearing the hat and entertaining the Weather Forecasters. It could get warm soon, breach the fifty degree mark but it'll be that sort of windy that makes walking around outside difficult.

Some of us cling to the idea that days are lengthening. It's kind of like watching paint dry, or waiting for a kettle to boil, because the lengthening days are not that obvious. They don't Hark the Herald Angel Sing, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Derailment, Vehicle Descriptions

During the course of  A Derailment the description of things that move around on wheels hasn't been easy. In fact it's been downright complicated. There's a distinction between a car, a motorcar, a pre-war Austin, a vehicle, a lorry, a van, a bus, a coach, a train, an underground train and it can go on a little bit. For those not interested in nuances of things that move around on wheels they should all just be called 'motorized transport devices.'

 To call something a Bedford SB is what you call a 'pompous ass' moment. It's kind of like military speak. "I took the four-ten round the squealy and got KP." Makes no sense at all, unless you know what a four-ten, a squealy and KP might be. And if you did you'd think it funny, and you'd belong to a language group, and you'd feel better than the average civilian. So what the hell is a Bedford SB, I hear you ask. Well it's a kind of bus.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Derailment

The decision had been made. Written not so much in stone, more like written in sand on a beach subject to some very high tides. And it's long, and parts of it might not seem necessary, and it probably could be shorter, and I could go on about Book Ten making no sense unless the ground work is laid in Book Three.

 Have to wonder how Moses and God managed in their powwow. Moses went up to the mountain and then he came down again with Ten Commandments. That's all we really know. What happened between them was never recorded. But pretty sure Moses, being a leader of men, must have had a few suggestions of his own. Either way Book Three is called "A Derailment."

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Richard Carlisle

Richard Carlisle, who died a long time ago, was given the name "Devil's Chaplain" by the upper crust. He was fierce in his promotion of radical ideas like Universal Suffrage and a Free Press. His gatherings were sometimes called "Gatherings of Infidels" by the nervous. He'd stand on the dais and agitate for hours in horrible weather on subjects ranging from Queen Mary to the Slave Trade. Indeed there was nothing he didn't know everything about. And I could go on, but in my own small world Richard Carlisle is better known for the joy The Rabbit of Usk - in one of his incarnations - used to take from having dinner with Richard Carlisle.

 While the Rabbit of Usk is a man of many parts his memory of Richard Carlisle primarily revolves around the "price of inks." The Rabbit wanted to see his Travels published, and Richard Carlisle would have published The Rabbit's Travels if The Rabbit had had the resources to buy the ink. And probably quite wise of Richard Carlisle not to invest his own resources in Travels, because even back then Travels was an unappreciated literary form. It lacked "lolcat-factor," it was without any sort of click-bait, and Richard Carlisle knew well enough his vendors would just simply refused to yell "Rambling Prolix" on the streets of London.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Press

This is what I have to say about The Free Press. It's pretty much summed up by what a former presidential candidate's wife said during an interview. "It's time for the grown ups to take over," she wittered on about her husband and she too dreamed of the White House. Reminded me of Mussolini without the hat and jodhpurs. 

Well sure we all trust our leaders, we all know they have our best interest at heart, we all know they go to heaven when they die. And we all know they are perfect in everyway and we are like children, or sheep, or slime molds and well worth every inch of their disdain because we are stupid and don't understand anything. Just leave us a Free Press, that's all I ask. "Fire!"

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cold

Enduring a Chattering Naraka at the moment, which is a little worse than a Shivering Naraka. And possible too a Blistering Naraka of some sort is just around the corner.

 Have to wonder how the Turkey manage under these conditions. My one comfort is they've been here considerably longer than we have. It's probably just another day for them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Names

Then to try and cheer himself up, a writer of pulp looks at the names of other heroes, and he finds Amy and Sam.  And before even looking at who Amy and Sam might be, this particular writer of pulp kind of sighs because he realizes he's not alone in the playing field of names.

 I guess too if you were an Andaman Islander Amy and Sam might also begin to sound like an incident that could have occurred between neighbors at a charity bake off, which does have potential. And then there's the smart ass kind of names, obviously contrived. So I'm going to just have to plead guilty and carry on.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ennui of Names

One of the problems with four hundred thousand odd words, all of them strung together in sentences so as to create a ripping yarn is what I'll call the "ennui of names." A name might at one moment sum the world. Next day it's like a barking dog. But a writer of pulp is stuck with it. He goes to his bed deeply depressed, where long into the night he plots the death of a character, simply because the name has become jarring. And quite wrong of me to even hint at who at this moment I'd like to see slip on a banana skin and fall into an icy River Thames where his drowning will be  inevitable.

 I remember years ago reading a series of stories where my fellow writer of pulp had given up any kind of serious contemplation of names and his hero was B, I think. Other characters also just had initials. I thought it brilliantly confusing at the time. And too I remember reading his explanation for just using initials, instead of carefully thought out names. His answer was essential some BS about universality and the role of imagination in the whole and how actual names where a tyrannical imposition on the flow of his wonderful mind. He was a professional of course.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Book Four

Book Four of a Rabbit of Usk is period of transition for our hero. Or at least it's supposed to be. The teenage years you could call them. Horrible of course for the observer, but the experience of them is present in the moment for any hero as they trip lightly through their generations, and it's only afterwards these moments are reinterpreted to suit a whim. Both past and future, despite rumor to the contrary are always dictated by others, and it is my hope that through the course of Book Four our hero will embrace his truly obnoxious self, so that he and I might find harmony.

I personally hope so. Book Three was a bit of a nightmare for me. Our hero didn't do half the things he was supposed to do, he kept insinuating himself into the narrative and making impossibly heroic suggestions. We had long discussions, some of them endless. There was sulking and cruel words exchanged. Already in Book Four there are some signs of this. I will however be choosing my battles carefully and have surrendered to the idea of Appleton as a pseudonym for an abjectly vile town in the English county of Dorset.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Derailment

I had thought "Derailment." But what with the appalling habit our hero has developed of going his own way, the nature of his derailment might not be correctly summed by the word "Derailment." It's a problem that I could solve with the French word Detournement, which has an accent acute over the first e.

 I know very well that English Speaking People are very suspicious of the diacritic in written words. Use a cedilla and eyes start to roll. We prefer incomprehensible spelling. So it's a problem, Fortunately there are alternatives to "A Derailment." I just cannot think of them at the moment. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Turkey as Weather Person

A boy Turkey will gobble when a weather forecasting professional predicts thunderstorms. I used to think this a  pretty odd thing to say. And I now find myself nodding wisely in agreement with it. The air outside feels different, a Turkey gobbled in the distance and I checked the weather forecast.

 We might get a thunderstorm, with high winds, lightening and somewhere between one and four inches of rain. By Wednesday the temperatures are predicted to have fallen, there could be sub-zero wind chills, i.e. below minus 17 Celsius. And it's true, hell is more likely a cold place than it is a hot place.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Time Passeth

Hard to believe I've been engaged by these pages for well over seven years. In the old days it used to be total chaos here. No rhyme nor reason. Little more than an obsession with the value of randomness. Then I pulled myself together. I learned to consider these pages a journal. An accounting of day to day.

This is a new year of course, and it's often a good time to take stock. Look back, bathe a little in what for some of us are glorious moments.  But I still argue for the idea expressed by the phrase, "Why complicate things with an explanation." One of my better moments of clear thinking. Meanwhile, who knew back then I would today be obsessing upon a title.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolve

According to ancient numbers theory, that sort of pure science Pythagoras was better known for during his life time, this should be a really terrible year for me. In his classification I come under the heading of Goat with Cloven Hoof, 2015 is an 8 and according to the slide rule, I am not only Goat with Cloven Hoof I am an 8. So things couldn't be worse.

Following the ancient wisdom, I have just two options if I am to see the year through. The first, I have to ensure that when I rise from slumber I leave no shadow which basically means I've got to make my bed. The second, when eating I must face north east, which has something to do with the earth's rotation and flatulence.