Saturday, April 02, 2011

Making good use of down time.

I've been trying to find the April Fool articles in the news. The spoofs, the joke reports. There are always some. Years ago this was reasonably easy, but now the real news is so bizarre it's impossible to find the spoofs. I've given up. How can any spoof compete with such news as that of Gaddafi's government fleeing for sanctuary to the UK, one of the countries they're at war with and the very country that is still enraged about the release of Al-Megrahi? Most of the news now looks as if it was written by the Monty Python team while exceptionally drunk and probably high on something. And, most likely, while having a psychotic episode. How can any spoof story possibly compete?

In real life, this is a busy time of year because the tax year ends on April 5th. Any expenditure that is tax deductible is best done this week so it's deducted from this year's taxes. Any danger of income is best avoided for a week because that gives me another year before I have to pay tax on it. Devious, I know, but our Government are 100% stupid and will waste any tax money they get, so the less they get, the less stupidity they can engage in. I think of it as a service to society.

There has been nothing to report on anything paranormal for many months. The weather is improving in that the snow is now rain, and it doesn't freeze you to the ground any more so with luck I'll get out somewhere soon. There's a ruined church I've been looking at for a long time. Last Christmas Eve's regular visit to the Inverurie battle site was abandoned due to extreme cold. Next year I'll stock up on extreme cold gear just in case so I don't miss it again. The year before, I thought I was very close to getting something so it was intensely frustrating to be frozen out last year.

I don't waste the down time. Some will be aware that I also write stories based, not on fact, but on fiction. The background research I do comes in very handy when spinning plausible tales. Naturally I do this under another name because being a scientist and especially in this field, the phrase 'I write fiction' is best avoided.

So you will find that the demons mentioned in 'Jessica's Trap', the first novel I have managed to rouse myself into submitting enough times to find an interested publisher, are all to be found in a real book called the Goetia, an old book of magic, part of the Lemegeton. Many of the books you hear about in such stories are real. The Key of Solomon, the Grimoire of Armadel, many of them genuinely exist - whether they are, in themselves, genuine is another matter.

Then there are fictional tomes such as the Necronomicon which is a creation of H.P. Lovecraft, so skilfully hinted at in his stories that many people believe such a book actually exists. It does not and never has. Two of those I use in my fiction don't exist either but all the rest do. I have copies - translations in paperback, not originals. I'll never be able to afford the originals, they would strain even Bill Gates' bank account. They would be useless to me anyway because I would still need to pay someone to translate them for me! Goetia (translation) is available on Amazon, as are others, but ignore Aleister Crowley's illustrations. He was obsessed with - how to put this delicately - the schoolboy imaginings of how far the middle leg could grow. All the demons he drew have genitalia that would make an elephant's eyes bulge. I elected to leave out that part from my own stories to avoid an XXX rating.

Jessica's Trap is available in paperback already even though it is not slated for release until April 7th. You can find it on Amazon. com and on It will also be available on Kindle and as a PDF from the publisher, I hope before the 7th.

There is one out there who has no need to buy a copy. The editor had an easy ride and changed nothing of importance so the pre-acceptance copy reviewed by Southern Writer is the same as the one on sale. Except, the new version has a professional cover.

Currently my spare time is taken up with another book reviewed by SW. I bought the Kindle version even though it's not much cheaper than the print version because a) the Kindle is a new toy, b) there's no postage and c) it arrives within a minute of pressing 'buy'.

It's a book no hardened sceptic can bear to read. It is reasonable and restrained on the subject of anomalous events and restricts itself to factual accounts with referrable material. I'd write a review myself but I haven't finished reading it and SW has already done a good job of it.

Here's what SW has to say. From what I've read so far, I'm likely to agree completely.

And now, since it's raining, I'm just going to make up stories. The trouble with scientists is that if you want a zombie that can grow back its head, scientists can come up with a plausible way for it to happen. In fact, we have to. We're the ones who hiss though our teeth at the so-called biochemist in 'Red Planet' and who cannot accept that the lord of Mordor can be destroyed just by melting his ring. When we write scary we don't just write 'it might possibly happen' scary. We write 'oh yes, it certainly could happen and could well be happening now, behind you' scary.

So while the ghosts aren't scaring anyone, I'll do it. Hey, I'll be dead one day so best get the practice in.


Southern Writer said...

Either you have been engaging in extraordinary knowing, or we are completely on the same wavelength, or ... well, I don't know what. Guess which book just came back to the top of my "to be read" pile? "Samuel's Girl." And so far, so good! The cover still scares the crap out of me, but I haven't covered over it yet. I just don't look at it.

Romulus Crowe said...

Try covering over the eyes with luminous paint - on second thoughts, that might not help much. I suspect the published version (assuming it gets that far) is likely to have a far less terrifying cover. Pity. Imagine a book display with all those eyes following you around.

Judging by your last post, where you are enraged by idiots at the tills, I'd say we're pretty much on the same wavelength ;)

Southern Writer said...

A very happy solar return to you today, Rom! You know it seems like just last year that I was saying the same thing. Go figure.

I'm really really enjoying the book! I got to the part where the professor started his new job, and I'm having a great time eavesdropping.

Romulus Crowe said...

You remembered! I'm terrible at remembering birthdays. I've forgotten mine more than once.

There's a book in preparation that brings the two together. yes, the Professor ends up stuck in a house with a host of demons, or is it the other way around?

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