Sunday, January 4, 2009

Weird Stuff

I mentioned that I was researching the Paranormal. What I'm doing now is research for a novel that I am working on. Before I wrote military stuff and the folklore stuff on the Eastern Shore, I wanted to write pulp fiction. Yep, that's right. You see, when I was a kid, I read a lot because I had a lot of health problems that kept me inside or limited my physical activities. I still got out a lot and played hard, but I had asthma real bad so I couldn't play team sports or run very far.
Thanks to my mother, I read a lot. She made sure I had lots of comics to read, and early among them was Tarzan of the Apes. She used to pick up comics at the Ben Franklin store in Princess Anne. They stocked Dell, then Gold Key comics. Anyway, along with Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge, I read Tarzan, Magnus Robot Fighter, and Turok, Son of Stone. It wasn't until I was 10 that the Batman craze hit TV, but that's another story. Anyway, reading the Tarzan comics and others gave me a craving for adventure stories. I also got to read Classics Illustrated, so along with the others, I was reading War of the Worlds, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and others in the series.
I was 12 when I bought my first real book. It was War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells. I was hooked. When school started, I ordered just about everything weird that Scholastic Book Club offered, from the Lost World to Star Trek. My cousin was pretty good at drawing comics and I wanted to do that, too, but I was not in his league. He went on to become a wonderful painter of Eastern Shore water scenes and won a lot of trophies. I thought that maybe I could write as well as draw and tried my hand at writing a story. The first one was a bad continuation of the Lost World, then I tried a horror story with a vampire, then some science fiction stuff, but it was all pretty bad.
It didn't stop me though, and the more I practiced, the better I got. My art picked up too, and I thought maybe I could make a go of it as a teacher. I went out and got an art degree, but teaching jobs were pretty thin then. The country was in a recession and so I knocked around a bunch of low paying jobs until I finally got a steady job at a motel. During the winter, I had lots of time to write because it was dead around the office and very quiet.
Anyway, like I said in the first post, I wrote a lot of fanzine stuff, both for wargames and Tarzan and Dark Shadows fanzines. I also did a comic strip for the Ocean City paper Daily Info called Skipjack Pete. If you nose around the internet, you can probably find all my free stuff including Pete over at
Anyway, being a Christian, I was always fascinated with how to interpret the book of Revelation. I read several novels, including the whole Left Behind series, and I wanted to write something that was more accessible to a mainstream audience without being overly preachy (which I think the Left Behind series gets sometimes).
I also have some good ideas for interpretation of some aspects that are different from other novels in the genre. Another series I started reading and have gotten interested in is Lynn Marzulli's Nephilim trilogy. I finished the first book and am going to pick up the second soon. His take on the whole UFO business is different than mine, but he has some good ideas and wrote a gripping story.
His book gets at something that I have been thinking about for a while now. It has to do with UFOs and Bigfoot also. Thousands of people report seeing these things, but photos are rare and seldom of decent quality (escpecially of Bigfoot) and there are no non-controversial photos of aliens from UFOs, so are they real or not? People are seeing something and if you cut down the sightings by 90%, that still leaves hundreds of unexplained sightings. I read Phil Imbrogno's Interdimensional Universe with dissatisfaction, not with his concept, but with his execution because some of his reports and assertions strain credulty even for those inclined to believe. I am currently reading Patrick Harpur's Daimonic Reality, a much more thoughtful take on the phenomenon. Are these the things were used to call fairies, hags, succubuses, imps, etc.? Or are these manifestations caused by deceivers, like fallen angels? Anyway, I am hoping to write a real thrill ride to the Apocalypse, so wish me luck!

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