Monday, June 11, 2018


Playing with some old journal entries in preparation for separating my blog into blogs. This blog will head in the writing direction.

Twi-Dark is a word invention of mine. Or, rather, I think I coined the term. Or, rather, one of my characters in a story came up with it. It was explained to me in this way:

Full dark, in an emotional and spiritual sense, occurs at midnight. It has nothing to do with the amount of light. It is the most perfect part of the day when supernatural forces gather and strengthen. They are at their peak. It is also when evil exists. Think of it as the Absolute Zero of the spiritual world.

It is a void. Emptiness so perfect that the most abominable acts are performed by even the most good. It is when the Other is released.

Okay, well, that's a start. Perhaps a story seed. We'll see what happens.

Keep writing, friends.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

We Represent the Lollipop Guild

As a kid, watching The Wizard of Oz annually, as was required in the Kid Code-book (no way to record shows back then. You missed it, sorry about your luck. Times were tough.), I was never quite sure what they were singing in "The Lollipop Guild" song. But I always looked forward to the song, in a Soupy Sales/Ernie Kovacs kind of way. Weird, but I liked it. And I liked the three Munchkin singer/dancers who sang it. Especially the middle tough-guy clad in green. I really loved his panache.

Well, he's gone now, having lived to the age of 98. Jerry Maren (born Gerard Marenghi), last surviving Oz Munchkin, and he will be missed.

Jerry acted in everything from The Beverly Hillbillies to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman to The Odd Couple, and voice-over work. He began his career as a dancer, touring New England, when he got The Wizard of Oz telegram telling him to come to California for movie work.

Jerry died in a San Diego, California nursing home from cardiopulmonary failure on May 24, 2018.

So, all-together now, for a proper sendoff: "We represent the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild...."

Keep writing, friends.

Monday, June 4, 2018

An Hour of My Life I'll Never Get Back

And, that pretty well sums up my dashed expectations of the Frankensteinian exhibit at the University of Kentucky's Art Museum this past week. And I don't normally trash museums, but this time I felt it necessary for anyone who's planning on going to the exhibit. That being said, a bit of history.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. According to Wikipedia, it was "... published anonymously in London 1 January 1818....". This one work by the young woman would influence world culture in ways unimagined over the next 200 years. The work itself achieved Frankenstein status, as it was pieced together from a horrific dream she had, then grew to powerful, monstrous proportions. I have loved the Frankenstein story for years, so I expected monstrous creations at the exhibit.

Unfortunately, it did not deliver.

My wife and I and two of our friends went to the exhibit on a rainy day, had a difficult time gaining entrance to the building due to construction, then headed to the exhibit. We entered the small room (yes, just one room -- this should have been several rooms), looked around, wondering where the rest of the exhibit was. Not much there, folks.

The museum pamphlet promised "... a range of artworks, literary documents, models, and pop culture items that refer to aspects of the novel....", but we saw only a sparse collection of abstract art that loosely demonstrated the Frankenstein concept. Under a glass case was a copy of Frankenstein, which may or may not have been an original edition, and a couple of letters. I suppose this was the "range of artworks, literary documents....", etc., the pamphlet mentioned.

At any rate, the admission was free, so we didn't have to spend much to get in.

This exhibit should have had movie posters, model kits, clips from the various incarnations, other works of literature influenced by Ms. Shelley's work, sculptures, laboratory apparatus with electrical sparks, beakers full of boiling liquids, sound effects, busts of the characters, but no. Come on, people, this is Frankenstein. Do it justice. Do Mary Shelley justice.

For anyone planning to see the UK exhibit, don't waste your time. Read the book, see one of the movie adaptations, build a Frankenstein model kit. Celebrate the anniversary properly by bringing her creature to life.

Keep writing, friends.