Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Review of Hammer Film's 1971 Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde

Secret fact, I first saw this as a fourteen year old girl trapped in a boy’s body.  I just watched it on youtube over the weekend on a whim.

Even in the original short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, it was hinted that Dr. Jekyll’s formula might bring out different sorts of polar opposites in other subjects.  In 1971 Hammer Films showed us exactly that.  In a movie that made but little noise at the time of release has picked up quite a cult following over the years.  The film is clearly among the best Hammer ever made.  It has all the perfect atmosphere, costumes, and gothic sets that are the hallmarks of the studio.  It has buxom ladies and black cloaked villains, and a powerful film score.  And it has the one of the most innovative and shocking twists of all Hammer films.  It’s downright subversive in its transgender theme.  But don’t look for Peter Cushing or Chris Lee, they skipped this one.
At the beginning of the film Henry Jekyll (Ralph Bates) is an obsessed brilliant young medical researcher in Victorian England, the White Chapel area of London to be specific.  He’s working on a formula, a universal vaccine, when his playboy friend points out that he’ll be long dead before he can finish his work to save mankind from disease.  And just like that, old Henry decides he has to instead work on a formula to keep himself young so he can do all that good for humanity.  He comes up with a secret formula based on female hormones he extracts from the lady bits of cadavers.  Our brave and noble Dr. Jekyll tries the formula on himself.

The formula turns Jekyll into a hot, sexy young woman (played superbly by Bond Girl Martine Beswick) who quickly discovers Autogynophilia.  Whereas, male Jekyll is devoted to his work to the exclusion of all else, the female version delights in life and its pleasures.

For reasons that aren’t entirely clear (but we can guess), Jekyll keeps up with his research, first hiring killers to find him young bodies once the morgue runs dry, and then to hit the streets and become Jack the Ripper to gain his needed lady bits for his/her formula.

A battle of wills develops as “Mrs. Hyde”, officially Henry’s widowed sister, decides she should be the one living full time and Henry should be relegated to extinction.  Both commit murders for the sake of their formula, but Hyde at least is battling for her very existence, and Henry is just in it for “the greater good” allegedly.  And if some Victorian hookers gotta die so Henry Jekyll can feel herself up, I guess that’s what’s gonna happen.  There is no good versus evil story here.

It really is a deep movie in a lot of ways, and they were obviously afraid for pushing things too far, crossing such taboos as they already were.  Bates and Beswick actually look like brother and sister so that part works convincingly.  But in the end no one knew how to end the story, and it feels unsatisfying.  Worth checking out on youtube sometime if you like Hammer Films.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ghosts on the Event Horizon

I'm intrigued by this idea. It has a dash of gravitas, doesn't it? That what we experience around us might not be real. That's an old, old idea. It's at the heart of mysticism and many religions and philosophies.

It is theorized that everything that enters a black hole is sort of recorded by the event horizon, stretched out into two dimensional echoes of worlds, stars, and galaxies. Our universe has holographic properties, so many so that Fermilabs has built a Holometer to test for a specific holographic property. This could be evidence of many things: simulations, recordings, even simply the reality happens to be holographic. What if it is a holographic recording/ echo of our universe? The real universe that once existed before it was swallowed up into the black hole. We are simply echoes of things, the memories of quantum interactions entangled before our doom. Perhaps, the Big Bang is the the history leading up to our universe's all-consuming black hole, but in reverse time. Or not. Probably, according the the Simulation Hypothesis, we're just someone's simulation or recording, but that just not a sexy as us being ghosts on the event horizon of the black hole that ate our universe.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Moonsword Kindle Available All over the World! Get Your Copy Today!

Moonsword is now available on Amazon Kindle:


Buy your copy today!

If you're outside the US, you can order on your local Amazon.  Just search for Moonsword Kindle and you can order your copy almost anywhere in the world.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ali Part II

So, where was I?

Ali Lowitzer. My Ali and the Missing Ali. My Ali was dressed in boys jeans, sneakers and a black and red hoodie. She had very short, dyed black hair, double pierced ears and nose. She left Texas in short order, probably a runaway. Was the right height. And looked a lot like the girl in the picture. The missing Ali had double pierced ears and nose. She disappeared from Texas, probably a runaway. There was an excellent chance it was the same person. There was the difference between the age my Ali and the missing Ali, but that was only two years. I decided to act.

First thing, I went downstairs and dug through the trash and found the bloody paper towel and placed it in a clear plastic bag. I found the address to the T-Mobile store, dunkin donuts and the apartment complex. I got the phone number Ali called which matched a number that called our house the next day when were at work. I sent all the information down to the Sheriff's Office in Texas. A deputy contacted me and had me work through the local police. I went to the station on Friday with my evidence baggy and gave a formal recorded statement. Ironically, it was snowing so I wore my dearstalker cap. I went back today and identified a person in a picture...my Ali. Who is not Ali Lowitzer. So, I wasted police resources in two states, may have gotten a grieving family's hopes up, and probably got an innocent young woman harassed by the police. Not the ending I was hoping for. So, it turned out not to be the most amazing thing in my life, but yet, another unmitigated disaster.  My work here is done.  And that's the whole sorry story.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ali Part I

So, here's the story. I can tell it all now.

Sunday evening, March 15, 2015 my father and I were eating dinner at the kitchen table. We had boiled Ham and Cabbage so I could make us Ham and Cabbage Hash for St. Patrick's Day. We finished dinner and as is my custom I went up to my room to write. Just a few minutes later, at about 6pm I hear the sound of a desperate woman begging someone. My father's house abuts a bit of woods and my desk is in front of a window, so I stood up and looked about the woods. I could see nothing but bare trees and the carpet of fallen oak leaves. Suddenly, I heard my father, a gentlemen of 81 years old who isn't in the best shape calling for help downstairs. I dashed down the stairs, calling, "Dad, what's wrong?"

"We got a wound down here," he replied.

I turn the corner to the hallway and see him, he looks fine.

"Where are you hurt?" I asked.

"It's not me that's hurt" he says, leading me into the family room. Standing there just inside the backdoor is what looks to be a 14 year old boy with a bloody forearm.

I directed my attention to the boy, examining his forearm. There were four or five lateral cuts across his arm and a couple of scratches, only one of any real depth. I led him into the bathroom to wash away the blood to get a better view of injuries.

"What happened?"

"I broke some glass. I just lost it."

"Where are your parents?"

"In Texas."



"What's your name?" I asked as I poured peroxide liberally over her arm.


Then I realized she was a girl, or really a young woman.

"How old are you?"


I patted down her arm to dry the area so I could bandage it. I threw the blood stained paper towels into the trash in the kitchen where I led Ali to sit at the table while I did the bandaging work. We talked some more. I asked her if she had eaten? She hadn't eaten that day. I made her a plate of Ham and Cabbage (and potatoes) which she devoured as if she hadn't eaten in a week. She had no interest in going to the hospital and she didn't want the police involved. I pressed her for the full story on her injuries.

She said she had been invited to stay with a friend further up my street. That's how she lived, she explained, crashing on friends couches. she had just walked about ten miles to get to the friends' house, and had just walked in the door when Ali's friend's aunt "or whatever" throws her out. Ali said she "just lost it" and broke a glass in the street.

"Did the glass bounce back and cut you?" I asked, knowing already that that wasn't the case. "You cut yourself, right?"

She nodded, assuring me that she had "just lost it" and that she was fine now. She asked to use the phone. I handed her the house phone. she called a friend to pick her up, but the friend was I work. I volunteered to take her anywhere she needed to go. She mentioned a location about ten miles away, I agreed.

On the way I got a little bit more information from Ali. She was from Texas where she lived with her parents, but said she "had to leave" a couple of years ago and that she "just couldn't stay there." I took that to mean she ran away from home. She had me drop her off at a T-Mobile store, as I didn't have a cell phone to lend her (because I'm poor because of my impending divorce). I asked where she would go. She pointed first to a Dunkin Donuts where she would meet her friend and then to an apartment complex across the shopping center and she usually stayed there and that she kept her stuff there. I gave her my phone number and my last $10. I watched her walk into the T-Mobile store.

I drove home. My dad was a wreck worrying about me. The situation was really weird and I think we were both kind of in shock.

Monday was a busy day at work, and I thought about Ali and how hard her life must be, here and there, but I never really had time to think over the previous evening's weirdness.

Tuesday evening after dinner, I thought of Ali, and made a computer search of the following, "Ali Runaway Texas"

And there was Ali Lowitzer, who had disappeared in 2010 at the age of 16 from Spring, Texas. Some of the pictures didn't look anything like my Ali, but then I saw some of her where she was leaner and with darker shorter hair. My dad and I both agreed that our Ali from Texas looked a great deal like lost Ali from Texas.

And then I began to detective the hell out of that shit.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Moonsword for Kindle Update

Okay, sorry for the delays, but I just sent the Word file off to the formatters.  I did the bulk of it, but the company I sent it to guarantees immediate Amazon acceptance and a flawless reading experience for a low low price.  If everything goes smoothly, Moonsword should be available for Amazon Kindle Ebook by the end of the week!  No matter what...it will be out by March 31, 2015.  Now, back to work on Empress of Clouds edits and The Silver Light.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Joke for you

There once was an old time tall ship sailing the high seas.  The lookout called down from the crow's nest:  "An enemy ship approaches!"

The Captain said to the First Mate, "Quickly, fetch my red shirt!"

The First Mate returned with the red shirt and the captain put it on.  The two ship engaged in a fierce battle, but and our captain and crew were victorious.  The First Mate asked the Captain, "Why the red shirt, sir?"

"Well, that way our men could not tell if I was wounded and they would keep up fighting till the end," the Captain explained.

Then from the crow's nest came another call from the lookout, "Five enemy ships approaching!"

The Captain said to the First Mate, "Quickly, fetch my brown pants!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Case of the Missing Girl

I have encountered a situation that has taken me away from my formatting and editing work on Moonsword.  In fact, I'm not going to make my deadline of the Spring Equinox for the Kindle Release.  I'll still have the book out this month...March though.  I promise.

An extremely delicate case has come to my doorstep (literally), and I have had to answer the call.  I am involved (after a bizarre series of events) with a five year old missing persons case.  I believe I have discovered the whereabouts of a young woman who disappeared as a teen.  I chanced to help a young woman, a homeless runaway who had a minor medical emergency.  I rendered first aid, provided food, and gave a ride and some money, only to discover later after looking up some of the scant details she provided, that she was likely the center of a nationally publicized missing persons case.  I have determined her current address and even have a DNA sample (a paper towel with a little of her blood on it from her injury).  I am moving forward cautiously, but hope to have good news on the case shortly.

I apologize for delays in getting the ebook of Moonsword released.  It will be available late this month though, fear not.

Remind me to tell you of my last case from a couple of years ago, The Case of the Governess and the Vampires.  Seriously.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

See Ya on the Other Side of the Spring Equinox

As the countdown to the release of the Kindle edition of Moonsword is underway, I'll be concentrating all of my writing energies on getting that done, so I'm taking a little break on this blog until that project is complete.  My next blog post will be on the exciting news that the ebook is available on Amazon.  Thanks for you patience...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It's Raining!

It's lovely hearing the rain fall outside.  And that's mainly for one reason:  it's not cold enough to snow.  Hallelujah!  It's supposed to be 63 deg F here tomorrow!  Yay!

On the downside, the employee who I had to lay off called me today.  He said he wanted to remind me he existed.  Sigh.  I told him I remembered.  It's like a scab that won't heal.  I hope we get busy so I can bring him back.

But, hey, it's raining at least!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Not a Fan of DST

Forgive me if I do the bare minimum in life for the next few days...it takes a bit of effort for me to get used to the cursed Daylight Savings Time.  Grrrr.  But, once I do get used to it, I actually like it better...but that's not for another few days...

But, we're still on schedule for Moonsword kindle release on or around the Spring Equinox.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Yep, it's that time again.  Here are this week's Weird Facts:

- New Jersey was the first state to have:  oil wells, movie studios, and the Three Stoogies.

- I have to go shovel the f-ing snow again...

Yet another Snowstorm...

This is how I feel right now...

(yes, that's a frozen Jack Nicholson fro The Shining...um spoiler alert, I guess)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Confessions of Frankenstein(GIRL) to Join The Locket and Other Tales

Whelp, just got my rejection for "The Confessions of Frankenstein(GIRL)" for QUEERS DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION.  They liked it a lot, but passed on it.  They only wanted original work and that story was pubbed in TG Tapestry ten years ago.  So, it firms up the line-up for The Locket and Other Tales and will allow me to get that one out much quicker.  The collection is leaning towards gothic TG stories and I'll try and write another story, perhaps a Lovecraftesque "The Girl on the Doorstep".  I haven't written anything TG in forever, but with Leila Alcorn, Lili Elbe and Chelsea Manning on my mind lately, it's probably not a bad idea.  So, time to email Shayla Mist and get her cracking on another ebook cover...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My TransTemporal Communications via Quantum Manipulation Experiments

A couple of years ago, I had an idea.  The idea would eventually work its way into becoming a major plot point in A Dancer in the Infinite, but first it manifested into the world as an experiment in something only tangentially related.  But, first, exactly what is TransTemporal Communiciations let alone Quantum Manipulation?  TransTemporal is made up of two Latin words:  trans, meaning across (like a TransAtlantic flight) and temporal, meaning relating to time.  So it seems that TransTemporal would mean across time, like time travel.  Therefore TransTemporal Communications is communications across time.  Now, this blog post is a form of TransTemporal Communication as you wouldn't read this message at the same time it was sent.  It's a form of communication with the future.  My idea was to test if there was a way to get a message in return from the future.  This is where my idea came in.

There will be a point in the future where, if time travel is feasible, it will be achieved (provided humanity makes it to that point) at least on a modest level.  How could such a message be sent or received?  I remembered that the current theory is that Tachyons were quantum particles that travel backwards in time.  If we had a way to watch for Tachyons at a precise time and location, people from the future could tachyons could be back to our detector.  The only way future people would know if people from the past were looking would be to send the future people a message and have a technology in place to receive said message.  Being as Tachyons are largely theoretical particles, no one has a ready to go tachyon detector I could use in the area.

So, I thought to use the next best thing:  A quantum event generator.  Priceton's PEAR Labs sells a real quantum-based Random Event Generator that puts out a simple binary output readable by computer.  It was a couple of years ago, before a was broke, so I ordered the REG-1 from PEAR Labs.  The device is generally used for psychic research and is very similar to the monitors for the Human Consciousness Project.  Basically, in addition to running tests, you can just turn the REG-1 on and it will monitor the ambient "sycnchronicity" level the unit's vicinity.

For my series of experiments, I ran the generator for five minutes about five times over a month.  I would not look at the results (I just stored it on my computer).  I would then print out the exact time and coordinates of the experiment and used five different techniques for transmitting my "ready to receive at such and such a time a place" message to the future.  One I stuck in an old book.  One a sealed and put in a drawer somewhere.  One I posted on the internet.  One I stuck in the classifieds of an obscure magazine.  One a sealed in a time capsule and buried it in my backyard.

So, the idea was that if people in the future who had access to Quantum Manipulation Technology, such that they could manipulate the outcome of my REG-1, received my message that I would be ready and waiting for their message back...they may make the effort to send a simple Morse Code message back using the binary outcomes of the REG-1.  I waited a day for the first message.  A week for the next.  Two for the next.  A month for the next.  And I never checked the outcome of the last.

The results?  Jibberish.  Those who understand statistics will understand when I say how low the Z-scores were.  Others should note that the statistical variability of the message met simple random expectations, and that translating the output of the REG-1 from binary to Morse Code, also resulted in nonsense and jibberish.  So, I drew the conclusion that most likely the experiment didn't work because the required critiera were not met: no one who found my message in the future had the ability (or desire) to communicate with me via the type of Quantum Manipulation that I could pick up on my REG-1. 

Now, the creepy part.  The last experiment.  One day last spring I was grilling up something or other in my backyard.  This guy and three kids are in the woods behind my house and the start to come on to my yard.  I asked them what they were doing, advising them that it was private property they were on.  The adult of the group said they were geo-caching, and their device said something was supposed to be hidden right on that spot.  It was the spot I had buried the time capsule.  I kicked them out of my yard, politely, of course.  Freaky.  Probably coincidence, but still hinky.  I may try this again sometime.  I'll let you all know.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Chelsea Manning on Moonsword

"It's actually pretty good." - Chelsea Manning

That said, she confessed to reading it in one night and wanting to read the next book as soon as possible.