Shaman Story Chapter X – The Immensity of Now

Read Shaman Story Chapter X – Borrowing.


Shaman Story Chapter X – The Immensity of Now

 
Buppa and I stand on the porch. He holds me, his strong, tanned arms making a seat for me to sit on. A man comes to us. He and Buppa talk quickly, quietly. Buppa shakes his head, no.

The man reaches out, pulls his hand back before touching Buppa. Holds his hands out, palms up. His voice strains.

Buppa tells him to go away, come back later. He shakes his head as the man goes down the steps, out the gate, to his car, drives away.

He takes me inside. “What did he want, Buppa?”

“To cause pain.”

“Will you do what he wants, Buppa?”

“I will do what he asked, not what he wants.”

“You going to hurt someone?”

“Someone will be hurt, yes.”

“You told me not to hurt people, Buppa.”


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The Augmented Man Video Series Episode 4 – “To Feel”

 
Episode 1 – “Good Run, Trailer?”
Episode 2 – “Massively Scarred”
Episode 3 – “Learn Chess, Yes”

Sabine Rossbach
Joseph Carrabis
The Augmented Man

Chester

We have many raccoons. Most of them are quite social.

Chester, for instance.

Chester; you may notice, as a somewhat ratty tail.

A few years back we had another raccoon with a ratty tail.

Makes one wonder if they’re related.

We do monitor blood lines. Behaviors and distinctive features seen years ago surface now and again. We recognize Hecate‘s children by the white dot on their nose, a physical trait inherited from her. Sometimes the behaviors and features are so distinctive we know genetics must be at work.

Many years ago Serge came to visit. He dunked his food. Every year save one we’ve had at least one raccoon who dunks their food.

And all our raccoons, we think, are descendants of Rocky.

But for today, here’s Chester.

Say hello, everyone.

 

Why this Were here, now?

[This post oriignally appeared on Timothy Bateson’s blog, mid Oct 2019]

Let’s say someone wants to write about werewolves but nothing they’re coming up with fits “werewolf.” Probably they’re putting the hearse before the horse. Their interest is on the were, not the were’s purpose in the story.

Let the “were” serve the story’s purpose. Don’t make it the story’s purpose.

 
Werecreatures are nothing new. Cave drawings frequently depict humanimals. Study any culture’s mythology and one wonders who wasn’t a werecreature. The concept of versipellics as evil is relatively new compared to human recorded history (about 800 years v 35,000 years).

A significant aspect of versipellic history is that skin-changing was a spiritual exercise, not a magical exercise. This spiritual aspect remains today in the concept of shapeshifting as evil. The Malleus Maleficarum provided details about all such “magickal” practices but the reason to hunt down practitioners was political; practitioners threatened the power and authority of Mother Church. What do you do when you’re a religious authority and you want to get rid of the opposition? You label it evil, demonic, satanic. You’ll find much the same propagandic reasoning in today’s political speeches. The US was The Great Satan to Ruhollah (Ayatollah) Khomeini. Reagan called Soviet Russia “The Evil Empire,” and Trump’s rhetoric…well, let’s not go there.

Culture makes a difference. Judeo-Christian teaching is that versipellics are evil; God and the Angels never change shape. Satan and the Fallen Angels do (they don’t want you to know who they are). Read religious dogma from other cultures and versipellism is good or evil depending on why it’s being done. It’s the individual’s reason for shapeshifting, not the fact that they can shapeshift, that determines the morality of the transmutation.

Modern scifi/fantasy may have versipellism caused by any number of reasons. Hank McCoy (Marvel’s Beast, genetic) owes much of existence to versipellism, as does Bruce Banner (The Hulk, radiation). Superheroes as a group owe a nod to versipellism; they have two identities, two personalities, one wears the skin of everyday clothing, the other the skin of their superhero costume, and like any good werewolf, the needs of each identity are at odds with the other. Only recently have superheroes walked among non-supers openly (The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2, Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark procliaming from the podium “I am IronMan,” Amazon’s “The Boys”).
Continue reading “Why this Were here, now?”

Professional Authors’ Groups

I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member
– Groucho Marx

 
Anybody know if there’s a 12-Step meeting for researchers? I need to get to one. “Hello, my name is Joseph. I’m a researcher.” “Hello, Joseph.”

A few weeks back I polled five-hundred authors with:

I’m looking into authors’ groups and organizations. Do you belong to any? If yes, your thoughts and opinions of it/them? And could you provide a link if you think them worthy?

Two-hundred-eighteen responded (just under half. I can provide percentages/numbers for other Researchers Anonymous members).

    General

  • Most people aren’t part of any author groups. The reasons varied from 1) cost to 2) unclear usefulness to 3) Covid followed by various scatterings. The “cost v usefulness” quadrant was most heavily populated. Most professional groups had upfront costs and that’s where “usefulness” dominated, a “what do I get for my money?” mood. I suspect (no substantial evidence, more based on conversations and email exchanges) as the industry matures (ie, as the gulf between serious authors and “Hey! I got a book published!” writers widens) a similar gulf between “Let’s get work done” and “Let’s have a party!” authors groups will occur.
  • Online groups dominated the responses and most people prefer online groups because nothing is required to participate. Also, few find online groups helpful with Goodreads groups standing out as least helpful (one person offered the discussions were painful). Most people offered they directed messages from these groups are directed to spammish buckets and rarely read them. I asked “What do you use the group for?” The answer usually came down to “To promote my books.” When asked, “Why don’t you do more with the groups?” the answers often came down to “It’s just people promoting their own books.” Budda-boom!
  • The following responses are based on 1) clustered responses (a significant number of responses clustered around a definable (binary) result and/or 2) the results were interesting although not statistically significant. My tendency to go for a binary (YES/NO) is because I can measure neither expectations nor satisfaction level while I can codify positive/negative response regardless of where they are on the positive/negative scale.

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