Yes, there's some new News!

November 02, 2019

Not that anyone is holding their breath, but I am pleased to state that at LOOOOONG las, I am back to working on the 5th novel in the series formerly known as The Randolph Familly Saga, but now (and when published in future) known as The Elfin Scots. This is the one set in 1873 San Francisco. I was a bit more than half through the first polished draft when Ol' Rotting Jack-o-lantern Head got elected. I tried to carry on, but the damn story just got darker & darker, creepier & creepier. So, had to set it aside.

HOWEVER! With the push forward to Finally Impeach, I felt centered & optimistic enough, to return to "Book Five" (which might actually be Book Six, if I also go back to finishing that prequel about Janet's mother). Anyway, have been back to working on "1873" for about a week now, and feel very pleased. Making key simplifications of what I now view as a few overcomplicated plot elements.

 

So, maybe being unable to continue with the book due to feeling like the country had fallen down a deep dark rabbit-hole, was all for the best. It did get me to start writing the Valedictoria novellas (solidly satirical escapism) and then to move on to writing NIIDENI, the dark, apocalyptic "Book Thirteen" (or whatever number the final one in the series turns out to be).

By the way, speaking of Valedictoria, I've also been working on the 4th in the novella series - "Valedictoria Scott and the Secret of Triomphia" ... she gets a job working for a famous fashion house in Parisia, Francia. It's about halfway through its polished 1st draft. Right now I'm feeling good to have the option of switching between working more on the pure satire, OR the one with deeper moral significance, just as the spirit moves me.

Two Blogs posted in July

July 30, 2019

Just finished the second one today (30 July). It's been a busy, intense month, so ... just the two. In June I did 3, and the goal is one per week. However, probably not till September. August is shaping up to also be pretty complex. Getting ready for the Big Estate Sale. It was definitely supposed to be on Labor Day Weekend. However, looks like our electrician may have screwed up, and not informed PG&E in time, to get the power Back On as soon as they finally - FINALLY! - finish the rewiring of the parental house. If we can't get any power in there by like 2 weeks before Labor Day Weekend, I guess we'll have no choice but to push back the date for the sale.

Anyway - check out the 2 newest blogs, both posted (as usual) on the Community Forum. Joining the Forum is simple and safe. Use your email, create a login.

Blog titles:

"Not Your Usual Blog: A bit about Karl's grandmother's handmade fashion dolls"

(there are a few photos, from among about 100 dolls)

"Grammarly: Most Depressing Damn Commercials, Ever"
(I explain the dystopian reasons why)

FINISHED THE DRAFT!

July 26, 2019

YES! As of about 10 minutes ago (3:40 p.m., 26th July 2019) I FINALLY FINISHED the first draft of the post-apocalyptic novel - what will be the 13th & final in the ongoing storyline of the Elfin Scots novels (formerly the Tam Lin novels, or the Randolph Family Saga novels - take your pick!)

There's a new #1 in the series, just in the first 1/3, and what will also be #6, currently more than half finished. So, that leaves 6 more to write.

However, I need a break from dystopia and post-apocalypse. (Getting enough of that from the daily news). So, before I go back to the 2 novels that need finishing, I'm going to get going on the next (4th) novella in the Valedictoria Scott series! Time for some lighthearted alternatopian Steampunk hijinks!

But for the moment, I'm feeling exceedingly chuffed at finally completing the resolution of "The Elfin Scots: Niideni".

Some new photos on the Animal Photos section of the Community Forum

July 12, 2019

Made a few additions to the Animal Photos sub-page in the Community Forum - a small file of recent snapshots of my furry daughter Ursula; 2 pics of a tom turkey on Karl's parents' property, and a pair of Canada geese with their nest! The Forum has something for almost any taste or interest! Music, humor, likable sites & videos, Steampunk, blog postings by Forum members (some beautiful shots of Wisconsin posted by jbookgirl!), animals, and of course the occasional blog by myself.

It's free, fun, safe & secure! Jump in!

Patricia's new project

June 27, 2019

Not a project from the heart, but from a sense of duty, one unsung artist to another...

Karl's father's mother was a very talented artist and clothing designer, who never got to fully express her gifts. The usual reasons ... family let her study art & design at the "technical high school" (this was back in the 19teens). But after graduation, no family support for a GIRL going on to train for a CAREER. No matter how talented.

By her mid-20s, she somehow got suckered into marrying a rigid, stuffy banker without an artistic bone in his body. Had a kid. Then, ever becoming Someone was ALL OVER for Frieda Engelder Smith.

Except, she got into making fashion dolls. Realistically proportioned, with tiny detailed faces, hands & arms, legs & feet (carved of balsa wood & painted), hair of embroidery floss, & full costumes covering many historical periods (as in the above example, "Queen Elizabeth II in Coronation robes). Not to sell, but to show off at doll clubs, women's associations, and such. She got bits of recognition, here & there. The whole collection has been at the parents' home for 30 years (since Frieda died). NOW, it's become my job, or mission perhaps, to archivally wrap and protect every single doll, which number about 100 (also all her paper dolls, paper birds, and watercolor paintings), and convince a museum, that they can't afford NOT to take this collection. First stop in my quest, has been the American Folk Art Museum in NYC. Frieda was for sure a Folk Artist. I've had a phone conversation with an assistant curator, & am hoping she passes along what I emailed her, to whatever higher-up decider is able to make the decision. The dolls really are something special, and deserve to be seen as a body of work, and enjoyed by many people.

If it works out, that's a point scored for ALL talented women whose lights have ever been buried under the parental & husbandly bushels. Sisters should keep on doing what they know they're good at, and damn anyone else who tries to thwart their full self-expression!

Soon as I get a chance, I'll post a page with some of the photos I've taken, of some of the dolls. For now, there's QEII up above.

More of My Art Posted

April 22, 2019

You can find it all in the Community Forum, sub-section "Patricia's Art Gallery" (may have to scroll down to find the icon & click in). I'm trying to create as complete an "Online Gallery" as possible, of all my art. Today I added all the "non animal art" pieces that are presently available on my computer. There are others, that I still need to get copied in good digital form. But there's quite a few now, very varied in style & media. Join the Forum, see what you think!

I'm blogging fairly often, if not rigorously regularly, on this site's Community Forum Page

April 14, 2019

Just a reminder...

I'm blogging about the ups & downs, frustrations & little victories, of my real life and the world as I experience it.

You can too! Just create a login on my "Community Forum" page! There is a dedicated "Guest Blog" section, right next to mine!

Most recent of my blogs, under the category "Patricia A. Leslie's Blog" after you log into the Forum:

22 April:  "Religious Harassment at a Holistic Veterinary Clinic" (somebody with letters after her name tries to talk me out of continuing to follow the spiritual path I've been on for 51 years)

12 April:  "An Insalubrious Visit to a Gynecologist" (the scary pharmaceuticals that MDs will prescribe like they're offering you a stick of gum)

30 March:  "Ursula's 6th Birthday ... Vet did not help it be happy ... lucky she has me" (Another kind of medical "professional" who's very happy to take your money and do nothing helpful)

OMG I watched one season of "Outlander" - WHY?

March 19, 2019

Over the past 7 or so years, often when I've mentioned to some woman that I've written some speculative fantasy novels set in historical Scotland, the immediate response has been...

Oh, have you read OUTLANDER?!!

Oh, you SHOULD!

Oh, you'll LOVE it!

Oh, it's very similar to YOUR novels!

Nope, nope, nope, and nope.

Just off the top of my head...

Jeez, that soundtrack! I kept thinking that Bear McCreery must have been at a loss for inspiration, until he ran across an old Kenneth McKellar LP at a garage sale. The rewritten lyrics of "Skye Boat Song" are the worst doggerel I've heard in a long time.

I think Claire's a bitch. In fact, near as I can tell, every significant female character is a bitch in this thing.

Threats of imminent rape, as a plot element, get old fast, for me.

A woman being whipped on her bare ass with a leather belt (even if "all in good fun" and "kind of sexy" as structured in the editing) is a big turnoff for me - since I was subjected to that as a very small girl, by my own father, and I can't really say that there wasn't a sexual element to it, in his case.

Portrayal of rape (even if it's a young man getting buggered) is SO not my idea of entertainment.

Ethnic stereotypes bore me. Particularly when they're stereotypes of MY ethnicity.

Bodice-ripper plot elements bore me to tears (ripping or snipping off of garments ... heroine too stupid and/or smart-ass and/or bitchy to keep her mouth shut IN THE INTEREST OF AVOIDING DANGER when she clearly doesn't know the score ... heroine constantly falsely accused of some egregious fault or crime, and suddenly at great risk, "Perils of Pauline" style).

Another boring aspect of bodice-rippers is the constant requirement to set up yet another improbable situation between the romantic interests, which then results in the trope of their sexual relationship being "reset to zero" so that every time they have a chance to have sex, it can be repackaged as an alternative "first time".

How the hell can a woman -- who has no money & only the clothes on her back when she arrives in the past, AND who has no family, no friends, and is suspect and unpopular for being a mouthy bitch -- have acquired THAT WARDROBE? Damn, she's got more outfits than a Barbie! Who's giving her all this swag, and WHY? Nobody likes her and she hasn't earned it! She's got a new outfit every scene. This isn't just "Ah, Hollywood, it's "Ah, Bollywood"! More realistically, all the other women apparently  own two changes of clothes at MOST. The guys have no changes, they just live in their great-kilts. So where does this bimbo get off having this kind of access to fancy clothes at all times?

FURTHERMORE...

I've been reading science fiction all my life, and this is NOT science fiction. (But, annoyingly, is constantly advertised as such!) Some time-travel stories ARE science fiction (e.g., The Time Machine by Wells.) The thing about science fiction is that it incorporates SCIENCE, which offers a plausible SCIENTIFIC rationale for the unusual situation. Walking into a circle of standing stones, touching one, and whoops, bingo, magically transported back in time ... nope, that is FANTASY. And, as a long-time SF-F reader, time travel is the hardest trope for me, personally, to buy into. I have very detailed critical-thinking skills. Most time-travel stories have logic gaps that you can drive a semi through. This one is typical.

We had to subscribe to STARZ because of the 2nd season of American Gods, which is an example of truly creative speculative-fantasy literature, originality, and depth of thought on the author's part. (Everything OUTLANDER is NOT.) But, since we're spending the money (for now) I figured, what the hell, I might as well watch some of this show, JUST BECAUSE people keep trying to convince me that it's going to be "like" MY novels, or I will "like" it BECAUSE I write novels that ONLY share a geographical setting. I always had a feeling that I wouldn't like it, and that it would be NOTHING like the world I've built. And yep, I was right. So now, at least, if anyone ever again trots out any mention of this drivel, I'm well prepared to refute any suggestion of sympatico between me & Gabaldon.

Of course, the scenery was beautiful. And I'm very happy for my one-generation-removed kindred, that so many of them have gotten good paying work. But I do think that they're all worthy of better material. And no, I won't be going on with the other seasons. I found synopses online, and the storylines clearly keep getting stupider, and more repetitive.

Are there any romantic fantasy novels out there, that are set in Scotland and greatly surpass Gabaldon's chick-lit storytelling? Yes, you could read mine, for instance. My novels would be an excellent choice. No bitches and very little rape. Unfortunately, for the moment they are all out of print, while I look for a real agent and a real publisher. If you know any agents or publishers with vision and literate tastes, do send them my way! Thanks!

[please note: somehow one whole sentence disappeared from the front end of the last paragraph, without me noticing before posting. I've now amended that glitch. Chalk it up to Mercury being retrograde!]

Another friend has made the journey across the dark waters

November 23, 2018

Not the usual news item, but it is significant news in the author's life...

On the evening of 22 November, 2018, just before 8 pm Eastern Time, my friend and cousin-in-law, Donna Gaber Connolly, made her journey to the Land of the Ever Young.

She had a lot of physical pain in the past few months ... a fair amount of pain over the past year. She'd also suffered the emotional pain of losing her husband Ed (my cousin, my mother's sister's son) about 9 years ago, and her own son Mike, about 5 years ago.

Donna and I got to be friends, even though Ed and I grew far apart, once we weren't kids together any more. She saw me through some very tough times, always being on my side whatever the issue. I could tell her anything about myself, my life; and she treated me the same way. Both being feisty and opinionated, there were a couple of times when we butted heads and let time & silence do their work, but we never stopped caring about each other.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I travelled back East last month (October 2018) to see Donna, making good on a promise I'd made at the beginning of this year, to visit back East and meet the rest of her family. I did know Corinna (Donna & Ed's daughter), because mother & daughter came out to California in the 80s for a week's vacation with our family. Since that time, Donna and I only "hung out" by phone and email. But we knew each other; from my side, I'm sure that Donna got to know the "inner me" more than any other woman friend I've ever had. That visit was a hard one, because I knew it was to say farewell; the trip itself was hard and exhausting. But Goddess knows, I'm glad I went when I did.

And now she has gone to be reunited with her son, her husband, her grandmother who was like her mother, and all her other Beloved Ones who went before her, to the other side of the Veil. I feel happy for her, that she is with those she herself lost and grieved for ... relieved for her, that she's free of all that pain ... empathetic grief for her loved ones who now suddenly have a vast empty space in their lives and hearts, that she had always filled to overflowing.

I do regret the couple of blow-ups that left gaps in our story of friendship; once someone is gone, those things that seemed like such a big deal, take on a whole new foolish perspective. Each passing of someone who matters, is another reminder (how many do I need?) that life's too short for feuds and angry silences. Loving and caring and compassion should be all we have to remember, when we've said our last good-bye.

My book recommendations - in no particular order

November 22, 2018

So, here are some recommendations for books that Karl and I have recently enjoyed...

Books by Jasper Fforde (he calls his genre "speculative fantasy" which, coincidentally, is what I started calling MY genre, before I knew anyone else was using the term!); if you miss Terry Pratchett, Fforde can help ease the pain.

The Thursday Next novel series (we've now read all but the last one)

The two Nursery Crimes novels (The Big Over Easy; The Fourth Bear)

Books by Malcolm Pryce (f you can imagine Bogart as a hard-boiled Welsh detective, you've got the idea) 

The Case of The Hail Mary Celeste (a one-off "Welsh noir" mystery, involving a lot of trains, and disappearing nuns)

The Aberystwyth "Welsh noir" mystery series (e.g., Aberystwyth Mon Amour; Don't Cry for Me Aberystwyth) set in the gritty underbelly of a small Welsh seacoast town (we've read the first 3 & have bought the rest)

Books by Antonia Hodgson

The Tom Hawkins murdery mystery series:

The Devil in The Marshalsea; The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins; Death at Fountains Abbey

superb writing; very accurately set in the 17th Century; extremely good historical research, with many actual historical characters integrated into the plots (we've read all 3 so far; 4th is due out in Feb 2020)

Books by Bruno Vincent

The "Enid Blyton for Grownups" series of novellas (novelettes? I haven't counted the words) - these are not exactly parodies, but tongue-in-cheek extrapolations of a popular British series of wholesome children's adventure books (mid-20th C, more or less) by a woman actually named Enid Blyton. The series take a set of protagonists (the "Famous Five": 3 siblings, their cousin, and their cousin's dog Timmy) and puts them in contemporary, adult situations ("Five Get Off The Booze" "Five Get Gran Online", etc.). We've read all but one now, and find them laugh-out-loud funny. They're clean, too!

Ian McDonald

Planesrunner (we've both read the whole Y-A trilogy) ... really interesting world-building, memorable characters, engaging plot ... and then he just F'ing ended the 3rd one on a cliffhanger, with NO resolution & no indication there will ever be a fourth! But if you just want to read for the pleasure of reading, and not for the "goal" of seeing a neat conclusion, these 3 are highly recommended.

McDonald is an excellent speculative fiction author, possibly better known for his more complex, adult-themed spec-fic novels (River of Gods; The Broken Land; The Dervish House ... I've read the 1st 2 mentioned here; Karl's read all 3; McDonald's written a lot more, but we're kind of full up with unread books for now).

Henry Fielding

Tom Jones (Yes, the actual 18th C novel - the writing style and vocabulary will probably be over the heads of most American readers under 40, but such a funny, entertaining book - skewers hypocrites at every turn - it's worth challenging yourself to see if you can get into it. And if the language seems too dense, today's readers can always hope that someone will produce a modernized, more simplistic version that retains the gist of the story, the way they've done with that hard-to-interpret early 17th C work, the Bible. By the way, you'll be glad to know it's not anywhere near as raunchy as the old film adaptation. Tom Jones I mean, not the Bible (which I believe still includes the incestuous father-daughters three-way episode).

Karel Capek

War With The Newts (Written quite a while ago, but not in the least dated, as a satirical examination of human nature, particularly sheer unmitigated greed and its influence on rational judgment)

Me, Patricia A. Leslie

Mercurial Tales: Fiction on the Para side of Normal (short stories, novelettes & novellas; ideally, if you're reading this news item, you've read this book; but why not buy a few to give as gifts this year?)

Patricia A. Leslie's Peculiar Wit & Occasional Wisdom (a collection of my more peculiar thoughts; another great gift or even stocking stuffer!)

There's No Place Like Home

November 01, 2018

There will be more, soon, about my 10 day trip to the East Coast.

But the very short version is:

You can't walk anywhere in Salem, Massachusetts wthout inhaling large volumes of cigarette smoke from the large proportion of the population who walk around in the street smoking.

While waiting in line for stamps at the Salem Post Office, I met the town's official Massive Snob. What else do you call someone who, while waiting for stamps, randomly informs the person in front of her, that "Oh, my tenth-great grandfather FOUNDED THIS CITY"?

People in Massachusetts do seem more randomly willing to speak to strangers and help them out if they appear lost. But then, I am a middleaged white lady. I don't know what it's like for people of other profilings.

Uber drivers in small towns could be a better bet than "real" cab drivers (the 2 I used in Salem were great). However, don't even bother trying Uber in Boston. Two different Uber drivers were never able to find me, although I was on a main street, next to a huge train station and a huge bridge, and right across the street from a massive hotel.

Airbnb so far is batting 500 with me. The one in Salem was a nightmare - particularly the absentee host. The one in New Jersey was great.

If you're used to taking Amtrak in the West, you'll be unpleasantly surprised by the out-of-date rolling stock they're still using on the East Coast. And the station facilities for all 3 of the train systems I had to use (Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and Massachusetts Commuter Rail (if that's the latter's actual name) were all pretty dreadful. Penn Station in New York City is particularly vile. Funny, that a city known for being a world-class financial center, with some of the most expensive real estate anywhere, has the crappiest infrastructure ever.

If you're vegan, fill your luggage with convenient, portable, nutritious packets of food. You'll be damn lucky to find anything vegan anywhere. Most people on the East Coast - even the vegetarians - seem to subsist on bread, dairy, eggs, tomato sauce, and coffee. Plus either as much meat as they can fit in their guts, or (if vegetarian) as much meat-analog products as they can find.

Back From WorldCon and Moving Well On

August 20, 2018

Got home about 2:30 this afternoon from WorldCon76, having arrived there just about noon on Thursday. That made it just shy of a 100 hour experience ... during which, near as I recall, I got about 19 hours of sleep.

Two friends were sharing the hotel room with me. It was crowded, but genial. We were all still friendly today, which says a lot.

 

This is the opposite of how things went for me in relation to the Publications Committee, with which I was, in theory, volunteering. My tolerance limit in any situation, is THREE SEPARATE INCIDENTS OF TOTAL NITWITTERY. So, by Saturday, I was compelled to make up my mind that I was not setting foot back in that Publications room, for the duration.

Seeing and catching up with old friends was most of what was particularly enjoyable for me, at this Con. I also acquired a $3 pair of earrings, a couple of books I've wanted for a long time, two CDs by Jeff & Maya Bohnhoff, and I bought Karl a fine T shirt that says "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA". He likes it. Other high points were the Bohnhoffs' evening concert, and one night in the open filking, when I got to hear them perform one of their non-parody songs. Equally enjoyable was hearing Alexander James Adams sing & play a couple of his songs in the filk circle.

So, I did it, and it's over, and time will tell whether doing it will "pay off" in a writerly sense. In the basic human sense, it definitely did. I felt some friendships renew and strengthen, made contact with some people who might turn into friends, and almost certainly made enemies of a few total nitwits. As far as the writer-aspect, I did, over the long weekend, gradually keep putting out copies of the Valedictoria novellas (the bound Advance Review Copies), and they kept rapidly disappearing. Of course actual books would be snapped up, where most of what was "free" was bookmarks and postcards. With any luck, a few of the people who grabbed those just because they were there & free, will actually read them, find them enjoyable and well-written, and that will lead to additional reviews, which might in turn be useful to persuade an agent &/or publisher to get interested in turning them into a single-volume novel. (Plus ancillary materials!)

 

Will I ever "do" another WorldCon? Almost certainly not. I'm really not in a position to fly to either Dublin, Eire (2019) or New Zealand (2020). Future possibilities, such as Washington, DC, or Chicago, or wherever, don't seem appealing either. I don't seem to be quite enough of a fan, to be willing to fly all over hell's half acre for the overall kind of experience I just had. Particularly if it's in some place where virtually none of the friendly people I like so much, will also be there. I'd be back to Square One - a stranger in a strange place, and not a naturally gregarious maker of new friends. Plus, it's pretty damn hard on the husband and the dog, to have me be away for even a few days. And I miss them, too. 

I figure I'll still attend other Cons, in more nearby settings. None planned and organized by the people who did this one, though.

One more moral dilemma

July 26, 2018

Well, it seems that every time I turn around, I'm confronted with these moral dilemma things involving some kind of social media. Now, it's Patreon. I've technically been with Patreon (for supporter crowdfunding) for a couple of years. I started off serializing the Valedictoria novellas, along with supplemental materials.  Didn't get a lot of response there. So in about - February? - I started posting the recipes for my cookbook I hope to publish in 2019. No real responses to those, either. But I like to finish what I start, so I keep posting every Wed & Sun. It's good to have a deadline, even an imaginary one.

However, just today, naive me discovered that Patreon is also the haunt of a contingent of woman-hating lunatics. Some, part of the boys-club-mentality "gamers". Others, hard to say what their real agenda is. Deport us all from Planet Earth, perhaps?

Problem is, I really do have a problem, with being IN any entity - even an electronic one - that harbors people like these. I do feel "tarred with the same brush". I don't want to be rubbing metaphorical - or metaphysical - elbows with them.

I just got a "vanity T shirt" printed, saying "Misogyny: the most widespread undiagnosed mental illness" And yes, that is honestly how I feel. Anyone who hates more than half the humans on this planet for simply having been born female, is someone who needs a padded cell.

And I actually feel like I should have taken a shower right after I experienced just a smattering of what chunders forth from these guys.

POST SCRIPTUM

I have, in fact, reached the end of my Great Patreon Experiment. For some more specific details on the Misogynist Problem On Patreon, check out my first blog, in the Patricia's Blog section of the newly, extensively revised Community Forum. I just have very little tolerance left for the Internet Trolls of The World. So, from here on, looks like it's "MY social media or nobody's."

A Landmark Shift In Outlook

April 10, 2018

About 2 weeks ago, Patricia had a sort of epiphany (unless it was a revelation). She has FINALLY come to a realisation that the majority of independently-published fiction is - as the French would say - merde. Or in some cases, amateurish, badly-proofed drivel.

Corollary to that insight, came the conviction that she is no longer willing to be directly associated with the general run of merde that people are putting into print or ebook form, and then calling themselves authors. It just seems very clear now, that most people are going to read one or two or maybe even three indie-published novels, and then conclude that any and all writing being put out that way for public consumption, is as bad as it ever was, when the term was "vanity publishing". And ... for anyone releasing their work that way, no matter how good a writer that person may actually be, there's no avoiding being tarred with the same brush. The majority of people simply approach one's work, when onself is the publisher, with a pre-judging viewpoint that it can't possibly be written with real talent or skill. A discouraging thought. But one whose time has come.

THEREFORE! All the "Tam Lin" ("Randolph Family Saga") novels are being withdrawn from publication (print AND ebook versions) by the end of April. Patricia still has two complete 4-novel sets, plus a few extra copies of Book 3, available NOW for direct purchase, in case anyone is eager to obtain a version that will, at some point, be a collector's item. (Autographed on request, too!) But when those go, they will then be completely unavailable, UNTIL she acquires (1) an agent and (2) a legit commercial publisher.

SAME goes for the "Valedictoria Scott" trilogy novel. So ... what, of Patricia's output, will continue to be "vanity published"? Mercurial Tales (for now) Both songbooks. Humour book "Peculiar With & Occasional Wisdom". .Possibly next year's vegan cookbook. And (if she ever gets around to editing all the poems), the poetry collecction.

Patricia Reads Two of Her Stories!

July 30, 2017

Now both short stories have MP3 links posted on the Carterhaugh Books page on this site! There's a short shaggy-dog story, "Enlightenment", from Peculiar Wit & Occasional Wisdom, and the longer, satirical "A Contemporary Coyote Story", from Mercurial Tales: fiction on the Para side of Normal.

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