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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Lovecraftian short story

A Lovecraftian short story I wrote. Enjoy, folks, and don't forget the comments! I also would like the opportunity to publish it!


The Birth of Gug

by Kenna Mary McKinnon

Over the line of the sultry hills bursts the blood of sun, reminding me that I am late for the bloodbath with the Moon Beast and may be late for my son’s birthing, as well. My son’s name will be Gug, who was conceived in a dream of Kadath, the former home of the gods. He’ll be born into a heap of skulls and other bones, as my wife, Mormo, wished. With teeth jagged to munch on the midwife before she could tell the world of our undoing in the Valley of Death, his eyes will be pink, jutting from each side of his black-furred head, and his vertical yawning mouth yellow and agape between them. Our magic to conceive him, juxtaposed from the Mythos of the Great Ones, was strong. You can pile on the guilt but my heart will remain stone. I stand beside my wife and newborn monster who will, I trust, help us to undo the outrage to my world.
I speak of the oceans and the plastic that will not bleed; I speak of the designer water bottles that pollute and destroy; I speak of what Gug can do when we lead the Green Party to election, just like Britain and its henchmen, here in our Lord Anno Domino 1999.
My Palm PDA device flickers to life in my hand as my wife, Mormo, summons me on her new golden PDA (so recently discovered and replacing our old cell phone). Ensconced in our marriage bed, she breathes into the instrument the words I’ve been waiting for all night, interrupting even my bloodbath with the Moon Beast to make way for the birth of our son. Yes, we named him already soon after the ultrasound showed us his tiny penis and shaggy outline, our precious little Gug who will change the Earth for the better. Our political agenda couldn’t happen at a better time, with trash littering the planet where the new gods dwell. No, not Boston, but Winnipeg, for that is where we live, my wife and I, and that is where the antichrist will be born. Our precious Gug. I sigh with delight.
“Hippolytus,” my wife cries, “the time has come.”
I frown and bite my lip. Males are not allowed in the birthing room. I am taking the call outside our dwelling, in the courtyard, and watch the bloodred sun as it rises. The Moon Beast will not be happy with me. “Are the midwives there?”
“Yes, all is ready. I feel the pangs of childbirth and they are severe, but not as severe as the brushes of our Master,” she replies.
“He is cruel,” I agree, “and his pen draws close, I fear, to the empty gods of Kadath.”
“Does the morning sun still stain the glass over the wondrous halls of Winnipeg?”
“Yes, Mormo, I’m still here soaking it all in, the magical vista before me of Winnipeg in the morning. The Moon Beast must find another artist to best represent his fierceness. For I stayed here all night, slept in the anteroom beside the birthing chamber, and now eagerly await the birth of our little Gug.”
“I fear he is not so small,” she groaned. I could hear the midwives scuttling about in the background. They would be helping my wife to move into the birthing room next to our matrimonial chamber. I wished with every tortured and bulging heart that I could be there, but the matriarchal society in which we lived did not allow it.
Within my lifetime McCarthy won the election in the United States and plunged us all into this nether universe, around which I understand our sun whirls in disarray. There are those Nightgauntian spirits who insist the earth is spherical. As you know, they are far outweighed by the rational observation that the earth is flat and remains that way in spite of the monsters who spiral up from the infernal edges, like the Kadathian god who is Gug’s godfather and my good friend. The gods who dwell in Boston decreed it so, that we should populate the Earth with our progeny that is our right, but the Earth cannot sustain its original denizens much longer. Thus agrees our Maker. There are many more like our son being born, right now, to the delight of the Mythos Fandom, the whales and denizens of the oceans, and the turtles and rats of Earth all entangled in the refuse left by Eve’s descendants.
Mormo went out and bought a little black onesie for Gug and there is a black Pierre Trudeau toque sent from a friend on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. We think our son will be well dressed. Our political agenda may come to fruition with his birth. A boy from the Tower of Goth who munches plastic and flesh. Excellent. He will be the perfect infernal machine to create a new world, starting with our home town of Winnipeg and mowing down to the 49th parallel then through Fargo, Minneapolis, and Fort Dodge. Boston is one of the worst polluters but if Gug inherits my excellent eyesight and his mother’s good sense, he will bypass Chicago and Boston rather than make a stint eastward. Our nephew lives there with his wife and family. As an environmental engineer, our nephew and his proctologist wife desire nothing less than to clean up their city with the aid of clamps, scope, and gun, which is commensurate with the plans of the gods. I’ve heard it’s architecturally bland, anyhow. Our Gug would not be interested.
Winnipeg, as everyone knows, is the cultural centre of North America, and we are happy to say we call it home, though the winters are fairly brisk. Did I mention that Boston tends to be bland? It’s in New England, you know.
Today we welcome our son to the world. I hasten into the anteroom next to the birthing chamber. For many hours I chew my nails and wait; the birds on the patio beside the huge apple tree in the courtyard chatter in tongues. I hear the groans of my wife and the wailing of the nurses, then cut short by a pregnant silence. I know the child of the Tower of Goth has arrived.
As I pull apart the curtains to the birthing room, I am greeted by the wondrous sight of my Gug munching on the bones of the midwives, and my Mormo chortling over his precocity and appearance, reminiscent of his godfather. Perhaps too reminiscent? I ponder this challenge as it appears to my fuddled mind. Prancing over the splintered bones of the nurses, I approach my little family.
“My husband,” croons my wife, and opens her arms to me. I fall into her cavernous embrace, which includes the busy form of our newborn son, shaggy and quick-witted.
“Mormo. You’ve done well. He looks like a god.”
“Yes, he does. But resembles you, my husband, above all gods.”
I pinch my lip and frown. “Perhaps. But his features bring one to mind of the Kadathian who is my friend and the baby’s godfather, our Master.”
She laughs, her pointed teeth flashing in the blood light that streams through the open sashes. Her tentacles entice and wander. “You’re dreaming, darling.  Mythos is a trusted advisor and no more.”
The discussion ends with me trying to fit the black onesie onto Gug’s monstrous shaggy form, while Mormo pops the toque onto his shaggy head. “Perfect!” she cries.
Gug smiles and gurgles.
“He’s smiling at us!” I hold my son in a firm embrace, though he towers far above my head.
“It’s gas,” explains the doctor, who arrives late, as always. She opens her bag and pops a stethoscope onto Mormo’s distended stomach. “Hmmmm.”
“Not another one in there?” Mormo shrieks.
“No. I wonder at the elasticity of your womb, though.”
“He grows fast,” my wife says. “He’s a big boy.”
The doctor snaps her bag shut and glances at the newborn monster. “Mind if I take a look?”
“Help yourself,” I say, grinning. She screams, then there is the silence of the slaughtered calves.
Gug munches happily as the doctor’s head disappears into his maw like a gingerbread woman. My precocious son is so very precious. The blood red sun has long ago risen from the east. I missed my appointment with the Moon Beast due to Mormo’s bloodbath here in the birthing room. It may not be important, but the bird of Good Fortune certainly shat decently on my cornflakes this morning. Our political agenda is pure and certain. Even now, Gug begins to munch his way from the birthing room to the kitchen, where stray bits of plastic, like offerings to the gods, litter our table before being taken to the recycling bin in our backyard. No need now. Gug’s massive incisor teeth crunch through the back-screen door to the courtyard, then into the neighbor’s bins, and next he trundles out through the gate to board the downtown city bus to the Greyhound station. No one questions his lack of a ticket. He grins, and the huge maw on the top of his shaggy head clicks and bleeds. I follow at a distance, taking it all in, my newborn precious son and the political agenda he will fulfill, as my Master told me he would.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mystery Within a Thriller by John W. Wood


Wow! This book should be required reading for any former or off duty Marines, and any active Marines (I am told there are no ex-Marines!) or law enforcement, who, I am sure, would understand the language perfectly. The author knows his stuff, from law enforcement to family life to war, all written in a plausible manner, and the PTSD in a chilling manner, but with intersperses of gentleness and love around the two burly heroes. I was about to give it 4 stars when I came to the amazing conclusion, which I didn't expect at all! Like a mystery within a thriller, this book unwinds to its inevitable yet astounding end. Well done, Mr. Wood!



Christmas season is almost upon us, and if you're thinking of stocking stuffers, why not a book!

Your little ones from 3 to 11 would enjoy our children's chapter book, "Benjamin and Rumblechum" featuring two children who journey in a minivan across Canada with their toy monkey, Benjamin, and their two eccentric aunts. Based on real life travels by one of the authors, this book is educational as well as a real treat to read!



Monday, August 20, 2018

Eve Gaal's Second Book About Penny!!


Though it’s a standalone sequel, Penniless Souls is the second half of a two-part journey called the Lost Compass Love Series. Follow Penny and John through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas, Nevada where old dreams and dark nightmares intertwine, colliding with the bitter truth. Is Penny up to the challenge? Is she willing to bet her last cent?





Here’s a snippet from Chapter One:

“Can you trust me?”
Quietly, she nodded and placed her head back on his shoulder.  “I have so far,” she mumbled without conviction.
It felt like a white flag of surrender.  The type of submission that reminded her of submissive
women in advertising campaigns of the fifties.  Without a job or money, she had only one thing left.  Fortunately, it was something valuable, something called love.
 
Buy it by clicking here and don't forget to write a short review!
http://mybook.to/PennilessSouls

If you'd like to see the beginning of Penny's journey, buy Penniless Hearts! Buy both to get the entire series!



Kenna's paranormal fantasy trilogy, Den of Dark Angels, is available on Amazon worldwide! 
Buy it here:



5 star review by Mara: "This is a fun read right off the bat!! I finished the first novella hysterically laughing at everyone's ill fate. George and Bernice will be missed!!!"


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Children's Book featured with a recipe for Lakota Fry Bread

Karen's Killer Fixin's


I'm honored to have been featured on Karen Docter's blog.

For those readers who love bread and fried stuff, I've included a recipe for Lakota Fry Bread. It's great hot out of the pan, but also good cold. My First Nations friend said she makes tacos with it, bison or ground beef on top with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. Yum.

I don't measure and don't have the recipe handy, but here is how I make it:

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup water to make soft dough
oil for frying

Form dough into a ball and divide into quarters, then flatten and fry for a few minutes on each side, turning when the first side is brown.


You can find different recipes on line but this is the easiest I have come across, and it's delicious!

Here's a little teaser from our children's chapter book, the wonderful Benjamin and Rumblechum!





Sister and brother Katie and Jacob travel across Canada and back with their two eccentric aunts, Kathleen and Mary, in a minivan named Rumblechum, with Benjamin, their stuffed monkey, sitting between them.
Rumblechum transports them through Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the huge province of Ontario, and finally back to their little grey house in Edmonton, Alberta.  Their dear calico cat Freedom is at the door to greet them, meowing with excitement and joy, and a mysterious parcel is opened.
A chapter book, the first of a planned series of young reader stories suitable for ages 3 to 12 years old. Fictional, but based on true traveling experiences.




Saturday, June 23, 2018

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FASCINATING EVE GAAL!


Eve Gaal
It is my pleasure to welcome you to my blog today, Eve. We’ll start out with a few questions. If you choose not to answer any question, please feel free to skip it, and if there is anything that I’ve missed, you’re welcome to add a comment.

Let’s get started.
1)  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m the author of Penniless Hearts which you read and reviewed. My husband and I were married in Hawaii so it naturally became a great setting. The second time we went for our first Anniversary. For some reason, I began noticing things about Hawaii that made me see things without rose colored glasses. Hawaii is gorgeous, but people still go to work. Crime happens. Even the prettiest bouquet of tropical flowers will someday wilt. The contrast of beauty and crime made me have fun with my characters. I enjoyed researching Pele, helicopters and lava flows. It was a fun book to write.


Thank you, Kenna. I appreciate your kind words about my book.  Here’s a link to your wonderful review: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RQBJBHKN5G5DD/ref

2)  As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

My third Christmas, I received a small baby grand piano. I think I drove my parents crazy pounding on the delicate keys. Though I always loved music, it wasn’t meant to be because the following year, my father made sure I had a child’s typewriter. That’s when my storytelling began. My tiny, illustrated books were primitive but somehow, each one had a basic plot.
 I hung out in the school library and read books during recess. During summer, I signed up for the reading programs and checked out tons of books. I had a thirst for good stories and I still do. I also believe that if you don’t find the book you’re looking for, it might be your turn to write it.
I wrote poetry as a young girl and sent them off to magazines like McCall’s. Of course, I received many, many rejections. My high school yearbooks published a few of my poems which encouraged me to continue writing. My diaries and journals mention my future as a writer.

News items sometimes bother me enough to also end up as part of my books. A few months ago, there was an actual story about a child who was stuck in a furniture store overnight. It really made me wonder about the parents, the store security, the managers and the fears that the child must have gone through. That little tidbit is mentioned in my upcoming novel when Lani goes missing, her mother thinks back to the time she hid in an armoire, in a furniture store, to read a book. 

3)  When did you first start writing?

I started those poems at age nine but the rough little books came a bit earlier.

4)  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always knew it.

5)  How long does it take you to write a book?
Two to three years when I’m not suffering from some bizarre malady.

6)  What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
1-5 most days.

7)  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I prefer complete solitude and will go to almost any length to achieve it. I even moved to a desert home in La Quinta for eight years and when that wasn’t quiet enough, I pulled a desk into a closet. While in the desert, I finished Penniless Hearts and The Fifth Commandment, which is a short, faith-based novella.  I don’t live in the desert anymore, but still like having privacy in a closet. I use a laptop that isn’t wired into the internet so there are very few distractions. Of course, with two Chihuahuas around, distractions are inevitable.

8)  Where do you get your information and/or ideas for your books?
That’s an interesting question because The Fifth Commandment came to me in a dream. So, I felt compelled to write it. A higher power guided me through that small novella and I’m hoping He helps me with a few others. That particular book has hit the Creativia bestseller list and did very well in Australia.
The action scenes in Penniless Hearts and Penniless Souls came to me when I’m waking up. Basically, I listen to my heart. I feel all stories come from a good place. Even bad stories are meant to teach us something.

9)  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy swimming, walking my pups and crocheting beanie hats for chemo patients.

10)                 What does your family think of your writing?
My husband is very supportive. I have an international family that reads in many languages. It’s like the United Nations. Almost everyone is bilingual. Some read books in Spanish and they are not that interested in reading my books written in English. There is however, a Spanish version of The Fifth Commandment available.  Other family members prefer reading in Filipino or Greek and even Hungarian.

11)                 What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating books?
That even my thirty years of marketing and advertising experience cannot help sell my books. I am most surprised that people openly admit that they don’t read. Reminds me of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

12)                 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written three books but one of them is a new release that will be coming soon.
Guess I don’t have a favorite because they are all unique.
I like Penniless Hearts for being lighthearted and fun. It takes people on a journey of the Hawaiian Islands and gives them a sort of bird’s eye view of Kauai and the Big Island. I pull readers into dream sequences and various hallucinations because my main character runs from tough situations through her imagination. I imagine Penny running around in one of those famous Escher prints where the stairs run up and down and there doesn’t seem to be any escape.

Penniless Souls made me reflect on philosophical ideas such as the multiple types of determinism, fatalism, subjectivism, deism, I Ching, compatibilism, even quantum physics.   Have you ever wondered where you get your good luck? Your bad luck? The story touches on the dark side of Las Vegas and human trafficking. It’s about coincidence and a mother’s love. How far would you go to save your child? It was an interesting book to write and I can’t wait for others to read it.  


I like The Fifth Commandment because those pages are certifiable proof that I’m sorry for being a difficult kid.  

13)                 Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
There are so many books on the market and they have so many choices that I am always flattered when I hear they liked my novel. Usually they say they enjoy the action and the dialogue but honestly, I don’t hear from them much.

14)                 What do you think makes a good story?
That depends. I like many types of books. My favorites usually consist of a journey. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho or Life of Pi by Yann Martel or The Wizard of Oz, Robinson Crusoe, etc. If you’re writing a book--take me on a trip--let me see things through your eyes.

15)                 How did you choose what genre to write in?
I’m not really sure because Penniless Hearts is part adventure and part romance and I don’t think I can push it into any genre. Maybe it’s a contemporary romantic adventure? Is there such a thing? Penniless Souls is more of a romance but it’s also an adventure. The Fifth Commandment is more of a Christian fantasy.  I just write. There is no plan other than a basic outline.

16)                 Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Yes, it happens all the time and unless it’s a medical problem or a bereavement, there are ways I overcome it.

17)                 Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
How can I pick one?
Many books influenced me growing up, especially the Bible.
 I think of Willa Cather and the tree she went to hug in the middle of the prairie in O Pioneers. I remember the confidence of Templeton in Charlotte’s Web. The fox telling The Little Prince about how it is only with the heart that one can see clearly. How about Scarlett in Gone with the Wind telling the reader that she can cry tomorrow? What a great point! Kahlil Gibran reminding me that by knowing my deepest sorrow, I can appreciate my deepest joy and Harold and his Purple Crayon telling me that I can do anything.

18)                 Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? 
      I had to self-publish due to an emergency. Seriously. It’s a long story. Maybe I’ll write about it someday.

19)                 What was your favorite chapter or part to write? Why? In Penniless Hearts my favorite part is when she’s in the Waipo valley and takes a nap on the beach after hiking straight down through a forest of guava trees. The wild asses roam through there and eat the sticky, fallen fruit. She wakes up to getting sloppy kisses from a member of the roaming herd. (I’ve made that hike and seen the animals. They are super cute with long eyelashes and no, they didn’t kiss me. My husband kissed me under a macadamia tree.)

20)                 How did you come up with the title?

It came to me one day. I kept wondering why myself. Later, I thought it might sell a lot of books because people might confuse penniless with penile. Penile-less. And no, it’s not a story like that but I thought a few people might take a second look. LOL

21)                 What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? The toughest criticism usually has to do with my short chapters. I pull the reader into action and pull them out rather suddenly. It’s the same way I talk. You can talk to me face to face about something and my mind might wander. A few minutes into the discussion, I might compliment your sweater or ask for a drink of water. I usually go back to the subject at hand, just as I do in my novel. (I had a college English professor tell us to write the way we speak. It’s not always a good idea, but I must have taken it to heart.)
The best compliment is that my books aren’t boring. Nothing worse than a boring book.


22)                 Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I mentioned it a few times up above. Longer chapters, more straightforward and more drama. I hope you like it.

23)                 What projects are you working on now?
I really want to get back to writing more commandment stories. I’ve started writing The Tenth Commandment already.

24)                 Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Yes, yes, yes!! Penniless Souls

25)                 What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have lunch with? Why?
I know this sounds strange, but I’d pick the lovely Melania Trump or any of our lovely First Ladies. I received a letter on White House stationary from Mamie Eisenhower when I was born, welcoming me as a new citizen of the United States of America. I’ve always been in awe of everything the First Lady has to do.

26)                 What would you serve?
A fancy salad with mixed greens, arugula, dried cranberries, goat cheese, fresh chopped red peppers, chopped green onions, a bit of cucumber and balsamic vinaigrette dressing served with fresh multiple grain bread and butter and a tray of delicious cakes for dessert.

27)                 If you had a magic wand to grant any wish, what would that be?
Peace, love and happiness to all.

28)                 Is there anything more that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for choosing my books to read. I know there are endless options. Most of all, follow your heart.


https://twitter.com/EveGaal



Thank you, Eve! It's been a pleasure having you on my blog. I would encourage your readers to pick up a copy of Penniless Souls! 

Have you tried Kenna's supernatural fantasy trilogy -- dark but quirky humor!



h
5 stars: "Dark and Twisty People"
"This is a fun read right off the bat!! I finished the first novella hysterically laughing at everyone's ill fate. George and Bernice will be missed!!!"



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Brief History of Weed in Canada

As many of you may know, I am a Canadian and I live in Edmonton, Alberta. 


Here in Canada, recreational marijuana is well on its way to becoming legal in all of the country.

Marijuana can be purchased from a vending machine in Vancouver, I hear. You're more likely to be arrested in Saskatoon. 

Weed was legal in Canada until 1923, and indeed, the US didn't make the bud illegal until 14 years later.

Marijuana's medical benefits were being touted in the late 1990s and 2000s and medical marijuana became available in Canada to those with a prescription, from a medical marijuana dispensary.

Notwithstanding the suspicious sweet smell of pot hovering about downtown in my area of the city and in the lobbies and hallways of this building and others, recreational weed is still illegal in Canada and probably will be until September 2018 at least.

As well, the legalization of weed in Canada is incumbent on international treaties that our country has signed with other nations, and until those are sorted out, it is likely that the status quo will remain and consumers will continue to be busted for possession.

The finale for the story of marijuana in Canada has still to be written.

Consumers continue to light up and wait for the completion of the 2015 Liberal platform to give them the golden key or, as Timothy Leary in my generation might have said:


Turn on, Tune in, Drop out
Timothy Leary