Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Weird: Paris Wild Cat

I like when I'm able to do current or ongoing weird things, and today is one of them!

In Paris, near Disneyland, there have been sightings of a large wild cat.

The cat was spotted near a grocery store, crossing a highway, and near a gas station,

Last week, someone said the cat was a tiger, but after an expert looked at some paw prints, they declared that the cat was not, in fact, a tiger.

So the question remains: what is it?

It's not like Paris has any sort of large wild cat population. In the US we have cougars and jaguars, and though they generally stick to certain places, we've certainly even had them roaming up here in MN (cougars at least. Not jaguars (yet...))

But with people owning all sort of exotic animals as pets, it could really be anything.

All they know for sure, so far, is that the cat is a cat, and that it's not a tiger. What kind of cat or where it came from is still a mystery.

There is a nearby wildcat sanctuary, but the only problem there is, none of their cats are missing.

Some people suggested that the tracks belonged to a big dog,  but the head of the Paris regional Wolfcatcher Society states the tracks could not have been falsified.

(Which, let's just take a moment to think about how frickin BADASS it is that Paris has a regional Wolfcatcher Society. Because OF COURSE they do. Especially after that whole La Bête du Gévaudan incident back in 1764 (also, I thought I had done a Wednesday Weird post about La Bête du Gévaudan, but apparently I didn't, so I'll have to rectify that soon))

The fun part, though, is there have been some photos!

So, pals, take a look and let me know in the comments what kind of cat you think is roaming around Paris.



Monday, November 17, 2014

In Which I Finished My WIP

Happy Monday, pals! (also, boooo Monday. Boooo)

As the title says, last week I managed to finish my WIP.


This was the one I was calling Howl's Moving Castle meets Sherlock Holmes. (It still doesn't have a title, but I'm working on it.)

I pretty much love it. I mean, it's a mess. I think it's the messiest draft I've written in a long, long time. It's actually the messiest draft, I think, since I finished my first novel (though, it's hard to be sure since I'm a better writer now (thank god) and am able to distinguish things that need work that I probably didn't notice before). But I still love it.

I wish I had the time to dive into revisions, but I don't. I have to tackle edits for ATR, finish up some schoolwork, and then I have to start writing the ATR sequel.

So, unfortunately, WIP has to sit and wait. Probably for awhile. Which, maybe that's good. Or some people like to set things aside for awhile, anyway, but I'm usually the dive right in and take advantage of all the momentum I've built up from finishing.

But, what can you do?

So how about you? How are your projects coming?


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Weird: Novelist Eugene Izzy Death

In December, 1996, a crowd of Chicago holiday shoppers found the body of crime novelist Eugene Izzi. He had hung himself from the window of his downtown office.

Sad, yes. Weird? No. But of course, this is Wednesday Weird, so we know it can't be all cut and dry as a simple suicide.

For one thing, if you're going to kill yourself, why would you put on a bullet proof vest?
And stuff a pair of brass knuckles in your pocket? Along with mace, some printed notes, and 3 computer discs containing your work in progress?
And hide a loaded gun in your desk?

So yeah, that's a little weird. But sometimes people do weird things before they kill themselves. And maybe the printed notes would provide clues.

Luckily enough, they did.

The notes were transcripts of threatening phone calls Izzi had been receiving. So threatening, in fact, that he'd left his family and moved into a hotel in order to keep them safe, and taken to carrying a loaded gun with him at all times.

At the time of his death, Izzi was researching an Indiana White Supremacist group in order to use in his next novel.

A friend who had listened to some of the voicemails remembered that one, from a woman, told Izzi that he would be hanging by the end of the year. Which, I guess literally happened.

All of that sounds pretty suspiciously less like a suicide and maybe more like a murder made to look like a suicide.

But it gets a little weirder still.

Izzi's death was super similar to a death in his unfinished novel, including the bullet proof vest and brass knuckles. If the White Supremacists killed him, how could they have known about that scene in the book when it wasn't even completed yet? Or, was this some sort of strange advertisement for his book?

Thoughts? Theories?

Monday, November 10, 2014

In Which I Check In

So how are things going for everyone?

Things are going fine for me. Though I may have to bow out of NaNo. Not because I want to, but just because other things have come up. I had originally planned on finishing my WIP and then starting my sequel, but I may have to put starting the sequel aside for a few weeks, which means there's nothing to NaNo.

It doesn't help, too, that I started 3 days in the NaNo hole because I was on vacay, but still. I'm going to keep trucking ahead until I have to stop.

Some people are really kicking NaNo butt, though! I'm both excited and jealous of them.

If you're not NaNoing, what are you working on? Let me know in the comments, because I want to know what's up with everyone.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Weird: Sleeping Sickness

Today is the last of our Halloween themed Wednesday Weirds. Today, we're talking about the Sleeping Sickness.

So let's say your SO comes down with what you assume is a bad cold. But after getting worse over the next few days, they suddenly freeze like a statue. They lie there, motionless, in a hospital bed. Then, finally, they wake up. Which would be a cause of celebration!

But, it gets worse.

They start to act completely different -- they're emotionless and distant, which makes you think of this delightful film:

THEN! (because so far, it's just not bad enough) they start gouging at their eyes and/or violently, sexually assaulting people.
That, right there, folks, is a real disease that first cropped up in the early 20th century. It's called encephalitis lethargica, or the sleeping sickness, and it struck as an epidemic just after the Spanish flu died down.

And, nobody has any idea where it came from or where it went.

It begins with a sore throat right before it escalates into hallucinations and madness before the body ultimately locks up. While sufferers appeared to be asleep, they were actually fully conscious but unable to move. Many died during this stage.
Survivors of the sleeping disease suffered behavioral problems for the rest of their lives, becoming excessively violent and -- regardless of gender -- kind of rapey. They also became emotionally indifferent, unable to recognize, for example, the beauty of art. They became completely different people.

Ten years after the epidemic, new cases suddenly stopped appearing.

Today, doctors still don't know what the deal was, though clearly it had to do with the brain. But whether it was a bacteria, or a virus, no one really knows.

Currently, it still occasionally shows up. So while the world is worried about Ebola, sometimes there are even scarier things that can strike when you least expect it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Weird: The Anguished Man

Week Three of the Halloween themed Wednesday Weirds.

Today, we have this terrifying picture:

Honestly, the painting is creepy enough that I could probably just stop the post right now. Like, that's it, here's your Halloween scare for the week.

But, nah. Let's keep going.

This painting was kept in Sean Robinson's grandmother's attic for twenty-five years before he inherited it. She had always told Robinson that the painting was evil, explaining how the artist who created it had used his own blood mixed with the paint, and had killed himself shortly after completing it. Like you do.

When the painting was displayed, she'd hear voices and crying, and sometimes see a shadowy figure in her house. So she locked it away in her attic. Why she didn't just get rid of it, I dunno.

As soon as Robinson took the painting into his home, he and his family started experiencing the same kinds of creepy phenomenon. His wife felt something stroking her hair, they saw the shadow man and they heard crying.

Robinson decided to set up a camera overnight to try to capture some of the strange events on tape. Robinson's YouTube videos show slamming doors, rising smoke, and the painting falling from a wall for no reason.

Frightened, Robinson soon put the painting down in his basement, but he is not interested in selling it.

Here's one of his videos. Boring warning: the video isn't all that interesting, barring one little part.

So, there you have it. The Anguished Man painting. Scary enough on it's own, kinda worse when it comes with creepiness.
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