Friday, November 28, 2014

In Which It's Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US. I hope you had a great day!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Weird: La Bête du Gévaudan

I really thought I had done a Wednesday Weird on this topic before, but I checked all my posts and I couldn't find one, so proceed I shall.

La Bete du Gevaudan (the beast of Gévaudan) was a real wolf-like monster that prowled the Auvergne and South Dordogne areas of France 1764 -1767, killing people often in bizarre circumstances. Many men and professional hunters would try to kill the beast, but almost all of them would fail.

The first recorded attack was a young woman in 1764. The beast approached her as she was tending oxen. Her dogs fled, but the oxen drove the beast away. Shortly after the beast would kill 14-year-old Janne Boulet.

After that, the beast would spend two years hunting and killing men, women and children. Most often it would attack single people as they tended their animals in fields or in the woods, but on more than one occasion it would attack larger groups of people, sometimes succeeding in killing multiple victims. Often times only pieces of victims would be found, if their bodies were found at all.

The number of attacks vary, depending on the source, but it killed somewhere between 60 and 113 adults and children, and injuring another 30-49. Many of the victims killed were partly eaten, and it frequently focused its attacks on the throat or head.

Descriptions also vary, but what most people agreed on was that it was reminiscent of a wolf, but the size of a calf or a donkey. It had a strange red coat, square head with small ears and white chest. It had a strangely long tail, like a cat.



On more than one occasion peasants or professional wolf hunters would shoot the beast, and the bullets would not kill it. There were also rumors that perhaps the beast wasn't alone, because more than once attacks happened at almost the same time.

Many wolves were killed in the attempt to put an end to the beast. Louis XV offered rewards and sent hunters to help, but though one hunter did kill a particularly large wolf (5'7" in length) it would prove to not be the beast, as the killing continued a month later.

The man credited with finally putting an end to the beast is Jean Chastel, a 60 year old man sent to hunt the beast. He shot the beast with his shotguns and his dogs finished the deed.
Upon examination, witnesses would stand by the fact that the beast was not a wolf, but by the time the body arrived in Paris it was so putrefied that it was buried immediately.

Nowadays many people think the beast was a wolf, perhaps deformed, or a wolf-dog hybrid, or something else entirely. Unfortunately we'll probably never know for sure what it was. But regardless, it did indeed kill many people, an act that would be strange for any animal, monster or not.

It is still a famous bit of strange history and occasionally shows up in pop culture

If you haven't seen this movie, you should. It deals directly with the beast and is also pretty good

Thoughts or theories?

Monday, November 24, 2014

How I Miss You Blogfest

Today's the day for the HOW I MISS YOU Blogfest, hosted by:

The point of this blogfest is to list the one to three bloggers you really miss and one to three bloggers you would really miss if they stopped blogging. And then to let them know!
There are plenty of bloggers I miss. I spend a long time keeping them on my sidebar in hopes they'll come back. They very rarely do.
But, right now, I have a few blogs that haven't posted in a long time and I keep hoping.
So, for the bloggers I miss I'm choosing:
Joan Crawford's Things I Yell At You. So, so funny. Even if she never comes back, it's still worth reading through her archives for some hilarity.
My fried Tricia from TL Conway Writes Here. Yes, I see her in person pretty regularly, but still. I could use more.
And Schwa from Vive le Nerd. Cuz he's a cool guy and I miss his nerdery.
As for who I would miss, that would be my good pal (and host) Matt MacNish

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.
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