02 April 2015

Writing, Antiquing & Publicizing Crazy Stuff

The 1st Secret Sources article is in this edition.

Don’t even talk to me about that bloody car.  No it’s still not done, and no we still don’t have it.  But there has been progress, of a sort, so I’m trying to chill.  Not very successfully trying to chill, but trying.

Meanwhile, the writing gig is continuing apace.  The latest Antiques & Collectables for Pleasure & Profit magazine has been published, with the first of my Secret Source articles.  The page designer made it look pretty, so I’m happy with the presentation.

Then I had an article idea on Krampus accepted by that magazine, which was great except for the bit where I had only thought of the title of the article and the first two sentences.  Now I have to come up with another 1800 words. 

Krampus, for those who don’t know, is the Christmas Demon.  He comes to those on the naughty list, and he either kidnaps and eats you, or kidnaps and beats you with chains (depending on who’s telling the story).  He’s big in parts of Europe, where Krampusnacht looks quite scary but fun.  He was softened a lot when he hit America, so he doesn’t eat children or whip them with chains, but instead leaves a big lump of coal in their Christmas stockings.

Krampusnacht in Austria
So anyway, that’s Krampus.  I expect we don’t have him in Australia because we don’t have any naughty children here.  My plan is to contrast him with Saint Nicholas, so we’ll see what I come up with, but so far you know as much as I do.

My article on humanity’s love/hate history with the cat was also accepted for publication, plus one I wrote about the legend of the mermaid.  So yay for that.  Plus the strange story of the social history of the Pineapple will be coming up at some point, and in the next edition I think they're going with something I wrote about Medieval to Victorian Medical Cures.

Then I had an article about driving on the Peripherique in Paris accepted by the RACQ magazine, The Road Ahead.  And on the basis of that article, I’ve now been invited to write a lead article for them (which I’m working on) about touring and shopping in the south of France.

The Paris Peripherique, viewed from space.
The Road Ahead is delivered for free to every RACQ member, and has a circulation of over one million every month.  That’s right up there with the big boys.  So if you’re an RACQ member you are Hereby Ordered to read this magazine.  I don’t know when my articles will be published, but soon I hope.

On the antiques front, we’ll be at the World Festival at Maroochydore this coming Easter Sunday (5 April).  We’ve dug out more of the French grain sacks that have been so much admired, so we’ll be offering them, plus a good range of Various Stuff.  The World Festival is only held once a year and is supposed to be great fun, with lots of different food and entertainment (and Various Stuff).  It runs from 10am to 9pm, so it will be a long day for us.  Let’s hope it’s worth the effort.

2014 winner.  Finished in less than 23 minutes.
The King of the Mountain Festival in Pomona is coming up in July, so I’m working on some local pre-publicity for that.  I’ll do some broader publicity closer to the time, if I can swing it, but so far I’ll have six articles in the local newspaper Cooroy Rag starting from 15 April.   

If any of you feel the entirely sensible and rational need to run at full pelt to the top of a whacking great mountain and back down again at break-neck speed, which is what you need to do to win this event, your prize will be a trip to New Zealand – so you can do it again in the event’s sister-race. 

Great prize, I told the organisers, what does the person who comes second get – two chances to do it again?  But apparently really fit (and entirely sensible and rational) people just love doing this sort of thing.  Who knew?  And yes, yes, I’ll delve into the Fitness Mindset as we go, but so far my publicity articles are more along the lines of “what possesses these people?”

Tamerlan, Napoleon's stallion, will get a mention
So okay, I’m off to work on my final draft of the south of France article, my Secret Source article on Helsinki has unexpectedly been bumped up the publishing schedule for the antiques magazine so that needs finalizing, to do some research on Krampus, and round-up some competitors in the King of the Mountain race to interview.  Lucky I enjoy writing, because once people agree to publish your work you suddenly have deadlines to meet.  How I hate deadlines.

But here's a request.  Now that what I have unofficially called my 'Critter Series' has been accepted as a concept by the antiques magazine, I need to write articles on various animals, real and mythical.  So far I have written on cats, mermaids, and Krampus is in the works.

My plan is produce something on horses (including Pegasus, unicorns, horses of the Apocalypse, Trojan Horse, etc) and then dragons.  So here's the question:  can any of you think of a good critter to write about - I'm talking in terms of its history with humans, the symbolism attached to it, anything produced regarding it that is now considered collectable, in short, anything interesting?  All ideas will be accepted and stored in my Ideas List - already long but additions always welcomed.  

You can't leave a comment on the Blog - for some reason that field no longer works - but you can email me at ddpalmen@yahoo.com.au.  I'd love to hear your ideas.