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Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014: a query and a hope

Damn right.

The query

What do you regular readers want to see more of in 2014?  Any new subjects to visit or old posts to update and/or develop?

Personally, I'd like to do one more thing on the Knights of the Golden Circle (LoS label) after I've finished David's Keehn's book Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War, which has already answered a lot of my speculations regarding their roots and activities.

After that, I want to get back to doing more things on French folklore, saints, Vierges Noires, odd little tales....a Gallic gallimaufry basically.  Also I still haven't started Stephen Curl's The Egyptian Revival: Ancient Egypt as the Inspiration for Design Motifs in the West.  I won't even link to this with my Amazon Associates code because it's a 40 or 50 dollar book and as such only worth it to a specialised reader.  Besides, if I get to it right after reading the Curl book, LoS fans should get a good review which ties in to the posts in which I've already mentioned the book or speak about specific examples of the Egyptian "revival".  I put this in finger-formed air quotation marks because this revival seems to be ongoing even today, although its heyday has certainly passed, the last big expression appearing to be the Art Deco period.  But then again, a few-hundred year old current is a flash in the pan compared to an empire that spanned millennia.

The request

I've personally asked pals and other other bloggers/writers to draw up a post for us on one of their favorite hobby horses.  So far some vague "maybes" and even some outright rejections.  One guy told me he writes nothing for free, for anybody.  Hey, I'm poor as a church mouse but I'll give you five or ten bucks, I told him, just for form.  No articles forthcoming.

We've only had one true guest writer and that is the very busy Dr. Kristen Jensen, DVM.  Her story about visiting the infamous Plum Island Animal Disease Center is hilarious and a glimpse into a world most of us will never get to see close up, with details that belie the image we might have in our heads about a Top Secret US research facility that looks into all manner of public health and military initiatives involving animals and the diseases that kill them....and us.

Oh, my mother wrote me a letter about her experiences during the Blitz that also made a great post and inadvertently perfect:  lots of little details, a straightforward style not designed to tug the heartstrings but do because it's not trying to.  Just the facts, ma'am.  She says something my which stuck with my wife:  "We were very poor, but we were happy."

All that to say:  guest bloggers are great.  I've interviewed sWineDriveR., and he's provided our banners and amusing images for a number of our posts:  Bush's head on a pike, anachronistic portraits of yours truly, Choco strips, excerpts from his films....  Actor Dimitri Diatchenko indulged us with an insider's look at "working class Hollywood":  real full-time actors, not stars, doing what they do as TV show guests, small parts in big films, bigger roles in the indies, video games, commercials, whatever it takes.  Poet Tod Perry and journalist Carl Leubsdorf have shared their memories and thoughts about Cornell University in the late-fifties, when Thomas Pynchon and Richard Fariña,were their colleagues.  It was researching Pynchon and Fariña that led to these interviews about the stimulating writing culture of that place and time and a less than mild-mannered protest cum small "riot" in 1958.  These guests and friends bring in new experiences and ideas, new tones and tenors.  A different voice, perspective, obsession:  left or right, we don't care as long as the general thrust of LoS is respected.  We're not a political agitators, nor journalist, nor academics, but we play at it sometimes

And we want you to come out and play too, Warriors.  Send us an idea, an interview, rough-hewn notes....or a finished gem.  We love to have contributors, but we want someone willing to take a thing from beginning to end

I'm tired of asking for this, but it is January, a new year, realm of Janus, god of gateways and transitions.  Won't you write something for us?  If you're a friend, a regular or a first time visitor, we'd like to hear a proposal, see a sample and give the green light.

We can't pay, but I'll send you a collage or some kind of little drawing by my very own hand.

Whaddaya say? 

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