Satan’s Ball

Soviet stamp of 4 kopecks, 1991 Mikhail Bulgakov

The postage stamp above commemorates Mikhail Bulgakov”s masterpiece, The Master and Margarita—and it is better designed than most book covers. Cover’s depicting the cat with the gun are good, but this stamp says more. On the left, you see people tearing down the cross—Bulgakov saw the Soviet destruction of Christianity, as a dangerous thing. To paraphrase Charlie Daniels, the devil came to Russia and there were no more souls to steal.

After Margarita’s maid transforms into a witch, she zaps the neighbor into a hog-snouted broomstick; Bulgakov got the idea from Goethe’s version of Faust; where Baubo rides a sow, on Walpurgis Night. Goethe must have known about the Eleusinian Mystery cult where they sacrifice sows to Demeter and the women jest like Baubo. In this instance, you need a sow jumping over the moon; rather than a cow.

Use of a Halloween style cat denotes the witch theme, but I would have had a gun dangling from the cat’s neck. The ribbon has somewhat of a gun shape; a few changes may have done the job. Satan’s Ball has a bit of theatrics, so I like the theater masks. The couple dancing is a nice touch, too. Bulgakov’s ballroom scene is what interests me because I’m staging something similar—in my novel. My main character is still in Palm Beach; an ideal locale for She-Devils’s Ball. My last post makes it clear that Cerci and Cersei are invited.

source imageat Wijimedia — Here


Circe: The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy

Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus John Willaim Waterhouse

Austin Dobson’s poem, The Prayer of the Swine To Circe” depicts the agony of the human soul trapped in the body of what some call—a foul beast. John Keats created another form of Circe, for his poem, La Belle Dame sans Merci (The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy) and I consider it better written than Dobson’s poem, but I prefer Circe as a subject. Turning the men into swine is an unmerciful act; which, many Feminists seem to dream about. Members of my fictional cult dream of such magic, too.

I’m curious if George R. R. Martin created Cersei Lannister with mythology’s Cerci, in mind.

Image from Wikimedia: Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus (1891) by John William Waterhouse


One of Odysseus' Men Transformed Into a Pig-Walters Art Museum

Austin Dobson’s poem, THE PRAYER OF THE SWINE TO CIRCE, has a great title and concept, but I consider the poem—uneven; it has some good lines but I’m not fond of others. The poem did give me an Idea, though. My fictional cult holds Circe, in high regard. Circe turned Odysseus‘s men into swine and my cult wouldn’t mind doing the same thing.

Homer failed to give names to the men changed into swine, so I’m going to name this one Ollie,as homage to Oliver Hardy.

The link to the poem is in the text above and the picture comes from the Walters Art Museum via the Wikipedia link below:

Against the Regime

Xu Lai's autographed photo for Zhou Xuan, a younger star of the Bright Moon Troupe

Revolution brought the Communists to power, in many countries, but the way things come full circle makes the term ‘revolution’ a greatly apt word. One regime just takes the place of another. Revolution just changes who lives in excess and who dictates social norms.

I have a symbolic use of freaks, in my novels, because the freak deviates from the norm.  My freaks fight the dictated norm; they fight the regime. But they may just replace one regime with another.

The alliance between my freaks and the Feminist factions, in my novel, is probably confusing to anyone but me but I understand the fusion. Feminists want to bring about a new social norm and they may have succeeded, but it is just another regime. My freaks are equivalent to Eris, the goddess, threw the Apple of Discord during the Judgment of Paris; which, caused Athena to start the Trojan War.

The members of my fictional cult do not have a true side; they don’t care whether a matriarchy or a patriarchy rules; they will always fight against the ruling regime. If people cold see the lives of their ancestors; they would know they come from both the winning and losing side of the never-ending war.

Xu Lai (pictured above) went from the luxurious life of an actress to a jail cell because Chairman Mao’s wife wanted to cover up her own past. She died in prison. Xu Lai also acted as a spy; she’s an interesting woman, but my interest is in her picture. I use such pictures for my novel’s character database. The image came from her Wikipedia page.

In Search of a Clean High

FLicKeR - film is based on the book Chapel of Extreme Experience by John G-horz

Drugs and alcohol made a mess of William S. Burroughs Sr. and his son, so the Dreamachine may have been a hopeful solution. Getting high without drugs and with a controlled time period does sound better than their drug experience. Unfortunately, the strobe-light effect causes seizures in some people and may not reliably offer the hallucinatory experience.

FLicKeR is Nik Sheehan’s documentary; which, explores the Dreamachine.built by Brion Gysin, Burroughs’s and Ian Sommerville (the John G. Geiger’s book Chapel of Extreme Experience is the prime basis for the film).

William S. Burroughs Sr. had a cult following and he was a follower of many cults. My novel is about a cult and I gave the main character of my prequel—the Burroughs name. She happens to be in Palm Beach, at this point in my writing; where the parents of Burroughs Sr. had a home. Burroughs came from ‘old money’ stemming from the Burroughs adding machine. I may do something else with Burroughs in mind.

My fictional cult is in search of ways to improve their genetic memory drug. I see them testing the drug alongside the Dreamachine. Making my circus-cabaret more psychedelic seems likely, too.

The middle picture shows David Woodard and William S. Burroughs behind the Dreamachine; a device which stimulates the optic nerve. On the right is a picture of William S. Burroughs Jr. who died in Florida. Both of these pictures come from Wikipedia.

A Protagonist to Antagonist Shift

PhotoFunia Old Book theatre

The antagonist of my first novel is much different, in my prequel. She needs to grow into a sociopath, by the end of this book. I needed to create characters and events to transform her personality.

In mythology, Medea shifts personality after Jason abandons her. Medea begins the tale as a super-powered heroine who helps Jason, but in one version of the tale—she kills their children, after the abandonment. I probably should consider paralleling Medea, in some way. Love rejected can cause significant emotional problems and is something I should consider.

Toulouse Circus and Cabaret


Toulouse-Lautrec featured the circus and the cabaret, in his art; the two share many features. Poor Toulouse, he was an ill-fit dwarf. Some people can handle being a dwarf, some can’t. Lautrec handled his dwarfism by being an alcoholic.

I’ve decided to make a fictional cabaret; named, Lautrec. It will have a circus theme and will probably be in Palm Beach. Of course, the club will be very exclusive and my fictional secret society will own it. My fictional cult is circus-cabaret themed, so Lautrec fits right in.

The Russian Royal Midgets

Russian Royal Midgets

Stalin’s consolidation of power caused this set of circus performers to stay in the US. They retired to Sweetwater, Florida. Even before Ringling, Florida was often the choice location for circus folk. Loss of their translator and lack of language skills left them in relative isolation.

I don’t believe they have any descendants, but I will probably be careful about any reference to them, in my novel. They would make a great addition to my fiction secret society of circus folk, but I may use a fictional benefactor as a linchpin.

For more on the Royal Russian Midgets and the source of the picture:

Royal Russian Midgets was the name they toured under, some Little People don’t care for the name midget, others don’t care.

Follow the Art

Untitled-Woman with Peacock Martha Dewing Woodward-horz

Flagler created an art colony at St. Augustine, but like Flagler, art went south–and Martha Dewing Woodward beat him there. Woodward created the Blue Dome Fraternity, in the Catskill mountains; the Blue Dome meant under the sky, but sky-clad, as in nude, also applies. After a fire, she headed to Miami and founded the University of Miami’s art department.

I’m surprised no one has made a movie about her; a more lesbian version of Sirens. Hey, Portia and Ellen, if you take my idea—treat me right. Portia de Rossi, co-starred in Sirens; they could cameo the cast. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia cold play Woodward and her lover Louise Johnson.

I’m more involved with my own secret society. My main character is at the University of Miami doing research on the secret society and I need to decide about who links to who. Woodward makes a great leader for my most southern branch. I probably should consider Da Vinci coding Woodward’s artwork, but I doubt I have high enough definition or the eye to do the job. Symbolically. the Untitled – Woman with Peacock, works.

Forgot the credits – the two pictures come from Woodward’s page on Wikipedia which also states – used with permission of author, Alfred Frankel. I probably blew the legal stuff.

Allusions to Character

Grace Barnett Wing - Jo Ann Plug

Alluding to real people for trivia purpose gives me some concern. My fictional cult uses a sorority as a public face and it has layers of secrecy; which, follows the American rating system.

Jo Anne Phlug (right) was basically a PG actress who did a couple of R-rated films. Grace Slick (left) lived a more scandalous life. They both attended the University of Miami at the same time, or roughly the same time. My main character is currently researching the secret society within the university, so I need to make decisions on my allusions. I try to give some distance between the real person and fictional character; plus keep sight of the parental guidance rating of the individual.

Slick is far more iconic and her party girl personality helped make her that way. Phlug was Lieutenant Dish in the Mash movie, so her sex appeal was obvious. Different appetites for vice and fame. Hindsight makes it easy to see who I want in my cult; creating the distance between fiction and reality is up for debate.