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July 2016

“Say Cheese!”

the-wheel-ready-for-cracking

(image) https://3wheeledcheese.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/the-wheel-ready-for-cracking.jpg

Thank you reality!

In my historical novel trilogy about onion farmers, which stretches  from the 3rd Century to the present day, I have my main characters, the Cannara family from Italy, invent an “onion cheese”.

In the second part of the trilogy, I have the Cannaras take some of this cheese on a trading voyage to China. Theses voyages could last well over a year. I have them forget some of the rounds of their cheese, and they makes a return voyage. To their surprise, the Cannaras find that the length of travel and the motions of the ship have produced superior cheese. This they sell at a high profit.

Immediately following is a current news article about some cheese found on a ship that sank 340 years ago.

Below that is an excerpt from my novel, China Lily.

DE

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Wednesday July 27, 2016

340-year-old cheese discovered at shipwreck site and, man, does it stink

A dairy product, believed to be cheese, has been discovered at the wreck site of The Kronan. The Swedish warship sank before a battle with the Danish/Dutch allied fleet in 1676.

A dairy product, believed to be cheese, has been discovered at the wreck site of The Kronan. The Swedish warship sank before a battle with the Danish/Dutch allied fleet in 1676. (Kalmar County Museum)

Listen 5:22

Divers exploring a sunken 17th-century gunship from Sweden say they have discovered what they believe to be cheese.

“The smell and the texture of the material really points in that direction,” Lars Einarsson tells As It Happens guest host Helen Mann.

“I don’t know if anyone is going to taste it.” – Lars Einarsson

Einarsson, the marine archeologist who heads up The Kronan Project, thinks that the cheese smells like a mix of yeast and Roquefort.

“When it was opened the first time, it was really overwhelming, in a positive way. It was smelling ‘live,’ as opposed to dead organic material, which doesn’t smell very nice. It seemed to be alive.”

The material was found in a tin at the wreck site of The Kronan, the largest ship of its time. It sank in 1676 in the Baltic Sea, which helped preserve the cheese all these years.

The Baltic Sea is a ideal for preservation of the cheese, according to Einarsson. The low salinity, along with the fact that the ship sank in clay, helped seal the pewter canister away like a time capsule waiting to be opened.

lars

Lars Einarsson is a marine archeologist and director of The Kronan Project. (Lars Einarsson)

When asked if anyone would dare bite into the 340-year-old cheese, Einarsson paused.

“I don’t know if anyone is going to taste it. We are quite optimistic about getting an analysis of the chemical makeup of the product though.”

The cheese has been sent to a lab and Einarsson hopes to have the results of what exactly they have within a month. He adds that it may wind up on display some day.

“If it’s possible in terms of preservation, we’ll definitely [put it on display.] But first of all, we have to safeguard the material.”

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-thursday-edition-1.3699151/340-year-old-cheese-discovered-at-shipwreck-site-and-man-does-it-stink-1.3697365?cmp=rss

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Excerpt from China Lily:

Just as he did on his last two voyages, Cepa will also bring a few wheels of the onion cheese back to Europe. He has established an authentic pedigree, with the local bishop stamping a date on the sealing wax of the cheese. Assuming there has been no damage by seawater (which has happened to a few of the wheels); the “onion cheese” has such renown the Cannara’s joke that they can almost sell it for its weight in gold.

The “ocean cheese” came about through an accident. On the first voyage Cepa had taken, some of the wheels of onion cheese had been swamped by seawater. The storm was so rough their wax had gotten chipped and cracked. Cepa instructed that they just be thrown overboard. However, before that happened, other crew members shifted cargo and the cheese was shoved into a corner and hidden. Other goods, purchased at different ports, kept obscuring the cheese. When they returned to Europe the cheese wheels were revealed. In the process of throwing them into the harbor, Cepa discovered a half dozen wheels in the middle had not actually been damaged.

A couple of months later, when the Cannaras decided to cut open one of the wheels, they found the cheese had acquired a piquancy and an oddly smoother texture. Speculation was that the motion of the ship, the salt in the air, and the additional years of ageing made the essence of onion permeate the cheese more broadly.

Cepa tried half the wheel on the extended family. The other half he proportioned out to the three medicinal bathing lodges the Cannaras owned, scattered through the foothills of the Alps. He had thought of just using it in Cannara taverns, or even as a supplement to the mid-meal at some of their businesses. The response he received from both the family and patrons of the spas changed his mind.

Even though the onion cheese had been touted for its “medicinal properties” at the spas, and promoted as an “oriental delicacy” elsewhere, the enthusiasm with which it generated proved that everyone reveled it its taste. Cepa was well-aware that part of the family lore concerned an Enaiy of centuries ago who had tried making cheese under water. He wondered if there was any part of the process that might be similar to the sea voyage. Perhaps the amount of additional time was part of her attempt, or bring rocked by the waves. He had no idea if the Cannara’s current recipe for onion cheese had anything to do with her underwater process.

His “ocean cheese” had been so well received that the Cannara family put a small sample on display to taste. Then they began to auction it off. Because most of those who used their spas were wealthy, or nobles, or rulers of the church, members of this social strata had already heard of the cheese. It was as rare as spice. It only appeared in small quantities every few years. Having no way to calculate a production cos, the Cannaras started at the base price for their regular onion cheese. Those of wealth and appetite took care of the rest.

When Your Neighbours Are Murderers

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Recently, for an out-of-town guest, I was asked to recount these tales from some years ago. So why not share the wealth.

As fodder for a writer, I have had the good luck to have two murderers as neighbours. Well . . . almost. One committed his murder a month before he was to move in, the other committed his murder years after he moved out. But, still – it’s the spirit of the intent.

Murderer Two lived in the apartment directly across the hall from me many a long year ago, and committed his murder last year. With a knife. The other murderer used a knife, also. Small world.

While living across the hall from me, Murderer Two was often a cause of disruption. He was prone to parties with unruly and uncontrollable guests. I arrived home one afternoon to an event of screaming proportions occurring across the hall. I was within minutes of phoning the police when someone else did so. Police cars and vans appeared on the street and in the driveway. Ten to a dozen officers entered the raucous apartment. People in various states of inebriation and addiction were taken away. Murderer Two was found hiding in his closet. He did not return.

Last year Murderer Two was charged with the murder of his room mate. No party, though they were both drunk. He claimed self-defence, though the victim was stabbed twelve times. It was established stab number nine was the death blow. He was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Murderer One was a month away from moving into the apartment across the hall from me. He was going to replace one of the occupants moving out. One evening however, he visited the apartment past mid-night. He arrived in a taxi. He had a dispute with the taxi driver (over what, was never clear, but probably lack of payment). From the back seat he slit the driver’s throat and fled the scene. A couple of hours later other drivers of the taxi company were searching for him. His cab was spotted at two in the morning. The engine was still running.

I awoke at six to the sound of a huge engine on the city street. I looked out my front window and saw a police mobile investigation vehicle, engine running. Police cars and vans and an ambulance and a fire department vehicle were all present. Out my back window – in the driveway, was a taxi, police officers, and a body under a tarpaulin. The man had been killed four or five metres from me. I had heard nothing. The investigation took hours at the scene. The body remained. Mid-afternoon it was removed. The taxi was towed away. The fire truck was used to hose away the blood.

I had seen the murderer a few times before, visiting his friends next door. He was arrested in a restaurant kitchen where he worked as a cook. He reportedly had been drunk, had problems with a girl friend. But the exact reasons he was there that night, or why he murdered, were not revealed. He also was found guilty and sent to penitentiary.

II no longer live in that apartment house – but not by choice. It caught fire and was eventually torn down.

DE

(image) https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b2/63/98/b26398bb7be81c0e3a6149a31ac129ae.jpg

Crime And Murder -Scenes From “Darkroom” ~ Fade In:

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I was going through my Dropbox files last week and came across a great surprise. It was a file that, initially, I thought I must have mistitled. But, when I opened it …

… there was a movie script I had adapted from one of my novels. Not the screenplay I knew I had made from another novel, but a whole different one. I am equally surprised by the fact that I did it, and the fact that I have forgotten it. It would have been at least six months of work. WTF

It is called Darkroom, and is about my psychopathic serial killer, Norman. The other is a horror screenplay is based on a portion of one one of my Satan novels. Perhaps I think of horror as a more visual medium.

At any rate, I think I’ll share a portion or two  – or a few – of Darkroom.

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FADE IN:

EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT

EXT. RUNDOWN THREE STORY MANSION – NIGHT

EXT. LARGE LIT SIGN FACING SIDEWALK – NIGHT

SIGN
Rooms – Week/Month

EXT.ENTRANCE TO ROOMING HOUSE – NIGHT

A Dozen Burly Men crowd through the front door.

INT. STAIRWELL – NIGHT

The Men laugh and roughhouse as they go up the stairs.

INT. STAIRWELL LANDING – NIGHT

The men jostle each other and laugh. A couple wrestle and one
pretends to push another over the railing.

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

A LAUGHING MAN puts a key in the first door they come to. As it
opens he puts a finger to his lips.

LAUGHING MAN
Shh! It’s my turn to do it.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

The Laughing Man creeps along the hall and stops at the door on
the end. He looks back at the Other Men and giggles. He pounds
and kicks on the door.

LAUGHING MAN

We’re back for another week, Normie.
Did you miss us?

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

The men crowd into a large room with many beds. The Laughing Man
closes the door behind them.

INT. LARGE ROOM – NIGHT

The Men waste no time getting ready for bed. The Laughing Man beckons

three others to him. Together they pound on the wall.

LAUGHING MAN
Sweet dreams, Adolf.

The Laughing Man stands at attention and gives the Nazi salute to the wall.
The Other Men hoot and holler.

DE

(image) http://67.media.tumblr.com/29eb47a1ae85b7037aa3fbdb4067b595/tumblr_nee4d4Nleu1r0d65jo1_500.jpg

Second Bananas And Also-Rans Complete The Picture

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My onion novel, CHINA LILY, spans decades. My main family, the Cannaras, travel the globe (of their time, which is the Fourteen hundreds). Lots of time on ships. Lots of time on horseback.

In their distant locations over their diverse times they meet different people. These people fill the chapters they are in, but then they are gone. They are really secondary characters to the novel, but nothing could be accomplished without them. In their own time frame they are front-and-center.

This same situation happened in my *thriller*. The time frame was much different (squeezed into a few days). And the location was one city until near the end. But the nature of the immediacy and the surprising twists of plot and the intense action called upon the use of many secondary characters. They were figuratively press-ganged into action. They did their bit and were not called upon again. Louie-the-dog was to be a secondary character with a ‘walk on’ part. He stayed.

I am having a growing fascination for these secondary characters. They have to be developed within paragraphs instead of chapters. Their dialogue and thoughts have to be concise and unique from the start. They possess a freedom of action the main characters do not have. They are not loaded down with baggage. They are a challenge to write and difficult to rein in. They are generally saucy and rarely ponder their lot. Yet they must be real and not just plot devices. They have to be taken at face value and accepted quickly. They must stand out in the background.

A novel of only secondary characters – hmmmm . . .

DE

[image] https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vZSuKHVPTpI/VsNpi-m3ekI/AAAAAAAAU7I/8JA_0K9LM_g/s1600/2015%2Bcollage.jpg

Engaged And The Joy Of Marriage From “Kafka In The Castle”

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09 July 1917

We have become engaged for the second time. Joy from my parents. My beaming father. How glad I was that Ottla wasn’t there. I looked around the room and saw what awaited me – overstuffed furniture and mouths full of banality. F. had tea with us, and nibbled on the dainty cakes. And I knew she was taking in each chip of the porcelain to relay to her mother. Weighing and judging.

My father is crude, my mother gushes, but there is obviously money. And, I am a Herr Doktor of Laws, and well advanced up the ladder of bureaucracy. Yes, there are some elements of the brooding author, but that can be restricted to conversations with my friends after dinner on Sunday. Or, a couple of evenings at the coffee house a month. Those should be avenues enough to tend to my funny, little needs. A few hours in the dark, twitching like a timid rodent.

Then, each week could begin anew. We even did our social duties, Felice and I. Visiting friends and relations with the joyous news. In a stiff, high collar which I had to borrow from my father. Much to his delight. We last called upon Max and his wife, as afternoon dragged into evening. Plates of food and platters of words. Max could not take his eyes from my chafing collar, and I knew he wanted to ask about it. But he dared not. Not in front of wife and fiancee. His and mine. He could not contain his smile however. Horror and humour. Mine and his. At least the social niceties were over once we left his house – except, of course, for my walk with F. back to her hotel. She debated whether or not to return to my parents, but I dissuaded her. She might have allowed an embrace on the outside steps, had I but tried. Had I only tried.

But I scuttled away, ascended some other steps, and here I am within this tiny house. The door is open because of the heat, but even had I locked and bared it after me, I fear they all would still enter. Would walk through the walls if necessary. Would scale the castle with ladders, if necessary. They are never going to let me rest. Even as I sleep, they will be lurking in my dreams.

DE

(image) http://static.wixstatic.com/media/ca246f_f0a30bdddff74353b79db12596f98ae9.jpg

“Burning In Berlin” Horror Movie With Ravens

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9.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Two Children huddle on the floor. The Boy lies on the Girl.

stretching over her. He turns his head toward the Man With the Eye Patch.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch yells at the Boy.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Hide your face!

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Two Ravens dive simultaneously.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch holds up his suit coat in front of him.

The two Ravens fly right into the suit coat, pulling it from the Man’s hands. The Birds, entangled in the suit coat, hurtle against the window. One Bird gets free, while the other, still encased in the suit coat, falls on the Children.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy shoves the Girl under the seat in front of them.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The freed Raven flies up toward the Man With the Eye Patch. The Man crouches into the stance of a boxer, and punches the bird directly on the side of its head. The stunned Raven tumbles over the seat back.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy scurries under the seat where he had been sitting.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch grabs his suit coat with the trapped

Raven, and throws it to the far side of the bus.

 

MAN WITH THE EYE PATCH

(yelling)

All of you – get down!

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Raven is half out of the suit coat when it hits the window.

DE

(image) https://a.travel-assets.com/mediavault.le/media/b45cf39976f82453d505684f9ab18f82fbd7f9ce.jpeg

Sex Orgy In The British Army With A Regimental Cane

I not only attempt to write fiction, I have, over the years, written a lot of fiction. My fiction ranges from the conversations between God and an Elephant, to the account of a sociopath serial killer, to the diary of Franz Kafka, to NATO military intrigue. In many ways I think I’ve covered the bases. See a stone, and I turn it over.

But I admit being stopped in my tracks by this Daily Mail Facebook NewsFeed.

I confess, I could not make this stuff up.

DE

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And performed a sex act on one while he was wearing a gas mask.

Woman took part in barricks orgy with up to seven soldiers.
The orgy at Bulford Barrack, Wiltshire came to light when the woman complained about being hit with a ‘regimental cane’.
dailymail

“Burning In Berlin” Screenplay : The Three Ravens Shuffle Together

 

 

three-ravens-in-courtship-display

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

Peering faces, and Tour Guide’s finger pressed to window.

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

 

A second Raven settles upon the sign. It hops about until it

stops over the word ‘Fehurer’.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

A BOY and GIRL, both slender and twelve, are staring from a window. A MAN WITH AN EYE PACH, in his forties and muscular, wearing a suit from the Salvation Army and a work shirt, bends over them, peering.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy and Girl have their heads together. The girl moves her

hand, and points through the top of the window.

 

EXT. LINDEN TREE – DAY

 

A third crow is landing on one of the branches. The other two

are agitated, but quickly settle.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch hastily puts his hand over the

girl’s mouth.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Shh.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The girl moves her hand from the window. The childrens’

faces move back.

 

EXT. LINDEN TREE – DAY

 

The two Ravens in the branches descend to the Information

Sign.

 

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

 

The Three Ravens shuffle together, and stand shoulder to

shoulder.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Tour Guide has his head pressed against the window.

DE

(image) http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/38/38D48A55-17E9-423C-8B22-BDC9D98D6096/Presentation.Large/three-ravens-in-courtship-display.jpg

 

“Burning In Berlin” Screenplay / FADE IN:

adolf-hitlers-bunker-is-a-carpark-downfall-film-parody-time

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. BARREN FIELD WITH AUTUMN GRASS – DAY

 

Traffic sounds comes from the four streets bounding the field.

 

EXT. HILL IN FIELD – DAY

 

An information sign is at the foot of the hill. A newly-

painted Linden tree grows beside it.

 

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

 

THE INFORMATION SIGN READS Fehurer Bunker

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

A middle-aged TOUR GUIDE stands by the front seat, facing

the passengers.

TOUR GUIDE

The Berlin police don’t

want us any closer.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Tourist faces peering from the windows.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Tourists from the far side of the bus bend and peer

over those seated.

 

EXT. LINDEN TREE ON HILL – DAY

 

One raven flutters and lands on a tree limb.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Two or three faces are pressed in each window.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Tour Guide is pointing through the window.

 

TOUR GUIDE

 

All of a sudden, the city says it

is unsafe. (laughs) They don’t want

to see all you rich tourists being

swallowed.

DE

(image) http://www.thetraveltart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Adolf-Hitlers-Bunker-Is-A-Carpark-Downfall-Film-Parody-Time.jpg

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