Personal Blog/Diary

Here I write about anything and everything.

Gothic, Science-Fantasy, Time-Travel, Narcissism, Purity Culture–Doctor von Bismarck: A Tale of Obsession

Gothic, Science-Fantasy, Time-Travel, Narcissism, Purity Culture--Doctor von Bismarck: A Tale of Obsession 5

Madge the beautiful geek is in love with the handsome, noble, narcissistic time traveler who may or may not be a Nazi. Doctor Heinrich von Bismarck is driven to invent time travel and avenge his wife and children, who were killed in an Allied bombing raid. He has grown used to controlling minds through hypnotism. He pulls Madge into his Svengali trap, until she is addicted and starts turning a blind eye to red flags. But she also pulls him into a trap which could be his downfall–or his salvation.

Doctor von Bismarck: A Tale of Obsession is a Gothic Science Fantasy with twisted and obsessive romance, social commentary, and deconstruction from fundamentalist religion.

My book is now available for sale as paperback and e-book.

CLICK HERE for links to buy

Typing An Unwilling Time-Traveler, a novella I wrote in high school, onto my main website, revived my old passion for that story.  Ever since October 2015, I have worked on a full revision, finally publishing it on August 26, 2023.  The original was about a teenage girl abducted to Nazi Germany by a time-traveler; the new version has become far more complex.  Now woven in are various themes such as narcissism, authoritarian religion, deconstructing from Fundamentalism/Evangelicalism, purity culture, and falling for a Svengali figure.  The themes of a Christian society falling for the lies of an authoritarian state, and how warfare is conducted, are also increasingly relevant to our times.  There are Gothic tropes as well as science fantasy.  Doctor von Bismarck is also loosely inspired by an ex-friend (Richard) and an ex-husband (Phil), both narcissists.  You can read about my revisions in my writing blog.

For now, the book is only available on Amazon, but I hope to make it more widely available in December.

I have put together a playlist of songs that appear in, or helped to inspire, Doctor von Bismarck:

Church Issues Resolved Happily

The troubles at our church have finally been resolved with the assignment of a new, young priest who everybody seems happy with.  I have no idea how soon it’ll take for hurt feelings to be soothed, but I’ve already seen people on opposite sides of the divide, take steps to come together again.  And so far the priest doesn’t talk politics!!!!

There have always been young preachers and priests, of course, since you have to start somewhere, but everywhere I’ve ever gone to church, the preacher or priest has always been older than I am, usually much older.  Now I’m the one moving into venerable middle age while the priest is a Millennial!  I’m not sure what I think about that yet. 😉  But hey, I’ve always liked Millennials.  They’re like my beloved younger siblings.

Just two and a half months ago, I thought this was all gone for me.  I thought I no longer fit in here.  I thought I’d have to start over somewhere else.  And to come back, feel healed for a moment, then feel like it was all about to get ripped out of my hands again– The past couple of months have been a mixture of dread and depression, combined with the heady feeling of learning how much my friends care about me and want me to stay in the church.  Things were brought out into the open and I have a new closeness with one friend in particular.

I just hit 50 years old last week, which is its own dread, but I still feel youthful, with a youthful spirit, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, and my skin is still clear of wrinkles.  To my shock, three people on Sunday called me beautiful; a previous priest’s wife said I look better and younger every time she sees me; I don’t know if any of them knew about my birthday.  They just said it without prompting.  Almost losing my church makes me appreciate the beauty of the icons, and every moment there.  I appreciate the beauty of the landscape when I go out on my bike (and am NOT forced inside by wildfire smoke).  I’ve stopped paying so much attention to politics, now that we have a much better US president and I don’t need to RESIST all the time anymore.  I’ve got other things to put my attention on in the next 50 years.

Meanwhile, I’m formatting my latest novel.  My attention has been derailed by all of this, but we have a writer’s fair coming up and I want to have copies available.  Can I finally focus now?

(And yes, Richard and Tracy, this is also for you, since I know you were so interested in the church business.  After all these years, Richard, I think you’re still my biggest confidant!)

Shake up at my church leaves me heartbroken

So after the spiritual crisis I described in the last three posts–here, here and here–I went back to my church and there was a General Assembly, later than usual, and scheduled last-minute.  My own issue with the priest had been resolved; I caught wind of a few complaints over the past many months, but didn’t think it was of much importance.  To my shock and dismay, the General Assembly turned into a verbally abusive tirade against the priest, along with a litany of complaints–none of which had anything to do with my own issue.  They all seemed to be about him not doing things exactly the way some people thought they should be done.

Now, I’ve been there long enough to see two other priests, and there have always been complaints about something or other that the priest does or doesn’t do.  I was not expecting this level of vitriol, or the division.  I have to wonder if things were percolating in the four months I was gone, and that’s how I missed it all.

Another thing I learned is that despite his praise of things said at the local Ephraimite monastery, Father does not seem to be an Ephraimite himself.  It’s just one person who is an Ephraimite, a new member of our parish, and their views are not shared by others.  (I explained Ephraimites here.)

As of today, it’s been a month since that General Assembly, and we have no priest as of yesterday.  There is a shortage of priests.  I have no idea what’s going to happen with our church.  The parish president, my beloved friend, assures me that not only am I still welcome there no matter how liberal my beliefs are now, but that we will get through this and survive as a church.  But I still doubt because other parishes have closed around us.  There is only one other church left near us, and that’s in the next county.  I fear that despite my hard decision to return to my church, there soon will be none left and I’ll still end up going back to the Protestant world.  The local ONA UCC church would be my refuge, as–in his latest sermon–its preacher said it has been for others in the community.  But I would be heartbroken to have to leave my beloved church of about 17 years, and all the relationships I’ve formed there.  It may be a crazy family, but it’s MY crazy family.

Please pray for my church and for me.

A song for the dark night of the soul–and deer videos

Once again, it was time to pull my favorite Gary Numan song out of the drawer and play it over several times because of my recent faith crisis.  (I got to hear him sing this in person a year ago, the same night he found out he had COVID!  lol )  Now there’s something else going on which I don’t want to talk about online, though I have a little Notepad file getting all my deep dark secrets.  So I’m going to post this video in honor of that as well as the past four months of spiritual despair and heartbreak, which all seemed to be healed by hugs from three people on Holy Friday night:


Now for a video of the four deer living by my house.  Ever since last spring, in the warmer months they come out of the woods at dusk or cloudy weather and graze in the field behind our house: