Pencil Ouija

I am a substitute teacher. Recently, I taught a second-grade class. Some of the kids were playing a game they called Charlie, Charlie, will you kill me? It is played with a pencil balanced on a second pencil on a paper grid—yes, no, yes, no.  I had to call the school counselor.

Originally it was a Latin American game, Juego de la Lapicera (Pencil Game). Teens call it Charlie, Charlie Challenge—it has spread worldwide thanks to the internet. Some teens claim that Charlie is a Mexican demon.

One girl became hysterical, so it is not funny. I wonder what would have happened had the kids found out that my name is Charles?

Nikola Tesla was born around midnight, July 9 & July 10, 1856 during a lightning storm. According to family legend, midway through the birth, the midwife wrung her hands & declared the lightning a bad omen, “This child will be a child of darkness.” His mother replied, “No. He will be a child of light.”

Tesla had a dark side & a light side. My novel, Dream Flyer, takes place in the present, but it involves Tesla’s Lost Journal & Tesla’s Legend. Who was right, the midwife or his mother? I have 1 editor who is interested, but agents & other editors, feel free to contact me.


Gone but Not Forgotten: The United States Bullion Depository, AKA the Fort Knox Gold, holds the government’s gold. No one has been allowed inside since the 1970’s, because they don’t give tours, even to members of Congress. Rumors persist that the gold vanished, but no one’s talking. Why not?

Is the Federal Government broke? Are we broke?

My novel, Dream Flyer, deals with a mystery of vanished Fort Knox gold. I have 1 editor who is interested, but agents & other editors, feel free to contact me.


Forget the tour guides, let me give you a writer’s tour of Louisville.

Second Stop: Twin Spires, but not what you think. Lakeland Insane Asylum, with its Twin Spires was built a couple years later than the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. Both had the same architect. Lakeland once held up to 3,000 patients. It was torn down about 20 years ago, and Tom Sawyer State Park was built on the grounds. You can visit Lakeland’s remains, which include a bricked-in cave used as a morgue and 2 unmarked potter’s fields holding possibly hundreds of bodies. Can you say ghosts? I plan to write about it.


Terror on the tracks

A different kind of Derby Tour

Forget the tour guides, let me start you on a writer’s tour of Louisville.

First Stop: The Pope Lick Monster (the Pope family were early settlers, lick refers to a saltlick) is a half-man, half goat rumored to dwell under the lofty railroad bridge spanning Pope Lick Creek near Fisherville, a few miles from Louisville. It hypnotizes its victims, luring them onto the narrow train trestle until they are run over by trains.

Some say it is a circus freak that escaped during a train wreck. Others say a local farmer who sacrificed goats to Satan has reincarnated as the Pope Lick Monster. Despite No Trespassing signs, many people have been killed, by the monster?

I am going to write about it.

If I survive. If.



Derby is the first Saturday in May, Derby Eve (Oaks Day) is the Friday before. Local people go to the Thurby, Churchill Downs the Thursday before the Derby. (May 3) Meet the Louisville people, few of us go to the Derby or the Oaks, and Thurby is much cheaper.

There will be 4 bands, other special events, Dawn at the Downs, and 11 races including the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes (Listed) and Opening Verse Overnight Stakes. Come join us!

Horses? What horses?

The first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, but the Derby Festival starts with Thunder Over Louisville on Saturday April 21, 2 weeks before the Derby. It includes a huge airshow and giant fireworks.

Sorry, no airplanes will race, but the Derby Festival includes steamboat races, balloon races, bed races (not a typo), and rodent races (not a typo either). Oh, and lots of horse races, especially the Oaks, where the lady horses race. Besides racing, there is lots of music, the Pegasus Parade, and non-stop partying.

Excuse me, but it’s time for another mint julep.