Tag Archives: Bigfoot

The Idea Mill #26

Sometimes the articles come faster than others. I've seen it take months to get enough articles for an Idea Mill post, this time it took about two weeks.

For all the new followers, I get these articles from various sources and share them here. They are a great source of inspiration for those who write speculative fiction.

Let's look at the first article. It appears chimpanzees have a ritual. Nobody really knows what it means, but speculation is that it looks like religion. The chimps throw rocks at trees. It isn't limited to one animal or one troop. It usually involves the same tree, and occasionally there are piles of rocks found as if this has gone on for a long time. Read the article here (Link)

They say bigfoot likes to whack trees with a club. An article like this could give some credence to your bigfoot story. Maybe old BF is throwing rocks at trees instead. Maybe the chimps have a specific reverence for that tree. A tree church if you will. Maybe the rocks are prayers, or a tribute to an ancestor.

I'll probably do some assessment of my blog activities as part of the year ending. Various primates have been pretty prominent in the Idea Mill posts. From baboons who might be domesticating wolves, monkeys who may be chipping flint, and now chimps who may be developing religion. Seems to me the setting is ripe for some hyper evolution type science fiction.

This next article is the kind that shows up occasionally. Someone discovered a possible cure that we'll never hear about again. It looks like some wasps from Brazil have venom that kills cancer cells but not healthy tissue. This all involves some complicated way the cancer cells outer membrane differs from healthy cells. Basically, the wasp venom makes the membrane rupture and the cancer cells pop like tiny balloons. Here is the story (Link)

What can we do with this one? It sets the stage for a jungle adventure pretty easily. It also lends itself to a corporate espionage type story using rival pharmaceutical companies. Of course you would need a crazy wing-nut type character to expose it all. Nobody listens to him until the facts become overwhelming. Maybe you want to write about a desperate family trying anything to save a loved one. It seems to fit with an environmental warning pretty well too. Loggers are destroying the jungle, and there is a desperate race to save the wasps before the cure is lost forever.

There is no reason you couldn't write about a wasp wrangler trying to deliver a colony of lifesaving wasps to a new colony in a distant galaxy too. When his ship gets boarded the wasps get used as weapons against the invaders. It distracts them long enough for the wasp wrangler to get to the weapons vault. Good thing wasps eat meat.

Finally, this one is just friggin weird. It's called sokushinbutsu; the practice of self mummification. It was practiced by monks in Japan in an attempt to become Buddha. It involves eating a special diet of bark and twigs, restricting water intake to dry out your innards, and basically meditating in a box your friends bury in the ground. It only takes three years, but it doesn't work every time, presumably because the monk wasn't suitable to the mission. Read about it here (Link)

For the record, I will not be attempting this. No pizza, no beer, no wonder they wanted to die. It will probably become the next hot diet book: The Mummification Diet.

So what can we do with this one? I'm a little bit stumped, but maybe I'm just dumbfounded. What if it were a form of hibernation? A kind of stasis that could last for centuries. You just need a little time in the hot tub and some Doritos to come back to life. What about something like the terracotta warriors in China? Someone stashed away an entire ninja army, just waiting to put them into action. Lends itself to secret societies, covert plans, and some kind of takeover attempt for your hero to foil.

These mummies could fit right in to a fantasy world too. The creepy old temple where only a few caretakers remain. Treasure hunters show up and the caretakers put a few mummies in the shower to help them out. Why not make them Sleestack type characters?

So how about a story using all three? The last Idea Mill stumped me, but I might be able to come up with a corny story with these.

Your hero needs to retrieve a colony of cancer-curing wasps from the jungle. We're going to have to move the jungle to one that has chimpanzees. He discovers chimpanzees exhibiting ritual behavior, but only around an ancient ruin.

There is competition from a more ruthless competitor, and they use bulldozers to knock down the jungle in hopes of stirring up the wasps. Your hero learns the chimpanzee ritual is the secret to finding the wasps, and if he can figure it out he'll have more than enough wasps for his purpose.

Before he can figure it out, the competition pushes through to the ancient ruin. This awakens the sleeping mummies who begin a campaign to wipe out everyone that isn't a reverent chimpanzee. The chimpanzees show your hero the only way to avoid the killer mummies is to start the self mummification process himself.

The killer mummies pass him by, revenge is extracted on corporate greed. He gains enough time to solve the Chimpanzee riddles and walks out with a pocket full of wasps. At the end he'd kill for a bag of Doritos and a hot tub.

Okay, all three elements – check. Corny – check.

What would you use one of these stories to create? Tell me in the comments.


Filed under The Idea Mill

Back to work…

Right after I update my blog. Yesterday was a long haul, it took about eight hours to get home with various potty and lunch breaks included. Oregon is a strange state, they managed to legalize pot but can’t have a speed limit above 55 anywhere. Their roads are safer at higher speeds, I tested them. You’re welcome.

When I get overwhelmed with projects I make a list. The act of writing it down helps me get organized in my brain. Therefore, this post is not mere goofing off. I’ll add in some fun stuff at the end to keep the post interesting. Here are the things I need to accomplish this week:

  • Select 3000 words of The Playground and send them to my critique group.
  • Push The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack through the Amazon mill and check the formatting.
  • Decide how to do a cover reveal for Notebook.
  • Write a Macabre Macaroni story that’s been on my mind for a long time. I wanted to include the song of my questing bird, but have never identified him.
  • Figure out how to promote Notebook to actual readers. It’s a 99¢ book, so paid promotions are off the table. Maybe tour some blogs? I’ll keep you posted.
  • I’m participating in the Rave Reviews Book Club’s Back to School Book & Blog Block Party this month. (Who names these things?) Therefore, this bullet is about writing my post. This is a cool event and there are prizes involved for commenters at the stops. It’s open to everyone, and I encourage you to check it out. One of the stops today is even giving away some cool graphic tee shirts. If you stop, and comment, you’re automatically entered to win. Here is the link for the tour stops, and it will get updated every day RRBCBTSB&BBP Check it out and play along. There are some cool grand prizes too. My Day is 9/14. I need to write my post ahead of time since that is Old What’s Her Face’s birthday.
  • I need to post a Writing Cabin bit about creating the short stories. I have a couple of new Lisa artwork bits to help with promotion.
  • Gather up data from my critique partners and work up their submissions.
  • Actually publish Notebook.
  • Get Macabre Macaroni ready for October.

I promised some fun things in this post, so here goes. Sand Dollars live all along the Oregon Coast. We didn’t find any this trip, but over the years I’ve gathered up many. Lorelei, my Muse, has my mind working overtime after vacation. This is a sand dollar:

Maybe you guys can have some fun with this. Notice how it resembles a full moon. The moon influences the tides. We discussed how it would be cool to have magic ebb and flow with the tides. It could create a sense of urgency to deal with a problem at low tide and avoid the witch at high tide.

The sand dollar has a wonderful pentagram type image across its face. There is a Christian story about the wonderful relation to Christ, but it also fits my paranormal side too.

Inside the shell are five white pips. They are v shaped, and in the Christian story resemble white doves. So what if I sent my witch to the shore during high tide? She holds the sand dollar up to cover the full moon, and snaps it open. Five pips come out. What can she do with them? Plant them and grow minions? Feed them to victims? Call forth five sea monsters?

My mind also works like this:


Filed under Writing

Something fun from Mae Clair

Hey readers, Mae Clair is doing a promotion and stopped by to tell us all about it. Mae loves cryptids, and blogs about them as well as featuring them in her fiction. I am driving home from Bigfoot country today, and really appreciate Mae promoting on this blog. You guys make her feel welcome today.

End of Summer Sale: Solstice Island by Mae Clair is FREE8/31 and 9/1

#cryptidfiction #romance #adventure

I know summer isn’t officially over until the autumnal equinox rolls around mid-September, but by the time the calendar reads August 31, I’m already thinking fall. My husband and I will be closing our pool this coming weekend, Halloween stuff is stocked in most every store I visit, and the days are growing noticeably shorter. I live in the northeast where summer is much, much too short. Blink and it’s easy to miss. I love fall, but I thrive on summer. So…I’m lamenting the demise of my favorite season with an end of summer sale on SOLSTICE ISLAND, my breezy romantic adventure novella.

Why should you read it (other than the fact it’s like a shot of summer wrapped up inside Kindle pages)? I’m glad you asked.

The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Solstice Island by Mae Clair:

10. You’ll meet a hot charter boat captain trying to live down his family legacy.

9. You’ll encounter a spunky heroine cryptozoologist, determined hot captain should embrace said family legacy and all the baggage that goes with it.

8. You’ll be able to impress your friends with your stunning new knowledge of cryptozoology.

7. You may find yourself struck by the uncontrollable urge to look up blurry images of strange creatures online or go on a cryptid hunt (think Loch Ness, Big Foot, and the Jersey Devil).

6. You’ll learn why you should never ignore a craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream.

5. The next time your boat is attacked by a rampaging sea monster, you’ll know precisely what to do.

4. You’ll be swept up in a tale of romance, adventure, and folklore.

3. You’ll uncover buried treasure, thwart a villain, and discover a new use for a boat oar.

2. As a 72 page novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND makes a quick end of summer read.

And the number one reason you should read SOLSTICE ISLAND:

1. It’s FREE on Amazon August 31 and September 1!



Can an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?

Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.

Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.

Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.

About Mae Clair:

Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a kid. As an adult, she stumbled onto the field of cryptozoology and realized there were others like her who loved speculating about weird and wonderful creatures.

Her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, features a weekly post each Monday where she examines a different myth or urban legend. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who will factor into an upcoming series of novels.

As a writer, she pens tales of romantic mystery flavored with a twist of myth or folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, Mae lives in Pennsylvania. Her passions include cats, history and exploring old graveyards. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website and Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1)

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page


Sign up for Mae’s Newsletter

Download SOLSTICE ISLAND Free from:


Add SOLSTICE ISLAND to your Goodreads TBR


Filed under Writing

I am such a tourist

We stuck both North and South of Lincoln City today. I don't know what it is about Oregon, but they don't seem very original here. We drove through Salem, Dallas, Detroit, and now we're in Lincoln County. They also have a Portland here. They need one of the fantasy authors to send them some original names.

We went to the aquarium in Newport. We went there years ago, but it's always fun. I wound up with a tee shirt that has a big octopus on it, because I'm a tourist. Here are some snaps.

I was too short to make my beard stick out.

I took quite a few photos, but won't bore you with more than a few.

Fly my minions, and turn everyone into zombies.

We hit the Tillamook cheese factory to the north of Lincoln City. We ate so much grilled cheese stuff, I may need to visit the bran factory tomorrow.

I'd love to get an interview with Bigfoot for this blog. He isn't responding to my emails… Yet.

Tomorrow we are heading for Astoria. My wife is a huge Goonies fan, and wants to see where it was filmed. Maybe she can order some Rocky Road ice cream while she's there. The girls went to the factory outlet mall, and I stayed behind to update the old blog. They promised to scope out someplace that sells chowder and craft beer.


Filed under Uncategorized