It should be Clearly Familiar…

From travels (and travails) with a catfish to the challenge of a barn-owl with balance problems, it’s a Familiar world out there. Five short stories starring friends old and new. Morgana and Smiley meet for the first time, while Prof. Grayson and Chester try to sort out why a witch went nuts, and Shoshana fights a very private battle. Laughter, tears, dark magic, and the usual chaos you’ve come to associate with the Familiars.

The short stories total 47,000 words.

23 thoughts on “It should be Clearly Familiar…

  1. Only 2 minutes behind RCPete in the purchase race, but *wipes brow* task completed, per your orders, m’am.

  2. Hurrah! Just purchased, and will enjoy soon. First, a declaration of peace (Mongol style) for the garden weeds.

    • Finished the first story. Those of a certain age would call that a D-ticket ride, E-ticket when the lightning goes off. A ticket was kiddie rides. That reminded me of D-ticket commercial flight from Lawton to DFW. Hot summer day, so clear-air turbulence almost all the way. I felt worse watching the soldiers on board with jump wings change from pale to green. Never had a major airport terminal spin or wobble like that, except one E-ticket event at SLC that I don’t want to recall.

  3. Purchased and reading now. Glad I didn’t see this until lunch. Would have spoiled my whole day.

  4. Dinner’s in the oven (so much chopping! Doubling the stuffed pepper recipe is not half the work!) so now I can read!

    • Another Familiars short story collection in late July, then a Colplatschki novel and the next Shikhari book.

    • Update: Had some reading time among the first day of travel.
      ‘Fraid I spilled some Diet Coke on Chapter 1. I hope Blackwell can handle a little caffeine.
      Speaking of whom, having him travel Avanti was a nice touch. I remember the first time In saw one of those from the front, with its barbels hanging down….

        • The Avanti is a very neat plane, and one I wish more people (i.e. corporations) had adopted. Alas, it was “too strange looking,” and then Piaggio bet too heavily on leases. I suspect they also got singed by the failure of the Beechcraft Starship. (“It looks like the Starship so it must be just as underpowered…”)

  5. I have to wonder about the DMV requiring documentation because people are trying to register their exotic pets as Familiars.
    Surely those few who manage to train their pets to talk can be allowed to get away with it…?

  6. Yay!!!! Reading and enjoying!!!

    One thing — if church incense is making people sneeze or cough, it is almost always one of two factors:

    1. Charcoal in the thurible treated with lighter fluid, or artificial charcoal, or too many coals causing excessive smoke.

    2. Using incense that is not all-frankincense or has fillers. Frankincense is low in particulates and soothing to the lungs, but filler stuff is not. (And some of the fillers and scents are quite nice, in theory, like rose oil. But it still makes the smoke have particulates.)

    Basically, if you inhale and don’t have your lungs feel better and cooler, it is not pure frankincense or any of its cousins.

  7. Another nitpick… Which actually works for his character’s age, as not your mistake but his oversight….

    A crucifix, rosary, etc. is just an object, yes. Except that you are supposed to get those things blessed after you buy them, so that they will be sacramentals instead of just stuff. And if you touch them to a relic of a.saint, you can make them 3rd degree relics, too.

    Now, there is a problem in the revised blessing texts from after Vatican II. The new texts only bless the person using the rosary, etc., which is.shortsighted; the old texts blessed the material object, as a creature of God, to do.stuff. Which is why a lot of priests use the old texts (as is permitted), and rumor says that it is a real.issue for exorcists (because demons are legalistic PITAs).

    Now, because of the teaching of “ecclesia supplet,” one can trust that God will not let doofus practices by humans get you eaten by a demon, and that the prayers and merits of the Church as a whole will supply any lacks in the blessing text format. (Even if it allows demons to get mouthy and try to.undermine exorcists’ confidence. Like the sore losers that demons are.)

    Still, I imagine that in a magical world, this brand of theological revisionism would be much more contentious. But there is nothing like.a Catholic school for not bringing that stuff up in class, lest the kids get confused.

    (SIgh. I would rather have been confused than kept in the dark, myself — really torqued me off for a decade or two.)

    Sorry about the length. Yeah, yeah, I need to.start blog again.

    • Ah, forgot the relevant sources. The old blessings are in the Rituale Romanum, and the new ones are in the Book of Blessings. You get similar modern theological skittishness in some new blessings for healing animals or people, and in the de-supernaturalized Mass translations we used to have to put up with.

      The old normal blessing for objects, foods, etc., asked that they be “found a help to body and soul.” Stuff like blessed salt, public crucifixes and crosses, etc. , are blessed to do things like “drive away evil” or deliver its users “from all wiles of the Enemy” or even “averting any kind of adversity.” Much more all-purpose and serviceable.

    • 😀 No worries. And if F.X. wasn’t aware that he had much magical potential, he likely dozed through some of the details, because of Mom keeping him (and the others) up late studying “real” homework like physics, math, calculus, and other prestige courses.

      And with the Kuchars being taught “survival Catholicism” as children – i.e. how to be Catholic and not quickly identified and sent to the Gulag— they’d have an off-center understanding of the latest in teachings and doctrine.

      No, I’ve not heard stories about Chinese Mothers (and Grandmothers) fresh-off-the-boat (or airliner). None at all. Noooooone at all.

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