Giving a birthday gift– or any gift!– to the psychically minded is an uncomfortable challenge. Of course, one always wants to present a loved one with a perfect something that he or she will love and cherish. When that loved one has odd — er, discriminating taste, gift-giving is a supreme task. And when that loved one recognizes that his taste is so unique that he might miss a thing he loves so he buys it for himself rather than wait until someone else can…! Well, you see the challenge, right?
This year, however, I must toot my own gift-giving horn! The Doktor was surprised almost to the point of speechlessness– almost being an important aspect since he was talked into (by me!) recording the gift opening process.
The Spirit Dolls in the video were handmade by Chicago-based burlesque performance artist, Red Rum. Red Rum uses actual leftover or worn out costume pieces to make these one-of-a-kind art pieces. I don’t know if they came pre-loaded with magical powers or acquired them upon arrival, but I can already sense an increase in creativity and energy in our space!
These two have taken their place in our home, where they will inspire us to keep surprising ourselves and each other!
On February 27, we read our poetry at the Grey Wolfe Scriptorium in Clawson, MI. The bookstore had chosen “‘Til Death: Marriage Poems” (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2017) as its February Book Club selection and invited us to read selections of our poetry and discuss the book. We fielded questions about our writing process, our biggest challenges, and our most satisfying moments. We also shared Tripleberry Pie and Michigan Apple Pie from Why Not Pie?
The Doktor captured the reading on video, so we are pleased to share the reading here.
Thanks again to the Grey Wolfe Scriptorium for hosting the event!
James Frederick Leach and Janice Leach, AKA Doktor Leech and Elsa L., unbox a very special delivery of their own co-authored collection of poetry titled “‘Til Death: Marriage Poems.” Observe their delight as they get their first glimpse of the physical copies of a volume which reflects the “horrors and happy afters of a long relationship.”
“‘Til Death: Marriage Poems” is available at Amazon.
Thank you to Jennifer Barnes and John Edward Lawson at Raw Dog Screaming Press for their support and encouragement on this project.
Thanks to the wonderful editorial work from Raw Dog Screaming Press Poetry Editor, Stephanie Wytovich.
Doktor Leech supports several creators through Patreon, and one of them is occult researcher and novelist Michelle Belanger. Watch as the Doktor opens the book bonus she sent.
As he mentions in this video, his recent favorite title by Michelle Belanger is Harsh Gods.
If you are wondering “How do I support the arts and artists in this crazy, mixed-up world?”, wonder no further! Listen as Doktor Leech explains why Patreon is his favorite method of doing good in the world through enabling him easily to support the work of Michelle Belanger and other creators. Check out Patreon, and support your favorite artists.
Doktor Leech and Elsa L. can’t wait to open their latest 3-D portrait from Theatre Bizarre 2016 made by the Great Fredini of Scan-a-rama fame. This unboxing episode includes another two-person full body scan as well as a 3-D bust of the couple. Join them as they get their first peek at the figurines, reminisce about their Theatre Bizarre adventures, and plan future poses. What color will next year’s figures be?
One of my anxiety coping mechanisms is to imagine a cute fluffy cat is sitting next to me, and I’m petting the creature and it’s purring. Yes, that sounds like a wonderfully relaxing scenario, doesn’t it?
I was using this coping mechanism the other night, trying to relax and sleep, holding that warm and cuddly image in my mind, and I finally drifted off to sleep to dream about the cat. However, it wasn’t fluffy anymore. It was mangy. It hopped off the bed and crawled under the sofa. It started clawing the bottom of the sofa, tearing at the polyester fabric and foam padding underneath. I realized that this cat wanted to make a secret nest inside the sofa! The cat is working hard and persistently, and soon the cat has its head, its front paws, and much of its shoulders inside the sofa. Its front claws are extended all the way so it can claw and scratch in there.
Then the fabric on the outside of the sofa, where the original tear is, catches on something. The cat starts to strangle. It panics. Because it is panicking, it can’t pull its claws back in to pull itself out of the sofa. The more it struggles, the more tangled it gets, the more it strangles.
The cat, the fluffy ideal that started out as my coping mechanism, strangled itself to death half in and half out of a hideous 70’s sofa.
I’m now upgraded my coping mechanism to a giant snuggly St. Bernard.
(30’s, Midwest USA)
In this dream, I am a test pilot of some type. I’m not myself at all; instead, I’m a middle aged guy, what I imagine the first generation of astronauts looked like.
I’m testing different types of capsules, landing capsules even. I’m led over to a new capsule, and this one looks like a crash couch. The capsule is round, and the astronaut lies in it in the fetal position.
They open the top for me to get in, and the interior is very very hot. It reeks of gasoline. They need me to get in it, and they are going to fill it with gasoline. Then they will heat it up and see if the gas catches fire with me inside.
If i do this, I know I’ll die. I know the last person who tested this died, and the interior is still hot from them testing it with him in it.
In this vlog, Doktor Leech opens the Traveling Moleskine, a nifty project for writers spawned by horror writer MontiLee Stormer. MontiLee assembled a list of creative types who each get an opportunity to contribute to the Traveling Moleskine. It’s sort of like a chain letter, but with more creativity and potential mayhem.
The Doktor freaks out a bit because in opening the package and reading the instructions, he discovers that each contributor only gets ONE WEEK to make their mark before sending the book along to the next artiste… and he’s postponed opening this package WAY TOO LONG.
Doktor Leech plays Bible salesman for “The Sadist’s Bible” by Nicole Cushing, specifically for the Kickstarter campaign to produce a printed version of this weird and deliciously transgressive novella.
Consider contributing to help make this strange thing real. More information here.
The Doktor DIGS Cushing. Check out this other video about her postcard club.
The Doktor chatted with Nicole at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, 2015 and a podcast of that interview can be found here.
The Doktor and Elsa L have just returned from DogCon5, an annual gathering hosted by small press publisher Raw Dog Screaming Press. DogCon brought together business owners, publishers, publicists, editors, and a slew of other writers at the Delaware shore in a community aptly named Broadkill Beach for a weekend of learning, sharing, writing, gaming and general carousing near the Atlantic Ocean. A fantastic time was had by all!
Here’s the Doktor’s video report which includes a walk-through of the beach house accommodations as well as cameo appearances from other attendees, a peek at Dogfish Head Brewery, a cartwheel (!) by Elsa L, and DONUTS!
We can’t wait to do it all again next year! Thanks, RSDP!
Doktor Leech celebrates his birthday Dailynightmare-style with the gift of a cat skull from The Skull Store (http://www.skullstore.ca/). Check it out to learn a bit about the legal status and import laws about skulls as well as gaining appreciation for all skeletons, including yours.
Doktor Leech gleefully unboxes a painting he commissioned from Menton Matthews III a.k.a. Menton3 and suggests that perhaps what others are calling “Dark Art” might better be called the art of Dark Interiority. He also likens this movement to the older genres of allegory and even religious art.
Menton and David Stoupakis had a sold-out show at New York’s Last Rites Gallery in 2015 called “The Kindly Ones.” All of the pieces dealt with the Fates, figures figures of divine retribution and justice that the ancient Greeks feared so greatly they referred to them as “The Kindly Ones” rather than risk evoking them by using their name. Though the Doktor missed that show, he was able to commission a painting from Menton which he unboxes in this video.
Menton along with Faith Betinis and Michael Knight, are opening Ars Memoria Tattoo Shop and Gallery in Chicago — Grand opening May 6th, 2016 — which utterly delights the Doktor, since he hopes that means he won’t have to trek to New York or California to see world class art that reflects the shadowy recesses of the human heart.
Doktor Leech opens three signed art prints from Menton3 and once again does NOT remove a finger with his Happy Knife. This VLOG was filmed in mid-December before the Doktor figured out lighting, editing and how to, um, talk without, um, pausing so much, ah, between words. He still kicks ass, though.
On the Pagan holiday, Imbolc, the Doktor is once again opening a special package, and he can hardly contain his excitement.
Watch as the Doktor opens this one-of-a-kind hand carved bear skull (yes, a real bear skull!) and shows off the fine craftsmanship of Rachel Lee. How can you get your hands on such a treasure? Follow the Doktor’s tips for discovering the best bone art worth owning.
News broke on January 30, 2016 that a Grosse Point Park couple who run a biological supply company which rents of body parts for training purposes were charged with fraud. The charges filed claim that their business failed to disclose to the leasees of heads and other body parts that the specimens sometimes came from bodies with infectious diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis B.
It’s worth noting however that the couple involved, Arthur Rathburn and Elizabeth Rathburn, ran a completely legitimate medical business. International Biological Inc. is a legal business which supplies medical and dental training programs with human heads and other body parts. The couple legally procured donated human bodies, dismembered them, and provided them to medical and dental professionals for a rental fee. It does appear that the couple sometimes obtained disease-infected bodies at discounted prices. The issue was not that heads were rented, but that the company failed to notify the renters of such body parts that some were infected with diseases and that they made false statements about body parts in their possession.
As in all businesses, not being honest about the sources, condition or safety of one’s products– be they heads, cars, food, or children’s toys– is fraud. This business deserves the American standard assumption of “innocent until proven guilty” just as much as any other– even if their business is rental heads.
More details can be found here at Crain’s Detroit Business.
(USA, 50’s) This nightmare was a strange one, sort of anti-climactic and almost boring, after the bang-up start. It began with a cut and ended with… I don’t know what.
I was in a strange apartment with a bunch of friends– dream friends, not real ones — but we were all there together. I think we all lived there together.
In my dream, everyone was dying.
All of our throats were cut, and all of our blood had poured out on the floor. Everyone’s neck had a big gash in it.
We were all so sad. And we felt tired. After all my blood had drained out, I felt so so tired. I was sure I was going to lie down and die any minute.
But I didn’t.
That was the weird part: shouldn’t we all be dead already?
But we weren’t. We were dying, but slowly, or at least not right away. So it seemed like we might as well do the laundry… and clean up the apartment a bit… and talk to each other. We just kept going because it seemed like a good idea, that is, to keep moving and keep doing things, even when we didn’t know when it might all end.
After I woke up, I was haunted by that knowledge: we ARE all dying. We don’t know when. Do something already.