Thomm Quackenbush, author

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    Xenology: A Creature of Epiphanies

    I am a creature of epiphanies.

    As a child, I spent some weeks trying to read. I learned how one night while drifting off to sleep. Before bed, I was illiterate and confused. Shortly after pondering why "A T" meant at, I was completely literate. To my tired brothers, I proceeded to spell every word ending in "at" I could think of, then moved onto other letter combinations. Once my reading module activated, everything else was figuring out pronunciation and meaning. (Diphthongs initially caused me to stumble, but I took to word roots like a duck to water.)

    I did not learn how to ride a bicycle by degrees but rather, having failed a dozen skinned knees, I internalized the basics when my older brother pushed me down the driveway. I saw my only options as learning finally how to ride a bike and slamming against a parked car. After my frantic pedaling inspired gyroscopic motion enough to keep me on an even keel, I was apprehensive about getting off the bike again in case my sudden ability would vanish, so miraculous did my new ability to ride my bicycle seem to me.

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    Xenology: Pokémon Go Outside

    In what is sure to become one of my most quickly dated entries, I would like to defend Pokémon Go.

    I am posting this two months after I joined, after all the initial excitement has died down. Updates (like actually being able to trade with and battle other players or group events to fight legendary Pokémon) may lead to occasional spikes in interest, but the wave has crested and rolled back. I am not invested in the hype reinvigorating.

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    Q's in a Pod: Human Progress Edition


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    You can't come after people for what qualities you are attracted to. Is this why human progress is ebbing? .

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    Xenology: Monday Morning of the Year

    Now is the tradeoff for two months where I am able to pursue my writing in a more or less full-time capacity (though usually "full-time" only amounted to three to five hours of focused work five or six days a week). I wonder what I could achieve if I were left to my own devices even longer. I nakedly envy those who are able to sit and write all week without having to interrupt their flow with more tangible work, but I have yet to earn that. I am not certain I ever will.

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    Xenology: Repudiating Snobbery

    When someone puts the soundtrack to Rent on, I am back in early college. Though I understand that it is not a pristine or unproblematic musical - that some people loathe the genre as a whole - I don't care. I have considered my friendship less with people who felt it was their duty to tell me how wrong I was for having an attachment to a piece of media they do not. It is not simply that they do not understand, but that they do not want me to understand.

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    Xenology: Material Rewards


    Just rewards

    We scale the driveway of my brother's new house. He was increasingly unsatisfied with the house he rented and had no interest in moving back to the one he owned and rented out. He upended his family, changing his children's school district for this house.

    For the view alone, it would have been worth the sacrifice. That this view may be enjoyed nestled in a hot tub on his wraparound porch makes this home seem akin to a spa. Even as a family of eight, the home seems roomy. The older girls finally have their own rooms, which Alieyah immediately puts to use with catalog levels of decorating (so long as said catalogs stock all things Supernatural). Ayannah's had been an office, but Dan built shelving into one entry and began spackling it smooth.

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    Q's in a Pod: Take Notes Edition


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    We start talking about note taking techniques for all of our listeners heading back to school and end up talking about consent and Mormonism.

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    Xenology: Amber the Vet Tech Student

    I kiss Amber goodbye. It shouldn't feel any different from when she goes to work tending to the gardens of the idle rich, but I cannot deny the strangeness of sending her away for her first day of college.

    I have encouraged Amber's college aspirations, particularly as these apply to becoming a veterinarian. Well, I have taunted her with the inevitability of sick animals in need of being put to sleep, mandated dissection, and infuriating owners, but only to test her mettle. Veterinary science is a stable, high paying, and practical discipline. She opts to take twenty-one credits this semester - a staggering amount, as far as I am concerned, with one class ending just as the next one begins - and off-handedly mentions that the future semesters will be similar. She looks not merely to an Associate's degree and certification as a vet tech, but a possible future as a veterinarian. She will not go into this half-cocked.

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    Xenology: Lake George: Thief


    Dan was supposed to pick up Amber and me to go to Lake George. That changed when we discovered that he would be leaving early Friday morning that he might be able to work a bit more. When we are almost up to the lake, we find out that Dan's estimated time of arrival is now midnight. Amber assumes that this is hyperbole. Dan offers a faint apology to my father, but points out that he has to work if there is a job offered to him. He has a new house and six children to support, so he needs to operate by his momentum.

    "I wouldn't want to do what Dan does," I assure Amber, "though I suppose he would find my life similarly hellish. Probably best we keep to our individual lanes."

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    Xenology: The Otakon Taster


    We settle onto the mostly empty light rail train to lead us back to our car after a long day of panels and rushing about. Amber complains of an ache.

    The man in the seat before us, an elderly, black guy with a loose smile, asks if one of is suffering from a heat headache. Amber motions to her ankle and blames the steepness of the steps to get on.

    "For a headache," he says, "the best thing for it is vinegar. You take a spoonful of it, then you drink cold water half an hour later. It thins the blood and cools you off."

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush

The Night's Dream Series

We Shadows by Thomm Quackenbush

Danse Macabre by Thomm Quackenbush

Artificial Gods by Thomm Quackenbush