Life on Mars

mars-astronaut

I wrote an article that appeared in this month’s Scandinavian Traveler magazine and was posted to their website today. Scandinavian Traveler is the official publication of Scandinavian Airlines and the most popular lifestyle magazine in Scandinavia.

The article is about the Mars One program, a story I’ve been keeping tabs on for a bit and am fascinated (and a bit starry eyed) by. Mars One is a Dutch company that says they will be the ones to land the first colonists of Mars, beating out NASA and other space programs.

This article gives an overview of the program and quotes from several Mars One candidates (a group known as the Mars 100) I had e-mail correspondence with. I am also working on a book with the working title “The End” which will feature a chapter on the Mars One program. It’ll share some of the same facts, but will also include my experience meeting four of the Mars 100 in Boston (Boston happens to have the largest population of Mars 100 candidates in the world). This article was turned in before my Boston trip.

You can read the article here: scandinaviantraveler.com/en/lifestyle/they-will-settle-on-mars-in-ten-years-time

“The End” will be published in late 2017.

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I met Mars One candidates (L-R) R. Daniel, Yari, and Sara in Boston during a trip in May 2016.

Putting Milwaukee on the VoiceMap

VM
A few months ago, I was contacted by a company called VoiceMap. This app offers audio tours of locations around the world, some of them are pretty traditional tours, some of them have a creative twist. VoiceMap uses GPS triggered files to narrate the story as you walk. The company is based out of South Africa, with an office in Singapore, and an international cast of contributors. I’m happy to be the first VoiceMap contributor from Milwaukee (or for that matter, Wisconsin).

One of the folks from VoiceMap encountered my strange adventures via the old Google and suggested this might be a platform I’d be interested in. I was. I had a couple ideas, but I thought it would be best to start here in my backyard, the neighborhood of Riverwest. A couple years ago, I wrote a story for the Riverwest Currents about neighborhood ghost stories, so I decided to base the “Riverwest’s Ghost District” tour on that.

It was fun! I eventually learned how the entire writing/ recording/ editing process works for this and now the route is done. You just need to get the VoiceMap app and then you can download routes, including mine, which is a 99 cent download. You can find it here: https://voicemap.me/tour/milwaukee/riverwest-s-ghost-district-2

I’m keen to record my next one (after I catch up on a couple other things), which will be a tour of Brady Street.

 

Riverwest Follies Art

dogI used to do a lot of artwork, I’d say between the years 1999-2007 it was the major thing I did. I hung out and I drew. My roommates would watch movies and I’d hang out and drink beer and draw. Sometimes I miss those days.

I self published quite a few little zines and drew spot illustrations, cover art, and comic strips for the Riverwest Currents. Toward the end of my comics career, I curated a few shows of local artists and also edited an anthology called Riverwurst Comics. It was fun, and I still draw from time to time. Most recently I did a little self published zine style chapbook titled Palookaville which was silly poetry and illustrations.

But as I alluded to with “the end of my comics career,” around 2006 or 07 (I forget) I was going through a rough time and kind of fell out of love with drawing. Just didn’t have the same level of passion or interest. Fortunately, I found a new path in writing to keep me busy. It’s now infrequent that I would put effort into any drawing other than a quick scribble.

The folks at the Riverwest Currents asked if I would draw some art for the paper and a flyer for the Riverwest Follies, which is a fun annual variety show they put together. So I drew what I do best– funny animals wearing hats. David Beyer Jr. helped greatly by adding the vivid color.

The Riverwest Follies take place Sat. March 19, 7pm at the Falcon Bowl. Be there!

Daleks Invade Milwaukee!

Tea Krulos Milwaukee Dalek-20
I had my first published piece for 2016 this week, which was one of those great stories you just stumble across. My friend Shane was giving me a tour of Makerspace Milwaukee, which is an amazing place in Bay View. Woodworking shops, metal work, electronics, fabrics, 3-D printing, a huge, well organized space. If you can imagine it, it probably can be built there.

Well, as a long-time fan of the BBC sci fi show Doctor Who, you can imagine my delight when we turned a corner and saw a full size, totally impressive Dalek. Exterminate!

Of course, I had to ask Shane all about it and he told me about Dalek Asylum Milwaukee, a Dalek building collective working together to build Daleks to break a world record for Most Daleks Assembled in One Place at One Time. Wow! I pretty much look at everything I look at and determine if there is potential for an article and this one was an immediate YES. I think even if you are not a Whovian, a collective build to beat a world record is interesting. I thought Milwaukee Record might be into the story, and they were.

Here’s the story: “Dalek Asylum Milwaukee Assembles Record-Exterminating Army of ‘Doctor Who’ Villains.”

I went down to Makerspace to talk to Dalek Asylum Milwaukee and was really impressed with their craftsmanship and attention to detail. They let me climb into one of their Daleks to take it for a test spin. I was skeptical I would fit since I’m hella tall, but I did. It moves on an electric wheelchair base and was a pretty smooth ride.

I’m really excited to see the day when the record is beat and an army of Daleks descends on Maker Faire. What a sight that will be!
Tea Krulos Milwaukee Dalek-24.jpg

2016 Reading List, part 1

booky 001

This Christmas I bought myself two books (my publisher Chicago Review Press offers authors a December discount) and received TEN books as gifts, which was just wonderful. Books are my favorite thing to get as a gift! So here’s what I got to read for early 2016:

  1. The Whale Chaser, Tony Ardizzone (Academy Chicago), an imprint of my publisher’s, the description of the novel grabbed my interest, so I bought it.
  2. Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen: Interviews and Encounters, edited by Jeff Burger (Chicago Review Press), Cohen is one of my fav singers and this is part of my publisher’s popular “Musician on Musician” series.
  3. Edgar Allen Poe: Complete Tales and Poems (Castle Books), I’m organizing the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, which will have a Poe themed Masquerade Ball after party. This hefty tome will help me get in the mindset.
  4. The Good, The Bad, and The Mad: Some Weird People in American History, E. Randall Floyd (Fall River Press), Wendy found this book for me and it’s right up my alley.
  5. Blue Men & River Monsters: Folklore of the North, John Zimm (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), looks like an interesting collection of Wisconsin folklore.
  6. Final Jeopardy: The story of Watson, the computer that will transform our world, Stephen Baker (Mariner Books), research for a book I’m working on.
  7. Lights Out, Ted Koppel (Random House), research for a book I’m working on.
  8. Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon (Penguin Books), Milwaukee mourned the loss of Dave Monroe in 2015. I read somewhere that this was one of his favorite books, so I thought I’d try reading it.
  9. UFOs Caught on Film: Amazing Evidence of Alien Visitors to Earth, BJ Booth (D & C), a gift from my sister, looks like an interesting collection.
  10. How to Podcast 2015, Paul Colligan (colligan.com), I’m trying to get into podcasting a little bit in the future and thought I should start reading up.
  11. Disco’s Out…Murder’s In! The true story of Frank the Shank and L.A.’s deadliest punk rock gang, Heath Mattioli and David Spacone (Feral House), I already zipped through reading this one. Interesting and disturbing look at 1980s Los Angeles area punk rock gangs.
  12. Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint, R. Andrew Chesnut (Oxford University Press), I started reading this, an examination of Santa Muerte.

November, December, 2015 in Review

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Photo from the Scandinavian Traveler article on Vosges Haute-Chocolat, a tasty assignment.

Ok, 2015 is drawing to a close. What a year! This year I kept track of every published article (and a book) I wrote, as well as the total running published word count. The year ended a little slow. I spent some time working on my next book, other projects, and took some time off for the holidays. I did write a second article for Scandinavian Traveler and a couple for Milwaukee Record.

 

 


NOVEMBER

41. “Off the Cuff: Angel Alvarez,” Shepherd Express, November 25

DECEMBER

42. “Meet Katrina Markoff- Chicago’s luxury chocolate maker,” Scandinavian Traveler, Dec. 10

43. “4 Milwaukeeans Who Recently Scored Bit Parts On Popular TV Shows,” Milwaukee Record, Dec.9

44. “Last Octopus standing: Milwaukee keeps car wash chain from extinction ,” Milwaukee Record, Dec. 18

Final total 2015 word count: 124, 865 words.

Notes on 2015:

The reason I kept track of my work this year was just out of curiosity. How many published pieces do I write in a year? I had no idea. My guess was an average of one a week. With 44 published pieces in 2015, that estimate was somewhat close. The word count was almost 125,000, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you write a single haiku or a 500,000 epic novel in a year, as long as you are putting your best work forward. I’m still learning what my best work is. It’s been interesting. Krulos_Monster_7(1)

A lot of great highlights for me in 2015; My book Monster Hunters was published, I organized the first Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, I was a guest on Coast to Coast AM (along with a lot of other great radio and podcast programs), I made author appearances at paranormal cons, comic cons, libraries, and Ripon College, I sold my third book.

Writing is sometimes a struggle. You don’t know if anyone reads or cares about your writing. People sometimes say bad things about you and you wonder why you even bother. That makes recognition all the more rewarding.
Milwaukee Record included two articles I wrote for them (one on a music project called All Messed Up and another that was a photo essay collaboration with Wendy Schreier) in The 25 Best Milwaukee Record Stories of 2015.

In the post previous to this one, I also described what a great honor it was that my book Monster Hunters was selected by Loren Coleman of CryptoZoo News as the top pick in his Best Cryptozoology Books of 2015 list.

What’s up with 2016

I’ve got two major and two minor writing projects I’m working on in 2016. Outside of writing, I am also organizing a second Milwaukee Paranormal Conference Oct. 15-16, 2016, and hoping to help organize a Milwaukee Krampus Night on Dec. 5, 2016.

Major writing projects: I’m happy to say that my publisher, Chicago Review Press, has signed me up for a third non-fiction book. This has the working title The End and is about different predictions, preparations, and personalities relating to the end of the world as we know it. I also have a non-fiction book I am about 3/4ths done with that has a working title of Phantom Patriot, about an interesting person I met while working on my first book. My goal is to see some forward motion with it in 2016.

Minor projects: I want to self publish a mini-book/ e-book that is an expanded version of an article I wrote for the Riverwest Currents titled Riverwest Ghost Stories. It’ll premiere at the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. I’m also casually working on my first novel, based on experiences from my young adult life. It might graduate from minor to major project in the future, but for now I’m just having fun writing random parts of the story for a couple hours every Sunday. I’ll post more info on this project here on the blog after I hit the 15,000 word mark. For now I will just say that the working title for the book is Brady Street Diner.

I have a couple other things in the works, too, I’ve been working on a comic book/ graphic novel with David Beyer Jr. titled Ballyhoo. We’re trying to figure out where to go with it and hopefully it gets forward traction soon. I’m also collaborating on a story with Tim Demeter and I think you’ll be hearing more about that soon.

Happy New Year!

 

Monster Hunters “Best of the Year” at CryptoZoo News

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This is a wonderful Christmas present and a great honor personally and as a writer. Every year author, researcher, teacher, and museum director Loren Coleman selects his list of top books on the subject of cryptozoology, the science of examining unknown animals.

My book Monster Hunters took the top slot on “The Best Cryptozoology Books of 2015.”

There are many interesting titles and authors on the list. You can read it here: www.cryptozoonews.com/czbks-2015/

At the end of the post you can find out how to support the International Cryptozoology Museum, one of my favorite places on earth.

Many thanks to Loren and the ICM staff. I am humbled and flattered by this recognition.

September & October

scando 002September was so busy that I skipped my monthly round up of articles I had written, so here is September and October together. In addition to writing a cover story for the Riverwest Currents, an article for M, and a few blog posts, I tapped in to a couple new publications.

The first of these is Scandinavian Traveler, official in-flight magazine of Scandinavian Airlines, and the biggest lifestyle magazine in Scandinavia, with 1.4 million readers. One of their editors read my book Heroes in the Night and asked if I would write an article giving an overview of Real Life Superheroes. I enjoyed working with them quite a bit and am glad to say that I will have another article in their December issue.

I also contributed to a new magazine called Cryptid Culture, which focuses on cryptozoology. I have a link where you can order a copy below. Besides an article about the ethics of killing Bigfoot by me, you have articles from famed cryptozoologists like Loren Coleman, Linda S. Godfrey, and Ken Gerhard, among others.

September

33. “Superheroes of Our Time,” Scandinavian Traveler, September 2015

34. “Thus Concludes the Summer of the Lion,” Riverwest Currents, September 2015

35.”Monster of the Month: Mothman,” Forces of Geek, September 7, 2015

36. “Hella Gator Skates the Dish,” teakrulos.com, Sept. 25, 2015

September word count: 3,321

October
37. “World Music,” M magazine, October 2015 (page 32)

38. “Monster of the Month: Jersey Devil,” Forces of Geek, October 5, 2015

39. “The Strange Case of the Oak Leaf Man” teakrulos.com, October 27, 2015

40. “Bigfoot: Pro-kill or no-kill?,” Cryptid Culture, October 2015

Total 2015 word count: 120, 413

I’d like to also mention that I was guest this week for a segment on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Wisconsin Life, you can listen to that here: www.wisconsinlife.org/story/paranormal-investigators-look-ghosts-milwaukee

The Shepherd Express does an annual popular vote and I am a nominee for “Best Milwaukee Author.” If you would take a few minutes to vote for your favorite Milwaukee institutions and consider the Krulos candidacy, that would be awesome: Best of 2015.

The Strange Case of the Oak Leaf Man

You can imagine my excitement this last winter when the fearless editor of the Riverwest Currents, Alice, messaged me to say that I had received a mystery letter at the office talking about an urban legend of Riverwest. Wow!
I made my way over to the office ASAP and Alice handed me an envelope with no return address. Inside was typewritten letter that read:

Riverwest Currents

Attn: Tea Krulos

Re:

Dear Sir or Madam:

Hello, have you seen the enclosed flyer has been posted all over the east side? The one enclosed was posted on a bulletin board on Prospect Ave. The story mentions Riverwest. I thought it might be of interest since it mentions “specters and ghouls” but I cannot find any information about it- nobody around seems to know anything about it.

Thank you very much.

Encl. Flyer

Documents 1 and 2: Anonymous letter and envelope.

Documents 1 and 2: Anonymous letter and envelope.

No signature. Enclosed was the said flyer, a photocopy of an “article.” It was smudged with grime and pocked with staple holes. The article was titled “More ‘Oak Leaf Man’ Sightings Reported.” Handwritten at the bottom in black marker was an asterisk with the words “Neighborhood Alert.” The article included a black and white photo “taken by two anonymous cross country skiers” of what looked maybe like a pumpkin or basketball in a hoodie peeking through snowy tree branches.
Reading through it, I rolled my eyes and assumed it had been the shoddy work of a college paper, doing what skeptics would call “mystery mongering.” It seemed immediately obvious to me that the story here was not a supernatural one, but possibly young college kids new to an urban environment. Young Johnny or Susie moved to the dorms from Mequon or Appleton or Whitefish Bay and were terrified to see the apparition of…a homeless man wearing a hoodie, wandering the Oak Leaf Trail…ooo-weee-woo!
But when I read through it again, several things jumped out at me as being too fake for any publication (at least I would hope so!) and I believe this is a hoax.
There is no attribution as to where the article is from and nothing came up on Google. The hoaxer shot themselves in the foot by listing it as being on page A3 of a State & Local section of an unknown publication, with a date of September 29, 2014. “State & Local” means it would have to be a Wisconsin paper, however the style matches nothing I am familiar with. I consulted with two librarians at the Central Library periodical department and they agreed the style was unfamiliar.

Then there is the fact that the article isn’t credited with a  byline, but is signed off at the end as “-t.k.” Um, are you trying to rip off the supernatural reporting style of one Tea Krulos? Your kung fu is weak!

I suppose there is a small possibility this is from some small town Wisconsin paper, but I don’t think so. I think it was created in Photoshop.

oak hoax 001
Another red flag here  is the quotes from “some Riverside High School students,” “a group of college students at UW-Milwaukee’s Riverview Hall,” and “some long-term residents of Milwaukee’s upper east side and Riverwest neighborhoods.” See the problem? There are no actual names listed as sources anywhere in the article.
Through my connections to local paranormal investigators, I soon discovered the same article had also been mailed or e-mailed to Allison Jornlin, a local ghost story expert, as well as local groups Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee and Brew City Paranormal.

Why? I think someone was maybe bored and wanted to create their own urban legend, a myth for the ages, and possibly have fun freaking out some college kids.The “report” says this Oak Leaf Man, a “man with a lot of scars, wearing a long coat” had been spotted staring into a dorm window at Riverview Hall “during a party.”  I think trying to spread this tale is a Halloweeny prank.
As for exploring the Oak Leaf Trail this Halloween season— I would be a little cautious walking down there, especially at night. Unfortunately, there have been incidents of crime on occasion, but it is a beautiful place to walk with a friend. I wouldn’t worry too much about the Oak Leaf Man swooping in to steal your soul, or whatever he’s supposed to do.

Happy Halloween, my friends!

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Krulos_Monster_7(1)My book Monster Hunters: On the Trail With Ghost Hunters, Bigfooters, Ufologists, and Other Paranormal Investigators has been a popular topic this Halloween season. It made Cult of Weird’s 2015 Fall Reading List and was recently featured on Wisconsin Life. You can order a copy here: www.chicagoreviewpress.com/monster-hunters-products-9781613749814.php

I Sold my Third Book and I’m Pretty Happy About That

earthGood sales of my most recent book, Monster Hunters (which has seen a boost of publicity and public appearances this month due to the Halloween season, it’s available for purchase HERE, at my public appearances, or wherever fine books are sold) have led to a deal signed with my publisher for a third title, which will have a 2017 release date.

This third book, which has the simple working title of The End, will be about what can be loosely summarized as “apocalypse culture.” It’ll have three parts: the first will look at predictions about how the world might end, either completely or at least to such a degree that our status quo will be radically different. The second part will be about how people are preparing for such a life altering time. The last part will look a bit beyond the end of the world as we know it and what our lives might look like.

As usual, I’ll be trying to get a good mix of different perspectives. I’ll be talking to people that call themselves preppers, homesteaders, militias, survivalists, ecological scientists, statisticians, potential Mars colonizers, religious prognosticators, artificial intelligence programmers, and who knows who else might show up. Suggestions? Feel free to contact me: teakrulos@gmail.com

In addition to this good news, I also am currently shopping around another title I’ve been working on slowly over the last five years. I think it is really good and I’m looking forward to see what my happen with it. I’ll be posting here with more info when it happens.

Last, the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference is going to happen again in 2016, and we’re zeroing in on a venue and dates. We’ll likely be making this announcement at on October 30 at www.milwaukeeparacon.com!

And now….back to work.

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