Karen Funk Blocher's Credos and Curios

Credos & Curios is the title of a book by James Thurber. It suits the contents found here.

Karen, fall 2005

Karen, Fall 2005
Digital photo by J Blocher.

Karen in 2001

Hey, it's only a Halloween costume!
Karen as Queen Cathma, Halloween 2001.
Digital photo by J Blocher.


• A brief autobiography (but not brief enough)

• Writing credits

• My philosophy (in a handful of snappy sentences)

• A bit of dog psychology

Other Pages

• (Some of) My Favorite Quotes

• Recommended Authors

• Mavarin.com, a guide to my novels

•Outpost Māvarin, my blog about writing, ethics and other stuff

•Messages from Māvarin, my all-fiction blog

• St. Michael's and All Angels Church

• Project Quantum Leap (dusty page; has a link to the official site, which is probably gone by now)

• A tribute to Dan Cheney

• A tribute to my mom, Dr. Ruth Anne Johnson (died in December 2002)

• A tribute to my dad, Dr. Frank E. Funk (died in August 2015)

• The Tesseract: A Madeleine L'Engle bibliography

A Short Autobiography


Born: March 10, 1957, Syracuse, NY.

Pre-College Days: Lived in Dewitt, NY until 1961, and then Manlius NY until 1976 when my parents divorced. Best childhood friend was Joel Rubinstein. The fact that I liked a boy at that age, coupled with my weight, intelligence, and the last name Funk meant that I got teased a lot, which is probably why I still care so much about tolerance and kindness toward others. Founded Star Trek fanzine 2-5YM (Second 5-Year Mission) in 1973, edited same until 1977. Co-founded STAR Syracuse, a local Star Trek fan club, in 1973. Friends from the club included d l hobert, Gordon Hunter, Carl Norman, Chris Doherty, Robin Weitz and others.

College: majored in English Lit and Film (originally Creative Writing and TV-Radio) at Syracuse University, 1975-9. Changed majors in 1977 because the Creative Writing department head was never available to see me, a required TV class conflicted with watching Barney Miller, and I couldn't think of anything new for Hawkeye Pierce to say. Left college five incomplete courses short of a BA in 1979 because I had a block about writing literary essays. Friends in college were Betsy Cronin, Evelyn Orlando (now Evelyn Wolke) and Howard Glazer. In November, 2002 I matriculated at the University of Phoenix to turn that old failure into something useful, a BS in accounting. I graduated in early 2005 with a 3.94 GPA at UoP. If only I'd done so well at Syracuse all those years ago...no. I'm not sure it would have helped.

Other Education: Clarion Writers' Workshop at Michigan State University, 1977. This sf workshop was taught that year by (in order of appearance) Robin Scott Wilson, Harlan Ellison, Algis J Budrys, Peter S Beagle, and the tag team of Kate Wilhelm & Damon Knight. My favorite fellow student was John W Blocher, whom I married a week after failing to graduate from Syracuse University.

The Real World: worked for, managed and/or co-owned various record stores in Columbus OH from 1979-1986. The day after the Challenger disaster we put our worldly goods into storage and our dog on a mattress in the back of the van, and drove around North America looking for someplace it wasn't winter. Two weeks after we arrived in Tucson (March, 1986), over the pay phone at Gilbert Ray Campground, John negotiated a deal to buy our first house. Birdwatching and lousy retail jobs gave way to a career as a travel agent and later a bookkeeper. From April 1993 to May 2005 I was the Bookkeeper/ Accountant / Operations Manager for the multiple award-winning travel agency Worldwide Travel, Inc. By the time it shut down a few years after I left, it was the oldest travel agency in Tucson.
Karen in October 2012

In 2005 I accepted a more lucrative accounting job with an Unnamed Largish Company, as I called it online. My discretion about the company name crumbled on August 14, 2007, when the front page headline of the local newspaper told me that something was very wrong. That was the day my employer, First Magnus Financial Corp. collapsed in the first wave of the mortgage banking crisis. A week later I was working for an Anonymous Regional Retailer (ARR!, I called it online), a temp placement that did not translate into a permanent position. However, I went directly from there to a permanent job with Beaudry RV. They, too fell on hard times, and I was laid off before the company folded. My next job was a 90-day contract with a manufacturer of airplane equipment. As of fall 2008, I was unemployed. Drat! But in 2009 I took a part time job as my church's bookkeeper, while continuing as church webmaster. By June 2011 I was working nearly full time as a staff accountant and payroll specialist in Marana, while continuing to work part time at St. Michael and All Angels. The Marana job ended with a downturn in that business, but by April 2013 I was working three jobs: at St. Michael's, at a small non-profit across town, and at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church one afternoon a week. I quit the non-profit in May, 2014 due to the long commute, high stress and too many nights staying late, to the detriment of family obligations. Despite expanded working schedules at both churches, I returned to the non-profit in early 2016. Karen in 2014 Although I'm not working full time now that my work at the non-profit is being phased out, the combination of the two part-time church jobs, a little computer consulting work and unpaid obligations keeps me unreasonably busy these days.

I have struggled with obesity since childhood. In July, 2011, I weighed 311.8 pounds on my doctor's scale. That month I embarked on a self-directed weight and exercise program. A year later I weighed 200 pounds. I got down as low as 169 pounds before a knee injury in December 2012 sidelined me from my six-to-eight mile walks. I've unfortunately gained back the weight, and my knee is far from healed. In December, 2016, I injured my other knee falling on ice in Flagstaff, probably tearing my ACL. In April, 2018, after reinjuring my right knee (the torn ACL one), I underwent physical therapy, resumed dieting and rejoined a gym. As of September, 2018 I've lost about 35 pounds.

John in 2003

Other Worlds: Club officer (Editor, then Recording Secretary, then Vice President, then Lord President) of the United Whovians of Tucson (a local Doctor Who fan club), 1990-2000. Edited TARDIS Time Lore, 1990-93, and wrote the fan novella Paradox: Two Doctors in Time about The Seventh Doctor and Dr. Sam Beckett. Co-founder and Project Chairman of Project Quantum Leap (international Quantum Leap fan club), 1990-present. Editor of The Observer, 1990-1998, contributor, 1990-?. Writer of the fantasy novel Heirs of Māvarin, which I restructured in 2016-7 as a trilogy . I'm also in the revision stage of writing the sequel trilogy, Mages of Māvarin. In June, 2014 I joined the Tucson SciFi/Fantasy Writer's Meetup, of which I am now an organizer.

Religion: Raised to be a lapsed Catholic (Mom had too many issues with the Roman Catholic Church to either attend it or throw off the old 1930s-1940s doctrine completely), I had a brief "Jesus Person" period in about ninth grade, but general stayed with the Church (not without conflicts) until I married John in a ceremony performed by Fr. Ed Van Auken, several years before Ed left the priesthood. Nearly two decades of near-agnosticism followed. In the summer of 1997 I got tired of waiting for inspiration to hit and decided to seek God more actively. Soon I found my way into St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, which happens to be right up the street from me. I am now the parish bookkeeper, webmaster, newsletter editor and unofficial photographer, as well as a sometime acolyte and lector. I still don't know exactly what I believe, but the Nicene Creed, if one doesn't insist on the most literal interpretation, is a pretty good start.

Family: One husband (same one), no kids (gave up after a few thousand dollars' worth of trying), two dogs (Cayenne and Kito), no cats (allergic). My brother, Steven Eric Funk, died of a heart attack on September 6, 2014. My dad, WWII vet Frank E. Funk, moved into memory care here in Tucson in February, 2013, following the death of my stepmother (Dr. Ruth C. Funk) on June 1st 2012. Well into dementia, my dad died of a heart attack in August, 2015. My mom, Dr. Ruth Anne Johnson, died 12/16/02.

Right: John, 12/20/03. Photo by KFB.


Writing Credits: Professional


Relix magazine, Vol. 8, Nos. 1-4, February-August 1981. Articles for this rock and roll magazine included a cover story, "John Lennon: A Remembrance," plus two articles on Beatles collectibles, a concert review of The Clash and a review of a Yoko Ono video.

"Five Proud Mothers." Logic problem, Dell's Big Book of Logic Problems #1*, circa 1987.

"Who's Tomorrow?" Interview with Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner. Starlog Spectacular #1, September, 1990. Collaboration with Teresa Murray.

"Sergeant At Arms" Interview with John Anthony Blake, also known as John Levene, who appeared as Benton opposite three different Doctors in Doctor Who. Starlog #165, April, 1991. Collaboration with Teresa Murray. Article contributed to the actor getting his "green card."

"A Time Lord's Times." Interview with the third "Doctor Who," John Pertwee. Starlog #167, June, 1991. Collaboration with Teresa Murray.

"Days of Doctors Past." Interview with Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner. Starlog Yearbook Vol. 8, May, 1991. Collaboration with Teresa Murray.

Doctor Who Trading Cards, Series One-Five. Text for the backs of well over 500 trading cards. Cornerstone Communications, Inc., 1994-7.

 *I don't quite remember the title of the book, to be honest. The cover was blue.

Writing Credits: The Māvarin Books

(Note: spoiler alert, in case anyone cares about that)

Crel Merden. Art by Sherlock, colored by KFB.Heirs of Māvarin. Semi-traditional fantasy coming-of-age trilogy, currently under contract with MuseItUp Publishing. Yes, this is the novel I was working on back in high school and at Clarion '77, and no, I haven't been working on it continuously these past 40+ years. I finished the first full draft in 1989. It's been through several major rewrites since then, most notably in 2002 with the redevelopment of the character Rani. In 2017 I completed a major revision to break the story into three novels, making Heirs into a trilogy. This necessitated the restructuring of each third of the story to make it a proper, stand-alone novel.

The story: three teenagers must adapt to the dangerous new identities that are thrust upon them, and change their whole country in the process. For fifteen years, Māvarin has been ruled by a family of impostors, allies of the mage-ruled country of Māton. By the time Del Merden learns that he's really Prince Carli, he's run away from home to help his best friend, Rani Fost, who has been transformed into a temperamental monster called a tengrem. Together they must face poison, enemy tengremen and their own insecurities to reach Gathmak, the embattled tengrem stronghold where the missing King and Rani's cure are both to be found. Meanwhile, Del's twin sister, Crel, finds herself stranded in the capital city of Thālemar, learning to be Princess Cathma while trying to avoid capture by the impostors and their allies.

Rani Fost. Art by Sherlock, colorized and adapted by KFB.Mages of Māvarin. Sequel begun Fall 1992. Revision in progress as a second trilogy.

The story: Queen Cathma, Rani Fost and their allies try unsuccessfully to avert the troubles caused by a young mage named Darsuma and a shipwrecked prince with a hidden past. Prince Talber of Londer insists that he's crossed an entire ocean to marry Cathma, much to Cathma's annoyance. Meanwhile, Rani develops his talent for magic while keeping a friendly but watchful eye on Darsuma, the gifted daughter of Archmage Sunestri of Māton. A perversion of a mage's Robing ceremony has transferred the insane, ambitious spirit of Darsuma's dead mother, Lormarte, from Sunestri's body to her own. Darsuma tries to remain herself, but it's a losing battle. Lormarte means to marry King Carli, become a queen, and rule Māvarin using Darsuma's body. To forestall opposition, Lormarte/Darsuma separates the Royal Mage from his own spirit, leaving him confused and virtually nameless in another part of the country. Later, Lormarte gets Darsuma to strand both Cathma and Rani in another version of reality.

Fabi and Hasi. Art by KFB.In 2018, I wrote a prequel novelette, “The Boy Who Saw,” about two orphans trying to make their way to the Citadel College of Magic. This will soon be published (Fall 2018) in an anthology I co-edited, Beyond Tucson: Adventures in the Multiverse. I have also written snippets for a prequel and a further sequel.

(Character sketches by Sherlock. Color and design by KFB)

Writing Credits: Joshua Wander, St. Michael's and Online

Aside from the Māvarin books themselves, I have written numerous short pieces about the Māvarin characters, mostly first person diary entries and letters. These can be found in my temporarily abandoned all-fiction blog, Messages from Māvarin.  This blog has also featured the non-canonical serial Mall of Māvarin, and some experimental pieces about Black Rose Katie Specks, the Pirate Scribe. In early 2006, I serialized the first two chapters of Heirs of Māvarin as it existed at the time. (I’ve since taken these down.) Beginning in April, 2006, the blog featured a new, non-Māvarin serial, The Jace Letters, about a kidnapped, time-lost woman whose only contact with the world is email from her godchild. A revised version of this will also be in the first Beyond Tucsonanthology. (The sequel to this story is what stalled my posting to that blog. But I'll get back to it one day.)

I also have a non-Māvarin novel in the works about a character named Joshua Wander (no relation to the adventure-seeking journalist with the same name). The first part of this can be found in serial form as Meet Joshua Wander in the Messages from Māvarin blog. JW is a physics student who becomes a multiverse-trotting wizard after a series of experiments makes him unstable, in more ways than one.

My other journals and blogs are as follows:

Outpost Māvarin was my main repository of essays, rants, poetry, personal journal entries, trivia, and photos. Nowadays, most of my online activity is on Facebook and Instagram.

Musings from Māvarin was my previous repository of all of the above, plus fiction. It was discontinued because of issues with AOL, and later imported into Blogger for archival purposes.

Māvarin and Other Inspirations was my Live Journal where I used to write intermittently about writing, with memes, fun links, and personal updates sprinkled in. I have abandoned it now.

Life at St. Michael and All Angels was my church's news blog. It has been replaced by an online newsletter, News from St. Michael’s.

St. Michael and All Angels Arts was my church's creative arts blog, with poetry and essays and photos. I seem to be the sole contributor. It hasn't gotten much love in recent years.

Since April, 2011 I have also been the editor of The Messenger, the newsletter of St. Michael and All Angels. Recent issues can be downloaded from the church website. There is at least one article by me in most issues.

And in May 2015, Duck Press Media completed work on two videos I scripted for St. Michael and All Angels. I was the semi-official associate producer on the project, shepherding the videographer around during the two-day shoot and providing photos to illustrate parts of the narration for which obtaining video was not a practical option. I have since made a handful of other videos on my own, both for churchand my own YouTube channel.

Writing Credits: Unsold, Abandoned or "On Hold"

The Whovian Home Companion. A collection of Doctor Who interviews and related material. Collaboration with Teresa Murray.

An Observer's Guide to Quantum Leap. A companion to the tv series, featuring interviews, episode guides, etc. Received verbal okay from MCA/Universal, but then a similar book was given to someone else to write. Collaboration with Teresa Murray.

Christmas Trivia. Book. Completed in 1989; update pending. Collaboration with John Blocher.

Route 66: On the Road With Tod & Buz & Linc. The project to which I gave hundreds of hours in 1985-6, only to see the tv series Route 66 dropped from cable shortly after I finished interviewing the actors and producers. Still pending as a possible future title, if I can get the files off the Commodore 64 floppies.


Writing and Editing Credits: Fan-Related and Otherwise

The Observer. Quantum Leap fanzine-newsletter, published by Project Quantum Leap. January 1991-present. Editor (until 1998) and major contributor (until about 2000). Features numerous interviews, episode guides, etc.

The Hologram (formerly The Unseen Observer). Quantum Leap fanzine review, originally published by Project Quantum Leap, 1991-1992. Editor and major contributor during that period.

Paradox: Two Doctors in Time. Fan novella, published by the United Whovians of Tucson, circa 1993. Doctor Who / Quantum Leap crossover story with a huge cast, revised from a serial in TARDIS Time Lore and illustrated by Sherlock.

TARDIS Time Lore. Doctor Who fanzine-newsletter, published by the United Whovians of Tucson. 1990-2000. Editor (1990-1993) and major contributor (1990-2000). Interviews, fiction, humor, etc.

2-5YM. Star Trek fanzine, published by STAR-Syracuse, December 1973-December 1977. Editor and major contributor throughout its run.

The Messenger. Official newsletter of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. Editor and contributor, April 2011 to present.

Various reviews, poems, stories, satires, letters and essays in college, high school and junior high newspapers and magazines. Over 5,000 edits on Wikipedia before I gave that up.



My Philosophy (Your Mileage May Vary)


• I almost never make an unqualified statement.

• Life isn't fair -- so people should try to be.

• Don't hate a person, just what he or she does.

• Your rights don't include infringing on my rights--or vice versa.

• I don't have all the answers about God--and I don't believe you do, either. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep asking the questions!

• Human behavior is far more diverse than we like to think it is, and the human brain can be highly erratic. Some people are more eccentric than others, but there's no such thing as "normal" behavior.

• Far too many friendships are damaged or ruined by miscommunication.  Try to stay on the same page.

• Guard against the human tendency to discriminate against others because they're "not like us." Labeling people as "Us and Them" leads to war, bigotry, and most of the evil in the world.

• Treat people with compassion, and tolerate almost everything except intolerance and malice.

• You don't have to put people down to bring yourself up.

• The only way to stop being an outsider is to step inside.


Yeah, I'm pompous. At least I've thought about this stuff.



Five Things That Dogs Are Telling You


Noodle (the trouble dog)

1986-2001. Photo by J Blocher.

Tuffy, before the cancer got bad again

Tuffy, just before the cancer got bad again, April 2008. Photo by KFB.

1.  Don't forget the dog.

2.  More, please.

3.  Don't hurt me; I'm only a puppy.

4.  I'd really rather not do that.

5.  Hey! Intruder alert!

'Kito (Wahkito), who arrived with us in February 2013, the day after Pepper died.

'Kito (Wahkito), who came home with us in

February 2013 after Pepper died.

Cayenne and Pepper. Photo by KFB, August 08

Cayenne and Pepper,
August 2008. Photo by KFB.

See also my new LOL Dogs page.


Four Things That Dogs Want

Noodle, Tuffy, Karen

Left to right: Noodle (died 8/18/01), Tuffy, and Karen.

Photo by J Blocher

  • Cayenne and Pepper. Photo by KFB, August 081.  Affection
  • 2.  Attention
  • 3.  Food
  • 4.  Freedom

(and maybe a nice air conditioned room)

    Right: Cayenne and Pepper, August 2008.
Photo by KFB.


Other Web pages I maintain (yes, most of them need updating):

Karen's Professional Summary page.
Project Quantum Leap - fan club for the tv show
St. Michael's
St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
The Tesseract: a Madeleine L'Engle bibliography
Dan Cheney - a tribute to someone you probably never met
Get yer quotes here!
(Some of) My Favorite Quotes. Actually, a lot of them.
www.mavarin.com, a whole domain dedicated to "the country in my mind."

Outpost Māvarin, my main blog
My Top Ten Favorite Authors, with a quote from each
A tribute to my overachieving mom, Dr. Ruth Anne Johnson, who died at the end of 2002


I can sometimes be reached at mavarin (at) gmail.com

(but if it looks like spam, I'll delete it unread).

This page was last modified on 9/2/2018.