Credos & Curios is the title of a book by James Thurber. It suits the contents found here.
Karen, Fall 2005
Digital photo by J Blocher.
Hey, it's only a Halloween costume!
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, Gary 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.
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
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 for most of 2016, while still working at both churches.
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.
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. Nevertheless, with the ending of my third job I have restarted a program of diet and exercise.
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
MÔvarin, which I am revising to market
as a trilogy of ebooks. I'm
also in the revision stage of writing the sequel
series, Mages of MÔvarin. In June, 2014 I joined the Tucson SciFi/Fantasy Writer's Meetup, of which I am now an organizer.
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's
& 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 an 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
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
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.
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 MÔvarin Books
(Note: spoiler alert, in case anyone cares about that)
Heirs of MÔvarin. Semi-traditional fantasy coming-of-age
trilogy, for which I intermittently seek a publisher
or a literary agent. 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. I am currently wrapping up a major revision to break the story into three novels, making Heirs into a trilogy. This has necessitated the restructuring of each third of the story to make it a proper,
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, MÔvarin has been ruled by a family of impostors, allies of the mage-ruled country of MÔton. 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 ThÔlemar, learning to be Princess Cathma while trying to avoid capture by the impostors and their allies.
Mages of MÔvarin. Sequel begun Fall 1992. Revision on hold while I finish the revision of Heirs.
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 MÔton. 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 MÔvarin 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.
I have also written snippets for a prequel and a further sequel.
|Writing Credits: Joshua Wander, St. Michael's and Online
Aside from the MÔvarin books themselves, I have written numerous short pieces about the MÔvarin characters, mostly first person diary entries and letters. These can be found in my temporarily abandoned all-fiction blog, Messages from MÔvarin. This blog has also featured the non-canonical serial Mall of MÔvarin, and some experimental pieces about Black Rose Katie Specks, the Pirate Scribe. In early 2006, I serialized the first two chapters of Heirs of MÔvarin. Beginning in April, 2006, the blog featured a new, non-MÔvarin serial, The Jace Letters, about a kidnapped, time-lost woman whose only contact with the world is email from her godchild. (The sequel to this is what stalled my posting to that blog. But I'll get back to it one day.)
I also have a non-MÔvarin 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 MÔvarin 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 MÔvarin is my main repository of essays, rants, poetry, personal journal entries, trivia, and photos.
Musings from MÔvarin 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.
MÔvarin and Other Inspirations is my Live Journal where I used to write intermittently about writing, with memes, fun links, and personal updates sprinkled in. I have all but abandoned it now.
Life at St. Michael and All Angels is my church's news blog.
St. Michael's & All Angels Arts is 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 sidebar of the news blog. There is at least one article by me in each issue.
And finally, at this writing (May 2015), Duck Press Media is completing 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.
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.
Messenger. Official newsletter of St.
Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. Editor and
contributor, April 2011 to present.
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.
Five Things That Dogs Are Telling You
Noodle (the trouble dog)
1986-2001. Photo by J Blocher.
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.
Hey! Intruder alert!
'Kito (Wahkito), who came home with us in
February 2013 after Pepper died.
Cayenne and Pepper,
Four Things That Dogs Want
Left to right: Noodle (died 8/18/01), Tuffy, and Karen.
Photo by J Blocher
(and maybe a nice air conditioned room)
Cayenne and Pepper, August 2008.
Other Web pages I maintain (yes, most of them need updating):
Professional Summary page.
|Project Quantum Leap - fan club for the tv show|
|St. Michael's And All Angels Episcopal Church|
|The Tesseract: a Madeleine L'Engle bibliography|
|Dan Cheney - a tribute to someone you probably never met|
|(Some of) My Favorite Quotes. Actually, a lot of them.|
|www.mavarin.com, a whole domain dedicated to "the country in my mind."|
MÔvarin, my main blog
|My Top Ten Favorite Authors, with a quote from each|
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 11/19/2016.