For those of you who don't know me (and there are gazillions) I'm Geoff Verdegast--politically incorrect social misfit, greasy-handed backyard mechanic, cranky eschewer of ubiquitous handheld communication devices, and half-starved author of the literary fantasy novel, OF STAVES AND SIGMAS. Okay, okay, I admit it--the line about being half-starved is a stretch; I worked a lot of years for the telecommunications industry, enough to allow me to retire at a relatively young age (too old for motocrossing or carving in the half-pipe, but perfect for tinkering on hot-rods and writing books). I'm also a pseudo-talented charcoal and scratch-board artist (see OSAS's original cover), an amateur photographer, and a self-trained hobo who specialises in aimless roadside wandering, sleeping under bridges, hopping freight trains, and stealing fresh-baked pies from window sills.
Looking back, I actually think it's fitting that I didn't produce my first novel until I started to creak open the doorway to my middle age. Although it's true that the fundamental ideas for what would become OF STAVES AND SIGMAS have been with me since my college days, I knew that I wasn't experientially equipped in those fledgling years to do them literary justice. In my twenties, and even through my thirties, I don't think that I--or my writing--had attained the maturity necessary for properly exploring and delineating the complexities of this story and its multi-faceted characters. Shelved, then, for a number of years, only when I felt sufficiently tempered by the triumphs and the hard knocks of life did I finally resurrect my earlier draft; and, finding the plot compelling and undiminished by time--and highly adaptable to my far more competent literary machinations--I have spun it into the rather lengthy tome that you can find on this site. Good stories, they say, are timeless.

I grew up reading 1960's Marvel Comics and Famous Monsters of Filmland, watching 1950's science fiction films, Frank Capra movies (I especially love Meet John Doe), pretty much anything from the early Hal Roach studios or the Three Stooges (I'm a long-standing Shemp-o-phile). Bookwise, I've always enjoyed the fiction of Richard Matheson (in all of his various literary, teleplay, and screenwriting pseudonyms) and the scientific and philosophical non-fiction of Isaac Asimov. I have also pretty much read the covers off of all eleven Edgar Rice Burroughs's "Mars" books  (I dare say that  ERB has truly been one of  my greatest influences in choosing to write my own adventure novels). Homer's Odyssey, however, remains my favourite story ever; I find it not only a magnificent work of fiction, but to me it is the metaphoric mother lode for the entire human condition. Last, but never least, much of my general day-to-day silliness can be attributed to my family gene pool (and my being reared in that environment) with a little bit of help from the aforementioned Three Stooges, the Monty Python fellows, and the brilliant Benny Hill, to name just a few.

Having lived in Europe for a few years in my youth, I was quickly instilled with an unquellable fondness for mediaeval cities and ruins, for classical composers, for old mythology and lore, and for diverse cultures in general. And, of course, for British English. Stir all of these ingredients together, add a bachelor's degree in English, and you just might glean what it is that compels and drives my imagination. These concepts, and more, are what I inject into my writing.
My Golden Girl
Digital Images by Jim Larkin, iconspro, withGod, ElnurPixmac, bayberry, PerTronix, B&M, Lunati, Holley Performance Products, and ottoshtekker; adaptations by Pomeroy41144.




Me and my 1970 Impala Custom, which I tinker with when I should be doing more sensible things. Click on the image to expand.
Okay, okay -- this is an ancient snapshot of me, taken when I was in my mid-twenties. But, it was at this time that I developed my aspirations of becoming a writer -- and I chose this pic early on to be my official author photo. Click on the image to expand.
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My brother (right) and I exploring castle ruins in 1968; note the sudden drop-off that we're carefully trying to avoid! Click on the image to expand.
The seeds for SOULS OF ERGOS were sprouting already...
Alonso, the perfect cat: playful, goofy, adventurous, and friendly to all!
Harry, the skittish, nipping, hissing scaredy-cat...
Alonso                           Harry                          Gretchen
After restoration -- although is a car enthusiast EVER done restoring?
Large battery terminal clamps, aluminum billet brackets, fresh Hooker headers...
Black interior, Corvette steering wheel, chrome fire extinguisher...
I could fit my compact car into this one's trunk!
A few of you have written me to ask about my Impala. While I'm initially here to give you the hard-sell on a new phantasy saga, I'm always happy to talk tech -- and I'm equally fine with showing off my 1970 Impala Custom (which I actually work on myself). I purchased the car in 2003. I bought this particular model for largely nostalgic reasons (my favourite year of Impala is actually 1965), because it reminded me a whole lot of the '70 Impala Sport Coupe that I owned back in high school.

I am the fifth owner of this vehicle. It came to me with almost all of the original documentation: a list of all the  previous owners (some of whom I've contacted, just for fun), the original invoice,  protect-a-plate, owners manual, showroom brochure, build sheet, a post-sale letter of appreciation from the dealer to the original buyer, even some yellow legal pad notes where the salesman and the purchaser discussed and scribbled down various options. Very cool stuff. The only item I'm lacking is the window sticker.

This car boasts a 400ci small block engine and a TH350 trans. When I first bought it, I also went about acquiring the various reprints of all the original repair manuals so that I could begin to re-familiarise myself with everything about this make and model of car. Although mostly an original vehicle (I'd wager about 98%), I immediately noted some excessive EGR fittings that suggested that the manifold and carb were from a later model Chevy (remember, I'd owned a '70 when I was younger, so I knew something didn't quite jibe). Sure enough, after researching the manifold stamping numbers, my books told me these were '75 Chevy in vintage. So, I had to make a decision: A) seek out the original equipment and restore the car to stock, or B) modify the heck out of it, but retain all of the original parts for whoever comes after me, in the case that they would wish to convert it back. Yep, I went with "B."

Below, check out some photos (click on the images to enlarge them). As time goes on, I'll try to add more info on the modifications I've made.
I always try to keep assembled and disassembled parts in some kind of order...
After cleaning and de-greasing the block; ready for the new components...
Waiting for the new cam to be slid in...
At the beginning of restoration, July of '04
CAR STUFF...
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I love cats, and I almost exclusively adopt black cats -- not only because the shelters have a tougher time placing black cats, but because I happen to think that they're beautiful. I'm up to three kitties now, only because I picked up a stray not long ago. Her name is Gretchen, and she's the first non-black cat I've adopted in a long time. She's roughly seven-months old in the photo below (taken in May of 2017), and she is quite a handful. The rest of my feline gang consists of Alonso and Harry (both seven year-old males). Neither of the boys likes to be ignored -- especially with a new step-sister added to the mix -- and although they've accepted Gretchen fairly quickly, they frequently conspire against her for my attention. I've never lived with an aloof cat or one who ignores me, as so often seems to be their reputation with non-cat lovers. I've always raised mine up with a lot of contact and snuggling, and now they rarely want to be anywhere in the house where I'm not. Go figure. Gretchen, however, will need a lot of time and training, since she thinks she can do whatever she wants -- which includes climbing up me with her razor-like claws while I'm typing, or walking across Alonso and Harry while they're sleeping. Time will tell whether I can break her of that...

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Geoff on the left; my brother, Dan, in the groovy orange shorts...
Verdegast 2014
This is your humble author today, in all of my frightening glory. Click on the image to expand -- if you dare.
Just a very nice, magazine-quality photo...
the new trouble-maker...