i don’t understand

I spend an awful lot of time thinking about why people just can’t be nice to each other. I don’t understand the need to be a dick to someone, to control them, to intentionally hurt them for the sake of your own ego.

I guess maybe the feeling of superiority is addictive, or it’s a protective reflex to avoid addressing any issues one might have, or the fear that maybe you aren’t the best.

But it’s so easy to be humble. Kindness takes effort, but hell, just admitting you don’t know everything, that you’re fallible, that you’re muddling through, doing the best you can, and trying not to take it too hard when you screw up (while learning from the experience)? That’s the easiest thing in the world, because it’s all true.

And truth is only hard to admit for those stuck in their own egos. For anyone who cares about the truth more than their own petty ego, it’s the easiest thing in the world.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 332 words, novel: Father Lightning

the nice guy

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness. I don’t know what’s going on with me, whether I’ll ever make it as an author or be considered cool or any of that other stuff. I don’t quite know how to cure my depression, my timidity or how to become the man I want to be.

But I do know that I don’t want to be an asshole. I want to be seen as someone who committed random acts of kindness. When people came to me, I was honest and kind and always open with them.

I want to be kind to myself.

I do not want to be one of those people who mistakes their timidity for kindness and assumes that the fact of that timidity/kindness entitles them to anything.

I don’t think I’m entitled to shit I haven’t earned.

I don’t even like taking free giveaway stuff. I hate coupons. I feel like I’m taking advantage.

I know that’s ridiculous. Take the free gift, damn it. Take the donut, as Amanda Palmer would say.

I would like to take it with empathy, or better yet, earn it with my kind actions.

So, we’re going to work on that, for the next little while. I don’t know if that means charity work or just random kindness to the people in my life (well, that one for sure), but that will be the focus going forward.

Finding out what kindness is, and applying it to the world.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 489 words, novel: Father Lightning

when the morning comes

I’ve been treating this blog like a journal of misery, with the occasional note about writing. The Mungk has a tendency to do that to you. It was fatalist. Depressing. Overwhelming in its hopelessness.

This phase, which started probably about a month and a half ago, is intended to be better, around the time I moved on from The Mungk.

I’ve decided that I need to explore kindness. Going forward, I’m going to focus on finding the kindnesses in my life, and to dedicating myself to demonstrating a kindness in keeping with my beliefs.

There’s only one reason not to be kind, and that’s to tell an unfortunate truth. And even then, it must be done in the kindest terms possible. Direct, but kind.

And if that ain’t a credo for a good life, I don’t know what is.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 678 words, novel: Father Lightning

forest edge

I wrote another hip little story a while back called Forest Edge. Inspired by the Tragically Hip song of the same name, it takes an incel and sticks him into a high fantasy world, where things are considerably more laidback (similar to Rat Queens).

I empathize with incels to an extent, because I was one of them at one point. I mean, not the violent threats or anything, but I understand being a guy who thinks he’s good enough for girls being utterly see-through to them in reality. I know that frustration. That said, I never ever took it to the point where I felt it was my right to “get” any particular woman, or that I had the right to force myself upon any of them.

I took the heartbreak of rejection like a champ, and instead, internalized it into a nice, unhealthy depression. I was more likely to beat myself up than anyone else. I never actually thought it was the girl’s fault, other than the usual, but he’s a jerk kind of thing. The rest was “why am I not good enough?”, which can be both a seriously destructive place to land, and a building block for future improvements to the self.

I’ve since come to realize how toxic the “nice guy” trope is. Nice guys finish last all the time. And most of the time, someone in this position isn’t doing themselves any favours. They aren’t dressing nicer, finding confidence or focusing on being a good, interesting person first. No, we wear old, shitty clothes, assume entitlement without effort, and never actually understand that a claim to any particular person isn’t automatic.

We have to be interesting enough ourselves, to hold the qualities that attract that other persons before there’s even a remote chance. And yeah, sorry guys. Sometimes, you just have to be better looking.

You have to have something to offer, and more importantly, any given potential love interest has to be interested in what you’re offering. You could be an awesome dude, well-dressed, intelligent, kind and good to children, but if she’s looking for someone who makes her laugh?


And that’s totally her right. Just because you think you’re entitled to Natalie Portman and Rihanna doesn’t mean she’s not thinking the same thing about Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling. And you ain’t them, so good luck.

The thing is – no one’s entitled to anyone else. No one’s body. No one’s respect. There is a certain basic level of respect and courtesy we should treat people with, unless they prove themselves such reprobates as to exhaust basic decency. Anything above that has to be earned.

You aren’t owed shit, no matter how lonely you feel or how horny you are. And if you think you are, fuck you.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 742 words, novel: Father Lightning


Well, diarrhea this morning, but maybe I fucked myself with wine and chili last night. No heartburn over night. I slept at least.

I also came to a bit of a realization. I think I just want someone to listen to me. To make the effort to understand me. I don’t have that in my life now, and I feel like maybe I can’t be who I am as a result.

I would like to be understood; this is a theme dating back decades now.

My problem is that no one cares enough, and that I don’t make the effort to be understood.

The other problem is that no one will stop talking or let me speak without interruption.

If ever there were a metaphor for a crowded marketplace, that would be it. Appreciated after the fact or forgotten altogether. It feels as though that’s been my destiny for years.

Like Rodney Dangerfield, I get no respect. Then again, maybe I just don’t have much to say.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 539 words, novel: Father Lightning

two nights in a row?

Damn. Life is good. I can have a beer again. I can sleep through two nights without coughing or choking or burning.

I know it’s routine recovery, but hell, thank the Tao for making it all possible.

Now, onto kindness, setbacks be damned.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 947 words, novel: Father Lightning

spoke too soon

My fault, really. I thought with my nieces coming over, I’d test out a normal meal and see if I’m capable of that.

I’m not. Not yet, anyway.

Come one in the morning and I get that stupid little cough from the dried out throat caused by acid creeping up my esophagus in my sleep. By three, that was full on verge of massive heartburn, in the vein of what happened on Saturday night.

So, I chugged two big glasses of milk and a ton of Pepto and Gaviscon, and well, by 3:30, I was back to sleeping sitting up in a chair.

Man, I hope this is done soon. It’s really putting a cramp in my style, what style I have.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 829 words, novel: Father Lightning

ninety percent

Finally. I mean, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself, because getting sick sucks, but it’s bound to happen from time to time. You can’t avoid the plague forever.

Mostly, I’m trying to use this as a measure for how sympathetic to be to others who become ill in the future. Not that I held it against them, but for some, there’s always that sense of “is it real?”

I will endeavour to be more enlightened about it in the future, if not actually gullible.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 1379 words, novel: Father Lightning

out of the woods?

That was the first night that I’ve slept mostly through, without any major coughing fits or internal scalding. Neck pain, and a few gurgles this morning, but that could be an empty stomach?

I’m not going to call it for a few days, but I think there’s a good chance I’m finally moving past this thing.

The pandemic spoiled me a little bit, isolating me and keeping me cautious about contact with other people (which, as an introvert, I’m prone to anyway, but more so).

I haven’t had a legitimate, non-mental health related illness in a long time.

I forgot how much they suck. When I think about people during the pandemic being willing to put themselves or others around them through much worse, because they couldn’t be bothered not to take a clearly bullshit meme on Twitter at face value?

Man, fuck those people.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 490 words, novel: Father Lightning