determined to make it better

Or to *wink, wink* get back again to the spirit of the thing.

Bad people lamenting how they can’t go back to the way things used to be, and good people moving forward, content in improvements, however small, so long as the monster’s out of the room.

My monster is a motherfucker. We don’t get along.

And it’s rarely out of the room. The monster inside your head cannot be expunged.

Maybe exorcised?

Is depression simply demonic possession by another name? Only instead of shooting pea soup and stealing souls, it’s content with the slow crumbling of the soul it already has?

Jesus, dark.

Target: 200 words
Written: 518 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher
Comics: Fanboys Vs. Zombies 17-20
Music: You Could Have It So Much Better, Franz Ferdinand

just bad

I’m a bad writer. I’m re-reading the third draft of this story and it sucks. I somehow took a bad first draft, made it into a workable second draft and then fucked it all up and went too far, shitting the bed entirely in my third.

Even this story wants me to get back to where I was; and then find a way out again.

Getting lost in the light is better than never being found (so say the Hip).

After all, it’s the foundation, even if this story doesn’t necessarily reflect that. It’s better to do the thing you love and not have the world’s acknowledgement than not to do it at all.

Not quite the same thing, but close enough.

Thanks, Hip.

Target: 200 words
Written: 1168 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher
Comics: Fanboys Vs. Zombies 13-16
Music: Yield - Pearl Jam, Yo! Bum Rush The Show - Public Enemy, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots - The Flaming Lips, You Broke Me First (Single) - Tate McRae (it's been a musical kind of day)

pushing over the anger

I’m not sure I like the violence in my writing right now. I’m a big fan of Brian K. Vaughan’s sentiment that real violence is awful, fake violence rules, but right now, the sheer vitriol in my regressive anger piece is starting to disturb me.

Perhaps I should scale it back a bit. I’m all for extreme characters, but someone so full of hate; it’s as comprehensible to me as a Trump supporter (and it’s pretty well the same thing, because I based this character on a right wing bigot).

It’s just… I don’t feel that way. I’ve never wanted to dominate anyone, let alone someone because of their gender, race or sexual preferences. Who gives a shit who someone wants to fool around with?

It’s really none of my business.

I’ve never given a shit about whether immigrants are coming to our country; I just kind of assumed they were like the rest of us and looking for something better than they had. Not exactly nefarious shit, that.

People are just people. Their relative quality and whether they deserve respect depends entirely on what they do and say and how those two things mesh and affect the world around them.

Our actions are the only things that define us; not what we say about ourselves, but what we actually do. Say you’re a pacifist while punching someone and you’re a violent thug. Say you believe in pacifism while staging a sit-in protest and it shows your commitment to your beliefs.

I don’t know. I guess we inhabit the mindset of the characters we create, at least for a little while, and like a method actor gone too far, it can be hard to shake off. I don’t like this persona; the sooner it’s over with, the better.

Target: 200 words
Written: 1609 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher
Comics: Fanboys Vs. Zombies 9-12 (leaning in hard to geek today)
Music: Yes, Virginia, The Dresden Dolls

stuff from before

I’ve been reading a lot of stuff I’ve read before. And listening to stuff I’ve heard before.

Some of it is like a warm hug, a familiar reminder, a keyhole into a presence I once had, discovering the music all over again.

Some is it is tedious and hasn’t aged well.

Once again, I find myself thinking of a way back – to a feeling I used to have, or a way forward from a feeling I didn’t want.

Nostalgia doesn’t suit us; it can be revealing. I’m yet to be certain that’s a bad thing, or a good one.

All I know is we want what we can’t have, we want what we used to have, and we want everything else instead.

Target: 200 words
Written: 783 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach (starts well, turns into generic mystical bullshit)
Comics: Fanboys Vs. Zombies 5-8
Music: Yer Favourites, Tragically Hip (gave me my #VeryCanadianMoment as I slid around in the snow on the way to my free health care with Bobcaygeon and Nautical Disaster blasting over the speakers.  If I'd been apologizing to someone with a hockey bag and a two-four in the back, I'd have broken the Canadian stereotype meter permanently.  Before you ask, I was already wearing a toque).


One year ago, we lost my good boy of twenty years. He wasn’t the first cat we lost (we love you, Loki and Nyka), but he was the first I raised from a baby (with all respect to Jooky – my first boy, who stayed with my parents when I left home. Also a good boy and king shedder – at least until we got Mazy).

I got Magnus at six weeks, and for the next nearly twenty-one years, he curled up in my lap and as tight as he could in bed, in between terrorizing everyone else.

Most people thought you were the devil, and you certainly could be a real dick, but I loved you. I’m sorry that doctor gave you a clean bill of health, when you were clearly on your way out.

I miss you, buddy. We’ve gotten a new cat and two new dogs (dogs!) since you’ve been gone, and we love them to death, but nothing can ever really replace the unlimited and unconditional love you brought me. You would have loved Mazy; she probably would have reminded you of that neighbour’s boxer Dakota you loved when you were a kitten.

You still exist, in my mind; as long as the memory of you lives, and your atoms are floating around, you’re still here. Maybe the religious folks will be right and there is something beyond this life, and you can curl up in my lap in the hereafter.

Target: 200 words
Written: 1517 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: Start With Why, Simon Sinek
Comics: Fanboys Vs. Zombies 1-4
Music: Yellow Blues, Rollins Band and Yellow Submarine, The Beatles (kinda went the other way there, right? Frozen Man has such Fight Club vibes.)


There’s always the chance of regression. One gets too lost in one’s regrets or some wrong that’s been done to us (more often than not either petty or legitimately wrong, but no longer truly a factor in our lives, save us making it one), and boom, suddenly, you’re that insecure, angry, neurotic, obnoxious loser all over again.

We work so hard to move on, only to be anchored in cement by the shame of our past.

No matter how we try to move forward as a society or individuals, there’s always someone who wants us back where we started, in to the familiar, the old, the no-longer-the-best-way, because they fear change or the thought of improvement.

Then, there’s the others of us, so desperate to get away from the old, to rocket ourselves into the future, that we forget sometimes – things may work the old way; I doubt a single person in this world feels more present or happier with our hectic, crazy making technology – there’s something to be said for being disconnected, lost to time on the edge of a lake with a bonfire and some friends. Present, instead of captured on a screen.

Wherever we are, we want to be somewhere else.

Target: 200 words
Written: 323 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: Start With Why, Simon Sinek
Comics: The Legacy Of Luther Strode 5-6 (what a series.  "Do better."  I feel that in my gut.)
Music: Year Zero, Nine Inch Nails (the real deal now), Years May Come, Years May Go, Irish Rovers


I don’t know what it is about today, but focus is not my friend. Everything seems off, except the music this morning. Like I’m out of phase with reality.

Fogged up.

I hate this feeling, because it brings out that angry, sad, spoiled brat that couldn’t hack it and hates everything about life, and thinks the universe is out to get him.

Depression can be a real bitch, and it doesn’t always show itself in tears or an unwillingness to get out of bed.

Mine’s often seething anger, obsessive distraction or simply laying on the floor unable or unwilling to move.

I like that part.

It’s relaxing, even if it is just an accumulation of anxious memories from the past.

Oh, and cool. Just noticed. Hives.

The good news is I’m a pacifist and know everything returns to the Tao.

The bad news is the frustration of life’s constant little fuck-yous never seems to truly go away.

Spend too much time looking at your past and it seeps into you. It becomes you.

I think I need to sever.

Target: 200 words
Written: 264 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: Start With Why, Simon Sinek
Comics: The Legacy Of Luther Strode 1-4
Music: Year Of The Crow, State Radio (easily one of the most underrated bands I've ever heard. I could listen to this album on repeat for days)

christmas parties after the fact

Last night, it was time for my yearly dose of post traumatic stress. My wife and daughter still work at the place that nearly put me under, and so, once a year, we trudge out to their Christmas party, always held after Christmas, because the owners are cheap.

Every year, it is the same; there’s a sense of tension, a fear of being pulled back in, a desire to get the fuck away. It’s so synchronous with the short story I’m working on (based on a Tragically Hip song call Get Back Again), about being unable to get past the past, and unable to let things go, that I couldn’t help but laugh (and consider weeping).

I can’t wait until they are retired or have new jobs, so I never have to think about that fucking place again.

I never want to get back anywhere near it.

Target: 200 words
Written: 300 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: The Power Of Less, Leo Babauta
Comics: The Legend Of Luther Strode 3-6
Music: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco


The news has been so dominated by the left/right divide for so long (at least since Clinton/Starr, but it became hyperactive and all-consuming with Trump) that it’s hard to separate any art from it.

Want to write a cutesy murder mystery? It almost feels dishonest if you don’t make the villain a right wing nut.

Cozy romance? Too innocent for a world bordering on implosion.

Sci-fi? You better make those future times corrupt as fuck.

Fantasy? Well, everyone’s awful and the only good people are those that actually care about others (and they inevitably get killed, don’t they, George R.R. Martin? Finish the series, man!)

Even a short story about a ghost stalking a woman feels like the ghost should be about a January 6 insurrectionist.

Which is where I am now. Great. Fuck you, Trump. Not everything needs to be fraught with social collapse.

Target: 200 words
Written: 358 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: The Power Of Less, Leo Babauta
Comics: The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode 5-6, The Legend Of Luther Strode 1-2
Music: Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D, Nine Inch Nails (why must every remix album include one mix that is just complete garbage, but for some reason, goes on for 12-14 minutes? Does the creator just start with a beat and sit staring at his setup, completely unable to decide what to do next, before going fuck it and turning in a quarter of an hour's worth of pure shit?)


I don’t like to think about the past. The past has some fun memories, but mostly those only come up with friends (which rarely happens anymore) and usually revolves around someone (as often me as anyone) doing something very stupid.

I admit to missing those days; when memories of fun, dumb things weren’t things to recall, but things actively happening.

I also remember doing things without thought; most of those memories are rife with shame.

Indeed, a look back on the life I’ve had is to see one filled with waste and regret, myopic, self-deceptive and toxic behaviour, stupid decision after stupid decision justified by the flimsiest of ego-driven excuses.

Some would tell me to focus on the positives of the past – the friends, the adventures, the good times. It’s not terrible advice, but I’ve always been poor at connecting and when I was young, I was so delusional with insecurity (and hiding insecurity) that almost everything I did was fraught.

Some would tell me to forget it; I’ve learned from it. Time to move on with new lessons.

This has more value; what’s done is done. The only thing left is to learn.

Still, the sheer embarrassment of it all, the shame of my own stupidity…

These aren’t the things we laugh about. They’re the things we want to leave in the dust, but remain tied to us like anchors in the ground.

Target: 200 words
Written, 666 words, short story: Get Back Again

Read: 5 Steps To Controlling High Blood Pressure, Mayo Clinic
Comics: The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode 1-4
Music: A Quick One Box Set, The Who (yeah.  Not a gem.  A couple of okay songs, but yeah.  Not their finest.  Barely listenable.)