catching up

Not that I don’t love my niece’s dance recitals but they are all day affairs, so I’m somewhat happy that I didn’t end up having to go.

It’s given me time to catch up on all the things I fell behind on as this week spiraled out of control.

It seems like a great deal is spiraling these days.

Drains and lives, swirling, sinking, disappearing into the void.

Target: 600 words
Written: 1383 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks (the man can be tedious and expositional, but he knows how to write an ending and a battle)
Comics: Monstress 5-8
Music: Volume 1, CKY


Don’t know where it came from, don’t know where it went, but for a good two hours there after lunch (my standard lunch, nothing special or funky about it), I felt like spewing all over my desk.

Of course, everything thought runs through your head: food poisoning, the flu, an ulcer, stomach cancer, that canker sore behind my molar that swelled up and pushed my teeth far enough out of line they throbbed for two days’ straight was actually trenchmouth.

Then, it fades, and I enjoy a nice Tom Collins and pray for sweet release.

It seems like that last thing is coming up a lot these days; I suspect I’m in desperate need of a proper’s night’s rest.

Then again, who isn’t?

Target: 600 words
Written: 666 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Monstress 1-4
Music: Volta, Bjork (not her finest hour - much prefer Debut and Vespertine)

last man

Okay, so it’s not the first time I’ve read Y The Last Man, and it may not be the last.

It was made to be on TV, which is what makes the fact that the first time it’s adapted, it gets cancelled after one season, so damn sad.

I haven’t had the heart to sit down and watch it, but I gather they strayed from the subject matter heavily enough to make their built-in audience tune out. I heard rumblings that the show seemed overly concerned in not offending the trans community and making them a much larger part of the universe (which is fair, in a sense, because transitioning doesn’t remove the Y chromosome, so it would makes sense that trans men would play a large role as the only remaining males).

Indeed, if there’s a fault in the original, it’s that it doesn’t really explore that particular narrative very heavily, and that’s likely a product of the times, as gender reassignment surgery has mainstreamed much more heavily in the decades since its publication.

But still. Forward thinking – in our current era, with as many people transitioning as there are, it would make sense for it to be a much larger part of the world. All the men who’ve transitioned to women would be dead, given the plague’s targeting of a Y chromosome, but the other way around? Being a trans man would make one highly sought after, I would think.

I think the issue is that delving so far into that drew away from the main thrust of the book, which is Yorick and his merry band’s travels around the world. It’s like spending the Matrix movies focused on Dozer’s relationship with his brother Tank, instead of Neo, Morpheus and Trinity. It’s a nice sideline, and it can impact the main storyline, but it’s bumper on the table, not the ball we need to keep from guttering.

Target: 600 words
Written: 530 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 57-60 (that moment with Ampersand at the end... literal tears down my face, every time)
Music: Volcano, Jimmy Buffett


It’s funny how this seminal alternative band from the Nineties has such an influence on modern pop, but no one seems to ever mention them.

I mean, if you can listen to Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts and not hear Veruca Salt channeled through her, I have questions about your hearing and your mental state.

I try to tell my nieces these things, but they’ll, like me, have to figure it out for themselves (although I went through phases growing up that exposed me to a lot more great classic stuff, as filtered through a modern lens, than they seem to. Big band, underground Seventies punk, classic 60s acid rock and the original Fifties jump rock – crooners, The Beatles, The Doors, hell, I even went through a Michael Jackson/New Kids On The Block era – though not after I heard my first alternative – INXS and R.E.M. are forever my gateway drugs, as is The Joshua Tree).

Anyway, great band. Listen to them more, if you can. L7 too – nobody rocks harder, except maybe Lemmy.

Target: 600 words
Written: 556 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 53-56
Music: Voices Carry, Til Tuesday


It all gets away from us so easily, doesn’t it?

Like trying to hold on to glass covered in WD-40.

Target: 500 words
Written: 1286 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 49-52
Music: The Voice: The Best Of Ultravox, Ultravox


If you know anything about me, it’s that I hate being late.


I’m late for one thing and it’s like a Rube Goldberg machine of frustration, a fucked-up domino of cascading destruction that leaves me absolutely fucking enraged.

And I’m the chill one.

Target: 500 words
Written: 549 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 45-48
Music: Vivida Vis!, Against Me!

you searched for… asparagus

Sometimes, I wonder, why is this my life?

Why am I sitting on a couch, searching French asparagus recipes in a pair of swim trunks and an old St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt?

I should be sunning on the beaches of Ibiza or sauntering around Vienna or Santorini, or sharing drinks with Jimmy Buffett on St. Lucia. I should be enjoying the isolation of Lapland or the bustling, noisy markets of Marrakesh or the flowing drift of the Yangtze.

I should be surrounded by people I love, not people I haven’t let get close enough to really truly be myself with.

But, then… asparagus is pretty good. I’m a big foodie, I have a nice family, I’ve done plenty of travelling, to beaches and rivers and cities and tundra and so forth.

And Jimmy Buffett is dead.

Today is about wanting what you don’t have. Today is about appreciating what you do.

And thinking the world is a worse place without the margarita man. Rest well, Mr. Buffett. I too don’t know where I’m’a gonna go when the volcano blows.

Target: 500 words
Written: 400 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 41-44
Music: Vivid, Living Colour

party people

I used to be a party person. I could go until all hours, consume copious amounts of drugs and alcohol and make an unbearably obnoxious fool of myself.

It’s a wonder I ever had any friends at all.

Pity, I assume. I’m not blind. The cool kids all had deep connections; I was just kind of there, filling space and being an idiot.

That said, now, I made it to midnight last night and today, I’m a wreck.

Getting old is the shits, which is different than being the shit.

Much, much different.

Target: 500 words
Written: 873 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 37-40
Music: Viva Wisconsin, Violent Femmes (I don't know what it is about these guys, but I connect so completely with literally everything they've ever done, except Vancouver, which sucks)

alone in a room

I’d like to spend most of my days that way. An empty room with nothing but me and a good book, a laptop for writing, maybe a corkboard for plotting and visualization. Access to a beautiful woman for companionship. The ability to leave whenever, but the ability to get lost entirely in whatever I’m doing, without interruption.

The ability to be fully and completely present within my little empty box, with the option to go outside on occasion and visit the good parts of the world, and leave the shitbags behind.

Target: 500 words
Written: 127 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 33-36
Music: Vitalogy, Pearl Jam (still an all-time favourite - every word floods back like total recall)

cigarillo #1

I think I’ve earned it – a first draft complete, writing up my notes for the second run? That’s not a small thing; completion is an elusive, moving target in art, particularly when you’re one of those nervous, depressed artists like myself. It’s very easy to scrap the lot and go back to scratch.

I’m saving the Gran Corona for the publication date, but I believe in the art of the small reward. Plus, The Mungk is a novella, a tiny project, and therefore, its rewards should be appropriately sized.

I don’t smoke as a matter of course – I quit cigarettes years ago, but I love the smell of a good cigar, so a cigarillo every couple of months probably isn’t going to hurt me.

My liver or my heart will give out far before my lungs, after all.

Clean livin’, y’all.

To the next one.

Target: 500 words
Written: 256 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 29-32
Music: Virus 100, L7, Vision Valley, The Vines