sea day

Why we’re taking a sea day in the Bahamas, when there’s a dozen ports we could easily go to… well, it’s just indicative of Carnival’s greed. Stick us out in the ocean with little to do but drink and gamble and most people will drink and gamble. I’m sure they’d justify it all kinds of different ways, and the cruise has been… okay… to this point.

The shows are cheesy, the lines are long and the cruise director’s Jim-Carrey-through-Alan-Cummings impression is more caricature than connecting, and begs the question, what day is this guy going to off himself? The level of self-loathing is palpable, despite the over-the-top attempt at wacky and upbeat cheerleader.

Seriously. Someone needs to do a wellness check on that guy. It’s not going to end well.

The nickel-and-diming is excessive. It’s quite clear from the moment you get on the boat that Carnival sees you only as a cow to be milked for cash, and nothing else. That’s quite off-putting, and would be somewhat acceptable if the quality of the onboard experience were its equal, but it’s all outdated and falling apart, the staff is, for the most part, pretty disengaged.

There are better cruise lines for sure (Viking’s river cruises are stellar), but so far, it is what we’ve made of it, and we’ve had a fair bit of “making of it”.

Personally, my udders hurt.

Target: 400 words
Written: 224 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Power Of Now, Eckhart Tolle
Comics: Nailbiter 12-15
Music: Just For College, Radiohead (still, so good)

nassau

Bit of a whirlwind trip through Nassau today, but man, beautiful place. Beautiful port – if only they could spread that money out to the rest of the populace. Parts are gentrified, for sure, but the rest is crumbling, like many other Caribbean islands.

I do sometimes wonder if there isn’t a better option than capitalism. Communism, by its own violent history, has shown that it doesn’t really work – any system where there’s concentration of power in the hands of people who benefit from it is guaranteed to corrupt, no matter its other freedoms. Those who crave power will always find a pretext to keep it, even at the cost of other people’s lives and freedom.

I often wonder why the people do not speak with one voice and say, “Enough!”

But then, you meet real people, realize how they’ve been manipulated and deprived of resources, including education and the ability to think bigger and rationally, and you realize… they’ve no focus for their anger, which makes them easier for despots to control.

They are aimed like a weapon, or neutered like a pet.

Target: 400 words
Written: 282 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Power Of Now, Eckhart Tolle
Comics: Nailbiter 9-11, Nailbiter-Hack/Slash 1
Music: Just Can’t Get Enough New Wave, Various (my jams)

mom’s birthday cruise

Well, onto the boat for my mother’s birthday. It’s been thirty years since I was on a cruise ship, and unlike when I was teenager, there will be less drunken idiots fucking around and falling over than before. Of course, there’s still hundreds of middle agers that don’t realize that and getting pissed up anyway.

At least there’s a nice steak dinner at the end of it.

Or would be, if this boat wasn’t rocking so much. I don’t remember the disorientation of sea legs from when I was seventeen. I do remember a friend of mine being terribly ill and asking me incredulously, “You don’t feel that?” to which I replied, honestly, “feel what?”

I thought he was being a pussy (which is a teenage euphemism for anyone suffering who is different than you and is a terribly inappropriate word to use, as anyone with half a brain knows a vagina is both tough as hell and sensitive as shit, which is a wonderful metaphor for something, probably).

Anyway, my head feels the pitch and roll now and so, Adam, sorry, dude. I thought you were being weak; turns out, I was just lucky enough not to suffer the same fate.

Until now.

Target: 400 words
Written: 374 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Power Of Now, Eckhart Tolle
Comics: Nailbiter 5-8
Music: Just A Friend, Biz Markie (I still know every single word - to this day, this cannot come over speakers without me belting out the chorus)

that’s a lot of rain

Nothing like going on vacation and having it rain inches for twenty-four hours straight.

We did get to the space museum, which was kind of neat, although I’m still conflicted about SpaceX and its association with Musk.

Also, they removed all references to the Challenger and Columbia. Why?

Because it was bumming people out.

Personally, I don’t think ignoring or erasing history is the way to go, and that honouring these brave sacrifices would be a better option, but the U.S. is getting more and more Orwellian every day.

Seriously. It’s like you can feel the people around you getting stupider.

Target: 400 words
Written: 1033 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins (I have lots to say about this, but I also have a whole book planned around the idea, so you know... no spoilers)
Comics: Nailbiter 1-4
Music: Just, Radiohead (may be one of my all-time favourite songs, if only for the moral of total and complete freedom and responsibility)

beachin’

I love returning to the ocean. It is the birthplace of all the life that exists on this world – all of it can be traced to those first few sparks of life in the depths of our water.

I’m a water guy. As a kid, you couldn’t get me out of the pool. You couldn’t get me out of the lake. You couldn’t get me out of the ocean.

The draw is palpable when I’m near water, but especially that natural feel of a lake or ocean, the chill, the sand, the mud and muck, things flitting about you, the salt on your lips.

Bless us, mother Ocean. From your depths, we rise.

Target: 400 words
Written: 190 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins
Comics: Cyber Force/Hunter Killer 5
Music: Jump Back, The Rolling Stones (you know, you forget, sometimes, just how many great songs these guys have and you have to wonder... is the devil real? Did they make that deal? Is that how Keith Richards is still alive?)

muthafuckin’ scallops

Oh, man. I have been waiting on Rusty’s scallops for the better part of two years now and they did not disappoint. We got a glimpse of the boat we’ll be taking to the Bahamas as well, while we ate, which is kind of cool.

I haven’t been on a cruise since I was seventeen, so this should be interesting. I’ve no idea really what to expect. We took a river cruise last year, but I gather this is quite a bit different.

Also, since I’m travelling with family and not a bunch of rowdy, drunken teens, there are likely to be a few less shenanigans (but just a few).

Target: 400 words
Written: 146 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins
Comics: Cyber Force/Hunter Killer 1-4 (Rocafort is a fucking brilliant artist, isn't he?)
Music: Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper (love, love, love the atmospheric nature of this album. Skyscraper is definitely getting use in the Mungk playlist)

cape canaveral

A short haul with Delta, a bad book to read, and a cold, chilly day capped by a pretty good dinner at a surprisingly empty restaurant along the port.

Sadly, there will be no launches this week. That’s always cool, even if it touches on my irritation with Elon Musk and how it conflicts with my admiration of space travel in general, and how cool reusable rockets are.

I am assuming at this point they succeed in spite of him, and certainly not because of it.

Target: 400 words
Written: 408 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins
Comics: Hunter Killer 12, Fusion 1-3 (ugh, what a shitpile mess that was)
Music: Juicebox, The Strokes

florida bound

Let’s start with a vacation. Standard issue, as they say.

Florida. Not Disney World this time, although we are flying into Orlando. No, we’ll go to Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, then hope on a big ol’ boat and head off to Nassau.

Lunching with the Kennedys, probably, right?

Sadly, no. We do okay, and we can travel a couple of times a year, but that’s about it.

Most of it is local; we do try somewhere tropical at least once a year.

But… and this is a big one. We aren’t getting paid anymore. The price of everything is going up.

Suddenly, it’s not cheap to fly to Jamaica or Cuba. It’s not cheap to drive the I-75.

I get that it’s all greed and short term thinking these days, but how can anyone, anywhere, in politics or business, think this is sustainable? Are they just trying to squeeze us dry and then walk away laughing as everything burns?

I mean, the stupidity and disdain for fellow humanity in such a mindset is appalling.

These are the true criminals; the ones who ought to be ousted from society.

Target: 400 words
Written: 2344 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: 100 Selected Poems, e.e. cummings
Comics: Hunter Killer 8-11 (good concept, in desperate need of a longer development period and a competent editor.  Wasn't Mark Waid an editor?  He should know how to keep things straight.)
Music: Judgment Night, Cypress Hill et al

workload

It’s an irony that the only thing I want to do is getting somewhat squashed by the thing I have to do.

I set my writing targets intentionally low, because I know, until I’m actually supporting myself full-time with the whole storytelling thing, I have a job to do. Family to support, all that stuff.

If you see me not hitting my target each day, know that there’s actually a bigger target, an overall target, that I’m exceeding.

For example, this year, if you were to count up the number of words I set as target each day, it’s not quite eleven thousand words. That sounds like a lot, but come on? Over a month and a half?

It’s nothing.

In reality, I’ve actually written closer to thirty-five thousand words, which while still kind of low, is more respectable over that period. Some established authors only do five hundred words a day; I’m averaging somewhere between seven and eight hundred.

Of course, some of those five hundred a day-ers are agonizing over each sentence, spending an hour on a paragraph, an afternoon on a page, and they’re coming out brilliant.

Me? I’ll fix it in post. A first draft is nothing more than an overwrought outline, as far as I’m concerned; an extended method of finding out how the characters want the story to go, and where your plot holes make themselves known (although some sneakier plot holes will slither their way into your second, third or even sixth drafts, crafty buggers).

Some plot holes you’ll never see.

I certainly didn’t.

Target: 400 words
Written: 215 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Sex Rx, Lauren Streicher
Comics: Hunter Killer 4-7
Music: The Joshua Tree, U2 (yeah, Bono might be a self-important shit, but this is still one hell of a fucking album - next to Kick and Out Of Time, one of my earliest exposures to truly great alternatives to the garbage on the radio).

yay, futbals

Rather, yay, it’s over?

I guess that guy whose girlfriend everyone likes won, while simultaneously showing that he’s willing to physically assault an old man when he’s frustrated on the sidelines.

Red flag, girl. When shit gets bad, is he going to try to intimidate you physically?

Things to watch out for.

Assholes be assholes, y’all.

Target: 400 words
Written: 250 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Sex Rx, Lauren Streicher
Comics: Hunter Killer 0-3
Music: Joni Mitchell Essentials, Joni Mitchell (fuck you, I'm Canadian, and despite how saccharine it can be at times, and at odds with my punk roots, it's got its own je-ne-sais-quoi, and its own ethos of anti-authoritarianism. She's low key anarchist, like most hippies).