teriyaki burgers, coffee stout and junior concerts

So, my whole day was hijacked. For the first time in a long, long time, I got to the end of the day and realized, I hadn’t read a thing, so I sat down and did five minutes before bed.

(This is not helping me get through the 1140-page complete fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson, already a more tedious read than the bible, but I am a completist and it is “research” for a project down the road).

Did you know Anderson once visited Charles Dickens and turned into the houseguest from hell, extending a short stay into a five week hellscape that forced Dickens to tell him to get the fuck out?

I guess Dickens’ platitudes about charity don’t extended to irritating houseguests.

Anyway, after a morning concert for my father-in-law, some running around, a lengthy dog walk and some pool time with homemade teriyaki burgers and grilled pineapple (made by yours truly), we followed that up with a campfire at my sisters.

The dogs are spent.

And so am I.

Why is it, again, that I am involved with people? Oh right, I actually enjoyed the day, but still, it doesn’t do well for one’s goals to enjoy oneself all the time.

Target: 700 words
Written: 104 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Hans Christian Anderson's Most Tedious Fucking Stories
Comics: American Vampire 7-10
Music: One Fierce Beer Coaster, Bloodhound Gang

weight

Oh, God, it sounds so horrible, like some kind of Tolle/Robbins platitude, meant to sound deep and meaningful, but actually being somewhat of a scam.

I mean, I don’t want to go too deep into it, because I’ve got a whole idea percolating that I don’t want to spoil the punchline on, but you know how we often try to teach the things we most need to learn?

Next to the dictionary entry beside ego, I suspect there’s a picture of Eckhart Tolle. The Power Of Now and A New Earth practically drip with his ego, his unhinged desire to be a messiah, don’t they?

I’m not sure stealing a bunch of ideas that have been around for thousands of years, or basic common sense ideas, and drenching them in an insipid slurry of rancid toss to pretend you’ve found some special knowledge, is messiah material.

Honestly, it sounds exactly like the kind of bullshit I was writing in my late teens and early twenties, when I was also trying to be a messiah, but was actually a schmuck who didn’t live any of the platitudes he was spouting.

I guess I was too busy with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll to make the millions he did.

Anyway, my point is: The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner is the better option if you want to learn about presence. If you strip all of the bullshit and pomp from The Power Of Now, and replaced it with humility and practicality, there you go. And Mr. Sterner isn’t trying to sell you on being Jesus.

Or Buddha, or Lao Tzu, whom Tolle seems to only mention in passing, despite having ripped off the Tao Te Ching extensively (though not anywhere near as well, and with added layers of unnecessary drivel). I guess he doesn’t want anyone to realize he hasn’t actually generated an original understanding, but rather, stole everything he purports to have discovered from luminaries long dead?

Anyway, my thought was: I’m such an insignificant, microscopic piece of the universe, why am I carrying its weight?

I know, right?

Target: 600 words
Written: 576 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle
Comics: American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest 3-4, American Vampire 19-20
Music: Old Plaid Shirt, Mudmen

monstress

There are certain authors and creations that I’m in absolute awe of.

The ability of the Jasons to capture the feel of the South so completely in Southern Bastards. Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction’s incredible wit and compassion for their character’s rich internal lives in Sex Criminals. Chuck Palahniuk’s ability to create complexity out of simplicity, to blend “clever art” with something more raw.

The sheer fucking depth and expanse, both internally and in the world-building of Monstress.

Marjorie Liu has created something truly incredible, a world so full and dense that it’s hard to believe it belongs to a comic book. I’m not sure that Game of Thrones is this massive, and the written word allows for much greater detail, in general. Sana Takeda’s extremely detailed art gives that same sense so beautifully, that one almost might believe it’s building the mythos and the world on its own.

I love stuff that requires multiple readings in order to catch all the details, things where that second, third, fourth reading continues to add to the understanding, to improve the experience, to heighten the depth of one’s immersion into the material.

I’m so on board with this series, I kind of don’t ever want it to end (though it inevitably will need to, as all things do, save Batman).

Target: 600 words
Written: 68 words, novella: The Mungk

Reading: Gate Of Ivrel, C.J. Cherryh
Comics: Monstress 51
Music: The Observer, Bjork

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)

censored?

Well, this is a first. I wish I could say it was unexpected, but I knew Get Back Again straddled a line I wasn’t sure I hadn’t crossed.

I mean, it’s a story told from the perspective of a right winger who has been murdered by his liberal girlfriend. I mean, I thought it was clear that the right winger was the bad guy, but I knew that to tell it properly, I would have to hew more tightly to the man’s anger and prejudice than I would normally be comfortable with. I actually made notes to myself during the revision hoping that it would be taken as it was meant, and not become some kind of right wing manifesto.

Wattpad’s a pretty liberal place, which is part of the reason I like it, even though most of the literature posted there isn’t exactly my jam. I mostly followed Cory Doctorow there. If he thought it had value, it must not have been terrible, because you know… Doctorow. He doesn’t suffer tech companies lightly.

Of course, left-leaning places such as Wattpad also mean the kind of people whose outrage tends to not think before it blasts nuclear waste out into the atmosphere.

(And don’t get me wrong, the right is pregnant to bursting with outrage, only they don’t realize that they’re not actually pregnant, just morbidly obese with self-inflicted unhealth).

It appears that’s happened to me.

Either that or Get Back Again wasn’t as clear as I hoped (and I know it was opaque).

So, yeah. I’m anti-censorship for any reason. It’s one thing to know something is immoral and not want to read it; it’s another thing to say to everyone else that reading it is bad. Things can be learned even from things you vehemently disagree with.

If they allow it back, I guess we’ll have to put a disclaimer on it. Trigger warning and a brief explanation: hey, the racist, homophobic misogynist threatening violence against women and minorities?

He’s a baddie.

Duh.

Target: 500 words
Written: 203 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: High Hunt, David Eddings
Comics: Y The Last Man 1-4
Music: Very Proud Of Ya, AFI

yellow birds

My sister-in-law wrote a book. She’s been in the game longer than I have, and thus, has much better connections, and so, it was only a little surprising to see the quality turnout at her book launch tonight.

It was fun, good to see people I haven’t seen in a while, surprising to see people I have never seen show up in abundance.

The power of networking, I suppose, of actually talking to people in the flesh.

Me, I’m more of a one-on-one kind of person, and I’d rather be alone than not.

Still, it was nice to see that people will still come out to support people, even when they’re only loosely connected.

My dream is of a world that supports art for the sake of art, and that it doesn’t need to be commercialized or branded; it can just be.

That was a nice reminder that this can still happen.

Target: 500 words
Written: 196 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith
Comics: East Of West 32-35
Music: The Vanilla Tapes, The Clash

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).