a year of trauma

I’ve spent the last year wallowing, essentially getting punched repeatedly, and punch drunk, like a boxer in the tenth round, I fell down over and over until I couldn’t get up again.

Somehow, in the midst of this, I wrote The Mungk, an exploration of fatalism and trauma.

I try to learn something from everything I write, and what I’ve learned from The Mungk is how easily a life can be derailed by circumstance and an unwillingness to deal with the thoughts inside your own head.

I’ve been thinking about how to market The Mungk and honestly, I don’t know. It’s a good little book. I know it. But it’s fatalist. It’s dark. It offers little to no hope. A metaphor for trauma and life eating away at us until there’s nothing left.

It often feels like there’s nothing left of me, after this year.

So next year, I am going to try to focus on something better. No more fatalism, without some genuine kindness. No more Mungk (except to sell the manuscript or publish it myself, in any case).

No more trauma. No more wearing down. It’s time to find something a little better in the world around me. It’s time to apply that presence and focus and radical acceptance I’ve read so much about for more than a few minutes a day.

So, goodbye, trauma year. I wish you long gone.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 9100 words, hip little story: Forest Edge

the mungk

It’s hard to describe the feeling of peace when you let a piece of writing that’s dwelled inside you for so long go, especially when it’s one that took you to a very dark place.

I have ideas.

I have lots of ideas.

As it stands, I’ve over three dozen ideas for novels written down, in part, and at least a dozen ideas for comic books. Hundreds of short stories. Poetry just tends to happen.

But The Mungk represents a starting point for me. While someday, I hope to write novels about the Great Way, blending reality and all things good, today, here, now, The Mungk focuses on everything and anything awful in life.

Feelings of hopelessness, of loss. Of trauma and drain, the kind that wears you down over the course of a life and leaves you withered and bitter fruit.

And I’m glad to see it go. I suspect there will be some residuals, as I try to sell the thing to a publisher or an agent, but it’s a novella. Not particularly saleable in the best of times, no matter how good.

In any case, it’s done. No more editing. No more putzing about with it. It’s time to send it out into the world to spawn its feckless devils. If I can’t get any takers in a year, I’ll publish it myself. From this point on, everything I write gets out there in some way. The universe receives it, whether it’s wanted or not.

Peace, Mungk.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 1449 words, novella: The Mungk

living in the shadows

I feel like that’s where I am these days. No one sees me. No one knows I’m here.

And it’s not cool, like I’m Jason Bourne or someone like that.

It’s infuriating not to be seen by anyone.

And I say that as a man of privilege – a white, straight guy. I can only imagine how much worse that is the second you add a socially discriminated-against trait to the mix.

Life is cruel to us all, without notions of equality.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 36 words, novella: The Mungk

drain you

It is exhausting being so unhappy. I’m trying to choose not to be, but then I remember what I wanted out of life, or that my baby boy is no longer sitting in my lap, or my baby girl isn’t walking across my desk during online meetings and I’m sad all over again.

It’s so draining. The lack of sleep doesn’t help. The constant drama.

Once upon a time, I wanted a wild life – rock star excess, drowning in a sea of creativity, good times and women.

Now, I’d be happy with a quiet life, filled with compassionate, intelligent people and a good book. And sex. A boy has to have some vices.

Anyway, big day. To work.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 9100 words, novella: The Mungk

helpless dancer

I suppose that’s the problem, isn’t it? You read something like Permanent Record, and it reminds you that your control over anything in this world is essentially non-existent.

That it’s all fucked up, and likely to burn and burn forever, and that’s okay. Because there’s nothing you can do about it.

You can catch some of the assholes, take a few down, but you’ll never stop the craven need for greed and power of men like the Bush family or the Trump crime syndicate. Pierre Poilevre and Stephen Harper. Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson, Netanyahu, Mugabe, Noriega, MBS, Musk… the list goes on and on.

You do your best not to give them an inch, and take back the inches they stole, but in the end, their interest is in power and greed, and ours is in happiness and enjoyment. Where you put your focus, grows.

So dance away, and let the motherfuckers watch.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 1549 words, novella: The Mungk

bad day

Less than two weeks after the loss of my beloved Magnus, we’re about to lose our beloved Cassie.

I don’t know if I can take this again so soon.

I’ve already lost the best one in the whole world once, and now I have to do it again.

I don’t know if I can. These last ten-plus months have been nothing but heartache and loss. I can’t take anymore.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 316 words, novella: The Mungk


That’s what I’ve been told I am. But my internal panic has reached epic proportions and honestly, a little help and hand-holding would be nice. I know it’s just early job jitters, but I find myself asking if I’ve made the right choice.

The pension is worthwhile, at least to do my best and give it until I’m doing the actual work before I make any major decisions. A pension is a hell of a difficult thing to walk away from, especially when I’m still young enough for it to mean something.

And it’s not like I’m underqualified or incapable of doing the work. I look at the people they’ve got working there that I know and I think, I’m at least as capable as these guys. I hope.

My mental sharpness has taken a serious dip from the stress and depression the last few years, and my physical health is on the decline.

One day at a time, I suppose.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 422 words, novella: The Mungk

saturday morning frustration

Oh. My. God.

Fuck you, universe. What the fuck are you doing to me? All I wanted was a reduction of stress and some time to myself, and you’re doubling down on driving me insane. What the hell is wrong with you? No sleep. No time. Not even a single moment’s rest.

Is there a solution? What the hell am I supposed to do? Move to the Great White North and live in a remote cabin on my own?

Honestly, starting to sound pretty good right about now.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 2275 words, novella: The Mungk