daisy jones and the six

I’m sure Daisy is supposed to be the hero and Billy the villain, but I’m not sure it’s that simple. Billy has an ego and can be very controlling, sure, but there’s something so unbelievably manipulative and selfish about Daisy’s character that she’s just unlikable all around, in my opinion. She intentionally pushes all the buttons she can, and why? Control. She’s no less controlling than Billy; she just plays the victim around it, the persecuted, even as she tears things apart.

Of course, the other issue is that shows about fictional bands always have to make up their own music, and since it’s all written for a script, instead of from the heart, the show inevitably suffers from the lack of suspension of disbelief, because it’s hard to buy that they’re the biggest band in the world, when the music is mostly generic and tepid. It doesn’t help that the rest of the soundtrack being so good acts as an ultimate comparison, to which the band doesn’t exactly live up.

Then again, asking a bunch of studio writers to one-up not once, but repeatedly, some of the best music that generation has to offer… that’s a tall order.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1580 words, novel: Father Lightning

ear infection

Thank goodness it’s not a blown eardrum.

I like my music loud, after all. Partially because I’m partly deaf, but mostly, because music is best at volume, when it becomes your entire world, whether it’s softly crooning Fiona Apple or Loud As Love Soundgarden.

Doesn’t matter. It invades the space. Transports one.

At least, good music does. Bad music becomes little more than white noise, background filler for the task at hand.

Thanks, amoxicillin. Looking forward to being free and clear, right between the ears.

A little rhyme for the children, most of whom would never read this drivel.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 894 words, novel: Father Lightning


It goes on and on and on. I think I’m going a little mad. Try to be nice to me. I probably can’t hear you.

I don’t want to go deaf. I’d miss music too much. I wouldn’t miss the sound of people’s voices.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1504 words, novel: Father Lightning

welcome back

Tinnitus is pretty bad, but I can hear again today, after spending an entire day wallowing around in the sound of silence, where everything got to feel like it’s underwater.

I can enjoy Fiona Apple again! Yay!

And I slept, sort of. With heavy drugs and a double dose of NyQuil.

Hopefully, this is me on the mend.

The dog loves my nieces. You should have seen her. Prancy dancing around the living room and foyer like she’d never seen anything more exciting in her life.

And yes, we have a foyer, but that’s because we bought a Chatham icon’s old house; the author of Romantic Kent built the place with servants and no plumbing. A hundred years later, it has plumbing, a secret set of what we call murder stairs beneath the shower and an endless stream of problems.

A money pit, really.

Bukowski would hate me, but we’d have some good times. We could talk about cats.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 415 words, novel: Father Lightning

lazy sunday

Why not? We’re on the tail end of COVID, tired after a long journey, trying to get back into the swing of normal life.

Writing. Reading. Comics. That’s all I really need. Exercise and meditation for the body and mind. Music for the spirit. Cooking as an alternate outlet for creativity and experience.

Anything else is gravy. Movies, television, video games, sex, travel, other various storytelling mediums… gravy.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2326 words, novel: Father Lightning

the rolling stones

Is there any band that’s been as good as long? Are they the best band ever? I might debate that, but anyone who can go as long as they have, through as many iterations and styles and still, well, be as cool as Mick Jagger and somehow seemingly alive as Keith Richards?

Damn, son. That’s some hoodoo right there.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 314 words, comic: Bike #1

the mungk – playlist

There is an intimate connection between storytelling and music, and for me, having a random selection of music in the background while I write or edit often turns transcendent, as the universe and Winamp’s randomly ordered songs demonstrate repeated instances of synchronicity.

Sometimes, songs come along that so perfectly fit the moment that I will forever associate them with that particular scene. Other times, as I’m building a “final” playlist for the story, I have to hunt and peck. Sometimes, it’s driving down a highway, when I hear a song that would fit a particular emotion or situation and I think, yeah, that one, when I get around to writing that particular thing.

Anyway, here’s the final, fairly short, playlist for The Mungk, itself a novella.

The House In The Country: Julian Plenti – Skyscraper
The First Appearance Of The Mungk: Alice Cooper – Welcome To My Nightmare
We’ll Get You A Nightlight: The Who – Helpless Dancer
What Does That Mungk Do?: Nirvana – Drain You
Cracks: L7 – Crackpot Baby
The Doctor: Snow Patrol – Run
Goodbye, Alice: Violent Femmes – I Know It’s True, But I’m Sorry To Say
Alice Aftermath: Billy Talent – Living In The Shadows
The Fight: INXS – Never Tear Us Apart
Bumps In The Night: The Rolling Stones – Have Your Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadows?
The Power Goes Out: Tragically Hip – Frozen In My Tracks
The Storm: Bruce Springsteen – Your Father’s House
Storm Aftermath: Beck – Morning

Target: 1200 words
Written: 81 words, poetry: Roses And Violets


Sometimes, a song hits you so perfectly for a moment, a scene, an idea, that it’s like stepping into a whole blank universe inside you, a wondrous galaxy of joy or mania or sadness.

I like to make playlists for the things that I write, particularly the very long things, and sometimes, as you’re writing, or when you’re out driving around and you hear a song, it fits so damn well with what you’re creating that you can’t help but forever associate the two going forward.

And so here I am, with a child lost, and all I’ve got is Snow Patrol, who, ironically, has now contributed two songs to major moments in my life, one pure bliss and love, the other, loss and pain.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 1576 words, novella: The Mungk


I know it’s not cool for me to say as a grown-up grunge, punk and alternative kid, but I love a good blockbuster.

The thing is, to me, sneering at the popular is only useful as long as the popular is actual tripe. The fact of something’s popularity is absolutely no indicator of quality, but it’s also not entirely a reliable indicator of a lack thereof either.

Breathing is popular, and I think there’d be few people who believe breathing is bad. Chocolate – popular. Fucking wonderful.

There are great bands, great movies, great games and shows and books that are wonderful. The Shining is a huge selling book – and it was amazing. I love a good Marvel movie.

The fact is, it doesn’t have be high art. It can follow the hero’s journey or a standard plot. The trick is to do it well, don’t pander too much and take the time to develop the characters and situations.

Not all popular things are bad, and not all unpopular things are instantly cool. Sometimes, they’re unpopular for a reason.

Anyway, I liked Avatar: The Way Of Water, same as the original, and even though I understand James Cameron is kind of a prick, I, for one, really appreciate his environmentalism, and his willingness to think big.

Anyway, if that makes me uncool, so be it. I also like Local H, Lou Reed and Modest Mouse. I read obscure indy comics and classics by Jules Verne and Farley Mowat. I think stoicism is cool. Elizabeth Bear.

I’ve heard just about every Who and Rolling Stones song a hundred times. Same for the Beatles. Same for Nirvana, Green Day, NOFX and Bad Religion. The Hip are my religion, right next to Taoism.

My point is, limiting oneself by how popular or “cool” something is is limiting how you see it, leaving you judging it through the lens of what’s being told to you about, instead of its actual value. Ignore the size of the thing; try and enjoy it for what it is. If it’s shit, it will let you know.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 503 words, novella: The Mungk

pennyroyal tea

Started my morning with Vapour Trails, Ben Harper and Pennyroyal Tea. It’s funny how when you listen to things like this, you’re reminded of just how bad some of the music on the streams actually is. It’s all so generic. There are a few standouts – I’m partial to Alessia Cara’s Here, because as an introvert, I feel that in my gut, and I’ve been there. Tate McRae’s You Broke Me First has something to love and yes, even Driver’s License. True heartache is always a winner.

Where I draw the line is pure aggrandizement that doesn’t include anyone else, or faux “I like the simple things” that are really just masks for regressive thinking and politics. So you know… country. My dislike of the former rules out most rap, and all Kanye. The whole gigantic ego thing… well, I think we’ve all had just about enough of that for a long, long while (cough, cough, Donald, cough, cough, Elon). I was never on the bandwagon, so I guess I never got off. I don’t mind Jay-Z, though I’m not in the “Beyonce Is Everything” camp.

Snoop seems cool. Like a very chill dude you could hang with and have a great time, but who wouldn’t bullshit you at all. Like the Dude or Jimmy Buffett, if the Dude or Jimmy Buffett was into gangsta rap.

Anyways. Nirvana was the jam. Foo Fighters still is. The Weight is my favourite chill song. So be it.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 389 words, novella: The Mungk