needing to move on

It’s funny – I used to think when I took on a project, I’d take its theme to heart almost immediately and be like, look at me! I know how to think and behave!

But that’s never the way it works out. I didn’t gain immediate freedom from trauma and life’s various aggressions from The Mungk; I’m not gaining the intimate knowledge of kindness from Father Lightning.

I have understood how hard life can beat you down since I finished The Mungk.

That gives hope that maybe when Father Lightning is done, the transition to a man of kindness and understanding as a logical way of life will be complete.

Of course, it’s all work.

And progress need be made before it can be said to be true.

Nothing is given; everything is earned.

Target: 1500 words
Written: 1523 words, novel: Father Lightning

forward movement

I think The Mungk really fucked me up. I always think each book will teach me a little something, to give me time to explore a subject and really think it through.

The Mungk was about trauma, big and small, and how it can utterly destroy a person if they don’t work through it, and just keep repeating the same behaviour in various forms over and over. There’s a mindlessness to it, a lack of introspection that works (in my opinion) to really show how completely derailed life can be by allowing trauma to drive the train.

Father Lightning was meant to provide the opposite, an exploration of kindness in the face of bad shit, and while it’s doing that, it’s not here.

I meant to write about it in these pages, but instead, I’m just telling you how much life sucks, little snippets to say I wrote something that day.

That’s changing.

I am going to make more of an effort in this blog to really document how things are going. The Mungk may have destroyed lives in its blind fatalism; Father Lightning will serve as a way out. A glimmer of hope. A path forward.

Then again, no one’s ever truly reviewed the books I’ve written, so yeah.

They could be piles of shit.

Killing the ego is everything; denying all value is not.

Target: 1500 words
Written: 1427 words, novel: Father Lightning

sad times

Too many lately. Death after death, tragedy after tragedy.

The pandemic brought everything to a grinding halt; coming out of it has felt like being thrown into a meat grinder.

I thought I was down during The Mungk; daily meditations on trauma and fatalism being a big part of that. Thinking about kindness has only caused me to realize how small a part of the world it’s become.

I blame Trump, Putin and all the other right wing motherfuckers; propagating constant lies amidst a firehose of misinformation, killing rational thought and reasonable behaviour in a fiery torment of unreal anger and radicalization.

I think I’m going to have to start looking harder. Either that or go it alone. Hell, it worked for Jesus, didn’t it?

Wait. Did it?

Okay, Ghandi maybe. Wait. Him too?

Martin Luther King? John Lennon?

Jesus, being kind is a violent racket.

Target: 1500 words
Written: 2642 words, novel: Father Lightning


This time last year, I wrote about learning about kindness. That wouldn’t truly start until almost February, despite my protests to the contrary. 2022 would end up being a real bugger of a year, followed by a real bitch of a start to 2023.

2023 isn’t shaping up great in the first half, but the farther I go, the more I realize there’s no turning back, only giving up.

And since this is it, this is all we have, then that doesn’t really seem like a great option.

Since this time last year, I finish my novella The Mungk, wrote a couple of poems (one of which was published), a four issue crime comic (unpublished) and a trio of short stories (also unpublished). I’m working on my first full-length novel – a horror about kindness.

I’ve read more than seventy-five books, roughly fourteen hundred comics, and take ten minutes daily to meditate. I’ve built up my exercise regime, although it’s not helping my waistline, which is definitely bigger than this time last year. I’ve tried over two hundred new recipes. Listened to almost four hundred albums.

Life’s weird.

Here’s hoping forty-six runs a lot smoother than forty-five.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1423 words, novel: Father Lightning

making a better effort

I know, I know. If The Mungk was all about the impact of trauma in our lives and how it can suck any joy out of it, Father Lightning was supposed to be about kindness.

The same, but opposite.

I’m not doing a very good job with kindness these days.

I suppose the process of The Mungk was about understanding how trauma and the crush of life can negatively impact me. It was a discovery.

Perhaps then Father Lightning isn’t about being kind; it’s about discovering kindness altogether.

The end result of The Mungk was to understand what my starting point was; what I don’t want my life to be.

The end result of Father Lightning? Discovering kindness. How to be kind. Kind to myself. Kind to others.

Do better, man.

You can, you know.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1509 words, novel: Father Lightning

first draft kindness

That’s not the name of the book. If you’ve been paying attention to my running total as I meet and miss targets every day (achieving the overall target, I should point out), it’s Father Lightning, and I just managed to finish the first draft.

As with all first drafts, it sucks.

It does also, like all good first drafts, behave like the most detailed outline one could write, and it laid out bare all the weakness and plot holes and missing plot points and opportunities for character growth and change that a basic outline never could.

Tomorrow begins the unenviable task of figuring out just exactly where I fucked up, and creating draft after draft to fix all the mistakes that inevitably live in this draft, until it resembles something cohesive and worthwhile.

Because that’s the point.

It’s not enough that it’s written well. If it doesn’t suck you in, make you feel, make you think and take you somewhere you didn’t know you wanted to go (or maybe somewhere you didn’t, but the emotional impact exists anyway), well, then, hell. You’re not doing your job.

The Mungk was a fatalist screed, short and sweet existential terror encompassed in a young boy and the monster under his bed.

This is an screed of institutional kindness, and what that actually fucking means.

What is true kindness?

Well, that’s what this story aims to find out.

At least, it’s a starting point, like all first drafts.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1277 words, novel: Father Lightning

personal change

The fact is, I have to change. While I was busy wallowing in The Mungk, the realization that maybe I wasn’t helping myself was slowly germinating in my brain, and I couldn’t get rid of it.

And unlike in the past, I couldn’t just chuck it all and start over, incrementally fucking myself as I went back to the drawing board, once again.

Finally, I feel on a path forward, though I have a long way to go as far as making my dreams happen. But… progress.

I feel like the current place to focus was with kindness, because after the fatalism of The Mungk, who couldn’t use a little kindness in their lives?

And let’s be honest. As things to work on, things to bring more into this world, kindness, I would imagine, ranks fairly high in our list of needs, especially currently. Who could truly argue that kindness is a negative, without revealing their own wicked and revolting nature (cough, Marjorie Taylor Greene, cough)?


Let’s be anti-Marj, and treat the people around us with some respect and kindness, instead of vitriol and hatred.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 129 words, novel: Father Lightning

when the morning comes

I’ve been treating this blog like a journal of misery, with the occasional note about writing. The Mungk has a tendency to do that to you. It was fatalist. Depressing. Overwhelming in its hopelessness.

This phase, which started probably about a month and a half ago, is intended to be better, around the time I moved on from The Mungk.

I’ve decided that I need to explore kindness. Going forward, I’m going to focus on finding the kindnesses in my life, and to dedicating myself to demonstrating a kindness in keeping with my beliefs.

There’s only one reason not to be kind, and that’s to tell an unfortunate truth. And even then, it must be done in the kindest terms possible. Direct, but kind.

And if that ain’t a credo for a good life, I don’t know what is.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 678 words, novel: Father Lightning

well, that kicked my ass

In a final bout of revenge, my body shut down completely last night. At the tail end of a brutal year, my body decided it need to go straight to hell. I’ve been tossing and turning with a bloated stomach, extreme fatigue and ultimately, a feeling like I’d gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson, and all he did was work the body. I slept from six last night until past noon today, my body alternating between a cold it could not get rid of, even with a heating blanket, to a fever that didn’t go away.

I intended today’s post to be about my search for a little kindness in the world; instead, The Mungk beat the shit out of me.

Such is the fickle nature of life. Every time you wish to step forward, it drags you back.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 1865 words, hip little story: Forest Edge

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