back to the thing

To the work. Father Lightning is proceeding well. A first draft (aka, an excessively detailed outline) is almost done. Just a couple of scenes left to write (including the last scene, which I’m going to write three ways and see what feels right).

Then, onto the editing phase, which is always a delight.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 689 words, novel: Father Lightning


I’m having difficulty focusing. I know we’re going away this weekend, and I’ve only just caught up on all the stuff I missed while galavanting around France, and I don’t want to fall behind again.

As always, I yearn for the simple life. One where all I do is read, write and cook, with the occasional bouts of meditation and healthy exercise, a trip or two, some nice sex and a close-knit group of non-judgmental, drama free friends and family.

Pipe dreams, all. Living the dream is an illusion. People will always let you down. Life will always intrude. Happy lives are for rom-com movies and bad TV shows.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1648 words, novel: Father Lightning

less productive

It’s weird how being in the office has had no effect on my productivity; save for the things I do for myself in a day. What a world we would have if we cut out all the unnecessary bullshit and let people do the things they love, and celebrate them for it.

No working for a dollar. No rock ‘n’ roll pros, playing for the lawyers, as Local H would say.

Just people playing on whatever they want, without judgment, only help and support.

No more assholes. No more soul crushing work. No more cruelty.

Just a life of kindness and support.

What a fucked-up world that would be, isn’t it? The fact that you’re (and by extension, me) are already thinking it’s impossible shows just how far we have to go, and how much better we could be.

It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Protopia is better than utopia, any day. Incremental improvement is still improvement; the only sin is being so far jaded that the effort becomes impossible, instead of inevitable.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 328 words, novel: Father Lightning

office day

For the first time in what feels like forever, I have to work out of the office. I’m not sure exactly what that’s going to do for the rest of the things I want to do in a day, but I guess before and after work, I’m going to have to be more focused and do less in the way of relaxation tasks like video games.


Working sucks.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 1421 words, novel: Father Lightning


And grocery shopping. Basically, all I can do today. All in all, I thought I did a pretty good job of keeping it together at work and getting things done.

Surprising after the brain fog of the last few days. Work continues on the novel as well, a little, so take that, COVID.

I can still do shit, even when I’m sick. Norovirus was worse.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 257 words, novel: Father Lightning

last day before la franchia

Forgive my Night Vale.

Hopefully, all this strike business is settled while I’m out of country, so I don’t have to worry about hitting the picket lines after hours or whatever. At least I was code one and therefore, got to work.

It’s not that I oppose the union’s aims (hey, I could use more money and the ability to work from home permanently), but I’m not a joiner. It’s not in my nature to show solidarity without question.

I’m a devil’s advocate. It’s core to my being to constantly question everything, to look for alternate perspectives, as many as I can, so I can harmoniously bring them together and see which one has the stink of reason about it, and how that can be combined without other such smells to create something true.

And often, there’s no one truth. One person’s hero can be another’s villain and so on. A brilliant creative mind can also be a terrible human being. Genius and asshole are by no means exclusive.

So, I will let others decide this one, and try to simply focus on enjoying France, and doing my job, and working toward my career as an author.

Sorry if that seems callous in the face of union solidarity, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to blind fervor in anything but the pursuit of happiness and health. For everyone, if possible. For as many as we can, in whatever tiny increments, if not.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2742 words, novel: Father Lightning

on strike

Well, not me, but my union is on strike. I’m considered code one, which I guess means business as usual for me. Honestly, I’m fine with that. Working normally and leaving for France, or getting partial pay, and having to spend my days tromping on a picket line?

I’d rather keep working.

My life has been through such upheaval over the past year, the kind thing to do for myself is allow myself time to relax and not stress about things. Stressing about whether or not I’m going to get enough money to cover food this week doesn’t sound like it’s conducive to that.

I support the union and its aims, as inflation has made the cost of living so much worse, but I still feel like I dodged a bullet. I’m not sure I have the bandwidth for all that at this point. I need a long break, without the constant at-at-at, just to find some way to find some semblance of a head on straight.

And then, we can get back to the business of justice and equality and all that good stuff.

For now, I hope it works out for the union; I hope it works out for taxpayers. I hope it works out for everyone.

That’s really what I hope for everyone in every situation involving injustice or inequality or general unfairness.

Sadly, I am oft disappointed. If I weren’t, Donald Trump would be in jail, Pierre Poilevre wouldn’t be anywhere near politics and Vladimir Putin would be suffering tremendously as his people ran free.

Such is not the way of the world, so it is imperative on me to make my little piece of it as bearable and kind-hearted as possible. I would not contribute to the insanity; only to the hugs in the midst of the madness.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 152 words, novel: Father Lightning

not my sunday

I started this morning with a meditation on stress triggers, which had me visualize stressful situations from my past and think of ways to better confront. Unfortunately, I already know what needed to happen in those situations and how to avoid them, so all I ended up doing was rehashing how shitty the situation was.

It’s put a bit of a damper on the morning, but I’ve decided: fuck it.

Those assholes don’t have any power over me that I don’t give them. We’ve nothing to do with each other anymore, and their lies and bullying have long since come back to bite them in the ass, costing them their jobs, their reputation (what they had of one) and from the sounds of it, legal fees from suing, using the same lies, all unprovable except in their own heads.

Hilarity. One can only hope karma and justice are real things. I don’t believe in an afterlife, but I’m increasingly open to the idea of a reckoning when it’s all said and done.

I’m not sure that much fits with my kindness vow; my focus is on what is, in reality, not bearded white men on thrones in the sky.

So, I wish for them to discover how their behaviour negatively affects their lives and the lives of people around them, and pray they find a way to take responsibility for their actions, and work on growing as people, so maybe by the time their lives are over, they can be the kind of people people can respect, instead of the assholes they became by believing with their delusions of grandeur and inherent self-deceit about the nature of their being.

In other words, I’m choosing to forgive and let go; not for them, because forgiveness is always about letting ourselves move on, and never about absolving others of the responsibility of their sins.

My sins won’t let me go; why should anyone else’s?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2506 words, novel: Father Lightning

kindness focus

I’m trying to focus on being more kind. I’ll admit struggling with being too affected by the many sob stories I hear in my work. Sometimes, they make me angry. Sometimes, my unrelenting empathy makes me feel too sorry for them. Sometimes, they mirror my own depression and that feels worse.

I’d like to start, I think, when I get back from France, daily meditations on kindness, finding various quotes and theories on the virtue that might help guide me to a better headspace. I’d like to be remembered as a kind person, among other things. I’m not sure how much presence or focus or joviality I can muster these days, but kind, I think I can do.

It’s a good first step, anyway. Better than the fatalist views of the past, in any case. We only go around once, so why make life miserable for yourself and others? What’s the point of that?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 143 words, novel: Father Lightning

interesting lack of feelings

I should be more excited about going to France. I should be. I know. Ten days in Bordeaux and Paris, touring wine country and not seeing the Mona Lisa (again!) while at the Louvre?

I feel like I should be hyped, but I think I’m so wallowed in my present exhaustion to get excited. It’s like that for all travel now. No interest. No anticipatory glee. Only a grudging willingness to pack and a curse that this is going to mean no down time for the new future.

I’ve rarely remembered being so tired as I have in the last year. From the psychotic stress of the last job, to the intense learning period of the new one, to unhealthy and/or dying parents and pets, COVID, Donald Trump and the negative news cycle, to competing with depression for the ability to do or remember anything properly, it’s been one long trial after another, and while travelling to another country sounds like a great way to get away and will I’m sure be fun, it also means I won’t get much done while I’m gone. It will be a lot of walking and moving and eating, and probably acid reflux, and I will come back as burnt out or more than when I left. What I need is a few days of routine; of relative ease.

A long weekend where we don’t do anything but read, write, play video games and maybe enjoy a beer or two and some good, relaxing, playful sex.

Perfect, right?

Far better than returning to the Louvre after 30 years to find out that it’s not fucking open on the only day you can go, which is almost worse than when you went as a teenager on exchange and the Mona Lisa was “closed for cleaning”, because at least there’s a lot of other cool stuff to see. Good thing it’s overrated, or I’d feel worse about that. Picnics in the park, anyone?

Maybe I’ll go find Jim Morrison’s grave again. Or will that be closed as well?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 41 words, novel: Father Lightning