Monday, January 30, 2017

Monster a Go-Go (politics)

From the film Monster a Go-Go (1965). Unrelated to the post, except
maybe as a metaphor for the savage ugliness of the last week (and
an appellation for Trump presidency thus far).

I'm a little emotionally wrung out, actually. Earlier today I forced myself to stop checking Twitter and the Washington Post for a while and numb myself with a couple episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

It was a good choice.
I don't have the stomach for even a superficial autopsy of President Trump's first ghastly week in office. My emotional state has been vacillating between disgust at his reptile-brained worldview and gasping horror at the ever-accruing evidence that we have a crazy person as our Commander in Chief. Sometimes I experience both states simultaneously. When that happens I have to close the browser and take a very long walk. At the rate I'm sucking in nicotine lately, I'll die of a heart attack before the midterm elections.

For the moment, let's focus on Trump's ideology—insofar as a bilious heap of grudges and gut feelings qualifies as a body of ideas about how the world works. You're familiar with it by now: "America First." Foreigners, particularly the non-white, non-Christian species, are job-stealers at best and terrorists at worst.  Diplomacy is a zero sum game. Things used to be better, back when only red-blooded, white-skinned men were trusted to run things, when America was booming and the rest of the world was convalescing from war, colonialism, and/or Stalinism, and when climate change wasn't a problem because nobody was talking about climate change because nobody was aware of climate change, so climate change wasn't a problem. (Returning to the latter state of affairs is precisely what the Trump administration hopes to achieve by muzzling the EPA, NASA, et al.)

So here we are. What happens now?

I'm finding plenty of cause to be afraid and a few reasons to be hopeful. For now I'd like to admire the silver lining before considering the thunderhead.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Remember back when I said I was working on a new novel-length project? Well, I've been a bit stalled out this week. Call it a crisis of confidence: the more trouble I have writing a chapter or section, the more faith I lose in myself, and the more faith I lose in myself, the more trouble I have writing that chapter or section or any other chapter or section. I've got myself in what the Romans called a circulus vitiosus (lit. "shit sandwich").

While wasting some time and avoiding writing earlier tonight, I revisited those old Moby Dick Magic: the Gathering cards I produced with Magic Set Editor a few years ago under similar circumstances. Man, most of them were really poorly designed. I'm zero for a billion tonight.

So I rethought some of them so as to keep wasting time and deferring What Is To Be Done. I hope they will waste some of your time, too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

From the freezer: no recess

Hey. Been busy finalizing a batch of short stories en masse, which means I haven't had much time to update this sucker.

When we were reviewing a few items from my catalog of abortive writing projects last month, I mentioned the possibility that I might post the first dozen or so pages of a stillborn comedic novel/novelette if things ever became stalled here. Well, I believe that time has come.

What follows is the beginning of what was going to be a much longer project. I'm one of millions who has recurring nightmares about going back to high school for some inexplicable reason, so I thought it might be fun to write a story about a scenario where it actually happens. For a while, it was kind of fun.

And then it wasn't. But I still like how it gets out the gate.