Posts Tagged ‘personal shit’

Hey friends,

(trigger warning: completely unwarranted personal shit)

I try to put these kinds of posts up before I disappear for long spells, but sometimes I don’t see them coming. I have a new writing job, which has taken up some of my creative energy lately. I’ve also been searching for additional work which takes up some more time.

I wish I could say I’ve been working on descent like crazy or that the new channel is almost ready to launch or that it’s been the travelling this summer or I got distracted with a new book or some other glorious something has taken up all my time.

But the real reason I haven been posting is I’ve been dealing with a fairly rough bought of depression. It’s something I don’t talk about much, but it has had a very real effect on my life. Though it has probably saved my life at least once, I don’t like being on medication. When it comes to therapy, I’ve had some bad experiences and, frankly, I’m a terrible patience. Instead, I try to use a few failsafes that help me white knuckle my way through the worst of it. This system involves disconnecting from a lot of media and internet and spending time doing a lot of active stuff like exercise, writing fiction, dancing, being with friends. Everything that actually makes me feel better but, is still hard when it take so much effort to leave your bed and not physically harm yourself.

Anyhoo, I’ve already written and put things in the queue for the next week or so and I’ll be travelling which means I’ll be doing even more writing than usual. Tomorrow I’ve got a few updates to post then it should be business as usual.



Trigger Warning: boring personal shit

I meant for this post to be short ‘out of office’ message to explain where I am, but I figured halfway through I could use it as a short something to cover a few things.

First, no posts this week due to technical difficulties. My computer didn’t so much as die as suffered a serious stroke.
[For any of you technically inclined, I have a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro which was visited by what turns out to be a fairly common problem with the model, affectionately named ‘the Lenovo Prince of Darkness’. It’s not under warranty so I’m trying to find a work around]
I didn’t want to write posts by phone and just for a fun turn of events, Delphi’s computer lost use of a portion of her keyboard and now she resorts to a point and click keyboard app, which I am just not patient enough to do. I’m trying to keep my first world problems in perspective.

This has set everything back a bit. Posts are delayed about a week, but I hope to have a few out soon in short succession to make up for it. Work on the book is now a little more behind because I hadn’t backed up the master copy for two weeks. Mostly what it delayed was work on the video project because I needed the screen and camera to work and had hoped to get rolling with that this week.

I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get the pc working again. I need some new hardware just to figure out what’s wrong and then may have to order new parts, none of which I can really afford right now, so I’m at the grin and bear and focus on something else stage.

On the upside, a friend was able to pull my files off the hard drive and I got an old computer functioning again [I was so close to throwing the thing away. Among other reasons I did away with it, it has no battery, so for now I have to stick next to an outlet.]. I can at least get some work done.

As far as the book goes, I have to be honest, I’m not going to make the very ambitious release date for which I had hoped, but I made significant progress in the past few weeks and I’m happy with where it stands. I really want to tell you what all that consists of, but can’t because spoilers.

I read my short story, “Goddamns and Sex”, at an event this weekend to what I think was the biggest live audience my fiction has ever had and it went really well. Enthusiastic, positive feedback and a desire for more. So there’s that.

I also thought I’d use today’s post to show off some pictures from last December:

The old PC I’m using next to the book:


Covering the first wall on day 1:


There were these guys to keep me company:


Sneak peak reveals the names of a few characters:




what my notes look like/why it takes awhile to turn it into something readable (spoilers…sort of):



Some of you older followers may know that my first post of the year is sometimes a list of books I plan on reading. We’re a little over a month into 2015 so I thought I’d put up this year’s version which puts me four months ahead of last year and I’m only about three weeks behind on doing the actual reading.

For the selection process this year I did something a little different. In the past I’ve just sat down and scrawled out a list of books that came to me off the top of my head. I have a tendency to forget what they were and instead read a bunch of other random shit and by then end of the year I’m writing a nearly identical list as the one previous (I’m not going to post the link, but if you want to dig through the archives you can compare the last few years of them, please don’t).

The first year I put 52 of them on the list thinking one book per week made sense. Since then I’ve culled that number and tried different ways of figuring out what is a reasonable reading goal for a year. This go round I have something a little less abstract in mind.
One shelf

[Trigger warning: I’m about to talk about the arranging of books for a few paragraphs, you may want to skip ahead]

I thought of it after I got a crate of books out of storage in Texas and had to rearrange my bookshelves (also a new addition to my office).  When you move an average of three times a year, throwing stuff out or giving it away or just leaving it behind becomes more and more appealing. Bookshelves are out of the question and heavy as fuck boxes of books are not the easiest thing to schlep about. For an avid reader like myself, this separation brings about a special Sophie’s Choice style of agony. I limited myself to one box of books. the ones that made the cut fell into the following categories: Reference (things I read bits of often for whatever reason, like Grimm’s Fairy Tales or The Bible), A-list Favorites (those things you can reread at anytime in any mood; you can quote them extensively; start them at any point, and they’ll make you happy. For me these are things like, All the Pretty Horses, Ender’s Game, American Gods, and Cat’s Cradle), and Aspirations (things you own and absolutely, positively, will read very soon, even if you don’t. Those for me were, The Master and the Margarita, A Farewell to Arms, and Grapes of Wrath).
When I moved into The Blanket Fort (my new place), I cleared out a family members attic for furniture and ended up with three bookshelves, shelves that were mostly empty when after my first few weeks. I went to Texas for Christmas and pulled a bunch of the books out of storage and asked my mother to send what she could to me later. Since then every month or so I get a small box full of books to fill my shelves.
The problem with the shelves though is that the heights are irregular. They’re fixed and I don’t feel too much like boring out new settings to readjust the height (not now at least, though every time I rearrange them I think I might have to do that sometime this summer)they’re three levels apiece and the top of each is arched so larger books will fit dead center but not much farther off. So setting them up by category didn’t really work (this shelf is all plays except for the five volumes that are collections of plays those are across the room). Then a friend of mine who was over drinking and watching me spend 4 hours arranging and rearranging, told me her books were divided into books she’s read and books she en’t.

which got me thinking.

I look back on books I’ve read like a journal. what I’ve underlined or notes scrawled in the margins. Not just the stories but the objects themselves tell a story, one only I understand because it’s one written in the black spaces between lines and at heading of each chapter.
I remember exactly when I read  House of Leaves because I had a tiny room with a desk and sat on the twin bed built into the wall and shut off all the lights except the clip on lamp that shone directly on the pages and the whole world outside those twisted coloured words disappeared. I read On The Road while on a train from Amsterdam to Antwerp then finished it on the way to Florence and was out of reading material and had to ask my friend whom I was visiting to borrow something for the trip back to Cork. He gave me Soul Music my first Discworld novel.
My copy of Ender’s Game has an inscription in the front cover, it was from someone who felt I needed it at the time and I was getting my ass kicked in the locker rooms at school on a weekly basis. It was the first book that made me reread it immediately after  I finished it and I don’t know how I would have survived middle school without it.
Sophie, my girlfriend at the time, gave away part of The Sun Also Rises which very much tinted my reading of it. Spring, senior year, and we broke up by prom so that narrows it down.
I read Grendel with a south African accent in my head because it was given to me by a teacher after I turned in a story that reminded him of it. I went straight outside and lay down on the grass and started in on it until dinner.

After sorting them this way, I found the stack of ‘books I haven’t but have strong desire to read’ filled just about one shelf.
One shelf of books, I like the sound of that. It’s a solid amount. now my books will be sorted with a system called my life. The card catalog will be my memory


Anyhoo, here’s this year’s list:

[note: I didn’t feel like typing anymore, so I’m in my office, dictating the contents of the shelf to the computer, I trust you’ll enjoy the interpretations]

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail of 72 – Hunter S Thompson
The Ginger Man – JP Donlevy
Trigger Warning – Neil Gaiman*
The grapes of wrath – John Steinbeck
Dracula – Brahms Stoker
Grendel – John Gardner
As ever – Allen Ginsberg and Neil Cassidy
Rum diary – Hunter S Thompson
Peter Pan – J and Barry
Stranger in a strange land – Robert a Heinlein
Pulp – Charles B Caskey
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Iron weed – Will yam Kennedy
The stranger – come out
Sudden fiction – various
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Jailbird – Kurt Vonnegut
Bell cantor – and Pratchett
Wizard of yurt see – Ursula K Le Guin
Blind Willow sleeping woman – Harkey Murakami
God bless you Mr. Rosewater-  Kurt Vonnegut
The handmaidens tell – Margaret Atwood
Joan of arc – mark Twain
Sometimes a great notion – 10 Cassie
The Master and Margarita – Macayo Boga cough
A clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Strange wine – Harlan Ellison
The Dharma bums – Jack Karabakh
Travels with Charlie – John Stein back
White noise – Don Julio
A farewell to arms – Ernest Hemingway
Such a – Cormac McCarthy
Trainspotting – Irvine welsh
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest – can Cassey
seize the day – Saul Bello


*Trigger Warning is not actually on the shelf. apparently I preordered last year. I got particularly drunk with my flatmate who brought home a growler full of Manhattans. I don’t remember much, I’m told I spent most of the night singing “Black Velvet Band” over and over. But in the morning it was morning, there were two hundred dollar Amazon gift cards in the trash and for the next few months I received irregular surprises from the fairies of the interwebs the latest of which was Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman & the latest edition of Saga.

** I want to throw American Splendor on the list as well for reasons I’ll mention next post, but it doesn’t fit on the shelf due to it’s size & as a result doesn’t have a place in the order, but it will be in the first third I think due to temporal issues.


Post Script, If I end up in Grad school, this list gets shot to hell

So I’m done applying to SAIC, just waiting for a late letter of rec (yes, professor Beardsley I’m calling you out & I don’t feel bad about it, cause I’m out of my wits wondering if it will come it).*

Live has hit a weird slow down. I feel a bit rudder cut with the application done. There so many moving parts to project madness it can be a bit overwhelming in a seeing the snowflakes for the avalanche sort of way

Delphi has been good at keeping some of that insanity at bay

She’s assisting in the transcription process & I’m only a little behind schedule. In the meantime the Dirty Old Man coffers are running low so I’ve been back on the market for a day job once more

I should be resuming a regular posting schedule soon which I believe will come out to twice per week.



*as of this posting Professor Beardsley has sent in his letter of recommendation and all is well in the world. I am told the delay had something to do with a lodging dispute in London, a spot of Sino-interrogation (Chinese water torture).

Suffering a terrible dental malady, he felt himself in poor form to write a letter for me enough things about me under the influence of copious amounts of pharmaceuticals

SAIC has assured me that upon receipt of the extracted tooth they will extend some lenience of the tardiness of the letter

Hey all,
I’ve been gone for two weeks (at least, when I first started writing the post it was two weeks) now and though I would check in

The first week I was gone for Descent into Madness. If you don’t know what that is, check it out here.
Which so far has been a success
I’m tempted to turn the stream back on during the editing process, my typewriter seems suddenly lonely without you. I’m about to be gone for another five days (now passed) to be with family for the Christmas.
All my effort has been in the kickstarter and grad school application so I’ve not created any new content for you here.
Though if you want to keep track of what’s going on with the Madness Project, you can check it out on the KS page. I’ll be reposting some of the stuff here though as well.

Hopefully there will be some other projects to talk about soon, but it won’t be happening till at least the end of January so.
I’ll try to keep throwing stuff up here, but regular posting probably wont resume until at least the fifteenth which is when all my deadlines will be passed.

Running the Kickstarter took a lot more social energy than I thought, so I’m kinda snapping back n forth from one extreme to another.

January will hopefully be finding my way back up to some kind of balance. In the meantime I continue this process of self-hypnosis that begins everyday with the rhythm of the typewriter, though I can’t seem to get myself out of bed till almost noon most days.
Everything is coming to a head and while I am overwhelmed and anxious, I do not feel afraid.
My new flat is wonderful and I have a ‘place of my own’ as Virginia Wolfe once put it.
The people I live with are fantastic. I’m in a relationship for the first time that is healthy, stable, fulfilling, and in proper use of the oxford comma.
Money is tight as has most often been the case for the past couple years, but for once I find myself genuinely optimistic about the future.
I wish you all a very happy and wondrous new year



So in all of my chit chat rattle brag about the kickstarter and how it’s going, I noticed that while I’ve talked about it I never actually posted to here what it is. Well, time to remedy that:

It’s called Descent Into Madness 

This winter to celebrate my birthday I’m doing something drastic with my work. Something new.

And I want you to be a part of it.

Over the course of seven days, I’m going to lock myself in an unfamiliar room with my typewriter and cover the walls with words. I don’t know what the work is going to be exactly, because I’m making it for you.

I’m turning writing from something solitary and distant into a performance. I want to see how a writer holds up when they come out from the protection of their caves and have to do their job in front of the people who read them.

By patronizing this project, you will be able to watch this happen and be part of it all. You can buy the book that will come from it, original pages, For my top patron I’ll even get a tattoo of your initials to commemorate the project.

Welcome to the creative process. Watch the madness ensue.

Plus you’ll get to see me dance…


all it takes is 2$. that’s it. two bucks get you a seat at the show. 10$ and you get to join in.

yes you can always throw in more. but If every one that subscribers to this blog were to donate 5$ the project would have full backing at this point. and I’d much rather have you lot there with me at five a pop any day over a precious few throwing in more.

I hope you all will join me





* the video is supposed to start at 3:05, but I can’t figure out how to make that happen, so feel free to skip ahead to that point. or not. I love this frackin movie.




In the small town where I went to school there was a fraternity house called The Estate. Above the entrance to The Estate was a sign which read: There’s No Shame in Being Shameless

Today marks the launch of my kickstarter, this year’s nano, and in the very near future the video companion channel for this blog on YouTube. (Depending on what I have gotten done by the time this post goes up. Yes, I often write posts in advance, sometimes weeks ahead of time)

It’s a lot to handle

and I’m going to be straight with you. for the rest of the month many of the posts here will be works of pure shameless self-promotion. Those things that are not about the new projects will all probably have some sort of please help tag embedded in there somewhere.

This is something I am not very good at. I grew up with a strong need to be self-reliant and the belief that asking for things, especially money was somehow dirty and wrong and shameful.

I run down my list of people I might be able to turn to, but it doesn’t feel right asking anyone.

I would feel vulgar asking former coworkers and colleagues and employers. It seems somehow unprofessional.

I think. I can’t ask my friends. They give me so much every day. They give me inspiration and love and make my life survivable. I make my art FOR them I can’t ask them for things I would give freely of myself any day.

I certainly can’t ask my rich friends because then I seem like a moocher who only keeps them around because they might be useful. I can’t ask my poor friends because I know what it is like to be poor and say in my head, no I can’t come to your show tonight because it’s 30 bucks a ticket and it’s that or eat today and SNAP doesn’t cover theatre tickets, but fuck it, I have a packet of ramen and an egg left in the pantry and that will just have to do.

So who? Strangers? Where do I find them? And when I do, how do I not feel slimy, like a used car salesman seeking them out and conning them into patronage.

Last week, Amanda Palmer just came out with a new book, the art of asking. it’s an expansion of her ted talk and I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet but I did watch the talk some time ago and today, reading her tweets about the new book, I watched it again.

I’m taking some advice from her. I am determined to start asking the month and to not feel shame in being shameless about it.

At midnight tonight this thing goes live (UPDATE FROM THE PRESENT: so I got a little trigger happy and it actually went live 2 hours ago,). When this gets posted, I will be at a Halloween incessantly checking my phone to see how many views or comments or backers I’m getting. And I am fucking terrified.


So this is it. This is me asking for help.

Tonight, I’m Jumping