This image appeared in a book from 1914, called Heroes of the Dawn, about Celtic mythology. One of my brothers got me a copy of a newer edition of this book about the time I graduated from high school.

But this image.

This is a freaky image, and I love it. That shadowy figure shooting a beam of fire at this little human on the ground is identified as a sidhe, read fey or even faerie, on the Wikipedia page. But the point is that there are monsters about in lore and legend.

Of course, there are monsters in real life, but I like the literal monster. The beast. The giant. The demon.

These critters resonate with me. I’ve really liked reading about them, playing games with them, even building models of them.

Over the years I’ve reached for the monsters in my fiction every now and then, but I’ve noticed that by coming up with a rationale for the monster they become creatures still potentially capable of inspiring of awe, but much less capable of inspiring terror. Another author Paul Elard Cooley has an interesting essay about monsters elsewhere on the internet. His approach to the subject is a bit different from mine, as he seems to favor less strangeness and more horror. No surprise there for me, having read his work.

Anyway, fire-breathing fey inspired this post. But I gotta get back to my own page. My own monsters.

Thanks for reading.



I am back for what has lately been my weekly update here. I don’t like the fact things are working out this way, but it seems Monday is the only day of the week I can get my stuff together to write in this space.

I want to change that, and you will see if I am successful or not.

That said, I’ve been up to a few things over the past week.

I’ve been reading Jeff Vandermeer’s “Wonderbook” which is amazing and inspiring as a text for writers. I don’t even know how to describe it beyond it using visuals along with words to relate ideas about surviving with a creative mind, specifically as a writer. I’ve known about this book’s existence for a while, but oh boy, I did not expect it to be this powerful. I’m still only part of the way through it, but just reading this book makes me want to write.

When it comes to writing advice I prefer the toolbox presentation to the prescription of formulas. Wonderbook has that covered. For now, I give it a thumbs up, but I’m not far into it.

So, I’ve been inspired to work on writing, and have been thinking about how to proceed with the sequel to my first novel, “Hunter and Seed” as this book is still my highest seller and in one of my favorite story universes.

Also, I am editing again! The pillar universe novel is on deck for a comprehensive read-through for the first time. This is my longest novel and has a long way to go because I learned so much over the course of the year it took to write it. I’m adding a couple of scenes at different points, but I can see some others getting cut even though I usually add stuff more than take out when I edit.

Did I mention these antidepressants appear to be working? Also, I really like getting enough sleep. That seems to help too.

Anyway, that’s me checking in. Hopefully, I’ll chat with you all later this week as well.

Thanks for reading.

Wild Swings


A quick recap of some unhappy circumstances from last year.

My grandfather passed away in August 2015. At that point, I had been on anti-depressant medication for over 5 years.

I wanted to write some sort of tribute to him. Still do. I couldn’t seem to find the words, and I felt pretty bad about it. In hindsight, I think it was because it can be difficult to think about ways to pay tribute to someone who said more with action and work than language.

Anyway, I struggled with all my writing back then, and I felt trapped. I decided to try a few days without my anti-depressants and see what happened. Turns out things worked pretty well. I wrote a novel I like a good a deal and finally managed to publish a long work, that new novel, a few months later.

I also talked to my doctor about the anti-depressants. She told me that if I felt fine it would be okay not to take them, but also that the full effect of leaving the medication might not be felt for some time.

Things definitely swung back toward the end of this summer. Anyone who has read any of my posts over the past few weeks will see some major ups and downs. Swings of the emotions. And I went back to daily cycles where I started out positive, only to gradually lose hope over the course of the day.

My thoughts over the past two weeks, in particular, have been atrociously dark and ruinous. I’m sorry for all the worry.

And on top of all of this, my writing productivity hit the wall. As of now, I’ve only written roughly 120,000 words for the year. In prior years with my anti-depressants, I did double or triple that, at the least.

So, today, I took one of the anti-depressants prescribed to me again. I had a few left over from last year. We will see if this helps. I felt so rotten I was willing to try it.

I’ve sometimes mentioned to people during philosophical discussions I want a diagram for a particular symptom of absolutist thinking.

That is the image on this post. Remember the metaphor, as I should have done with my anti-depressants.

Thanks for reading.

Is Everything Nothing?

What is the point of living, given our total uncertainty of any hope of the future or logic to why we exist?

Probably, there cannot be just one answer, just as Victor Frankl concluded in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”

Frankl survived the concentration camps created by the Nazis seventy-some years ago. His wife and his family did not.

I have not been called to deal with such adversity, but every day I wrestle with a kind of existential darkness that doesn’t go away.

Is there anything, really, that matters?

I’m in counseling. I take medication. I don’t think the fact that I ask these questions can be fixed. The questions themselves are not pathological. Clearly, however, given by the means of how they inhibit my work and the enjoyment of my life, the questions of “Why?” have given rise to a set of thoughts that make it difficult to write the fiction I want to create.

When I go to counseling there are tests to take. Honest answers, every time. Allow me to a paraphrase a few of them, and my answers that take the form of a mark in the relevant box.

-Do you sometimes feel like you’d be better off dead?

I always answer ‘not at all’ to that one.

-Do you feel as though something awful might happen?

I always answer ‘not at all’ to this one as well.

Both good answers, right? However, they do not get into why I answer them the way I do.

Not at all. Not at all.

Of course, I don’t think I would be better off dead. No one knows what death means, but the simplest answer is that it is the end.

Logical thinking should lead one to prolong what we know as life as long as possible.

What’s that saying? “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”

I suppose that’s true. Partially.

Of course I don’t feel as though something awful might happen. I live with the certainty that the worst is yet to come. And some day, the worst will happen. My life, and everything I have done will end in as pointless a fashion as I have lived it so far.

That second one is the worse of the two. I may have completed the logic test of existence.

We do not know if life has any meaning or purpose. We do not know if anything we do matters, or if nothing does.

This is the ultimate conclusion of existential logic. All we know is we are, for a brief few moments of history. Each of us only knows ourselves, and the not-unreasonable inference that others are as real as we are.

However, time will cut every one of us down. Some works of art will last a few years, decades, centuries longer than their creators, but we do not know if that means anything. And in the long-run, everything made by humanity is also doomed to dissolution.

Immortality through one’s work?

Don’t make me laugh. To be sure if I did laugh, it would not be from mirth.

Why do I engage in this kind of destructive post? This kind of writing must be damaging to my mentality, of that I am fairly sure.

Yet, I have plodded back and forth to this subject. Logic is a useful tool, but not in every situation. Just look at where is has led me over and over.

Oh, I’ve heard philosophers say that at least we’re free while we live.

Shit, why didn’t I think of that? Oh, maybe because it is completely indeterminate as being fact or simple hope.

To claim your belief as fact is completely abominable is it not?

To claim your as absolutely useful is also a flawed premise, because ‘tis reason brought me to this state.

As Dead Can Dance sang, “How fortunate the man with none.”

We cannot rely on logic in an absolute sense. All absolute certainty is based in faith, and faith is so out of favor in the world right now I have felt the popular opinions weigh me down.

After all becomes nothing, what then?

What good is your science, your glory, your power, in the void of non-existence that we know awaits humanity?

I am still young, but have for years been told I often seem older. Perhaps my mental age is what leads me to this horrific conclusion. Perhaps this is a conclusion I can abide only because of the idols crafted by pundits with whom I otherwise find myself in agreement.

Make no mistake, your idols are nothing, whether they be material or mental. Thoughts are ephemeral, and ideas are as mortal as the brains that contain them.

I hate being agnostic. Is that the point of this post? I suppose it may be.

I certainly have wandered down this line long enough.

How does one make oneself believe again? How does one boot logic when it gets drunk on grief? How does a young man with a mind that has dreaded death for over a decade cope with reality?

I am not sick, except in the mind. Would that I could find a cure for a monkey mind.

Thanks for reading.

I am so sorry.

Shout Out


Please find enclosed a letter to a friend I’ve found myself missing lately.

Sir. Greatest of nerds.

You may remember I met you while trying to meet someone else. And with the other, I barely know why I bothered.

You sat down, so casually loud, abrasive, and gross talking to the girl at the table suddenly seemed like it had been easy.

I never would have guessed that you, like some heavyweight Loki to my overwrought Odin would prove a most intriguing friend. But unlike Loki, who’s friendship with the ruler of the gods would prove part and parcel of his undoing, I think I only benefited from knowing you.

My friend, however much I sometimes wished your volume was under my control, you always seemed to understand me as a parent understands a child, and that includes the part where I never appreciated it at the time.

If I’m a basket case, now I can only imagine how crazy I was then.

And yet when I tried to be mean or cruel, you told me something like “That doesn’t work for you.”

So, I’m grateful, king of nerds, for those bits of self-knowledge that broke the surface of the madness that is thine ocean.

Yeah, I’m a bit uncomfortable writing this, knowing it won’t go unseen.
I’m sitting here in the cafeteria where I first met you. And I wonder how you’ve been.

Thanks for reading.

Lightning, Rain, and Prerelease Eve



I’ve been a bit remiss about blogging after Monday in recent weeks. Well, not this week, because I have some things to talk about.

Lightning and rain marked my morning walk over the past couple of days.

But there’s far better news than interesting weather.

I am going to a Magic the Gathering prerelease event at midnight tonight. I’ve played magic on and off for years but I’ve never gone to anything like this before.

For those who do not know, Magic has these events for every new set of cards at stores around the country, and they feature the cards from the new set in a sealed-deck format tournament. Sealed means you get a limited number of cards to build a deck from (And there is no draft of cards). I think my rusty card-skills should be of some use in the competition side of things, but luck is also a big factor in what cards I am given.

Fingers crossed. And excited.

Also, I gotta get to the pages of my book. There’s fiction to be done.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and I’ll chat with you on the other side.

Rem’s Dream and Hunter and Seed are still out there in the world. If you haven’t checked either of those novels out, go get you some.

Thanks for reading.

Am, Am Not (Poetry)


Hold your nose! Poetry awaits.

* * *

I am human.

I am a writer.

I’m not a missionary.

I don’t want to preach, no matter how much I rant.

I don’t like people who act like me. What kind of complex is that?
Never mind.

I am often afraid.

I am not a coward.
Maybe that one is a little presumptuous.

I am trying to get better at what I do.

I can lose focus easily.

But sometimes I obsess about something with intensity.
I appear to have conditioned myself to feel bad after about an hour or two of this kind of focus, however.

So, let’s say I don’t wander.
What then?
But first of all how?
How do I keep the mind from traveling?
What can I do to drop my anchor?

Obstacles await. Monkeys await.

Oh, so many monkeys. So many lights that shine. So many beacons of hope brighten the Grendel hours, but what good are they if one does not walk to them. Even once you stand beneath a streetlight you cannot take its luminescence with you to the darkness between it and the next.

Beware the darkness where Grendel waits in the gray morning.
All that hatred is within him. And he will rend your limbs without light to guard you.
Legend is your warning.
Poetry your shield.
And prose your sword.

Time to don your armor, and throw down the beast. Then you may wander at will.
Without fear of the darkness.

Superhuman was Beowulf, to destroy the monster the way it killed men.

All too human, Grendel, the monster, to die from being disarmed.

Are you going to see me again, Grendel? I am no Beowulf.

And you, you are not less mortal than I. And I know this.

Because we are not separate beings, not archenemies that fight in the shadows until one of us emerges bloody and victorious and the other rests unmarked in an early grave. We are the same being.

Would killing you be murder or suicide?

Would it be justice? Would it be self-mutilation?

You see, Grendel, we both live in fear of Beowulf. The night.

Thor, the thunder.

Apollo and the sun.

And if we wage war on ourselves, weary while. Then who will pay the debt we incur?

Only the mind that. Only the heart.
Only the face we see the in the mirror the moment before it shatters from trying to contain our Gray visage.
Yet find in this insult, salvation.
For what contained in a mirror does not change over time?
For what the broken glass shows is something else, not ugliness, but hope.
The void is hope. The truth is hope that our state is not permanent, Grendel.

Perhaps, though we may never be free of each other, we may, in some hour not so distant from now, accept our connection.

And face the world as we are.

Not as I am.

Not as I am not.

Dichotomy, my friend, my monster, is on the inside.

And with it, beauty. As the cliches go, let them carry an understanding. That we are not some abomination.

No rough beast are we. Nor is anyone in humanity.

* * *

Thanks for Reading

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