I just don’t feel like leaving my apartment today.


Nothing else to add to that. My wife and son come home from their east coast trip this evening (they’re in JFK as I write this) and the place is all cleaned up.

But I’m sick of going to the same Starbucks all the time. I’m going to break out my standing desk and try to do my work at home. Usually that doesn’t work, but the hummingbirds are out and I’m bored with the usual walk.

Also, back in my post about the end of the Twenty Palaces series, I said that A Blessing of Monsters would be complete in one volume. Turns out that’s not going to happen. It’s just spinning further and further out.

Logging off to work.

Why are they looking at me funny? Oh. Right.


For the past several weeks, people have been looking at me funny. Sometimes they grin at me like crazy. Sometimes they curl their lip. One little girl did an actual double-take just like you see in the movies.

Each and every time this happens, I think: What the hell is wrong with… Oh yeah. I forgot that I look like this: Continue reading

Empathy, Stock Art, Eye glasses, Homeschool and Booze


Let’s start with Empathy. Everyone has been having a laugh at the Forbes writer who put together the “If I was a small black child” column. It was dumb, thoughtless, and actively harmful. Obvs.

But you can rely on Ta Nehisi Coates to talk about this stuff in the best possible way. One, Two. That second link contains links to a pair of Megan McArdle articles that are also invaluable. Excellent reading.

As for me, I was a total goof off in school–smart but continually bored and prone to do stupid stuff to impress my friends (like any teenage boy). There were whole years that went by when pretty much every day I did something that could have gotten me jail time.

And no, I didn’t want to work hard. I wanted to play rpgs, get high, smash stuff, throw a carpet over barbed wire so we could swim at the pool after it closed, etc, etc.

So it’s easy to say: “If I were a…” and then imagine the path you would take to success. It’s much harder to look back at your own self and realize what a lazy screw up you were, and admit that a more difficult environment would have defeated me.

Next is stock art, which is what I need right now. I have a sword and sorcery novelette almost completely ready to publish. All I need at this point is a decent(ish) stock image for the cover. Hard part? Finding something I think is decent.

Anyway, I plan to release this particular story only through my website. Why?

Let’s move on to “Eye glasses.” My son needs them. Not just one pair, either. He needs a reading pair and a non-reading pair. Add to that the sad fact that my landlord mailed me a little something–no, it wasn’t a Christmas card. It was a notice of rent increase.

Yay! Rent increase notice right before the holiday (but not so soon before that we could budget it into our spending.

It’s not a big increase and our rent is already very reasonable. It’s just hard timing and I hope enough people will want to buy this short story that we can cushion this blow. More about the story later.

Next: you know how public school teachers will sometimes show movies in class? Guess what! His homeschool family has found an excuse for the extended editions of LOTR! Starting tonight. More on that later, too.

Finally, booze. I just bought the smallest non-airplane-sized bottle of Jack Daniels I could get. Why? Well, I don’t drink like I used to (what with the kid-having and the belly-reducing and all) but I do love egg nog. LURRRVE egg nog. And it just doesn’t seem right without a little bourbon.

Plus, I couldn’t resist that cheap German spiced wine. I actually bought two bottles of it. You know the one I mean? You warm it on the stove and drink it until you’re loopy? I don’t care if it’s crap. I love it. And did I mention I only bought two bottles? That’s some self-control right there. (Tangentially related, the store only had two bottles left).

And that’s all for today. I was supposed to write 2500 words on A Blessing of Monsters today, but after all those revisions I only managed 1500. Oh well. There’s always tomorrow.

Overdoing and Underdoing.


So I’ve been doing the Livestrong calorie/fitness counter and it’s been fine so far. I get a little hungry but nothing that makes me want to yell at my kid or whatever.

But yesterday got a little nuts. We made a run to the Staples, the boy and I, for various supplies (note to my agent if you’re reading this: yes, we bought a new phone), walking a mile and a half to get there.

After lunch, my wife came home from work early and we went to the local park. We hiked to the beach, then hiked back, over an hour and a half, which is a long way considering our various problems with our legs. We hopped over to the bus stop, all sweaty and exhausted, to wait for our ride home.

Except the driver picked us up, took us one stop, and told us he was taking a 30-minute break. We could take another bus if we wanted at this next stop, but since we weren’t going downtown that was worth fuck-all to us. We had no choice but to wait until 9pm for the bus or walk all the way home.

Let’s just say that I arrived home and realized my calorie intake was a negative number for the day. Not just below my goal: below zero.

“Oh my god,” I said to my wife. “I can eat anything I want.”

Mmm, grilled cheese sandwich with mayo and hot peppers. (840 calories)

Anyway, today will be a recovery day.

In unrelated news to my physical health but closely related to my mental health, I’m going to start an internet fast on Sat the 10th of September.

That’s right. I’ll be logging off and staying off.

I will check my emails once a day. I won’t be blogging, or reading my LJ friends list, or posting earworms on Facebook, or goofing around on Twitter. I’ll check email and allow my dropbox files to do their thing, then I’ll turn off my modem.

It’ll be a useful way to re-examine my internet habits (the way I used to when I did actual food-type fasts) and hopefully up my productivity. It’d be nice to have a little extra family time, too.

Anyway, I’m going offline to run some errands. Don’t forget there’s a Twenty Palaces spoiler thread to check out.