"Hippie Punk Faggot"

• Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5 comments
Someone reminded me the other day of the first time I was called that in high school. I knew it was a precursor to an ass kicking if I didn't get the hell out of that hallway where it was said to me. But I was also kind of proud. Especially with the "punk" part. A few days later, someone even told me I looked a little like Joey Ramone. From my hair at the time, I'm pretty sure they meant Johnny, but as a fan, I tried my best not to be offended.

Recently BOOM! studios released a comic pretty simply titled "CBGB - OMFUG" under their BOOM! Town imprint. Pictured to the left, you can see the excellent cover by Jaime Hernandez, of "Love and Rockets" fame, and it lists the book as 1 of 4 issues due out in the next several months. Now, in a move that I'm sure will be shocking to most people, I don't follow sollicits or Previews as closely as a lot of my other comic-loving friends, which is probably a pretty serious sin for someone like me, with hopes to actually write comics someday. I guess we'll add it to the pile. I'm also not that up on BOOM!, other than knowing that Mark Waid [who wrote probably the best Captain America book ever, post-Heroes Reborn, beating Secret Invasion to the Skrull punch by literally years] will become their Editor-In-Chief next month, and that they apparently have a large selection of Muppet Comics which I should be reading.

But this. This is something different, and obviously so from their "Suggested for Mature Readers" tag over the bar code. And I have to say, it is just wonderful.

There are two stories inside issue #1, the first is "A NYC Punk Carol," written by Kieron Gillen, with Mike Ellerby on art. It's a pretty straightforward story, sort of a reliving of the history of punk via CBGBs, lighter on story, but with a lot of good information, and, what I found really impressive coming from Gillen [who, I will just say right up front, I know nothing else about], was the willingness to admit with punk rock, there are two histories -- what happened, what really happened, and why both the real and the outlandish are important to the history of a place. Which, is just brilliant. And Ellerby's art is exactly what a punk comic should be, with even the half-tone coloring making it scream "old school, upper-tier zine."

Second half is a story called "The Helsinki Syndrome," written by Sam Humphries, with art by Rob G [and let's not neglect its letterer -- James Dashiell]. Just as beautiful, little more mainstream looking, but still exactly what you want for the subject matter. I can't say much about it without giving more away, but it's absolutely wonderful, and the bartender character has a pair of the best lines ever.

This is the kind of comic book I've always wanted to read, it's one of the kinds that I hope to write one day. It is definitely a rarity in the industry, and if not for places like Newsarama or Bleeding Cool, I don't even know if I'd have heard about this coming out, and even Cheryl, of Cheryl's Comics in Kanawha City, wasn't entirely sure if it was actually going to be available -- it surprised her, when it popped up on her order form after I asked about it.

And that's the amazing thing to me. I mean, I certainly know my tastes don't run with the mainstream, but I just can't believe a book like this doesn't have a place in comics. This is the kind of comic that if it came out every single month, I would buy it every single month, no matter who was attached on the creative, hell, I'd even say no matter what the price is. If, somehow, BOOM! found a way to make this book come out weekly, or even every single day, I'd say I'd probably buy it up like it was comic book crack cocaine, until I was standing on 53rd and 3rd like Dee Dee Ramone just to pay for my habit.

Hyperbole aside, I just feel like this book, or a book like this, is such a cool idea, and even if you eventually exhausted the CBGBs subject matter, there's still the Roxy, the Astoria, Mabuhay Gardens... and there are so many knowledgeable writers and artists on the subject out there, that I can't believe you couldn't get someone like Mitch Clem as a semi-regular on the book, or Jenny Woolworth to cover the riot grrl movement. I mean, I don't know that you couldn't get someone like Donna Dresch or Marky Ramone involved in some way, or maybe even have something like a showcase for new and old bands, in genres other than just punk. I know, for instance, that Horror Rock outfit Calabrese has been working with our Modern Mythology guys on a Calabrese comic book.

All right, so maybe I'm volunteering some people for things they wouldn't necessarily be up for. But a guy can dream, right? And if there's a good writer out there who had an experience at a Leftover Crack concert who could be paired with an artist and tell a really cool story? Well, I'd pay for that. And I'm a broke-ass hippie punk faggot.

So, I guess in closing, what I'm asking, oh you few who read here, is that if Punk Rock interests you, if New York interests you, if you're into reading about the history of music, if you like comics that aren't necessarily about the things comics are about -- go to your local comic shop, and ask for a copy of this book. Right now, BOOM! proper is sold out, so lets get some demand for a reprint, or if you can't get issue #1, realize, this is an anthology book, so pickup #2 [if there is a #2... it says there's going to be a #2 on the cover], you've missed good stories, but there's no reason to miss the rest. Maybe if Waid sees the numbers up on this particular oddity, he'll put some of BOOM!'s mojo behind the book, and we can have a whole host of comics that, if nothing else, I will absolutely love.

You're all always trying to cheer me up, right?

CBGB's is edited by Ian Brill, and has a cover price $3.99. Absolutely wonderful read. Can't recommend it enough.

Authentalicious, indeed.

• Monday, July 26, 2010 2 comments
I guess along with being hot as hell, it's also been a really good season for getting postcards. This one comes from my fellow writer, and I hope I'm not overstepping by saying so, friend, Rachael Healey.


Rachael was one of those writers in school who was always on the other end of the table from me... physically, not in any sort of philosophical way. In the screenwriting class I had with her, she was working on this really amazing update/interpretation to Hamlet, which I don't want to give too much away about [because she might be pursuing it later, and it is a good, theft-worthy idea -- the greatest compliment one writer can give another, right?], really impressed me right away. And since I always felt like the writing students at Bennington were always put in kind of adversarial situations, I was never comfortable heaping all this praise on my fellows, which looking back was very, very stupid of me. The things you wish you'd said, compliments you'd given people, right?

Anyway, I got a second chance recently, as she's been working on this play which... was just a joy to read, just a really unique idea, and she asked me to help workshop it, you know, edit a little, give notes [which I really miss from college anyway]. So that was amazing. And, she helped me get back into the game, in a lot of senses, just because sometimes reading something so far from the kind of stuff you usually read or do yourself, can really motivate you. So it worked out for all parties involved.

I digress, however. Rachael is, currently, traveling the northwest as a lead-up to her stint in grad school, and was nice enough to drop me this postcard to show off one of the surprising trends of the area I still consider the Holy Land. I thought this was especially fitting, because postcards like this were quite popular around here until just a couple years ago. So much so, in fact, that it was common for people to lacquer them to blocks of wood, and set them around with their kitsch-y trinkets. Now, naturally, I couldn't dig any of these up, but to give you some idea, here's a similar sort of thing that spun out of that:


Crazy, huh? Little coincidences.

Anyway, I know I've already said it, but if you're reading, thank you again, Rachael. I don't get a lot of mail, but little things like this, from all over? Love 'em.

In other news, I know I've went a little light on the blogging lately. Most of last week went into re-writes on my previous post, and even though it's not my usual style, when I get finished with the third/fourth draft, I think I might post it again, updated. A lot of people, not just on the blog, gave me some good feedback, and I have it out there to some other people I trust with this sort of thing, and I'm hoping to get something kind of nice, and finished, and just... strong out of it. What I'll do with it from there, I'm not really sure.

Some other things... there has been some really good, interesting writing out there lately, thought I'd throw out some links. My new Twitter buddy Polly Syllabick has a great entry over on her blog "The Hitch List" about a really unfortunate subway ride. It's... an awesome read. Also, freshly posted today, Hannah Miet has a really nice story up over on her blog, titled "In Peace." And Hipstercrite beat me to a blog entry I've had in mind for a long time... no competing, since she already beat me to the best Ghostbusters joke I could think of.

And last, but not least, is this post over at The Bathroom Monologues, "Fates of the Stepdaughter." Not only do I think it's some of John's best work, but I've been carrying it around with me, rolling it over in my head all weekend. There's just so much great stuff going on with it, it's hard to put away.

“Untitled Willie Nelson Song”

• Monday, July 19, 2010 11 comments
Her favorite coat won’t button, and she’s angry with me.

She says she doesn't care that it’s the kind of weight where it’s okay to say she wears it well. She smiles, and she’s happy, and she even begrudgingly admits she likes the attention that waiting for the baby to get here brings, but she has absolutely no interest in hearing about how beautiful it makes her. She has decided, without exception, that anything said like that is a lie.

I don’t argue, though I desperately want to. I made a promise to work on that – the needling – a long time ago, and though the feeling has never completely went away, whenever I have felt it coming I have managed to push it down. Mostly. And anyway, I have no problem with accepting responsibility for the state she’s in.

I never expected it. But every time I look at her, I’m proud.

This is not the matter at hand however. We are expected out, with the family, and it is absolutely freezing and of all the things we’d planned for, a maternity winter coat had never crossed our minds. And after it was decided that my coat just would not do, we set to work in the closets, looking through the small cache of rarely worn clothes that people who have cohabited for a couple of months actually have. We come up with only handful scarves, and mittens, lots of used shoes, and coats which fit even worse. She is on the verge of tears, which considering the problem makes me want to laugh, which, in her own words, is not helping, because whether she gets angry or sad, she will still cry.

The solution I come up with is awful – but I sell it as genius, and we stand in front of the bedroom mirror while she twirls like a lantern-shaped ballerina, as I wrap one of her scarves around her middle. She laughs, complains she gets dizzy too easy, and then decides this has been a terrible idea. All I’ve done is make her fatter, she says, but I swear it will work, and fasten the end with a gauze clip and a safety pin.

Doing the latter scares me more than I will admit, as I kneel next to her for only the second time in as many months, and notice how sharp the needle on the pin looks to me. It is the first time I will remember thinking like a father, and I know it is ridiculous. Even if I wanted to – and I don’t – no damage could be done. And then I reel at the very idea of doing her and the baby that sort of harm, even jokingly, and wonder if my own father, so callous, and a flake, ever worried like this over me.

Dad. Thoughts of him do not help in this situation. Proof positive that a little prick can do so much damage.

This has to be wrong, she says, tugging at my handiwork, and almost undoing it in the process. If it’s too tight, it could hurt the baby, and suddenly our hands are tangled up, her trying to unpin herself, with me trying to stop her. Take it off, we’ll check the books, they have to say something about not doing this, about causing a compression, or stunting growth. Did I want that on my conscience – our first baby, a Conehead? Our child will never get that reference.

I laugh, which is, again, the wrong thing to do, so instead I bring up all the other near-misses, her used crib, my wobbly stroller – loving parts of childhood, designated screaming deathtraps today. Remember in college, when I shared the dorm with that sculptor, whose kiln wound up filled with lead paint? And didn’t our parents used to tell us how they’d break open thermometers, and play with the mercury?

One night, I tell her. That’s all, and then we’ll go back to the store, and find her a coat, and a dress, and a sweater, even if we do only have two more months. And she smiles again, and the tears were gone, and says she's supposed to be a feminist, and how dare I try and bribe her with clothes. But didn’t you used to say it was a risk to be stylish? And do you really want the poor girl to be cold?

Girl? She narrows her eyes, and asks what I think I know. And I say nothing, just like I’m supposed to. She turns sideways at the mirror, and tilts her head just so.

Loosen it a little, she says. Then we can go.

~

I think of all this when she hangs up the phone. I start to cry, and decide it is far too early to let go.

~

There’s salt in the air, and she says she loves it, that she could never live anywhere she couldn’t smell the ocean. And I know this is a lie and tell her as much, pointing out every time in her life it just wasn’t true.

Fair enough, she says, refusing my bait, and I get even more annoyed as she takes my arm, and lays her head sweetly against my shoulder, in a way I know shouldn’t make me angry. So I bite my tongue, and we walk along the empty coast, the only two people in the entire world, as far we both know.

A few hours later, I’m back in the bar. This beach is a transient spot; “regulars” here are just townies, and those few who stay behind keep everything running in the off-season, after all the tourists have decided to go. When I was younger, I always knew I’d end up in a place like this, one of the summer money pits that my family loved to visit on vacation, which we never got to really see after hours, or in the dark, always cramming so much into each minute of daylight, crashing hard in the hotel as the sun went down. And I always wondered if life continued there, after we left, and what that would be like to see. What was the carnival like, after it’s closed?

She loves it too, but hates my outlook, and doesn’t get why I only like the misery of it all. She said there were sunrises to enjoy, and people to meet, and seafood year round, and wasn’t that enough to make me happy? But I always end up in tourist trap bars, honkytonks that have no reason to call themselves such without a lick of George Jones in the jukebox or a single handle of George Dickel behind the counter. Jimmy Buffet was enough for me, which in the beginning I said about her too, and she would smile, and we’d hold hands as we’d fall asleep. I’d always wake up after she let go, and snake my way out of the bed and back to the bar, where I’d drink until sunset or doze in one of the corner booths.

This was our ritual for a year, but after some time had passed I began to streamline, and just hold her there, until she’d drifted away, and then I escape without sleep. And then more nights went by, and I stopped accompanying her to bed at all, and she cried at first until I reminded her she’d done the same before, when we’d tried before, and the slightest touch, my breath on her neck or kiss on her lips anywhere near the bed would drive her into hysterics. And then I’d have to sit, in the doorway, where she could see me and know it was me, as she composed herself, and repeated, like a mantra, that it was okay. It was just me. It was all going to be okay.

That I wasn’t the one who’d hurt her.

Eventually we stopped trying. She was afraid there would be pain anyway. And she told me this, thinking I would leave. I told her, honestly, that I would never want to cause her pain. That night, we kissed for hours in the living room. Later, I said it was the reason I didn’t mind sleeping there. The couch was fine.

Still, she hated that I went to the bar. In the summer, I could almost understand – the temptation was there, and I would occasionally sit next to a girl with impure thoughts and low alcohol tolerance who seemed so happy to just be studying my eyes while she slurred her words and traced her finger around the base of my thumb. And it could be hard, at times, to say no, and I even ended up once in a bathroom stall, on a particularly hot Sunday in June, with a woman from Boston who said she’d make all my dreams come true. But she’d fallen asleep in my lap before anything could happen, and had lain there so serenely that I thought of the girl who wanted to be mine, but could only hold my hand. So I left my mistake to wake up the next morning, sure she’d spent the night sick in the stall.

After that, I'd only drink alone, which in the winters was easier, but still made her just as mad. She told me, time and again, that I didn’t get it – that I was missing the point. That it was because I didn’t want to be with her. And I would fire back that I did, that it was her who didn’t want to be with me, and this would make her cry, or scream. There was even that night, when I wouldn’t let it go, that she finally broke down and swung at me – nothing serious, just a swiping blow, but with her claws out, and I bled, while she cried. And I held her, hoping this could be the catharsis that she needed, content in being her straw man if it would make it all better again. When we went back to bed, she said it was okay. As I unbuttoned her shirt, I could see her trembling, but she told me not to stop and I told her I didn’t think I could if I wanted.

But she was so tense, and bit her lip, hard, the second blood she’d drawn that night. There was no going on after that. I skipped going out, and later we watched the sun come up. And for the thousandth time she told me she was broken. And again I told her I didn’t care.

~

I apologize, and turn her down. I want to tell her this when she asks me why.

~

Sometimes I think the weirdest place I’ve ever had sex is in our own bed.

It was Saturday night and we were already exhausted. You always work from home on Friday, so that makes Thursday movie night, with five or ten of our closest friends, and even though we promised each other to only have alcohol in the house on weekends, someone always brings tequila. And we are all drunk well before Act 3, which is fine for everyone, including you and I, and on what I call ‘good nights’ our friends file out one by one and we end up tangled in each other on the couch, blissful and giggling with eager hands all over each other. Like teenagers. And the couch still feels like its occupied, still smells like our friends, and we both get a thrill, like they never left, like they are watching, approving.

Bad nights are not always really bad. But you say we’re still young and that as long as we know we’re each other’s finish line, there’s nothing wrong with a few pit stops along the way. And I am wrong to be upset with that, as there are nights when I benefit just as much as you, though deep down, I think, I only get the attention I do because you are my girl.

And you laugh at me when I say that – not about you being mine, I think, that perhaps that still turns you on, that it’s why you grip my hand so tightly when it’s more than just you and I in the room – but about you being the reason I’m cool. You say I’m just being kind, when I call you my better, when I say you are out of my league. You say I did just fine before you, and I’d do just fine without, and then usually you kiss me and tell me that I’m lucky I’m doing so much better than fine right now.

It’s a joke, irony, because I know you don’t believe that, even though to me it rings true.

For now, we sleep around, usually with friends which, we both generally agree afterwards, is a very bad idea. And while Thursday was a good night, and we spent the time in the apartment alone, Fridays are always weightier propositions. Often we go out, not always together, you for drinks or dancing, me to see some show, and after we always wind up at whatever same club or party is in vogue. We kid ourselves sometimes, that for fun we should act like strangers in these cases, but neither have that in us. It would be too much like when we fight, at home, when we have to cross each other’s path in the apartment and one of us just looks too cold. The look that makes us feel like breaking sounds; the look that makes us let whatever it was go.

This Friday, it was just a party, with friends, and one of said friend’s apartment. It hardly looked any different from ours. I had got there first, hours earlier, at the request of the band’s lead, who was already falling down drunk. Someone, he said, needed to come and take him home. He had forgotten he had to perform – and so did his “disappointed” audience, all friends, smiling and ribbing him for pulling a Hank Williams, when they all had come to see him play. They had, honestly, only come to drink – and they would keep him drinking, until he felt lucid enough to make up for it all. His first song was, ironically, “The Party’s Over.”

On cue we all laughed, and smiled.

When you arrived, he sat encircled on the couch, strumming early Dylan with me next to him, in case he wanted to leave but fast. And you ran over, so happy to see me, and took my arm as you collapsed on my lap, winking. Best seat in the house, you said, but turned your attention to our washout compatriot, who already held the focus of ever single skirt in the room. But I watched you, watched the way what little light we had streamed it way through your hair, making it shine. You hated it like this, with the “stink of city” [always said with some pride], crimps and curls worn out hours ago after as many hours spent on them, no longer how you liked it, but perfect for how I did. Which you liked, because it meant, you said, when all this was out of our systems, you wouldn’t have to bother with your hair anymore.

So many things like that, you said. We’d make up so much time, because we’d have so much more.

You introduced me to your friend. She was beautiful, this stunning, raven-haired girl, tall and looking vaguely bored with anything other than you or me. She had perched on the other side of my friend on the couch, and you two kept giving each other secret signs, until somehow she had switched places on my lap with you and you with my friend’s guitar. And I remember thinking how innocent it seemed, both of us here, in full view, and there was no guilt, and no one kissed, we just talked, and laughed. Eventually, between the drinks and the girl, you and our virtuoso disappeared.

She was too tall for me, but she sat in my lap like she was comfortable, and through the haze of the alcohol, asked me if I ever held you like this, and I told her that I had. She told me how nice it was, and how lucky she thought you were, and I think she wanted more, but even without the music the room seemed too crowded for me. Even though they were sleeping – it smelled too much like all the people we know. But she was okay with that, so I slept on a couch with this girl. This girl who was just fine.

We slept the next day away, heedless and hung over, and when I woke up my raven-haired affair had already gone, leaving nothing but her phone number tucked gingerly in my waistband. My mind was still struggling with what it was, and how she’d gotten it there without waking me, when you shuffled out, hair a mess, and just a t-shirt on – better than perfect now, the way I really loved your hair, the way I loved to see you period. At least when the t-shirt was mine.

But there is no mention of him this morning. You just slumped down next to me, leaned back your head, and closed your eyes. This time of winter, it was dark already, even though it was hardly five. I nudged you gently with my elbow. It was Saturday night. You shook your head and sighed.

I don’t think I want to do this anymore, you said. You looked at me, and I smiled -- no cue this time. For the first time ever I see a window to suggest, tonight, just tonight, we might stay in. And you don’t say no.

While you’re getting dressed, I pulled out the card in my wallet, for a jeweler’s I’ve visited at least five times before today. The edges of the paper rounded and worn and I wondered if you saw it, if you would laugh. Tell me again it wasn’t time for more time. But maybe today was a sign.

You come back out putting your hair up, dressed in the same clothes as last night but looking like you just bought everything new. You pause, and frown at me – our strummer just invited you out tonight, he’s got another show. We’re young, you say. We have the time. Why not go?

I put away the card, and put the other girl’s number into my phone.

~

I tell her I think too much about what might have been. She calls it fancy talk for ending up alone.

Homemade Postcards

• Wednesday, July 14, 2010 0 comments
So, despite it being a little bit after my birthday, a few cool things have still been trickling in. I was kind of sick last week, and my mail had started to pile up on me. So, imagine my surprise when, feeling better and going though my mail, I found this:


Kind of strange looking, most definitely homemade [and I mean that in the absolute best way], and proof positive that Justin's theory about mailing anything flat with a stamp totally flies. Not unlike the fish pictured.

The really cool thing, of course, was the message on the back:


One of the best parts about going to art school. Little projects sent to you via snail mail.

I don't know if you're reading, Jessie, but thank you, so much. This was a really nice thing to find, buried between bank statements and Entertainment Weekly, and I really appreciate it. For anyone reading who doesn't know Jessie, she was unfortunate enough to get sucked into my Super Smash Bros obsession Senior Year, which came with plenty of freshman hazing, something that particularly sucked for her because she was our only freshman. In retrospect, because of this card, and because of her strict compliance to my nonsensical "only pussies block" rule, I wish I'd given her less of a hard time.

All joking aside, this was really nice, and just another reminder that I have a lot reasons to get back to New England again [I know, I know... but I just got back, and I haven't even finished writing about that...].

Other things. Had a really cool weekend with my friend Dave, going to hold off on talking about it until I see if a picture from the little outing turns up first. Expect a few bad pictures of awesome things -- I had a great time, and I was still feeling pretty under the weather beforehand.

Also! In support of my friends, I must insist you go watch the new episode of "Huge" in support of my friend Savannah [it is her show, after all], and there's also a pretty great interview with her and her mom Winnie "My So Called Life" Holzerman, about working together on the show. I love when writers are interviewed [can't imagine why], and just found the whole thing incredibly cool. And while we're talking about supporting people, fellow blogger [way more big time than your's truly] Hannah Miet has a Kickstarter project going to finance her book of poetry: "Hello, Absurd World: A Book of Five Minute Poems." If you can give, I hope you will, especially since with 27 days left on the schedule she's already raised 88% of her costs. Every little bit helps, and it's really easy to give if you have PayPal.

Finally, on a more somber note, Harvey Pekar died at the beginning of this past week. I actually had this idea in my head for this big post about him, about how great and influential he was, just about how he looked at comics and saw something more there than most people did -- but then I thought about the Harvey Pekar I knew from his books and television, and all the interviews, and thought he'd actually be pretty disgusted at some big outpouring for him from this kid he didn't even know. So instead, go watch this, this, and this as he gives David Letterman a headache and ulcers, and read about some of his accomplishments on Bleeding Cool, CBR, and Newsarama. And thank you, Mr. Pekar... for making me feel like it was okay that I just wanted to write about bitchy people and the minutiae of their lives. If I ever figure out how to make that work for me in the capes and tits world of comic books, then I think some of the credit will have to go to you.

Which, you know. Means I should probably get better at it. I have his book about The Beats next up in my rotation. Sort of takes on a whole new weight.


EDIT: In the glut of blogs I read, I missed Eric M. Esquivel's own personal tribute to Pekar over at Mod Myth proper. I suggest going to give it a read, now.

Guilt Within Your Head

• Saturday, July 10, 2010 2 comments
I really don't like summer. The heat combined with my allergies tend to keep me up, which makes my usual bouts with insomnia all the more unpleasant. This week, as the mercury has taken up permanent residence around the 90 degree mark, I've felt like utter crap, just really sick since late Tuesday night, with my only real repose being the mid-morning hours where I can actually get a little cool air going.

If that wasn't bad enough, I've been chasing deadlines all week, and while I'm not missing them, I'm not quite where I want to be by my own schedule. I know it can't be helped, working while feeling bad is like running with ankle weights, and there's not a lot I can really do about it. I torture myself, though, because as big of a procrastinator as I am with my own work [firmly believe the really great stuff comes, like diamonds, from the pressure], I do like to keep my schedule, and falling behind means I really don't get to work on any of my personal projects.

I'd like to be writing another entry as far as my vacation goes [re: Diary of a Southern Gentleman], I had a rather cool idea for a couple of comic books I'd like to work on [re: Dr. Beyondo, something else], and there's a short I started almost a year ago that I want to get back to. But there's really no time for anything creative when I'm playing catch-up with work, and with stuff around the house, and I'm desperate to not wind up one of those poor bastards constantly bemoaning the fact they have no time to do what they want. The whole idea with the strange way I've chosen to live is supposed to make all that possible, and when it doesn't, I get irritated.

Creative spark has just not been firing like it should be, and I've been spending so much time with technique, and with style, that I feel like I'm neglecting the fact that, hey, I should be doing new work. Also, an artist? An artist would be rad, and nothing kills me more than seeing all these comic book tandems doing great work, and churning out stories all simpatico-like when I can't even whip out a script to have no one to hand to.

And I'm just going to say it, I blame this heat. Thompson said he "could never properly explain himself in this climate," and while I know he was referring to Vegas, for me this humid weather is keeping me from functioning at anything but half capacity. And I'll just say it, I feel guilty about it, about not producing, about not blogging, about not being able to muster the energy to even link things on Twitter in a regular sort of fashion. And that coupled with not sleeping puts me in this zombified state at five in the morning looking at Facebook and posting music videos mostly because of how easy Youtube has made it.

Being a laptop user without a desk also adds a whole new, crotch-roasting dynamic to the season.

I guess the ideal would be just to get away from the computer, do some normal, pen-and-paper writing, and get out and about and enjoy myself. Certainly a lot of that sort of thing happened while I was in Boston [every night, and every morning actually -- it was so weird just having a time when it was quiet and I could write]. But there's also something very... unfinished about that sort of writing. Notes are just things to be transcribed later, as is prose, or any other sort of story. You have to sit down with keys in front of you eventually.

I don't like this. I vaguely wish I could just... reverse hibernate.

Anyway, this week, and this weekend, is a wash. I have plans for something fun Sunday, and today is going to one of my last deadlines [for the time being]. Hoping things will cool off, or I'll rally, and I can get my shit together come Monday.

Cheers.

Skills that pay the bills.

• Thursday, July 1, 2010 0 comments
So, just checking in with the various freelance and non-blog things I've been doing lately.

I got a really nice letter from Terry concerning my work on the dentist's website, and from what I can tell it will be going live as soon as they get a few image-related problems worked out. All the things I offered to do after the job was finish -- another run at the press release, one more look at the final website copy, hasn't been asked of me, and it seems like they won't need me to do that. So as far as that job goes, I'm done, and again, as soon as the website is finished I'll probably post a link just so people can see what I was involved in.

Terry's company offered me a smaller job, a chance to do some copy on a brochure for another local client. It's sort of... science-based stuff, things about bacteria and cultures and what have you, which has always been more than a little over my head, and it all had to be done in a really tight time limit, but I knocked it out this past weekend, even with everything else that was going on. First draft is done anyway, I'll probably be getting notes back in the next day or so.

The review job is going pretty well. I've got about four different reviews in the can, I've been paid for two, and it looks like they're going to give me a raise, which is particularly nice because I didn't ask for it, and didn't even figure it was option when I started. I guess that means they like the work I'm doing, which is encouraging, because with freelance stuff I've always known that even the most responsive bosses/clients you won't hear from very often.

So everything is going pretty well there. Feel very much like a Soldier of Fortune writer, very "have pen, will travel."

On the creative end, I have a few projects I could start on, but nothing screaming at me to get working on, and lately I've just been doing some writing exercises every night, seeing if I can tighten my prose up. Trying to break myself of a few bad habits I've picked up on, the idea being that I want to stop finding certain things when I go to work on second drafts. Also been work-shopping something for a friend, a writer from school I reconnected with recently... really refreshing, surprising stuff, totally different from a lot of the work I see. It's exciting. Like it a lot.

Not sure what's next, playing things very much by ear these days. Still expecting my schedule to free up a little more come August, but we'll just have to see about that. I'm getting to that place though, where I just wish I'd have some half-mad idea for a great comic book or short. "Nova" has been finished for a long time.