Charlotte addresses life

My Regular Mind, February 24, 2015 at 07h15

Last week, Charlotte and I were walking along a trail by the water, when she saw a stick jutting out from the bush. Now, the stick in question isn’t the same stick pictured here, because that’s a completely different stick; this stick was more like a tree. Long, twisted, and extremely appealing to one of us.

Charlotte’s not usually allowed to pick up sticks because she gnaws on them until they’re toothpicks, but I knew it was way too big. So I let her.

She got a firm grip on it and reefed and yanked and pulled as hard as she could. To my surprise, it budged. Just a little. Enough to see that it was caught up on some other branches and twigs, firmly holding it in place.

In my experience, most dogs would just keep reefing and yanking and pulling until they were exhausted. That’s what I expected Charlotte to do. But then, to my surprise, she didn’t. She went to each of the branches and twigs that was holding it in place, and snapped them near the base. Then she went back and with only a little reefing, yanking, and pulling, got the tree out of the bush.

Not entirely, of course, because I’m telling you, it was huge. But enough to remind me that when there’s something in your way, there’s always a simple way to move it.

Countdown to resolve

My Regular Mind, December 28, 2014 at 06h31

This has been a year of many firsts, too many to count. It won’t be long until a whole new year of firsts begins. In this past year, the lesson I’ve learned the hardest is to keep on. No matter what, you have to keep on. Catch your breath, keep digging in, and push. The only way to get there.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions often but this year I want to. I’ve got some things I need to help me dig in, to help me push.

In any case, one of the vaguely-mentioned firsts was the pooch in this photo. Her name is Charlotte, and she wishes you a happy holidays and all the best in 2015. Catch those breaths. And push.

The first pitch

My Regular Mind, September 22, 2014 at 03h37

Been busy with my t’s and i’s these past weeks as pages came flying in from Mr. Hristov. We’ve been cooking something special, him and I, and it’s about time to serve it up. Fingers crossed we get a bite.

Humble rebeginnings

My Regular Mind, February 6, 2014 at 10h30

I’m pleased with my focus lately. For years I floated along with no particular direction, writing what came to mind and finding satisfaction in that. Then came a point when I realized that time was passing. With guidance, I began to set out a path for myself, which I believe will lead to a career in creativity. This site is among those steps. Part practice, part exposure, part fun, but entirely focused. I see the end of this path, but if I stray from it, even for a moment, I may lose sight of it forever.

Life isn’t always easy. It used to be, but it wasn’t nearly this meaningful. And now it’s not that life is hard, but the realization of what I must accomplish and the realization that I must do it alone. Hold my own hand, hold my own feet to the fire, hold myself accountable for any more time that passes by.

There are a few things on this site that I’d never properly considered incorporating before. One of those things is comics. Serious comics, like the ones I intend to make a living from, adapted from earlier ideas and interpreted by artists. I’m keeping them brief, for now. Another thing that I’d never considered before is a list of my professional services. It’s funny, but I’d been doing similar things for a decade and it never occurred to me that my skills could benefit anyone else. (They can.)

So this is where it begins, I imagine. With focus. Determination. And opening myself up to any number of possibilities that worried me before. There’s no time for fear, not anymore, because I simply refuse to float any longer. Here I am, and here is this site, and here is what I can do. I hope you enjoy it.

Anything But Idle

My Regular Mind, July 30, 2013 at 06h46

My alarm vibrates against my ankle.

5 am.

My instinct is to snooze, but I remind myself:


I get up, have cereal, pack my lunch, kiss I. goodbye. I have to leave by 5:25, but today I was late, so I had to pedal faster. My goal is to reach work before 6, so that when I’m off before 2, I can focus on other things I have to do. Things that will help my overall goal, things that will help me succeed creatively.

Updating this site is not among those things.

Not due to idleness, but discipline.

Important Conversations

My Regular Mind, April 5, 2011 at 12h13

I’ve been thinking about important conversations lately. Presently in my Great Big Project, a main character is having one of those Important Conversations. Once this conversation is over, the climax will unfold, and shortly after that, it will all conclude. I’m fairly certain how the story will end, and I’m equally certain that a fair amount of what I want to say will be left out.

It’s a minor torment. This story has been on my mind for nearly seven years, and in that time I’ve thought of many details. It feels like a shame to have wasted that time, though I do understand that it wasn’t all a waste. Many details have now become unnecessary, except to explain the backstory, which leaves me with ample material to work from if I ever have to write a prequel. I hope not to.

We never really know when one of these Important Conversations will happen, do we? Nobody tells you at the time, so it’s not until perhaps years later when you realize the impact it had.

I’m going to be busier than usual these upcoming few months. As excited as I am, the thought that I’ll have less time to work on this nearly-completed project is frustrating. I can nearly see the end. It’s right there.

The Riddle

My Regular Mind, March 25, 2011 at 01h50

My local favourite coffee shop usually has a riddle posted at the counter, and when I went in this morning, the riddle was this:

What is most useful when it’s broken?

I scratched my head for a while as I thought it through.

Finally, I asked, “Is it a piggy bank?”

It wasn’t. Or at least, he said, not the answer they had. I stepped back and thought it through again. Finally, when my tea was ready and I had no more guesses, I asked for the answer.

“An egg,” he said.

“Aww, that’s not right,” I replied. “Piggy bank’s a better answer than egg.”

This is my reasoning. An egg brings life into the world, which to me seems like the most useful application of anything. If it’s broken, it’s completely useless, except of course – as the riddle implies – if you’re eating it.

Whereas a piggy bank contains money, and when it breaks, you can buy something awesome. Seriously, you can get anything you want. A broken piggy bank could even buy more food than what you’d get from eating a broken egg! Even math agrees with me!

The barrista, however, did not. And since it’s his place, he gets to decide the answers to his riddles.

But since this is my web site…

The correct answer is piggy bank.

Five Quick Writing Tips

My Regular Mind, March 8, 2011 at 10h09

Recently a friend asked me for some writing advice. Truth is I don’t really have any advice of my own. Writing isn’t easy, and there really aren’t any specific checklists you can follow. It can take years of work to create art, and even at its end it may never be perfect. Writing is more of a commitment than a straightjacket.

I’ve snooped through essays and interviews of my favourite authors, and from this I’ve whittled down their advice down to five convenient mottos that make sense to me.

Please yourself. If you don’t like what you’re writing, why should anyone else?

Explore every possibility. Consider that characters have minds of their own, and they might not react to a situation exactly how you might expect. Let them surprise you.

Reveal or advance. In a story, every word is important. You want to get to the point as quickly as possible, so every single sentence should reveal a character or theme, or advance the plot. Respect the reader’s time.

Kill your darlings. When an author comes up a story, it often comes along with specific ideas they want to incorporate, like a character, some dialogue, or even an entire scene. As the story develops and they don’t quite make as much sense in the story, they’re hard to let go. Kill them.

There are no rules. This is kind of a writing advice wildcard. Do what you want. Colour outside the lines, think outside the sphere, let your imagination loose. That’s what a reader really wants.


My Regular Mind, February 28, 2011 at 01h48

Some time last week, I didn’t sleep well. In the middle of the night, I heard a loud, loud noise that sprung me immediately to my feet. I stood beside the bed confused, adjusting to my surroundings. My girlfriend tends to sleep lightly, and yet she was undisturbed. Had there been no loud, loud noise at all? Was it the sound of my feet hitting the floor that sounded to me like thunder? Hesitantly, I returned to our bed, and eventually, once again, to sleep.

And then yesterday, after a slightly delayed flight and then a long drive, I was back in my home town. I did not sleep uninterrupted. Once again, I woke up in a similar confused way, slowly adjusting to my surroundings.

Something similar happened years and years ago. I can’t imagine what similarities between then and now might be causing this unusual restlessness. At times, I worry about things like sleepwalking, even though I’ve never had a history of it. Never even an incident. But the thing I worry about is not knowing if perhaps there was.

Questions Over Anger

My Regular Mind, February 22, 2011 at 12h28

Everywhere I go, all over this city, it’s the same. The buildings, the signs. People are peaceful. And yet I realize that other places are not like this. At any given moment, in some city somewhere, people are fighting. Some people

Half-demolished buildings wondering when they’ll eat next.

I can’t understand the anger that war requires. Where does it come from? Is it fear of others? A misunderstanding of love? Are we over-compensating for some inadequacy, perhaps acting upon some systemic emotional conditioning?

Shouldn’t be too difficult for me to project a theoretical anger based