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.

Comicle #11: Garbanzo!

Comicles, June 16, 2014 at 02h27

This Comicle’s been sitting around for a while now so I thought it was time to get out. That’s why I dolled it up and sent it on its way to amuse you. No longer just any ordinary legume, this fella is ready for the extra-ritzy gala in your gigglespot.


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:

Discipline.

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.


Copper

Briefs of Fiction, November 28, 2012 at 01h00

Now, I don’t know ’bout other folks, all I know is for me, but copper never hurt so much. Sure I was hurtin’ before they gimme the copper, too, I guess, but not as bad as that, no way. And it was gettin’ worst, and worst, like it was burning through me but I couldn’t let go. Folks always say it’s what gets you in the end. Could be you been shot a bunch’a times, could be you been gutted open head to toe, but until that copper gets on you and you pay that damned ferryman, you ain’t really dead. Continued…


Trolling

Briefs of Fiction, May 15, 2012 at 10h32

There are children playing in a park. One of them, a soldier, shoots! Another, a spy, his shoelace untied, dodges the bullet by diving behind a bush! He rolls down a bank and under an old wooden bridge. The soldier calls for help and approaches the bridge cautiously, he knows how sneaky this particular spy can be. Fingers pointed like weapons tremble as he gets closer, until finally, right beside the bridge, there’s nothing but darkness.

“If you want to find your frrriend,” a voice in the deep shadows tells him, “he is in here.” Continued…


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.


Comicle #10: Natural Hunters

Comicles, March 14, 2011 at 11h37

Believe it or not, eating wasn’t always as easy as going to a restaurant and picking something from the menu. In fact, there was a time when humans didn’t even have grocery stores! Yes, I know it’s hard to believe while sitting in front of your computer only steps away from your refrigerator, but it’s true.

Popular science has a fairly convincing timeline that, for humans, begins around when we started to create tools to obtain food. We used these tools for hunting, foraging, and of course primitive fondue parties. As our tools became more sophisticated, our agrarian civilizations began. Fast forward several thousand years and we can barely recognize ourselves as coming from such hard-working ancestors as those. Today life is so much different that given the same tools that were available back then, most of us probably wouldn’t survive a week.

Despite this, some people assert that humans are natural predators, which is often used to justify modern non-predatorial eating habits. I used this argument too when I was an omnivore, even though I rarely ate the animals that I killed. Nowadays, I tend to believe that humans used to be natural predators, but if we actually had to hunt again, I don’t think it would come naturally. We might know what to do, but actually doing it well enough to survive is a different matter indeed. These days the most fighting we do for food is over the last slice of pizza.

Regardless of the few physical characteristics that might put humans in the ‘predator’ category, I think it’s pretty obvious that ordering a hamburger isn’t the same as tracking a cow by smell and ripping her apart with your teeth. We might like to think of ourselves as the superior species at the top of our food chain, but perhaps it would be more accurate to use our current habits to define ourselves now: former predators (once removed) whose diets revolve around the weekly value menu and marketing. Oh, and whatever Oprah’s eating.


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.