I’m excited to be here. This is exactly what I signed up for. All those workshops, classes, courses, and lectures. All those analytical essays about why authors do things a certain way. All those story ideas and sentences scribbled on bank receipts, movie tickets, bookmarks, and the back pages of notebooks during class. They’ve all made it here. The box of horrors has been opened, and it has never looked so good. I love being a writer. I love my monsters.
- Well, I’m thoroughly addicted to The Great British Baking Show. Watching it is like engaging in this flour rich dance of positivity. They are so fricking nice on this show. There is no drama, back stabbing, or sensationalism. The hosts are kind, encouraging, and willing to act goofy to keep the contestants relaxed. So many reality shows, especially cooking ones, are subject to such an insane amount of dramatic splendor, you lose track of how taxing and difficult food preparation can be. The first three seasons are on Netflix, so check it out. The set lighting is warm and friendly. The English countryside (where it is filmed) is curled in lush squares of landscaping. The show my peaceful place right now.
- I watched Logan this weekend thanks to my amazing parents who babysat my kids so my wife and I could go out. I liked it a lot. It was the perfect sendoff for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. I’ve been watching them in X-Men movies since 2000. Before that, I was thoroughly addicted to the animated series and the comics of the early 90’s. I could relate to X-Men because the comics celebrated diversity and being different. It taught me to try and be myself back in middle school and high school. I’m not sad that I won’t see these actors in anymore movies, but I’m a little forlorn that so much time has passed since their first performances. 17 years. They’ve earned a respite.
- I was sad to hear about Bill Paxton this last week. He was a great actor, and he was from one of my favorite films, Aliens. It was my firm belief that no one is ever allowed to die from that movie. A few years ago, at a convention I was lucky enough to see Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen. I could’ve met them, but I’m a major wimp when it comes to interacting with celebrities. I almost always embarrass myself. I either don’t say anything at all, or I ask them some ridiculous question akin to: “Where does your art come from.” I settled for awkwardly walking by Michael Biehn’s table, and waving at Lance Henriksen, who continuously smoked cigarettes outside the hotel lobby. With the passing of Bill Paxton, like with the string of celebrity deaths in 2016, I’m constantly reminded of our omnipresent mortality. Their storytelling meant so much to me. I’m so thankful.
- I’m playing my way through Pokémon Sapphire right now on my 2DS. I love all Pokémon games. They’re a perfect combination of complexity, setting, and character development. You care about your Pokémon like they were real. I’ve talked about it on here before, but I went wild for Pokémon Moon when it was released. Sapphire is a rerelease of an older game for the 3DS/2DS. It still has that old video game difficulty that echoes memories of my childhood. Some of the major complaints about Moon was that it was too short and easy. I have sources at GameStop who tell me these things hilariously enough. It is a kid’s game. The aging gaming community needs to understand that Nintendo can’t always cater to their nostalgic gaming audience. I’m as obsessed with classic video games as everyone else, but I realize that at some point Nintendo must appeal to a wider range of gamers. If you need a classic, tough Pokémon game, go with Sapphire. My cousin suggested it to me two years ago, and I’m about halfway through it. I wonder if he even remembers that he did that.
- Going off #4, when I was in middle school, I use to sneak playing Pokémon Red in my bathroom. My parents would not allow me to play video games during the week. Pokémon was on the Gameboy, which meant I could hang out in the bathroom and play it for close to an hour without arising suspicion. Now that I’m a parent making the same decisions about gaming with my own children, I find myself questioning everything. Only playing games on the weekend changed me in many ways. I would often base my entire week around this limitation. Sometimes it helped me, and other times it didn’t. Now the ball is in my court, which makes me feel more like some tyrannical king than a basketball player. Parenting should be synonymous with wielding a double edged sword.
Some promotional notes: My dollar Kindle sales continue, and here are the books available: Beware the Ills, DOL 39, Seven Monsters, and my most popular The Greenland Diaries: Days 1 – 100. I’ve made some of my Patreon rewards better, and I published a new short story called The Gray Man. I hope everyone has a safe and healthy week. Thank you for continuing to support me.