My defenses fell

Just checking in / staying accountable: my writer's block is broken, and the novel is progressing.


Two? Already?

Last night I realized that I had missed it. On 26 July 2011, I resurrected an old blog I had used to post sporadic drawings way back in high school. I gave myself a challenge: I was going to not only be consistent, I was going to put up a drawing every day. And though there are occasionally re-runs and drawings from the ancient high school past, I've pretty much met that goal for the past two years and a few days.

Happy second birthday, CrustaceanSingles.com. Let's see if you make it to three.

Thanks to everyone who's still reading, sharing it with friends and enemies, and not reporting me to the authorities. It means a lot to me.


There's a unit for that

The awk, however, didn't catch on in the United States, where scientists and laypeople still prefer to measure awkwardness in a unit called the Cera, after Michael Cera. One cera = 2.25 awks.


Life after decapitation

The best feature is the auto-pilot. I can smile, nod and even make small talk, all while secretly browsing wikipedia inside my head.


Getting your priorities straight

Mental Health
YOLO had been a good one, reflected the evil Dr. Vandertramp; it had really caught on and had made a satisfyingly huge number of people very angry. But it wouldn't last forever, so he sat at his desk with notebook and pen and tried his hardest to think of the next one. There were other ways to crumble civilization, of course, but this was his favorite one.


Let's try that again

That novel-length thing that I just won't shut up about has reached 125 notebook pages, and I have a pretty good idea of where it's going. I'm sorry I can't really show you any for now, because it's all hand-written and the act of typing it up will be the second draft.


You weren't there, man

In other news, writing a novel takes a long time. I'm much sorrier for that than you are, because this is testing the upper limits of my attention span and follow-through. The good news is, there is a story, and it wants to be told.


I heap French scorn upon you

In addition to all the other nonsense I'm doing these days, I've been working with the distinguished Dr. Olivier on a book for French learners, entitled What the French? This is one of many illustrations it will contain. We're hoping to come out with it in about a month, so stay tuned, francophiles (all three of you).


From long ago

"It was one of those mornings where you wake up with snakes biting your face"
This re-run is brought to you by 2005, which was a pretty crazy year.


We've reached a decision

Dear friends and enemies who are eagerly awaiting the novel I'm writing that you just found out existed:
I had my doubts that this would work out; I usually come up with a big idea, start it, realize how much work it will be, and then give up. But I've reached ninety handwritten notebook pages, unmanageable numbers of notecards, and a pretty good idea of where the plot is going. I can't really post anything yet, because it's all in my illegible writing...but I'll probably type up a short extract again soon. Anyway, that's what I'm doing instead of writing mental health entries these days.


A fine year for adhesives

The Editor wishes to inform you that he is still writing that novel-ish-length story he keeps talking about, and even now, this is the most he has ever followed through on a project ever, that he can think of off the top of his head, anyway.


Total victory every afternoon

And now for a relatively minor character from The Infinite Middle, the sort-of book I'm working on.

Last time on Mental Health, we met Tom:
Tom was the sort of guy who had never mastered the use of question marks in writing, because he never changed his intonation to ask a question when he spoke.
Who do all these people think they are, he thought to himself, sitting on a bench at the park. When will I finally snap. 
Let's see where Tom is now:
Tom looked in the mirror and splashed cold water on his face, letting it drip from the tip of his nose and dry without intervention from a towel. There was a towel on the floor, but its cleanliness was, even by Tom's low standards, somewhat suspect. He was as deep in thought as he was capable of being, and somehow this always included a shift to referring to himself in the third person:
Tom has an anger problem, which fuels his drinking problem, which fuels...his anger problem.
That was essentially as far as he ever got. He made one final remark to his mirror-self as he buttoned his brown work shirt:
What are we going to do about this Tom guy. 
Tom had climbed a mountain, once, around the time he'd stopped going to high school. After reaching the top, he'd found it far too slow and boring to walk down the way he'd come, so instead he found a deer trail zig-zagging down, steep and narrow and even vertical in places. To young Tom's great surprise, he quickly discovered that although it was easy to increase his speed on this trail, it was hard to maintain a constant speed and nearly impossible to slow down or stop. He legs began to announce loudly to the rest of his body that they couldn't be coordinated at this speed, and something would have to change very soon.
Tom saw his out– a thick-leafed bush to the side of the trail ahead– and he took his chances on it, hoping it contained no sharp sticks or snakes, throwing himself at it to cushion his barely-controlled descent. 
He was lucky, and emerged from the bush's embrace with no impalation and only a few scratches. While walking down the rest of the way, Tom saw that he would have soon come upon a steep patch of large, loose rocks which slid downwards when touched. The bush had been much kinder to him than the rocks would have been.
Tom thought about this sometimes, while driving his delivery truck around town or as he drained yet another bottle before or after work. He thought about it and hoped that there would be a bush to jump into soon, because he couldn't keep this up much longer.
How long do I have before I hit the rocks, he wondered.