Because I’m a masochist, that’s why.

I think I should probably reveal my big surprise for this week’s story.  I’m sure most of my friends are getting sick of receiving nonsensical text messages from me hinting at strange things to come.  So here it is.  This week I have written a children’s book.

No.  Wait.  Scratch that.  That isn’t quite right.  I have no idea if I’ve written a children’s book.  I have no idea if kids will want to read this thing, if it’ll terrify them or bore them or what.  I have no idea if I’m qualified to write a kid’s book.  There are times when it makes sense to me and times when it seems very very wrong.  What I can say I’ve done for certain is I’ve written this week’s short story in poem format with a playful rhyme scheme and provided illustrations to go along with it.  Or that’s my plan, at any rate.  I’m still a few stanzas short but I think I’ll have something cobbled together by Thursday.   And I’m drawing the illustrations using the crappy Paint program that came with my computer because I find it funny to use something so low grade.  And my drawing skills are horrible.  And I have to use my right hand even though I’m lefty because nothing in this world is made for left handed people including computer mice (there is no way that’s the correct way to pluralize that).

It’s the story of a little girl, Mindy, and her best friend, the imaginary Barkley.  Only, like I said, I’m doing the drawings, so at times it looks more like the story of a little amorphous blob and her best friend, the hippopotamus with Down Syndrome.

See?  That certainly doesn’t seem like the kind of joke that a guy who writes kid’s books should be making.  Come to think of it, there actually is an amorphous blob in there at one point.  Right.

So maybe it’s a kid’s book, maybe it’s not.  Who knows.  All I know is, this is the idea I had, so this is the idea I’m trying to deliver.

All of my wishy-washiness aside, though, this is clearly modeled on a lot of the children’s books I enjoyed while growing up.  Generally speaking I don’t like to put cut and dry lessons or characters into what I write.  I enjoy existing in a bit more of a gray area.  While writing this thing, though, I found it difficult to do that.  You don’t see a lot of gray areas in kid’s books.  Not in the kid’s books I interacted with.  Like that talking elephant.  Man, that guy just would not stop sitting on his egg.  So I wound up being a bit more obvious with my story than I like to be.  I wouldn’t read to much into it.  Basically I just wanted to try and make your children feel more free to express themselves.  Unless they already express themselves a lot, in which case I wanted to teach them an important lesson about listening.  Or something.  Really, so long as I exert more control over your children than you do I’ll be happy.  Assuming you’re crazy enough to read this thing to a child.

I’m going to go now.

I am my own worst enemy.

I really don’t know how I always manage to do this, but every time I decide to “take it easy” with one of these stories and write something light, fun and short it winds up being this gigantic laborious effort.  I can’t even begin to explain what’s happened with this week’s story.  It’s just different.  Very very different.

Also, I’m reading “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James right now.   I’ve understood nothing.  I’m like twenty pages from the end and I haven’t gotten a single thing out of it.  There’s a woman…and I think she lives in a house.  And that’s it.  That’s the extent of my comprehension of this book.  It’s really quite impressive.

This is going to get a little weird.


I thought I was out of the woods as far as my screw up with deadlines a week ago but it’s a little more far reaching than I thought.  I’ve become very used to an alternate weekend sort of schedule.  The weekend before a deadline I’m basically locked in my apartment listening to music, brainstorming, typing, etc. in an effort to knock out a first draft by Sunday.  And the weekend after a deadline I’m used to doing nothing on the writing front but thinking and daydreaming and going out and seeing friends and what have you.  Sort of a recharge weekend.

So while I did manage to pop out a story last weekend in record time, I didn’t realize how much I’d come to count on my free weekend to tease out ideas.  I thought I was just goofing off on those weekends.  Turns out they were sort of important.  Or at the very least I’ve come to rely on them.  Moving from a work weekend to a work weekend…well it’s odd.  In normal mode I wouldn’t need to come up with an idea until sometime in the middle of this coming week.  But here I am with a finished product needed by the middle of this week.

It’s weird.  That’s my point.  I’ll be glad to get this done and then have my full two weeks for the next story.

Actually, this is my point: we’re going into some weird territory with this story.  And that’s coming from someone who’s written about talking sweatpants, spirits in limbo impacting the course of history, and a mad scientist with a broken heart.  So when I say this next one’s a little weird…brother, you’d better believe this next one’s a little weird.

Halfway mark.

I just realized that the finishing of that last story makes me halfway done with this project.  13 down, 13 to go.  The strangest thing is how normal all of this has become to me.  When I look back at the first few months of posts it’s a little odd to see how…I’m not sure what the word is…stressed I was?  That’s not right.  I still get stressed with every deadline.  And I’m pretty sure that overall that’s a good thing.  It’s not stress, it’s more like uptightedness or something like that.  I thought I understood so much about the process back in August.

Lord I had absolutely zero idea of what was coming and what this was going to start feeling like week after week.

Sigh.  So naive.   Now.  Does anyone have anything whatsoever for me to write about?  Cause I’ve got nothing.

I’m a nerd.


I’ve got no idea what this next story is going to be about. And this last story is getting some very entertaining comments. Wormholes and morons. That was my target when I started writing it before I got sick. I think I came pretty close to the mark.

 While I’m on the topic of that last story, and since I’ve got nothing else to talk about, I’ll just mention here that the title was intentionally incorrect.  A light-year is a unit of distance.  To say that someone is “light-years ahead of their time” is like saying that someone is “miles ahead of their time.”  It doesn’t make any sense.  Which was why I decided to use it when it popped into my head.  It seemed like something Charles would say.

I had fun writing him.

I think that worked.

Okay, pretty sure we’re back on track here.  Sort of.  I managed to finish up that last story pretty quickly and threw it on here without fanfare.  It’s the most recent post right before this one.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle my missed deadline but I decided not to wait and publish the late story at any particular time, I just put it on when it was done so I could move forward.  The current story’s deadline is next Thursday and so if I manage to get that one written in this now truncated time period then we’ll be all set and I’ll be back on schedule.

The only problem I foresee is that I have absolutely  no idea what this story is going to be about.   Some part of me wants to write another romance but really that’s all I’ve got.  Hopefully I’ll fall in love tomorrow or something and it’ll all fall into place.  Or maybe I’ll get attacked by cloned dinosaurs.  Either way.  Just so I get a story from somewhere.