Category Archives: Ramblings

Random thoughts, pictures etc



I’m not reviewing a book today, or talking about my favorite monster (although the Grim Reaper kind of counts as a monster) or even providing fiction. Today I’m feeling a bit introspective and want to speak to the universe regarding mortality.

I lost an old friend this week, someone I’ve known for 30 years. He’s the second friend I’ve lost in the past year and like the last one to pass, this friend was just slightly younger than I. I share traits with both of my friends: a bit overweight, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and more happy to be lounging with friends than doing something active with them.

I’m a statistic waiting to happen is what I’ve had driven home by both these deaths. It doesn’t have anything to do with your age if you’re just plowing ahead in your life and damn the consequences of your actions.  If you’re living a destructive lifestyle you can exit this mortal coil at 20 as easily as at 90. I’m somewhere in the middle, my 50s. I have lost friends and family before but I think the rapidity of these two men, both so full of life and embracing the pleasures of their existence has hit me a bit harder than I realized. I find myself dwelling on my own mortality.

True, I’m prepared. When my father died a number of years ago I learned from his mistakes and prepared things so that my family would not be left in a lurch should I suddenly die. But, preparing for death, while a good choice, is not the best option for me. I’m far from ready to see what comes next. I’ve had my close calls in my youth and have believed I was on borrowed time since a couple incidents in my 20s that really should have ended in my death but that doesn’t mean that I should embrace my inevitable end. I want to be here for a long time to come. My family might need me and even if they can get along without me, why should I put them through suffering of a loss before the time when they can say, “He had a long life, it was a good time to pass.”

I find myself examining my priorities. There always seems to be something more important than my health getting in my way. What kind of stupid attitude is that? Without health, we have nothing.  I know my late friends were warned many times by their doctors and friends about their health and they blithely soldiered on with their devil may care lifestyles and now they are gone.

I don’t want to be ‘too little, too late’ in this department. I think part of being a proper human is to not only enjoy your life but to ensure that your life is sufficiently long and healthy to obtain as much enjoyment as possible. I want to do art, I want to write, I want to sit and watch sunsets with my wife.  Hell, I’d be excited to argue the merits of Picard vs Kirk with fellow geeks for many years to come.

Life is a precious thing. There’s no real evidence that we move onward after it ends and I don’t want to miss out on anything before that happens. I think any right thinking person would want to embrace as much of life as they could, for as long as possible. Even if you believe in an afterlife with some divine creator, wouldn’t your creator want you to enjoy his creation for as long as possible? Anything less would be an insult to his work in my opinion.

So, am I going to run out and become some fanatic vegan gym rat  now?  I don’t think so. Moderation in all things is the perfect option as I’ve always believed.  I’ll take better care of myself, I’ll get more exercise (gods knows I need it – it stinks when I run out of wind after doing things that would have barely made me break a sweat 15 years ago) I’ll watch what I eat and drink a bit less.  On the flip side, I want to make more time for the things that matter. I want to enjoy the universe that I inhabit. I want to explore the possibilities that are before me in art.  I want to pay more attention to those around me. Hell, I want to live, and live well; and I want to do it for many many years to come. I would like to be the strange old man that the government comes to investigate some day wondering how I’ve lived for hundreds of years seemingly immune to age (OK, that probably won’t happen but I can dream).

What’s the point of this rambling missive?  Take care of yourself. Enjoy your friends while you have them. Love your family. Appreciate the world around you. No matter how horrible things look, it’s all temporary. Something always changes if you give it time and if you’re taking care of yourself, the amount of time you have to wait it out is longer.  Besides, for every bad day, you can always find SOMETHING to distract you until it’s over.

And to quote Baz Luhrmann:  don’t forget to wear sunscreen:


Tidewater Comicon 2017

Just got back from Tidewater Comicon in Virginia Beach, VA. Let me just say that it was quite the adventure.

I was there with my good friends from Macabre Mercantile. I didn’t actually put out my own books, I was just there to help and hang out. It was a lot of fun. I got to meet a boat load of fun creative people. Some of the costumes that walked by our booth were stunning. I made a couple trips out of the vendor area on errands and saw even more amazing costumes but of course I didn’t have a camera with me on those trips (bad con goer, no biscuit).

I think the thing I like most about this convention is the creativity of the attendees. Everyone tries to have some bit of artistic flair to their person. It can be something as simple as makeup or as complex as a fully animatronic costume. I don’t personally worry about the comic’s celebs or the toys and games, I go for the people. I swear I could sit in the lobby all day and just ogle the costumes (no not in the creepy leering guy way of just staring at scantily clad ladies – every costume)

So everyone I met – it was fun meeting you and I appreciate your talents and excitement to participate. If you’ve never been to this convention, you should consider going next year.

Here’s a small smattering of the photos I took of people walking by our booth.


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Was it the deer mafia?

I came home the other night and went to get my mail as normal. I live in a community where we have a community mail house where we all pick up our mail.

Strolling from my car to the building I was utterly unprepared for the shock that greeted me. I turned the corner and there it was. It leaned against the package boxes like a ne’re-do-well punk waiting to sell stolen goods or bum a cigarette from upstanding citizens. It smirked. It’s eyes were glassy and distant. It even was a bit horny.

It was a dead deer head.


There was even a little sign with it “Give me a home, my name is Charlie”

At least it was a stuffed and mounted head rather than a bloody trophy dumped by a lazy hunter.

The first thing I thought was “OMG the deer mafia has left a warning”

Less than two hours after my discovery, Charlie had disappeared, presumably to a new, good home.

The things you see in rural America.