Tuesday, February 28, 2023


Like most bipedal carbon-based life forms, I’ve spent many hours mulling over the subject of love. People have said and done the stupidest things in the name of love, especially going to war. Helen of Troy supposedly had a face that launched a thousand ships. King David stole Bathsheba from one of his generals and set him up for an ambush. And let us not forget the Cola Wars of the 80s, which began when Max Headroom tried to steal the heart of Paula Abdul.

Even worse than war, love is the cause of love songs. According to statistics I just made up, eighty-one percent of all songs ever written are love songs. Ninety percent of those are about longing or breaking up:

“Oh, how I crave you,
My heart will shrivel like a prune if you’re not mine.
Oh, I’m so sorry I barbecued your ferret,
Oh, please take me back,
I am just pond-scum without you.”

Only a tiny percentage of love songs are joyful or thankful. Kenny Rogers already wrote most of these, shouldering the burden and freeing up songsmiths of the future to be as angsty as they like.

But the greatest crime love has visited upon the human race is the romantic comedy. The main character is always a nerdy teenage boy, played by a hunky twenty-something who only needs to stand up for himself and apply some pimple cream for his inner beauty to be revealed. Likewise, he has a crush on the most popular girl in school, but his best friend played by a supermodel in horn-rimmed glasses will steal his heart once she puts in contacts, lets her hair down, and trades her frumpy sweatshirt for a skin-tight prom dress. This formula has earned studios millions over the decades, and as long as love makes people stupid enough to spend their money, will for many years to come.

I have to find a way to get in on that.


Monday, February 27, 2023


Ten days have passed since my open bilateral hernia surgery. I can feel the mesh prickling amidst my guts, and my abdomen is still swollen. The doctor says it will be that way for a few weeks. I’ve stopped taking any pain meds, both prescribed and over-the-counter. I don’t feel pain except for the occasional stabbing twinge that lasts a few seconds at a time.

I took care of some bureaucratic (all these years, and I still can never spell it from memory) nonsense this morning. After I post this, I need to work on the final scouring draft of my next book, which still does not have a title. It is eighty-two percent complete, and I plan on being done within the next few weeks. Then agent hunting shall begin.

I also have the final Debris of Shadows novel to complete, but perhaps my next venture should be a diet book. Whenever I look in the mirror, I don’t recognize the face that looks back at me. I’ve lost ninety pounds over the past year. At one low point in my life, I was twice as heavy as I am now. I currently weigh what I did back in BASIC training thirty-two years ago. I never thought that would be possible.

Here I am at fifty. It’s easy to become discouraged that it took me so long: so many decades spent ruining my health and hurting my career. It was never intentional. I’ve read that such a lament is common for those of us who get (some of) our shit together late in life. But, better late than never.

Life always provides what I asked for, just not how I imagined.

I’ve decided to return to this blog even if no one reads blogs anymore. This site was a much more comfortable home to me than Facebook ever was. I might restore some of the old posts, even if just my favorites. Perhaps someday, my children will want to read these and see who I was.

I’ll let them know as soon as I have that figured out.