10 Things I’d Do If I Ran DC or Marvel Comics

Welp, I’m branching out a little, kiddies. The Casual Geekery invited me to write articles for them.

For my first article, it’s a 2-parter called 10 Things I’d Do If I Ran DC or Marvel Comics. Here’s Part One. And here’s Part Two.

And hoo boy, comic book nerds will want my head on a pike when they’re done with this.

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A Letter to Save John Muise

dsc_0312-cmykOne of my best friends recently told me that John Muise – long-time instructor at St. Thomas University – is not returning to teach next year. St. Thomas University is not renewing his contract. For me, and for everything John has done for me, this is absolutely heartbreaking. I firmly believe that STU is making a mistake.

I just finished writing a long letter to them. In the hopes of reaching more people, I’m posting the letter here, as well. Plus, it serves to show just how much of a major influence John has been on my writing.

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Why I’m Not a Big Spider-Man Fan

Spider-Man Shooting WebBefore that title gets webheads all strung up, let me be clear: I like Spider-Man. I own some of his comics. Not many, but some. I liked the movies, but I didn’t go crazy for even Sam Raimi ones like others did. I don’t think the old 90s Spider-Man cartoon holds up in retrospect (I didn’t think it was great to begin with). And as a good gamer, I’ve enjoyed some of his games like Spider-Man 2 and Shattered Dimensions. I’ve known for years that while I like Spidey, I wouldn’t rank him high in my list of favourite superheroes. In fact, I don’t think he’d even make it into the top 20.

Recently, though, I realized why he’s not one of my favourites. And I think it boils down to when I started reading comics and what story started around that time: the infamous CLONE SAGA.

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Books & Comics Read in 2016

I’ll get to my list in a moment, but I want to talk about my ridiculous backstock of books. This post is largely self-indulgent and probably of little interest to anyone else.

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The City of Smoke & Mirrors Audiobook!

armadillofcWell this is a pleasant surprise. I know I haven’t updated this danged blog in a long time. Without going into too much detail, depression has hit me hard in recent months.

BUT, some good news: my first novel – THE CITY OF SMOKE & MIRRORS – is now available as an audiobook! You can check it out

It was done by the fine folks at Radio Archives, narrated by Elijah Alarcon. I haven’t had the chance to listen to it, myself, but I’m looking forward to it.

You can check it out here at Amazon. It’s also available on Audible if you’re like me and also have a membership there.

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The Never-Ending Battle: A Reading

I’ve considered reading The Never-Ending Battle aloud, but when Open Minds Quarterly republished the story in their Classroom Edition, I couldn’t think of a better celebration.

This reading unexpectedly became one of the most publicly emotional things I’ve ever done. First, it took me 12 minutes to get to the point. I felt like I had to explain some things before reading the story, to give it proper context. Maybe that was unnecessary, but it felt needed at the time and I don’t want to try editing or re-attempting this. Second, the story and the memories have an emotional impact on me. At first, I choke up and it’s hard to keep reading. But as I do, I slowly break down to the point that I’m openly weeping while reading it. I feel a little embarrassed for being so open and raw. But so far, responses from my closest friends have felt oddly empowering. They cried along with me as I read the story.

So, here we go. If you want to skip my introduction, skip to the 12:30 mark when I start reading the story.

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The Never-Ending Battle: Rewritten & Republished

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Cover by Kaarina Ranta

In 2009, Open Minds Quarterly published my short story, The Never-Ending Battle, in their Fall edition, Volume XI, Issue III. Along with stories in The Country Connection and A Thousand Faces, it was one of four of my published work that year. It was my first time I’d ever been published. I’ve published The Never-Ending Battle on here before. Some say it’s my best work to date. I don’t know if I can confidently agree. Looking back, I had many problems with the over 10-year old story (I’d written it years before it was published). I thought the writing was sloppy. For years, I’ve wanted to fix it.

Fortunately, OMQ gave me that opportunity. Editor/Publisher Dinah Laprairie contacted me earlier this year. OMQ planned on publishing a special Classroom Edition of their magazine, taking the best stories and poems about mental health they’d published over the years. Their intention is for teachers to use the Classroom Edition at a high school and college level. Dinah believed The Never-Ending Battle should be included.

I was honoured, happily agreeing. However, since this was a new publication, I thought I’d take the opportunity to edit and rework the story. Dinah agreed.

So, I’m happy to introduce the NEW and IMPROVED Never-Ending Battle (geez, I sound like a car salesman), published recently in the Open Minds Quarterly Classroom Edition. Naturally, I hope everyone also gets a copy of the wonderful magazine. I especially invite teachers to pick up a copy. After the story, I’ve also included some pictures of the magazine, including my bio, which is the first time my picture was included with one.

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