Awake

The following is the first bit of prose fiction that I’ve written in roughly two years (or more). It’s not good. But at least it exists. Excuse me while I cringe in the corner forever.


He wakes up at 6.

He wakes up at 6 and he is lying on his back and he’s looking at the ceiling, at the stucco pattern, at the lights that are sleeping. Lying in the dim, his mind begins to stir. He moves his left hand from its chosen position extended haphazardly outwards to his chest where it can feel his heart.

A look to the side, to the left. A slow opening eye, a contented sigh of recognition. 

It’s morning.

It’s time to get up.

“Good morning,” a voice sweetly, a slow smile obscured.

He sits up, body reluctant. Blinking, his feet find the floor, cool to the touch.

Hands on his back, the weight of a chin on his shoulder.

It’s morning.

“It’s time to get up,” he tells himself.

With a push, he begins his morning routine, movements carefully practiced, a mundane dance to greet the day.

A short walk to the bathroom, a cat or two underfoot, eagerly awaiting attention or water or both.

The radio from afar, the clatter of drawers, of metal and porcelain.

He relieves himself and turns on the shower. At the instance of the cat or cats (depending on the day) he works the tap on the sink carefully until a controlled dribble of water comes out. He is rewarded with a head bop for his troubles and is then ignored. This is good, because he needs to be ignored.

He sits on the floor, looks into the shower. The room fills with heat.

A knock on the door, a voice muffled by the cascade. 

Soon, the water hits him, warm, inviting. His eyes close and his neck tilts, hands pushing back his hair. The noise of the water and the fog of the heat envelop him, a place to hide.

A hand on his torso. Breath on his neck.

He doesn’t like to leave the shower. It wakes him and makes him more alert and the day can begin.

And so the day begins.

He is much more comfortable when the days are over, when it’s all done and then some nights, a few nights, there’s nothing for a while and he forgets.

But the day.

He turns the shower off with reluctance, carefully stepping out to the floor. He towels off.

“Good morning.”

It’s morning.

Back in the bedroom, it’s time to get dressed. He sits on the bed. The world creeps in.

It’s here where it starts, where he remembers.

There’s so much, and he is so little.

Sweet words whispered in his ear.

This is when the world arrives, so big and unwieldy. This is where he remembers. It’s always nice to forget. But the night always gives way to the day, and more than he is forgetful, he is small.

Fingers sliding around his torso.

An unseen smile.

Breath on his

But then

on his neck.

more than he is small

The weight of a chin

and more than he is forgetful

on his shoulder

he is hopeful.

“Good morning.”

Might Be Okay

It’s May already, which means this Saturday is Free Comic Book Day over at Variant Edition. Normally, this makes for a pretty insane week by itself, but hey, that’s nothing a heck ton of water falling from the ceiling can’t help.

As you all might have heard, the shop experienced a minor flood this past Sunday, which has put us in a state of high level stress. You can read more about the particulars in our store newsletter, but suffice to say, we’re doing our best to put forward the best Free Comic Book Day event we can muster, and we would love to see you attend.

Other things that have been happening lately? Well, I took part in an upcoming episode of Bollywood Is For Lovers, which should be out in the next few days, and Danica will be recording an episode of In Defence Ofwhich will be out soon as well. We’re also going full steam ahead with Doctor Whooch, so you’ll see a new episode of that on Thursday. Anything else? Shouldn’t that be enough? Knowing me, I’ll add a few more logs onto the fire. Nothing says “easy going times” like running a comic shop and pumping out content, yes?

Now.

The real reason why I wanted to check in today – beyond the fact that I am committing myself to keeping Submet rolling with at least four posts a week – is the fact that… I had a pretty good day today.

You’ve all probably been checking in here and there, so you know that life has taken few swings at Danica and myself over the past few days. Or years. Whatever. But today? Even with everything, today felt… okay. Not great – I think I still had a couple of minor panic attacks when I let my brain too far off the leash – but it was still nice, for the most part. And I think “okay” is a good place to start, even with the bumps in the road.

Anyway, I wanted you all to know that.

Tomorrow: I’m posting the first prose I’ve written in two years up. It’s not good. It’s not refined. But it exists, and I’m trying to be more comfortable with my words so. Y’all get to see that. Be kind.

See you then.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 110 // Bone Fountain

In which we put a phrase in a mausoleum. And there’s a good chance that Brandon doesn’t know what a mausoleum actually is.

This week, Series 10 continues with the second episode “Smile”, and for the most part Brandon and Danica stay on topic. But then there’s the potential of Torchwood porn and alternative meanings for the BBC. And also Danica is horribly insensitive about British history, but to be fair, the British are history’s villain. Except when there are Nazis or sometimes the French.

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY.

Breathe

Another day is swiftly ticking to an end, and it looks like something has to give once more. I am committed to making sure words appear on this site, however, so welcome back to another garbage post.

You’re welcome.

01. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been having odd fits where it gets hard to breathe. These only tend to last for a few seconds, but can be prolonged depending on what caused the attack in the first place. I’m assuming this is what panic attacks are, so yay. Very lucky to have those in my life. Topics to avoid in order to prevent me from slight hyperventilation? Well, dying, mostly. Or anything having to do with experiencing loss. I have some things that I’m working on right now, and I’m not sure it’s going so hot. But maybe sharing this will help? I don’t know.

02. What I do know is that while aspects of my life have definitely shifted as of late, many other areas are shifting towards a bit of clarity. I’ve discovered that opening up my options has given myself a lot more breathing room. Allowing for thoughts of many paths instead of single paths has been freeing, and has helped with any anxiety that has crept in lately. Also breathing. Breathing is wonderful.

03. Something that really resonated with me this week? The Big Moose one shot from Archie Comics. 

This oversized comic featured three great stories about Moose Mason, one of which I think might be the most heartfelt story I’ve read all year. It’s the second story in this book, written by Ryan Cady with art by Thomas Pitilli and Glenn Whitmore, with Jack Morelli on letters. The story explores how Moose sees himself – a well meaning meathead of a teen, just trying to do his best with the abilities that he has. He always has the best of intentions, even if he lets his temper get the better of him sometimes. He also lends his big heart so easily that his friends will pretty much do whatever they can to help him out. It’s… it’s a really great story, and I implore all of you to try and give it a read. It definitely made me feel better about life in general, if even for a little while.

04. I don’t want the tenor of this update to alarm any of you. Life is… life is actually pretty good right now, but I’m trying to get better at admitting when things aren’t exactly perfect. Pretending doesn’t help and didn’t help. In fact, it gave the appearance that I didn’t care when things got rough. “Everything will be fine” is not always a great response, especially when a person just needs to hear “This is bad and I’m scared too” before you start trying to fix a thing. I’m learning, I hope. This is me reaching out, even just a little.

Thank you for reading. The next post will be this week’s edition of Doctor Whooch, which gets a little sexy. You’ve been warned.

Talk with you soon.

On The Docket

A quick update tonight – just putting some words out there to catch up on a few things that have been happening.

  • After last night’s Five Things post, I managed to stay awake long enough to re-read the first five issue of Mother Panic before I fell asleep. The last of the four initial launch titles in the Young Animal line at DC, Mother Panic seems to get lost in the shuffle when people are talking about those books. It’s a shame, because it definitely hangs well with the rest of the line. Lots to talk about, like how the book has a bi-sexual lead and deals with the idea of violence against women. Also, one of few comic titles out there where the female superhero gets to confront anger. Lots to dig into, but more on that another day, because…
  • Earlier today I was contacted by CBC Edmonton AM about appearing on tomorrow’s show at 7:50am. I’ll be on the show talking about Wednesday’s Capital Ideas event here in the city where I’ll be talking about offbeat marketing ideas alongside Mike Lundy of Flannel Foxes and Amy Nachtigall of Sugared & Spiced. Both events should get my imposter syndrome in a tizzy, so that’ll be fun. I’ll link to any media that comes out of this here as we try and keep Submet running at a gentle purr.
  • The media stuff has put a significant dent into tonight’s writing time, so look for some more substantial stuff later in the week. Until then, I highly suggest you check out Devin R. Bruce’s weekly pop culture column that he writes for us over at Variant Edition. Each and every article is chock full of great pop culture morsels, and this week, Devin is talking about a classic Sergio Aragones comic, a new release from a heavy metal band, and the second season of a Netflix show I have yet to watch. It’s all good stuff.

Thank you for checking in. I should be back here tomorrow with something with a bit more meat on the bone. Until then!

Elsewhere: Danica Talks Secret Empire

Hey, were you wondering if Variant Edition was going to get dressed up in Nazi collaborator paraphernalia?

We aren’t. But you can hear Danica talk about it a bit more over at The Daily Dotwhere she summarizes things quite succinctly with this line:

“People shouldn’t be cosplaying as Nazis. Period.”

You think that wouldn’t have to be something that should be said, but 2017 has been one hell of a year. Can the bullshit stop now? That would be great.

5 Things: Handsome Pictures Ahoy

Five Things is an occasional check in on what’s been and what might be. I refuse to set a regularity for it, because deadlines are for nerds and squares.

01. So it’s late on Sunday night and we had a long day at the store (more on that in a bit). I’m supposed to be writing, but instead I spent the night dicking around making the logo you’re seeing above. It’s okay. I’m not a professional graphic designer by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d like to think I’m not the worst. Anyway, I just went to show Danica what it looked like, and she’s already asleep because again, it’s late af. I need to get this update done. Hi there. How are you. Continue reading 5 Things: Handsome Pictures Ahoy