Meta-Cat-Astrophic: The Power of Paranoia

This is so easy to understand, yet so hard to explain.  You all know exactly where I’m going.  I know you do, or do I just project?

There it is again; the fear.  I can’t even hope for the best anymore, because the anticipation of calamity overwhelms all optimism.

You think everything’s a conspiracy, Hippy.


Everything is.

It’s all in my mind.  That’s the problem.  It’s all in my mind.  That…is the solution.

An unreturned phone call or text.  A largely ignored blog.  A misinterpreted look or word from a co-worker, friend, or family member.  In reality, they’re innocuous, but in my malicious mind, they’re assassins.

What do I do about it?  Confront every incident that delusion has turned into crisis?  Take drugs?  Isolate?

Channel.  My mind is going to concoct these little tragedies.  I will continue to give them power.  My future has already been written on the parchment of despair a thousand times.  And you know what?  It never comes to pass.

But there I have them, an ever growing archive of senseless lament.  An enormous cache of tales of woe that seem even more pathetic in the absence of materialization.

This will have a happy ending.  Paranoia is my gift.  Be skeptical, be worried, be wary.  Expect the worst so you’re never disappointed.  Set hope aside for dread.


Yes, everything’s a conspiracy, because nothing is real.  These vicious thoughts that ravage my view of the future; all conspiracies.  They’re funny little stories I tell myself because I’m not making the most of the present.  They’ll one day add lush detail to a great work of fiction.

I’m glad my mind can come up with such powerful lies.  They compliment my intended creativity quite well.  It’s the way I need my mind to operate.  I fear stifling my anxious projection will exhaust the fuel that drives my artistic engine.  It’s a compromise I’m not willing to take, so I live with my head, and in my head.

I think as long as I realize the futility of lending power to negative experiential appendices, they can guide me…but I can’t trust them…can’t let them take over…or else…

MMM & RJT help keep me in check.  Thank you for indulging my prolific projectile projecting.  I’ll try to help you clean it up!

So many know that the grand designs of my mind are rarely followed by truth and justice…that’s what books are for!

Now quit thinking poorly of me, I’m projecting a book!


Malignant Thoughts- Vol. 1

Don’t be alarmed.  Don’t feel like you have to follow any of this, but if you do, you’re a friggin’ rock star!  I’m just jotting down random the thoughts invading my helpless mind with surprising frequency lately.  It feels good.  A little overwhelming, but better than a mindless rut that is often experienced in times of low aural energy.

  • We jot perception in ones and zeros on an electronic canvas.  The I provides the squiggly little correction line under our experiences, telling us our options for what is really to be perceived.
  • Don’t waffle on consistency.  You are its only true source.
  • The dissected soul for all to observe.  Fear not the mortician.
  • Are you following me?

I started this post on January 25th, 5 days ago.  This is where I left off.  It’s now January 29th, and most of what I’m going to add is from what I didn’t get to back then.  Since, not much new has metastasized in my mind.  It was one of those times of low aural energy, but I don’t fret.  Creativity seems to come in waves for me, like my moods.  They’re synchronous.

Don’t say it.  Oh, I mean…Shut up.  I know there are ways to ignite Sparks even in creative ruts.  Read, surround yourself with beauty and inspiration, exercise, be around people with common interests.  Those are all good suggestions.  Thank you.  But the inspiration that holds the most weight with me is that which is derived from deep inside.  It erupts without warning and smothers you like a confused burglar.  This criminal is here to give, not take.  It slams your mind to the ground and force feeds you ideas.  You can either choke on them or swallow them whole and assimilate them.  I know I’m mixing metaphors, but that’s what happens when ingenuity blossoms like a firework (there’s another one).

Anyway, I hope you’re still shutting up.  Here’s the rest of the malignant thoughts I previously had, and maybe a new one or two if I can excavate their remnants.

  • Aliens that have traveled across hundreds of millions of light years at the speed of thought arrive on Earth, ironically, 0.05 seconds in the future due to the gravitational slip stream and reverse relativity.  It doesn’t make that much difference; almost imperceptible.  It affects their ability to fluidly interact with humans and other sapient beings.  They seem a little off and that’s why, and they can’t be photographed.
  • If you have any idea you’re going to have a good time, one that seems like it may be special, hold on to it.  Focus in.  Lend all your energy to the moment, to the people around you.  You can decide how you remember your life.  You can decide how you’re remembered.  Don’t be selfish with your intent.  Share the moments so you can share the memories (ooh, I like that).
  • When you’re stuck, when you can’t figure shit out, life gives you clues.  It’s up to you to put it together and solve what you can of the grand scheme we call life.  Some shit you will never figure out.  It’s up to you to decide, because life is not about just taking a path, but gathering clues along whatever path you take, acquiring knowledge, building understanding, and deciphering clues.  Like a million people have probably already said, most of us aren’t stupid, but all of us are ignorant.  There’s no cure for stupid, and we all know the remedy for ignorant, but we’re too lazy to do anything about it.
    • Case in point: I was squeezing all thought out of my brain to try and remember this stupid, one word quote from a forgettable movie from the 80s or 90s.  According to my recollection, this dimwitted detective is searching the protagonist’s apartment and walks by a bookshelf.  He looks at it with disgust and says, “Books.”  To me, that was hilarious and made enough of an impression to stick in my memory some 25 odd years later.  But for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the title of the movie.  I wanted to download a gif and attach it to my blog.  I spent hours (yes, hours) trying to find this obscure, one word quote.  I did remember one other thing, the actress in the movie.  Not by name, but I could picture her face; a thick eyebrowed, full cheeked brunette with a decidedly late 80s hairstyle.  Then I saw her.  She was starring in the movie Arena, a 1989 mid budget sci-fi cheese-fest.  Claudia Cristian.  I looked at her filmography on IMDb and saw the movie which wasted so much of my time; Hexed.  Yes, Hexed (1993).  Under quotes, there was this:
      • Simon Littlefield: [Simon looks scornfully at Matthew’s bookshelf and hisses] books!
    • I had finally solved the riddle only my mind thought important.  The day was saved.  Unfortunately, no gif exists of this quote.  What’s the point?  Shit like that happens all the time if you have an open mind, determination, and a little free time.  Life tends to figure itself out.  You can either join the investigation, or be filed away in the archives.
  • You thought I was done?  Maybe in your universe.  By the way, there are as many universes as there are sapient beings aware of their surroundings to the extent of hindsight, foresight, and presence.  Agreed, they are largely shared, but no one universe is perceive exactly like any other.  Consideration of this fact (fact) is paramount to a harmonious life.
  • Lost ideas are also like skeet.  You must launch them, blow the shit out of them, and let them biodegrade so they can recycle into new thoughts.

Okay, I think I’ve wasted enough of your time.  I’ll leave you with this little gem (not original) to help you tackle diurnity.



Now get out, I’m really, really trying to write a book!

Feel My Breadth(s)

I’ve been wanting to show you these for awhile now.

Ooh, I just thought of this analogy, its just askew enough of being plagiarized to make me just a little bit happy to have arrived at it.  Have you ever had an idea you thought was original only too find out later it was already thunk of?  Don’t be sad.  Great minds think alike.  (By the way, not original)  For some reason you and whoever else had the same great idea independently of one another.  Be proud of that!

The analogy?  Gee, the more I think about it, the less original it sounds.  Screw it!  Doubt and fear can both be ventilated.  Knowledge is like the water cycle.  It exists in the atmosphere in a sparse layer of vapor.  Like a cloud?  Shut up.  Your thought, your wonder adds pressure to the info-sphere in small doses.  The vapor condenses.  Concentration leads to precipitation.  Ideas fall like rain.

Your mind is the ground upon which the ideas fall.  Choma-nous (soil of the mind- Greek).  But what is the texture of your mind?  How porous is your perception?  If your mind is clay, the ideas will wash over you like a flash flood and be gone forever.  If, however, you’re mind is sand, you will absorb the ideas and they will nourish your creative self.  Still, you can’t possibly absorb them all.  Most will sit atop the crown of your intellect and evaporate back into the info-sphere for another cycle.

What does this have to do with my breadth(s)?  This.  Unless your mind is bedrock, where ideas simply erode at the surface, you can change its composition.  I often find myself under a storm of ideas.  I have to choose my own mind’s permeability, and its saturation tolerance.

I’ve talked about rabbit holes of useless information.  They exist everywhere; discovery channels that can easily fill and draw your energy away from what’s important.  I have to plug these with clay.  I need breadth.  I need just enough information about more than enough concepts to lend my writing authenticity.  Loam is the perfect balance.  Absorb a little bit about a lot of things, and I can write with reasonable confidence about anything.

As my most loyal supporter, RJT/Xeno, mentioned to me not long ago, I’m a smart feller.  Thank you!  You are too!  If I was ever tasked to do so, I could gain a depth of knowledge about a great many things.  The problem is, I would have to devote all my energy to that one thing at the expense of all else.  I need to know just enough about lots o’ stuff to make myself sound informed to the reader (and probably like a complete idiot to whoever might be an expert in any of those subjects).

So, till your mind to suit your intellectual needs, and let it rain, baby.  Let it rain.

Now go dry off.  You’re all wet, and I’m percolating a book.


What’cha Readin’ For?- 5 Lies About Why Writers Should Read

“Not, what am I reading, but what am I reading FOR?”-Bill Hicks

The main reason is so I don’t end up being a f-ing destitute substitute teacher the rest of my life. -me


I know, as a writer and aspiring author, I need to read.  I do.  I have been.  I promise.  I’ve started enough books to fill my room, which I sadly just call ‘Room’.  Seriously, the unfinished novels mock me from every crevice of Room.  “Read me!” They scream from their glue-bound spines.  “I’m trying!” I scream back.  My cat thinks I’m screaming at him and hides under Bed.

Oh, are you waiting for a list?  We’re all about lists, aren’t we?

1. Read to Learn- Wrong!  You need to read to learn to read to learn.  Huh?  Well, written language is the Spire upon which all knowledge is distributed.  Yes, but you have to do research to find out what you need to learn before you start reading.  How do you do that?  Reading.  It’s a conundrum wrapped around a rotting, festering boil of information overload.  Do you want depth, or breadth (we’ll get to that later) of knowledge.  No.  You want understanding.  You want to train your brain to process information and emotion efficiently so you’re not wasting your time going down muddy, claustrophobic rabbit holes of mis- and useless information.

I used to tell my students that it didn’t matter what you learned, as long as you were working your brain.  But we’re beyond the, ‘Why am I learning this?’ phase of our lives, right?  Now our very lives depend on the acquisition of pertinent knowledge and understanding.

My fellow writers, listen to me.  Write first, then read.  If you’re like me, and pray you’re not, the writing will lead to the reading.  You’ll need to gain understanding in oh so many things in order to add authenticity to your book and insure it’s truly as original as you think it is.  What you write will guide you towards what you need to read, not t’otherwise sitiated.

2. Read to Find Your Voice- You’re kidding me, right?  ‘But I want to write like them.’  Shut up.  You want…YOU NEED…to write like you.  The bleeding, barely breathing torso of YOUR soul needs to be splattered across the pages you inhabit and create.

Believe me, I tried gearing my writing towards the conventions of genre, mood, and scope, vicariously writing in someone else’s  voice.  What I ended up with was a geo-scape of beautiful ideas hidden at the core of a leaden planet called Halteres.

Then I got pissed.  I wrote angry and I finally found my voice.  I’m a cantankerous, snarky, slightly beyond middle age man who’s possessed by the ghost of his petulant, mischievous teenage self.  That’s when I started writing Opposable, and re-imagining Halteres, and that’s when the Sparks returned.

Pay that shit off!  Quit paying interest on another’s.  Write like you think.  No, I mean really think.  Okay, I’m going to say this, and I just punched myself in the face as punishment.  Write like no one will ever read the dirty little thoughts in your mind.  You’re a filthy liar.  You have to be.  That’s what writers do.  They lie.  They tease.  They stir dark regions that no one else dare go.  Ooh, you’re bad!  THAT’S the shit people really want to read.

And remember what I said about fear?  You got your power drill?  Go to town!

3. Read to Connect- No.  WRITE to connect, then read the responses.  Then write a response.  Respond to the writing that connects to you, but you should never connect with something without responding to it.  (I must remind myself that these posts are mainly advice to myself, because I’m ultimately a selfish bastard, but I hope you can connect with what I’m saying…by reading this.  (Snickers at his own hypocrisy.))

4. Read for Inspiration- Okay, sometimes.  I struggle with getting into novels, not because I’m illiterate or uninterested, but because I can’t for my meager life go in with a clear head.  I’m always comparing, projecting, and scrutinizing my writing against the author’s.  It makes reading maddening and painful at times.  I know a novel is good when these instincts disappear.  Sometimes they do.

I also have go beyond the snapshot of the novel and author and look to the backstory of the manuscript.  Is this a first time author who’s novel is due to be a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg?  If so, I hate you.  Also, I want to be you.  Your novel has elicited inspiration, loathing, awe, and dread.  You suck, you slinky succubus.

5. Read for Instruction- Phthalates, please.  Have you absorbed a word I wrote?  I instruct you to write!  Okay.  Thank you.  Now I have permission to write.  I have permission to be awful, awkward, and precocious, even though I should be well past the point where I care.  Have I mentioned I’m neurotic, hypersensitive, and super duper mudey?  (Tell me I misspelled something.)

I’m exhausted, but it feels great!  Be on the lookout for upcoming posts such as; Aggressive Passive Aggressiveness, Burnout is Beautiful, and Feel My Breadths.

Thank you and be gone, I’m reeediiing…a book.


Rated M for Manure

I know most of the stuff I write is crap, heaps and mounds of fertile feces.  But you know what?  Therein lie the seeds.  Just because I tell a joke and nobody laughs doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying to inject joyous frivolity into people’s lives.  Just because I’m about the worst grammarian in the world doesn’t mean I’m going to forego all punctuation, in the future (hehe).  And especially because I know I’m not yet the writer I could be doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing.  No, never.  You can’t make me.

So here I am, dishing out the manure.  But know this; there are seeds in here.  Sparks hide and smolder.  They will someday grow into mighty mongosas (see Halteres).  We will someday be surrounded by the vast Urwald (Halteres!) and lose ourselves in the realm of Bad Ass Sci Fi.

Bare with me, for the land is yet bare, until I till.  The Sparks need to be nurtured and cultivated amidst the rancid manure.  We all know the greatest rewards await those who suffer through the most.  We ALL know we have to go through things we don’t desire to get the things we do, but that is for another post.

Now hoe on, I’m sprouting a book!


Why Not Today?

“Why?”, I ask you.  “Why?”  No reason.  Not any good reason anyway.

Fear?  Screw fear.  Screw fear right in the rear!  I (and probably you) should be at a point in life where this ‘fear’ is nothing but a metacognitive misanthrope that exists only to hold you back, tear you down, and keep you from becoming what you were always meant to be!  See what I did there?  I wasn’t afraid to use alliterations, cliches, and fulfill my hankerin’ for a hunk o’ cheese.

Sloth?  Okay, you got me there.  Still, here I am, writing a blog post during a break from my illustrious substitute teaching gig.  So why don’t I do this every day?  Because I suck.  No…  Yes, I do.  I suck because I haven’t put enough effort forth to let the world know how friggin awesome I am!  I bet you suck too.  See?  We’re the same, you and me.  We’re the same, can’t you see?  (Falling Down)

All that ‘other stuff’ I have to do?  Shut up.  Just…shut your dirty oral sphincter.  We make time for what’s important in our lives.  We sprinkle it between what’s easy.  And we make a big fat bundt cake of pseudo-obligations that fills every crevice of our lives until there’s no room for anything else.  Knock it off!  Don’t lie.  Don’t pretend you’re something you’re not.  Grab your desires by the scrotum and sssqqquueeezzzzeee!

So, what do you have to lose?  Your life?  Maybe that’s a good thing.  Start a new one; the one you were always meant for.

Again, it’s overwhelming.  Don’t get locked up.  Chisel through it.  Be the chosen one, not the frozen one.  Yeah, I said it.  I own it.

Now please, please go!  I’m squeezing out a book!


Here’s Where Kirk Goes Berserk

Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh! (hold for 13 seconds)  That’s it.  Let it all out.  Feel better?  Good.

Now, get to work!  What’s on your ‘to do’ list?  Let’s see.

  • Launch freelance writing career.
  • Get 130K piece of bad ass sci-fi/fantasy mega-crap published.
  • Finish writing much more inspired avant-garde sci fi/horror uber-load.
  • Read ever growing queue of books mocking me from my bedside table.
  • Expand social media empire around Bad Ass Sci Fi.
  • Keep fostering incredibly lucrative substitute teaching career.
  • Try not to run out of money in the meantime.
  • Repeat opening emotional outburst.

This is where mental rigor mortis sets in.  I can’t do it all at once.  So what do I do?  Nothing.  Well, here’s where the something begins.  This is something, right?

This isn’t an advice column, but here’s some advice.  I don’t claim to be one of those high IQ, geniousy guys, but I learn from my mistakes (doesn’t necessarily mean I alter my behavior accordingly).  Knowledge without action is like a vape without a coil.  You can suck all you want, but you won’t get the desired effect.  Shut up, stupid.  Don’t talk to your readers like that.  I wasn’t, I was talking to you.

Hey!  Oh yeah, the anticipation of doing a thing is almost always worse than the actual doing of a thing.  Almost…always.  What?  Tell you something you don’t already know?  I can’t.  I’m not an expert in you.  I’m not even an expert in me.  What I will tell you is writing this post feels a hell of a lot better than stressing about needing to write a post.  Writing my book feels better than lamenting its stagnation.  Researching freelance writing careers, no matter how overwhelming and daunting, kicks researching the dark crevices of my mind right in the ass.

Is this a good post?  I care not, but it is.  Are my novels really any good?  They’re solid friggin gold bars of Bad Ass.  Go to to learn more.

What about you?  You’re beautiful.  You’re a powder keg of potential!  Now go!  Explode!  Shower the world with bloody chunks of goodness!

Now blow, I’m going berserk on a book!



These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.  These are the feelings that send me to bed early.  “What?”, say you.  Life is a mofo SOB.  At some point in life you come to the horrifying realization…so what?  Caught between expectation and desire.  Caught again between desire and ability.  Then throw in nature and habit.

“What?”  It’s simple.  You need money to survive.  What I love to do will probably never make me money.  I’ve whittled my life down to what most in my life consider next to nothing.  Still, I find myself needing to whittle more.  Whittle while I work, you see.

I know I have a gift.  Something that’s remained largely in a mishandled shipper most my life.  I couple years ago, I opened it.  I started writing with great enthusiasm and naivety.  I made a great many rash decisions based on a great many tragedies.  Now I sit amidst the smoldering ruins of my life.  Are you sad yet?  Do you feel sorry for me yet?  Shut up.

I have a roof over my head.  I have more than enough food to eat.  My greatest worries come from we call ‘high class problems’.  I need to shut the hell up!

I ask not for sympathy.  I could use a little more support and encouragement, but even in their absence, I need to progress solely on my own.  I recently told a friend I have a Major in delusion with a Double Minor in stupid and lazy.  I now amend my credentials.  I have a Double PhD in delusion and lazy, a Major in stupid, and a Double Minor in self-scrutiny shortsightedness.  By the way, my mind is fully accredited.

So what am I going to do?  I’m going to have a great day and, at the end of it, probably focus on what I should have done and not what I did.  That’s what I do, and that’s alright.

Now, don’t bother me.  I’m regretting not writing a better bloogk.giphyawil


Every day is a chance to do something bad ass.  Amidst the grind, the worry for money and inner peace, there’s an opportunity to be greater.  Every day is a date, not just on the calendar, but with…nope, not gonna say it.  Just get on with it.  The day is going to happen with or without you.  You might as well get up, do a jumping jack, pick the lint out of your navel, grab a wrench with your opposable thumb and monkey around.  The only thing you have to lose is that which you haven’t got, and all you have to gain is everything you couldn’t if you didn’t try.

If you’re following me just a little bit; welcome.  I love you.  I admire you.  I appreciate you.  Now shut up and don’t bother me.  For today, I am writing a book.


I Can’t Do It

Not with that attitude!  Still, the thought keeps running through my head.  I can’t do it.  After 180,000 words, one and a half-half finished novels, and 40 rejection letters, the doubtmeister digs its steel claws in.


And what am I doing while fostering these useless thoughts?  Nothing.

And what should I be doing while fostering these useless thoughts?  Something.

There is no doubt the doubt will remain.  The feeling I can’t do it will persist, intensify, until I do it…or give up.

I’m obviously not giving up.  I’m not that smart.  Like I’ve said before; I’ve cornered the market on stupid.

So what keeps you going, Dumbass?

Delusion.  Wondrous delusion.  The resolute belief that what I can’t do is temporary and what I will do is permanent.  Also, the fantastic realization that what I have done is absolutely bad ass!

So, I can’t do it.  You know why?  Because I’ve already done it.

Now shut up and don’t bother me.  I’m writing a book!