brainmeats

Chaos Shopping

In light of something that went across the good folks at Sporked today I had a think about that lesser known dangerous food shopping condition: Chaos Shopping. Chaos Shopping is not shopping hungry. Shopping hungry is well known and an established terrible idea. You end up with all sorts of things you’re convinced you want right that second but then really aren’t into or had convinced yourself to stop eating in the first place. Chaos Shopping on the other hand is what happens when you mean to go shopping with a list and then forget that list, but are already at the store so you might as well give it a go. After all – how bad could this turn out? When your brain enters Chaos Shopping mode it is akin to a small child who has access to your…

Continue Reading

Cats sitting up with a keyboard on its lap Cats write novels too

Writing: Building from short stories to novels

The other day I was talking with a friend about some writing stuff and I mentioned I used to write short stories, long before I wrote novels. And I did it for a reason. Writing shorts is what taught me how to write novels, really. This will be full of things that look like rules or advice. They aren’t. None of this applies to anyone but me, unless it happens to resonate with you. If any of it does – take what you want, and leave the rest. But it is being written from my brain’s perspective. This is how I think, and how I work, and I do not think that means anyone else should abide by it. But also I am not going to preface every bit with this so I’m just getting it all out of the…

Continue Reading

My Top Ten Albums of 2021

I like music. That may be an understatement, actually. I desperately need music. I write to it. I edit to it. I just sit and play it, work out to it, everything. I also don’t stream music. Nothing against people who do, mind you. I just like to buy my music, a mix of mp3s and CDs. I don’t do vinyl because, honestly, I grew up at the end of vinyl and then rebought things on cassette and then CD and I can’t go backwards. I just can’t. That’s me. Again, however you listen to music you should enjoy it. I get albums and tend to think of music in terms of albums not singles more often than not. Which is why I am not doing the Top Ten Songs. I digress mightily! This year, for the first time, I…

Continue Reading

Ish

I wasn’t planning on posting this, must less right now when I have a bunch of stuff to get done right now and I’m all busy and argh and… anyway: Religion. Faith. All that jazz. Not something I tend to really talk about in public. Not because I’m afraid of controversy, fuuuuuck y’all know me, but just because it has always been, for me, something that wasn’t anyone else’s business. At least not the internet-at-large’s So let’s talk about it. My family, from my grandparents (on both sides) back, is religiously Jewish. My mother and father, however, both converted away from Judaism before they even met. I, personally, have never asked why. None of my business. My mother is Protestant, my father was Catholic. You know, nominally. In the way a lot of people are. They’ve certainly both seen the…

Continue Reading

One piece of clothing

I only have one piece of clothing I actually deeply and truly care about. I mean, I have lots of stuff I like that I wear, but it’s not the same. No this is something utterly different for me. In 1996 (maybe 97? maybe 95?) I decided I needed a good leather jacket. I’d never owned one, good or bad, and wanted one. So that summer, while wandering the West Village I came across one of those stores that had been shit all around the area. Those tiny, over-crowded, jacket/clothing/shoe stores that had too much crap and always had a “Closing Soon!” sign to try and get you to buy something quickly before they died. I went in, just to look around and saw a Hudson Leather motorcycle jacket. I do not now, and never did ride a motorcycle. Doesn’t…

Continue Reading

Pronouns

Last year I started wearing a very pretty pin on my con lanyards. It said “He/Him” and I wish I could remember the artist who did it, because it is pretty. I saw, I think it was a Google conference, where they offered stickers with your pronouns for attendees to put on their badges. Also cool. But for me I felt this needed to be bigger, in a literal sense. I mean I love my pin, and stickers are cool – but they are small. And in a con environment when you’re meeting people and remembering them, you also want to know their pronouns so you can be a decent person. Making that easy to see, so you don’t have to lean in and look at all the pins and buttons and stickers on a badge or lanyard to find…

Continue Reading

Five Across

My office has a cut-out for what should be a closet. Instead it’s just a space set back from the rest of the room. Except for the fact that the fronting hides some hidden internal vertical space and there’s a bit of molding along the bottom edge of the upper drop. You can see it in the header image, and I am sure there are smart terms for what it is. Whatever. It is a space I had nothing hanging in. Oddly sized I considered what I might want to hang there since I can see it from my desk all day. Finally, a while back, I did some quick measuring and realized I could fit five comics up there if I wanted. But what five? I ended up choosing five comics that were special to me for various reasons….

Continue Reading

The Convention Bag Detailed

I’ve been doing conventions for a while now, selling books. Running a con table takes a lot of stuff and a bunch of thought and so I found myself needing to prepare more and more every show. Eventually I decided on gathering up a con bag. One bag that I could put everything, except stock (and now except one other thing I’ll get to), into and just grab and go. I used to use a giant diaper bag from Target for it, as it was big enough, and sturdy enough for the job but over the time the fact that it didn’t have a rigid shape started to cause problems. It was hard to load onto the hand truck, it was a pain to carry, and it sort of flopped enough to take up too much extra room under tables….

Continue Reading

Networking

So I feel the need to talk about networking. You know, just did ECCC and a lot of ppl go in about “Well it’s a great show to network at, I don’t know how to network, aaaa” and really there are two schools of thought to it I know of. ONLY ONE WORKS. There are some people that see “networking” to mean going back and forth between any group you think will be an advantage to you, or your career. It’s raw opportunistic hunting. It can look like it works. It 100% doesn’t, though. See, everyone knows who that person is, and that they will only be your friend for exactly as long as they think you are of value to them. No one will tell them, to their face, that we all know. But we all talk, and names…

Continue Reading

Pavlov’s Idiot

Back in the dark ages of 2012/2013 the Pebble watch came out. I jumped on the idea quickly. I was, after all, the guy who had email on his phone back when that meant using a Sidekick and making sure it could load telnet so I could check my mail via pine while I was on the road. I liked being in touch. Being that connected way back then (good ol’ 2002) paid off, too. I sold at least one story because I could submit it when asked, and there was a time crunch going on. That was how I justified allowing myself to tether to the world that hard. Recently, however, I’ve felt the need to step back in tiny ways. I find myself longing for the days of a pager, really. I mean I want to be in…

Continue Reading