Saturday, December 31, 2022

How 2022 Went

Not so great!

Surprise! I only achieved one of my goals for 2022!

Goals and results:
1. Write an average of 1,000 words a day, which would come to 365,000 words for the year. Instead I wrote 187,240 words (assuming I don’t squeeze in a few more tonight) which is an average of 513 words a day, just over half my goal. However, I did beat the heck out of 2021's word count which was 115,213 words, or an average of about 315 words a day.
2. Finish my second novel, Hive Five. Instead, I’ve written through chapter 25 of the current draft, which is not the final draft. Yowch.
3. Read 104 books. Instead I read 57. Again, a little over half. My favorites were The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.
4. Have 50 Patreon patrons at the same time. Nope.
5. Weigh 225 pounds and don’t get heavier after I do. Nope.
6. Write 52 blogposts on The One-Thousand. Only 25, including this one.
7. Get my A.A. in English. A WIN! Yeah! But that one wasn’t really in doubt as long as I lived through the first third of the year.

I only finished six pieces of fiction and they were all flash fiction. Quadruple yowch. Most of those 187,240 words I wrote went to Patreon stuff and unfinished works.
I submitted 26 times to editors in 2022.
I sold two stories, both to podcasts.

I’m looking back on 2022 with disappointment, although I did have a couple of wins. I had a very hard time day to day while I was in the thick of it. Most Sundays and Mondays were pretty productive for me, and most Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays were dismal.
The new year is always an exciting time for me because I like the chance to start again and do better. Come back tomorrow to see what I’m planning for 2023.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Sunday, December 11, 2022

The Creature

Something is scuttling around in my attic. Can't say that I care for that.

Friday, December 02, 2022

My Latest Story Is Out There For You!

My latest story is up at StarShipSofa! "That Feeling You're Feeling" (story 182 of The One-Thousand) is about a guy who takes snapshots of people's emotions when they're at their very lowest point and posts them for his subscribers. Sounds like a prince. Give a listen and find out what happens to him!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Between Worlds

Art by Jacey


Here's a story of mine from 2021 I forgot to tell you about the first time around. Sorry! It's a flash piece for Nature called "Between Worlds" (number 176 of The One-Thousand). Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Fresh Mangoes!

The two latest episodes of Beware the Patronizing Mango are waiting, free of charge, for anyone who wants to click!

Episode 156 is Trowel Those Trousers wherein a woman tries to make a house out of pants and accidentally becomes a witch. It happens.

Episode 155 is Nobgoblin, about a potentially inappropriate game of D&D. Oh, my.

Once you're there, click on the "free episode" tag for more free Mangoes, or support me at and get even more episodes plus other goodies!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Hospital Stay

I spent some time in the hospital Tuesday and Wednesday. Had some persistent chest pains but, after many tests, it seems my heart is in good shape, so nothing to worry about there except the ridiculous medical bills that will be coming my way.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Story Sale!

Yesterday I sold my story, "That Feeling You're Feeling," to StarShipSofa! It's about a guy who takes snapshots of the emotions of people when they're at their absolute lowest, and he posts them for his subscribers. It's number 182 of The One-Thousand. I'll let you know when it's available and I'll post a link to the show.

Monday, October 24, 2022


Last month I banged out six pieces of flash fiction and here they are in order:

"The Hip of Theseus" - A guy replaces ALL of his body parts.

"Life is so Strange" - A woman foresees her life is about to come to a violent end.

"Time's Archipelago" - An old man travels to the past and might be stuck in his ten-year-old body.

"Life in the City" - A woman summons Life and uses it to do her bidding.

"My God, It's Full of Stars," - Stars keep appearing in the night sky at an alarming rate.

"A Break in the Action" - A couple find themselves in a lull in a real-life action movie.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Non-Born King

The Nonborn King (Saga of the Pliocene Exile, #3)The Nonborn King by Julian May
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Epic. Deep. A blast. This is my second reading, the first being nearly forty years ago. These books were written to last. I may be enjoying them even more than I did as a teenager. A deeper knowledge of the world only enriches the experience. Nearly everything I remember from this series came from the first two books. This is exciting, as these books are my favorite adventure story. It's similar to reading them for the first time. The end of book 2 knocked the game board over and scattered the pieces. Here, those that remain gather strength and make fragile alliances. Julian May was absolutely brilliant, her layers of knowledge stack atop one another to make (brace yourself for this metaphor) a magnificent baklava, honeyed by her cinematic writing style. I can't wait to see how it turns out (again).

View all my reviews

Monday, August 29, 2022

La Belle et la BĂȘte

Josette Day and Jean Marais as the title characters.


Finally saw Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (1946) after years of it sitting on my to-be-watched list. I saw it on HBOmax and it's usually on the Criterion Channel as well. The story moves along at a decent pace and has enough weirdness throughout to keep me interested. I especially like the moving heads of the sculptures. What impressed me was how much it felt like a Hollywood picture of the same era. Cocteau's Orpheus (1950), on the other hand feels much more like an indie film. Is it the budget? Or is Beauty's surrealism subsumed by the fairy tale nature of the story while that of Orpheus stands out in sharper contrast, affecting our biases? I recommend this film to people who have exactly my tastes.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Goals Update

I’ve been gone for a while! Here’s an update on the goals I posted on January 1st. 

The short version: IT'S GOING TERRIBLY!

The longer version:

1. Write 365,000 words: I currently only have 103,068 words in. I’m running about 109,000 behind.

2. Finish Hive Five: Not even close. I’m about 22 chapters into what I think will run about thirty chapters and those 22 are far from final drafts.

3. Read 104 books: I’m currently at 29 books

4. Have 50 patrons (at the same time): The strategy here was to produce weekly videos and establish a YouTube presence. First I didn’t have enough time because of school. Then I was done with school and no longer had free access to Adobe products through the school. So, that strategy is going nowhere. I seem to have one more patron than I started the years with though, so, technically, I’m going in the right direction (hey, I’ll take whatever progress I can get).

5. Weigh 225 pounds (and don’t get heavier after I do): I think I’ve actually gained weight since the beginning of the year, but I’m not giving up yet. I might even try this time.

6. Write 52 blog posts on The One-Thousand: We’re in August and this is post number six!

7. Get my A.A. in English: I succeeded!

Well, I’ve got a lot of work to do. Better get to it!

BTPM 152

UPDATE: The Patreon player is acting up at the moment. If you can't play it in the player, you can always download it and give it a listen.

Here's a link to the latest episode of Beware the Patronizing Mango, number 152. Enjoy!


Monday, January 24, 2022

Shadows in Color

I was making big bubbles and fell in love with their rainbow shadows on the wall. Crank up the picture quality, and please share if you like it. Thanks!

Saturday, January 01, 2022

My Short List Of Ridiculous Goals For 2022

Happy New Year! Here are my brief but ridiculous goals for 2022:

1. Write 365,000 words. That, of course, is 1,000 words a day. Thank Christ (or, more appropriately, Pope Gregory XIII) it’s not a leap year. I’d never make that goal! So, this is over three times what I wrote in 2021, but I will have more time in 2022. I only have one class this year, as opposed to three last year, and I won’t be working a part-time job, which I did for nine months of 2021.

2. Finish Hive Five. That's my novel, by the way. It would be about damned time. If I’m writing all those words, this goal will work nicely with my first goal. However, at some point, there’s going to be more editing than writing, meaning working on the book will be in addition to the writing.

3. Read 104 books. The more I read, the better I’ll write. And since I’m focusing on novel writing, I should be reading books rather than short stories. Not that I’m forsaking shorts, but the novel is the priority. However, I’m pretty sure I’ve never read 104 books in a year in my life. If I have, it was when I was a wee lad, and the books were much thinner with many more pictures. I think I usually average between 40 and 50 books a year. Soooo... yeah. There are also some specific books I want to read, but I won’t bog you down in details here.

4. Have 50 patrons (at the same time). I have 22 as of this writing. Here’s a goal you can help me with. I absolutely suck at getting folks to join my Patreon at Hint, hint. This year I’m going to try YouTube, doing very short videos of myself reading Mango stories, with the Patreon link for all to see, and a quick pitch at the end. I wanted to start this a month ago, but projects and people in the house tripped me up. I plan to get the first one out on Monday. The one that’s two days from now. I’ll post it for you and ask you to share.

5. Weigh 225 pounds (and don’t get heavier after I do). I’ve gained weight over the holidays and I’m currently at 237. (I’m 6' 2" if anyone cares.) Weight is harder to keep down since my full-time retail days when I was walking constantly (Once, on a double shift, I walked eleven miles in a day just inside the store. I got depressed and put aside my pedometer after that.) So, exercise a little more. Try to restrain my eating habits a little more (one of the biggest challenges of my life).

6. Write 52 blog posts on The One-Thousand. I’m already on my way with this post! I’ve severely neglected my blog, and I need to spend less time on social media, so this will be good for me, even if no one reads it. But you’ll read it, won’t you? Won’t you?!?

7. Get my A.A. in English. Of all my goals, this is the easiest. I only have one class to go and it starts in a few days (damn it!). The bad part is, until I’m done in the end of April, it’s going to take time away from my other time-needy goals. Man, I hate school! That’s why it’s taken me so long to get here.

That’s it. I have little faith in myself to accomplish even two of these goals, so that’s a great place to start. Here’s hoping I surprise the shit out of myself. As I said yesterday, you don’t win or lose in a year. You win or lose moment to moment, with each decision you make. Too often, I cave to my animal wants (eating, sleeping, legal naked stuff) instead of doing the necessary work. All I need to do to make some progress is to overcome the animal a little more of the time. So, good luck to me.

If you’re a yearly goal or resolution person, I wish you luck too. Some people don’t even bother setting themselves up like that because they know they’ll fail, but I can’t imagine not wanting to improve things. Even if I fail, my attempts at succeeding put me farther ahead than I otherwise would have been.

Let’s all have a great year!