“Explain this thing to me,” my friends would say to me, while I was reorganizing my life around getting myself out to Seattle for Clarion West.
“I’m moving into an empty sorority house for six weeks with 17 strangers. And it’s not a reality show. It’s a writing workshop.”
Continue reading Clarion West
My great aunt, Sister Dominic, sat in her chair in her room in the hospice ward of the convent. She was watching Mass on TV. It hadn’t even occurred to me that someone would televise Mass. But there she was, arguably too infirm to attend in person, so she watched Mass from her chair while I waited awkwardly, patiently, to talk to her.
It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a year now since she passed away.
Continue reading Sister Dominic
This story originally appeared in the Earth First! Journal in 2014.
When the wind runs through the elders, it casts their branches out every which way and I love it. I love when autumn storms come through and take leaves with them and the leaves take off into the skies like flocks and tidings of birds.
I walk through the eldergrove unafraid, and for me that is something. I remember, when I was so young that my mother still wove leaves into my braids—I remember playing in the eldergrove and I skinned my knee and the blood came out, thick as sap, and I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t afraid because I’d tripped over my grandfather’s roots and I knew his blood was the same as mine.
Continue reading Wardens
Here’s my year in review. I suppose most people just do these sorts of things on facebook or something now, but I’ve been doing it on this site for quite some time: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, and 2008.
In 2014, my accomplishments were, by-and-large, more personal and less of the “look at what I made” variety.
- I released my first novel, A Country of Ghosts.
- I toured with said novel across the country.
- My short story “Wardens” appeared in the Earth First! Journal.
- I dealt with the worst of my mental health issues and came out the other side.
- I completely rebuilt the interior of my van.
- I actually moved somewhere, taking a temporary break from itinerant life.
- I started studying martial arts again.
- I wrote a lot, though I haven’t finished anything but short fiction and articles.
- I saw buffalo, a grizzly bear, and geysers for the first time. (Animals in animal-jail don’t count.)
In this series I’m documenting the remodeling of my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Conversion Van from a family travel model to an RV. Work was done in the spring of 2014 and written about 6 months later, so my memory is fuzzy.
Starting from right behind the driver’s compartment, I ripped out almost everything from my van, down to the bare steel floors and walls. The exceptions were the foam on the floor, the rear air-conditioning, and two of the rear speakers.
Continue reading Van Life: Green Remodeling: Demolition and Underlayment
Just around the three year mark of life in my van Leviathan, I decided to remodel the interior. I took over my friends’ driveway for roughly 6 weeks (I’d estimated it would take me 3) and spent all day, every day, ripping out the old and putting in the new.
Continue reading Van Life: Green Remodeling: Planning
Everything You Know About Creativity Is Wrong.
I get asked somewhat regularly how I manage my output of creative works, including zines, novels, magazines, albums, comics, photo books, jewelry, tintypes, and stuff no one knows was me so I’m not telling. What’s my secret?
Four letters. DGAF.
Don’t Give A Fuck.
Don’t give yourself deadlines. Don’t push yourself. Don’t be goal-oriented. Don’t cater to or research your audience. Don’t give a fuck. One day we’ll all be dead.
Continue reading DGAF: four simple letters to help you be more productive
Awhile back I made an indesign template for designing one-inch buttons. I’m not sure why I never posted it before now. (I’d guess “sloth” as the most likely answer.)
I’ve uploaded the .indd file for InDesign CS6 and the .idml file for InDesign CS4 and later. 35 buttons fit on each page. The outer black circle is the only printing guide, and it shows you where to cut. The green margin is the safe bleed margin. The pink margin indicates the actual edge of the front of the button, while the blue box within that is the safe margin for text and important elements on the button. When you print, make sure you set it to print at 100% size, rather than “shrink to fit.”
Continue reading one-inch button template for indesign
I’m afraid there isn’t much “essay” to this photo essay. This summer I went halfway across the country with some photo-shy punks.
I used to hate the National Park system. It tokenizes nature… it lets the federal government say “look, we have nature!” while gutting the rest of public lands. It still does those things and I still hate it for that. But there’s no denying the beauty of these places, and I appreciate the work that they put into making such beauty accessible to people while (usually) attempting to minimize the impact humans have on the area. Hell, if they weren’t in the process of destroying the rest of the undeveloped areas of the country, I could even applaud them for getting humans into specific chosen pretty areas so that the rest of the areas are left alone.
Of course, that’s not what’s happening.
But Glacier is beautiful, even if its namesake glaciers are almost gone. See them while there are any left to see, I suppose.
Continue reading Glacier National Park, 2014
The proof copy of my upcoming novel, A Country of Ghosts, arrived yesterday and got approved. Now we’re just waiting a couple of weeks for the first print run to arrive!