Two Sides

From the 2017 Christmas Collection…


Angel Hunt | Streifen

Side One.

The teahouse is reminiscent of Meiji-era Japan, replete with shoji doors, decorative screens, tatami mats, and wood paneled walls.  In the private dining room reserved for the restaurant’s elite, a low, rectangular table is bordered by zabuton on each side.  The merry trickling of water comes from the small bamboo fountain in one corner, and the air is rich with the scents of what remains on the two daily trayed sets – miso broiled fish, tofu and seaweed salad, seven grain rice, and various accompanying vegetables.  Beside the trays a pot of gyokuro sits on a warmer, the expensive tea brought by the hostess herself. Continue reading



From the 2016 Christmas collection…

recovery cover photo

Eden : Alternate Universe Unrelated

They say these meetings are only temporary.  A crutch to help with transition after tragedy.  A place to tell your stories and to listen to the stories of others, to share in the healing process.  The goal is not to forget, but to ease, a salve against the worst of the pain and feelings of helplessness.  For some this takes a few weeks, maybe a month, for others many more.  For a small handful, a year.  For me, this is the third year.  Three years of loss and grief, and while I no longer feel the acute pain of sorrow, still I find myself in this church basement twice a week.  I often ask myself why I still make these appearances.  No one else save the facilitator has been here longer than me.  Even the scant few who needed a year or so have come and gone.  Why do I still come?  It’s certainly not for the weak, lukewarm  coffee or chafing plastic chairs, nor the slightly stale, grocery store bakery bland cookies.  I come to watch the people.  Sam whose wife fought a long battle with cancer.  Jenny who lost her infant son.  Sienna whose husband was killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street.  David whose mother died of a heart attack.  Carter whose partner drowned on a fishing trip.  Kara whose grandfather drank himself to liver failure.  There are others, each with sad stories and pain-drenched emotions, each dealing with the crushing pain of having to say goodbye to a loved one.

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Season’s Eatings

Another story from the 2016 Christmas collection…

Angel Hunt | Streifen :  Alternate Universe 2


The last half block to the apartment building is eaten up in long strides over the aged and cracked sidewalk, dress shoes clicking out a rhythm that’s halfway between a fast paced walk and a jog.   The shining sun in the cloudless afternoon sky imparts plenty of light, but does little to mitigate the chill, the warmth of the office lost before a fraction of the distance toward home was completed.  Each step is harried by the blustery late autumn wind, all sharp edges that slice through the woolen overcoat and layers beneath as if they are the thinnest tissue paper.  The gusts tug at raven-dark hair, twisting the coarse strands into snarls and knots that look as though some small animal has taken up residence.  Dried leaves in the hues of scarlet, gold, and orange crackle underfoot, some swirling here and there in miniature vortexes when caught just right, a clacking accompaniment to the hurried walk.  

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Pass the champagne, it’s a New Year

Year of the Dog photo

January 2018.  New Year, new beginnings.  It’s the season of resolutions, promises we generally make to ourselves with only our own conscious to govern whether we hold them or they fall by the wayside.   Which isn’t a bad thing, as we should be the ones to hold our own feet to the fire if we truly are serious about completing a resolution.  Ultimately a very large majority of resolutions are reliant on willpower and on our own interest in the resolution itself.  After all, it’s really hard to train to run a half marathon if we discover that we hate running, right?

I thought about how I wanted to begin this year and what I might want to accomplish, made a list, crossed things off and found myself drawn to one simple objective for this coming year: to be more creative and by extension, to be better about sharing what I create.  Nice and broad by design because as I found myself trying to compartmentalize and quantify how I would be more creative (complete one finished drawing each month, write for at least half an hour every day, etc.), it quickly became apparent that in tying myself down like that, I was going to end up stifling the creativity I’m trying to encourage.  So I’m going to just let things flow to start, and see where it takes me.  If I find I’m having difficulty focusing because I’ve got too many options, then I can come up with a more definitive schedule.  

It’s not much of a resolution if I don’t take a moment to reflect on why I feel as though it’s necessary.  My hobbies have always been creatively centered, so it’s not necessarily a matter of needing to branch out and try new things (although hey, if I suddenly want to take up knitting or quilting or whatnot, then that’s perfectly fine), it’s more a matter of 1) producing and taking risks with writing, art, photos, etc. and 2) motivation.  Taking risks has been an issue for me when it comes to creative pursuits (except maybe with writing) and I am my own most self-defeating cheerleader.  Case in point, I’ve always wanted to do a few short little comics, but end up discarding the idea because I convince myself that my artwork isn’t good enough or I’m not talented enough to attempt even a short comic or I don’t have any ideas that would make good comics.  Tough to even begin a project when you’re leading the charge against yourself, and I’m not saying one New Year’s resolution is going to overcome my own brain being stupid about things, but I want to be more aware that I’m doing it so I can try to neutralize the risk-killing thoughts before they nix a project.  I have my work cut out for me.  Motivation is a tough one, too, because I know that’s directly tied to depression.  This isn’t a matter of me simply deciding not to be lazy, this is my brain telling me that doing whatever creative thing I want to do is as hard to start as it would be to walk on water.  It feels exhausting to even think of trying it when it’s much more appealing to stay in bed or turn on Netflix and binge watch.  Frustratingly, this lack of motivation extends past things I may not want to do (work, grocery shopping, etc.) and right into the things I love to do.  Brain chemicals being what they are, I foresee motivation as the bigger hurdle than productivity and risk, but I’m aware that nothing will ever get done if I don’t start addressing it head on.  If I don’t, then it wins, and I won’t get to enjoy doing what I love, simple as that.  I’d rather not let the brain chemicals win, so to that end, I’m adopting a new approach.

Just start.  Beginning any new project from the simplest short story to a new drawing often feels like standing in front of a ninety foot wall and attempting to climb.  It’s hard, harder than it probably is for folks whose brains aren’t actively cheering them on to couch veg or sleep.  My theory is that by taking the first difficult step and starting, it will be easier to follow through.  We’ll see how it plays out in practice, but I’m hopeful.  (Or as hopeful as pessimists can be XD)

So what’s the point of this and why am I bothering to post it here?  This blog hasn’t had much activity lately, partly due to me being busy and partly due to all that in the paragraph above.  I have plans for more posts and lots of things to share about the worlds and characters I love so much.  Part of the resolution calls for me to improve the way I share the things I create and produce, and this blog provides the perfect forum.  Anything I post up here, including updating and rounding out the info pages or posting old writing/artwork/photos, I’m calling a win.  So I’ll hopefully be more active here in the very near future.