Wherein I play catch-up to the Quinn again.

You can read Quinn’s post here.

Reading

War and Peace
My big summer reading project. This is the third start as I’ve had to set it aside for teaching duties. I’m close to finishing (Book 11 of 15, plus two epilogues). Slowly I’ve been catching up on the great Russian literature I’ve missed. Epic, but you knew that.

The Zend Avesta, Part II: The Sirozahs, Yasts and Nyayis
One of my reading projects involves religious, spiritual, and mythological writings. The Zend Avesta is a collection of Zoroastrian texts. I find this interesting, though I know many would find it dull.

I’m catching up on a few magazines I haven’t been able to read: Poetry, Paris Review, my free Harper’s subscription. One day I’ll get to read that one year of McSweeney’s Quarterly I have. One day.

Watching
One of the first things that gets cut in my day is viewing time. When I was in Austin and had some downtime I watched It Follows (2015), which I enjoyed. I thought the film used interesting metaphors to capture the fear and anxiety of teenagers dealing with sexuality. I’ve really liked the poster art I’ve seen for the film, mostly throwbacks to VHS box art. Other than that, I watched Re-Animator (1985) for maybe the 20th time.

I have seen Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2015) about seven times with my oldest daughter. It’s actually watchable and touching. Other than that I’ve only been able to process a few episodes of season four of Bob’s Burgers.

Listening
My listening has been more confined than my viewing. On Monday, I recorded an upright bass track for a friend’s solo album that’s coming out later in the year. I had to listen to the song and practice since I haven’t played bass in 3 years. My left hand would work for about 15 minutes. I used to do 4-hour bluegrass gigs.

Anyway, the song is great and I just hope I didn’t mess it up. We did 3 takes, all usable, but each got better, I believe. My intonation was probably the best on the third take.

I’ve been doing frequent pre-bath/book/bedtime dance parties with the kids. Our main groove source has been Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads with a little James Brown thrown in.

Writing and Submitting
The first issue of Ghoulanoids is out! It premiered in Austin at the New South Festival. I stayed with a friend I hadn’t seen in 23 years and it was like we never had down time. I’ve rarely felt that welcome anywhere. Cheers, mi hermano!

If you pre-ordered from Secret Prison, then you should get your comic soon. They should also be available for order through our publisher Drippy Bone.

Ghoulanoids #2 is written. Just needs some tightening and editing. I believe Derek’s even started drawing some pages for it. We have another book (unrelated to Ghoulanoids) coming out in early 2016(?). I have the story outlined, but I’ve got to go back and do detail work.

Derek and I worked really hard from last summer into winter to very little avail. We had a lot of stuff “in meetings.” It was production hell. Then we were excited because we were editorial favorites to re-do the new Madballs comic. Unfortunately, some of the trademark holders refused to let us work on it. After those disappointments, it’s nice to have work flowing and being completed again.

Check out the toys from Dolphin Wizard! We’ll have other collectable toy announcements soon.

I also need to work on my piece for the next Laboratory podcast. See my last post for info on that.

Random Thoughts
Even though I’m with my kids almost every night, I do enjoy the time that opens up in the summer. I’ve been able to cook more for my family. I get to try new things in the summer, instead of simply worrying about the practicality of getting food in bellies. I even have freestyled a few desserts based on fruit we’ve needed to use.

I also take on a few educational projects outside of working on my classes. Every year, I get more into grammar and grammar theories and try to diagram more and more difficult sentences. It’s oddly fun. Studying math has been, too. I’ve been using Khan Academy to study math, history, and computer programming. The first two subjects are weaknesses of mine. The last is something I’ve been playing with on a whim.

Thanks for reading! Happy summer!

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