Monday, June 28, 2010

Week 2 Recap

Last week was my first time alone with Kiddo for several days. Gynn was on her vacation in the White Mountains. Everything went very well. The cats gave me more trouble than Kiddo did, and he made lots of language progress (his first full sentence: "Down it goes!", while watching the garage door close).


We were a bit limited without a car, but we walked into Osterville to see the free concert at the library, used the bike cart to head over to Whelan Conservation area, and traveled by bus and ferry to Martha's Vineyard.


With me on kid-duty full time, there wasn't much time left for writing. I did work with Amy to get a few more pages of issue 2 of Perils of Picorna scripted, and we did a lot of brainstorming for ideas for the remaining pages.

The only item of publication news is that the new issue of Phoenix APA arrived in the mail with the latest installment of my Caravan zine. Gynn is thinking about joining the APA. The next APA deadline is in August due to a scheduling shift, so I'll be starting work on the new Caravan soon.

Lunch on the Vineyard, Oak Bluffs MA

Friday was my big ambitious day-out plan for Kiddo on the last day of Gynn's vacation. Kiddo doesn't know very many words yet, but he does know "bus" and "boat" and Friday's plan included both of those.

We walked with the stroller up to the bus stop, had a muffin, and caught the bus to Falmouth and then transferred to the trolley to Woods Hole. Then it was time to wait for the boat.

We rode the ferry to Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. Kiddo had a great time on the ferry, watching the seagulls and the ocean.

We landed and explored the town. Had lunch at Sharky's Cantina, shopped for souvenirs, and walked around the Tabernacle with its neighborhood of classic "gingerbread" cottages.

We got a frisbee with Kiddo's lunch, so we played with it on the grass at Ocean Park and rode the Flying Horses, the oldest working carousel in the USA.

We caught the ferry home and got a call from Gynn, which I got to answer with "Hi! We're on a boat!". She met us at the end of the trolley line and we had dinner at Uno's before putting a very tired Kiddo to bed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Whelan Conservation Area, Barnstable MA

We mostly stayed in today, but when things finally cooled down in the evening, I loaded the Kiddo into the Burley cart and headed out for some local wandering.

The cart really isn't suitable for heavy traffic, so I stick to sidewalks or side streets. A lot of the main streets in our area don't have sidewalks. Fortunately, I'm starting to learn my way around with this new set of parameters.

Today we followed the sidewalk all the way to Whelan Conservation Area, a Town of Barnstable reservation.

A stone marker informs visitors that this land is the former estate of Judge Daniel Parker (1670-1728).

We stopped and went for a short walk in the woods up to a pretty meadow.

Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were out in force and we'd left to bug spray at home, so we cut short our exploration and returned to the bike and cart and headed home.

Kiddo is still a bit uncomfortable walking in the woods, but he's slowly gaining some experience. He'll be an outdoorsman before he knows it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alphabet Rockers At Osterviller Library

I set out this morning with the Kiddo in the stroller and we walked to Osterville to catch a free concert on the library lawn with kids' hiphop artists Alphabet Rockers.

We arrived late, but Kiddo enjoyed the couple of songs we got to hear, and he was thrilled with the free bags of goldfish snacks that were being distributed.

After the show, we had lunch at the Osterville Cheese & Sandwich Shop where Gynn used to work, and then visited the library and picked out a couple of books for storytime tonight.

Then it was off for a long, hot stroll home.

This evening we did a nice lap around the neighborhood in the Burley Cart.

Haven't had time for much writing today, although I did have a preliminary discussion for helping out with some webcomic writing. I hope to get more scripting done on Perils of Picorna #2 tonight.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ellen A. McBarron Recreation Faclity, Marstons Mills MA (Testing out the Burley Cart!)

My friends Julie & Drew were kind enough to lend me their Burley cart for the summer. I got it assembled about a week ago, but it took a few more days to get a helmet for the Kiddo, and then we got busy. Today, I finally got a chance to take it for a test drive.

I was concerned because Kiddo had NOT been into the helmet at all. We're talking serious banshee-level shrieking when I tried to put it on him at the store and in the house. I did a big show of putting my own helmet on. I even hit my head (while wearing the helmet) with a board a few times to show him the advantages. This amused him greatly.

Fortunately, once he was sitting in the cart and belted in, he was pretty accepting of the helmet.

I was just planning on a test spin around the parking lot of the school across the street, but Kiddo was having so much fun that we ended up riding the sidewalk all the way to the Ellen A. McBarron recreation facility, a Town of Barnstable facility with a soccer field and a track.

The cart handled great, and the Kiddo had a blast. I'm definitely looking forward to taking it to some of the local bike trails.

Tomorrow, the plan is to walk/stroller to Osterville for a free concert at the library, but the weather may not cooperate. We'll see.

Millway Beach, Barnstable MA

Yesterday's destination was Millway Beach in Barnstable.

Kiddo had his first introduction to water at his Grandpa's pool on Sunday, so I took him to the beach for some wading.

It was a perfect beach day.

Kiddo was a bit timid about walking in the sand in his bare feet, but once he got his feet wet he had a good time throwing rocks and splashing around.

There were lots of crabs: Green crabs, hermit crabs, spider crabs... Here's a hermit crab that I caught to show Kiddo.

At one point a big green crab ran right into Kiddo's feet. I'm pretty sure he didn't get pinched, but he was startled enough that he fell in the water. It was a bit of a setback, but he cheered up again soon enough.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Week 1 Recap

The first week of the new summer schedule is done. Here's a quick recap:

Wanderings: We visited Armstrong Kelley Park in Osterville MA, the Cape Cod Canal Bike Trail and National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay MA, Hathaway's Pond in Barnatable MA, and Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth MA.

Writing: I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, but a lot of the week was spent organizing. I did get several pages of Perils of Picorna #2 written. In addition, I had a productive planning meeting with my marketing person for Dandelion Studios. The new issue of The Edge of Propinquity went live, including Duality Part 3, the latest chapter in my Four Visitors serial. I also posted photoessays on Gather from Hathaway's Pond, the Cape Cod Canal Bike Path, and Armstrong-Kelley Park.

The weekend was a busy one. We went to yard sales Saturday morning, and I took the Kiddo to a Cape Cod League baseball game in Bourne Saturday evening. On Sunday we headed to my Dad's place in Easton for a cookout.

The coming week will be a departure from the planned schedule. Gynn is going on vacation to New Hampshire for four days this week, so it's just me and the Kiddo with no vehicle. I'm planning some expeditions on foot and by bus.

For writing this week, I'll be working on editing for Zephyr & Reginald: Minions for Hire and Stone, and writing for Perils of Picorna as my top priorities.

Coonamessett Farm, East Falmouth MA

On Friday, the local Moms Meetup group had scheduled a tour of Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth MA.

I loaded the Kiddo into the car and headed over there (and no, I wasn't the only Dad showing up for the Moms Meetup event!). It was actually a pretty big group (which split into two tour groups).

Coonamessett Farm is a membership-supported organic farm that has been in operation since 1989. You can purchase a family membership or buy a day pass to pick and purchase fresh organic vegetables, fruits, and eggs.

The farm staff took us around, showing us the various crops and animals. We also got to transplant a marigold, which we took home.

Kiddo enjoyed seeing the animals. Here are a pair of alpacas enjoying their lunch.

We also saw ducks, guinea fowl, chickens, donkeys, goats, turkeys, rabbits, and Peanut the American spurred tortoise.

We had a nice lunch of homemade cornbread, vegetarian chili, and yogurt at the farm's cafe.

My Writing Projects (Part 3: Blogging)

Continuing my recap/introduction to my ongoing writing projects.

I do a fair amount of blogging in various places. A couple of the sites I use are blog-for-pay sites.

You can read my posts at and These sites's don't make me much money, but they do pay a small amount, and it's mostly for content I was posting online anyway. I also use them to promote my comics and other writing projects I'm involved in.

I'll be posting some additional content on those sites beyond what's going on this blog, so take a look if you'd like to see some more detailed essays on my wanderings with more photos.

I'm also on Facebook, Livejournal, and Twitter.

Hathaway's Pond, Barnstable MA

On Thursday of last week, I only had limited time because Kiddo had an appointment at 11 AM. We did a couple of quick errands and then went the Hathaway's Pond in Barnstable for a short walk.

Hathaway's Pond is a Town of Barnstable recreation facility.

We'd been here once before. Kiddo enjoys splashing his feet in the pond at the little swimming beach.

Last time we were here, it was pretty crowded, with folks grilling and eating. In the morning it was quiet. Just a couple of dog-walkers. This is a nice spot for a morning walk or a picnic.

I'm currently behind on blogging last week, but I have some time to catch up today, so I'll be posting a couple of other week-1 posts as the day goes on.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cape Cod Canal and National Marine Life Center, Buzzard's Bay MA

On Tuesday, Gynn was in Wareham working at her boss' home office. I took the Kiddo shopping at Borders (Monster Manual III!) and Wal-Mart, and then we went to Buzzard's Bay to walk along the Cape Cod Canal.

We parked at the Cape Cod Central Railroad station.

There's construction going on at that end of the canal path, so we entered through a temporary walkway that took us by the National Marine Life Center.

We stopped in at their education center and gift shop to have a look. The facility's primary purpose is to serve as an animal hospital for marine mammals and turtles. They are also under construction, so they only have one patient at the moment, an injured diamondback terrapin.

They also had a sand table filled with shells that the Kiddo enjoyed digging in.

Outside, we got a nice view of the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge, and then walked along the canal.

Here's another shot of the bridge showing the canal:

Kiddo was in a great mood the whole time, and really enjoyed his walk. He was especially fascinated by bicycles and dogs that passed us by.

We delivered a sandwich to Gynn and then had lunch at Red Robin (Balloon! Kiddo's favorite thing in the whole world!) while Gynn finished up her work. We went to see a Cape Cod Baseball League game in Hyannis that night.

Today, Gynn took the Kiddo to Playgroup at the Mashpee Public Library in the morning, and he had appointments in the afternoon, so I didn't end up taking him out during the day. In the evening, we went out for Chinese food, and then went to another local landmark, Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville.

Tomorrow I'm taking him out early in the morning. Not sure where yet. We'll see how the weather is.

My Writing Projects (Part 2: Comics)

Most of my writing for comics is self-published. I currently write or co-write four series for my own company, Dandelion Studios, and I have another series in the works. Here are the current projects:

Zephyr & Reginald: Minions for Hire is a workplace comedy about a sadly underrepresented group in the superhero genre: the villains' henchmen. Zephyr DeCastle and Reginald Ertz are a pair of unemployed engineers who find their calling (or at least a somewhat steady paycheck!) serving the forces of evil. Along the way, they must contend with substandard robots, uncooperative (but cute and cuddly) giant spiders, and a boss who is, by definition, a megalomaniac. We've got two issues published, and the third is in the touch-up/lettering phase. Gynn and I co-write Zephyr & Reginald: Minions for Hire, and Gynn handles the artwork.

Perils of Picorna is a fantasy adventure tale of a young apprentice priestess caught up in a deadly plot by enemies of her church. Perils of Picorna is girl-powered cliffhanger serial action with a bit of romance and intrigue. I co-write Perils of Picorna with Amy Kaczmarowski, and the art is by Missy Pena. The first issue of this six-issue series is now available, and Amy and I are currently writing the second issue.

Stone tells the story of a warrior woman, weary of her years of fighting and killing but drawn into one more conflict to help a small kingdom whose rightful monarch has been overthrown by a power-hungry dictator. I write Stone, and the artist is Tara Veidt. Cover art will be available soon. The first issue of this six-issue series is in the touch-up/lettering phase.

Kaeli & Rebecca: This magical series follows the adventures of a half-elven warrior and a fey priestess as they track down an evil wizard. Written by me and drawn by Katrina Joyner. The first issue is currently being drawn.

I also have plans to publish a fantasy anthology comic tentatively titled Quarterstaff Comics (the name of the fantasy imprint of my company, Dandelion Studios). Two stories for that book have been drawn.

I have an ongoing comic strip called The Hearth, a fantasy soap opera, which appears in my zine, Caravan. I also supply the writing for Dandelion Studios' nature-documentary minicomic/zine, Unpopular Species.

In addition to these projects, I have had two scripts recently accepted for comic anthologies. One of those scripts has been penciled, and the artwork on the second one will be getting underway soon. I also write the backup story for Leaves of Yggdrasil, published by Fallenmage Productions.

Major comic writing/publishing goals for this summer:

1.) Finish editing on issue 1 of Stone and get it to the letterer.
2.) Finish lettering and publish issue 3 of Zephyr & Reginald: Minions for Hire.
3.) Finish writing script for issue 2 of Stone.
4.) Finish writing script fr issue 2 of Perils of Picorna.
5.) Write issue 3 of Unpopular Species.
6.) Publish either Stone #1 or Zephyr & Reginald: Minions for Hire #3 in August. Have the other of these ready for September. Also, publish Unpopular Species #3 in August.
7.) Publish Kaeli & Rebecca #1 by October.
8.) Write the second backup story for Leaves of Yggdrasil.
9.) Seek out additional anthology work.
10.) Begin preparations to publish the Quarterstaff Comics anthology.

New Issue of The Edge of Propinquity Includes My Newest Short Story

This issue features the third part of the second chapter (the sixth story overall) in my "For Visitors" serial. Enjoy!

Issue 54: June 2010

Welcome to the Edge of Propinquity. Issue 54 is now published. This month we have the loss of thing dear, a story finally told, the exile of a loved one, the crossing of a line and the final release of an old soul.

Four Visitors - Duality, Part Three - by Rick Silva Tina Cronin risks her life to save John Crowell's artwork from enemies who want to make sure all of the dead artist's secrets are reduced to ashes. And Nick Lorem is finally forced to decide whose side he is going to be on in the coming confrontation, as the second visitor leaves his mark on the town of Danforth.

Solstice - Spring, Part Six - by Ivan Ewert Since the evening of the Holiday Outing, Michael Monroe has struggled in silence against the heritage and history he bears. Despite the interests of outside sources, he has remained both neutral and unheard ... until the last person who should presses the last of his nerves. What will come of the God of War in the Middle West?

Mnemosyne - Missing Volumes - by Nick Bergeron Our Hero finds true love at last, how sweet. That sort of love can help you find back against all kinds of topsy-turvy world shaking events, which is just what our Hero needs right now. Of course, I just can't have him hanging around with any sweet young thing he finds. After all, he's mine, and I'm coming back for him.

Sparrow Hill Road - Last Dance with Mary Jane - by Seanan McGuire It's a rainy night at the Last Dance Diner, and Rose Marshall has no choice but to tell a ghost story--the only ghost story that she knows. The story that begins in the summer of 1945, in Buckley Township, Michigan, and ends on Sparrow Hill Road...

Guest Author - Agatha by Ken Staley Idyllic summers with old Great Grandmother Agatha were a treat. She was a woman from another age. Though, no one knew just how old she was. Nor did they know the secret she carried with her all those long centuries; a secret known as Old Smoke.

Have you ever looked over the edge and seen something looking back at you?

Armstrong-Kelley Park, Osterville MA

Today's destination for wanderings with the Kiddo was Armstrong-Kelley Park in Osterville MA. This park is run by the Cape Cod Horticultural Society.

We walked along board paths lined with flower gardens.

From there, we took a short loop path into the woods. Kiddo wasn't as thrilled with walking in the woods, but it was a short walk, and he perked up when we got back to the garden areas.

Oh, we also encountered an ent. :)

The rest of the morning's travels with Kiddo were spent on errands: Post office, library, Staples, CVS, and Shaw's to get some fish for tonight's dinner. One of my (too many!) hobbies is bargain-shopping by manipulating the CVS ExtraBucks program. My full report from today's trip is posted here, for those interested in such things.

Tomorrow, Gynn has to do some work at her boss' home office, so we're all heading to Wareham. I'll be wandering Wareham with the Kiddo in the morning. Lunch at Red Robin is a possibility (the Kiddo LOVES balloons and he always gets a balloon at Red Robin).

Writing today has been mostly organizational stuff and playing around with the new blog. I did do some editing work on Stone, which is one of my comic stories. I'll be doing editing and scripting for Stone all week.

My Writing Projects (Part 1: Short Fiction)

Since this is a new blog for me, I'm going to do some recap posts. Hopefully these will help me to refocus on my writing while they introduce who happens to be reading. This post will cover short fiction that I've written or am currently writing.

I don't write a lot of stand-alone short stories at the moment. One of the reasons for that is that I DO write a serial story every month, and this takes up a fair amount of my creative headspace, at least as far as short fiction goes.

My serial fiction is published online (and available to read for free) at The Edge of Propinquity ( The Edge of Propinquity is an urban fantasy/horror webzine edited and published by Jennifer Brozek, who's been a tremendous help to me in my fledgling writing career. I've written two Serials for The Edge of Propinquity. The first was called "Luminations", a series of "geek noir" detective stories with some supernatural elements to them. It ran for four years and featured a different narrator each year. It concluded at the end of 2009. I am currently halfway through a new one-year serial called "Four Visitors", which delves into UFOs, conspiracy theory, and psychic powers as a town receives a succession of mysterious visitors who are fighting a secret battle against the forces of oppression.

I've also had a couple of stand-alone short stories published. My first sale was to Three Crow Press, the ezine of Morrigan Books. My Story, "The Warlord of Rhode Island", was an online tie-in to Morrigan's Grants Pass anthology, a collection of post-apocalyptic stories.

Most recently, my horror story "Roadkill" was published in Close Encounters of the Urban Kind, a collections of alien encounter/urban myth mashups from Apex Books.

I currently have an invitation to write for an upcoming anthology. I've also got a couple of other short story ideas kicking around, plus the remaining six installments of "Four Visitors" to finish up. Ideally I'd like to get "Four Visitors" completely finished before it's time to head back to work. The anthology has an august deadline, so I need to get that story put together. I'd also like to try to get a couple other stories written to start that whole rejection-letter-collection process from sending out unsolicited manuscripts that I've been missing out on.

The Plan

School officially ended on Saturday with graduation. Grades are due tomorrow morning, and I just finished putting mine in, which means I'm officially on vacation from the day job for the rest of the summer.

So the plan... Half of each weekday working on my comics and prose writing projects. The other half of each weekday with my son, hopefully taking him to all kinds of fun outdoor activities here on Cape Cod. There is no lack of things to do in the summer around here.

While all of this is going on, I'll also be trying to catch up on some cleaning and organizing projects around the house, plus I'll be updating this blog.

To anyone who'd like to follow our adventures, welcome. I'm looking forward to a great summer. Hope you all are too.