Nearest Far-Away Place in Planet Scumm #7

I’m super stoked to have a short story—”The Nearest Far-Away Place”—in the new issue of Planet Scumm. This is my third time publishing in the magazine, which has been a really nice experience each time. Tyler and the other folks at Planet Scumm continue to impress as each issue pushes their creative boundaries a little further. I’m honored to be invited along.

The cover illustration, which I am in love with, was created by Erika Schnatz, a production artist at Image Comics. The spot illustrations in this issue were all completed in a single, unbroken line by Planet Scumm’s creative director, Alyssa Alarcón Santo. The book is worth picking up for the illustrations alone. Seriously.

I hadn’t realized that I had a pull quote on the back cover until I was looking at the digital file. By the time I have a story either in print or digital, I kinda can only squint at it and just hope it all turned out all right. My wife read this story in an advance copy of the magazine and liked it. So there you go. It’s also a little more emotional than my usual goofball stuff. Other stories include:

  • Zone 59 by Rebecca Gransden
  • Dance Dance Apocalypse by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt
  • Reptile by Hailey Piper
  • The Perpetual Empire by Aaron Emmel
  • The Nearest Far-Away Place by Frank Smith
  • At the Border Post by Noah Lemelson
  • Original artwork by Erika Schnatz and Alyssa Alarcón Santo

Pre-orders are available now. Books will ship September 10.

Building a Box to Store My Weird Junk

Writing a blog in 2019 is tough. I mean, that’s what this is—not an article or a post or “content.” Writing, photography, art, music, ideas… We’re better than calling what we create “content,” like it’s just a bunch of SEO keywords shoved down the maw of an advertising company masquerading as a search engine anyway.

Ah, steered myself into what could be a hard ramble in the first graf. Excellent. This is going according to plan.

Anyway, I’ve kept a blog or website on and off since 2000. Blogger, TypePad, WordPress, possibly some garbage Web 2.0 thing, Tumblr, a bunch of WordPress and Tumblr blogs, a crappy site I coded myself, TinyLetter, a Medium account to publish some articles—and now I’m back at WordPress. (Is this just a roundabout way to say I’m old?)

It’s really good to be on WordPress again. The previous iteration of this site was on Tumblr. Never the right fit. Tumblr was fun until it wasn’t. Also, it never felt natural to write longer pieces on Tumblr. I had a TinyLetter when everyone was doing that, and it was nice. At some point in there, blogs died and RSS readers became something you had to pay for—if you wanted a good one.

Yeah yeah Twitter and Facebook and attention spans and millennials and the earth is flat, too. Sure those things killed blogs. They also didn’t. Like Luke to Leia, “No one’s ever really gone.”

I built this website because I am delusional enough to believe that I need to have one. I also bought the domain name a few years ago, and lost it once—which sucked. So I’m on WordPress because I like the service and I trust it about as much as I’ll trust any online company.

Thing is: WordPress is essentially a blog and now I have one again, and I should do something with that, which is a problem to solve in the doing. I need to do.

Like learning carpentry. You build a box, and you build another box, and soon you’re making bookshelves, cabinets, condos, dioramas for your Star Wars figures. Whatever.

WordPress is a box. Blogging is a box. Novels are a box. Articles are a box. Social media is a box. Life is a box! I’m here to build a box where I can put some stuff and keep it there for a while. Indefinitely, maybe.

So long way around again and—