And it’s still kinda sinking in.

So I’ve done assisted self-publishing before, which means that if you dig hard enough into the bowels of the internet you’ll find troubled 20-year-old Joe’s work sitting around somewhere (and troubled 16-year-old Joe’s fanfiction if you’re really diligent). But this is a real story I’m actually pretty proud of that went through an actual editing process for a real anthology that was successfully crowdfunded in a week or so.

Yes, it’s true and it’s out: The End Of Nine Worlds, my short story about the Norse Ragnarok myth, has been released alongside art and fifteen other stories about myths and legends from all over the world in the Arcanum anthology! Now, with the permission and blessing of the Arcanum team I get to share it with everyone FOR FUCKING FREE in PDF form!

There are physical books in limited supply but I don’t have word on how that will work, aside from the fact that profits will go to (I am 99% sure) We Need Diverse Books.

Okay, enough of my chattering. You can find The End Of Nine Worlds along with the rest of the stories here, so give them a read:

The Arcanum: Mythology of the Ancient World

Thanks so much for the support over time and look out for more from me in the future!


A check in and a new blog series – Screamer Day Three

​Hi everyone,

So after SXSW and however much other stuff, I’d say I’m in a positive groove now even if I lost count of days. So I think I can call Operation KNITTING a full success. I’m happier now than I was before and able to push through problems with more reasonable reactions. I’m still not going back to politics – I’m going to treat it as recovery for an addiction and stay away.

As for my new blog-ish series, I’ve decided, as regards creativity, I’m going to teach myself how to ​actually​ metal scream and document my journey. I’ve looked up a few tutorials so far and overall I think progress shouldn’t be too slow. According to the tutorials my throat may be a little scratchy and sore for a week or two before my false cords get more used to it, much like how muscles you aren’t used to working out are sore for a bit until they get used to it. If after a week or two I practice and I still feel a bit raspy and tight that means I am doing something wrong and need to go back to the drawing board. 

In the meantime, here’s some information about what I’m doing:

1. I’m training primarily “false cord” screaming and growling with some supplementary clean work if possible. This is mostly because false cording is the only variation of metal screaming I understand the mechanics of. I’ve looked up explanations of compression fry screaming – which is what several of my friends do – but I don’t understand the explanations of how to do it. It’s hard that you can’t see the throat, so the explanations of “just do x, y and z” make no sense to me. But that’s okay, since while I like the sound of both I feel like a lot of what I like is also false cord – traditional death metal stuff.

2. I’m drinking a lot of lukewarm/room temperature water. Supposedly this helps to recover after practicing. I also plan to buy some honey and tea in the near future since that also helps the throat. 

I figure I’ll try to do four full songs a day for a while on top of the practice noises I’ll be doing (more on those tomorrow, maybe?) and share them here if there’s a legal way to view them. In this case all four practice songs were from Vanna, off of their label’s official youtube channel. Feel free to give them a listen because they’re good anyway.

1. Fuel – Metallica Cover off of Vanna’s ALT album (I failed this one, tonal distortion escapes me almost as much as Fry screaming)

2. Digging – one of my favorite songs, from Vanna’s album VOID.

3. The Beautiful People – Marilyn Manson Cover off their ALT album

4. Bienvenue – also off of VOID


Hope you enjoy the songs and wish me luck!

A check in and a new blog series – Screamer Day Three

Operation KNITTING – SXSW Shenanigans

So I’m keeping this quick, sorry I missed the entry yesterday. Basically, I got mild sun fever after walking around all day. I also got a call saying there may be a catch in the job at the dealership, so I turned in early and basically fell asleep.

I’m juggling going out for St. Pat’s today, if I do I’ll likely hit up Rainey. Either way, hope y’all are having a great day!​ I think I might be close to kicking my addiction to politics – more on that to come later.

Either way, before I go out I’m watrching Don’t Drink And Drive Mario Kart with Achievement Hunter and ScrewAttack – I have a hell of a story from the only time I’ve played THAT game, but either way the title is good advice – don’t drink and drive!

Operation KNITTING – SXSW Shenanigans

Operation KNITTING update – 11:30PM. Reset, Day Zero

Fucking God dammit. Why do people keep needing to feed the troll that is Donald Trump?

I won’t say I got unreasonably angry – the existence of that living vomit stain can only reasonably be met with infuriated disgust – but for some reason today I just couldn’t let it go. I tried. I tried really hard. Obviously it didn’t work and the anger became overwhelming enough that I feel like I need to reset, so tomorrow will be another Day Zero.

But seriously, world, don’t feed the trolls. Please, for the love of God try to not talk about Donald Trump. Like every troll it only helps him. The fucking piece of shit.

Operation KNITTING update – 11:30PM. Reset, Day Zero

Operation KNITTING – Day 5 (Haha Get It?)

​Man, it’s getting harder to ignore politics but I am trying really hard to keep my nose out of it. But as they say, “brawl with a pig and you go away with his stink.” The old Norsemen had some solid wisdom.

And that wisdom has helped me pass through Day Four okay, despite the temptation to dwell in politics. I know only that today is a major milestone day in the elections, but I’m solid in my resolve to remain uninvolved beyond “Stop Donald Trump.”

Oh also this is Day Five. Anyone else hype for that show?

So I’ll hop on the positives real quick to get my mind farther from that circus.

1. I got Fable Anniversary in the mail today. I ordered it primarily with the Amazon gift card I got from my grandmother at Christmas. It is pre-owned, and while the box looks a little dinged the disc itself, overall, appears to be fine so here’s hoping it works!

2. Aminals play in Austin tomorrow! There’s some other SXSW stuff I’m hoping to do but that is the main thing and I am so damn excited for it!

3. My first unemployment check came today. Glad to say that as things stand it looks like it’ll be the first of only very few depending on when I start at the Ford place (or the other opportunity comes to fruition) but every little bit helps both before and after.

4. Back to the weather, it was like 90 degrees and sunny today as well, and it was magnificent. Flawless. It’s March 15th and it feels like the peak of Summer already as I understand it from the north. So this is exactly why I moved here.

5. It was just one of those days where I got a sight of myself in the gym mirror and realized that months and months of consistently working out means I actually look really good now. Not saying that in a braggy or conceited way, more in a “remap my brain to be able to see the good” way. My arms are getting thicker, my chest is getting better and my shoulders are more rounded. And dem calves, yo. Dem calves.

Okay, that’s that, I’m going to try and play Fable now, since Fable is awesome. People give it shit but I think it’s lovely.

Operation KNITTING – Day 5 (Haha Get It?)

Operation KNITTING – My First Day Four, a Big One

​Yeah I really don’t have a lot of commentary for you guys today. I feel different now. Better, just… better. It’s hard to explain it more than that. With the absence of the fear from my lack of employment (still don’t know when I’d be starting exactly but I should hear back soon) combined with the deliberate practice I’m doing here it’s having an appreciable effect on the way I think and act while at rest.

So let’s get on to my usual list, shall we?

1. HOLY FUCK KILLING JOKE WITH KEVIN CONROY AND MARK HAMILL! I’m not a huge comics guy but I genuinely enjoyed Killing Joke and to hear “my” Batman and Joker will be reprising their roles just makes me overjoyed. Because let’s face it, to most millennials those voices ARE Batman and the Joker.

2. It was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Austin today, and sunny. I had my windows open all day long to let in the fresh air. My apartment got up to 86 and I’m in heaven right now.

3. This one I may need to phrase a bit obscurely just because on ongoing whatevers, but I may have a uniquely well-suited opportunity in the near future (albeit one that is not writing related). I don’t see why it wouldn’t play out, but still, I don’t want to go counting unhatched chickens. However even the possibility (and pretty significant likelihood of that possibility being realized) is exciting. #teaseteasetease

4. Speaking of writing, doing some worldbuilding today. It’s a fun thing to do that’s probably the easiest thing about writing because it’s just listing all the cool shit. It’s basically just stretching, the equivalent of a mobility routine for your body only in your brain, but it’s a good way to get back in the groove.

5. In fact, I think I’ve had ideas come easier and more freely since I got the “congratulations we’ll follow up soon to tell you when you start” from the dealership. I think the fear being gone has basically opened the floodgates back up. Basically I apparently write the way people in disaster movies fuck: “oh God I’m so glad to be alive well you’re hard enough to work with lets GO.”

That went to a REALLY weird place. Good to know my absolutely vile sense of humor is recovering apace with everything else.

Anyway, I’m probably going to spend tonight in. My next real SXSW-related thing is Wednesday when Aminals are playing at Dirty Dog, but we’ll see if I don’t go in to do anything else tomorrow.

Operation KNITTING – My First Day Four, a Big One

Operation KNITTING – Day Three Down, With A Struggle

​I just wish people would stop talking about Donald Trump. That’s only helping him, even when you point out that he’s an obvious fascist who wants to fuck his own daughter, and whenever I see that face I get a flash of anger that I have to struggle to control. I managed to keep it today, but I really wish people would shut up about him.

Anyway, today was pretty hectic in a good way whenever I wasn’t on the Trump-infected internet, so damn do I have some good points to bring up.

1. I tried Torchy’s Tacos at last! I got the Mad Cow and the Matador, and they were as magnificent as I was led to believe.

2. I’m not sure if the album is out or not yet, but Skuggsja, made up of members of Wardruna and Enslaved, is some genuinely awesome epic Norse Metal. I’ve seen Enslaved live but not Wardruna, and enjoy both. This combined effort does not disappoint so far (the link is to an officially released track on their label’s actual channel, don’t worry).

3. Now that my jobhunt is over my brain’s energy has returned to creativity. I already have some work started today that I’ll continue tomorrow. Good work, or at least a good starting point. Three characters and one relic from a bygone story.

4. Tomorrow I might get to meet one of the podcasters from Writing Excuses, a podcast I listen to religiously. Dan Wells is debuting the film adaptation of his first published novel, ​I Am Not A Serial Killer​ and has mentioned that a meetup was possible. Unfortunately I’m not at the premiere right now, but I’m still thrilled that it exists and am eager to see it! Hell, I don’t even like horror movies, but I am still crazy hype for that one!

5. SXSW was a lot more low-key for me today, but I tied it into my #AustinSundayAdventure hashtag on twitter and instagram which meant I got a lot of sun and one free Shiner when I went to an otherwise-lackluster unofficial party. 

Operation KNITTING – Day Three Down, With A Struggle

Operation KNITTING – I’ll Count This One

​So I wasn’t very active in positivity today, but I wasn’t negative either. I could say I had reason to be, considering some circumstances, but I wasn’t. So I’m going to give today a pass and call it another completed Day Two.

I didn’t really do much of anything related to SXSW today. I meant to do a few things but I was so hung over from yesterday I basically didn’t bother. And I’m not 22 anymore. Back in the day I would have been happy to go to days of consecutive parties, but even now that the hangover is gone I’m simply too tired to go out, and have a few things I want to do tomorrow so I’ve been playing homebody.

And don’t worry, the “thing I could have been negative about” was nothing major, just a mess I had to clean up that took longer than I felt it should have.

Anyway, on to the usual! Like I mentioned I wasn’t very active today so some of these may be stretching it, but I’ll try!

1. My hair is even cooler than I thought. Because my beard grows in the same way Travis Fimmel’s does I legit look like Ragnar Lothbrok from seasons 1 and 2 before he shaved his head.

2. Despite it ending with me throwing up in a hotel bathroom, last night was really fun. Some Scottish millionaire kept paying for shots. Such is SXSW, I suppose?

3. I haven’t paid full price for a pizza in a long time. The Papa John’s people are on point with their social media coupons. In fact, today Pizza was my hangover food of choice.

4. I also made a lot of my own food for use during the week. It’s just vegetables and chicken, but it should be just what the doctor ordered to get me back on track. I’m not strictly dieting yet but still, I want to keep within reason even as I try to gain more strength.

5. I watched Episode 4 of Vikings season 4 today and holy shit I enjoyed it! Some slight potential spoilers (it’s available for free on the History channel official site, go watch it!) is that Alexander Ludwig is a brilliant facial actor. After the events of the season so far he just looks different now. Savage, almost feral. It’s a pretty badass transformation and I think the actor carries it so well.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ll probably play some KotORII and maybe eat the rest of the pizza from earlier. I suppose a number 6 I could add is that it’s so good to be able to eat pizza and not have to beat myself up with buyer’s remorse.

Operation KNITTING – I’ll Count This One

Operation KNITTING – Yet Another Day One

​Okay this one is going to be quick, since I’m going downtown for SXSW right now. I’m going to jump right into the positives and off I go!

1. Like I said, finally going to see what SXSW is like! Not sure where I’m going or what I’m doing, but I’m heading to 6th ASAP.

2. I got an awesome haircut. I look like Ragnar Lothbrok now and I am pretty freaking thrilled about it.

3. Today I tried my bench and deadlift max lifts. Deadlift was 275 pounds and bench was 155. Not record-setting by any measure, but far better than they used to be!

4. I bought a new flavor or protein. It’s from Body Fortress, so not the best brand but far from the worst, and it was a cookies-and-cream flavor. I love cookies-and-cream things, so this is basically turning protein into a treat.

5. I got a job.

Oh right. Probably should have opened with that.

I have to pass a computer aptitude and drug test before I start, but once those are done I’m in. So all the fear and uncertainty of unemployment is now essentially gone.

I’ve been to hell and back in my head the last few weeks. And now, on the first day of SXSW 2016, it’s time for me to celebrate. Off I go!

Have a great day, all of you!

Operation KNITTING – Yet Another Day One

Operation KNITTING – 1:05 PM. Reset, Day Zero

Ah, dicks.

No really, I had to reset in part because of dicks.

So I’ll probably do a #fit4RTX journal about gym etiquette at some point, but nearly every gym rat makes the jokes about old dudes just hanging around in the locker rooms with their dicks out. I won’t lie, I was already struggling with a persistent angry mood all day. After I changed in the locker room I went off to take a piss and there was this dude, just standing by the (empty) showers, no towel or anything.

Like the three strolling women from a few days ago, I didn’t say anything. And while I think I had a right to be slightly annoyed, I was furious that this dude was apparently just hanging out with his dude hanging out for no reason whatsoever. More furious than I should have been for something that, while weird, isn’t all that unusual. Hell, it’s almost every gym rat’s go-to joke that middle-aged and older dudes just hang out naked in the locker room. So I’m back to Day Zero, but I feel like I’m going longer between each of these little episodes.

So on to my usual list of positives for the day/

1. Creativity ahoy! I edited Saturday’s video today so I can toss it up as soon as I wake up. I may even put it up early because of SXSW.

2. Second job interview at that one place tomorrow! It’s tough to find the balance between being hopeful and not counting un-hatched chickens. Like I said, hope is a new thing for me and I need practice. But, er, here’s hoping it goes well. I do have a good feeling based on my last interview there, though.

3. I did a nice thing for myself and took the gamble, half with an amazon gift card and half with my own money, and ordered Fable Anniversary for the Xbox 360 on Amazon. I don’t care what anyone says but Fable, especially the first one, is a very charming fantasy adventure and since original Xbox games are giving me a bit of trouble on my aging 360 buying a 360 HD remake seemed an okay course to take.

4. My last check from my old job came today, so no matter what happens tomorrow I do have time.

5. Okay, I know I’ve mentioned it before but I am so hype for SXSW. I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing and when, and when I’ll need to be in line for what I do plan on doing, but I’m sure I’ll have fun overall. Saturday is the first day I have a solid plan, Metal Monsters of Texas at Dirty Dog.

So I hope all y’all have a great rest of your night! I’ll try to keep up with these during SXSW but if there comes

Operation KNITTING – 1:05 PM. Reset, Day Zero