My last post on this blog was on February 7th. Since then, I’ve restarted my Plays of Eugene O’Neill project on Murmurs from the Balcony, though I didn’t return to it till May. So, what else have I been working on?

COVID diary

Since lockdown began in March 2020, I’ve been working on a diary from detailed notes about what it was like up to getting the vaccine — except COVID had other plans, so that now I’m writing up through my partner getting the disease in July of this year. I know I’ll eventually finish the diary, but in trying to get in as many details as possible, I’ve overwhelmed myself with them. At least most of the start of the pandemic was written while it was still fresh in my mind. I struggled with writing about losing my job and all the aid organizations and billing services I had to contact in the days and weeks that followed. What I didn’t struggle with was detailing the incredible INCREDIBLE kindness of friends and acquaintances. Now with lockdown over and people acting like the pandemic is over (despite the fact that most of the people I know who got COVID got it in the few months immediately after restrictions ended — as if masks were working or something), it seems like most people are ready to move on, and it’s disheartening to see us retreat into our selfish lives again, with few cares for people who still can’t go outside because the disease will kill them.

The novel

One problem with writing a work of fiction over years and years and years is that the best you could’ve written it has already passed by the time you decide to abandon it. Such has happened with my novel, which might still make a good short story (which is where it originally came from), but won’t make a good novel without massive changes. But hey, I have two other ideas for novels that I’m working on, and since they’ve sprung from my adult brain, they should be more sustainable in that longer form.

Poetry collection

Almost two decades ago, I self-published a book of poems I wrote in high school (with some editing). Since then, I’ve been putting together a second collection of poetry. This collection was initially going to include all of my college poetry, but I’ve since decided to expand beyond those four years, which gives me more flexibility in cutting out all but the best poems.

The Plays of Eugene O’Neill

I mentioned this above, but I’ve restarted my survey of the plays of Eugene O’Neill (originally begun in late February/early March 2014), as seen through versions adapted for TV and film. I’ve also dived a little into the texts, especially when different versions play the same scene differently. My plan is to write four more posts (O Wilderness, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten), followed by a final post that collects performances of lesser plays (The Hairy Ape, Hughie, A Touch of the Poet).


If I ever get bored of working on the projects above, or aren’t in the mood, I have a bunch of short stories to fall back on. Some are fan fics, while most are original creations. One is near completion, but it lacks something.


Most of these projects have been put on the wayside for years. Occasionally I’ll stumble across them and think to myself, “I really should work on that,” but then I realize that “should” is a word I’m trying to retire from my vocabulary. These include ideas for plays, graphic novels, an epic poem, songs with lyrics, and music without them.


Inauguration Day Poem

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
 — Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias


Digging Up the Past Turns 10 Years Old

10 years ago, Digging Up the Past went to press.  A week later (April 15), the first 99 copies were printed.

I have thought about what to do to mark the anniversary of my only published book.  Originally, I thought to sell it at a reduced price from today through April 15, changing it back on April 16.  That seemed like too much work, especially since the last person to buy a copy did so three years ago, and did it in person.  Also, I only have 12 copies left, five of which I have here in Seattle, and since I have thought about donating a few copies to the library (not only here in Seattle, but also my high school library and the library in the town where I grew up), that doesn’t leave me with many books to sell.  Therefore, I have decided on the following: I will stop selling my poetry book online after April 15.

The collection of poems that make up Digging Up the Past: Poetry from High School (1994-97) are some of the earliest poems that I wrote and are rightfully called juvenilia.  While there are some good poems in there (and at least one that may even be great), this is not something I need to push after 10 years — not after I’ve sold or given away most of my copies — not after I’ve already made back the publishing costs.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy a copy from me after April 15, of course.  So long as I have copies available, I can sell them.  Just that after April 15, I will no longer sell them through this blog.  You will no longer be able to click on the “Buy Now” button and deposit money in my PayPal account.  On the other hand, if I have promised you a copy, don’t despair: I still intend on giving one to you.

Much has changed in the last 10 years of my life.  I’ve lived in a foreign land, moved from the East to the West Coast, started this blog, found encouragement for my writing online, joined the wonderful world of Twitter, and almost completed my novel.  The only thing I know for sure is that I plan on publishing more work in the next 10 years than I did in the preceding 10, and when I do, I hope that those of you who read my blog are the first readers of my novels and short stories, the first watchers of my plays, the first admirers of my poetry.