Monday, November 2, 2015

#Extra Life

For the past five years or so, I have been participating in the Extra Life gaming marathon raising money for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Of that time I’ve raised a fair amount of money (north of $2000).  It saddens me to say that this year I won’t be able to participate.

It just kind of snuck up on me and after running TheChronicles of the Tal Nor Kickstarter, my well of asking for money on the internet was just about dry. Plus I’ve been having some sleep issues and throwing in a 24hr gaming marathon probably wouldn’t help matters. Now here we stand, just five days away from the event and I feel the urge to help.

Luckily, my dear friend David Thoma has step up to the plate and is not only participating, but his company is matching donations.  Please click HERE and donate.  All of the money goes to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

For those of you that haven’t heard of Extra Life, it really is an amazing event.  Once a year they help organize a unique marathon.  In most marathons involve going somewhere and running or biking or some other physical activity.  With Extra Life it’s a gaming marathon that can be done anywhere with any game that you like.  For 8am Saturday to 8am Sunday, those participating will do nothing but play games for those 24hrs.  The first year I did it, I just sat on my couch and play the heck out of my Xbox.  A number of palace will host people to play.  Also some times groups of people will get together a form teams.

All of the money goes to help fund the care of sick kids at Children’s hospitals around the country.  These are hospitals that never turn away a child no matter their parent’s ability to pay.  Events like this are how they are able to do this. When your child is sick, you have enough to worry about without having to worrying about paying for their care.  Please join me and sponsor David Thoma as he embarks on the Extra Life marathon. 

As an added bonus, if you email me at and tell me that you have donated, I’ll send you a free copy of The Chroniclesof Tal Nor issue 1.

That’s all for now.

Till Next time, keep making things!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's Alive!

Kickstarters are hard and time consuming.  Between updating backers, updating the comic website, putting the book out, doing my day job and a seemingly endless to do, this blog has fallen a little by the way side.  But I have not forgotten about this blog and intend to keep trying to update with regularity.  Which we all means sporadic updates.  I often wonder what percentage of blog post start with some sort of apology for not updating.  My guess would be in the high 80%.

But I come with all sort of news.  The post Kickstart life of The Chronicles of the Tal Nor is humming along.  The books have been printed.  I have either sent out or hand delivered rewards to 90% of backers.  We are also happy to announce the book will officially debut this Wednesday!

That right this Wednesday the Chronicles of the Tal Nor issue #1 will debut at the Uncanny comic book shop in the King of Prussia mall.  To celebrate this I’ll be on hand to sign books starting at 1pm until closing.  If you’re in the area, come on by and say hi!

If you can’t make that day, don’t worry because this is just the beginning of a signing tour I’m calling The Uncanny and More Tour.  After hitting up the Uncanny in King of Prussia on the 7th, I’ll be signing at the Comics and More in Plymouth Meeting on the 14th and the Uncanny in the Montgomery Mall on the 21st.  After that, who know there are a couple of place I’m in talks with about doing signings.

If you’re not in the area and you want your local comic shop to carry The Chronicles of the Tal Nor, fear not I have you covered.  Below you will find a coupon to print out and give to your local comic shop.  Give it to them and let them know you want The Chronicles of the Tal Nor.

As I said at the beginning, Kickstarters are hard.  But the end is in sight.  I should be done with all the Kickstarter aftermath and a couple of other projects by the end of October and can start working on the next issue in earnest.  This song pretty much sums up my feelings on finishing up the Kickstarter.

Till next time, keep making things.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

SPACE and the Kickstarter blues

This blog has been a little lost in the shuffle of all the updating online.  And if this is your spot to catch up for all things T. then I’m sorry to have neglected you and will try to bring you up to speed.

Thing 1. Kickstarter

A majority of my spoons these days has been going to running the Kickstarter campaign for The Chronicles of the Tal Nor issue #1. You can view and donate to our Kickstarter here

It amazing how much time and energy one of these campaigns take.  In my case, unsurprisingly most of this time and energy is spent worrying.  Because this blog is a place of raw, unedited honesty, I’ll tell you that it’s not looking too good for our little Kickstarter experiment.  As of writing this, we stand at 30% with just 12 days yet to go.  We didn’t get off to the start I was hoping for and that is my fault. I underestimated how important the video is to a successful campaign.  Due to time constraint, budget constraint, technical difficulty and plan old poor execution, the first video I made wasn’t good.  More than that, it was straight up terrible.  We have since shot another video and my artist, Kelsea Jewell, has also made a video which is fantastic.  If fact you should head over to our Kickstarter and watch it right now. I’ll wait.

Welcome back, how great was that?  Not only is Kelsea Jewell incredible with the watercolors, but is funny too. She really came through, but I fear it’s too late.  You see the way Kickstarter works is that you have a window where your campaign is listed as new and most people who don’t know you that just check out the new comics, just watch the video.  Also the Kickstarter Staff, just watches the videos when picking what campaigns will be marked as their favorite.  They do this within the first 24 hours.

I’m also not the greatest at promoting the Kickstarter.  Asking for money has always made me feel uncomfortable.  I find it much easier to throw the link out there into the void of Twitter and Facebook than ask individuals if they would donate.  I know that 1st time kickstarters get 80% to 90% of their funds from people they know. I just feel super uncomfortable with directly guilt tripping my friends and family into giving me money. Especially since most of them aren’t comic fans so the rewards are not something they will enjoy.

I also have periods of thinking that all I’m offering is really cool art and a mediocre story at best. I know this is my depression talking. In my moments of clarity I know that the story is solid and the dialog is actually funny at times. Know this because there have been some people who read the book wrote in to tell as much. How did anyone get a copy of the book to have written? Because I took it to Space!

Thing 2 - SPACE

One reason there was time constraint of the Kickstarter was because I wanted it to coincide with the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo(  My sister, Kat LoGrande, and I split a table at this years show. I wanted to make a special edition that was exclusive to SPACE. My hope was the between the promo cards and comics sold I would drum up a big bump in donations to the Kickstarter.

First off let me tell you I had a blast at this year’s SPACE.  It was almost everything I wanted in a Con.  Our table neighbor was Jack Wallace of Disposable Fiction.  I’ve know Jack for years via email and have done a bunch of lettering for him.  You should check out his stuff at

It was amazing to meet him in person and we got along swimmingly. It's always a fear when you meet people in person after only knowing them online, that you only work as online friends. I was super luckily that wasn’t the case with Jack or with Joel Cramer ( another creator that I knew only online . In fact all or the creators were awesome. I was able to reconnect with David Branstetter ( and became fast friends with Kuroitenshi (

The comradery and creative spirit was fantastic. So many great creators all in one room celebrating their love of comics and showing off their creations. What more could you ask for? Attendees, that what you could ask for more of, Attendees.  I don't know if it was the change in venue or change in date ( SPACE was originally set to be in April but when their original location closed suddenly it had to be moved to a new spot and to July) but there really wasn't much of a crowd.

I was able to make sales and actually had a pretty high sell rate per person I talked to.  Unfortunately I really didn't talk to a lot of people that were not also Exhibitors.  I joked that the same $20 traveled around the con each person selling to the next.  I would still do it in a heartbeat, I just kind of wish I didn't get so many exclusive SPACE editions of the comic printed.

Here was my brilliant idea, I would offer a special pre-release version of the comic that you could only get at SPACE.  The fact that it was an exclusive would be a selling point. Although to be honest, Kelsea’s art is the best selling point.  It worked for the people I actually got to talk to.  But now I have box of comics I really don’t feel great about selling, because if I did sell these comics elsewhere, I kind of feel like I was lying at SPACE.  But I don’t have any problems giving these away.  If you want a chance to win a copy of the SPACE exclusive edition. Go to the website for the comic and subscribe to the newsletter. You'll see the subscribe button on right hand side of the main page.  I'll pick a winner or winners if we get enough entries once our Kickstarter ends.

Like I was saying I loved SPACE and will absolutely want to do it next year.  I just need to temper my expectations and realize that I'm going for fun more than sales. Hopefully next year I'll have both.

Thing 3 – Day Job

Not to go into too much details, but sufficient to say my plate is super full at work.  I have a tone of stuff that needs to get done and done now. This is sucking up any leftover energy from the Kickstarter. Running low on spoons.

Thing 4 – Health stuff

I’m broken in a ton of ways.  Long time reads know this. I go to the doctors all the time. Some doctor’s office are great for being productive, but most aren't.

Thing 5 – The Writing Group

I love my writing group. They are amazing people. The two times we meet each month are some of the highlights of each and every month. Earlier this year I had the brilliant idea to produce a ‘zine with everyone contributing a short story 7,000 words or less. Wouldn't you know the deadline I set all those month ago would coincide with my Kickstarter perfectly? I've been try to read everyone submission and getting everything organized, but fitting it in with everything else has been a challenge to say the least.  And to top it off the internet at my house died last night. I'll be internet free until Friday night, I hope. Friday morning Verizon is meant to come and fix it. I’m posting this thanks to the free Wi-Fi at Wegmans. I have been getting stuff together for this project slow, but it is moving and I hope to make a big push tonight and this weekend.

Well that enough for now. Remember the Kickstarter can be found at Please donate, even if it’s just $1 every bit helps. Also passing it along to those that you think might like comics is a big help too. We have preview of the first eight pages on our site at

Until next time, keep making things.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Asparagus Pesto with Whole Wheat Linguini and a side of Bacon infused Fingerling Potatoes

I've been working on this post for nearly two weeks because it has been brutal at the Old Day Job.  A ton of deadlines and things that have to get out the door, it's really sapping a good bit of my energy.  I meant to write this up two Monday's ago but that was a pipe dream.  I was however able to get a little bit of short story written this week, which is good, because I need to have it done by this coming Monday.  Hopefully that's not a pipe dream too.

Enough complaining about how busy I am, on to the good stuff.  I was able to cook for my Lady a couple of weekends back and it turned out amazing.  It was so nice to get to cook for someone.  I love watching people enjoy the things I make.

I made us an Asparagus Pesto with Whole Wheat Linguini and a side of Bacon infused Fingerling Potatoes.  Both the side and the main dish came out really well.  They balanced each other perfectly and had the plus side of being an almost healthy, almost vegetarian meal.

Asparagus Pesto with Whole Wheat Linguini

What you'll need:

·         A pound of Whole Wheat Linguine
·         ½ a pound of Asparagus
·         ½ a cup of Spinach
·         ½ cup of cheese
·         ¼ cup of olive oil
·         1 clove of Garlic
·         50 pistachios
·         The juice from ½ a lime
·         Salt
·         a sauce pan/small pot
·         A pot (for the Linguine)
·         A blender
·         A good spatula (not a turner)
·         A good collider

The steps

1.     Cut your Asparagus into two inch pieces
2.     Bring a small pot of water to a boil and pop in your Asparagus.  Cook at a simmer for 9 minutes
3.     Add the Spinach to the pot and let cook for another minute or two
4.     Optional Step:  Both of us have stomach issues and garlic tends to be a no-no for us.  Here is a little trick to get a bit of the garlic flavor without hurting the old tummy. While the veggies cook take the pealed piece Garlic and rub down the inside of the blender.  Really get the oils all over the thing.  This will transfer the flavor to whatever we put in the blender without having to eat the garlic. Throw away the piece of garlic when you are done.
5.     Drain the veggies and pop them in the blender, add in the cheese and nuts as well.
6.     Blend on pulse till smooth
7.     Add in the lime juice and salt to taste.  Give it a few more pulses.
8.     Cook the Linguine as directed on the box for Al Dente, keep a little bit of the water in a cup after wards.
9.     In a bowl pour the pesto over top the Linguine, add a splash of pasta water as need be to help thin out the Pesto.

Bacon infused Fingerling Potatoes

What you'll need:

·         A Pound Fingerling Potatoes
·         Salt
·         Black Pepper
·         4 to 5 slices of Thick Bacon
·         3 to 4 sprigs of Rosemary
·         A Pot
·         Cast Iron Skillet

The Steps

1.     Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees
2.     Put the Potatoes in the pot and cover them with just enough water so their all submerged
3.     Boil the Potatoes till they are tenders about 8 minutes or so.
4.     Run the Potatoes under some cold water so you can handle them quicker
5.     Cut the Potatoes in half
6.     Season with Salt and Pepper
7.     Cut the Bacon into half inch piece
8.     Cook the Bacon in the Cast Iron skillet under medium heat until the just start to crisp up and the pan in full of bacon grease
9.     Add the Potatoes and Rosemary
10.  Up the heat to medium-high and pan sear the Potatoes for 5 minutes or so, make sure to move the around so the get cooked on each side
11.  Pop the cast iron skillet into the oven for about 15 minutes or so
12.  Put the cast iron skillet back on the stove top, under high heat and crisp up the Potatoes for another minute or so, adding in more salt and Pepper to taste.

More good news, we are moving full steam ahead on the comic.  I was email some fully colored page from Kelsea this morning and they look tremendous.  I'm super excited to letter them.  We're getting closer and closer, I can't wait to share it with you.  My hope is that I'll be able to do that in the near future.  Another thing I'm looking forward to sharing with you the amazing prints I'm having commissioned to be part of a Kickstarter we will be doing for the first issue.  It's a little too soon to give too many details about that yet, but check in on the website early and often

Speaking of Kickstarter, I have one I would like to share with you.  A story I wrote will be featured in the upcoming 27, A Comic Anthology from Red Stylo Media.  It looks to be an amazing book.  Red Stylo is currently running a Kickstarter for a special limited Hardback edition of the book.  They are only going to make 1000 of these Hard Rock editions so pick yours up today.

That's all I have for now.  I have to get back to writing stories and testing software.

Till next time, keep making things,


Friday, May 29, 2015

Crawling my way back to the light.

Let's start off with some good news.  I received more pages from Kelsea! And of course they look amazing because Kelsea is very good at what she does.  I have already lettered these pages and there awaiting one last round of editorial inspection to make sure I didn’t slip any typos.  Our Day Jobs and other obligation have been acting as an anchor, slowing up down on this project, but head way is being made and like Sophie here, we’re running towards that goal.

I have taken the first five pages and put together a little preview of the comic for our newsletter subscribers.  I plan on sending out the newsletter tomorrow.  If you want to check out the preview, head over to and sign up before it’s too late or you will just have to wait like everyone else to see Kelsea’s amazing art.

While things have been going great on this project, emotionally things have been less than stellar.  I’ve been feeling over whelming self-doubt and the double whamming of Depression and Anxiety lately.  I’ve been really questioning if I have what it take in both temperament, work ethic and talent to make it as a writer.  Am I just fooling myself? Has anything good that I have done been just blind luck? Am I actually good at anything?  These are the questions that have been running thought my head.  I can hear the depression and the anxiety shouting NO and every negative thing I can come up with.

I’m trying my best to fight through these feelings.  Luckily I’m not fighting alone.  In fact I’m currently typing this draft in the waiting room for my therapist.  I don’t even want to imagine how dark things could get if I didn’t have this as an outlet.  If the thoughts and feeling I have described above sound familiar to you, please look into finding someone to talk to.  It's not a cure all, but it helps.  It will take the edge off these feeling and help you move forward.  The movement might feel like it’s a snail pace, but forward is better than backwards.

May has been whirl wind of shity luck and shity decisions.  I have mismanaged my time so much.  I can’t help but use myself as punching bag over it.  I should have so much more done.  I also have had to deal with the stress of not one but two car misshapes.  The first was a pot hole deciding to rip up my tire at 1:30 in the morning while I was driving home.  The second was someone deciding to open there car door just as I was pulling into a parking spot.  As we all know breaks are not magic and even a car moving slow can produce a bit of force.  Luckily everyone was fine with the exception of my nerves and bumper.  The damage to one of those things was just cosmetic.  Now I get to field near daily calls for insurance agents asking me to recount what happened.  I think I have told my tale to three people at the other guys insurance company and at least five people at my own insurance company.

I also have my yearly review at the old Day Job.  I have been there going on 12 years now and before every review I’m sure I’m the worst employee ever.  I feel like now that they are taking the time to sit down a look at my performance, they will realize that an untrained bonobo could do a better job than I do and for a lot less money.  These feeling inevitable doom have as of yet been unfounded.  But I feel them every year none the less.

Now it's time to go into the office and work on these feeling.

I feel a little better.  I still have a lot of work to do on me and my anxiety and my depression.  Every day I put in the work, and I hope it gets better.  Sometimes I make progress and sometimes I back slide a little, but I guess the point is to keep trying and keep working at it.

Just like making a comic.  Speaking of comics, my editor posted a little update to the comic book website.  Please give it a read at

Be well and keep making things


Friday, May 8, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday, The Confession

After a couple weeks off, I’m back with another installment of Flash Fiction Friday.  I’m doing my level best to get a new story out each Friday, but the last couple of weeks, I’ve been running around like a mad person working on the comic and other projects.  Also I’ve had a couple ideas for stories fight me and not want to come to fruition.  Luckily along came writers group and the prompt “Your spouse or significant other has been leading a double life.”

Before we get to the story I want to share with you a bit of awesome news.  I was interviewed over at   This is the first email interview I have ever done and I think it came out really well.  One thing I found that I like about doing an email interview is that I can send it over to my editor first before submitting it.  Knowing that there won't be any stupid typos because of my Learning disabilities make me feel much more comfortable about sharing the interview.  Let me know what you think.

Now without farther ado, today Flash Fiction Friday,  

The Confession

“Shelia, Shelia, come in here!”

“Coming.”  Shelia jogged in from the garden, slipping off her dirt caked shoes and weathered gardening gloves.

“Yes dear?” She said as she strode into the living room.

Shelia, what is this?” Trevor held up a black garment bag.

“A garment bag?” Shelia shrugged.

“Cute,” Trevor pulled a thin chain mail tunic out of the bag. “You know what I’m talking about.  I found this, while I was cleaning and there was some sort of bow and arrows behind it, only they looked weird, like the tips were all wrong.  What are you into Shelia? How long has this been going on?”

“OK let me explain, Remember when you went on that business trip to the Czech Republic.”

“Shelia that was three years ago!”

“Don’t yell at me, you wanted to know, so let me talk.” she should back at him.
“Fine, I’m sorry go on.’ Trevor crossed his arms, letting the chain mail fall to the floor with a gentle crunch of aluminum on aluminum.  Shelia stared at it, examining how the light reflected off each tarnished link.

She continued “Well, I was bored one weekend and Sally came by.”


“Hey, I know you never liked her, but she my sister wife, so be nice.”

“Anyway, Sally came by and said she saw on Facebook how I said weekends were so boring with you out of town.  She told me she knew of a fun event out at the park.  Oh Trevor you should have seen it, all that armor, the swords, and everyone in costumes and robes.  It was amazing.  They let me join in right away.  I started going just on the weekends but soon I was going every night.  I tried to stop once you got back, I really did.” 

“So this is what you been doing on all those business trips of your, Shelia.”

“Yes,” Sheila dropped her head and let out a deep sigh “I’ve been Larping.”

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Soul Copy 5000

Today's Flash Fiction Friday story comes from the following prompt that I gave to my writing group this week.

A new app lets you download your soul into something different

Everyone had a great time with this prompt and came up with some really great works.  This is what spring to mind for me. Read in your best Dan Aykroyd voice.

The Soul Copy 5000

Do your actions ever feel like a mystery?  Do you wish you could ask yourself, "Just what was I thinking?"  Well now you can, with the Soul Copy 5000.  This little app will copy your soul into any house hold item.  Available for IOS and Android, simple hook the Soul Copy 5000 Lead Cables to you temples and plug into your smart phone.  With one simple press of the big red copy button, 1.5 minutes later your soul is copied and ready for upload.  Once copied into the Soul Copy 5000, simply attach the alligator clips to either side of your favorite house hold item and press the big blue send button.  You'll be talking to a copy of yourself in the toaster or the stereo in no time.  Learn your deepest darkest secrets today for just $9.95.

Warning: The Soul Copy 5000 may cause, bloating, dizziness, dry mouth, vampirism or a craving for the flesh of the living.  Not available in California or South Dakoda.  Order yours today!