FULL BLEED: THEY WERE PRINCES AND THEY WERE KINGS
Hey, folks. Yeah, no substantive updates for more than two weeks. There's a reason for that.
Towards the end of September, I was hit with a weird fever out of nowhere. Thought was early flu. Also hit with leg pain and some swelling at about the same time. But it was in a leg with history of plantar fasciitis and muscle issues. No big deal, I thought. But the fever was a concern. If it wasn't an early flu, then was it the dreaded C19? Figured it was a good idea to get tested. First at an urgent-care and then a follow up at an ER because well that's how our medical system is. The test results from the walk-in clinic would take several days to process because, yay, weeekend.
Going to be discreet and not lay out the cause in so many words. Suffice it to say that after some testing, I was in the hospital for an evening for observation but sent home that night with instructions as to when I should call back for further assistance.
Went home, stayed in bed watching horror movies on the iPad. Pain levels were tolerable until the afternoon of that next day. And that was one of the triggers to return to the ER, as it was a Sunday and there were no regular doctors open. Heck of a system we got here.
Big fever, big leg pain, fair to call it excruciating. Yeah, that was a good word. Took a fair bit of work and time to get pain controlled. Got a second C19 test, this one with a turnaround of hours. Bunch of other tests that you'd want to run on a middle-aged white dude as well. All came back in normal range for someone who had what I had going on. Cardiac functions healthy. Consult with doctor finally and sent home with prescriptions. Oh, negative for the Big C, so that was a relief. At least for an active infection. Possible I could have picked up an asymptomatic case but testing for antibodies didn't happen (and has a high false negative rate to boot, you need 2-3 tests to really square that, unfortunately.)
Where I've been for the last couple weeks. Watched a lot of prestige TV.
All entertained for different reasons. THE BOYS is a miracle, honestly. I have a tenuous relationship with the works of Garth Ennis. He does best when the humanity comes out from behind the other excesses of his work. And, honestly I had no interest in reading THE BOYS in comic form. I'm aware of critique of the mode/form of superhero storytelling. Remember, I came up through comics in the eighties, where critique was hitting pretty hard in the mainstream (as were various excesses). So, yeah, reflexive SUPERHEROES BAD is not my thing, sorry. THE BOYS was able to rise above that, keeping the sharpness of Ennis' work and honestly the raw humanity underneath it and feed you bits of that when you're looking for a life-raft in the misery. Karl Urban shoulda played Wolverine, but we get him as Billy Butcher, which is probably even better, honestly.
Thing is, the whole cast is good at what they're doing. There are no bum notes. And there's a great set of villains, as well as variously complicated other characters. I really loved it and expected not to. If it stops at two seasons, well, that's fine. We got two seasons of gems. Really fucked-up gems, but gems nonetheless.
WATCHMEN. Uh. Well-intentioned, but I've never seen anything go off the rails so spectacularly as this did. You can watch the wheels leave the tracks in slow motion, screaming NOOOOOOOOOO at the screen and it doesn't matter. There's still some great moments, but the story is absolutely hamstrung by asking the reader to accept some real and actual bullshit beyond the bullshit-swallowing required by fiction in general. Still, good performances, and episode 6 is about as close to the time-shifting that Moore/Gibbons/Higgins pulled off in the comics as anything is likely to come. A well-intentioned mess by the end. Sorry, not sorry.
PERRY MASON bothered me at first, leaning into well-worn down-on-his-luck PI slouching. Still, the actors and recreation of 30s LA was enough to keep me going until the story figured out what it was. I'm still bothered by the wholesale repurposing of actual historical figures to flesh out things, but I suppose that's inevitable when you're doing a historical recreation of Los Angeles and its utterly crazy and harrowing past. The show does nail a real sense of how the past is another country, though. It also features an actual murderer's row of character actors to support the main cast and manages to integrate the reality of LA's past not being as white as it's often portrayed. The characters and actors were all sharp enough that I'd watch a spin-off featuring any of them, honestly. I'm not sure the ending landed for me 100% but endings are tough, particularly when you're fishing for another season. Still, very tasty and worthwhile.
Haven't had the concentration to read, even though the lion's share of my birthday gifts were books. Yes, I spent my birthday laid-up and in some pain. It sucked, but was still good, if that makes sense.
So now I'm able to sit at my desk for fixed chunks of time. That wasn't the case even last week. I'm even trying to write some stuff, experimentally, as evidenced by this post. I'm not sure I've got the brain for actual writing right now. Which is problematic as the revisions for MY DROWNING CHORUS are sitting in my inbox staring at me. I know I should get to them in short order, but am reluctant to find out that I won'd be able to process them. That said, I'm going to need to get it on it shortly to keep to the timeline for a springtime release.
Unfortunately, two other projects got clobbered by this as well. The first being EVENT RELATED ECHO, my collection of short stories on the Kindle. I'd also like to set up a POD paperback version via Amazon as well, but that may have to wait. I'm hoping that the kindle version can get to live this week. The second project is a one-shot comic that's half-done now, but I need to re-formulate the script for the other half and then get that out to the collaborating artist. This is not a thing I've announced officially, but I'll leave this tidbit out there. Honestly though without comics shows happening, I have a hard time justifying pushing this at all.
So, I'm sure you have questions still. I'll just leave with the knowledge that yes, this thing that hit me was potentially fatal. As it was described to me, "20% of the people who get this find out they've got it by dying suddenly." So, I dodged that bullet, as did everyone around me. My family is bending over backwards to make sure I get through this with as little discomfort as possible, and for that I thank them. I also thank you for your well-wishes via twitter.
In theory, there should be no lingering effects from this, once it clears and past physical therapy, maybe in a month. There is a chance that won't be the case. We'll burn that bridge when I get to it.
Hell, I'm just happy to be here, even if I'm feeling more mortal than usual. And while that's a scary and humbling thing, it's not a bad one. Happy to be here, trying to get back to work because I'm the only one who's going to type those words the way I want 'em typed out.