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Monday, April 3, 2023

Debut #ComicStrip: #LongCOVID Canary in a Coal Mine

When I was a kid I used to love to draw. A high school art teacher threw some shade my way to discourage me from setting my sights on continuing toward a life in the visual or graphic arts. For many decades after that B.S. high school experience, I put the idea of making art out of my head (save for once when I was at MacDowell Artist's Colony, finishing my second collection of stories; I spent some time writing off the page (eg, thinking) and making these little tiny books out of leaves to gift to my co-resident artists for fun). But I never picked up a pen to doodle or draw again. 

I thought the art teacher was right: I thought what he said was true: "You only convinced yourself that your work is good." It stung me, even though I didn't really care about being good; drawing and making comics gave me joy since I was super young. I loved it. I could get lost for hours and hours in it. 

Seriously, how many things can I say that about? Unbridled joy. That's the stuff of life, my friends. 

Above please find what you can categorize as a slice-of-life comic strip.  

It is a-okay with me if you think I'm not that good at it; probably you are right. Unlike most of what I do, I'm not doing it to be good but instead to express my experience with long COVID so I can stop yammering on and on about it all the time at (paid) work and with friends and family.  

You may comment if you please on anything at all. I welcome your thoughts: critical or non-critical, about long COVID or about making art, or about art teachers gone awry.  Please feel free.  Let's talk about stuff.  I'm lonely working from my bed all the time. 

p.s. Mr. Thompson, if you are out there, sir: you were very wrong about art, even if you might have been right about me.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

REDUX LROD (AGAIN): But first tell me why there's a warning on this blog for sensitive content?

I'll give you 20 doll hairs if you can tell me why there is now a warning on this blog for sensitive content.  Is it something I said?  I mean, no one wants to hear about long COVID, but that takes it to another level. 

Anyway, I'm going to be posting some panels from a new comic strip and asking for your feedback. Hope you will participate. Guess the topic.....mmm-hmmm, long COVID.  Another attempt to make art out of a dim reality.  Speaking of which, the graphic novel I wrote during COVID got rejected by a million newbie, young agents and a few more mature ones.  I think it's my artistic ability that is the problem.  Lots of comments about liking the concept and the writing, but not so much the art.  Oh well. I guess you could say I have a primitive style and not great lettering.  I will post them as soon as I get my brain back: there are many.

Once on a plane coming home from L.A. at the very beginning of the pandemic, Bill Rosemann of Marvel Comics sat next to me and told me comic artists spend a whole lifetime working on their lettering. I made a font after that with my own handwriting, but I like the rawness of my own hand lettering better.  I think Rosemann was being nice to me a little bit the way you might be nice to someone who has written their first novel after not having spent a life-time honing the craft.  Not that it hasn't happened that someone comes up with a brilliant first book out of nowhere, but, you know, odds are kind of low.

Rosemann gave me his card and said he'd love to help, but he never answered emails. I'm sure he meant well.  Nice guy.

Anyway, stay tuned for Long COVID Canary in a Coal Mine comic strip coming to LROD soon.  

Friday, January 6, 2023

New #Memoir #Selling Better than All My #Fiction #Books Put Together

Hey....My new memoir is selling so much better than all of my fiction put together.  I mean it's been up to single digits in ranking on certain behemoth book selling sites, which shall remain nameless, even though I linked to it above. And it's a "Memoir in Essays", even.  I remember when people said essays never sell.  Hmmm? So strange...I don't know. Maybe people want to know about reality more than about anything else.  Reality TV, Books based on real life. 

Anyway, not complaining. SO NO COMPLAINING!!! Just feeling bad for good old fiction, which in my mind lets you tell the truth way more than good old nonfiction.  

Also, here are a few of my favorite reviews, FYI, in case you are wondering:

Here: Kirkus

Here: Hippocampus Review

Here: Medium

Interview here:  Lambda Literary

Playlist here: Largehearted Boy

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

About time for a new book?

I'm starting to feel a bit more like myself after 2.5 years with Long COVID. I still haven't exercised, but I will soon have published a memoir in essays (November 15th 2022). So, there's that. I will post a retrospective of all the rejections I received before getting it published.  It's a little delayed due to circumstances beyond the publisher's control like health crises.  Keep an eye out for it, yes? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Bloomberg News Needs to Work On Titles That Don't Freak Me Out, Please.

So this little pretty was published at Bloomberg News about brain shrinkage in long Covid, titled "COVID Can Shrink the Brain as Much as a Decade of Aging, Study Finds." The New York Times titled the story a bit more calmly, though still slightly alarming:"COVID May Cause Changes in the Brain, New Study Finds." The actual article in Nature is titled even more accurately, noting that this is an observation from banked bio-data in the UK:  "SARS-CoV-2 is Associated with Changes in Brain Structure in UK Biobank."  

Decide for yourself.  

It might just be that I'm a little touchy on the matter of not having the brain power I had before long COVID.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Temporary LROD Closure Due to Long COVID

I'm closing down LRODtemporarily (I hope)due to the fact that I am still struggling with long COVID. Instead of literary matters (other than I still am at some level a writer), I plan to write about the crazy efforts I'm making to get better.  It's not exactly snake oil, but it is:   low dose Naltrexone, Nitric Oxide Drops (the kind weightlifters take to increase blood flow to their muscles after pumping iron: to be clear, I'm not lifting weights, I'm lying in bed, trying to find ways to exercise without making myself worse), flavonoids, Chinese herbs, vitamins (D, B, C, E), fish oil (fractionated), Co-Q10, Ginseng, CBD, Tylenol (for muscle pain, though again, I'm mostly lying in bed), probiotics, acupuncture.  I'm also in a long COVID clinical trial at a local university.  Guess what that entails.  After a barrage of baseline testing (e.g., glucose tolerance, MRIs, body-fat indices, blood tests, swallowing a body temperature sensor), I will be strapping on scuba-like pants that will circulate heat to my lower body 5 days a week for 8 weeks: 40 minutes sessions of heat therapy.  I keep asking the study coordinator if the other four people who've completed the study report feeling any better. After pressing her for weeks, she finally gave a definitive answer.  "Feeling better is really very subjective."  
     This is how desperate I am to get better.
     Very desperate.
     So far, though: no luck. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Back to our regularly scheduled programming & free from COVID lock-down, though not so free from #Long-Haul #COVID

After this post, we will resume our regularly scheduled literary rejections. Just in time as I am sending out the graphic novel at long last. You are free to move about the country now until further notice. Thanks for joining me on this crazy ourney.