Sunday July 22, 2018
Book 18: Mandatory Failure — Part III

I Will Be On A Ship

This September I’ll be at WXR 2018, the Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat, which will sail from Galveston Texas on a really big ship. The event begins on September 22nd, and wraps up on September 30th. There’s a day of prep sessions in Galveston, on the 22nd, and then head out into the ocean.

If writing retreats are your thing, and if you’re interested in learning from industry professionals, you should consider joining us. 

It costs about what a Caribbean cruise costs, and it’s coming right up so scheduling time away from home might be tricky, but if you’ve got the discretionary resources to make it happen, it’s absolutely worth it¹.  All the relaxation of a 7-day cruise, with all the motivational super-charging of hanging out with writers.  

The links take you directly to the registration page, which has a handy FAQ down at the bottom.

¹ Here’s a page linking to testimonials from attendees at previous WXR events. I wouldn’t say “it’s absolutely worth it” without some backup.


Some Words About This Thing I’ve Been Making

I began creating Schlock Mercenary in March of 2000. That’s 18.25 years ago. It’s 91% of two decades. It’s longer than half my children have been alive. It’s longer than a lot of things.

Book 18, Mandatory Failure, is wrapping up. A week from today we’ll see the first panels of Book 19, A Function of Firepower, and as currently outlined that book should run for about as long as this one did. Sometime in or about the early summer of 2019, Book 20 will begin. That book, which will run for about the length of a book, is outlined in a manner that should wrap things up satisfactorily. The twenty-year-long (by then, anyway) Schlock Mercenary mega-arc will draw to a close.

It might be useful to consider books 18, 19, and 20 as a trilogy, especially in light of the fact that trilogy-style is the way I’m writing them. Book 18 will end with some unresolved threads, which Book 19 will pick up. Book 19 will will also end with some unresolved threads, which Book 20 will pick up.

As to what comes after Book 20, I remain firm in my twin commitments to 1) keep making Schlock Mercenary and 2) not launch another twenty-year story arc. We can talk about those plans in a couple of years. For now I have some comics to ink.


Ant Man and The Wasp

Ant Man and The Wasp is set just prior to the events of Avengers: Infinity War¹, which allows it to revel in the same comedy/adventure realm as Ant Man and Thor: Ragnarok.

It excelled at said revelry.

My own favorite moment, which I shall not spoil, was when Luis (Michael Peña) gave someone his trademark high-speed recap. I was downright giddy when I realized that the scene was setting it up, and the remainder of the scene did not disappoint.

There were plenty of epic super-hero moments, too, and they struck that perfect balance between humor and heroism. Ant Man and The Wasp clears my Threshold of Awesome², and the soundtrack is going into my music library.

¹ The after-the-credits scenes establish the sequence of events between the two films, and they offer a couple of hints about how Ant Man might play a significant part in Infinity War Part II.
² It takes my top slot, displacing
Black Panther, because as brilliantly awesome as Black Panther was, I had more fun watching Ant Man and The Wasp. YMMV.