Are Your Greetings Seasoned? Happy Holidays!

Michael allan leonard public domain blog Christmas cards nerd humor comics santa doctor doom

Happy Holidays!

Hard to believe December is almost over.  This past month has been a blur, with too many not-fun non-creative things devouring my time and keeping me AFK, which hopefully explains the absence of posts (as well as getting much of anything else constructive done … which includes sleep.)

I didn’t want to let Christmas slide without doing something to mark the occasion, though, so one caffeine-fueled all-nighter later, I’ve got some holiday e-cards for everyone.

The most fun part of getting a card is opening it up to see what’s inscribed inside, so I rigged the e-cards to simulate that.  Just click on each of the card fronts to ‘open’ it and read the interior.

It ain’t no Holodeck but we’re on a shoestring budget here … just kidding.

Shoestrings are a luxury.



Click on card to ‘open’ …


Click on card to open …

Continue reading


Give thanks. Fight the tryptophan. Fear the doorbusters.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Long-time readers may have seen this post last year, but we’ve picked up a lot of new faces since then, so I’m going to dig it out of the archive and dust it off.

walking dead black friday meme humor public domain blog zombies

walking dead black friday meme humor public domain blog zombies

Pop quiz: what’s the difference between these two scenarios?

Well, both involve a struggle for personal survival against hordes of inhumane, groaning glassy-eyed automatons trying to push, bite and claw their way to the object of their desire.

But sadly, it’s acceptable to bring shotguns to only one of them.

Black Friday almost perfectly encapsulates the schizophrenic nature of modern American society.  We spend all day Thursday giving thanks for what we have with family and friends, with most celebrants traditionally consuming a foodstuff that contains high concentrations of an amino acid which induces drowsiness.

Everybody should be pretty chill going into the weekend, right?


Less than twenty-four hours later, we’re out en masse engaging in mortal combat for cheap, non-essential creature comfort goods.  Gave thanks, now let’s get to gettin’ more.  It’s probably a good thing turkey is the usual main course for Thanksgiving dinner, and the tryptophan is perhaps taking the edge off of people’s aggressions, or the consumer carnage would only be intensified.

Hmmm.  It’s almost like some benevolent soul had the wherewithal to somehow warn our ancestors, in order to try to mitigate at least some of the mayhem . . .

Continue reading

Just Say No To NaNoWriMo: Part 1

This one may ruffle a few feathers, but here goes.

It’s November, and thousands of writers — actually, the official count for 2013 is over 262,000 — are participating in National Novel Writing Month.

Myself? Not a fan of NaNoWriMo.

On the surface, the creative writing ‘challenge’, originally established in 1999, seems like it might be a good way to motivate writers who may be struggling with establishing consistently productive work habits.  The participants’ goal is to either complete the rough draft of a 50,000 word manuscript, or write the first 50K words of a longer work between November 1st and 30th.

In the decade-plus since NaNoWriMo was founded, dozens of trade published novels have came from participants in the annual event, including award-winning New York Times Bestsellers The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (which I heartily recommend if you’ve never read it) and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

The creative process is as individual to a writer as his or her fingerprints: no two are exactly the same, and as long as you’re getting results, there is no such thing as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  If someone sees value in a month-long literary boot camp, more power to them.

But based on my experience as a writer, what I question is the impact participation in NaNoWriMo has on newcomers to the craft who see it as an easy way to overcome the barriers they believe might be standing in the way of completing a work, without realizing that those ‘barriers’ may be a little more complex than they thought.

Continue reading