Zeke & His Toxic Pocket Monster

January 10, 2017: Matriculating at a university near you. Keep it in your safe space! 


Ezekiel was a mild – mannered teenager by every account. Well, he was technically and very much legally a man at 18, and thus now fully responsible and accountable for every act committed by any and every member of his sex. He was only a few weeks removed from his high school graduation, and a few weeks into his freshman year at the University. This was his first excursion out of his little town, and now he found himself thrown into this thriving and diverse metropolis. There were white people of every kind here! Some had brown hair, some black, red, blonde, and all the shades in between. They came from places as far away as Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, and some from right outside of Chicago – like within 100 miles! He on the other hand, came from a long line of cheese farmers going back to his great, great granddaddy – the head cheese. Continue reading “Zeke & His Toxic Pocket Monster”


On the Gentle Art #15

bjj evolve

"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;" 

- To Althea, From Prison by Richard Lovelace 1642 A.D.

Constraints – life has a lot of them, biological and otherwise (your blood’s ph level, the minimum amount of oxygen that you need to breathe, the level of carbon monoxide & carbon dioxide in your system), and we add to life’s constraints with every choice we make or defer. (That is if you believe in free will. Some intriguing fMRI studies seem to suggest that our choices are made subconsciously before we consciously become aware of them and “choose” accordingly.) Constraints themselves are neither good nor bad. They are merely circumstance boxes in which things can or can’t occur. Plant a seed in dirt and it grows. Plant a Monsanto seed in dirt and you get sued for intellectual property infringement. See constraints! Continue reading “On the Gentle Art #15”

Happy New Year, Readers!!!

How I felt the majority of 2016:


I’d like to take a moment to reflect on 2016… There that’s it. I’ve taken the moment. Thanks for nothing you dick punch of a year!

Now on to the hopefulness that the new year brings. For many of us this is the time to make resolutions, though I realize that many of us have already fallen off the wagon. (I tried not to eat a cookie today.) Well so much for that one, but I only really have a couple of resolutions, and so I think that makes my job in 2017 a little easier.

Here is my short list:

  1. Keep to my word count – 1,000 words a day (Including novels, posts, short stories)
  2. Submit 2 literary submissions to agents a day (This is quite low, but should be quite doable given the abundance of agents…many of whom have not seen the brilliance of my work.)
  3. Get to the Jiu Jitsu mats more – 3x a week (in aggregate – I’m including time in here for the likely bumps/bruises/my general bitchassness)
  4. Get the boys to school early enough to make “snack time”. (Translated: Get them the hell out of the house for my sanity’s sake.)
  5. Last but not least – Be a better dad/husband. (Have no idea how to do it but I’ll try.)

That seems like such a manageable enough list that I won’t fuck it up! (I left out the cookies. One can’t expect miracles!)

Here’s looking at you 2017!


© J. Manuel