In Defense of Violence: Ancient Japanese/Chinese/Internet Proverbs


I often reflected on a proverb. I cannot say when I first came upon it. Maybe I read it in a translated Japanese text, or was it Mandarin? There’s about a thirty-percent chance that it had Cantonese origins.  Though it’s more likely that it was a meme of mysterious origins (scrawled with ball-point pen on the back of a local cable company’s billing envelope sitting past due on the welcome desk of a strip mall, ninja school that hosts nightly masquerade balls for its LARPing members… no shinobi-no-mono). From there it likely spawned into the dark web upon the Cheetos-fingers of a plump pubescent would-be warrior of the night, and circulated with its unattributed quote through thousands of I.P. addresses where it finally found its way to my Facebook feed.
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On Famine Farming


I once had a garden. A dream of one before that. It was a small garden, at first. Okay, just four tomato plants that I had bought at the Home Depot. Though it consisted of four humble plants that I repotted to a larger planter, it was my garden. I watered it faithfully, and waited for the cherry tomatoes to grow. About forty days later they did, and I was ready to eat the one or two a day that ripened by the time that I returned home from work. I always saved a few for the wife. I lived in this easy bliss for a few weeks until they came. Ravenous, furry, grey locusts – squirrels. They would ravage my humble crop daily. I would pull into my driveway to find scenes akin to a Spanish Tomatina. It didn’t take long for me to render myself; helpless, to the pulpy, fleshy carnage and I quietly, grudgingly withdrew to the easy comfort of autumn decay.
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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



On Writing…or whatever it is that I do.

business man shrug

I was recently drafting a premise for a post. It was one that I felt particularly sure about at the moment of its inception. It was one that arose out of a fire that had been building and consuming my thoughts. I was so sure that the premise was based on a truth, and so I took to the keyboard with righteous anger. However, after a few paragraphs I ran out of fuel, but I was still smoldering. I was sure that no harm would come by taking a break because it had burned so intently that it had seared my flesh so I made the cardinal sin of walking away from the keyboard for the night. I made sure to take care of the glowing ember through the night. I stoked the next few paragraphs in my thoughts until sleep salved me. Continue reading “On Writing…or whatever it is that I do.”