Good Reason for Radio Silence

Almost 4 weeks ago, on 10 June 2011, Acelyn Elizabeth Crampton came into the world.  She is a healthy little girl, and we are enraptured with her.

While we aren’t getting much sleep (and by we, I mean mostly my wife), she is already sleeping more steadily than her brother did until he was about 10 months old.  She is just now noticing that we have faces, and pays very close attention to them and how they are moving.  I can’t wait for her to start mimicking expressions and for her to realize that those arms, legs, hands, and feet are hers.

As usually happens with new babies, every moment of our days and nights are taken up with taking care of her.  Her older brothers are all proving that they can take being her big brother very seriously, and are doing everything that they can to chip in.  We’re trying to make sure that they’re included in her birth and growing up, instead of being pushed aside.  As with Cian and his older brothers, it seems to be working rather well.  In all honesty, I would have never thought of it… all credit for that idea goes to my brilliant wife.

With the lack of free time, I’m taking notice of a pattern that I seem to have in my life.  When do I come up with the great, inspired ideas?  When I have no means or time in which to accomplish them.  When do I have the most drive and motivation?  When I am unable to take action.  I have the sneaking suspicion that my brain is tricking itself.  When there is no ability to do a thing, there is no associated risk with it.  I don’t have to fear failure, I don’t have to fear success.  I am safe to dream, because I’m barred from action.

Well, I’ve decided to double-trick my brain.  This barring of action due to every moment being either spent with Acelyn, or with the boys, or with the wife, or doing chores around the house… it’s a lie that I’ve told myself.  I’ve scraped some time out of my lunch hour at work, and during my shifts to stay awake at night during feedings*, and I’ve managed to get words down on paper.  I’ve nearly completed the scripts for Issue 2 of Fight or Flight, and have some crazy new ideas for The Glass Crown.  Remarkably, the fear of both failure and success has kept quiet during this double-trick.

Maybe my wife was right all along.  Maybe I can write and be a parent at the same time.

*Nursing can give a strong feeling of euphoria.  When tired, this can easily lead to falling asleep.  As I have a sleep disorder, we’re trying to avoid co-sleeping with Acelyn as much as possible.  So, when the wife crashes while nursing, I stay up until the baby is done, burp her, and put her to bed.  We swap shifts for this duty every three hours, and except for a few missteps on my part, it’s working out quite well.

Site Update

While there hasn’t been any new content in a while, I’m rather proud of the site redesign over at Fight or Flight.  Figuring out child themes in ComicPress (and how to tweak them) was not the easiest in my spare time, but was well worth the learning.  Also, it’s been half a decade since I seriously played with CSS.

In any case, success!  Give it a look-see if you’re so inclined.

Food for creativity

The well is no longer dry.  In fact, my creativity has filled the well and exploded into the sky as a foaming geyser.

I’m not sure that this well metaphor is going to work out.

I am working again.  With the commute rolled in, I’m putting in twelve-hour days.  However, with the state of extended unemployment benefits up in the air in DC, not to mention the gestating parasite in my wife’s womb, I heartily welcome the paycheck and the insurance.  The financial transition is a bit rocky, but couldn’t have come at a better time.

As often happens when I regain employment, my creativity has switched back on.  My urge to progress on Fight or Flight came first, and I’ve gotten months worth of scripts written.  I’m no longer panicked about its slow progress, which was a problem earlier in the year.  It’s back to being fun.

The same urge is hitting me for The Glass Crown, as well.  It’s coinciding with filling up my current paper notebook, which has other implications.  It’s a beautiful leather-bound book, imported from Italy, that I received on my first Father’s Day.  It’s taken me two and a half years to fill its pages.  Judging by the ratio of journal entries to fiction, becoming a husband (again), a stepfather, and a father was (and is) a rocky and emotional ride.  Who knew?

Looking back through the pages of the notebook reminded me that I didn’t just want to finish the story in The Glass Crown.  I liked what I read.  I got into it.  The characters didn’t have to be poked with a stick to come alive.  They’re bounding around in my head all on their own.  This pleases me to no end.

Motor City Mafia – and, really, Adam’s Name – feels content to wait its turn.  I feel pulled to reconsider its original purpose – a fiction based role playing game – but I have no idea how I’d restructure it.  I’ve got some time, though.  Its time will come.

I still have hope for projects like Steven and Two Vampires.  I still have my wife’s challenge to write a paranormal romance/urban fantasy book, which Adam’s Name will probably turn into, or Two Vampires could, or I could write something totally new… I still have the Aztec spirit-based clanker story that I want to tell.

So, as long as this creative urge wants to stick around, I’ve got food for it.

Self Promotion


The pic shows two copies of The Remembrance, my first novel, on the Michigan Writers shelf at Everybody Reads Books & Stuff.  That’s on East Michigan in Lansing, next to Gone Wired and across the street from Emil’s.  Location, location, location!

They carry everything from fiction to progressive politics to family tragedy to green living. If they didn’t have something that I was looking for, they ordered it for me. I can’t rave enough about this place.

In other news, Fight or Flight, a webcomic written by me and illustrated by Richard Schlaack, continues to chug along.  It updates with either comics or sketches every Friday here.  A paper issue is in the works.

Todd’s story is available via the link to the left (if you’re viewing this on my site, and not via rss).

Is there any place you’d like to see me for a signing? Drop me an email (via the contact page) and I’ll see what I can do!

Couple of Updates

Fight or Flight updated on Friday, and there’s a new blog post up over there!

No go on the EVE under Wine on this older desktop.  Considering other options.

Just put 100 of my brother-in-law(-in-law?)’s comic books up for sale at I haven’t used them before, but they’re free, and seem to have a decent comic library.  If you’re interested in picking up older comics, check their site out.

Unemployment benefits are a go.  So is the job hunt.  Any suggestions are more than welcome. :)

Fight or Flight goes live!

Fight or Flight, a webcomic written by yours truly, drawn by Richard Schlaack, is now live!

The first page debuted at midnight on 01.01.10 (GMT/Zulu).  A new page will come out every Friday on the same schedule.  I’m so excited about this I could implode.  I can’t wait for more of the story to unfold, and to share it with everyone. :)