Happy Halloween from Odin!

Inktober, what's next, and some Deep Thoughts

Happy Halloween from Odin!

Hello, world!

I wanted to send off a special Halloween newsletter for everyone. Ahead, I’ve got drawings from my stab at Inktober, as well as some tidbits from my creative and writing life to share. I’ve also got some deep thoughts, on the big things happening in our world.

A lot of people are afraid right now.

So many of us are in pain. We’re afraid and we’re angry and we’re lost.

But we’re not alone. And I want to speak to that, to the community that surrounds us, that lifts us up; I want to recognize that the community we’re a part of has space for our differences because there’s far more that connects us than there is that which divides.

So, I have a lot to say, but I don’t have perfect answers. Which means I’ll try to say things simply, and leave you something to be inspired by at the end.

And, at the very end, a Treat (since ‘tis the season), in the form of some fantastic Halloween delights from around the Internet.

Thanks for being here.

But first… want to support me? Please, consider becoming a monthly supporter! Everything I do is supported by my community.

Now, read on.

Inktober and creativity!

Being creative is hard.

Some friends and I were laughing recently because one of our number has this delightful tap into the Muse-tree. She’s able to bring her literal dreams to life through her craft, and find ways to build her life’s story into her art that I honestly find so inspiring.

For this other friend and I, though, the creative life can sometimes be a slog. It’s hilarious to have such different experiences of the artistic life be so intimate through our friendships. It’s wonderful.

It’s good to have friends, and to have friends who share different aspects of your total experience of life. I can be so inspired by one friend’s work, and at the same time chuckle at how relatable my other friend’s struggles to finish their project are to my own experience.

We need that sort of vibrancy of community, that multi-faceted social sphere.

I’ve been having a hard time writing. I was doing swimmingly in the first part of the year, even with my horrible back pain.

But when I started my new job: stressstressstressstress. I kept going, forced myself to work on my story… and eventually started to grind myself down, like a mill wheel out of alignment.

And then, my wonderful wife suggested that I try something new:


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I drew some when I was a teen and in my early twenties, but I’ve let that go by the wayside.

And getting back into it? Has been amazing.

I haven’t had time every day for a deep and detailed piece of practice, but every day I’ve made some time to draw. And it reminded me of something fundamental about being a creative explorer: an artist.


We do it for the sake of itself, not for an income (oh no, certainly not for that). We can, and should, be able to prosper off of our creativity. But if we must be artistic in order to survive, we end up losing that which defines creative art itself: the experience of play.

Writing had become work. It’s what I do. And many of my hopes for even meagre security in this world are caught up in my ability to produce through my writing.

But that’s not why I started writing in the first place.

Drawing doesn’t have that for me. It’s not my bread on the table. It’s play. Just pure, wonderful, brilliant, self-expressive play.


Well, this week it’s the Surrey International Writer’s Conference. Because, while I needed a break from the work-mindset of writing, I am a writer. It’s what I do.

I also love SurreyCon. It’s my favorite conference. The people who run it are amazing and kind, and it’s been my privalege to both volunteer for it twice, and attend it in person last year.

I’ve also started playing Dungeons & Dragons again! This was my first big creative experience as a kid, and it led me into acting, which led me to writing and my love of film. So, it’s been delightful coming back to it for the first time in a while.

There’s no better way to invite play into your life than to actually play!

And, finally, next month…


That’s right, after everything I said about my experience with burnout, I’m concentrating my attention once more on this lovely but INSANE challenge.

Okay, I get it, if you’re a pro writer then 50k in thirty days is totally doable. I can easily hit that count if I just fly with my words for 30 days. But here’s the thing: I have a novel I want to finish.

It only needs about 50k worth of words to be done.

So, I’m excited for NaNo this year because I’m going to shoot for a truely completed draft of my science fiction novel, and that’s motivation if I’ve ever heard it.

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Alright, so… now we get into the big stuff.

Hope or despair: A Halloween lesson

From here

Two-Thousand and Nineteen… and, a few years before that (for us Americans, at least), Two-Thousand and Sixteen.

A lot has happened in the last few years. Bernie Sanders helped transform American politics for the better… and Donald Trump showed us how sickly our democracy really is. It’s been a time.

We went from being completely blasé about being aware of how our personal health choices effect our communities, to having at least a marginal relationship to masking during flu season and washing our hands.

  • (If you’re curious, yes, you should be masking up, at least during any public events, if only because you care about the people around you).

We have seen the proliferation of right-wing insanity in the form of authoritarianism, oligarchy, and late-stage capitalism’s self-cannibalistic death throws.

We have also seen wonderful points of hope.

We’ve seen moments of inspiring courage, as communities stand up against oil companies, anti-environmentalist stances, and new resource exploitation.

Brave people have stepped up to do the right thing in the middle of conflicts around the world.

And now, more than ever before, people around the world are recognizing something fundamental:

We are society.

We are the government.

We are the hope and the change that the world needs if we’re going to survive as a species.

This isn’t to say that there’s a balance right now between the forces of darkness and the dream of the light. Right now, a bright future is more of a dream than a reality… but at least it’s a dream that more and more people are coming together to share.

As you go about your festivities this month (and in the winter season following), try to hold a little extra patience and a little extra compassion, both for others and for yourself. But, also try to deepen your self-reflection.

We are all a strange and beautiful loop—within and without—and recognition of that delightful truth makes living better and more beautiful. But it requires self-work on a daily basis.

Halloween fun!

Okay, now here’s what I promised y’all.

Halloween spookiness, cheer, horror, and fun!

Would you like to be truly terrified by some creepy-as-heck stop-motion animation? Check this out. Dear god.

Incredible cosplay/costume designs!

Cute Halloween NOMS

Until next time, friends!

Go easy, and if you can’t go easy then go as easy as you can.


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