My 3-Point Plan for Improving Humanity as Its Emperor

One day, if the world is very, very lucky, I will be declared the Emperor of Humanity. That day will be a magical, wonderful day. Everyone will rejoice. Why? Because I have all the answers to your problems.

So many things to fix with the world, where would I begin?

  1. Space prisons

Like it or not, criminal justice is a part of governing. There are bad people out there, and we have to do something about them.  However, there also issues with our current criminal justice system. Prisons are overcrowded, expensive, and generally ineffective at preventing crime.

Not a problem.

Normal prisons are obsolete. Nobody benefits from the current prison system–not prisoners, not the guards, and not the average American trying to avoid being involved  with the criminal justice system in any way, shape, or form.  Who wants giant concrete buildings just sitting around full of meth addicts and people with the ability to turn a toothbrush into a knife?

No one. That’s who.

On the other hand, who doesn’t think it would be awesome to take every criminal on the planet  and send them into space?

Seriously. We have all seen the movies. We know what happens when you try to colonize Mars. We also know that when you create a colony of prisoners, you get Australia.

That is why I will use Earth’s prisoners to colonize Mars.

Humanity benefits by having a second planet to destroy, prisoners don’t get locked in an 8 x 10 cell made of depression,  and NASA benefits by actually having someone complete one of their plans.

Also, martian kangaroos.

  1. Mandatory 90s-at-Noon on every radio station on the planet–also outlawing hammer-pants.

It is generally accepted as scientific fact that 90s music represents the greatest human cultural achievement.  

You can’t argue with me on this one. Seriously. Don’t even try, I’m the Emperor of all Humanity, remember?

Unfortunately, 90s fashion was not particularly awesome. If there is one blight on the pure nirvana (pun intended) of 90s culture, it is hammer pants.

MC Hammer was quite possibly a musical and lyrical super genius, but his fashion sense was –how shall we say it? Woeful.

No one should wear pants like that unless they are capable of granting me three wishes.

And yet, despite some truly questionable fashion trends, it remains an irrefutable fact that the 90s gave us the greatest musical performances in every genre of contemporary music. 

(I guess Baroque Symphony radio stations can be excluded from the rule)

Unfortunately, like certain obsolete political ideas, the 1980s gave us aggressively needy, hairspray-soaked music that refuses to die–no matter how many times you stab it in the face with an ice pick. 

This is why I will increase the cultural well-being of my subjects (aka humanity)  by ensuring they are given a minimum of one hour access to the 1990s musical collective each day. 

See? I can both give and take. Compromise is the key to a healthy relationship–even if that relationship is between Emperor and enslaved population.

  1. Two words: robot army

I really feel like this one is self-explanatory. 

If you can’t figure out how a robot army benefits all of humanity, especially me, the Emperor, then I don’t need to talk to you anymore. 

Nothing has ever gone wrong from someone building an army of robots. It is the greatest concept humanity has ever come up with. It would never be a bad idea. No one can even think of a way for it to be a bad idea.

As long as we make them easily breakable and not too terribly bright.

I hope by now you’re beginning to understand why I would make an excellent leader for humanity. Clearly I have the vision, ambition, and compassion necessary to solve all the world’s big picture problems.

I’m not going to get bogged down in the day-to-day minutia of administering an entire government through my one massive brain. Obviously with an army of robots (and secret satellite lasers) at my disposal, I won’t need to flex my awesome too often.

Also, I will be banishing dissidents to Mars… so, you have to agree with me or become Space-Austrailian.

Do you want that, mate?

I didn’t think so.
This post was sponsored by Entities for the Unanimous Election of a New World Emperor, It Might As Well Be Him… Why Not?

Here’s To Last Place

If you’re not familiar with the concept of #NaNoWriMo, the idea is to write a complete 50,000-word story in the month of November. It’s a fun exercise and it has historically helped me reignite my creative fires. I’m feeling pretty good about this year, even if as I’m writing this, I’m several days behind.

50,000 words in 30 days comes out to 1667 words each day, and I took most of a week off to illness.

Now, as a side-effect of tracking word counts on the internet and the awesome writing/accountability buddies system created on NaNoWriMo.Org, I get competitive. You see, if I can see the number of words my friends have written so far for the month, I know where I stand in regards to their productivity. I like to turn everything into a game. I like everything to be a competition.

So, I don’t like being in last place.


Granted, it isn’t healthy to think of a writing career as a competition. It’s never a good idea to get stuck in a comparison rut, thinking, “That person is better than me,” or “I’m doing better than that person.” There are too many factors at play to make a determination like that. There is only where you are in comparison to where you want to be. Those are the only things you really need to look at. Everything else is meaningless.

But, #NaNoWriMo isn’t really about being a writer. It’s about participating in a month long word sprint. The common thought is “November is for words, December is for writing.”

And, a little competition goes a long way. Just knowing that I am (as of the time of this writing) more or less in last place among my professional writer friends (in this case, I am defining professional writer as anyone I know who has A) made money from their writing, or B) is actively working towards building a career as a writer) pushes me to be faster.

Sure, it’s a double-edged sword. I’ve spent more time this year than I care to admit struggling to push myself harder and harder and that has led to burnout. But, I’ve also always felt something powerful when writing in a NaNoWriMo write-in or just hammering out words to hammer out words.

I’ve only ever published one of the four books I’ve written during NaNoWriMo. That isn’t really the point. The point is getting the words on the page and reminding myself that I can tell a story.


I’ve Got a Cold

I don’t get sick very often.

I’m normally a pillar of moderate health. I mean, I’m as healthy as a 300-pound man in his thirties can be. I’ve even been working (off-and-on) on being healthier. It’s been… well… it’s been.

This week, though. Man… The bouncing between hot and cold has gotten into my lungs. You know, one of those hacking coughs with the nasty sound.

And no, it isn’t pneumonia. Really, I’m just a pansy when it comes to illness.

There’s some kind of ultra-bug going around here in Montana, too. I haven’t caught it yet. I’ve been fortunate enough to stave it off with my powers of awesome several times already this year. But now… now I’m afraid my immunities to simple mortal diseases have been compromised.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but there are a lot of diseases out there. Crazy horrible diseases.

An infinite world of plague.


We could all get zombified any day now. I’m genuinely amazed the world hasn’t ended in a horrible endless wave of cannibalistic undead.

If only, am I right?


Anyway, I’m going to drink some more of the purple happy fluid and pass out for awhile.


See you next week.

I did something awesome

Today, I did something I truly enjoyed. I helped someone with a story.

It wasn’t a perfect experience. I was hyper and jumping all over the place in my mind. I asked questions and got answers. I offered advice and encouragement. I didn’t actually create something, but I helped someone else develop their own creation, at least helped someone begin the process of laying the foundation.

It was exhilarating.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been stuck for a long time with my own writing. There are a lot of reasons why, but the big one was a lack of passion. It was a sense of frazzled nerves and charred imagination. It was burn out, plain and simple.

And it was a lot of excuses.

But, in a simple act of devoting my time to helping someone else create. The simple joy of helping someone else build a foundation of their story, their world, I remembered how much fun it can be to create something new and different.

I didn’t feel like my brain was burned anymore. I felt like it was on fire.

You could probably argue that it was the six Monster Absolute Zeros I drank today (they are 3 for $5.50, so it makes sense to buy three, right?) You could argue that it was a new environment. Creatives do tend to feed on one another. You could argue that it was a lot of things.

But, I think it was the joy of awakening something in someone else. It was a simple truth that I have learned and continue to learn. I applied things I knew to a situation and it made sense and flowed.

One of the biggest emotional hurdles for a writer is the fear you’re not good enough for the next story.

One of my biggest emotional hurdles is the nagging suspicion that I am not as good at things as others think I am. I often doubt my own skills because I don’t think they are unique. I don’t think they are special. I don’t think they mean much in the grand scheme of things.

Today, I got to use skills and knowledge floating around inside my head to help someone else.

I got to do something great.

I also got to prove to myself that I do know these things. I have some skills. I have some abilities.

There is still a long journey ahead of me. I hope I will never stop growing and learning, but, I need to remind myself that I’ve come a long way. I have learned a lot. I know some things. I have some skills.

Maybe I am not where I think I should be, but I am I much farther down the road than I think I am. I am better than I think I am.

I bet you are as well.


I have returned to the world of normalcy. Slightly battered. Slightly bruised. Exhausted in the best of ways.

It was a long, tiring drive crowned by a pair of days surrounded by friends and family, or rather, friends as family. It was one of those trips with a purpose and no purpose at the same time. The journey is more than just the adventure.

If I’m not making any sense, well, that is because I have not yet fully recovered from the driving. I love driving, and I managed to dictate several thousand words while driving. None of them are really any good. They definitely do not facilitate a story, but they are words… that is something.

My brain is still a little in the recovery mode. I’ve been silent and pensive (and heavily influenced by a Lovecraftian Public News Radio Show). I was given a lot to think about while in Springfield.

Epic poems have been penned about the revealing nature of fire. The light burning away the darkest and deepest shadows. Illumination on the dark corners you hide from.

I think those epic poems were all about campfires.

I didn’t realize how much I missed the time spent around a campfire. There is something about the combination of wood smoke and cool night skies that rips away inhibitions and self-denial and lets me be open and honest. It springs from the calm bonding of camaraderie and, perhaps, a little bit of alcohol.

Sitting around a fire well into the night and laying your soul open. It is a potent and heady release, and I recommend it to anyone. Especially those long lost in the denial of their own feelings and beliefs. Let your friends flay you open and expose the lies you tell yourself. They aren’t judging you. They aren’t condemning you.

You were doing that to yourself.



I could go on and on about the nature of the campfire, but I won’t. That is baggage I’m not willing to lay at the feet of the public world anywhere but in fiction. Still, if you ever find a chance to sit around a campfire with your closest friends, you may be surprised at what bubbles up to the surface, fleeing the shadowy corners of your psyche and crashing out into the safe light.