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Flight Recordings

these same thoughts people this little world

Jeffrey Channing Wells

Learning to Fly



Skipped Back 20

September 8th, 2011

It was quiet inside the church. Too quiet.

Beginninggame, Part 7...Collapse )

July 27th, 2011

...but I just wanted to post to commemorate the occasion of being able to give an honest status update of "crouched in the dark, eating sardines, listening to British technopop". My life, ladies and gentlemen.

July 24th, 2011

Saint Raphael's cathedral may in fact have lain before us, but if we were counting on being able to confirm this fact with our eyes, we were sorely disappointed. As soon as we hit East Main, the dark of the night glommed around us in a sort of sticky black fog. I slowed the scooter to a crawl.

Beginninggame, Part 6...Collapse )

July 11th, 2011

On the urging and recommendation of John Sears of the Zombie Rights Campaign, I made some time out of my schedule to attend the North American Discworld Convention this Sunday. While I registered too late (because of my total ignorance of the fact that it was even going on at all) to get a chance to get the autographed bookplate (rats), I did get to see the new Going Postal microseries in its entirety and watched Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry hamming it up on stage and talking about the writing of Good Omens, a very influential book to my own writing style.

However, that's not what I'm going to talk to you about. As usual, I am mooching, this time for information. When Going Postal (the book this time, not the series) was released in the U.S., it had a perfectly acceptable, if bland, blue-and-white cover. At the NADWC, however, I saw a copy of the U.K. release, and it had the dramatic violet cover featuring von Lipwig in the Mercury hat -- this cover is only available in the U.S. on the stage play. I much prefer the dramatic cover, and I'm wondering, is this the standard issue in the U.K., or was that only a limited edition? I'd hate to order something from amazon.co.uk and pay international shipping just to get something I could purchase domestically.

(And by the by, I did not purchase it at the con because it was an eighty-dollar, exceptionally good condition first print, autographed by Sir Terry but to a man named Tom. I don't know under what unfortunate circumstances "Tom" had to part with it, but I feel wrong about paying $80 for someone else's book.)

Update: Happy news! The vendors at the NADWC room put out some new books today, and one of them was a somewhat battered but perfectly sound UK binding of Going Postal, obtained -- judging by the stamps -- via a library sale in Surrey. It's large-print, but I don't get terribly bothered by that sort of thing. So, success, with no international shipping fees! And the "battered" bit doesn't matter, as a too-perfect book makes me afraid to read it. Seriously, at least one of the books there was listed as "Never Been Opened", and I'm damn glad I saw the -- I should mention -- tiny little card stuck inside the book before idly leafing through it.

Seriously, what the hell, "Never Been Opened"? What's the point of even having the book? It'd just sit there all day glowering at you from the shelf.

July 4th, 2011


Learning to Fly
Four weeks of morose pouting, three days of furious activity, and then about twenty-four hours of post-submission satisfaction. Resume pouting sometime mid-Tuesday about the next story I need to finish and submit. Holy crud, why did I become a writer again? It wasn't the job satisfaction, that's for damn sure.

Still, feels good. Sorry to anyone to whom I still owe e-mails -- back on that particular stick soon.

July 2nd, 2011


Learning to Fly
Hey, folks, suffering through another one of my typical pervasive can't-write fits. Normally I just pull the covers over my head and wait these out, but I've got deadlines to meet, including a self-imposed deadline on "…Starbuck Avenger", and I actually have to muscle through my block this time. And the only way I know of to do that is to start typing something, anything, just to get my fingers back into the habit of moving. In the interest of this, I am now going to rank-order and annotate a story-spoilery list of the core cast of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. From this description, you already know if you want to click on the cut tag. The rest of you, seeya next post.

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There we go. Thanks for indulging me there; that actually did help.

June 23rd, 2011

In the words of the Kinks, I realize that I'm not the world's most masculine man, but I still did not wholly expect that there would be a time in my life where I would be picking out my favorite My Little Pony character.*

And then having entire My Little Pony fanfic ideas spring into my head.

Starring author-created characters interacting with the core cast.

Seriously, what the hell? Is there no defense against this show? It's not even that good!

But, never mind. I guess next on the docket after finishing Starbuck Avenger is the touching tale of Skywriter, a little grey pegasus pony who is sad that his vapour trail is not more colorful. WHAT THE HELL EVER, MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENSHIP IS MAGIC, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?

* Rainbow Dash, of course.

June 15th, 2011

Finally finishing this mother, within the next couple of weeks. For serious this time.

* * *

In the early morning depths of a dark Wisconsin winter, three figures roared up a deserted stretch of State Street on a tiny teal-colored Honda Metropolitan. They were arguing.

Beginninggame, Part 5...Collapse )

June 7th, 2011

Intervention 2011

Learning to Fly
Well, it's finally happened -- the Skin Horse thing has paid off again, inasmuch as I'm frikkin' gonna be one of the GOH's at Intervention in September!

What is Intervention, you ask, apparently ignorant of the fact that I have provided a hyperlink for you to click on? I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER, as I have never been there before. But what it appears to be is a super-rad convention in the Washington D.C. area where people get together to celebrate all things Internet. "But Channing," you say, determined to continue to pester me, "Intervention must be a cruddy little con if they have to stoop to feature you as a Guest of Honor." Not so, I reply, graciously ignoring your slight. Just look at the list of webcomic luminaries who will also be GOH'ing (you see what I did there) with me:

Pete Abrams! (the Sluggy Freelance guy!)
Jennie Breeden! (the Devil's Panties gal!)
Rob Balder! (the Erfworld guy! also known as the filk-singer guy!)
Mookie! (the Dominic Deegan guy!)

And, best of all, my partner in crime Shaenon Garrity will be there too!

So I guess what I'm saying is, any Skin Horse fans on the East Coast may want to take a note of Intervention, as -- God willing and fair winds -- Shaenon and I will be there simultaneously for your gawking and getting-books-signed pleasure.

If this actually goes through, I can chalk another one of those life goals off...

June 3rd, 2011

...that I expend the head-time needed to discern that the silent and largely personality-less protagonist of the Portal series enjoys red strawberry Twizzlers.

I do not know what Gordon Freeman enjoys. I don't really like him all that much.

May 31st, 2011

Been quiet.

Learning to Fly
Working on stuff in the background, especially Skin Horse and related matters, but nothing prose and postable. Sorry about leaving things fallow.

In other news, finished Portal 2 over the long weekend. I AM THE BEST AT SPACE.

April 8th, 2011

Watching too much Star Wars media makes you unable to properly pronounce the word "coruscant" in your head. Is George Lucas just plain wrong, or is there a method to his madness?

And what the hell is up with the hard "g" in "Sigil", while I'm at it? Memo to people: YOU ARE SCREWING ME UP.

March 16th, 2011

And, new from feech...

Starbuck Avenger
...a reminder that I really need to finish up "...Starbuck Avenger" (I'm so damn close!), in the form of a fanfiction and a fanfiction within a fanfiction, the latter apparently written by incomparably enthusiastic Starbuck Avenger fan Bruce Carmichael.

Anyway, click here! And then rag on me for not finishing the core work! Negative feelings will help me write better!

(You may remember Bruce from his earlier work, Avengers (sic) Emergence.)

Nera and Jonah (4)

Learning to Fly
Jonah leaned back in his chair. It was, after all, what the chairs had been designed for.

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February 18th, 2011

One Week

Learning to Fly
Exactly one week ago, had I walked by police horses on the street, my reaction would have been a nigh-prepubescent "Horsies!"

Today, it was, "Crap, mounted officers."

It's amazing what can happen in seven days.

February 13th, 2011

Things have changed.

Learning to Fly
Michael is with me tonight.

You may remember him. The few of you who are left in my social circle from the old Blind Pig days over on Thomas Hassan's mailing list may recall that I charged onto the writing scene fourteen years ago -- almost to the day -- with a simple, angsty tale about an anthropomorphic Dalmatian who dreamed of pursuing an acting career in a grim-ish not-too-distant future world filled with more furry fetish stuff than you could shake a stick at  mysteriously few cell-phones  incomprehensible and improbable slang terms many profound sociological changes. I had just started trying my hand at being a writer because (as I famously like to tell) all the other courses in my department were full. I was in a grocery store when the passing sight of a plush dog in an opulent theatrical cape -- in emulation of Dracula, I think -- set off something catastrophic in my brain. I wrote that story in the matter of about three days, all fire and wind, practically speaking in tongues, grabbing every spare scrap of time I possibly could grab because I could not keep the story inside me. The act of trying to realize this tale literally drove me to tears.

It was well-received in my crowd of amateur wordsmiths despite the fact that it was melodramatic and a nonce on the cheeseball side and poorly-punctuated to boot. It is an embarrassment to me as a nascent working professional in the field. And it still holds a place in my heart because it was the purest writing experience I've ever had; just me, and some words, and an image that I desperately needed to make real.

The new governor and new legislature of this state are poised to make drastic changes to the structure of civil service, threatening changes which will almost certainly effect my life for the worse. I cannot endure the pressures of another pay cut -- my household cannot stand them. It is time to either change jobs or supplement my income. And what better way, I think to myself, to supplement my income, than by using skills I have developed over many years of amateur use? Skills that, thanks to the long coat-tails of my Skin Horse co-creator Shaenon Garrity, are already earning me some money?

And I start to go to my computer and a song rushes into my head, Seanan McGuire's "Snow Queen Dreams". The song is immediately at my fingertips in a very real way, courtesy of an MP3 player that was itself a gift from a fan of my webcomic. And an emotion wells up in my chest as I listen. It is something that seems familiar -- it is my occasional visitor Passion, again waiting for me to make use of it. But it is not the the green-broke thing that once it was; it is tamer, now, ready to be harnessed. And my first question of it is, what can I make of you that I can sell?

I can't tell if this is progress or not.

False spring is across the land, and with it comes the annual nostalgia. I remember when I used to walk the night streets of Iowa City, a creature of theater and lamplight. I remember fourteen years ago when I was the type of guy who grabbed words with his teeth and shook. I'm... a different person now. I don't know if the changes have been for better or for worse and it is pointless to debate which. Suffice to say: the person I am now does not say to himself "I must". He says "I can", and what's more, "the fact that I can has value."

I am tired of not being paid what I am worth for my writing. This is not a Prima Donna snit; it is a mere factual assessment that there are skills I could sell to the world, and the blame for the fact that this is not happening to my satisfaction lies with me alone. It is not a pure place. It is not a beautiful place. It is light-years away from the guy vomiting melodrama into amateur internet communities just because it would not stay inside. I hardly recognize myself.

But Michael is still here.

Happy fourteenth, buddy.

January 12th, 2011

Nera and Jonah (3)

Learning to Fly
She regarded Jonah soberly over her fountain cup of Sprite.

"He's penning his life's work… using the high-score list on that arcade game."

Jonah nodded brightly. "Galaxian, yes."

Nera put down her drink. "I can't believe it," she said. "This is why we're not going to the Pizzatarium for my birthday?"

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January 11th, 2011


Medium: "Galaxian" (high-score list), the arcade room at the Hope Diner

December 27th, 2010


The White Room
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December 26th, 2010


The White Room
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