List it Friday! 30 Days of Lists, Week 1

Yay September! Suck it, August. Actually every month until the first good hard cold front can suck it, but today was oddly not horrific outside – it wasn’t so much cooler as it felt like it might be cooler soon, y’know?  There’s not quite a taste of Autumn but it’s like instead of just sitting home thinking about how good pizza would taste, we’re on our way to the buffet.

Anyway, lists.

heard about me

What You Might Have Heard About Me:

  1. I’m really funny
  2. I have rather non-hip taste in music. Aren’t writers supposed to like obscure indie bands that feel bad about their dads and have big beards?  (I sure freaking hope not.)
  3. I’m an awesome writer.
  4. I bake one hell of a cupcake.
  5. Once while on writing sabbatical I rescued a dozen orphaned baby eagles from poachers, my only weapons 2 tampons and a can of Coke Zero.

(One of these isn’t true. I don’t actually use tampons.)

(incidentally that little doodle in the bottom right corner is supposed to be a flaming tampon)


Today Can Best Be Described As:

  1. Crap.
  2. Excrement
  3. A turd sundae (with failsauce)
  4. Fecalarious
  5. (poo emoji)
  6. Utter shite
  7. Wednesday.

(I was having a really, um, shitty day.)

2015-09-02 15

Favorite Days of the Year:

  1. The first real cold front of the year
  2. 19 November
  3. Movies at the Alamo Drafthouse on opening weekend with my Bestlings
  4. Book release days
  5. New tattoo day!
  6. Any and all rainstorms

up at night

What Keeps Me Up at Night:

  1. WhatwasthatnoisewasthatamurdererOMGstopwatchingsomuchgoddamnForensicFiles
  2. Thanatophobia
  3. Whatever I’m currently writing
  4. My cat Stella yowling
  5. Fear of/feelings of failure
  6. Mental illness
  7. Naughty thoughts about Benedict Cumberbatch’s lips/voice
  8. Naughty thoughts about Tom Hiddleston’s…well, everything
  9. Repeating conversations
  10. Itchy bits
  11. Rehashing decisions
  12. Having a tiny tiny bladder

(Usually all on the same night, hence my dependence on Ambien.)

funny movies

Movies That Make Me Laugh:

(I included quotes because movie quotes are my jam.)

  1. Big Hero 6
    “I have some concerns.”
  2. Ghostbusters
    “Ray…when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!”
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy
  4. Marvel’s The Avengers
    “Doth Mother know you weareth her drapes?”
  5. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    “Mrs. Hogwallop up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T.”
  6. Frozen
    “Oh, look…I’ve been impaled.”
  7. Real Genius
    “Kent, this is Jesus…and you’ve been a VERY NAUGHTY BOY.”
  8. Tangled
    “And Vladamir collects ceramic unicoooooooooorns…”
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New Shadow World Extra: Little-Known Facts, Part 1

This came from a wild Ambien-induced hair, and I thought it was utterly silly and fun and I loved it, so why not let you guys see it?  There will probably be several more, including some for a couple of characters who aren’t as much in the spotlight right now, like Jacob and maybe Cora (don’t worry, they’re going to be more involved in the story soon, but right now I have to deal with a certain Pair who are nothing but purple-eyed trouble).

Once again: if you become a Patron of my work, you can see these extras, and read chapters of Book Six, before the rest of the world.  Right now my Patreon peeps are on Chapter 11 of SHADOWSTORM – I still don’t even have a release date for the full book.

Without further ado:  Little-Known Facts About David Solomon.

little known ds

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Pimp My Planner – Dance Your Cares Away

Themes are fun.  After doing the Gorjuss Girls pages a couple of weeks ago I saw where one of the planner peeps I follow had done a Super Mario theme – I was instantly jealous!  It hadn’t occurred to me, really, that I didn’t have to use stickers and such that were *supposed* to be stickers and such.  I stormed Google looking for images from my absolute favorite 80s TV show, printed a bunch out, added in the practical stuff I needed, and voila!

fraggle theme

I included lyrics from my favorite Fraggle Rock song, the one Cantus the Minstrel sings when the Fraggles first meet him:

I have a long list of possible themes I made the other night when I was feeling silly, so who knows? Next week might be hedgehogs, a Norse god, crossword puzzles, or underpants.  Or possibly Norse gods in their underpants or hedgehogs doing crosswords. Stay tuned.


Meanwhile, September 1 marks the beginning of another round of 30 Days of ListsI took part a while back and had a great time.  I enjoyed drawing a lot instead of just gluing shit to other shit like I would normally do. My book this year is smaller and unlined.  I’ve already glued in number tabs for each list, and I hope that doesn’t come back to haunt me.

30days book

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Feeling Tickled

When I was a kid I observed a lot of things about myself that I didn’t think anyone else could possibly understand.  Some were kind of heartbreaking, some a little frightening, and some I decided meant I was crazy but I enjoyed too much to look deeply into.

One such was the “brain tickle.”  I noticed, from a very early age, that some sounds made the inside of my head feel all tingly and weird.  Most of the time it came from certain people’s voices – soft-spoken people, usually, almost instantly caused that tickling sensation (not the same as the low-down tickle, which I didn’t really figure out until I was much older).

Sometimes I’d mention it to other people just to see if maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t the only one, but most of the time I’d get stared at like I was completely banana balls.  Once in a while, though, someone would say, “OMG! I get that too – what the hell is that?”

Only a few years ago I discovered that not only is it a more widespread phenomenon than I thought, there’s actually a name for it:  Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR.  The term is mostly just a “we have to call this something, anyone got any ideas?” (which Wikipedia considers a neologism) which breaks down to “people get brain tickles and we have no idea why and since nobody’s going to bankroll research on brain tickles, YouTube, take it away!”

It turns out there is a thriving and extensive world of ASMR videos on YouTube.  They center around the most common triggers:  soft voices/whispers, sounds like paper crinkling, tapping on plastic, or even Velcro; and role-playing with a personal attention theme like being at a spa, having your head massaged, or getting a haircut.  A lot of people who do these videos also focus on treating insomnia or using hypnosis through binaural recording (which utilizes multiple microphones to simulate a 3D environment) to enhance self-awareness.  Some are utterly silly (like alien abduction role playing), some are healing (reiki/energy healing sessions, affirmations), and some don’t have a theme at all but are just triggering sounds.

The best mainstream example I can think of:  Bob Ross.  If listening to Bob Ross paint (both the speaking and the brush strokes) makes your brain feel funny, you are probably experiencing ASMR.

The interesting thing about ASMR is it’s kind of like asparagus pee; if you’re someone who has the ability to detect it, it can be an intense experience; if you aren’t, you’ll think it’s the goofiest thing you’ve ever heard of.   There’s no clinical evidence whatsoever that ASMR exists or is useful for anything; its effects are purely anecdotal.

Here are some of my favorite videos – my brain apparently loves women with accents. In fact hearing a woman speak quietly with any variety of Indian British accent melts me into a puddle of happy.  (And not in the same way that, say, Tom Hiddleston reading poetry melts me into a puddle of happy – again, that’s the low-down tickle, not the brain tickle. (I mean come on, Sonnet 18? Just kill me now.)

Bob Ross Paints Happy Little Mountains

A Recipe for Aloo Dum Curry

Twilight Forest Meditation

Whispered Affirmations to Shift Your Beliefs

Arabic Spice Shop Roleplay

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