Sunday, January 11, 2015

Advice Douche

Here it is, and only three months late for the very first installment!

All names have been changed to insensible clusters of curse words to maintain privacy and falsely inject humor.

Dear Advice Douche,

We were walking down the road and met the Buddha. We wanted to know if we should beat him to death with our bare hands, kill it with fire, or use a MOTHERFUCKING CHAINSAW. Dicknut says bare hands, Cockbag says MOTHERFUCKING CHAINSAW, and Assbitch says fire.

Bury My Cock at Wounded Knee

Dear Bury,

If you meet the Buddha on the street, kill him is a classic koan presumably about how you can inherit the abilities of your slain enemies or something. In typical Zen fashion, as Bury has observed, it's rather slim on the details, however. Now I'm not sure on how international law handles the murder of enlightened beings and/or psuedo-deities, but in any case you're going to want to be sure to cover your tracks as I hear those saffron-clad monks know some mad kung fu and will fuck your shit up if they find out you took one of their little riddles literally. Normally I would side with Assbitch as fire is often a tool of vengeful gods and you could always try to pin the blame on old YHWH if you need a scapegoat, but this is a bit of a special case. Self-immolation is not as uncommon among followers of Siddhartha Gautama as among many other demographics, so it stands to reason that the Big B has some kind of affinty with exothermic oxidization that may render your efforts futile. By the transitive property of elemental manipulation, your chainsaw also may not function properly against pyrokinetic foes due to its combustion engine. Furthermore, since we are currently in a time of prosperity, Buddha should be nice and thin and therefore easy to assault. So I'm going to recommend bare hands this time, just make sure to wear gloves or properly dispose of the remains. While you're at it, maybe you can answer a question I've always wondered about: What is the sound of one hand smacking?


Dear Advice Douche,

I've been shitting myself lately after having to deal with the financial fallback of stepping down from my $36,000 a year job to an hourly wage that'll allow me to pursue a writing career. I'm happy that I get to work on my dream, but the financial stress is keeping me up at night. Was this a bad idea?


Dear Jacknuts,

It was a terrible idea, obviously. Writing always is, and even more so when it gets in the way of money. Being a writer means choosing to be an idiot. So congratulations, I guess, you get to join the prestige legions of fools who would rather live miserably in worlds of their own creation than happily in the real world. But I guess if your "dream" is worth not being able to afford the alcohol you so desperately need to dull the sharp edges of reality, then I guess you probably made the right choice.

Love you back, Jack,
- AD

Dear Advice Douche,


I have been following your work for a long time, and really appreciate the themes you process in 'Do Gyndroids Dream of Electric Dicks?'.

Society's views on gender are way to rigid, and any effort to blur the binary role system and strive for acceptance of all sorts of self-understanding is valuable work.
I have always loved MTG, but up until recently I did not agree with wotc's world views devoid of minorities and strong, overdone traditional gender roles. But their recent inclusion of a much greater diversity of characters including both transgender and autistic people have caused me to finally be able to embrace the game I love.

I am by no means a competent game designer, but in my free time I have been working on a pet project. In the game the main characters steals a tank in an effort to escape the persecution of an evil religious empire ruled by emperor Rooq.
I strive to make accurate depictions of issues such as power relationships and individual freedom.

Wotc's superb integration of divers characters has inspired me to tackle these issues through divers characters, which is a feat you accomplish excellently in 'Do Gyndroids Dream of Electric Dicks?'.
The trouble is, I am not sure how to write such a character.
So how do you write a character embracing repressed minorities in the most appropriate and powerful manner?


Dear Fishdicks,

I have to admit this is my first letter from a fan. It feels good, keep 'em coming. And don't skimp on the ass-kissing, I live for the adoration of strangers!

I echo your sentiments regarding fantasy genres overall being roiling shit-stews of chauvinism and male power fantasies, and have been glad to see Wizards (producers of Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons both, for you repressed fucking Luddites who don't know how to have any fun) breaking the mold a bit and finally including trans*, nonbinary, gay/bi, nonwhite, and female characters in their worlds. I hope the financial success they are continuing to experience serves to pop some semen-soaked bubbles the rest of the industry are hiding within so that people who aren't straight white males (like me!) feel welcome in the nerdier genres as well.

As far as how to create characters like this that are believable, my first bit of advice is to seek out repressed minority writers (or even just readers) to speak to. I'm just another white guy writing fantasy and sci-fi (and not very much of it at that) in a sea of people who wouldn't stand out in a police lineup. If you want to represent other groups, you have to listen to them first.

Second, just keep in mind that you are writing people. Everyone is the hero of their own story. And everyone has more than one identity. Possibly the biggest and most offensive mistake white male writers make writing characters of other groups is to fail to envision those characters as self-identifying in groups beyond whatever oppressed minority they belong to.

But then, what do I know? I'm just an unpublished white asshole claiming my own authority on no basis whatsoever. If I somehow have any readers who fit one of these groups, please tell me off in the comments section.


Dear Advice Douche,

I've been asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding I don't support. My deceased brother's wife got into a "very serious relationship" two months after his death with a person who is 8 years younger and has not yet moved out of his parents' house, finished college, or ever had a full-time job. They did not know each other prior to my brother's death. My sister-in-law is in her 30s, has a 2yo daughter, and doesn't work due to her inheritance and insurance money. Although I have not seen them together much, my family strongly believes that the groom-to-be does not get along with my niece, and that is the reason my sister-in-law has pawned her daughter off on others to watch, usually having her child stay with her Mon-Wed but often sending her to others to babysit during the day, and giving her to my parents to care for Thurs-Sun. Due to this arrangement, my niece believes that my parents' house is her house and that my mom - her grandmother - is actually her mother, despite many explanations to the contrary.

I was informed of the engagement and asked to be in the wedding less than two months before the big day. I think one reason the bride-to-be asked me to stand up with her is because her other friends also don't support the union, so she's short on candidates. I think the other reason is that she wants to suggest that my participation in the event implies that my family condones the union, which they don't. I need a drama-free way to tell her that I am not comfortable being a bridesmaid in the wedding. I can't fake a scheduling conflict because I need to come to the wedding to emotionally support my parents who feel obligated to attend. I would also prefer not to give her a lecture on the importance of grieving a loss before filling the void or reprimand her for her self-centered choices as a mother. Advice? :)

Bridesmaid for a Bitch

Dear BM,

Dayumn your sister in law sounds like a piece of shit. Ok, that's probably not fair to say of a grieving widow, but once kids are involved I have a lot less fucking patience for shit like this.

You're asking for a drama-free way to handle this situation, but as a self-proclaimed master of advice with no credentials whatsoever, I have to say that is the wrong approach. Asking someone to participate in a wedding ceremony is an admission of that person's value in your life. People you value are also people you might listen to, especially if enough of them team up to say the same thing together.

I'm a strong believer in honesty, so if you are unwilling to lecture her on her shitty, shitty life choices, I think the best approach is to tell her you are not interested in participating as you are opposed to the wedding, and if she would like to discuss why she can set up a time with you to talk about it. If she has to reach out to you to find out why you are opposed, there is a tiny glimmer of possibility that she might even be receptive to what you have to say. I know you may feel like she has heard everything before and it's not your place to lecture her, but when it comes to weddings, you'd be surprised just how much shit people will stifle to avoid drama, no matter how close they are to the couple. It's like our culture has this weird obsession with blowing fuckwads of cash on wedding ceremonies but don't give a shit about the marriage itself.

But this time, it's not her life she's ruining, it's her kid's. And that is not fucking ok. This child has to grow up without a dad as it is, it is this woman's fucking job to give the kid a mom at least. When you have a child, that has to be your first priority. All this self-actualization finding your happiness new wave shit that Americans love can go fuck itself when kids are involved. They literally rely on you for fucking everything, you think you can provide that by only spending time with her three days a week? And you can tell her I said that. Send her over, I'll tell her off.

Ragefully yours,
- AD

That concludes the first installment of Advice Douche, where I give self-righteous tips that are easy for me to say since I don't have to live with the consequences! If you have questions for a future installment, send to with subject "ADVICE".

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I'm starting another soon-to-be-discontinued feature on here: an advice column. If you have any questions that require the wisdom of a sarcastic asshole to relieve you of the anxiety of making your own important decisions, send your question to with the subject "ADVICE". I'll remove your personally identifying information and post my responses on here some time around the weekend, probably.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Jon James Writes Whatever Shit You Come Up With - Probe

The first installment of "Jon James Writes Whatever Shit You Come Up With" is complete! The winning suggestion, by Kelly over on the Facebooks, was: "Mars sends a rover to Earth, it doesn't recognize us as an intelligent life form, takes samples, and leaves."

The story, titled Probe, can be read here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Killer Queen on Sale

Good news everyone! 

My first published comic, a short titled "Mechabots: The Princes of the Universe" is now available for digital and print purchase!

You can get the digital copy of just this 8-page comic at Drive Thru Comics or via Red Stylo's web store for a couple bucks; it should be coming to Comixology soon as well.

Or, if you prefer print, the entire anthology, which features other fantastic stories and vignettes by numerous talented creators, you can get that through Red Stylo's store as well, or Amazon, if that's your thing.

Princes of the universe. Fighting and free,
Got the world in my hands. I'm here for your love,
And I'll make my stand,
We were born to be princes of the universe.

New Weekly Feature

I'm starting a new weekly feature here to generate more content and get me writing more: Jon James Writes Whatever Shit You Come Up With.

Taking suggestions for the first installment, which will probably be posted Saturday.

I'll write a flash fiction short story of whatever suggestion gets the most likes/votes between here and Facebook at whatever point I feel like writing. I choose on ties. I reserve the right to veto, but there's not much chance that you are going to come up with anything much worse than what I've already posted here.

Comment suggestions or votes below.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Creatures of Askrlim

I've started fleshing out what would become my "Monster Manual" if The Tenth Rune were an RPG. I've posted the page over here, where I will be keeping it updated as I develop the world further, but I often find when writing that it helps to have a pool of cultures and creatures to reference. In stories set on present-day Earth that is all set already, but when you decide you need to make up a whole cosmos like I did this time, a bestiary can be handy!

On a similar note, have any of you noticed how hard it is to come up with magical creatures for a fantasy setting? Fantastical creatures tend to be either amalgams of mundane creatures (I'm looking at you, manticore, hippogriff, sphinx and chimera) or else big versions of everyday animals (giant spiders? dire wolves? oversized ladybugs?) Do any of you have any useful advice or resources for creating original monsters?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Tenth Rune and Faceless

If you've been to my Projects page, you may have noticed a novel-in-progress with the unfortunately bland title of Flight of the Valkyrie. I've decided to change the (working) title of that one to The Tenth Rune, which I believe to be more fitting to the story.

I've also posted a new short story that may or may not be part of that novel, but tells the origin of the female Loki-equivalent deity in the pantheon: Faceless. Go on and give it a read!

Hopefully I'll add some more of the cosmogony of Askrlim on here as I develop it further. I've done a lot of re-imagining of the Norse myth that the story draws from, and only a limited amount can fit in the story so I think this would be a neat place to display it.

I've also got a few other short stories in the works set on Askrlim, but I can't post them here since I've got some places in mind I'd like to submit them to. I found a call for anthology submissions at World Weaver Press for a few anthologies that I think would suit this world well. I'll keep you filled in on them as I go.