State of the Dread: March 19-25

I was a skinny twerp once and I wore a lot of stuff with “Ireland” on it.


Nothing this week, I’m illustrating. On that note, my schedule just changed at work. I’ll spare you the details, but dedicated creative time is about to become a regular part of my nights, so expect to see some acceleration in this space.


I finished two very big audiobooks and then a shorter one. HOWLING DARK was good but heavy. PATRICK SON OF IRELAND was better than I remembered. SPLASHDOWN will get an Upstream article.

This week I have a lot of shorter books to blast through, probably at the one-per-day rate. Monday I’ll knock out as many as three because they are very short. Like, even at regular speed they’d only get me through half a shift. One is basically a podcast episode, and I wouldn’t count it except the dude actually did a print book.

So just for tracking purposes, this week’s reading list is: NAPOLEON, a concise biography; A CASE IN OAK HAVEN; A SHORT STAY IN HELL; 47 RONIN; WARLORD OF THE NIGHTMARE REALM; CONGO; and THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY.


I finished one of the internal drawings for SHERIFF PORTER and started on the next one. With the schedule this coming week, I expect I will finish two entire pieces, at least.


Saint Patrick is doin’ numbers.

This week I’m going to do another video, I just don’t know what about.


Radcracker might be a pre-work recording and not a post-work thing, not sure. I really want to get the episodes back down to 30 minutes.


Did a shop session, that went well. Late night Friday shenanigans deprived me of the energy to do all my pushups on Saturday, so my total on the week was 630, not 750. PectoCracker is at 5,880 for the year. Wanted to crack 6 but I failed. Ugh.

I could just add a 6th set every day this week…hmmm….

Also I was a little over on weight. Boo. The new sched might help that though. We shall see.

Get back to work.

State of the Dread: March 12-18

(He said he liked it.)


Nothing this week, but that’s a good thing. I’m in the illustration phase. I did spend some time ruminating on Secret Project and my general plan for that one is to write a chapter until I lose The Thread of it, then brainstorm for a few days and figure out where to go next. I can make that work as an in-between project. Kind of fun, actually.


Okay, so I finished FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS, and then a few titles for Upstream that I’m reviewing soon. These include CATERPILLAR, UNSTOPPABLE ARSENAL, and HELL SPAWN.

This is the last week that I have HOWLING DARK from the library so I need to burn through that. Been putting it off because it’s freaking huge. You know what? I’m going to break it up over the next four days. I need to listen to about 4 hours a day of it, and then I can listen to other stuff. I’ll finish a few books that way. This includes SPLASHDOWN, NAPOLEON, A SHORT STAY IN HELL, and probably SHADOW HUNTER. I need to read some more chill sci-fi.


This week I got a lot of drawing time before work, and I’m almost done with the thumbnails on Sheriff Porter. This week it’s my goal to get two drawings publication-ready.


Published a few bangers that are Doing Numbers as the kids say. Can’t wait until my videos average 10k views/week so I can look back at this phase for my channel and just laugh.


No audio recordings other than the most recent Radcracker. I spent more time doing audio for the YouTube videos, that way I could just add photos for the videos. I’m going to re-record my Engines of Liberty summary videos so I can refer people to them before HOWLING WILDERNESS.


Had another good weight week. I’m up to 5250 on PectoCracker. I will stick to the schedule for pushups and get to 6000 by Saturday. The weather is getting nicer so I am looking forward to more shop time. If work doesn’t run way too damn long like it did last week I should be okay, but I had too many late starts due to the warehouse. On the flipside, I used that time to get the SP thumbnails done, so…yeah.

Back to work.

State of the Dread: Mar 5-11

Anybody know how to get sweat stains out of a hat?


Okay, so last week I was on vacation and I got a LOT done here. I set up 90% of what I needed to do for the Indiegogo campaign for SHERIFF PORTER. Now I just need to do the artwork.

In between that I picked at a new Secret Project. There is no deadline on this one and I’m not throwing too many details out there about it. Very excited though.


Since I wasn’t at work, I didn’t get any audiobooks done. I did catch up on some graphic novels I backed last year, and those have video reviews from out in the shop. I also read more of LOST TREASURES VOL 1. I’m about halfway through it, my plan to blitz 50 pages a day fell by the wayside. I really love being lazy on vacation.


The cover is finished and I love it.

I mostly picked at thumbnails for SP drawings. I need to to five or six more, and then I’m ready to roll on the next phase. I anticipate being done with those by the end of April.

After that it’ll be a full blitz summer to do the drawings for HOWLING WILDERNESS. In order to get that book out on time, I think I’m going to have to limit myself to two types of art that will go fast: first, individual profile drawings of each racer. Second, maps with updates on where the race goes. Third, a few action pieces (three at most). If I take too long on that, I’ll miss getting it out for October, and it’s got strong Halloween potential.


No new Radcracker. That show pretty much exists in the Durango, and while I ran a few errands by myself this week, I didn’t want to record anything. Instead I put all that effort into…


This was a big week for the channel! I finally posted one of my audiobooks to YouTube. I suppose I should post it to Rumble now too, if their upload interface has decided to work.

But yeah, I got about an extra 50 watch hours, which is huge for me. Right now I’m sitting at 190 in 28 days. I need to average 334 per month for a year in order to get monetized. I’ll figure it out. (Subscribe to my channel here, I talk about reading, writing, and drawing.)

By far my most popular video this week was this one:


Ha ha oh BOY did I mentioned I was on vacation? I only did 125 pushups. That brings #PectoCracker up to 4,825 on the year. This week I will cross the 5,000 mark.

I now have to make a difficult choice, since we’re in March: do I increase to 150 a day? And if I do, shall I take my reps from 25 to 30, or my sets from 5 to 6? This is why my life is hard.

I suppose I shall have to man up and do the 30-rep sets, but I will ease into it on Monday and Tuesday, and do 6×25. I’m 38, I can’t just smash the gas pedal like I used to.

Anyway, that’s this week. Very productive. Get back to work.

I’m going to translate the Czech Monster Hunter anthology.

UPDATE: The publisher wrote back! There will be an eBook out in April on Google Play (I don’t really use iTunes anymore but it’ll be there too.) Also check out the comments, it looks like another reader can help me out with shipping on a physical copy. This is cool!


Not because I speak a lick of Czech, lol. I had this random idea and it seems completely doable, so here I go.

This looks awesome.

From Larry’s Facebook post about the antho:

A new MHI anthology that only a handful of you will be able to read. 🙂

This is an anthology of all new stories from Czech authors, set in the MHI universe, featuring the Czech monster hunting company, Fantom. (My stuff is really popular in the Czech Republic!)

My Czech publisher approached me about doing this, and I gave them my blessing, and sent them a short story about Owen Pitt in Prague.

This will probably never be officially translated into English. Sorry.

Larry Correia

Yeah, so that is really exciting. I seem to remember him taking a tour to the Czech Republic several years ago because of how popular he is over there. That popularity extends to the desire to create a Czech-only anthology.

But my desire to be an MHI completist compels me to find a way to read this book, and the chances that I learn Czech in the very new future are quite low. Fortunately this is the age of technology. Google Translate is free, and I’m a Speechify user. It may be clunky, but this is doable.

And I kind of want to prove as much.

Right now here’s where I’m at. I’ve found the Czech publisher’s page, and they have a contact portal. I typed a message to them in English, ran it through GT, and sent it over.

“Ahoj. Jsem Američan a používám překladatelský software, abych to napsal ve vašem jazyce. Mám zájem o sbírku “Lovci Monster Fantom”, která vyjde pouze v češtině. Je možné si objednat digitální verzi této knihy, abych ji mohl přeložit do angličtiny? Toto je pouze pro osobní použití. Děkuji. Moje e-mailová adresa je [redacted].”

“Hello. I am American and I am using translation software to write this in your language. I am interested in the “Lovci Monster Fantom” collection, which will be published only in Czech. Is it possible to order a digital version of this book so I can translate it into English? This is for personal use only. Thank you. My email address is [redacted].”

This was their reply:

Díky za zprávu. Náš tým je zrovna offline. 💤 Odpovíme vám hned, jak budeme zpět🙂

Thanks for the message. Our team is currently offline 💤 We’ll get back to you as soon as we’re back 🙂

That’s where it’s at right now. If they have a digital edition, that would be easiest. If I can only get it through print, that will be harder.

For one, I expect the book will cost around 300 Czech Koruna, equivalent to $13.50. I don’t know what shipping will cost. Let’s assume at least ten bucks.

Then I’ll have to photograph each page individually and scan it into Speechify. This will take a very long time.

Either way I can get a copy. I’ll read each story and post a summary here, not the entire story itself.

But first I need FantomPrint to get back to me.

More to come.

State of the Dread: Feb 26-Mar 4

Aiight so we’re all on Team Arwen, yes? Correct? Very good.


I took some time one night to scribble out a few initial paragraphs to a project I’m not really discussing here. It was fun. I need to write like that more often.

Didn’t write anything new on the Stack. Headed there right after this.


I finished four books, maybe? Yeah four sounds right.

This week my main goal is to finish a L’Amour that I own in print. 50 pages a day ought to do it. I’m off work, so audiobook play will be limited. After I finish the L’Amour, I’ll figure out what I’m reading next.

Major progress on the cover for Sheriff Porter.


I was going to do a video on a book about Tetris but honestly, I didn’t care and I don’t think anybody else did either so I scrapped it.

I’ll probably do a video this week, and I’m taking requests.


New episode of Radcracker landed this week. Bad sound quality in a few segments, I appreciate your patience.


Threw down another 600 pushups on the week, bringing the total to 4300 on the year. I’ll do at least another 500 in the coming week. I finished reading a book that is kind of a sales pitch for intermittent fasting plus an expensive workout apparatus, but hey, it’s cheaper than buying an entire Olympic weight set and supposedly gets you similar results soooooooo I dunno. Got some homework to do. And I’ll just keep being an isometric beast in the meantime.

Get back at it.

State of the Dread, Feb 19-25

Throwback to a signing in 2015. I’ve got my hand up. The baldy-beardo on the left is David J. West and if you thought it was me I understand.

This was a week of regression in many ways. I just didn’t get a lot done.


If you haven’t read THE HERO NEXT DOOR, buy your copy here:

Other than some reviews, I didn’t make any time for new writing. I won’t be making time this coming week, either. The current production focus is on drawing. Should I find myself in a position to write, it will most likely be another review for Upstream.


If you want to know how this went, listen to the most recent Radcracker (down under Audio).

This week I will read WHITE OPS by Declan Finn, MAMMON: NEMESIS by Rob Kroese, THE LESSER DEVIL by Chris Ruocchio, and I will at least start FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS by Graham Hancock. That one is a longer book so chances are I won’t finish it, it depends on how quickly I can knock out the other three.

I do want to make regular time for the other shows and stuff that I listen to at work. WriterDojo and TalkVille are my Wednesday shows, and I’ll usually pick up a few Nerdrotic/Valliant Renegade/YoungRippa videos too.


Very minor progress here. Thus I will commit to one hour today (Sunday), one hour on Tuesday, and two hours on Friday morning. This will require me to get up at the usual time even though Friday is my day off. Having concrete goals is the key.

The focus of this week is to finish the ink work on Elizabeth, get the background detailed, and be 100% ready to move into colors and rendering.


I did a few during my DOT breaks, including this one that is getting a lot of views in the last 24 hours. It’s a reply to Dank’s video on the Ohio train derailment.


I covered SOMETHING by Dakota Krout, THE CRUCIBLE by Will Rodriguez, and ARSENAL by Jeffrey Haskell. I also talked about Raquel Welch, who died last week. Listen here.


I did 500 pushups, which is the bare minimum. I was too tired and lazy on Saturday and talked myself out of a fifth day (125 pushups per day.)

I will repent of my mental fatness and add a sixth set to every day this week, so the count is not off. This will prepare me for 150 pushups per day in March.

I will also exercise in the shop on Monday and Thursday. Even a simple four-exercise circuit is preferable to nothing. That said, I did get close to 214 on the weigh-in.

State of the Dread: Feb 12-18

Is it summer yet…


I finished the Round Robin chapter. Beta notes came back for HOWLING WILDERNESS but I don’t think I want to jump into that just yet. This week if I spend any time writing, it’ll be on edits for SHERIFF PORTER.


I deviated a little from last week’s slate. I finished FORCED PERSPECTIVES and CALLSIGN VALKYRIE, both of which need reviews at the Stack and Upstream. I punted on SOMETHING, and instead read HORUS RISING. Really liked that one, but man there’s a lot to process.

This week I’m reading SOMETHING, and also THE CALIFORNIOS by L’Amour, and THE CRUCIBLE by Rodrigues. If I finish it, I have a short one to get through too.


Got to finish the cover for SHERIFF PORTER. After that, it’s interior illustration time.


Only did one, about Formula One racing. It was fine.


New episode of Radcracker, as usual. I think I’ve been letting these run too long. I need to get back to 8-minute segments.


I didn’t have a single day in the shop. BUT I did get back down to 215, and I did all the pushups that I needed to for #PectoCracker. Standing total right now is 3,075. Next week I need a shop day.

I’m gonna commit to one long walk with my kids and the dog, too. We need to walk more.

State of the Dread: Feb 5-11

Things are in motion…


Last week I did very little, it was more about organizing SHERIFF PORTER for print. But this week I have to take a hiatus from my own project to write a chapter in Nate Shumate’s ongoing round robin book. It’s due soon.


I finished EMPIRE OF SILENCE, plus a book about George Washington Carver, and an anthology of fiction based on Bass Reeves.

Next week I’m reading FORCED PERSPECTIVES by Tim Powers, CALLSIGN VALKYRIE (a Galaxy’s Edge novel), SOMETHING by Dakota Krout, and maybe one more if I have time. The GE novel will get a review over at Upstream.


The picture above is from the forthcoming cover of SHERIFF PORTER. I’m working on those for now. Ten in total.


I had a couple of Ask A Trucker vids, but the main one was my End of January Report, followed by an unboxing video for EVS’ latest CyberFrog comic.

Stay tuned for more Ask A Trucker videos, and subscribe to the channel. If you don’t like YouTube, I’m also on Rumble.


This week’s Radcracker was a little bit shorter due to work interruptions. I talk about EMPIRE OF SILENCE, the original Transformers movie, and more.


I made it to the end of January doing 100 pushups a day, five days a week. In February I’m up to 125. As of Feb 5, the count for #PectoCracker is 2450. This week I’m adding situps to the mix. I got fat for this week’s weigh-in, unfortunately, but this morning I was back down to 215. This Wednesday my goal is to be no heavier than 214.5.

Go buy my books.

State of the Dread: Jan 29-Feb 4

Utahraptor ostrommaysi, and I wrapped his shins so they wouldn’t hurt after running.


I’m officially working on the print draft for SHERIFF PORTER. It’s more or less set. I also drafted an episode of TALES FROM THE ROAD.

AND I FINALLY FIXED THE PAPERBACK EDITION OF PATRIOT’S GAME!!!! NO LONGER DOES THE MAP SAY THE ATLANTIC IS THE PACIFIC!!! It only took me 5 years to figure that crap out!!!!! Go buy the paperback edition to celebrate!!!!!


Finished pretty much everything on the slate from last week. WARLORD is getting an Upstream piece. THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER has a writeup over here. I also blasted through Larry Correia’s nonfic about guns.

This week I’m finishing EMPIRE OF SILENCE. It’ll be my third time reading this beast. I’m gearing up for a run at the sequels. After that I’m going to listen to an entire book on Speechify. It’s a kitchsy old sci-fi for the 372 Pages podcast.

In print, I am really enjoying a L’Amour book right now. It’s a long one, so it’ll be a while before I finish.

Side note, my daughter is almost completely potty-trained, know what that means? It means I’m upping my Audible membership babyyyyy, I’ve got room in the budget for more credits babyyyyyy, haha. It’s crazy how expensive it is to have your toddler poop in a tidy way. Like forty bucks a month, frick.


The piece up top. I’m also gearing up for the full slate of SHERIFF PORTER illos. I’m forcing myself to limit it to 10 pieces plus the cover. This will help me get a realistic idea of how long it will take to illustrate HOWLING WILDERNESS.

The soft-finish date for the PORTER illustrations is Friday, March 31st. I feel like it’s doable. Then that book goes out to be crowdfunded.

Reminder that you can listen to the 3.5 hour audiobook for free on my other podcast.


There’s a new segment on my YouTube and Rumble called “Ask a Trucker.” I film these short videos on my DOT break. I’m considering adding a little extra to these; they’re easy to film and I like doing them. If you have a random question for a trucker, send it to dreadpennies at gmail dot com.


New episode of Radcracker dropped here. Make sure you subscribe on any platform you use. Google, Apple, Spotify, whatever.


I did my 2,000th pushup of the year, and also had a 10-exercise circuit in the shop, which is officially named Fortress Fatphobia. At the weekly weigh-in I was down to 215 lbs. This week I want to be down to 214.5. I still didn’t get that second PE session in with my kids but I did do the drawing class with them, so there’s progress.

The goal this week is two workouts in the Fortress, with my sons. Aiming for Wednesday and Friday because it won’t be as cold on those days.

That’s it for now. Get back to work. And when you’re done working, cancel Netflix, cash your paycheck and go buy a good book!

Good news about my Amazon titles…

I don’t know when they implemented this, but you can now create hardcovers of your indie titles and they’re available as print-on-demand books. Freaking huge. I’ve wanted this for a while.

They are just printed hardcovers, so no dustjackets, but I suppose those could be acquired at a premium through another vendor. Very stoked on that.

Will I offer any of my existing books this way?

Yes, but only some. THE HERO NEXT DOOR will get the treatment, along with SLEEPLESS HOLLOW and the forthcoming ENGINES OF LIBERTY omnibus. Hardcover art will be different for all of these, so you’re getting something new for your money.

No dates or anything yet, I’m just very excited about this development.

Back to our regularly-scheduled tomfoolery.