State of the Dread: Jan 22-28

Sup. I drive a Durango. We get after it.


DONE! The beta draft of HOWLING WILDERNESS is in the wind. Getting feedback already and it’s productive. I’m not touching the draft again until after February. If you want to read the first chapter, it’s up on CrackerStack. Subscribe while you’re there, I’ve moved book reviews to that site.

This week I’m planning/outlining scripts for a new series of videos, the old Tales from the Road series I did on the podcast. It’ll cover the same material but I’m punching it up for fun. Feels like I’ve talked about that before, it’s my actual focus right now.

Also, fun thing: my friend Savannah was passing through Texas and saw this on a shelf at a gift shop, she said it reminded her of me, haha. I laugh because that’s more or less what one of my main characters looks like, from a book she hasn’t read yet.


I finished a couple of things. GHOSTS OF ZENITH by Larry Correia was great, the review is pending at Upstream. Started reading MAXIMUM BOB by Elmore Leonard, but didn’t care for the content so I punted. THE OLD GODS WAKEN by Manly Wade Wellman was entertaining, the review is on CrackerStack. Ditto for my reread of THE QUICK AND THE DEAD by L’Amour.

I’m currently reading WARLORD by Doc Spears. It’s almost exactly a rewrite of A PRINCESS OF MARS, which has me concerned, but I expect there will be a twist or revelation to justify it. Should finish it Monday, that review will be on Upstream.

Once that’s done, I’m reading THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. If I finish it, I will start my third reading of EMPIRE OF SILENCE by Christopher Ruocchio. Still picking through AMERICAN MUCKRAKER when I have time. Very good book.


Still working on the personal project, it’ll be finished this month. I’m having fun.


New one here, and I’m very grateful for the responses. I had an announcement to make.

Also, instead of doing a “what I read this year” video in December, I’m going to do a monthly breakdown. As of right now I’ve finished 11 titles (thanks, audiobooks, haha) so that’ll be more manageable.


Normal thing, new episode of Radcracker dropped.


I’m at 1500 pushups for the year and feeling awesome. The hard part is avoiding the temptation to do more too soon. Every week it gets easier to blast out a set of 20. This is my final week at 20, once Feb 1st rolls around I switch to 25, and keeping count will be more intensive. Big thanks to the bois in the Fat Chat for helping with that.

But once again I missed the second PE session with my kids. I resolve to hit that one this week. So easy to be lazy on a Friday.

State of the Dread: January 15-22

There’s a reason they call it the pectoralis major.


As promised, I finished draft 2 of HOWLING WILDERNESS. I need to make a final sweep of it just to make sure it’s formatted correctly for the betas. Once that’s finished I’m gonna do some edits on SHERIFF PORTER, that will be my next paperback release. I might not get to it this week though.


I finished HELL AND BACK, TRESS OF THE EMERALD SEA, AN HONEST PRESIDENT, and THE MAGNIFICENT NINE. That’s a Longmire book, a Sanderson Kickstarter book (which I’ll review on Upstream), a presidential bio I covered over on the CrackerStack, and a Firefly novel which will be up there shortly.

This week I’m rereading LOST PLANET HOMICIDE by Correia, so I can read its sequel GHOSTS OF ZENITH. Both are audio shorts. After that I have THE QUICK AND THE DEAD by L’Amour, and then I’m tackling a Conan collection by Robert E. Howard.

I was reading the ebook edition of a Lady Mechanika book but honestly I’m just done with that series. Vol6 was really lousy and vol7 is not an improvement. Fond memories, time to move on.

I’m still working my way through AMERICAN MUCKRAKER when I have time.


Nothing super groundbreaking. Here’s a sketch I did a few weeks ago, which I am now digitizing. It’s just for fun and not from a current project.


The latest episode of Radcracker is up.


Nothing here. I’m thinking of doing a few videos based on THE LAW OF SUPERHEROES, just for fun.


I did another 500 pushups last week to bring me to 1,000 on the year. The goal is 25k but I’m adding 500 every month. Right now, for example, I do 5×20, but in February I’ll start doing 5×25. And so on and so on. By December I’ll be at 75 per set. It’s gonna be brutal.

One problem I’m having right now is I only do 1 PE session in my shop per week, and I need to do two. So I’m committing to that here. I’m also going to get up early on my days off and exercise out there.

Onward and upward.

State of the Dread: January 8-14

He’s a cool dude.


It pleases me to announce that I will finish draft 2 of HOWLING WILDERNESS this week. Once it is done I will contact beta readers for feedback, and I won’t touch it for six weeks.

While it is down, I will publish at least one paperback edition of an old project.


Last week I read GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE, HOGS IN THE SAND, and INTO THE LIGHT. There is a review pending on that last one at

This week I have HELL AND BACK, TRESS OF THE EMERALD SEA, and AN HONEST PRESIDENT on deck. If I blast them all out, MAGNIFICENT NINE will probably happen too.

That’s a Longmire book, a Sanderson KickstarterX4 book, a bio of Grover Cleveland, and a Firefly novel.


Toying with new Radcracker art.


The GI Joe thing is fun and cool, but I think there is still something weird going on with Radcracker. My most recent episode hit 5100 plays in 3 days. Then it stopped. The episode right before that was just about as fast. I’m entering a beta phase with Anchor on ads, so I’m not making any money off the listens. I’ll have to find another way to earn money off it.


Channel link here. Didn’t do one last week. I’d like to this week, I just don’t know what about. Then again it’s about as simple as grabbing a book off my shelf, sitting down in the shop, and flapping my lips about it. Y’all know I can do that for a solid twenty minutes.


I did 500 pushups at work, which is less than it sounds because it was 100 per day, in sets of 20. It was cool though. Follow on Twitter, hashtag #PectoCracker

This week I want to do a few more iso sessions in Fortress Fatphobia. I only did one, I’m aiming for three now.

State of the Dread: January 1-7, 2023

My wife knitted this scarf for me a couple of years ago, and since the Pottermore quiz sorted me into Ravenclaw, she added the patch. It is a lovely gift and I love whipping it out at Christmas.


I owe a Round Robin chapter to my friend Nate, so I need to get on that. Once it’s done, I’ll finish a draft of HOWLING WILDERNESS and set it aside.

I started a Substack. It’s called the CrackerStack. It replaces my Patreon, because you can do a paid subscription there and I’ll put some paywalled posts every month. Otherwise it’ll be for book and movie reviews.

State of the Dread will now be a weekly accountability segment. I’ll still share other things here.

As always, hit up Upstream Reviews for fiction reviews.


Gonna blast the absolute daylights out of a lot of books. This week I will finish GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE, HOGS IN THE SAND, and INTO THE LIGHT on audio. If I have time, I’ll read AN HONEST PRESIDENT.

I’ve also got a new Lady Mechanika graphic novel to read from the library. Used to own those in print, but I sold them all after volume 6. Long story. I’ll post about it on the CrackerStack.

My ongoing reads in print are AMERICAN MUCKRAKER and SAVING FAITH.


I sketched this at Church this morning.


My latest on the channel, which you should sub to here:


Always sub to the Radcracker Podcast. I record those in the car on the way home. Slice-of-life, what’s on my mind, that sort of thing. It’s funny and insightful and I love doing it.


I’m in a fatchat with some gordo bros who are looking to lose weight. Very exclusive, you can’t get in, don’t ask. This week I’m doing 100 push ups per day, counting my calories, and working on stretching my useless arm so that it’s better.

Video proof of the push-ups will be in my Instagram stories every day.

What I read in 2009

2009 was the first year that I actively tracked what I was reading. I had read that Louis L’Amour once read 115 books in a single year and for whatever reason I wanted to beat him.

Granted, I used audiobooks and he didn’t, but I also read a few epic fantasies, and he read a lot of dime novels. I figure it balanced out.

I didn’t have a tidy system for tracking it all, I just wrote it all down without numbering it or putting months on it. Now it’s all numbered and color-coded and stuff. Over the next few days I’ll post each year’s record since I started tracking it. Anyway, here’s 2009.

I’m going live on my channel in a few minutes to discuss all of this.

(Exactly as it appears in my document):



Hunt for Dark Infinity

Burying Our Swords

John Carter of Mars

Artemis Fowl

Tarzan of the Apes

Reagan in His Own Voice

Seventh Son

Reading Like a Writer

Black Belt Patriotism

Rings, Swords and Monsters

Hearts of Steel

The Indigo King

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

Believe in What You’re Doing

Redefining Joy in the Last Days

Too Much to Carry Alone

Eye of the World


Bright Blue Miracle

Escape from the Carnivale

Opening Atlantis

Hourglass Door

Fablehaven 4

Sea of Monsters

Titan’s Curse

Battle for the Labyrinth

Last Olympian

Demigod Files

Hatter M


Seeing Redd



Forest of Hands and Teeth

Peter and the Shadow Thieves

Federalist Papers

Dragon America

How to Win Friends & Influence People

I Am Not A Serial Killer

The Supernaturalist

The Graveyard Book

Anansi Boys



Silver Kiss

Maze Runner

Red Prophet

Wish List

City of Bones

Superman: Neverending Battle

Silver Hand

Other Side of the Island

Superman/Batman vs Alien/Predator

Patrick Son of Ireland

Arctic Incident

Old Man’s War

The Heldan


Maximum Dinobots

ROTF Graphic Novel

The Sight

I Am Spock

Complete Guide to Guys

Where’s my Jetpack?

Schlock Mercenary vol. 1

The Alliance

Cry of the Icemark

History of the Millennium

Land Keep

Heroes of the Valley

Catching Fire

Across the Nightingale Floor

Key of Kilenya


Elantris (Graphic Audio)


Course of Human Events

Mice and Magic


You’re Not Fooling Anyone…

Saving Madeline

Glenn Beck’s Common Sense

Alcatraz/Knights of Crystallia

The Lost Symbol

Endless Knot


Something Wicked

Amulet of Samarkand (#90)

Tuesdays with Morrie


Troy Lord of the Silver Bow

Grass for His Pillow (Otori 2)

Christmas on Mill Street


Hashbrown Winters

Hunger Games

Storm Front

Next 100 Years (#100)


Little book of BofM Evidences

Reagan’s Funeral

Merchant of Death

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Lord of the Flies

A Christmas Carol

Shadow Dragons

Hush Hush

Pirate Latitudes (#110)

Stir of Echoes

The Dark Divine

Mormons and Polygamy

A Sound of Thunder

Eaters of the Dead

Heart of Stone

Projects for 2023

Guys, I’m planning an end-of-year bash on the channel (subscribe!) where I will announce what I’m going to publish/produce/accomplish next year. Here are the categories

Reading: Fewer books, but longer ones. Average one per week or so. This will include the current four Stormlight Archive volumes, biographies on Jefferson Davis and Robert Rogers, and a huge lineup of artbooks that I’m behind on reading.

Writing: I will publish ENGINES OF MERYKA: HOWLING WILDERNESS, as well as the print/illustrated editions of SHERIFF PORTER and ANSWERABLE COURAGE.

Drawing: I’ll have my hands full doing illustrations for three books. One way to make that manageable will be to limit the amount of art I put in each one. I’m thinking eight total for the shorter books (not including the cover art) and no more than fifteen for HOWLING WILDERNESS. I’ll have to be very strict with my schedule.

Video: Production on video content will be regularlized. There will be at least one weekly video on my channel, reviewing a book or weighing in on something generally.

Audio: The Radcracker Podcast will continue, with new art and a more rigid format, so that the content is (frankly) better.

2023 is going to be a big year for me. I’m done moving, my schedule is consistent, and with my time consumption being predictable, I can dial in my meaningful creations with greater speed. I reserve the right to change any of this stuff as needed. Stay tuned.

Currently reading:

William Bradford catalogued the first few decades of events at Plymouth Plantation (the Mayflower colony) in a single manuscript that was entrusted to his sons and grandsons.

It eventually made its way back to England, and was returned to the US in the late 18th or 19th Century. Harold Paget put together this edition in 1920, on the 300th anniversary of the voyage that brought Bradford & Co. to Massachusetts.

We’ve since had the 400th anniversary. This is a good book, go read it.

Also I’ve assembled a YT playlist for all of my Pilgrim-related videos.

“On a final note…” (20 minutes later)

S/o to Ben for catching that, haha.

I did a review on a book that made my best-of list for 2014. Links are in the video description. It’s about the philosophy of work, and the way people change when they’re in an environment where the quality of their work isn’t the deciding factor in assessing their contributions to the company.

Go watch it. Ran a little longer than I planned, but it’s good.