Thomas Galvin
Purveyor of Fine Pulp Fiction

Triquetra
Nobody's weak. Everybody's strong. -Justin Pope

I’ve kind of fallen out of love with power lifting.

I have to force myself to get up and go to the gym. It’s a struggle to get warmed up. I grind through my sets, because that’s what I’ve always done, but when I finish, I’m always more beat up than I should be.

Honestly, I should probably give it up altogether, but I just can’t. I’d feel like I was losing something, some fundamental part of my self. Even thinking about it makes me depressed.

I’ve been very happy with how 5/3/1 has been working for me, but I’ve earned another nagging shoulder injury, and even the yoga isn’t taking care of it. So, at least for now, I’m switching routines.

My new weight training regimen is at least partially informed by Body by Science. I’ve chosen my own exercises, and I lift at a different tempo, but the idea is the same; get sufficient stimulation to maintain muscle in a single, weekly workout.

I’m going with the deadlift instead of the squat, because I like it better and because the squat is one of the big contributors to my shoulder pain. I’ve worked them open to the point where I can grab the bar, but it isn’t pleasant. I’m also using a machine to bench press, because it’s easier on the shoulders.

Other than that, it’s a fairly standard full-body workout, pushes paired with pulls. Here’s what I did this morning:

  • Dead: 315×5
  • Bench: 240×5
  • Cable row: 240×7
  • Overhead press: 135×5
  • Pulldown: 210×5

I’m doing one set to failure, but there’s a lot of misconception about what that means. First, it’s one working set. I do two or three warm-up sets before I get to the main event. Second, it’s to technical failure; at the end of a set, I can still move the weight, but not with good form or through a complete range of motion.

My plan is to take this easy. I choose weights that I can do comfortably for a set of five, and I don’t plan to go up until I’m doing sets of ten. That should give my joints time to accommodate.

One of the justifications for the tanks, armored personnel carriers, riot gear, and assault weapons currently employed by our police departments is the fact that being a police officer is so dangerous. Every time you pin on the badge, they say, you’re risking your life.

That is, to an extent, true. Let’s set aside the fact that this could largely be eliminated by ending the drug war, and focus on just how dangerous being an officer of the law is.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15 out of every 100,000 police officers die on the job every year. That’s 0.015%, annually, or about equal to the number of maintenance and repair workers who die on the job every year.

Yes, the maytag man also takes his life into his own hands every time he slips into his coveralls.

It’s even worse for garbage men, who die at more than twice the rate of police officers, with 32.3 out of every 100,000 dying on the job each year.

Fishing, apparently, is an unrelenting horror of death and tuna. 120.8 fishers out of every 100,000 die on th ejob each year. Deadliest catch, indeed.

But the “winner,” if you can call it that, is the logging industry. Almost 130 out of every 100,000 loggers die on the job annually. I think it’s high time we arm our brave loggers and lumberjacks, time we gave them the tools they need to protect themselves from the scourge of old growth forests.

In the original Broadway production of Peter Pan, which ran in 1954, Peter was played by Mary Martin. NBC is rebooting the stage production with a live December 4th broadcast, and once again Peter will be played by a woman:

Allison Williams as Peter Pan

This is Allison Williams, of Girls fame, as the titular ageless, flying, pirate fighting, child abducting elf.

The tradition of casting a woman as Pan is apparently related to the older tradition of casting young women in boys’ roles, because children under the age of 14 weren’t allowed to act on stage after 9pm.

Captain Hook, by the way, will be played by Christopher Walken, so my ass will be in front of the TV just as soon as its available on Hulu.

Yes, please.

Mockingjay

Hi everyone,

Sorry to bother you guys, but I’ve had to move to a new mailing list. If you’re subscribed to the old one, please go here and sign up for the new one.

I’ll be sending out some info over the next couple of weeks, including preview chapters for The Janus Project and cover art for The Demon in Keystone Apartments.

The next few months are going to be pretty busy for me, and I should have four new books out by the end of the year. The mailing list is the best way to hear about them as they’re released.

-t

I recently got the copyedits for The Demon in Keystone Apartments, one of the four books I’ll be publishing before the end of the year, so I sat down and went through the story line by line.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Writers are not generally optimistic creatures, and that’s especially true when we’re talking about our own work. Sure, sometimes it seems like the Muse drank a fifth of whiskey and decided to give us a lap dance, but for the most part, writing is work.

We know how the sausage is made, and because of that, we expect what we write to be terrible. Hey, this is the chapter I wrote when I had food poisoning! This is the section I came up with when I was hung over! I had to rewrite this passage fifteen times just so that it wasn’t pure dog shit!

But when you put a story down for a while, let’s say a month or so, those memories fade. The process of writing gets foggy, letting you enjoy the story for what it is.

And now that I’ve read it with fresh eyes, I really like the first John Rose adventure. I hope you guys will, too.

I’ve been doing DDP Yoga for a month now, along with Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1, and working at a standing desk. I’ve been eating a mostly ketogenic diet, with Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast, Muscle Milk and a Quest bar for lunch, and a half dozen eggs for dinner. I have one cheat day a week, which still starts with Bulletproof Coffee, but from lunch on I eat whatever I’m in the mood for.

So far, I’ve dropped thirteen pounds, and my belt is two notches tighter than when I started. My squat is up to over three hundred pounds, my deadlift is up over four hundred, I can press one eighty five, and I can bench two eighty. More importantly than my raw numbers, though, I don’t hurt the way I used to.

The combination of yoga and powerlifting is pretty much magical, as far as I’m concerned. My strength is up, my pain is down, and I’m losing weight at a pretty good pace, despite a few, ahem, indulgences here and there. I’m very happy with how this program is progressing.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Old Main:

Old Main

It was the central building of the Utica State Hospital, but in a past life it went by another name: the New York State Lunatic Asylum.

Look at that thing. This creepy mother fucker is straight out of an episode of Supernatural. And once upon a time, a thousand inmates were housed inside its cold, stony walls.

The New York Lunatic Asylum opened in 1843, and was the first state-funded hospital for the mentally ill. It was also the home of the Utica Crib:

Utica Crib

Sleep tight. We’ll be back to let you out in the morning.

So of course when they announced that they were opening Old Main to the public for the first time in half a decade, my wife and I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, so did about four thousand other lovers of all things weird.

The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica, which is apparently a thing, announced tours from five to eight. We arrived at around five fifteen, and there were already about two thousand people in line. We waited in line for four hours, and by the time we made it near the Asyum’s imposing doors, the sun was falling.

The director of the Landmark Society informed us that the tour was being shut down, and everyone still in line was going to be sent home.

The crowd, by fiat, decided that this was not true, and simply remained in line. Someone called our Congressman. Someone else called the Governor. And I swear to God I am not kidding about that. People really wanted to see the creepy interior of the spookiest building in the county.

The director gave in, and the remaining tourists were allowed to (quickly) pass through the Asylum’s bottom floor.

The results were less than spectacular.

We were expecting horror. We were expecting torture. We were expecting tales of lobotomies and electroshock therapy. Hell, we were looking to see the damn Utica Crib, since we invented the thing. Instead, after four hours in line, we saw about a dozen rooms, which had been renovated into office storage, and a handful of photos of what the place had looked like back in the eighteen hundreds.

So far, my experience with haunted houses, both purportedly real and admittedly theatrical, has been wholly unimpressive. The brightest part of the evening was when we went out for pizza afterwards.

Regardless, I’m going to write a story about Old Main. It’s just now going to open with a couple of pretty young murder victims who break in after standing in line for half a day, and want to see what the forbidden Fourth Floor is all about.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I’m starting to hire my own copy editors. So far, my results have been very mixed.

One of the people I’ve worked with has been fabulous. She’s reasonably priced, she’s quick, and she’s caught dozens of errors and typos that slipped by me. Basically, everything I could hope for in an editor.

The other two … well, my results were less than stellar. When I did a final read-through of the manuscripts they returned, I found dozens of typos my “professional” editors missed. And that leaves me a bit torn.

On the one hand, it’s kind of hypocritical to complain about someone missing typos that I both injected and missed on all of my previous read-throughs. On the other hand, if I’m paying someone hundreds of dollars to copy edit my work, I’d really appreciate it if they did the job I’m paying them for.

Between editors and cover artists, I’ve spent close to a thousand dollars on various publishing expenses this month. That’s a lot of money, but it’s also kind of expected, as I’m trying to get four books out the door in the next three months.

The project I’m trying to wrap up right now, though, is a bit different. One, it’s the longest work I’ve published to date, at slightly more than one hundred thousand words. That means it’s going to be more expensive to have edited, by a considerable margin. Second, it’s kind of my baby, and I really want it to be the absolute best product it can be. The idea of spending hundreds of dollars on someone who’s going to treat the project carelessly is, to say the least, depressing.

My plan right now is to go back to the editor who’s done the best work for me in the past. Going forward, I also plan to write a short “audition” script that I’ll send to new editors before I buy more expensive services from them, to see how they perform. I might end up posting the close-to-final versions for some crowdsourced editing, too.

What say you, internets? What’s the best way to get a novel edited?

I don’t know what happened the night Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown.

Some witnesses say Brown was executed while trying to surrender. Others claim he was shot while trying to grab Wilson’s firearm. I don’t know which version, if either, is true. A family friend has claimed that Wilson suffered a fractured orbital bone while struggling with Brown. I don’t know if that’s true, either.

I do know that Michael Brown was eighteen. I know that he was unarmed. I know that he was black.

And I know that I’m glad that I’m white.

That isn’t a racist statement. I’m glad that I’m white because it means this will almost certainly never be my story. I’m not going to be shot by a police officer. I’m not going to be shot by a drug dealer. I’m not going to go to prison.

But the story is different if you’re black. If you’re a black male, there’s a one in three chance that you’ll be incarcerated at some point in your life. Black people also recieve harsher punishments for the same crimes. You can read more about that here. If a white person shoots a black man, it is more likely to be ruled justifiable homicide than any other kind of shooting.

I also know that the police frighten me.

That, I believe, is intentional. You don’t walk around like this:

Because you want to appear friendly. You don’t drive around like this:

Because you want to inspire confidence. You do it to intimidate. You do it to dominate. You do it to instill fear.

You don’t do it to serve and protect.

American police departments are being given surplus military equipment; during the Obama administration alone, tens of thousands of guns. They’ve also received armored personnel carriers, aircraft, and grenade launchers.

Ostensibly, these weapons of war were meant to fight drug cartels. Now, they are intended to fight terrorists. But in reality, they’re toys.

Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer had this to say about our beloved nation: “The United States of America has become a war zone.” Speaking of his military surplus, mine-proof war wagon, he said, “It’s a lot more intimidating than a Dodge.”

Michael Gayer lives in a different country that you and I do. He lives in an America that is beset with violence, on the bleeding edge of chaos. He lives in an America where the only thing between good, decent people and violent anarchy is a thin blue line of police officers … in tanks.

Michael Gayer’s America does not exist. Violent crime in America had been trending downward for years. Legalization of marijuana has actually decreased crime wherever it has been tried.

America is not a war zone, but Michael Gayer is working to make it one. In his mind, he’s fighting a war, and there is only one available enemy: us.

Buy my books!

The Janus Project

Available for pre-order from Amazon, and releasing Sept 30.

Read the first chapter now!

The Vampires of St. Troy

Debutante

Available in eBook and paperback.

Read the first chapter now!

Sire

Available in eBook and paperback.

Read the first chapter now!

Scion

Available in eBook and paperback.

Read the first chapter now!

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